I lost it last night. The pressures and the exhaustion finally caught up with me and I was done. Bren is having difficulties, ranging from behavioral to medical right now (the medical are minor – recovering from pink eye, fighting a respiratory bug, recovering from having the teeth pulled, but the behavioral are worrisome…).
Everything piled up on me and I finally broke. Work stress, home stress, children and husband stress, all contributed until I finally had to shut down.
Not the best way to deal with things, but I’m not made of steel. Yesterday was a mix of numbness and tears, and that was just me. People kept wanting to talk to me and each time was just a bit more energy that I couldn’t spare. I tried to hide in the copy room at work and the damn machine jammed so bad that I had to get help with it. I’m sure I’ll laugh about that some day down the road. But not right now.
I love my family, but sometimes I want to stop them all and tell them that mom is running on empty… Not food, not money, not love – just my energy as a whole.
It is ironic then, waking up this morning at 3am and coming down to get a drink, that I turned on the computer to distract myself and there it was, an article about the highs and lows of being the modern mom – all based on a poll of 2400 other moms. So much of what came out of the poll echoed what I am feeling – the worry, the frustration, the fatigue, all countered by the love of being a mom.
My mum and I have talked about this before, agreeing that the information overload now makes the worries sometimes overbearing. I can’t let my son play in our yard, for fear that he’ll be grabbed. There are safety recalls, news stories, and instant 24-hour updates on what to do or not to do. And the younger moms have it even worse than us older moms. There is criticism, constant and overwhelming, coming from everywhere. At least we older moms usually (note, I say usually) have a bit thicker skin and more confidence in our abilities. I can’t imagine dealing with all of this and being in my early 20s.
Yes, there are trade-offs that we’ve gained and I don’t belittle those. I also love being a mom. It is the hardest, but best, job I’ve ever had. BUT I will say this… I got my latest issue of Self magazine and was actually slightly pissed off. The cover article was about the “Happy Life of Jennifer Garner.” Now don’t get me wrong, I like her acting and I’m glad she’s found happiness, but this is about the last thing I care about these days… I am sick and tired (literally!) of reading about wealthy and/or famous women and their post-baby bodies or their wonderful lives. I know they work for those things and they have a cost, but there is nothing about their lives that is reflective of what real women go through, day to day.
I read the article, mostly out of morbid curiosity, given that the title on the cover pissed me off so much. It was fine, but I still came out of it with this sense that today’s media is completely clueless.
Ok. That’s perhaps an understatement…. They want to sell us things and tell us “helpful” information, but I wish, just for once, that someone would come up with an HONEST magazine, one that tells what real families are going through. And maybe, just a bit of information on how to hang in there.
So now it’s 3:50 am and I need to go back to bed. The alarm is going off at 6am so I can get my boys ready for Gramma to pick them up. Brennan will be tired and non-compliant, while Aidan will squawk at me for a bottle while I try to change him. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I won’t get a phone call from either Todd or the grandparents telling me that Bren is having another meltdown…
Last night I didn’t get my cuddle time or my “I love you too, mom.”
I didn’t get a snuggle with the baby while I gave him his last bottle of the night.
There wasn’t book time or a word game.
Today is a new day. It’s starting out quiet, with me by myself. The media says I’m supposed to get some time for myself. Does 3am count?
Signing off, one very tired moonfire.