“Promise is the capacity for letting people down.”

4 Nov

I’ve always let people down. I’m not who they want me to be, who they think I am. I fuck shit up. I do things wrong.

I rarely, if ever, make promises to people. On some level, I’m sure this goes back to feeling betrayed by the loss of my mother-mother’s are not to be lost. They are to remain forever, or at least until one is old enough to handle it a bit more rationally. I was angry for a very long time that my mother did not life up to the promise that motherhood conferred on her.

This weekend, I’ve found my promise to my children wavering. They have been screaming, arguing, clingy beasts who slam doors and yell, whining all the way. I want to run in stark mad terror out the door and down the street to try and find somewhere quiet where I can sit alone.

I crave quiet. I want the one thing a mother can’t have it seems. Silence, and space. Space to learn and think. A place that is for me. It often feels like a birth you make this promise to your children that you will always be there for them, always be theirs, and you just can’t shake it. I crave a life without kids right now, and I this feeling makes me think I’m letting everyone down. I’m not the mother i should be, and today, it feels like I just can’t be.

9 Responses to ““Promise is the capacity for letting people down.””

  1. LGirl November 4, 2007 at 4:15 pm #

    Don’t feel like you are the only one who feels this way. Children can suck your soul from your body and spit it back all shriveled. At least that’s how it feels to me sometimes.

    Whoops sorry I mean children are wonderful Magical creatures that we must devote every moment possible to and enjoy it to boot.. LOL At least that’s what the media would have you believe.

  2. CharmingDriver November 4, 2007 at 4:29 pm #

    Oh T. It’s not just you and you’re not letting anyone down. You’re just saying aloud what many, many parents never admit.

  3. bine November 4, 2007 at 4:52 pm #

    don’t expect so much of yourself. do you know a mother out there who doesn’t feel like you about this now and then?
    you are there for them. they can’t expect you to love it all of the time.

  4. Marcy November 4, 2007 at 5:20 pm #

    I think you need to carve out that space and silence somewhere, somewhere predictable and consistent if possible. If you have a refuge for yourself, how much more can you be there for your kids the rest of the time. This isn’t weakness, it’s just the way it is. And you’ll be modeling for them, too, that life isn’t about doormatness, and that it’s important to take care of oneself as well as looking out for others.

  5. Nat November 4, 2007 at 5:26 pm #

    I feel you. I really do. I’ve blogged on this same issue SO many times…. Space and silence are SO precious to us. Yet SO rare. 😉 It keeps me sane to think that things will be different when she’s in school and what not. lol

  6. radical mama November 4, 2007 at 5:31 pm #

    Of course you are going to let your daughters down once in a while. All parents do. We’re just human. Get that space and silence you need somehow. It may not be often, or for very long, but it is important. *Hugs.*

  7. cerebralmum November 4, 2007 at 6:34 pm #

    I think we all have days where our children are just too much, when we don’t have the energy to respond to them, when we just want a moment to be in our own heads that isn’t dependent on them being in bed and us being exhausted.

    It makes me feel awful, really awful, but in the end I just think – tomorrow is another day. Contrary to what every man and his dog seems to tell us about childhood – that anything short of perfection will scar our children for life – our imperfection or, rather, our own needs sometimes breaking us down, can be a positive thing too. If we “fake” perfection for our children, we teach them an awful lesson in dishonesty and they will not know how to handle their feelings, or the feelings of other people.

    Or maybe I’m just rationalising those days which make me feel like such a crappy Mum?

  8. Bon November 4, 2007 at 8:05 pm #

    one of my all-time favourite songs, from long before i had kids, is “the Ballad of Lucy Jordan”…written by Shel Silverstein, recorded by Marianne Faithfull.

    i think the mother driven to “run naked through the shady streets, screaming all the way” is one of the most sympathetic characters in song. i play it when i need that sympathy for myself. i play it often enough that Oscar gets quite excited at the familiar opening riff.

  9. thordora November 5, 2007 at 10:24 am #

    I think a lot of this goes back to not knowing my own mother-I have no reasonable expectations for mothering, and I end up relying on the worst of influences.

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