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.
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?