Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It Ain't Easy

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.


  1. I have given myself timeouts in my room while my kids have screaming to come in..... I am pretty sure all mum's have been there!!

    Now that they are older, I put them outside when I want quiet time to drink my tea. I even lock the back door and pull the curtain so they can't stare at me! ahahhaha Parenting can be rather entertaining. :)

    The first few years just aren't all that pleasant. Try and find some humour in it. And go ahead and throw the dirty dish rag at your kid. It will be fun!

  2. Thanks, Kara! I do try to have a sense of humour, most days. I love reading about your boys building with Lego, doing science experiments, building bird houses...I can't wait for those days!

  3. i remember that first year with an infant, 1 yo and 3 yo. there were many moments i was able to live in the joy, the peace (even if it was fleeting). And then there were the moments of everyone crying. fast forward another year+, and the baby is a 2 yo monkey, the 3 yo is an angel (surprising for 3) and the 5 yo is losing teeth, and many days we've got a good rhythm, but there are days i still feel off. but my oldest is 20, the youngest 2, and i know I'll still struggle, but I also know it's worth it.

  4. Tara, thanks for keepin' it real. You have always been good at that, I think. I know that I will feel exactly like this if/when I ever decide to do the kid thing. I have always found myself in the same position as you: I never really envisioned myself having kids, but I also never envisioned myself doing anything else either. There are times these days that I really feel like I would like to make little people with my man - people who will teach me things, learn from me and go on to influence and impact the world. Then the fear of never being able to change my mind hits me and I don't know what the future will hold for us. Reading your writing is a reminder that everything isn't always ok...and that's ok.



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