Monday, November 2, 2009

The Blasphemy of Parenthood

This is actually something I had written awhile back, but I'm recycling it today because it completely sums up how I'm feeling today...Isn't it bedtime yet??




Parenthood may be the most rewarding job in the world, but quite frankly, most of the time it sucks. Really. It’s hard, they make me insane. I love them to death, but they make me want to scream. I walked out to the mail box last night after everyone was in bed and I had to fight the urge to just keep walking. And walking. I get tired of folding socks and underwear and cooking 3 times a day and coming up with creative snacks in between. I get tired of being bossed around by tiny people. I get tired of being so desperately needed. But would I want to be unnecessary? No. But still, I’m tired of changing diapers and wiping bottoms. I’m tired of picking up toys. But then again, I realize how lucky I am to have what I have, to be where I am and how quickly it is all going to pass. I am in the position to help shape these little minds, to watch them grow and become the interesting people they are becoming...but I swear to God, it’s the most tedious, mind-numbing job I’ve ever done. And I used to work in the loan department of a bank...trust me, I know tedious. I think back to the days before I had kids and all the time I squandered doing nothing. Nothing. All the writing I could have done and didn’t. Now I would love to have a half hour, uninterrupted, to work on my writing. To take a bath without little pairs of eyes peering around the shower curtain. To take a shower without an audience. Then I look up at Nick, who right now is intently cutting the hair off his play-doh creations and I can’t help but smile. I can’t imagine, nor would I want to, my life without them. Then there is the crushing guilt I feel for feeling like I feel. And the guilt I feel when I can’t, or don’t want, to play Candyland or push them on the swings. Being a parent is to suffer from a constant inferiority complex, to constantly feel like you aren’t doing enough, or doing it right. To feel guilty because deep down, you know you could be doing more, like playing with your son and the play-doh rather than typing nonsense on the computer...but you don’t want to.

All you really want to do is go to sleep.

26 comments:

Christella said...

There are days we all feel like this but somehow we survive. Your post, with your honest feelings and thoughts, helps other know that they are not alone. I hope you feel better.

That one girl said...

I think at times we all feel ya!

Amo said...

Oh yes, I feel this way a lot! I miss my pre-mommy life everyday. But would I change anything? No. I love my son so much and don't want to ever live without him. But, there are days when I think I am dumber and have lost brain cells because I talk to a one-year old all day and watch Sesame Street and watch him color with crayons. I need intellectual stimulation!! Adult talk!

m tycoon said...

Thank you for sharing what I feel too...

Nicole said...

This is such a great honest post. I love it. I have something for you on my blog.

CanadianMama said...

I get tired of feeding the boy too, and being so responsible!
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Charisse and Holly said...

I think you would be abnormal if you didn't feel that way. When my kids were little (now 10 and 8), it felt like I was picking up one mess after the next. They don't say "gee Mommy did you loose weight, you look great." "Who does your hair?" They don't thank you for wiping their buttoms and tell you you're the best at that.... but your right, I wouldn't give it up for the world and one day they'll have to wipe my butt. :)
Charisse at
lifelaughlatte.blogspot.com

Willoughby said...

I can most certainly identify with that! There are days that I think I was put on this earth for the purpose of folding laundry, cleaning bathrooms and listening to "there's nothing to eat". But they are balanced with the days that my daughter my says "You're the best mom in the world" and my son sits with me in the kitchen and tells me about his day (he's 16, I feel lucky that he still wants to spend time with me). That makes it all worthwhile.

Unknown Mami said...

Truer words have never been written.

Molly said...

so true about the sleep, I don't think I've slept in six years. And I haven't taken a shower alone in three!

GrammieMommy said...

Found your site through Mindy's blog. I love finding new fun blogs to follow. And your cakes! They're awesome!

And yes to sleep!! Hang in there..it does get better :)

Daffy said...

Amen

blueviolet said...

We wouldn't even be human if we didn't feel some guilt and have feelings like this. Bravo to you for airing it.

Laura said...

