Resenting Motherhood

 

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I don’t want to be a mom anymore. I’m done. My nerves are shot, my fuses are short-circuiting, and my brain has backfired on cold, stale coffee for the very last time. The lone spark plug of sanity keeping me out of the loony bin has finally fizzled out. The mounting pressure has become too much for me to bear another tantrum-filled moment of motherhood. This mom is burnt the fuck out.

Sorry but I’m not sorry for admitting aloud how I feel. The little voice in the back of my head chants, “run away and save yourself”, on loop like a Scientology auditor during an audit session. Thoughts of being childless again and only responsible for my own self follows me around like, well…ughm…like my children; constantly tempting me to give in to its illicit demand. For Christ’s sake – I need space to breathe, too, dammit. Some time alone to grow as an individual would be lovely. Maybe even remember how to take care of myself again, because I am pretty sure after my billionth ass wiping, it all went out the window.

Four children, a rollercoaster marriage with The Right Guy (after The Wrong One gave the genetic data sample, which led me to motherhood in the first place), and the lack of familial support over the past twelve years has led me here. The point in my life where I resent my role as a mother.

 

Brilliantly, I managed to trash the infinite amount of unexploited potential my future still held in a matter of five, sweaty, skin-slapping, fluid-swapping, orgasmic minutes. With that guy who had no future potential once the party phase was over. Between his lack of work ethic and love of getting high, he was the farthest thing from husband and father material I would have looked for – if I had actually been looking to start that chapter in my life. Alas, I was not. This was back before the medical field thought women should be aware of the correlation between taking prescribed antibiotics and birth control medication failure. The newly embraced freedom from the unnecessarily prolonged hampering of my youth was lost forever in the bypassing of a condom, under the influence of alcohol and cocaine, at 4:26 a.m. that 16th of December. Twelve loooong and painful years ago. We had trusted in The Pill far too much.

That decision cost me everything.

Now, here I am at my fucking breaking point; being crushed under the weight of pure exhaustion and the endless amount of bullshit responsibility dumped on me. I was far from ready for it all and the struggle to keep my head on straight has become far too real. I desperately need a timeout from motherhood. From the snot, poop, vomit, farts, and spit. I want to sleep one whole night without smelling stale piss emanating from my mattress. Or being pissed on. For the love of all things holy and sacred – I just want a whole damn night’s sleep without those bratty hoodlums hijacking even the little voice of control freak level paranoia worries in the back of my head. Deciphering crashes at random while I keep one eye open for uncoordinated sleepwalkers cannot possibly be considered a good night’s sleep, in the first place. Even if my bed remains dry. I cannot escape my children, no matter how badly I need to. They are always on my heels, crawling up my ass, attached to my hip, and in my face with their milk breath (which was no longer so sweet-smelling after their first birthdays came and went).

I created the greatest Catch-22 of all time with the choices I made and I cannot help but be resentful for it. Having kids before I was fully grown and matured forced my hand to play along with the expectations of society – becoming another nuclear family stereotype in order to rectify my societal disgrace. In my depraved naivety at twenty-one, I wholeheartedly believed the fantasy happily ever after with The Right Guy would go just as I had daydreamed it to be. I have to stop and laugh at myself, now, for once thinking such girlish delusions. The Right Guy is not perfect, by any means; his own flaws will be so disenchanting at times, life can seem even harder than it needs to be. He certainly was not responsible for controlling what life handed me… and the decisions I made thereafter, either. What one brings into a marriage and supply the family dynamic with, is exactly what one will get out of it. I had to learn that fact the hard way. My struggle to grow up overnight has created the storm threatening to sink this ship that is motherhood and marriage rolled into one. My husband is already stretching himself too thin in order to allow me the luxury of being a stay-at-home-mom. It is not his duty to get a grip on my reality for me.

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Don’t get me wrong. I love my children more than life, itself. They amaze me with their continuously blossoming personalities, playful antics, and kind-hearted compassion for others. I am just so Goddamned sick of the ear-piercing whines, the sibling rivalry, the unnecessary defiance over the smallest of tasks, and the never-ending demands for everything under the sun when my hands are full and my back is breaking. Disgusted by the dirty faces, sticky hands, shitty pants, and broken record tattle-tales over petty nonsense. Motherhood has pushed every nerve I have left. OKAY!- the only nerve I have left. There is no time allotted for my self-preservation, whatsoever. I cannot even take a shit or shower alone. This mom is fresh out of fucks to give and needs an escape. STAT. Reinforcements never showed up to give her the slightest reprieve to catch her breath.

