The last week of my life as Mom has been a week of absolute horror. I am not unique in my situation and I am sure that it will be far from my last week of life that tipped as far into living the life of the insane as a medically “sane” person can live. I dreaded waking up each morning and I dreaded going to bed each night. I knew that the hours that filled the “in-between” time would be packed with tantrums, tears, screams, hitting, biting, explosive poop, whining and fights. I am sure that there were moments of laughter and smiles hidden in there, too. I’m just not sure where, yet. Give me some time, and perhaps those precious moments will relive themselves in my burnt-out little mommy-brain.
The outcome of the treacherous last week I just lived was my first “I should never have been a mommy moment.” Perhaps that is a milestone? Not one that most people would admit to or be very proud of anyway. But, I had it. And I had it many times a day probably every day of the week. My inability to soothe, calm, entertain, please, or even appease my children made me doubt my ability to be a parent, my desire to want to be a parent and my ability to live yet another moment as a parent. But, as you can see, it is Saturday, and we all survived the week: barely.
When you are a mom and you realize that no matter what trick you pull out of your sleeve, your children are still miserable, misbehaving little miscreants (and I use the term in the most lovingly way possible), it is not any wonder that you doubt yourself as a competent human being. I mean, come ON – it is a toddler! How is it possible that you CAN’T make their lives better? I wonder how is it possible that an educated, traveled, confident, creative and flexible person can’t outsmart an 18 month- old? I question how a 2 year old can out-wit me? And not just once folks. All. Day. Long. After hours and hours and days of days of being beat by a toddler, you give up. You are tired. You are exhausted. And, honestly, if you are anything like me, your self-esteem has probably taken a beating, too.
So, after you realize that you really don’t have the actual SKILLS to be an effective parent, you are exhausted and feel horrible about yourself and your overall inability to be a parent, you realize, you just want your old life back. ALL last week, as my children bit each other because they both wanted to eat the same soggy Cheerio that had been stuck on the bottom of the mop for weeks, I realized, all I wanted in this world was to go sit outside with a cup of coffee and my laptop and write a paper. I didn’t want to change another diaper or listen to another blood-curdling scream over who got to eat with the red spoon. I just wanted to be. I know that there is a world of wonder in the land of parenthood. But, let me tell you folks, as wonderful as my children are and as much as I really do love them, last week, I wanted to put them in a box and send them off to some grandparent’s house with no return address. Clearly, I was sucking at being a parent, so, who wants to continue doing something that they aren’t good at? Not me.
The tipping point of last week was when my darling son threw his plate of food across the kitchen SECONDS after I had cleaned up the exact same plate of food his darling little sister had thrown across the kitchen. I was done. With no where to turn and nobody to get help from. Just me and two little faces not understanding why mommy was standing in the middle of the kitchen with a flood of tears running down her face. I put the knives on top of the fridge, turned on the TV and locked myself in the garage for a good 10 minutes. I was done being a mommy. I needed to pull it together.
And so it goes. Being a mom is hard. And honestly, lately, it really hasn’t been that fun. My patience is long gone and my willingness to deal with short-tempered toddlers is not high, either. I try and keep things in perspective, reminding myself that if it is bad for me, it is REALLY bad for them. At least I understand what is happening all around me. But, since I have experience as a kid, I can now say, being a mom hard is definitely harder than being a kid hard. I’m working on it and trying to figure out how to get my mommy-groove back. I know it is in there somewhere. I think that it’s hiding until the screaming kids leave. Mommies are afraid of loud voices in the house. Perhaps when the kids get past their “moments,” my Mommy-moments will start to ease as well. But, just in case, I have a really large FedEx box waiting in the garage. . . you know, just in case I have to overnight my kids to the grandparents for awhile!