Last night, after picking up the umpteenth dirty sock-wad, after doing my third load of laundry, after telling the boys for the 6th time to get their jammies on, after stepping in yogurt blobs on the floor after I TOLD them not to eat in the living room, I lost it.
Feeling bad, but still simmering, I went upstairs to get myself ready for bed- only to find my room torn apart; stuff from under the bed strewn about, a package I received in the mail was opened and scattered, and my new tights for the cold weather were opened and tied around the bed posts. I really lost it. Dropped my basket, so to speak.
Really. Lots and lots of yelling. And tears. Mine on both parts.
What was I doing while this rampant destruction took place? Why, I was changing a diaper. I was sweeping the Play-Doh detritus from under the table, and changing over another load of laundry.
It’s weird. I’m not sure how to reconcile how I feel at the moment. They’re little kids- I know that- but they also know what’s expected of them. At least I think they do. Don’t they? This, again, is where motherhood departs dramatically from any other job. If they don’t get it, if they continually act out and are disobedient, aren’t I the one the ball comes back to?
So that makes me tapped out, weary, tired, angry, and somehow responsible for their actions. If my children don’t get what is decent behavior, what is expected of them, and I am their primary caregiver, somehow, I’m not doing my job correctly. And that sucks.
Motherhood is so stinking hard. So much of it is feeling around in the dark, hoping you get the right switch. Some days, I wish I could just pack up and “go to work”. Leave the house. You know, like I did once upon a time. At least I would be alone in the car for my commute. At Work my problems would not barf on me, pee on me or roll around screaming on the floor like a big, snotty noodle.
But here I am. And here I stay. I do this because I know I am supposed to- because I committed to doing this before they were ever born, and because I know it’s the right thing to do. I love my kids- Like all mothers, I would give my life for them without a second thought…
Hmmm… (That thought stops me in mid-sentence)
As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
And some days- like yesterday- I wonder if it will be worth it. I wonder at what I’m giving up by doing jobs a trained monkey could do. I wonder, as someone blessed with talents and interests far beyond the drudgery of motherhood (and it is drudgery- make no mistake- there is little personal satisfaction in changing years of diapers or unending mountains of laundry) (and oh, yes, I know about the happy parts- the sweet sleeping faces, the babies fresh from the tub, the kisses and wobbly Frankenstein-ish first steps- but that’s not what I’m thinking about right now…)
If the Lord blessed me with talents, and I have promised to devote them to Him, what exactly am I doing? This especially causes me pause in thinking about my daugher. As Latter Day Saints, we are continually counselled about the importance of raising the next generation- how nothing is worse than failure in the home, and how mom should be at the helm of the home. So what does a tired, frustrated mother do with that?
Have I given up my carreer and my interests to raise my daughter, only so she can give up herself and do the same? What is it we are accomplishing here? Sacrifice upon sacrifice? Is it only important for the boys magnify their talents? What about me? And my daughter? What if our talents lie outside the home- in Art, or History, or Writing, or Science or Cinema? Like I said, I’m flummoxed.