I lug my ass out of bed before the sun comes up these days, the grey pre dawn hanging sullenly in my window. Most days I can turn the alarm off before it rings nausea through my belly. I peel a sleeping child from my arm most mornings, wonder why I’m so tired.
I shout orders for 30 minutes straight, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush hair, EAT YOUR GODDAMMED FOOD! leave the kittens alone, socks, the SOCKS ARE RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU!, where is your backpack?
I hardly hear the words they speak, at me, through me as I half drag, half trudge to school with them, kiss them goodbye absently as I race to meet the bus.
I start each day wishing I didn’t have to do this. Every day a drudgery, each day another requirement of a mother, of a person I struggle to be. I find myself hating it, and wonder, do I just not care?
I don’t have the time to care, nor much time for my children. Work through the morning, back to pick them up, play for 30 minutes, then home for lunch and chores for me, work for them, nap maybe, and then I’m off again, back to work, past their bedtime, home to a house I don’t feel I even live in, let alone own. Children essentially raised by people who aren’t me, their father, my father.
Do they even know they’re girls, soon to be women?
Drained, I eat bare rice with soy and try to convince myself I’m doing right by them.
Please don’t tell me it’s normal, that I’m just tired and this is how anyone would feel. It’s not. I didn’t go with my kids for Halloween this year, first time, ever.
I didn’t feel a damn thing. I was glad to be a free of it. I don’t miss them when they’re gone-instead when they return I feel a weight descend on my shoulders, a horrid sludge like thing which slows me down, and I am petty, short tempered and mean. I find it harder and harder to like them, and crave silences.
I wonder if it makes me a horrible mother, contemplating being the one who leaves, the one who pays money and has two weeks in the summer and Christmas.
I wonder how long I can pretend this isn’t the truth.
I love my children, but increasingly, I do not believe I should be their primary caregiver.
Outloud. It’s been said.
I am not a good mother. I do not believe I ever have been, or frankly, ever could be. I am vacant and distracted, and sadly impatient with it all.
But to say it, to cast these thoughts into the wind like prayer is one thing. To release them, to say in not so many words to the world at large that despite my vagina I am not the best parent-these things will make me outcast, shunned in a way their father would never be. It would be ok for him.
This will never be ok for me.
I just don’t have it. I don’t have that girl urge, that mom urge. For years I pressed it into service since one of us had to be the parent, but now, as their father steps up more, and I find my SELF breathing again for the first time in….ever, I realize that person, that Mom self-she doesn’t exist. Maybe she never did, and it was that split, that forced march into mother that turned me crazy.
How am I to know?