Sometimes I hate my children…

 

Ok hate is a strong term. More like strongly dislike sometimes. I am sure there is some Sanctimommy choking over her organic lactation tea right now. All I have to say is suck it. First off, I love my children with every fiber that is in my body. If anyone thought about every harm my babies, it will end like a scene from “Taken”. With that being said, some days I understand why some species each their own young.

Children have this innate way of pushing you over the edge. It is always when you are in a rush, they lose their shoe. Or when you are standing in line of a full grocery store, they feel like then is the appropriate time to have a complete and utter meltdown. As a mom you never have any alone time. Time to just sit and unwind. I mean as soon as you finally sit down and get comfortable, you hear it. That one word that just makes you want to hit your head off the wall: MAAAAAAAm MOM MAMA MOOOOm. I like when they say it in different  ways and tones. Like I can only hear it said a certain way and they are trying to figure out which way it is.

EVERY mom has felt like this once in a while. If you are sitting there tell your friends otherwise, I call bullshit! That is right. I am calling you out on your shit. Not only am I calling you out, I am asking you to please stop. Stop making creating this false Mother Teresa-like image of what a mother is supposed to be. Everyone has a breaking point. We are only meant to take on so much emotionally, physically and spiritually without folding.However as mothers we have this false sense of duty to do it all without so much as flinching. Honestly it is absolutely ludicrous.

When did becoming a mother meant you were not longer a person? That we as a group are not allowed to have weakness and limitations. And we do it to ourselves. Mothers are the BIGGEST critics of each other. Seriously, have you ever heard a group of dads talk like mothers? Think about it:

Dad #1: Oh my God, Did you see John’s post complaining about his being cranky?

Dad #2: I know he should be ashamed of himself. He should just be glad that he even has kids.

I mean seriously I have seen this exact conversation a thousand times. It is sad.  Why as mothers are we not allowed to complain about our children? We can complain about taxes or about the price of milk going up but not our children.  Why do we do this to each other? Why do we have to keep everything to ourselves? I mean the next time you see or hear a mom complaining about having a hard time, reach out to her. Sometimes we just need to hear that someone else has been there before. Sometimes after listening to your baby cry for an hour straight  and nothing we do helps, we need to know that we aren’t going something wrong. That some other mom has been in the same place before and it will pass. I know, at least with myself, when I get frustrated I don’t think well. You just need a fresh set of eyes to suggest something you are too tired to even consider.

Also we need to let go of the reins. I mean I am all about women hear me roar power but I think it has had a slightly negative side effect. We have embraced this “My Uterus, My baby” concept.Which is great in many issues that we have to fight with but it also prevents us from letting go. How many of you have refused help because you are afraid you have felt like you should do it all? I am not sure where this She-Ra attitude came from.  I actually remember I was in a due date group. All of us had our babies. There was this mom who was showing signs of PPD (Postpartum Depression). Along with myself and other, we urged her to get out of the house. Give herself a break. Her husband had offered to watch the baby while she took a shower and left the house for a bit. He had realized that she was really struggling and needed a break. He called her mother and her mother took her out for lunch. They gave her chance to be an adult for a bit. Well, she had been EBF (Exclusively Breastfeeding) at the time. The lunch date took longer than expected and the baby became hungry. So the dad ran to the store-bought some formula and a bottle and feed the baby. He knew this lunch date was something she had really needed. He thought he was being helpful. Well turns out she had a great time and it was really what she needed. She posted in out little group about her day. She was actually bashed by people in the group for letting her husband feed the baby formula. Now this is not a debate over formula feeding vs breastfeeding. If this is all you get out of this story, you are part of the problem.  This woman was made to feel like complete shit because she sought help. She was at her breaking point and her family stepped in to help her.

It makes me think about how many women who needed help didn’t seek it because they didn’t want to be judged. They didn’t want to be seen as a bad mom. Somewhere along the way raising a child has become our sole responsibility. And it is our own fault.  We don’t want to share the burden because someone might do something that is not in our parenting plan. Grandma can’t watch my child even though I haven’t slept in three days and I am on the verge of tears. Why? She might give him cookies and we don’t allow sweets.  Think about. How ridiculous does that sound? But this really happens. We don’t want to give up control for single second.

