Thursday, July 23, 2015

Full Hands, Full Heart, Leave Me Alone

People OFTEN say to me, “Wow, you really have your hands full.”  And maybe I’m just insensitive, but I don’t mind.  Just like I don’t really mind when people say, “Treasure these moments, time passes so quickly and one day they’ll be all grown up!”  You know why?  BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.  I do have my hands full.  I am totally overwhelmed by my busy life most of the time and it’s kind of nice when strangers in the grocery store notice that.  And time is flying by.  I go to kiss Charles at night after he has fallen asleep and sometimes the only place I can reach to kiss is the bottom of his GIGANTIC foot (size 5 men’s… seriously, I swear he’s only six years old) and I know that time flies.  He used to be so little.  He used to be Freddie-sized. 


You know what I am kind of sensitive about, though?  Sanctimonious memes and articles and quotes.  I KNOW most people find them inspirational; they make me cranky and depressed.  For reals:


“You’re not ruined.  You’re a goddamn tiger who has earned her stripes.”  This, of course, is written under a photo of a super-fit, nearly-nude woman with extreme stretch marks photoshopped onto her flat stomach.  Meanwhile, I can go for days and days not thinking about my stretch marks or the various ways in which my body has changed since having children (hint: I’m a lot wider and saggier) and then I see one of these photos tossed around FaceBook and feel like shit about my stupid body and how ugly it is.  Why do we have to talk about women’s bodies so fucking much?  Can’t we just stop already?  No wonder we all feel like we’re being judged – women’s bodies are the biggest conversation in America, when we should be talking about politics or the environment or ANYTHING that matters instead.


“Dear mom who feels like a failure…”  Well, I didn’t feel like a failure before, but I sure as hell do now.  After all, articles like these point out that it’s not failing when you don’t get the dishes or the laundry done, it’s only failing when you don’t smile at your kids or don’t take care of their basic needs.  And then I realize that most of the words out of my mouth are things like, “No, honey, I can’t read you a story right now because I need to make dinner,” or “PUT YOUR BROTHER DOWN RIGHT THIS INSTANT!”  Or I realize that the baby is cranky because he hasn’t had a snack and he is just starting to eat real-people food and I am not in the habit of packing Cheerios wherever we go.  Shit, baby, I’m sorry.  Here’s a boob.  My four-year-old hasn’t bathed in a week, maybe more.  The dog is downright neglected.  Plus, in what world do we NOT have to do the dishes or the laundry?  Laundry and dishes and dinner prep are not really optional.  Failing?  Yeah, I think so.


“Remember, you will never be this loved again.”  Not much of a comfort when my four-year-old can’t bear to break contact with my body, my one-year-old can’t bear to be put down for even a second, and my six-year-old wants to hug me long and hard when I am doing the dishes or holding a pot of steaming broccoli or trying to put poopy diaper laundry in the washer.  I am over-touched.  The baby sleeps with us right now because it’s the only way anyone sleeps.  When I hand him off at daycare, he shoots me a look as though I have betrayed his trust and he is soooo disappointed and then he throws his arms around his teacher and doesn’t let go.  Sure, I will never be this loved again and I should embrace the loving, but instead I cry about the fact that what I want more than anything is for everyone to STOP TOUCHING ME. 


Tony keeps the same hours now as he did during tax season.  It’s tough, and it’s meant an extra burden on me to keep the household running with very little aid.  Tax season is a trial when it’s three months long.  We’re essentially heading into month seven and I can look forward to another nine months or so before it’s truly over.  Maybe then it will be easier.  Maybe then I’ll be more Zen about it all.  Maybe then I will have figured out how to show my children love and take care of the family needs and be an effective businesswoman and not feel like a volcano about to erupt.


My hands are full.  I am busy.  They’re growing up so fast.  And I have days when I just want to run away.

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