I am sitting in my car right now. I don’t want to go inside for many reasons. One, Maurie will wake up and want me to hold her. Two, I don’t want to look at the messes that I can’t keep on top of…dishes, laundry, sweeping, mopping, bathrooms, the same toys and books, food–the list can go on and on. Motherhood might be the most monotonous thing I have ever done. When I was working when Jane was little the house seemed to stay more clean and I got a break once and awhile. I want to put on a nice pant suit and go to a job that allows me to think clearly without thousands of distractions. I want a clean space to work in that stays clean for more than 15 minutes. My house feels more like a burden than a haven right now. Just going inside makes my stomach turn. I also don’t want to be in charge of anyone. I don’t want to try and figure out how to keep Maurie from having allergic reactions. I don’t want to pretend to be Queen Elsa with Jane. I don’t want to fight my inner urge to be impatient and bugged. I want to sleep. Yes, sleep more than three hours at a time. It really is too much to ask. I want to travel to an exotic place and lay on the beach reading, writing and doing yoga. It would be awesome if it was all about me for a week. As I write that I cringe because I know it is selfish, but it is honest.
I will be better tomorrow, but these feelings are real and I hope that other moms find comfort in knowing that it is normal to want to give up sometimes. Let yourself feel it and then acknowledge the beauty of your willingness to keep giving, to figure it out. I will eventually get out of my car; Maurie will wake up and I will keep doing the laundry, the dishes and cleaning up the same messes. And hopefully as I loose myself in this work, I will find the better me, the true me.
Here is a small poem I wrote:
I am drowning in the same toys and books.
Swimming in dish water with a steady flow of dirty bowls, spoons and pans blocking my way to the surface.
Tiny arms that weigh a ton drag me deeper into the watery abyss.
All I need is air.
I stroke, paddle harder through my childrens’ tears now become a raging river,
But it is not enough. I am drowned right now.
Then slowly, the river calms and my arms get stronger and something I can’t see, but I can feel, pulls me to the shore,
and I notice how beautiful the folded laundry looks in the clean drawers, how grateful I am for the pile of food on my plates and my children’s smiles and hugs fill my soul.
Nothing has really changed, but I am on land now, breathing in the home I have made.
Have a good day on the shore!