“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”

7 Sep

Somedays I look at my life and think back 10 or 15 years and think, how in the FUCK did I get here?

I stand outside my daughter’s room, fists clenched, anger holding tears hostage my voice raw and torn from the yelling, the yelling at a preschooler yelling

“Like this! I wanna hug like this!” (imagine if a hug is a kiss and the “this” is some obscure squeezing of the cheeks together)

While no matter how I do it, it’s not right, it’s not good enough and in my mind I see 4 years ago or so and a decision made not to drive to a certain clinic and I see a child born and a mother not caring rejecting that child and now that little girl, she does whatever she can to hold my attention, however bad and I can’t help but turn away in frustration and sometimes, like tonight, realize that I can fully grasp how some parents can seriously harm their children in anger, frustration and sheer agonizing tiredness, that mental weight that just never lets up.

Days like today I wonder how I let myself get here, how I deluded myself into being happy with motherhood, with being a parent. How anyone decided that I should be allowed to raise a child. Days like today I look around at everything, at the job that I seem to be letting through my fingers, at the life I seemed to have squandered and I discover that if I did indeed believe in a god, I’d be MIGHTY pissed off right now.

Days like today I’m ashamed to think of my daughters fearing my, of my oldest crying because I’ve said I wanted the other one dead, words flying from my mouth before I could reign them in, visions of 10 years from now, the guilt payments I’ll make, the quiet whisper of a thought that she’ll know I never really wanted her anyway.

I’ve said it, a few times, in writing. Never to her. Hopefully never to her. But it’s true, and maybe I’ll erase this post sometime later, but it’s true that she was not wanted and sometimes I wonder if we didn’t make a huge mistake, if I should have gotten on that bus anyway. Other days I love her and I’m fascinated by her, this girlchild with my legs and unruly hair, her Kathleen Turner voice and chocolate eyes she can draw me.

And perhaps there is some sick irony in my rejection of the child who is so very me.

So today I wonder how I got here, and why I got here. I am here, solidly here, but after having my nail job ruined for the umpteenth time by children, I wonder why I didn’t do more to slow down the getting here.


(and no, I am not actually going to sell or hurt my daughter…geez, give me SOME credit won’t ya?)

9 Responses to ““Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.””

  1. Shana September 7, 2008 at 10:11 pm #

    Thordora, you are not alone. Many parents of multiple kids – both fathers and mothers – feel this way about one of their children. I do, about one of my kids. I know my father did too (I was the favored one; he did not want my sister), and I’ve been told by friends that either they feel the same way about their kids or they were one of the kids who was either favored or disfavored.

    That’s human nature, you know. If you take any two people you know, you probably don’t care for them exactly the same; you feel more “yen” for one than the other. So why should you or anyone else expect to like your kids exactly the same? They have different personalities; it’s natural that you get along better with one than the other.

    I wonder if this is just one more thing that we parents guilt ourselves excessively over.

  2. sweetsalty kate September 7, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    Shana said it well. Go to bed, hope that tomorrow’s better… that’s all we can do. Be kind to yourself, too. Don’t condemn yourself for feeling every corner of the gamut of motherhood.

  3. Bon September 7, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    this is honest and beautiful and hard. i wonder if letting her history go – at some point – would lessen the weight of it….if you are kinda punishing yourself with it, reliving it, reliving the decision and the guilt and placing too much importance on those origin stories everytime she makes you crazy. i can tell you the most planned and wanted and hoped for child in the world still sometimes eats up my last nerve and makes me wonder what charade i’m in, pretending to be a mother…can i tell you too that it comforts me to come here and find out i’m not alone?

    hugs, Thor.

  4. bromac September 8, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    I agree with Bon. I think you need to forgive yourself for what you wanted so long ago. We all have those days, Thor. The difference is that we don’t beat ourselves up quite as harshly as you do. My daughter is in the whiny stage and whines so much that I find myself purposely finding housework to do in order to get away from her; have an excuse not to play with her. I hate myself for it. But I just promise to do better tomorrow.

  5. March September 8, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    I think we all have those nights, wondering how on earth anyone would allow us to have a child around, much less raise it… I know I do.

    even the most planned for child can and does drive you insane depending on the star alignment… just combine certain elements and you practically feel ready to throw out the window that child you planned for so much. so it’s not about having planned her or not. really.

    we can’t be perfect parents, simply because we’re not perfect people. so we should aim for 80% good times to balance out the 20% of the time when we’re ready to kill them and scratch the walls along the way. (I just picked the 80/20 based on engineering rules, but pick any number you feel comfortable with)… the point is you can’t get it right all the time.

    can you get anyone to babysit while you work on your nails? I do mine after they go to sleep so as to have peace and quiet…

  6. Hannah September 8, 2008 at 2:38 pm #

    As everyone else said, we ALL have those days. Those days when we look at our child (or children) and see a glimpse of that other us, the one who can finish a complete thought and is never put in the position of just wanting to leave the little vampires out in the driveway with a sign saying “free to good home”.

    A good parent acknowledges it, takes a deep breath, moves on, realizes that tomorrow is another day.

    I planned both of my kids, I love them dearly, but some days I don’t like them very much. Some days (like today) Isaac doesn’t like me very much either! – but we forgive in between. That’s the important thing.

  7. Shana November 29, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    Thordora, I already wrote to this post earlier. But today I had to dig out your post and read it again, because one of my daughters is driving me crazy. I am so very, very thankful you wrote this post.

    I adore one of my daughters, who is pleasant and cheerful and just generally not a pain in the neck. My other daughter, only 4 years old, can be such a bitch. At least twice every single day, she gives us grief through her unreasonable, downright nasty tantrums. My blood pressure rises and I can literally feel my hair turning white. She adds such stress and anger to my life.

    I almost wish I never had her. I don’t want to deal with the stress she causes me and my family every day of our lives. I would almost rather not have her in my life at all. And I feel like I’m putting in these “almost”s out of guilt, and that if I didn’t feel such guilt, I would say outright: I don’t want her. I DON’T WANT HER.

    I only want her sister. If I had only her sister, I’d say I love motherhood. But because I must have both girls, on balance I don’t enjoy motherhood. And I resent that deeply. I don’t know if you understand. Well, maybe you understand better than most others.

  8. thordora November 29, 2008 at 1:42 pm #

    Shana, considering my almost 4 year old is a PAIN IN MY ASS all day long, while my first born is, comparatively speaking, a joy, I TOTALLY understand.

    Many days I don’t want her. And others, my love for her threatens to burst my chest open.

    It’s a crapshoot.

  9. Shana November 30, 2008 at 6:13 pm #

    Thank you Thordora. You are so right: it is a crapshoot, one over which we mothers surprisingly little control.

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