I need a vacation.
Not the pack everything in sight into the minivan, jam as much into a weekend as possible, then do two days worth of laundry because of it vacation, but a real vacation.
I'm thinking a tropical beach, a fruity drink, an absorbing novel, and a personal concierge.
I'm thinking a variety of therapies- massage therapy for sure. Possibly hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, and any other kind of -therapy that can put me back together again.
In other words, I'm struggling.
My blogger friend Terresa has a sign on her blog that says "So this is my life. And I want you to know that I'm both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be." I cried when I read it because it resonated so deeply.
I'm wrapped up in a bundle of contradictions. I love my children desperately, but am aggravated all too frequently by their simple (and loud) childish behavior. Every day I make silent vows to myself to be more cheerful, happy, kind, patient and spontaneous; I end the day berating myself for rolled eyes, sarcastic remarks, barked demands, and a few too many four-letter words. I love being a mom, but this week I have been tempted many times to get a job as a shelver at the nearest Barnes and Noble and never look back.
I feel invisible. Like rather than being "Mom" the person, I'm "mom" the object. You know, the breakfast making, complaint listening, fight mediating, rule enforcing, toilet scrubbing, grocery shopping, appointment making, child chauferring, nursing, diapering person whose life belongs to everyone else in the house.
I don't blame my children. Children are, by their nature, inherently selfish. But the sheer monotony of the day-to-day routine is sucking me dry. The overwhelming neediness of those in my charge has left me empty and spent.
I feel as if I've lost so much of what makes me "me." Me the person, not me the mom, the wife, the violin teacher, or the doula.
I know that I would be lost without my husband and my kids. They are my life. They bring me purpose and joy. I can't fathom a life different from the one I have chosen and made for myself.
I look at the moms that surround me and wonder. Am I the only one? Is everyone else blissfully happy and satisfied? Do all the other moms have strategies to cope with the tedious and mundane of everyday life with young children? If I'm not the only one, (which I suspect...) why are we not talking about it more? Why aren't there support groups for this kind of thing?
I was pretty deep into my funk a few days ago. No sleep coupled with a teething baby, (four teeth in two weeks is inhumane for everyone involved!) combined with two bored children in the middle of August left me longing for an entirely different life. My good husband took some time to really listen to me yesterday, and just the simple fact that I was being heard made a world of difference.
I wonder if there are others that have felt this way. Who have looked at their life, wanting to cling to their kids and abandon them simultaneously. Who have wondered if they've given away the very best parts of themselves, wondering if they'll ever get them back. I wonder if there are others who would join me on a oceanside beach chair with a trashy novel, a fruity drink and a personal massage therapist for a week or two. Just be warned. If you come on this fantasy trip with me, you need to be prepared to stay up all night giggling like 13 year olds, to play a mean round of truth or dare, to sleep until 10 and then take a nap two hours later, and then to decide after a little while that you really do miss your family and are ready to go back to being a mom.