Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mutha Confessor

Someone wrote about me in their blog today. It was something nice! I was tickled to see that. There was a time in my blogging history that the opposite occurred on a regular basis. Eh, I'm not the same blogger I used to be. I'm not the same person I used to me. Motherhood has changed me. Some might say motherhood has lobotomized me. I've definitely mellowed. But I'm still in there. Somewhere.

Today was one of those days that the girl I used to be fought the woman I've become and got her butt kicked.

What happened to the confident, self assured, dream a big dream and make it come true girl from my youth who wasn't phased by anything?

The insanity all started with a series of events involving Boo. Issues like- today was accident day #5. Or her breaking down several days in a row at school because she can't zip her coat. All the other kids know how to zip their coats. Boo does not and she freaks out and becomes so upset, she cannot join the others outside. Then hearing of her latest test results and learning perhaps Boo really shouldn't test for the gifted program, as was previously suggested.

It was all at once, bam bam bam. I stood in her classroom and felt dizzy. I instantly blamed myself. What am I doing wrong? Why is she having accidents? I just want what is best for Boo and that's fine about not qualifying for the gifted program. But the zipper? Why didn't I teach her to use a zipper? I got her a zipper coat this year. Why didn't I think of that?

Then we got home and I found out she didn't eat lunch because it was fish sticks and Boo hates fish sticks. Why didn't I stop to check the lunch calendar and pack a lunch instead?

Why are these simple things slipping past me?

I sat with Boo on the floor to cuddle her and Juna flew over to us and beat Boo over the head with her little fists while screaming, "GONE GONE GONE!" Juna became hysterical and wouldn't calm down until Boo moved off my lap, which upset Boo and made her cry.

Meanwhile Avie played happily with her blocks, speaking in her new possessed by demons voice. "Bahhhhhhh. Maaaaaa! AHHHHHH!" It would have been hilarious if I wasn't gripped with the fear that I couldn't remember the last time I changed her diaper. She's smiling lovingly at me and I'm in tears because Avie is always the forgotten baby. Yet she's the happiest child in the house.

I sat there, with Junie screaming and Boo crying and Avie smiling and thought the following:

I love my kids
But sometimes I hate motherhood.
And today, I hate myself.

I hated the fact that today, I wasn't very good at motherhood. I hated the fact that today I hated motherhood at all. I hated the fact that I felt I should be grateful to even have kids in the first place. That constant infertility and adoption guilt. "I should be so grateful I even have the kids. I've waited so long to have them, I just should constantly enjoy the experience."

It doesn't work that way. Not even for those blessed with easy fertility.

I realize that and yet it doesn't stop the guilt.

I knew going into this that I'd have these days. Frequently. With little to no family help, especially lately, no babysitters, and no time off- ever- a mom can get burned out. Quickly. It's been almost one solid year of zero Me Time that didn't involve the kids. The last time Matt and I were alone together was in Hong Kong and I passed out at 6pm while he went out with friends. But that was the deal we signed up for. We knew there would be little Me Time or Us time for a Long Time.

I thought about my recent inadequacies as a mother and wondered if I should just go back to work. Certainly they'd be better off with a professional caregiver? And that's when panic attack #47 for the day occurred. Go back to work. Doing what? The only skills I have beyond motherhood are reading out loud and sounding really good. Not much call for that on a daily basis.

Panic attack number #48. Oh my god. What am I going to do with myself when the kids are all in school?

I don't even have a resume.

And I'd look like Melanie Griffith in Working Girl when she had the big bad hair and the awful clothes, walking into an office filled with sleek and stylish women. Except I'd be the mid 90s version, since that was the last time I had an actual job.

If I was a plane, I'd be entering the death spiral at this point. The thoughts, just spinning, spinning, spinning, completely out of control.

It got even worse.

I started wondering if my lack of any decent parenting skills lately is because of any new distractions? The stupid internet show? Can't be. I have seven completed scripts, just ready to be shot. Written while the kids slept. It comes to easily to me, the little internet show, that I can dash off a script in under 30 minutes, complete with a shot sheet and and voice over list. Oh the internet show. It brings me happiness, which scares me because I'd love to do that for a living but come on let's get real. Blogging? Again, this comes easily to me that an entry takes just a few moments when the kids sleep. Oh, could the distractions be the voice over work I do professionally? It's a bit slow right now, so no. take away the silly hobbies of the show and the freelance voice work and... there's nothing.