So, if you happen to see some strange woman with her dirty, disheveled hair in her fists, screeching something along the lines of “They’re coming! They found me! Hide me! Better yet, just shoot me and put me outta my misery…pretty please with a cherry on top,” don’t be alarmed. It’s just me. In the throes of a nervous breakdown, trying to save myself from those relentless children of mine who have flipped turned upside down the life I had dreamt of for myself. At least I have enough maturity and wisdom under my belt, now, to know I won’t feel this way forever. The resentment will pass, as with everything else life throws at me. Even my children.

One day, when they’ve all flown the coop and can no longer torture my sanity with pulsing migraines and bad attitudes galore, I will look back on this and resent ever feeling such resentment – for deep down under the grit of the daily grind, I know I painstakingly built this tiring, but ever-so fulfilling life out of the unconditional love and adoring affections I could never live without now. Even if it makes a lovely, albeit temporary, daydream.

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Summer’s Arrival Is Near – UYW May

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Summertime is creeping in now. The warmth of the sun is heating up the atmosphere, thickening the stale air – warning us that the heaviness of such will feel smothering in no time at all. Another winter has passed, recorded on the books and forgotten. School is wrapping up for the year, the noise of children filling up the quiet neighborhood with an abundance of shrieks, giggles, and squeals. Soon the vibe of this place will change from the rushed pandemonium of the artic chill to the leisurely tranquility urged by the inviting sun.

There are no cheat sheets needed to enjoy this time of year, unlike it’s seasonal counterpart whose frozen misery requires a song and dance to get around. Summer is like a world of its own. It brings life alive. It sprinkles magic into the breeze like the salty air at the seashore, enveloping those it lands on with spellbinding enchantments only summer can offer. Love, camaraderie, nature, and discovery run rampant in the early sunrises and late nights under the stars. Life is waiting around every bend in the river with wonderments that capture our hearts and seize our memories.

We move at our own pace as we awaken our inner-child once more from a long hibernation. The desire to play overtakes the seriousness of the dreary, gray days of winter responsibility. Beaches fill with bodies ready to worship the supernova in the sky bronzing their skin. Water flows in abundance; trickling, dripping, splashing, rushing, spraying…welcomed now in the sizzling heat baking the earth beneath our bare toes. People are drawn to it like a magnets. Nature calls to our souls in the silliness of the heavy air, enticing us to seek out its majestic splendor as our ancestors once might have. Camping, hiking, gardening. Boating, swimming, kayaking. Fishing, biking, playing sports. Everyone is doing. Being. Relishing in the fact they are alive.

Summertime brings people together. Nurtures connections. Communities strengthen as everyone works in tandem to bring enjoyment to its citizens. Carnivals and county fairs spring up. Laughter can be heard for miles around. Rallies and concerts, festivals and regional  celebrations, they unite us in harmony on common ground. We find belonging and acceptance in our tribes. Family reunions are held, giving us time to congregate with our loved ones and revel in the genealogical histories which composes our personal individuality. Friendships grow stronger around bon fires, drinking beer and munching on the melted chocolate-y, sticky gooeyness of s’mores.

I can feel the rustling in the atmosphere growing stronger by the day now. The earth is stirring awake with new life across the bounds – plants are sprouting, trees are blooming, animal families are growing, and humans are abandoning their protective shelters to embrace the season of pure happiness. Bare shoulders are waiting to drink up the sun and bare feet run dirty with the ground they can finally touch again. The time has come for summer once more. A bit of heaven on Earth, if you will. I’m so ready for it…the past nine months have been like sampling a bit of hell.

There is no greater time to be alive than during the long, lazy, sultry, dog days of summer.

