In the Trenches Sucking Mud

Sometimes as a parent I feel I am standing on top of a mountain and I can see for miles; all the pitfalls are plain to see. I feel on top of it. I have goals, plans, methods, and my unfaltering success is almost guaranteed. Most times as parent I feel like I am walking down a city street. I am aware of upcoming corners and can tell when there is a car behind me. Sometimes as a parent I feel like I am standing in some WWII trench and can’t see 100 feet in front of me. Today I feel like I am laying face down in that trench sucking up mud. How this happens is a mystery to me, but a glance around my life confirms my mud sucking suspicions. It is evidenced by total toy room disorder, piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and my endless giant sighs. It is evidenced by bite marks in siblings and tantrums and constant battles.Sponge-Bob-Down-1MD

Now don’t placate me with “Honey, welcome to parenthood” because I don’t buy it. Deep down I know that I am burning out. I have let the “I need to start taking care of myself” come out of my lips to my husband. His response is that he simply does not know what that means. I know what that means, yet I find myself unable to make those demands on my family; the demand to just let me go. I need to go. Not on a three-day holiday, I need more than that. I need consistent me time. It sounds so cliché. It sounds so cliché. It sounds so cliché.

And then I feel pathetic because I don’t make those demands and all the power yoga guru marathon running super moms write about how they do it and how I should too. And then I feel worse. So I lay there with my face in the mud feeling shitty about myself, but comfortable, because this is the place I know. This is where the breath comes naturally. This is the chaos comfort zone and it is my old slippers on a cold morning.

But I am sick of this voice. I am sick of this pattern, this phase, this predictable wail from within. I imagine my friends believe I am a loser. I imagine my neighbours believe I am a bad parent. I believe the school secretary thinks I am insane. I imagine my husband believes I am weak and incapable. I believe my children will be irreparably harmed by my helicopter one day completely disassociated the next day inconsistent parenting style. I fear that deep down I have nothing; I am a surface player with no depth, nothing to contribute, uninteresting, and as a result insecurely obnoxious.

I fear placing this in the ether, not from shame, but from self-disgust. I fear the platitudes that will come because I won’t believe them. I wonder why no one else I know talks about this stuff. Is it because it isn’t happening to you? Is it because you find better ways to spend your time? Is it because you know that showing your weakness is a weakness? Is it because no matter how many times I hear I am not alone I actually kind of am? Or is it because you recognize that no one wants to read about your shitty problems? OR is it because when people talk like this they give everyone else around them the opportunity to feel better about themselves?

I was again reminded of another blogger’s post that said when you start speaking honestly other people will stop speaking to you and people will think  you want to kill yourself because every blog post looks like a suicide note. I have already referenced this in my blog. In fact I just copied and pasted that paragraph. I guess it happens this way because my impetus to write has always been as self counsel. It is where I turn when things get rough. The decision to publicize it is pure narcissism I suspect.

So, I am stuck in the trenches and I know I will make it out onto the street. I just wish there were a way to recognize when I was going to fall and a way to control how long I am down for. What is this thing? And how much self shit can I heap before I feel I deserve a break?

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11 responses to “In the Trenches Sucking Mud

  1. Narcissism and self-loathing at the same time?!? That’s talent… all by itself.

    Let me get this straight; No comfort? No platitudes? No form of placation at all? No censure? Shit! That’s setting the bar pretty high, honey.

    That just leaves… Sharing…

    I spent last week playing Minecraft, eating bags of candy, driving my daughter back and forth to the Persephone play that she is in and fighting with my wife about the dumbest shit you can imagine. I hoped that one of these would fill a hole gaping somewhere in a center I know is in there somewhere. It was dark and cold. There was much swearing in traffic as people tried their best to fuck each other over for a single car-length at rush hour. I was nearly in 6 accidents in 36 hours and my frenzied behaviour would have been at fault in one of them as I raced a light.

    …and observation…

    Some people do share their despair. Just not all people. And not with everyone. The ones who never do have their reasons. They have a strong sense of propriety, they are scared, they are embarrassed. If they blog for a living, consider… do they have adsense or advertising “partners”? Sure they want to sound heroic at all times. They stop getting paid (whether it is money or the vanity of page-views) when people stop clicking.

    Anyway, thanks for your bravery in sharing — I choose to see it as that rather than some twisted narcissism. This post is a generous offering to the world. Now take a risk, say what you need… and take it.

    Damn it! Did that come off as a comforting, placating, platitude 😦

    Screw you 😉

    • I have been loving that “screw you” all morning. It is tough when you have friends that happen to be so blindingly brilliant. Perspective without platitudes, merci.
      Also, thank you for the bountiful f-words. I was in exactly the mood for those. And the sharing, and the observation. and the candy confession. I should have added another bit of mud-sucking evidence was the three desserts that were just sitting around the house. I didn’t know what we would be having for dinner, but dessert has been cased all week! Thanks Mike. I mean, screw you. :]

  2. Hey Ky – you don’t want to hear platitudes and “it will get better” words but too bad – it will get better. Don’t know if this would work for you but could you not schedule 1 night a week for you – out of the house – spin class, movie, wine with a girlfriend, whatever turns your crank – but it is your night no matter what – not a date night with your husband but a date night for you and yourself. If you need a sitter, call me – if you want to make it a morning date, I’m sure I could be there – would beat sitting on the couch and eating bonbons and getting fatter!
    Love you!

  3. Ky you are not alone. Not even close. Take some Ky time so you don’t stop being Ky. That’s good for you and for those around you. If you wanna get your scream on come to one of our games and let it out. Just keep the f words for the ride to and from lol! My personal fave is ‘fuck me!’ ‘unbelievable’ . Maybe we should exchange liquor this Christmas… Just our favourites lol. Missed your blog…

    • Thanks Chris. I hear you will be hot-tubbing in the mountains and not eating with the rest of us. Thanks for missing my blog. I was missing it too. I am making some steps towards myself. I will see how it goes.

  4. Shit- I feel this everyday. On many days I also feel so great, so in the city but at some small point in every day I feel like I’m sucking all the muck in and for some lame ass reason I’m not dead. I think it’s because I used to accomplish things that were somehow more tangible than not raising vagrants. They were also more recognized as accomplishments- plural. Where raising children seems to be just one that you get in your obituary.

    • Ah Laura, I have been absent from this blog, and the little yellow talk balloon signaling me there was a comment pending brought me back here, to this wonderful post and this wonderful page. Thank you for doing that! I read obits, I don’t’ know why. My husband thins it’s weird, but I am curious about these lives that have been lived. It saddens me that children are usually present in the outlived, or sadly, predeceased by sentence. The at home with four kids parent wants to scream out “This is it! This is the biggest accomplishment of my life!” I don’t want to be vicarious, but certainly all must understand that there is nothing that I could do that is greater. Thank you for bringing me back here Laura, I have been unable to write on this blog for about a month. I have tried many times and nothing seemed right. You broke my dry spell. I owe you. Kyla

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