So where do I get off saying all of this? Well because I am completely guilty of this. I am guilty of trying to raise my children all by myself without giving myself a break. I have experienced first hand the nastiness that can come from other mothers. I have been on the edge I wanting to just give up. Instead of reaching out and asking for help, I kept it all locked in. I remember sitting up at night when everyone was asleep and just sobbing. I didn’t understand what I was doing so wrong. I didn’t understand how others made it look so easy. At some point I was even convinced I was a bad mom. (As my older son watches Paw Patrol while I type this I feel a little twinge of guilt. If he wasn’t, I would not be writing this. I mean he is learning his letters but he is not ready to be a ghost-writer for mom. It would look something like this: lkj’aposjfiohofihasf;hn viudew09f0ew9687fgj. And Google doesn’t have a translator for toddler-ese. ) I remember when I finally opened up to my mom about things that I felt I was doing wrong. She then began to tell me tales about raising myself and my five siblings. It actually made me feel better. I didn’t feel so dysfunctional and lonely.  I mean all of us made it out of infancy. I just needed to know that someone has been in my place. I needed to hear that “This too shall pass”. I needed to hear that I wasn’t a bad mom.

Yes some-days I just want to shake the sugar out of my children. Will I? Never. But it doesn’t mean that children are not frustrating. I am willing to admit that. I have also learned that instead of dedicating every single waking moment to my children, I need me time. I need to let it all out. Whether it is complaining to my husband or having him watch them so I can go to my book-club meeting. I feel like this makes me better mother. I can’t be the best for my children when I am at my worst. And we need to support this idea. When need to learn to embrace each other. We need to support and reach out to each other. Whether it is telling a mom you have been there before or maybe taking her out for an activity. We need to show that asking or seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Think of yourself of your own child. If this was your child, what would you want them to do? Ladies we need to start taking care of ourselves and each other. We need to make a change. And it all starts with you.

 

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If I had one wish…

This post was one I had originally written and posted as a contributor for The Bipolar Parenting Project

I don't want this for them

It would be that neither of my children developed Bipolar Disorder. However it is most likely definite at this point. My father’s mother was schizoaffective. My father is bipolar. I am bipolar along with two of my brothers. I truly believe my husband has bipolar also, just undiagnosed. When it comes to the genetic probability of having the bipolar gene, the odds are not in their favor. Honestly it kills me to think that my babies might suffer like I have and somedays still do.

Yes I know there is growing support and awareness but not enough for my liking. It isn’t even the stigma that really bothers me. I mean I am already trying to raise them that what people say doesn’t matter. I want my children to be normal. I know a lot people talk about how being normal is a relative term. But struggling to get out of bed because you feel like you can’t go on anymore is NOT normal. Blowing an entire paycheck on everything but bills because it makes you feel alive is NOT normal.

I don’t want them to have to try treatment after treatment until they find something that works. Feeling like a zombie from one kind of med while the other kind makes you whirl out of control. I don’t want that for them. I don’t want them to have to bounce from therapist to therapist until they find one they can trust. I want them to walk into a room and not feel like the whole room is judging you. I don’t want people to dismiss their feelings as just a mood swing.

I am not ashamed of my disorder. So please don’t mistake the point of this writing. I don’t want my children to have to live like I do, mood swing to mood swing. The uncertainty everyday morning brings. I don’t want them to have that helpless feeling. The feeling of knowing that you have all the love and support in the world, yet you feel so alone. You can’t help but feel like you are different. And even with all the progress, there is still too much of a stigma. Too much misunderstanding of what a person with a mood disorder is like for me to want my children to have to deal with.

Small Joys

I want my sons to know the feeling
The feeling of cool green grass between their toes
The sweet breeze dancing through the trees
Across their smiling faces

I want to my house to be full of
laughter echoing through the halls
Hugs and kisses
Imagination running wild

I want the small joys that life has to offer
The “I love you always”
Bedtime stories and ice cream sundaes
A childhood lived to the fullest