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Today’s post was a writing challenge for bloggers. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

MY WORDS: Books ~ Cheat sheet ~ family reunion ~ ancestors ~ chocolate
GIVEN BY: http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/      

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
Baking In A Tornado                      
Southern Belle Charm                                             Not That Sarah Michelle                                         Spatulas on Parade                                               The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver      Dinosaur Superhero Mommy             
My Brain on Kids                               
The Bergham Chronicles                   
Never Ever Give Up Hope                   
Climaxed                                           
Confessions of a part time working mom    

Park It Elsewhere – The School Drop Off Dilemma

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Mornings are always hectic when there’s children involved. Those cereal munchers have no respect for time. They dilly dally like little squirrels bouncing from one cracked acorn shell to the next, hoping to find a meaty one. Only, in this case, it’s a missing shoe that is the prize. We pack ourselves into the minivan like a tin of sardines. I am more than ready to celebrate the hoodlums departure at the institution of education six blocks away.

Bad enough that it takes fifteen long minutes to get through the four-way stop and the formidable crossing guard between us and the school, but when I get around the corner just to see the drop off zone full of parked cars, my blood begins to boil. The urge to start throat chopping everyone in my sight grows with every brake light in my way that can’t pull in because of these idiots.

I do not know what makes other parents think it is okay to do this shit without realizing how many of us are scornfully imagining ramming their vehicle right out of the line. It is rude as fuck. Every parent knows damn well this behavior violates the drop off code of conduct. The school asks everyone not to park there, but apparently these parents are so shitacularly special they are exempt from following authoritative requests. (Yet they wonder why Junior keeps getting suspended for bad behavior.)

Our parking lot is located behind the school and is the size of a shoebox, it is restricted. Staff only. The drop off zone is located directly in front of the school for grades 1-5 for a reason. If we cannot let our kids off there, we are forced to let them off down the street, past school property and into the neighborhood, and walk the block by themselves. Not all of us are capable of walking with them for many reasons, which is why we want to use the drop off zone as it was intended. Some parents are handicapped or have a chronic illness which physically prohibits them from making the trek down to the building which is why they drive. Some parents have to go directly to work… Or drop other siblings off at their schools or daycare… Or be anywhere besides this should-be routine eviction of the demon spawn for the mandatory brain stretching.

Then there are those, like myself, who simply are in a hurry because they have exactly 3.25 hours to spend alone before a child returns home again – shattering the silence and the corresponding fantasies of what it must feel like to have an identity undefined by the role it was named after once more. Damn preschool for not offering an all day program!

Consider, as well, how our kids feel on bad weather days- having to walk the length of a football field in order to get to the schoolyard while your kid gets to sit in a warm, dry car. Less than fifteen feet from the entrance, no less. The only other option we rule followers have is to pull up alongside of you or try to squeeze where some of you have left. It is pure chaos as this unfolds, and it looks more like bumper cars at the county fair than school arrival. Think about how absolutely dangerous it is for everyone else’s children to be darting between double-parked cars trying to push in between and around one another.

You, you selfless assface, are solely responsible for creating this hazardous game of musical vehicles which endangers everyone… except your stinky little brat. Of course!

May I ask while we’re here, what in the balls are you even doing parked there?! C’mon now! You have nothing better to do with your time in the morning than to show up for school a half an hour (or more, sometimes!) before school actually starts? To hang out in a NO parking area, nonetheless? I can think of almost fifty dozen things to do off the top of my frazzled head with the extra time you somehow find yourself with. Hell, you could swing by my place instead and help me finish getting my kids out the door on-time. You obviously have this morning productivity thing down pat – and me, well, I’m still just a beginner. (Might I add that it scares me a little that you do mornings so fucking well?)

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Now, if you are trying spend with your kid, why in God’s name are you doing it at school…in the damn drop-off area!?! Why can’t you go park down the street, if you must sit there with your kids, then you can drive back around to the doors when the bell rings? Take ‘em to the Tim Hortons just out on the main road and enjoy some real conversation over donuts and coffee, for the love of cheese and rice!

I’m pretty sure some of you nitwits are only sticking around because you want to keep an eye on your hooligans once the rest of us begin evicting our uterine trophies so they can play before the bell rings. Our school actually asks for this because it helps the kids transition into their school day better. They provide plenty of safety monitors to watch them on the playground and at the doors for each grade level- both with paid classroom/office aides and with PTA volunteers. Plus, the student safety patrol is there at the doors once they open to make sure kids don’t leave again after they enter the building. There is no need for you to cause a domino effect of problems bringing your children every morning by hanging around. If you cannot trust the school to do its job taking care of your babies, then park your vehicle down the street and go sit on the playground yourself, dammit!

