Thursday, July 01, 2010

Day 11 of Summer Vacation

I am paralyzed.
I need to clear up the kitchen and mop the floor.
I need to put the dining room furniture back where it belongs.
I need to grocery shop.

Instead, I am sitting in my bedroom, putzing around on the computer, eating goldfish crackers straight out of the bag.

I don't want to be climbed on or sat upon or tugged at.
I don't want small boys to put their feet on me.
I don't want to look at one more crayoned picture or listen to one more tediously detailed plot description of a new DS game.
I am tired of having to share everything I put in my mouth or want to look at.
I don't want to be called Mama a thousand times a day, for a thousand small favors.

I want the baby to get his hand out of the cracker bag so I can get mine in.

I may not survive summer vacation.

I do not want to be in my own skin any longer.

I want to be in someone else's skin, some person who is a good mother with patience and spontaneity and an interest in hauling her kids to a museum or playdate.
I want to be the person who doesn't care that the seven year old just spilled a full cup of juice on her freshly washed floor, or that none of the males in her house seem capable of peeing IN the toilet.
I want to be the person who doesn't wish to throttle her husband for coming home early to take a nap, or for getting in her way while making dinner so he can wash his hands at the kitchen sink.
I want to be the mom who doesn't yell and roar and throw things.
I want to be a person who puts on clean clothes in the morning and they stay clean, most of the day, not sullied by popsicle stickiness or diaper residue or snot.

I can't take a vacation because when I do, my husband gets angry about why I need time to myself. I don't know if he actually hates me, but I sure feel like he does.

He works constantly, and I don't feel like explaining anymore to anyone that he loves to work like this but I am burnt out.

I very probably could deal with this by upping my medication dosage.
Or drinking more. Like, starting at 11am every morning.

I hate that I in theory adore my children but in reality wish every last one of them would leave me alone.

I am tired of being me.
I think everyday of David Foster Wallace talking about how he got tired of having to work so hard just to exist everyday.
Not to be happy or fulfilled but just to exist.
I know exactly what he means.

And I am sick of myself.
And I will keep going, and eventually I will snap out of it somehow, and in ten years none of this will matter and I will wish for my children climbing all over me.

But right now, right now...right now I feel like bathing in my self-pity, sinking under its surface and letting it fill my ears and mouth, letting it drown me.


sueeeus said...

Oh Honey. Your skin is fabulous. I don't know of any real mothers who aren't tired, who have the patience of a saint, let alone spontaneity and energy to do all that super kid socialization. When we were young, didn't our parents just say 'get out of the house, and be back in time for dinner' and that was it? We roamed WILD! But.... ...if you come up with any solutions, do share, because I'm in the same boat, and I only have TWO kids!

Bearette said...

(i have a drink every day. i do recommend it.)

blackbird said...

I do hope you pull out of it before too long, honest...but I also need to mention that there IS no OTHER way to eat Goldfish crackers.

Unknown said...

*sigh* sympathizing and feeling the same here in Ohio.

Major Bedhead said...

I could have written this post a thousand times a thousand. Except the husband bit - mine left.

I don't remember being as needy as my kids are. I don't remember having to talk to my parents all. the. time. Maybe I did and they don't remember it either, but oh mah holy hell, if my kids don't SHUT UP soon, I am going to go right around the bend.

I don't know if it helps to know that you're not along with these feelings or not but you're definitely not the only one feeling that way. Hang in there. And have a drink.

Mary said...

I understand and empathise with every single sentence you have written- truly. You may have written this for me, not you, when the kids were much smaller and the husband's hours dictated our lives.

One teeny tip. When margot was tiny and I could not stand the constant "Mummy" any longer I got her to call me "Mary". It made me react better - maybe because it made me feel more like me?


Badger said...

I was about to tell you it gets better when the kids are older, which you already know, but then my 14 year old needed me to peel and cut up a pear for him (which I did) and my 12 year old WILL NOT STOP TALKING IN MY EARHOLES so no, it does not get much better, apparently. But they both put themselves to bed/sleep at night, which has raised my happiness quotient by like a million points. And I do drink fairly heavily, so there's that.

And OMG, the husbands washing their hands at the kitchen sink! MINE TOO and I want to kill him every time. He says he does it because it takes the bathroom faucet too long to warm up. Can we talk about how GROSS it is that he washes his hands, post-potty, in MY KITCHEN SINK? *shudder*

(So you don't want to be ME, I guess is what I'm saying.)

