“Today will be different,” I think to myself.
“Today I won’t lose my patience with them, I won’t yell or hide in the bathroom, I’ll interact whenever they want my attention and I won’t mind.” That was before I went to bed. Then it was 4am again and I was being awoken by our almost two year old kissing my face and saying “mama” so sweetly while sitting on my head, squishing poop from his diaper onto my hair, and trying to squeeze his arm into my cleavage.
By 4:13am I was wondering why we ever had children and what neurological damage he might be causing himself by chewing on an artificial Christmas tree. You see, us moms are part of a secret society where your admittance is giving birth and you’re continually hoping for acceptance that rarely arrives when you need it most. And some of us, myself included, are part of the exclusive club that meets in the dark, dank, back alley of motherhood. Those of us with postpartum depression, anxiety or psychosis, but that’s for another time…
The internal judgement mothers have on themselves is far more extreme than the constant external judgement. That ever so helpful addage/guilt trip, “Enjoy it, it goes so fast!” And I think to myself, “YOU PROMISE?!”
Because what if you don’t enjoy every fecal fiasco? What if you don’t delight in being groped and scratched by the feral being known as “the baby”? How do you learn to enjoy a small creature that screams and wails because you wouldn’t let him jump off the fireplace mantle or play with the broken glass? I know, first world problems and all. That and I MUST be an asshole because he sure cries like I am when he breaks his toys and I try to console him or, God forbid, I try to feed him the food he asked for. I know. I’m a dick.
Is there any other time in your life you feel this lonely while being surrounded by people? I finally have an inkling of how a celebrity might feel. Every action dissected, categorized, analyzed for future study and recriminations. Every misstep attributed to a possible fault in character. At no other time in a woman’s life is she held to such an unrealistic standard unless she runs for President (see Hilary R. Clinton).
Yet a celebrity probably gets to poo in privacy, is allowed to sleep, and can afford a team of people to aid them in maintaining their menagerie of children (see Jolie-Pitt extravaganza). Honestly, it’s out of base jealousy that Internet trolls tear celebrities apart and, quite frankly, those very trolls might be parents of young children because we’re so tired of – well, everything.
Mother Teresa could rise from the grave, come to my door asking for charity, and I would probably threaten to cut the bitch. I’m so deprived of sleep some days that I fantasize of being deposited in an oasis of silence, cleanliness, and fluffiness that’s almost sexual. I’ve researched mom resorts and they don’t exist. The only peace would be to wrap myself in bubble wrap, anesthesize myself, and do my best to sleep upright in a closet and even then I know they would find me. They have opposable thumbs and they know to use them (see Exhibit A).
See you on the other side. May it be free of cartoons, Legos underfoot, and dry clean only. Amen
Our dancing elves.