Whatever your reason, please just stop parking in an area where you are not fucking supposed to.

I mean, do you really believe you are above being conscientious of other’s needs and entitled to hog what should be a free flowing drop off zone? Sure seems that way to the rest of us who follow the code. That makes you just as big of a twatwaffle douchemuncher as the evil souls who park in handicapped parking spaces without being disabled or parking in the middle of four parking spaces – as if their car is something extraordinarily priceless.

Get over yourselves already and do the rest of us parents a favor already…

Move bitch, get out the way
Get out the way bitch, get out the way
Move bitch, get out the way
Get out the way bitch, get out the way

Ode to My Phone – Fly On The Wall

Since it’s National Poetry Month, I decided to put a Poetic spin on this month’s FOTW post. I broke my phone this week and decided to write a tribute to my beloved ZTE Max… Enjoy!

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Your body in my hand- weighted, squared off, and smooth to the touch.
Shiny and new, pulling you from your box I already knew I loved you so much.
Before all else, I dressed you up; that purple otter box fit you tight like a glove. Everywhere we went together, at night you sat on a shelf over my head above.
You connected me to the world, voices speaking of life directly to my ears.
Appointments, information, conversations – happy smiles and sad tears.
Good news of raises, babies born, and relationships forged under the moon.
Bad news of passings, illnesses, and frauds reported with a melancholy tune.
So much more you had to offer me, though, with capabilities a hundredfold.
A lifeline to reality and fantasy alike- keeper of secrets and stories yet untold.
Capturing moments of enchantment, an interactive autobiographical scrapbook. Entertainment at my finger tips; videos, reading, gaming, giving websites a look.
Social media brought the village back to this stay-at-home-mom’s mundane life.
Giving reprieve from the lonely existence of motherhood’s endless strife.
You and I made quite the team, taking me places I had only once before dreamed.
My passion for writing turned into a blog competing among the esteemed.
Oh, why! Why did our time have to come to such a horrendously tragic end?
I believed that forever, case in hand, you would remain my very best friend.
That day at the park, unlike any other we made, I never saw the fall coming.
In an instant it all happened when my daughter took off running.
To the ground you tumbled, for the first time ever landing right on your face.
A losing battle against the gravel you shattered as I had to give chase.
Forever I’ll remember all that you have brought my life, completing me.
A friend to the very end, my beloved ZTE Max – I will treasure the memories.

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***Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 13 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come take a buzz over to these links for a peek into some other wonderful bloggers home this month:

Baking In A Tornado   

Juicebox Confession                                               
Menopausal Mother    .                                        
Someone Else’s Genius                                            
Spatulas on Parade                        

Searching for Sanity                                           
Never Ever Give Up Hope .                                 
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                           
Not That Sarah Michelle                      

Southern Belle Charm                                          
My Brain on Kids                         

Go Mama O                                       

 

Save Your Soul- UYW April

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Strong and fierce, you are a pugilist of demons living within, a warrior of self-inflicted pain.

Push, fall, rise, defeat- the cycle never ceases, beating you down under the eternal strain.

An aberration of souls, destined to do battle against your heart ’til your last, dying breath.

Heedless you scramble to rebuild the ruins anew from the forsaken fortress you have left.

You desecrate it over again with raging fits, refusing to succumb to their cachet of milquetoast.

Your own worst enemy, terrorizing, anyone who dare sees past this fragile façade you brashly boast.

Waves wash away evidence of your poison, leeching- infecting those weakened and unsuspecting.

Inhale deeply at the shoreline, for the miasma lingers in the stale, salty air with power unrelenting.

I am, but an aberration myself, though, immune to the evil simmering beneath the hardened surface.

His unholy reign imposing, yet unphasable, as I seek for him a greater sense of purpose.

Performing his exorcism with the saging of the moon- banish the demon he is and end the raging war.

Demolish the fortress, break the bindings, release the poison from his blood- you are free, my love, now and forevermore.

**Today’s post was a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

I’m using: milquetoast ~ aberration ~ cachet ~ miasma ~ pugilist             

They were submitted by: http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com/   

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:                                       
Baking In A Tornado

Southern Belle Charm

Not That Sarah Michelle

Spatulas on Parade

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Someone Else’s Genius

Confessions of a part time working mom

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Climaxed

My Brain on Kids

The Bergham Chronicles

Dear Boys: A Letter On Love From The Original Keeper Of My Sons’ Hearts

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Right now, you two think I am annoying, nagging, and bothersome. I am invading your space and spoiling your free time with my mundane requests. Long before I am ever ready to let go, it will come time for you to leave my nest and build one of your own.

