29 September 2008

Bad Day at Black Rock

I didn't do much at the end of last week. No blog writing, barely any blog reading, minimal house work, and practically no mothering.

I was the absolute world's worst mother. When my youngest utterly destroyed a flower arrangement, I threw it away and in anger removed the foyer table said arrangement sat on. I managed to carry the damned thing out to the garage and in my haze of utter frustration and anger of feeling like I'll never have anything in my house that my children will respect, I practically ignored J-man for the rest of day like a petulant, immature child. It was horrible. I then spent the rest of the next two days stomping around my house, whining about how I'll never have a life of my own, I'll never get a moment's rest from the whining, snotting, crying.. all of it.

And then I read the recently updated CarePage for the daughter of a sorority sister. A little girl currently residing in the local PICU and suffering from up to 20 seizures a day, seizures the doctors can't get a handle on. Then? I read this and promptly abandoned the kids for my garage-parked minivan where I could close the door in utter privacy for some open-mouthed sobbing of my own. I cried my absolute heart out and sobbed for the sick children, those children who have passed, and all the parents who are suffering the devastating loss or illness of their babies.

And there I sat. A parent who doesn't suffer. A mother who has perfectly healthy, wonderful children who charm the pants off everyone they meet and I'm just this ugly troll who acts like a pissy 3-year-old because my 16-month-old son, who doesn't know any better, tried to eat a plastic pear. An 8-year-old plastic pear that served no function except to collect dust and look like a sad, dusty, plastic pear.

Like I should give a shit about a plastic pear when I should instead give a shit about my kids. I know I've reached my limit when I haven't had a day off in a month but what about my sorority sister? Who has spent more time in the PICU this summer than at her home? And she's there everyday? For her precious daughter? And I just sit and stew when I can't get an evening off to scrapbook. I cried so hard that afternoon last week because I realized that I'm pretty much a lousy, whiny idiot who can't handle the demise of a plastic pear. And if that's the case, what would I do if my house burned down? Or if one of my children were diagnosed with some horrible illness? I'll tell you what I would do. Based on my weak performance over plastic fruit, I would probably cease to exist.

I made a Twitter entry that read Screaming into the wind because that's what I perceived motherhood to be. I thought to myself, I sit and scream into said wind and no one hears me. Not the kids, not the Ty-man, no one. But then I sat and thought and realized that motherhood isn't screaming into the wind. It's actually sunlight, a smile from J-man, a hug from Miss-Miss, a cuddle from Bubba, a word of thanks from Ty-man, and absolute, total, unconditional love from the three sweetest gems in the known universe. And I need to remember that when another plastic pear, or a beaded napkin ring, or a picture, or a book, gets ripped to shreds. Because none of that material bullshit matters. Only they matter.

20 comments:

HEATHER said...

All mothers have these days. If one tells you they don't, she is lying.
Being a mom is the HARDEST job in the world, the pay really sucks, the hours are torture and, if you are lucky after 18 years they move away and leave you.
Please don't beat yourself up.
(((HUGS)))

A Free Man said...

Yeah, I don't know what full time parenting is like, but I no longer envy stay at home parents.

It's always hard to keep things in perspective, but often a relief when they come into perspective. However that happens.

Can I just say, as an aside, that you don't strike me as a sorority girl. But then people often say the same thing to me when they find out I was a frat boy. So there you go.

RiverPoet said...

Oh, honey, I feel your pain. I was a SAHM for awhile, and I thought I would lose. my. mind. I wasn't the best mom or person I could be when I stayed home, though I don't regret doing it. I just needed a little more social interaction than I got so that I could put things in perspective.

A smart, capable women like you really needs additional stimulation outside the home so that you can appreciate what you have when you get home. Maybe start taking a yoga class or something during the week that gets you away from the kids and into something healthy for you.

For now? Don't beat yourself up. You had a bad day....Peace - D

RiverPoet said...

Oh, honey, I feel your pain. I was a SAHM for awhile, and I thought I would lose. my. mind. I wasn't the best mom or person I could be when I stayed home, though I don't regret doing it. I just needed a little more social interaction than I got so that I could put things in perspective.

A smart, capable women like you really needs additional stimulation outside the home so that you can appreciate what you have when you get home. Maybe start taking a yoga class or something during the week that gets you away from the kids and into something healthy for you.

For now? Don't beat yourself up. You had a bad day....Peace - D

Avitable said...

Plastic fruit tastes almost as good as the real thing!

Vonda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vonda said...

Okay sweet thing...just remember Heather you do have the toughest job staying at home with your 3 children, but you are also making such a difference in their lives by being home with them. With my job in the airline industry for 16 years, I worked hard, but it doesn't hold a candle to what I am doing now as a Mother. I am worn out at the end of the day!!! This is 24/7. Heather, your children will always know that their Mama loves them and is there for them. Being a Mama is so hard because you feel like you're being tugged at from every direction. You want to be a good Wife, a good Mom, loving, kind, gracious, forgiving and patient. Then you also want to have the house clean, dinner cooked and ready to serve when Ty-Man comes home, not to mention doing some of the things (like running and blogging) for yourself just so you can feel like you're a functioning adult. But then you realize you just can't do it all. It's okay, Heather.

