Some days, I think to myself: "Yeah, I've got this." These are the days when my patience and creativity seem limitless, when I am in total control of my thoughts and my actions, when I get the toddler moving smoothly from one moment to the next without tears, and the baby is content and unscathed. These are the days when we all get outside to play, the days that I make some quality time for myself, the days when everything seems to get done..and if it doesn't, I shrug my shoulders and think "oh, well".
But then those other days...those are the ones I need some help with. Those are days like today, where things go relatively smoothly, but beneath it all is a current of nasty, negative thoughts, causing ripples on the surface. Thoughts like "I am such an unnatural mother", "I can't do this", and "I hate this". I struggle to stay in control of myself if Aedan hits me or scratches his brother or pulls Cilla's fur. I find myself yelling. I find myself wanting to lose control, just to see how it feels.
I don't, though. Somehow, I manage to (mostly) keep my shit wired tight. I do a lot of apologizing on these days. I also do a lot of contemplating leaving on these days. I'd like to scream "I QUIT!!" into the face of my tiny two and a half year old boss, throw the dish rag (or dirty diaper) in his face and storm out the front door.
And on to what? If I wasn't doing this, what would I be doing?
Would I still be slinging drinks at the Pit? At least there, if you do your job well, people leave you money at the end of each service. Today, Aedan left me a bunch of chewed up Gala apple, spit all over the floor.
I'm trying hard to feel passionate about this job of parenting, because a) I don't have the option of quitting and walking out the door, and b) on an intellectual level, I think it's actually a pretty damn important job. I'm raising HUMANS. Future adults, future MALE adults, and that is a huge and frightening responsibility. It's just not the one I thought I'd have.
Let's be honest, though. It's not like I ever seriously envisioned myself as a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher or whatever. I think the only serious envisioning I ever did was to picture myself as a moody poet/novelist who lived in an apartment with a cat, chain smoking and drinking strong black tea and churning out masterpieces. I thought I'd be the next Margaret Atwood. Except I don't think she smokes. And neither do I.
Here we are.
The boys are napping now, and I'm drinking green tea, the kind with the bits of toasted rice in it, and blogging about being a mom. Nap time is a chance for us to start over. Aedan will wake up in couple of hours and his hair will be all tousled and my heart will burst and it will all be okay.