I hope when you finally spread those wings to soar, all the lessons I have lost much sleep over and salted my stale, reheated coffee to teach you, become transparent. That they stick to your ribs like the gumption you currently have for Call of Duty.

You are simply too enthralled with the discovery of your own egos to see past the hormone-inflated, phantasmal factualism of presumptuous assumptions you bellow before slamming your bedroom door.

And that is perfectly okay for the moment. I know when the time is right, you will discover the treasure chest I have so carefully filled for you over the years. There are some things in life I cannot teach you about directly. So listen up now, because I need to tell you a little something about love before you go.

Some day soon, you are going to discover what it’s like to fall in love. It could be the one and only time, but it could also be the first of many others. It could be puppy love or kismet. You will never fully know until it has already happened and nothing more can be done to change the fact. If you are anything like your mother there will be many loves, but you still have to go into each relationship as if it’s the only one you’ll ever have… because in that moment with her, or him, it truly is the only relationship you have and should be cherished as such. You have to continuously nurture your partner if you want to grow together –  and it must be done of your own conviction for your selfish delectation or else it will have been in vain. You shouldn’t stop taking care of your own needs, by any means, but a true partnership is strongly committed to staying conscientious of one another throughout the relationship. I promise you.

The efforts you have been forced to make at being conscientious of your three younger siblings will pay off later on – when you and Sleeping Beauty are bills deep and three kids into your happily ever after trying to trim the budget for the third time in six months.

There will also be plenty of occurrences in which you mistake simple attraction for true love; especially when you are young and inexperienced still. The butterfly tummy, skin tingling, firework kiss, tent pitching effect is not love, a sign of love, or a guaranteed precursor to love. You are simply horny because your body’s arousal system was activated on a hormonal level. It is perfectly fine to act upon it for the moment of pleasure it’s worth. Always follow these three hookup rules religiously:
1. Always be up front and honest of your intentions for relations of any kind- now and in the future. Never lie. You will avoid flipping many a girl’s ‘crazy’ switch if you are straight forward from the get-go. (And, while we’re here, let’s squash any misconceptions you may have gotten from your bruahs. EVERY girl has a ‘crazy’ switch. There is no ‘type’. We ALL have the ability to turn into your worst nightmare.) 
2. Treat every girl with the same respect. A girl who is willing to play with no-strings-attached as you asked her to do when you laid your intentions out in rule one, has the same value as a girl who only wants you in the boundaries of a committed relationship. Everyone is at a different point in their lives and wants different things where they’re at. If it is acceptable for you to want to satisfy only your physical needs without recourse, so can a woman. Don’t use words like slut, whore, or *shudder* cunt. (You are never too old for me to put soap in your mouths.)
3. When a girl says “No”, she means it! And you better respect it! If I have to actually be reminding you of this right now… then I haven’t done a very good job as a mother thus far in raising you.
**While I talk about the rules from a heterosexual point of view, they still apply if you choose to be in a homosexual relationship. No matter to me, as long as you get the opportunity to love someone with all your heart.

Love fully, live freely, and just be yourselves without restraint. Don’t waste too much time trying to mash yourselves into a box of social constraints that fail to meet the one-size fits all requirements of real people.

The pressures of social expectations will try and keep you from loving a woman gently, wholeheartedly, and dedicatedly- because it doesn’t fit with the unrealistic portrayal of idolized masculinity.

None of that hoopla matters, though. When all else is gone at the end of the day… when the shops have all closed down, when all the work has been finished, when the streets have been emptied out, and the house is finally quiet and still with the dark… all that will be left for you in the loneliness of the night, is the one you love. Not one other soul out of the rest of the world. Just the one you love. They will be the only one willing to stand both back to back and toe to toe with you all in the same moment, without hesitation. Not every love will be meant for you. Or meant to stay forever. The strain of the world will test whether or not your love will survive the fate bestowed upon you almost daily at times. Not every love can withstand the path you have been chosen to follow. Sometimes you have to lose a love several times and gain them back a few times over more, before figuring out what the deal is between the two of you and if they are meant to travel beside you forever. Letting go is a painful but necessary lesson to accept. Very few are lucky enough to meet their soul mate the first time they fall in love but, like I said before, you really don’t know with love until you actually know.