It really is okay...sometimes I just have to sit down and realize doggone it...I just need to sit on the floor and play with my girls. Forget the housework, forget it if dinner is not served piping hot when my man comes through the door...your man and my man will understand because they are just great like that. And ya know the only expectations your children have of you...playing with them and your time. Miss Miss, Bubba and J-Man adore you...Don't be too tough on yourself Heather...I am constantly beating myself up that I can't cook gourmet dinners like I used to, but hey I have an 18 month old and a 3 month old and it's just not gonna happen until they are older. And remember Heather, Mama's have to have meltdowns too sometimes. :)I just had one about 10 minutes ago! And I'm not teasing you! Love ya girl! Vonda

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

Being a Mom can suck sometimes and you have every right to feel pissy.

Perspective seems to be granted just when you think you can't handle your situation any more. There is always a reason to feel blessed and grateful for what you have.

It's the way life works. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Miss Britt said...

Honey, you are not a bad mother because you get overwhelmed.

Getting some perspective is supposed to help bring us back to center. Beating the crap out of yourself with it isn't doing anyone any favors. ;-)

Beth said...

I honestly have never, ever believed ANYONE who has said that they have never CRAVED time away from their kids. It is normal, it is realistic and it is NECESSARY. You are not alone.

Employee No. 3699 said...

"Then? I read this..." Heather, you really need to put a WARNING label on stuff like this. It took me 4 tries to read all of it because I'm at work!

A plastic pear, huh? I've had meltdowns over much less when my kids were young. It happens and then we get on with the rest of the day.

Hugs~

Not Afraid to Use It said...

There's a reason kids can't remember things before the age of 3. It gives us a chance to have bad days, realize our mistakes and learn to do better. That way, when they CAN remember, we've got our shit together. At least more together than we did before. :) Hugs galore.

Jenn said...

Being a Mom is NOT easy, but when the little ones smile, or hug you, or say they love you, or do something totally silly, those are the moments that matter. You said it perfectly!

This is a beautifully written post, and you are a GREAT mom!

Gypsy said...

Talk about perspective. {hugs}

Jay said...

Honey, everyone, everyone who cares about their kids at all has days like this. Often many days like this. Just get your head around this one thought: If you didn't love your kids so much, if you didn't want so badly to do right by them, none of this would have hurt you as it did.

And one more thing. This is just my opinion, but I strongly believe that little children need to see that you can be hurt too. Just as long as you pull together and no harm is done, they will survive and they will learn, and they will still love and trust you. But they will also have an embryonic understading of human nature.

A very wise woman once told me that there is no such thing as a perfect mother, and what's more, it would be a very bad thing for her children if she were 'perfect' as we imagine perfect to be. Think about it. Kids need to see that we are not impossible to live up to, and they need a little 'healthy neglect'.

Hugs to you.

Loralee Choate said...

I'll let you in on a secret. I feel like this a LOT. Even after losing a child and knowing that you should appreciate every single second.

But even being me it is difficult to appreciate a second that is comprised of your children making mudpies outside (decorated with bits and pieces of your newly planted geraniums)and then running through the house naked and covered in mud right after you've shelled out $250 to have your carpets cleaned.

You aren't a whiner. You're just human like we all are.

HUGS.

Thank you for the link. I am so sorry it made you cry. I tend to have that effect on some people. ;)

Molly's Mom said...

Oh! I just talked to my therapist about this very same thing. There are days where I am almost paralyzed with fear that something bad will happen! Or I get mad at M for a trivial thing and then see how the parents of the kids I work with struggle every day just communicating with their kid. Puts it in perspective - that I'm a whiny wench.

Put the day behind you. It's over.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Other Heather - Thanks for the words, sweetie!

A Free Man - Oh, total sorority girl. I was in Delta Zeta. Woo hoo!

RiverPoet - I'm thinking about signing up for a weekly class in something to force me out of this house. I'm with you. I think it will help.

Avitable - And I'll bet plastic fruit dipped in chocolate tastes even better!

Vonda - I love you so much, darlin'. Thank you.

Ashlie - Thanks, hon.

Britt - Yes, ma'am.

Beth - And we're going to get some time away from them next weekend. We both need it.

Employee No. 3699 - Sorry 'bout that. I'll remember a warning next time. :)

NATUI - 3??? I hope they have no memory until age 29. :)

Jenn - Thanks, hon!

Gypsy - Thanks, darlin'!

Jay - Thanks for making me feel better, sweetie! All my blog peeps (and large quantities of root beer) keep me sane!

Loralee Choate - Don't you be sorry. You're story gave me the perspective I needed. I'm so sorry about your sweet Matthew but I'm not sorry you shared his story and yours. Many, many hugs to you. :)

Molly's Mom - Thanks, hon!

Wes and Laura said...

Well, in the midst of going nuts myself. I sent Madi to bed 1 1/2 hrs early (it worked) and left Olivia to fend for herself in the livingroom, while I escaped to the internet (the only outside life I can get these days). And... I read your blog! And after doing so, I am a little less irritable even though the walls upstairs are covered in crayon 2ft and down, the kitchen is a mess, the laundry has it's own guest bedroom, and the dog ate my sandwich.. Thanks for reminding me how great it is to me a sahm! hugs :)

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Laura - You're welcome, hon. Miss you guys!