Monday, January 27, 2014

The Bad Days

On the bad days - which usually arrive not singularly, but rather strung together in intolerable chains - I feel conquered by the logistics of motherhood.  In the morning, I must get the children fed, clothed, brushed, out of the house.  In the evening, I must get them fed more/again, brushed more/again, into pajamas, into the bedroom, quiet, asleep.

I must keep groceries in the house.  They must be healthy groceries, but also the precise ones that everyone wants to eat.  I must cook or prepare them up to three times a day.   I must serve them and do my best to see that the children eat them. Someone always dislikes something I have prepared.  Someone is always begging for something else, sometimes screaming or yelling or crying or sulking for it.  I must clean after cooking, serving, eating.  I must ensure that there are adequate implements for cooking, eating, and cleaning at all times.  I must organize the trash and its disposal.

I must ensure that everyone has adequate amounts of the appropriate types of clothing in the appropriate sizes.  I must clean the clothing.  I must put the clothing away comprehensibly.  I must see to it that there are adequate implements for cleaning the clothing, and adequately organized spaces for putting them away.  I must discard or store clothing that is no longer appropriate.  I must see to it that there are adequately organized spaces for storing usable old clothing; I must organize the disposal of unusable old clothing.

I must wheedle and convince my children.  I must get them calm.  I must get them excited.  I must get them on board.  I must discover and invent things for them to do, and then I must do my best to see that they do them.  All day, I move them into and out of clothes, into and out of the bathroom, into and out of the subway, into and out of the car, into and out of the house, into and out of classes, into and out of friends’ houses, into and out of the park, into and out of the museum.  Someone always does or doesn’t want to go or stay or leave or see something or hear something or do something.  Someone always wants to buy something.  Someone is always so fatally hungry or tired that they can no longer be relied upon to act like any kind of human at all.  Sometimes that someone is me.

I yell and scream.  I threaten.  I curse.  I stomp.  I slam doors.  I make faces and gestures.  I am impatient and angry.  I frighten my children.  I am no better than my children.  I am a child myself, but I'm not because I'll be 36 come spring.  I want to hide, I want to cry, I want to undo my entire life up to this point.  

On the bad days, these things are all true, and I don’t really know what else to say.


Anonymous said...

I hear you, especially about all the getting in and out of places and someone always having a meltdown...

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