Which made me freak out some more. A stupid internet show that's never going to go anywhere and a voice over career stalled. And a three year old who keeps wetting herself and a one year old jealous of anything that prevents me from holding her constantly, and a 10 month old who isn't getting enough of my time and yet keeps on smiling and a husband who hasn't seen me naked in months on end and a house that's falling apart and a woman who hasn't eaten a full meal in weeks because of her new diet and yet she still can't lose weight and- why am I even complaining at least we're all healthy, tra la la, find your happy place! Oops, yeah, surgery in three weeks and another round of Benign or Malignant.

Kaboom! The plane crashes to the ground in a ball of fire.

Fortunately, the plane had a magical eject button. I flew through the air and landed comfortably at The Mommy Spa. A quiet retreat just for mommies that exists inside my head. Massages? Just tell us how many and what kind? They're yours. Pampering? What type do you desire? Cleaning and cooking? Not on your life! While you're at the Mommy Spa, Mary Poppins has taken your place at home. When you arrive home, 20 pounds thinner and looking radiant from 9 hours of sleep each night, your child will no longer have accidents. You will be able to walk across the room without your velcro baby falling to pieces. You will get a whole day to love on the littlest baby who never gets the attention she deserves. But before Mary Poppins leaves, you and your husband get a much needed night alone. Mommy Spa, take me away!

It's where I escape to on days like these. The Mommy Spa. Such a happy little place.

Freakin pathetic. The girl I used to be is soooo disappointed.

So to the person who wrote such nice things about me, thinking I have it all together, I'm sorry. I'm a fraud. Perhaps I'm also a bit of a failure. All I'm doing is loving my kids and trying not to drown in a sea of insecurity and the unknown. That should be enough, but sometimes it isn't.

Sometimes Motherhood sucks.
And sometimes I suck at Motherhood.

I hope this post doesn't disappoint you.


Arlene said...

I think your a kick booty mom. Everything is going to be OKAY!!! Big hugs. Happy thoughts.
What mom doesn't worry? C'mon your only human.

gnomic said...

And this too shall pass (like a kidney stone).

I remember very clearly telling my Mom at age 4 "You are just making this up!" and her replying "Wait until you are my age and you'll see." 23 years later I confronted her on it and she confessed that, yes, she was faking it.

She was still a great Mom. You are too. But sometimes, you just have to fake your way through the day.

Dianna said...

*sigh* If I had one iota of writing talent, I'd have written this entry.

Your spa sounds lovely, is there a waiting list?

As gnomic said, it'll pass. Just keep loving those girls and Matt, that's all!

Anonymous said...

No emotion is ridiculous when you're a mom. No disappointment is possible from friends when you're being a Real Woman with real day-to-day struggles. From my perspective you're doing GREAT. Of course I still think you're awesome. You're raising 3 girls under the age of 4. This is hard. There will be bad days. I would hold fundraisers to send you to the Mommy Spa if I could!

A said...

Sending hugs -- you'll get through it! And here's hoping you'll soon get a break at a Mommy spa OUTSIDE your head :)

In the meantime, keep strong when you can and lean on your husband when you can't. Take care!

Steph said...

You are AMAZING!!!! Just the fact that you are honest enough to admit that you have these moments makes you amazing!! :) You have 3 kids under 4... I only have 2 and I have these moments. And the guilt.. SUCKS! I had no fertility issues and still feel awful when I dont enjoy every moment of motherhood.

And your hair... ROCKS! I love the one length bob, but can pull it off.

J said...

A bad mom would be one who cruised through a day like that without stopping to think about what it all meant. Your very reflection on what it takes to be a mom, what it does to YOU, and how the unique personality of each of your children factors into the equation, is a part of what makes you a good mom.

I have also given a lot of thought to the "having it all" concept. I strive for balance between home and work, but feel like I can never achieve it. Someday soon I'll do a blog post on this too & I'll let you know when I do.

Katie said...

I loved your post. I can totally identify. I do the same thing, start worrying about one thing and it just snowballs, suddenly I am worrying about how I will cope when my parents are gone or some other horrible inevitability.