I’m also afraid of my feet hanging over the edge of the bed, getting poop on my hands (though vom–real vom, not spit up– doesn’t bother me), being buried alive, and running out of coffee (or wine).
But the thing that I’m afraid to say out loud, the thing that scares the shit out of me most, is that I cannot do it all myself. Sometimes I need help and I find it nearly impossible to ask for it when I need it.
I thought about this post for three days. What would I say? Would I be silly? Serious? Both?
I wanted to write that I’ve been afraid to say that I’m coping well emotionally and mentally with being a mom to two. Sure, there are moments when I want to run screaming for the nearest bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (or Tahiti. Whichever.) but that most of the time, things are good.
That I am good.
And then days like this one happen.
Joshua’s up early. Emma won’t be put down. She spits up all over everything, including her brother, prompting two clothing changes before my first cup of coffee. He’s whiny. She’s fussy. I’m starving and can’t eat breakfast because everything involving either of them requires both of hands.
She falls asleep just as he needs me to wipe his butt and putting her down to take care of him means she’s awake and I’m starting the process all over again.
And the giant lump of Overwhelmed climbs up into my throat and threatens tears.
Then the doctor’s office happened today, which isn’t a normal occurrence, thank God. Nurse Lemon-Face-Who-Maybe-Hates-Kids is bothered by Joshua’s curiosity and need for me. Which annoys me. But I’m not annoyed with her.
I find that I’m annoyed with him because he needs so much of my attention. That he needs validation from me for the things he’s saying and doing. He doesn’t just need it. He demands it. And I’m downright irritated about it.
The nurse practitioner asks how I’m doing and I force out a clipped “I’m…managing” with a glance behind me at Joshua who is asking me another question and beside me to Emma who is screaming on the table.
And then another lump climbs up. This one is named Guilt, cousin to Self-Loathing who has also joined in the attempt to make me cry. I’m guilty because what kind of mother gets annoyed with her child for needing her attention? And then I hate myself a little bit for both feeling guilty and for being annoyed.
After doing my best to pay attention to her appointment and to his need for approval, I was spent. And when Emma got her shots and cried, I sobbed all over that exam table.
I sobbed and apologized. For her physical pain, for neglecting him, for hating myself.
Dan stopped in after lunch today and planned to go back to work for the afternoon. I’d gotten Emma to sleep in the Rock-n-Play. I’d put Joshua down for a nap without a fuss. My emotions were settling. And then the dog laid down on the leg of the Rock-n-Play and woke Emma up and I said words that would make my mama blush and then sobbed some more.
I sobbed that I wanted to be normal. I want to be able to handle days like today and shrug them off more easily than I do.
I want to remember to “Finish each day” like I tell so many other women to do.
I told Dan I needed him to stay home this afternoon and he did. That was huge for me, both the asking and the having him here. He took Emma for a drive and I got to lay down by myself for some rest. When they got back and I woke up, I felt better. A little more centered.
I need help y’all. I can’t do it all by myself. And that’s the thing I’m most afraid to tell anyone.
A special thanks to Jess Constable and Ez of Creature Comforts for encouraging honest dialogue about the things, big and small, that we’re afraid to tell. And thanks to Robin for hosting the link-up. You can link up at Robin’s blog, Farewell Stranger, if you’ve got something to share.