Julia said...

Work (even stressful work) is much easier than taking care of 4 young kids all the time. I wish I could send a vacation to you, or even better, two half days off a week. I think you need a prescription for them.

BabelBabe said...

you know, that's what *I* remember too: leaving the house in the morning and spending the day with my friends swimming or playing Atari or biking or playing kickball or Barbies or whatever. I am trying to cultivate that neighborhood kids feeling for my guys, but the sad fact is that altho there are many kids in the neighborhood, they are scheduled out the wazoo because their parents work full-time. and I start feeling guilty because we go to the pool and park but not much else other than grocery shopping or errands or the gym for me.

BabelBabe said...

meanwhile their friends are at these awesome art and theatre and zoo camps all day...and they are stuck with me.

Suse said...

Oh darling, I'm just reiterating what everyone else said. We have all been there, or still are. It's exhausting, it's soul sucking, it's boring.

No one can have patience and spontaneity for long. And the husband who comes home for a nap?! Ugh. Tell him to nap in his damn office before he comes home. Or demand equal nap time.

Can you swap some childcare time with another mother so you each get a whole afternoon off?


Janet said...

All of the above. I especially like this from Suse: "It's exhausting, it's soul sucking, it's boring."

Please remember, when your boys look back on their childhood they won't so much remember the screams and throwing of things (well, maybe a little...) they will remember that you were THERE. Just THERE. In their lives, you knew who their friends were, you knew what they liked and disliked, you listened (albeit maybe not always actively)to all their boy nonsense.

So, pour a drink and start planning your fun trip to NJ :)

Sarah Louise said...

from someone with no kids, no husband, I can say that I often feel like I need to escape my life.

Summer is the time when everyone is supposed to be GREAT and FUN and I hate it. It's okay to be grumpy in the fall, but in the summmer? To be sick? To be depressed? When everyone else is beaching and reading summer novels and...

Life is exhausting. Get yourself a break, and if you need to, get some more meds. I'm in a real down turn myself right now, so yes, child-less, husband-less, I hear you.


Eleanor said...

I dreaded the summers when my kids were young, it was just so hard for me. You know...I went to my ophthalmologist last month - a woman who is 7 months pregnant with her third child. I asked when she was taking time off, so I could schedule my next appointment, and she answered that she's working until the very end and returning 4 weeks after the birth. She looked me straight in the face and said that it's easier for her to work than to stay home with the kids.

She would rather perform intricate and risky eye surgery than be fulltime with the kids at home. She says it's just too hard!!

All my love,

Eleanor x

Samantha said...

I had to say g'day - I have been reading your blog (just not writing my own) and some of it has to do with the same things you mention here.

I love that you speak truthfully about this time in your life - it is so needed in these times of the super-crafty-masterchef-mum that is so forced downs one's throat. I am as sick of reading about those mums as I am of the very often isolating and boring existence of the stay at home mum. But I so agree with your previous commentors - your boys will remember that YOU WERE THERE! But I also agree that as a child I was out playing with the neighourhood kids all day and that was what I remember as the best part of my early childhood - maybe read Free Range Kids again? (Though, like you said, it makes it hard when a lot of other kids are scheduled up the wazoo!)

I feel for you as I feel for myself ;-) Be kind to yourself and demand that your husband be kind to you as well - you DESERVE it.

Penni Russon said...

So much empathy oozing out of me at you. Yes yes yes. This is an excellently well written blogpost and belongs in the museum of motherhood.

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

Good grief, I said the same things this morning, just substitute "dogs" or "teenagers" and "twenty-somethings"for babies and kids.

I took care of the dog problem by using a kennel for the weekend.

We need to find you a kennel, er, uh, camp/daycare/relative, tout suite!!

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

Oh, and the nap thing - just tell him, me first and here's the baby.

Seriously, tell him to nap in the damn car in the parking lot before he gets home!

KPB said...

So you need to go back and read your posts during summer holidays last year. for no other reason than to reassure you that you always find it hard hard hardy hard hard. (As dude, all of us except those weird earth-mother types do)

All I can say is - forget the cleaning, just live in the mess and get thee out of the house.

and that I love you. But you know that. Right?

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