A few years ago my therapist suggested that I should write a blog. I thought, “screw that, who has the time.” She also mentioned some stuff about meditation and breathing exercises that I tried to follow, but even though I would really love to be that person I know that I am not. In the last few years, as my life has changed, additions, subtractions, and multiplications, I have collected anecdotes in my head, and on FB, and occasionally in text and emails only meant for those who understand my sense of humor.
Then there was today. I guess it could be any day in the last year, but it really had to be today. I am the mother of five. Before you start thinking, wow that last one must have just waterslided out, I am the biological mother to only the youngest. My other four kids are amazing, maddening, intelligent, and socially awkward. I never have a clue what the day will hold with them. Perhaps a funny story from my 11-year-old about why being a building contractor is the perfect life choice, or my 14-year-old being forcefully committed to a mental institution. The 7-month-old can be relied upon to scream, vomit, and otherwise show that being cute is the only reason that she is still with us.
But, today, with my husband hundreds of miles away, my kids with their mom, and me at my parents’ home, I realized that I am tired. I don’t just mean that I am physically tired, which I am, or mentally tired. I mean that I am deep down in my bones tired of everything. After trying to pick clothing for my 14-year-old daughter that doesn’t make her look like a daytime hooker, working on my master’s degree program, playing interactively and developmentally stimulating with my 7-month-old, and being unbearably cheerful, my sweet darling daughter vomited gallons onto the table (and me) at a nice restaurant. Okay, I realize that you shouldn’t take your 7-month-old to a nice restaurant, but other than the vomiting she was exceptionally well behaved. Also, I gave the server a crazy large tip. She earned every single cent of it. I was eating dinner with my father at the only restaurant in their small town that has decent food and decent alcohol. The alcohol is especially important after the vomiting. God bless a dry Grey Goose martini with extra olives. And, yes, I was the woman standing at the bar with her baby.
I need an outlet, or a place to voice all of the things that are on my mind. I need to be honest because I really think that I am failing at the whole being a mother thing. In my defense, I never planned to do it. It’s not that I don’t like children because I do, I was a middle/high school math teacher for a while. When I met my husband, I was a bit reticent about the sheer number of children. Seriously, four is A LOT OF CHILDREN. Then we married, and less than two months later I was pregnant. That man has (had) potent swimmers. Standard birth control was no match. Seven months later we have a baby. That’s a story for another day.
Maybe this is enough for my first missive. I’ve never done this before. Wait, I still haven’t said why today! Here it is, as I was downing my second martini and my father was bouncing my daughter, I realized that I didn’t have anyone that I could say the things in my head. I have friends who would be horrified, friends who would be all “yeah, welcome to parenthood,” friends who would ask “have you talked to your doctor,” and acquaintances who would be thinking about how they should coordinate their nail color with their child’s outfit in case of pictures. All of those things are fine, but I need to be able to share the craziness of my life, and it is crazy. Not just to me, both my psychiatrist and psychologist agree.