Monday, May 18, 2009

maniac mama (aka Going to Shit in a hand basket)


I overheard some young women talking the other day about another woman who had chosen to stay home after having her first child because she just wanted to 'sit back and be lazy'. They felt sorry for her husband having to work to support their little family financially.
As the hair bristled on the back of my neck, I tried, really, really hard to see it from their child-free point of view. I tried to imagine how it must look to the outside world as you 'let yourself go' and schlep around in your clothes from yesterday soaked in infant urine and caked with toddler snot. Life on this side of the fence must look like a walk in the park as we seem to be clad in slippers and mentioning a need for 'a nap' so very often.
What is unseen, either for the use of a better bitch session on the part of the non-child people, or just out of naivety, is the hands in constant motion, trying to get a semi-healthy dinner on the table, hang a bulletin board which causes a chain reaction of chaos involving a falling shelf, snow globes and aquarium and lots of water, switch the laundry, hang a load on the line only to realize that the load had not agitated, just soaked and now must be returned to the already reloaded full washing machine AGAIN, kissing crying little ones who are offering their noodle caked tongue as the offending body part in need of a kiss, answering phonecalls from doctors offices while using one shoulder as an extra appendage, handing out gluesticks for craft projects involving the hard noodles that caused the tongue crisis, nodding your head to your eldest when they request a third popsicle just to keep them quiet while attempting to write the newest doctor's appointment on the calendar with the phone still firmly snuggled into your shoulder, trying to listen to AND remember the nurse's instructions, one hand full of dried out felts that you are fervently smearing on the paper hoping to make some legible marks before she gets too far ahead, all while the smallest one is still screaming in your ear that their tongue is bleeding and it needs another kiss. The eggs starts burning, the smoke detector goes off and you are about to lose it. You put the kid down, hand him a popsicle whether he wants it or not, grab the smoke detector after climbing onto a rickety chair with your extralarge sized 'letting -it-go' body, open the backdoor, hurl it across the lawn, bare your teeth at the kids daring them to say anything to you, still with the bloody phone gripped under your left ear, nurse still babbling on about blood tests and the need to fast for twelve hours before hand. The littlest one escapes to the back deck, finds a basket and for some unknown reason takes a shit in it. You suddenly have had enough. You tell the nurse that there is an emergency and you need to hang up. You chuck the phone, turn off the burner, and sprint to the bathroom, slam the door and holler words that you wouldn't say in front of your grandmother. Yes, I say the 'f' word when my kids can hear it. It's not something that I would suggest another parent do in order to calm down, but it helps me to decompress...quickly. I lose my temper. I sometimes scream. I attempt to sleep only to be awoken by someone wanting to tell me that goldfish sleep with their eyes open and isn't that great. Then I lose my cool again and growl that I don't care. I fall back to sleep only to be nudged awake because someone has wet their bed and wants my side of my bed...not the other side. Soon both kids have their elbows embedded my nostrils. They are snoring. I am wide awake thinking of all the things I forgot to do, should have done and wish I had said instead of the bloody 'f' word. I am exhausted but can't help staying up when I am so able to beat myself up and when someone has crawled up onto my head to slumber. Soon I move to the pee covered bed and try again to sleep. As I doze off finally, I hear an angry accusing voice shout, "Hey! Where did you go!!!???" Now in a tidal wave of little bodies, I am covered in both urine and children. I fall asleep for the last two hours of the night to be woken by screams as one of the kids has more granola than the other and the injustice of it all is about to kill them. I lurch out of bed, pour the milk for them, climb in the shower, wash my hair, get joined by two little ones in search of hot water, run them a bath, get dressed, eat the remainder of their breakfast, and start the fucking day again. I'm not a great mom. I am a normal mom. I am a tired mom. And this is NO BLOODY HOLIDAY. It is peppered with some really amazing and wonderful moments that make it all completely (sometimes I won't agree with this statement, but...) worth it. But so many days are like this. Busy, crazy, overwhelming, tiring and...crappy. But it is NOT RELAXING. It is NOT EASY. .
But still, I do love being my kid's mom. And, no, I wouldn't trade my life with these two little ones for anything.

