Monday, July 9, 2012
If Motherhood Were A Job, I Would Have Quit Already
Yes, ma'am. I said it.
You know you've all thought it. Maybe just to yourself. Maybe to a best friend. Maybe to the clothes in your closet as you sat in the corner and cried for "who-knows-why" because you just didn't feel as if you could do it anymore.
I feel ya.
I've been having a few weeks like this. Weeks where I know motherhood is a gift and a privilege and I am so blessed to be a part of it. But it certainly did not feel that way. It felt more like I was slowly but surely being pecked to death by the most adorable little bird. But pecked, nonetheless. Where every single hour of my "stay-at-home-mom"-ness was constantly consumed by needs and wants and gripes and whines so severe I felt like I was being swallowed whole. Every time I turned around, someone was demanding something else of me. "Mommy, let's do puzzles. . .Mommy, I want a new toy. . .Mommy, this food looks GROSS, I want something else. . .Mommy, look at me. . .Mommy, lay down with me. . .Mommy, help me find my IronMan mask. . .Mommy, come wipe my bottom. . .Mommy, Mommy, MOOOMMY!"
Friends. . .I want to change my dang name and move to Thailand. Like, yesterday.
But let's be realistic here. I can't just quit this job like I've quit so many. Even though sometimes I simply want to run down the street in my pajamas and hitch a ride with the first loser who feels the pity to stop at my thumb in the air. It doesn't matter that some days I feel trapped and that I'll never escape the continual tugging on my legs for more attention and more and more of them and less of me. How much of me do I have to give up?!
Before you all call the loony bin and commit me for severe mommy-depression, just know that I am fully aware of my diagnosis. I'm aware that as a mom, we all go through emotional stages and these last few weeks, I've been going through one of my valleys. But I am also a whole lot more "spiritually sound" because of it, and I know how to keep-on-keeping-on. I know this is not a carhop job at Sonic. I know that I cannot get fed up with my little attention mongers in the same way that I got fed up with coming home everyday smelling like corn dogs and slush and give my two-weeks notice. I know that this is not like that job at the grocery store where I felt overwhelmed with managing 12 cashiers who just could not clean up after themselves, therefore, leaving mess after mess for me. Somewhat familiar to the messes I clean up today, ironically, but yet, I can't walk out in frustration, leaving my name badge on the counter like I did there. And I also realize this is not like so many of my years in the apartment leasing industry. When trying to find the perfect home for high-maintenance, gripey residents so much resembled trying to find a pair of shoes for my toddlers that didn't look/feel right to them because of their current mood. I can't just say, "Screw it! Go find another apartment. I'm through trying to please you!" I couldn't then, and I certainly can't now. Cause shoes, you know, are quite required and mandatory most days. Even more mandatory than my sanity, it seems.
So I decided after a lot of screaming and yelling that "Mommy needed a quiet time!" and begging my husband for 30 minutes to run off some steam every other evening that something had to give. So I reverted back to all those times when I felt trapped in a job I hated and desperately needed an out, and decided to do what I did then.
No, I did not quit and move to Thailand.
I decided to start making prayer more of a priority. I decided to play a quick game of "Hide-and-Seek" with the little monsters and retreat to a quiet spot in the back of my closet (thus buying me at least 10 minutes of solitude) and plead with God to make it all go away. Though I might have meant "the madness of being a mom" to go away, what actually went was my feelings of entrapment. Don't get me wrong, they still creep up on a daily basis, but those are the moments that I go back to my "mom cave" and ask God to help me not want to quit my job today. It may sound a bit ridiculous. It may sound cheesy to some. But the strength I receive from just knowing that He knows what I'm going through and that I'm unhappy in that moment, brings me more comfort than I can tell you. I know He is giving me the patience and strength that I need to deal with these valleys of mommy-depression that I suffer from. I know that the days of parenthood bliss will return and I will once again feel like frolicking in cornfields holding my children's hands. But today is not that day. Today it's still hard. But I know He is holding me together. And sometimes, I even sense He is holding His hand over my obnoxious kid's mouths!
So I'll leave you all with this. If motherhood were a job, I would have quit already. But it is once again being brought to my attention that motherhood is not a job. It's a ministry. It's a mission. It's a calling. Those are all things that you can't quit. They are as much a part of you as your heart and soul. So. . .if I do move to Thailand, I have to bring two little monsters there with me. . . .now, that may not be a bad idea. . .