My friend sent me a link to show solidarity over the constant ebb and flow of motherhood, and our love/hate of it. While I was reading the link http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/07/09/1108092/–I-hate-being-a-mom, I was aghast at he anger that some of the mom’s expressed in their comments. It wasn’t that they actually had the thoughts about running away, and why didn’t anyone tell them it was this hard, and it’s mostly awful and difficult interspersed with rare moments of delight.
Trust me; I know what it’s like to wonder “What have I done?” “What did that stupid Greg do to me?” “Our life was so easy for the first 11 years—what the hell was I thinking?” Everyone has children that have difficult traits that make daily life challenging over and above the standard parenting stuff. I know what it’s like to say that I am going to change my name, and I am not telling my children what it is, so I will no longer have to answer their inane questions and requests. I’ve even been known to mutter “ASS” under my breath when they have done something stupid or mean, but to sit down and write a rant filled with hatred, the foulest of foul language, and pseudo death wishes on my children is mind-boggling—usually I just say “kill me…”
Raising children is exhausting, trying, and often shows us a side of ourselves that is not the highest version of who we’d like to be. It frequently feels unrewarding, and there is a constant desire to speed up the yucky parts but slow down the wonderful ones–alas, that is not how this journey works. I fail every day at this role. I understand why other moms feel like parenting can be an exercise in futility and an existence of being stuck on the metaphorical treadmill doing the same mundane thing every day–just as the laundry is finished, another article of clothing drops into the hamper; the dishwasher is always full waiting to be emptied; my car is constantly being abused by dirty feet and sticky hands—it’s the never ending series of damage control actions that gets me down, thankfully not for long periods of time. A sense-of-humor is the only way to cope. Finding funny in the bad, boring, or stupid stuff keeps me going—that, and losing my cool fairly regularly…
As a mom, I don’t want to be a playmate, teacher of school subjects, or overly regimented on what I expose my children to, and other moms who are all of these things make me lazy and lame, not because they are trying to, but because I feel inferior as a parent when it comes to showing an interest in all that stuff for more than 10 minutes. It’s far more important for me to have the creative outlet writing about something they did, than making sure they are well-rounded human beings.
I feel sadly for the women that made the choice to have children thinking it was the right thing to do and hating the choice they made. I feel sadly for the child, as well—it’s a bad dynamic that could breed another generation of adults that are unhappy and aren’t sure why. I am trying not to be angry at some of the mother’s rants, because adding that to their frustration I think will only escalate the hatred of their role, but it scares me a little bit that they couldn’t choose to “write” their words with a little more intelligence and grace than the original feelings that spawned their angry expression. It’s one thing to vent vocally, but (in my opinion) another to type the thoughts and actually hit send without revisiting subject matter. I think we live in a time where anger is synonymous with passion and change, and I am not sure that is entirely accurate. I think it just fuels more anger, victimization and self-righteousness…but who am I to make that claim—it’s simply my observation.
Here it is…motherhood is hard. Harder than ever, maybe, because of how fast our world moves. It’s not for the faint of heart, and I am grateful for the people who know their limits when it comes to whether to be a parent or not. It does take a village to raise a child, and I am so fortunate to have that. I have a wonderful family that is very invested in the type of people my children become. Everything we need seems to arrive for my children—a tutor, a great teacher, a school that is willing to work with me, everything. But…BUT! I believe that people want to help me and see my children do well, and thus that is my reality. I am grateful for everyday that someone gives me the understanding that I need when I am a less than great parent. It is amazing to me how much help I have—it definitely takes a village. I hurt for the parents that do it alone…it must be infinitely harder when you feel that you have nowhere to turn when you need a break.
I learned just yesterday about someone my husband and I used to work with about 20 years ago. She just lost her teenage son in an auto accident. I just kept thinking “Who would have thought that was in her future when we were working with her?” The idea of knowing the experience of raising a child and then having to live without them is mind boggling and heart breaking—I don’t know how any parent survives it. But even armed with this visceral reaction I experienced only yesterday, I still hollered and expressed frustration with my children today. It was a simple but tragic reminder, but life kicks back in in a hurry…