Love is such a mysteriously unpredictable, breathtakingly splendiferous, consumably beautiful, and painfully humbling thing. It is so much more than a simple emotion. Whatever you two do in your lifetimes- do not let yourselves stop loving. Give love all you’ve got every single day. You cannot be lazy with it. It’s not a mess that can wait until you feel like messing around with it. It does not and will not ever take care of itself. Love will only give you exactly what you put into it. Tomorrow is an un-promised gift everyone takes for granted more oft than not.

Make sure you take the time to fulfill the needs of your hearts while you’re out there in the great wide world chasing your dreams. Love is worth more than any of the riches you might make or possessions you might own – for it is what you were born of to begin with.

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Until your flying feathers finish molting and I am forced to let you fly off and find my successor,
Your Mother – The Original Keeper Of Your Hearts

My Never Ever In Becoming A Mother – SSS April

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Going into this motherhood journey of mine, I wasn’t but a kid myself. I managed to conceive the week after my twenty-first birthday, finding out about six weeks later. I freaked out because I had just spent those six weeks celebrating the legal status that came along with this milestone birthday – the one which made me a full-fledged adult in my naïve, youthful, barely grown logic.

Entering motherhood when I still hadn’t matured as an individual… still hadn’t fully experienced adulthood… still hadn’t grown out of my childhood… was a challenge in and of itself. My life was only beginning to unravel itself. Everything I knew about responsibility and stability was merely secondhand knowledge, as I had barely gotten my feet wet thus far.

Now I had to add raising a child to the mix. All the secondhand knowledge I had about that wasn’t going to get me very far. Despite spending the mass majority of my childhood looking after everyone lessens children, I knew there was so much more to being a parent than what went into babysitting. I needed to fill in the gaps my dysfunctional, alcoholic parents had left out of the equation, so I began a quest to learn how to be a “real” mother.
The first thing I did was run out and purchase every copy of the ‘What To Expect…” series- the original expecting one, the first year, and the toddler years were all covered now. But, just in case, I grabbed a copy of The Everything Baby’s First Year, The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide, and Mother & Child: A Journey from Conception to Birth. One can never have too many books, after all. I read them all, cover to cover, before I ever felt my fetus kick for the first time. I already began picturing how my journey would unfold.

Then I discovered how wonderful the creation of reality television was in the beginning of this new century. A Baby Story, A Birth Story, A Special Delivery, Make Room For Baby, Bringing Home Baby: Multiples… every episode of every season was meticulously studied and dually noted. How did mothers and fathers look and appear? What kind of lifestyles did these adults have? How did these couples interact within their marriages? What kind of celebrations did they have? What kind of clothes, gear, nursery décor, car seats, etc., did the parents choose? What was their birth plan, what type of birth, and what complications arose? My needs to know grew with every passing day.

In between the books and boob tube, I engrossed myself with baby and parenting themed magazines and milestone tracking websites. I joined chat communities. There was no end in sight to the resources I was using to fill in the empty space left by my fading youth. By the time my baby shower rolled around, I had a clear picture of exactly how my life would play out forevermore. Just like a grownup version of my favorite childhood game, M.A.S.H., I had hand-selected every critical detail of the life I would be providing for this baby. I never wanted it to grow up in a remotely related environment as I had been raised in. And certainly not in one like the deadbeat loser sperm donor had brought to the table, either. Every last detail was figured out. I knew exactly what I wanted, how I wanted it, where I wanted it, when I wanted it. Nothing was too good and perfection was required.

Then I opened my gifts.

It was all wrong. I swore I would never allow my baby to use those cheap, store-brand and knock-off dollar store items. God only knew what kind of poisonous, cancer-causing chemicals were in those products. It was MY right as the mother to decide what brands were acceptable and it seemed like I was being disrespected before my child had even been born! What was the point of having a registry if no one was going to use it?