16 comments:

Hawkfeather said...

you can't fool me baby...
ANY mom who has the ware with all to grab their camera to snap a photo of said shit in basket is having a fucking hay day...
heh.....

i know the plethora of the "been there done that" mom- comments out there might not make a real dent in the aftermath of emotional chaos brought on by such adventures in motherhood..
but still.. I bet *I* am not alone in being able to relate- to the day or the way you coped with it.

I tend to think it is up to the really wise and strong powerful momma Goddess types to actually admit to days like this... so when the rest of the mothering universe has reality come crashing down in their laps they just might remember reading somewhere else that things may still be in the realm of "NORMAL" in their world..

again- in their day and how they cope with it.

Tabitha said...

Aw, Jackie - shit in a basket??!! I'm sorry - the day sounds like hell, and it definitely is no "holiday" (and how very empathetic of you to withhold judgment of their conversation!!), but holy mackerel, the shit in a basket is funny.

thinking of you lots the past few days.

Poppy and Mei said...

Amen, Sista...XXxx

Kathryn said...

Wait a minute...did we just switch lives in some sort of twilight zone way, cause that stuff happens here too. You're a very funny writer Jackie and I still think you're a terrific Mom! I probably would have snuck off to the couch to sleep and put Freckles in the bed as another warm body :oP

blueskies2day said...

WOW. You sooooo have the right to be angry with those narrowm-minded people who think that this is 'the lazy way'. I think I would have had to poke them in the eye with my urine-soaked hand.

darcie said...

Only those of us that have been there can truly understand this 'club' we are in. I always love when I show up at work and someone points out some shit on my shit...yeah, well, thanks...

It's nice to know we are not alone in our battles ~ they are many!

So glad you captured that basket photo...because that...THAT is funny! Come on...admit it!

Amber said...

This is definitely not a holiday. But there's no explaining that to someone who hasn't lived it. Which might be a good thing, or everyone would be too frightened to have kids.

I'm impressed that you captured that photo. And I'm so sorry that he did that.

Bonnie said...

Awesome photo.

One of the reasons I keep reading your blog is that you are always REAL. It's refreshing. Frankly, life at home with kids can totally suck sometimes, and I am not doing it alone 24/7 like you are. And yes, the kids have heard the F-word outta me too. I think they will survive.

Let's hear it for all the NORMAL, "holidaying" mamas out there!

Keep on keepin' it real Jackie!

Desha said...

That picture is the funniest thing EVER! Loved this post, as it is a picture of my life:)

Kelly said...

Amen.

Con said...

I love the reality of your blog..this is a bit more work than letting the f word roll over the lips (which is instant gratification)...but fill the bath with water, take a deep breath, immerse head and screeeeeaaaammmmmm!!! No one can hear you, so the cops won't show up and you still get to dispense your frustration. I'm sorry about basket poo/waldorf toilet:(

Jenn M said...

Now that says it all.

I hope you have a much better day, (or at least one without shit in a basket)

Lori said...

Did I ever tell anyone I consider my real job my escape?! Because I do. I might have to work a little harder to get the stuff done in less time, but I don't think I could do it all day every day. You SAHM's amaze me by keeping your sanity. You lazy asses. (JOKING) But don't worry, they'll realize it one of these days when THEY are covered in shit and puke.

13mimosa said...

I don't know why women aren't honest as you have been and Jackie, I've had dozens of crazy days like that too and wonder when they're going to end. At times I feel I must be the only one because others don't seem to TALK about it, but I think they're having the same time of it. Others who don't know, who don't get it, well they just don't. I remember once saying to my girlfriend after complaining about various things - "don't you have any of these issues, is it just me" and she said that no, everyone was experiencing the same thing, it's just that I was the only one talking about it! It made me feel better and not.

I think you're amazing, truly. and the poo in the basket - you made me laugh, what can I say??!!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry you had a rough day, but.. I read the post a few days ago. I have thought of it often and laughed out loud to myself! Shit in a basket!!! I didn't read the title, so when I got to that part, I almost peed!!!

I once was trying to figure out what the hell was the weird odor in our laundry area.
I found a king crab claw in my dryer...
My son had put it in his pocket when we were at a buffet dinner...
It took WEEKS to get the smell out..

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