Monday, May 16, 2011

Back from My Most Recent (but certainly not my last) Meltdown

Worry not, my peeps.  I’m back! 

A Multiple Choice Quiz –
I took a brief hiatus because
  1. I had a little motherly meltdown
  2. I’ve been overwhelmed with tasks
  3. I had to send the computer in for repairs
  4. Blogspot was down
  5. All of the Above
The answer, of course, is E, but let's focus on my meltown, shall we?  

Let’s start from the very beginning.  It is no secret that I find motherhood to be exhausting.  That’s not to say that motherhood doesn’t come naturally.  I’ve always wanted to be a mother, to stay home with my children, and to raise a family.  In the big scheme o’ things, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.  But the monotony of doing the same things, day in and day out, son up to son down, is exhausting. 

And to all those mothers who post on Facebook about how sad you are that your kids are going back to school on a random Monday because you’ve SO enjoyed having them all to yourself for the weekend, I call bullsh*t.  

That’s right . . . I said it!

We, as women, do each other a disservice by constantly trying to portray ourselves as the epitome of Motherhood.  (Admit it, when you read the above statement, a part of you thought I never feel that way.)  We try to be the Martyr, the woman who selflessly gave up everything in order to devote her life to raising upstanding little citizens with good manners.  In the back of my mind, however, is this nagging question: who am I going to be in 18 years when all three of my boys are independent of me?

Lately I have felt as if I am living my life in order to accommodate others.  I get up in the morning so that I can get the boys fed and ready for school.  I may go to the gym in the morning, but I try to be home in time to put Small down for a nap.  I need to be at the end of the street by 11:10 so that I can get Medium off the bus.  We run errands (groceries for the family, dry cleaning for Daddy, the bank, the hardware store, the drugstore, etc.) and then return so that Small can get another nap, and then it’s back to the bus stop at 3. I fix a snack for the kids, then supervise homework and make sure everyone is ready for practice or art class or cub scouts.  We eat dinner early because we need time for baths and books before bedtime at 8.  There is NO time for me to read a grown-up book, or sit quietly and knit, or work on a scrapbook.  If Hubby has to work late or is out of town, it’s no biggie because we all know that I’ve got it covered. 

It’s not as if I’m a Kept Woman.  Hubby encourages me to go out and to find time for myself, but I have Mommy Guilt; that nagging thought that I could sit on the sofa and watch Oprah, OR I could finish up the laundry, or unload the dishwasher, or make the beds, or wipe down the counters, or any one of the gazillion other things that will need to get done at some point so I might as well just do it now.  We actually agree that I need to make ME a priority, but I am my own worst enemy. 


My most recent meltdown occurred after I saw my friend, K, at Target.  Natch.  I ran into K in the parking lot, told her that we were getting ready to dine at Target’s café, and I invited her and her brood of 4 boys to join us.  I had a little time to kill before my eye appointment, also at Target.  Seriously, if Target had a gynecologist and a dentist, I’d never have to go anywhere else.  K was in the middle of a particularly tough week, full of the everyday minutia that on any other day would be fine, but today it’s just driving you batsh*t crazy.  (You know what I’m talking about: yesterday you woulda said, you want to walk next to the cart?  Okay!  Today you’re thinking, just get in the f*cking cart, you package-opening little aisle runner!

Ahem.

I tried to be supportive.  I put on my Good Friend cap and reminded her what a wonderful mother she is, as is evidenced by the fact that her kids seem to openly adore her and she is really good with them.  I listened to her as she vented, as we all need to do every once in a while.  I reminded her how important it is that we make time for ourselves, and I mentioned that I was meeting a girlfriend for a few hours of creativity on the next Saturday night.

Except Hubby ended up having to work late Saturday, and the first thing cut from the calendar was Mommy’s scrapbooking night. 

A Meltdown ensued.

Hubby had been working late for a while so I had barely had any time to myself, peeing and showering included.  (I figured out one day that the ONLY adult conversation I had was with the guy at Moe’s who took my order.  They’re always so welcoming there!  Every time I walk in they yell, “welcome to Moe’s,” like they’ve missed me or something.  What?  They do that to everyone?  Sigh.)  I really needed a little time away from my family, and I REALLY needed a little bit of quiet.  When it became evident that neither was going to happen, I lost my sh*t.  I went into the whole crying, snotting, persweating I-don’t-know-who-I-am-anymore-I-can-literally-feel-myself-getting-stupider-I’m-just-so-tired meltdown.  It weren’t pretty.

I love my boys and I love my husband.  I have a good life.  But here’s the thing: every once in a while, I need to have a good cleansing cry and a little outside validation – someone to tell me that I’m important and I’m appreciated and I’m doing an okay job and that, fingers crossed, none of my boys will end up in prison.  I need to sit in the Starbucks parking lot BY MYSELF and enjoy my cup of coffee while listening to something other than The Hamster Dance or Veggie Tales dialogue.  I need to remind my children and my spouse and myself that I am so much more than just a mother.  True, it is my most important role right now, but it cannot be at the expense of everything else that I am.  I have helped perpetuate this notion within my family, but I am going to make a conscious effort not to feel guilty when/if I try to carve out a little time for myself.  You heard it here first - here's hoping I can follow through!

3 comments:

  1. Mom guilt sucks. There is no way around it.

    and I agree...people who say they are sad to send the kids off to school? they are either sick in the head or just plain lying to make themselves look better;)

    here's to a night out for you - all mommy's deserve it (especially the mom's of all boys...we need other estrogen!)

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  2. New follower here. Stopped by on a whim after reading RFML. I am in a monogamous relationship of nearly 5 years and my boyfriend has a 6 yr old boy. Our custody arrangements are 50/50 and we get his some from Monday to Monday every other week. I gotta say..on that Monday when he goes back to his mom's I heave a big sigh of relief and thank god that week is over. My boyfriend works afternoons so I am a single parent (like you as a stay at home-y) from 2pm til bedtime. I pick up from school, do dinner, homework, errands, bath, story and bedtime by myself every night. Oh and manage the household chores, bills, etc...My weeks withouth him are both blissfully and miserably quiet. But on that Monday when he comes home, I'm so excited to see him. His face lights up when he sees me standing in the lobby at school. And I truly believe (although I realize he's not mine biologically) I got the best of both worlds. Get to have my kid time and my kid-free time.

    All that being said..I've had my meltdown moments too. Crying uncontrollably to my BFF in Georgia about once a month about how difficult it is to do it all..usually on a week I have him. It's comforting to know that my feelings are "normal". Especially when faced with "are you sure it's not your birth control?" AGH!

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  3. Hi there. New follower too after finding you on Rants. And I SO get this post. I only have one little one right now, an 8.5 month old. And I have meltdowns ALL. THE. TIME. Right now they are primarily because my little one is not sleeping at night so I am exhausted beyond belief, or at least that's what I'm telling myself. And I'm not a SAHM, although sometimes I really want to be, except I also want some time to myself, which, btw, I do NOT get, since I currently am working 2 jobs and then get to take on mommy duty when I get home, which only adds to the mommy guilt, because hello, I only have so many hours every day with him or to clean, etc.

    wow. I did not mean for this comment to be so long!

    Anyway, I get you, and I love your blog.

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Be nice, kids.