When my son was born, I carried on with the madness. Focusing on the image of motherhood portrayed in these resources, I continued my quest. Every time, though, life handed me limes to make my lemonade with. The farther along into my journey I went, the farther away from my picture of perfection I got. The life I had expected was always just out of reach. No ostentatiously decorated nurseries. No fancy strollers. No baby scrapbooks with accompanying video diaries. The high-tech, high-class baby monitors, cradles, and swings I had coveted were out of my realm of possibilities. The adult relationship I craved was just a joke to my boyfriend – instead of a marriage proposal and a mortgage I got a defunct apartment and a second pregnancy.

The resulting disappointments gnawed at my tender heart. I allowed them the power to control my emotional state. They crept in when I was preoccupied with being in love with the living piece of my heart I wanted to hold tight and breathe in deeply forevermore. They made me feel guilty for being so young; I knew it was why I couldn’t provide all the nice things those participants of my never-ending studies had. Couldn’t even give my child parents who were joined in holy matrimony for better or worse, let alone, a farther who wanted to rise to the role of family man. Before my baby and his unborn sibling had a chance in this world, I had failed them, miserably. I felt worthless compared to those mothers I so greatly admired in their mall store bought maternity wear and white picket fenced-in suburbia homes. I said I would never, yet here I was; everything I hadn’t imagined.

Twelve years later… I am looking back at those days over four not-so little anymore heads as a married woman to good, family man, laughing at the naivety of my youth. All those things I never expected or wanted or imagined ever mattered in the first place. The whole ordeal was completely unnecessary. And insanely unrealistic. Life… motherhood… marriage… none of it can be scripted ahead of time. There is no copying someone else’s game plan, because everyone gets a very different test. I was quite the immature, materialistic narcissist when I first became a mother at twenty-one, but my children have changed me. For the better.

I am living every never I swore against and couldn’t be in a happier place. The only thing I ever needed to be the perfect mother I was hard-driven to become was love. I had plenty of that to give all along.

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My subject is: “Ahh, naivete . . . what are some things that, before you had kids, you swore you’d never do but ended up doing”.  
It was submitted by: Baking In A Tornado.  

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
Baking In A Tornado

Southern Belle Charm

Not That Sarah Michelle

The Lieber Family Blog

Spatulas on Parade

The Bergham Chronicles

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Someone Else’s Genius

My Brain on Kids

Confessions of a part time working mom

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Climaxed

Once Upon A Blue Moon Ago, You Were Still My Baby

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There is a lot that has changed since I became a mother for the first time – four children and twelve years, ago. My hair has thinned a bit, even begun to turn silver where auburn and copper highlights once shimmered from the sunlight in my deep chestnut locks. The shape of my body is no longer lean and tight as it was in my youth, but, rather voluptuous and a tad saggy around the edges these days. My previously taut skin is beginning to sag like an outstretched hair tie; crows feet and laugh lines are definitive proof of my age.

Gone are the days of experimenting with homemade baby foods, lugging around overstuffed diaper bags, and fussing over every sniffle. Blowout diapers, breast pad slippage, and the ridiculously exhausting pantomimes required before sleep is allowed, are merely just recollections of the past. I don’t go running for every little bump, crash, or ear-piercing wail- not even when “Mom” becomes a mantra instead of my name. My subconscious learned to decipher between typical overdramatics and sheer panic long ago.

Back then, my name was even different. They called me “MaMa”. It is a time I  long for again. A magical place in time I can never go back to no matter how much my heart yearns.

Once upon a Blue Moon ago, in a far away dream land… my children were still newborn babies. Sweet smelling bundles of joyful bliss and tender-hearted innocence. Lively, eager, and full of exuberance, they brought light into my dim world.  Brighter than any sun could shine upon the wastelands of my heart, my little ones lit up the darkness of my lonely, bitter, old soul. Without saying a word, they could keep me chattering endlessly – to them and about them. There was so much to be said of those precious hearts of mine. The wonderment of it all was joyously overwhelming at times, but,  so fulfilling.

As infants, their every need solely depended on me – Mama. Every waking moment, regardless of the hour, they relied upon my nurturing instincts for their survival. So small and helpless. Itty bitty, football-sized alien immigrants who were quite figuratively, deaf, dumb, and blind to the world. Our only discourse came through the exchange of emotional energy. It truly is a beautiful thing to see, if you get a chance to watch a mother and child communicating so intensely without ever speaking a word. A language only understood by them – two souls in perfect harmony. Those moments exemplified absolute mindfulness and the deep-rooted bond between mother and baby. Those moments consumed me.

