I kind of laugh at that stress now, because I AM TAKING GENERAL CHEMISTRY II DURING THE SUMMER SESSION AND IT'S COMPLETELY INSANE. But anyway.
This is probably one of my favorite posts, because I think it sums up both the discontents and joys that come along with family life. (Is it wrong to like one of your own posts? I don't know, because suddenly I feel self-conscious about writing that.) Apparently, the subject of this blog post is a hot-topic right now, with people yapping all about a study purporting to show that parenthood leads to an overall decrease in happiness. (And fighting about it. And being snarky. And showing just how ridiculous we all can be about each other's choices.)
I'll tell you this. Sometimes being a mother leads to me to brink of a giant cliff and makes me want to hurl myself off of it. But I'll also tell you this. Being a mother also leads me to experience some of the deepest joys. I'll never forget the time spent nursing, the walks, the trips together. The love my children have for me is the best thing ever. Having a great time with my them, with my family together, goes beyond what I experienced at other times in my life. That joy, to me, provides a generally solid balance against the shit.
Anyway, here is the original post at my old digs. (Which also proves once upon a time I had more than 4 readers. Look, 25 comments! It's a miracle!) From way back in 2007. And it contains a lot of swearing. Sorry.
Here we go. Hope you enjoy it!
I appreciate your willingness to undertake what surely will be a tedious process, especially since you'll be doing this pro bono.
Sliding scale? Well, I guess I can pay, like, $10.00 per session. Will that work?
I know all therapists like to spend at least one session on history, but we haven't time for that here, so let me try to sum it up for you in one run-on: I'm a former cutter with a depressive nature, prone to melancholy ruminations without acting for beneficial change, a classic procrastinator when it comes to fulfilling my dreams, and prone, also, to fits of rage and a strong, out-of-body, intense yearning for escape from responsibility (preferably somewhere tropical), and possessing of an insane desire to be appreciated, which in the career of the underpaid mother, is highly unlikely as well as quite comical.
No, no, no, I haven't harmed myself in a really long time.
Do I ever want to? Well, if wanting to includes a sudden desire to put my fist through a window, I suppose yes.
Of course I'm aware that it's not a good idea.
No, I never abused drugs or alcohol, unless you count that one time I drank so much at a college party that all I could do was prop myself up against a tree and vomit down the bark.
Is that necessary?
Yes, I have it. Actually, since I weaned Lillian, I have a lot of it. Heh, heh.
How many partners have I had?
I don't see how that pertains to the current situation, perv.
Well, thanks for asking. I'll tell you what the problem is.
Let's start with a generalized malaise, feeling like doing a whole lot of nothing but lying in bed; frequent headaches and a stiff neck; wanting to run away to the local K-Mart and hide in the racks of clothing while hoarding Doritos and Gatorade; worst-case scenarios running through my head when I try to sleep; hating dinnertime because I try to make yummy food and nobody could give a fuck, the 4-year old wrinkles her nose at it, the 21-month old takes a few bites, spills some milk and yells "Done!" and then stands up in her chair, and quite frankly, the husband always finds something wrong with it, too bland, not enough spice, where's the side dish; it takes 3 days to do one load of laundry, because I'm finally refusing to go up and down the stairs with a basket of laundry on one hip and a chubby toddler on the other; and if one little body climbs on me or screams or so much as rubs against me, I will lose it; and my husband is always asking why the kids' feet are so dirty, where is the dirt coming from, like I can fucking isolate a room or corner or space where the floor just looks so goddam dirty and just clean it and then the kids feet will return to a soft peachy pink and because I'm so entirely sensitive I feel like I'm being attacked; and the other night I went to dinner with some other moms and before I left I put the little one to bed and fed both husband and other daughter and got everyone all set and when I got home the kitchen was left a mess, and I think, well shit, I don't want to henpeck or nag or be a bitch, but how unacceptable is this, that I make life easier for everyone else but somehow I have to pay my dues for actually going out by still cleaning the goddam kitchen; and my temper kind of sucks these days; and why do I keep fucking up every garage door I come into contact with, trying to close it with the car's trunk still up, or crashing into the frame and getting the door all off its track, which was really because the car was silent, for once, and I was lost and coasting on the lyrics of this one song, and so then I don't turn the wheel enough, and bang; and I'm wondering if my last psychiatrist was right, that I was more bipolar than depressive, because I get these happy jolts where I'm crazy busy accomplishing and possessing of endless patience and cheer, and then it just goes away, I wake up one day and my kids are sullen and then I am too, gone, kaput, there goes the neighborhood.
And then, you know, I can just look at them, my family, and go all goo-goo, my eyes water with the sudden affection I feel for them, I need them so much, and my heart, if we're doing metaphors, is the ocean, and my love for them the Mariana Trench, that sweet spot in the Pacific, the deepest place on Earth, if you went any further down you'd burn up or something, and that's it. Sometimes I'm down there, my eardrums bursting, my body being crushed with the force, the pressure of that love, and I'm wondering how I keep them all safe, this unit we've created, and so this is the balance, the intensity of my love for them and the scratch-my-eyes-out tedium of this life at home.
It's like domestic apathy over here, and so all I want to do is pack the kids in the car and drive around with the music on high and try to get construction workers to stop waving their flags and wink at me. I need someone to tell me, every day, you're a great mom, a great wife, a great provider, to provide me with the compassion I give out, but instead I feel like a punching bag, and my family keeps landing these really painful----
Already? It's been like, five fucking minutes.
Well...okay, I'll see you next week then?
Oh, you're all booked up?
Oh, well, okay, I guess I'll see you around then?
Thanks for listening, or something.