After my kids pulled out every shit behavior in their shit behavior trove today for the roughly 12 hours I was solo parenting them, the little one had the audacity to say, “TAKE A DEEP BREATH, MOMMY” when I started making strangly-sob noises from the other side of the shower curtain after she’d screamed at me for trying to wash all of her hair.
The fucking nerve.
Yes, I know that whole thing was a giant run-on sentence but you know what, Elaine!? I don’t have to be good at everything. I cleaned and fed and, in fact, did not strangle, two small humans today that, by all accounts (mine, just mine, I was the only one accounting), did not deserve my mercy.
I’m in the absolutely most foul, angry, bitter, rage-y mood today and even in the middle of the misery, there is guilt. I hate that guilt. If I were a more caring person, more generous mom, less of or more of a disciplinarian or sucker, things might be different….so you’re treated badly by your irritating children and then intuitively feel responsible for it. That sucks!
This isn’t new, this isn’t novel, but I’m saying it because I think we’re expected to feel shame when we feel like this whole parenting thing sucks, and I don’t want to anymore. I want to reject the shame associated with the terribly difficult, often obnoxious task of raising children. I don’t want to feel like I’m being ungrateful or jinxing some blessed holy something.
It goes without saying, although I say it constantly: I love my kids so much, impossibly much. I respect them, I want the best for them. I do my best for them. However. They exhaust and terrify me. They distract and destroy me. They make it impossible for one solitary thing in my world to have order. They make me laugh. Sometimes in a healthy, joyful way, but probably more often, in an Arkham Asylum sort of way.
We ask a lot of parents. Like we have to unflinchingly be everything for them, but a nice person the whole time, to boot!? How? How? Seriously, how?
So sometimes I scream back while the tiny dictator yells about shampoo rations. So sue me.
(They can’t, right? How’d that whole thing go down with the Home Alone kid and his parents? Brb, there’s a rabbit hole on Google waiting for me)