With each birth, I found myself wasting away the subsequent days in admiration of my new little one. I wished I could suck every last second I had with them into a vortex of time, sending them into an eternal dream land full of the memories I never wanted to forget. A place unlike regular memories, where I could relive the moment as real as it once was. Even in the moments when the sleepless nights and colic seemed too much to bear, one look into the loving, undoubtedly trusting eyes of my infant and feel my calm return. Every movement… Every sound… Every expression they made, I was obsessively fascinated with and irresistibly enamored by. The only perfection I had ever witnessed in my lifetime. So hard to believe I made them.

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Milestones were celebrated like national holidays- which were celebrated, in return, like sixteenth birthday blowout extravaganzas. Their first and second birthdays were always ostentatious productions of hoopla and hokum; none of which would even be remembered. At the time, though, the endless giggles and incessant squeals of delight erupting, made my heart swell with pride as my babies toddled around taking in the festivities. I would do it all over again, if I could. Nothing was too good for my little rays of sunshine. Every day spent with them was worth celebrating and that’s a good reason for throwing a party for my cutie pies as any. They were the stars of their own shows back then.

Those baby days felt like being on a runaway rollercoaster all of the time. An older, wooden structure type, to be precise. The coaster keeps zooming through the station, refusing to stop and let its passengers unload as it loops the track over and over again. Bumpy and nerve-rattling, the ride can be challenging to endure both mentally and physically. Miraculously, though, the following adrenaline response allowed me to push away from the negativity of the experience and embrace the  exhilaration of the ride. Life never felt so full. So grand. So amazingly perfect.

The magic inside my babies proved to be contagious – spreading light, love, laughter, and liveliness wherever they went. It was a constant rush of pleasure to be with them when they were happy and full of joy. There was a humbling sensation of pride felt when I finally soothed my miserably teething baby to sleep. It was refreshing to my soul to see a miniature replica of my face light up every time it saw mine appear above. So many feelings were evoked from one bundle of love.
The tears, the tiredness, and the mental breakdowns have long been forgotten about; such distant memories are hidden beyond my mind’s reach, lost forever.

Only traces of the enchantment which beheld me for so many years lingers, waiting to be called upon when my heart needs its fill. Waiting for me to escape into that dream land I created, holding spent time.

For now, those babies are already halfway grown children. Time is already working on changing my oldest two, again, as puberty has begun to transform them, once more. The magic within my babies has withered with their innocence over the course of rising moons. No longer alienated to the ways of the world, my children are out of tune with the heartsong we once shared; they are marching along to a beat I no longer hear inside me. Independence has become their main objective, and the tiny little hands, which held onto a single of my fingers with such powerful grip, have grown to be the size of mine and let go for good. My hand has never felt so cold before.

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I am still continuously in awe of all that my children are becoming and learning to do, but, now, it seems,  they are no longer as fascinated by me. Nevertheless, I continue on as their biggest fan in life – taking in the moments of laughter and joy, as I have always done. Even if it annoys them greatly for me to do so. I am their mother, I know of nothing else but cheering them along. Encouraging them to reach farther, climb higher, fall harder, get up faster, dream bigger, and wish on brighter stars… it is all I have ever done since they became mine. My babies.

It is sad to have said goodbye to the days where magic was alive and the light emanating from within my babies shined brightly upon my home. It was a time unlike any other I have ever experienced and I can feel an ache in my heart where I long to go back to months after they were each born, just for a little while. One last snuggle against my chest where their whole body actually fit, nestled against mine tightly. One last soulful eye gaze, as we stare so deeply into each other’s eyes while my baby nourishes his sweet, round, soft tummy. One last deep breath, taking in the glorious smell that is pure baby, which can never be replicated nor can anything ever smell as scrumptiously good. Just. One. More. It was all over before I was ready.

Time has changed so much from where we started. When I was a young, first time mom to a baby boy I had no idea what to do with. I am wiser, calmer, and more liberal as a parent than before. My children are much larger, louder, and sarcastically wittier than ever. My babies have all but disappeared into these young ladies and gentlemen I have before me today. I still cannot believe I made these children of mine. But I did… once upon a Blue Moon ago.

By: Kristina Hammer, aka, The Angrivated Mom