Thank you for your honesty! This definitely helped me to realize I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Nahl said...

Oh God, this post makes me feel your pain so intensely! Poor you. Let me just say, it will all pay off. When your kids have grown up, they'll look back and realize what their dear mommy did for them, and that's the moment you'll know you did this all for!

Sweet Mama Jones said...

You're having an OH HONEY day...I'd like to say it gets better, but teens are kinda creeps. Laundry gets more interesting though...instead of gummy worms in pockets its love notes from a girl who's got stars in her eyes for your boy. Not that I read them. Well, at least not all of them. Just a couple. I swear!

The Peach Tart said...

You are not alone. We all feel like this sometimes and I feel your pain. Hang in there and try to work in some sleep. Big hugs.

r u s s said...

Maybe my Mom feels that way too a lot of times, but hey, parents are one of God's sweetest blessings.Ü Bless you dear.

Susan Fobes said...

So well said I don't know what to say...

Veronica Lee said...

Such honesty!! Thanks for sharing.

Mrsblogalot said...

You are not alone!! It sure aint easy... I don't think that there is a mother on the planet that does not feel the same things at one time or another and another and another and...

xoxoxoMelyssa

Nikki said...

Whenever I feel this way I go back and read this article from my favorite author, Erma Bombeck.

No More Oatmeal Kisses--January 29, 1969

A young mother writes: "I know you've written before about the empty-nest syndrome, that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you?"

OK. One of these days, you'll shout, "Why don't you kids grow up and act your age!" And they will. Or, "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do . . . and don't slam the door!" And they won't.

You'll straighten up the boys' bedroom neat and tidy: bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you'll say out loud, "Now I want it to stay this way." And it will.

You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you'll say, "Now, there's a meal for company." And you'll eat it alone.

You'll say, "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?" And you'll have it.

No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti. No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms. No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps. No more clothespins under the sofa. No more playpens to arrange a room around.

No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent. No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathroom. No more iron-on patches, rubber bands for ponytails, tight boots or wet knotted shoestrings.

Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it. No baby-sitter for New Year's Eve. Washing only once a week. Seeing a steak that isn't ground. Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.

No PTA meetings. No car pools. No blaring radios. No one washing her hair at 11 o'clock at night. Having your own roll of Scotch tape.

Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste. No more sloppy oatmeal kisses. No more tooth fairy. No giggles in the dark. No knees to heal, no responsibility.

Only a voice crying, "Why don't you grow up?" and the silence echoing, "I did."

elasticwaistbands said...

your piece is painfully honest. do something nice for yourself: plan a day to leave the kid(s) with a sitter and you do whatever you want. you need it and deserve it!

mommapolitico said...

"Constant inferiority complex" is the perfect description! Second guesses, trying but not always making the grade, and tired, tired, always tired. But despite it all, it's still the best thing I've ever done.

Mixed emotions today - my son is ten years, one hour old, and delighted with his first bb gun (he learned safety and responsibility for one in scouts) and proud of hitting double digits; tonight, my daughter opened up her Facebook page to find her friend's father had suddenly died, and asks "How can this happen to such wonderful people?" as tears stream down her face. And I have no good answers to give her.

Hard job, but joyous, too. And over in such a short time - they grow so quickly, cliche as it is to say. You captured it all beautifully, and you are far from alone in how you feel about mommahood, Girl. Hang in there. In the long run, the joy outweighs the sorrow. Great post. Thanks.

Tina said...

I've said it a hundred times... One day I am going to get in my car and drive...drive...drive and never be seen again...some days I think they believe me.

Sarah said...

This hits my heart. I feel the same way and so guilty for it. I'm a working mom and some SAHM's of mine don't probably get why I want to work so badly. I need to. I can't be a stay at home mom, I'd lose my mind. I need a break. What they do is harder than what I do, I know that. I feel guilty for wanting this other part of me so badly. Then I think it makes me a better mom because I'm really doing what makes me happy or at least trying to have both worlds. It is so hard to be a mother. I kinda love you lol

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