It was Mother’s Day yesterday. And for all intense and purposes I had a nice day. The Geek is great, he took the kids shopping last week and they all got me small gifts. They made me cards, wrote their messages inside. I even got breakfast in bed.
Yet I still dreaded Monday with a sinking sick feeling in my stomach. A weight that descended on my body making it hard to breathe.
The thing is that being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I used to look after dying people! Now that is an emotionally stressful job, but it has nothing on being a mom.
When people hear I home school they think I am brave, mad and that I must have a lot of patience. While I agree that I am mad, I am neither brave not patient. In fact if you asked my mom I think she would tell you I was the least patient of her kids. I just believe in the love of learning enough to have my kids around 24 hours a day. And I agree with Sugata Mitra – schools are obsolete, but that is for another blog post.
I think our society has done many great things in the name of civilization, and many awful things too, but the greatest disservice we might have done is to mothers.
I don’t think anyone who had not looked after a brand new baby on their own day after day, can ever understand the loneliness. The more kids the more you stretch yourself between them loosing more and more of who you are.
Many moms juggle the guilt of returning to work but I think for most there is a small part of them glad to escape for a while.
It did not used to be like this. No new mother in a tribe ever looked after a baby all alone. And while there are many good things that have happened for the equality of women and women’s rights since those times, the way we mother alone is not one of them.
But we don’t get to talk about not enjoying this. Somehow it feels like we are saying we don’t love our kids. The 2 are separate issues. I love my kids, I am struggling with being a mom. Or we feel guilty for those who can’t have kids. I think I would have always wanted kids if I could not have them, it would probably have become a slight obsession ruling my life, I would have felt I missed out on something. Having had kids I wonder if in fact I would have been better not to, but you have to have them to know that! Otherwise you long for what you don’t have.
As a parent we are allowed to moan about a sleepless night or a difficult stage but we can’t say “I want out” “I just want to get in the car and drive far far away” so we pretend it is all okay and that we are all in control.
We all pretend, we smile and keep the mask up, so in the end if you are struggling it is hard to admit into the sea of perceived perfect parents out there.
I looked at the medicine box on Friday and contemplated if there was in fact enough in it to be a permanent solution. It was a scary place to be. When your stress hormones are in hyper drive, from trying to cope. After breaking up the 5 thousandth fight, and control hurricane Titus and pick up his destruction for the millionth time, the worry about not schooling enough. And the mess, I can not describe the overwhelming chaos if having 3 kids in the house all the time.
These things don’t sound bad but constantly they wear you down. The noise bombards your brain. The screaming they seem to do just for fun pierces your soul. Until you have nothing left, your nerves and ability to cope it totally eroded away.
I locked the door of the bedroom on Friday to protect them from me and me from them. I sobbed and looked at the pills. But I love them too much. I thought of them thinking it was their fault and how it would change their lives and that hurt more. This is not their fault as individuals. They are lovely normal children.
I whatsapp’ed with a friend also struggling and we decided to count down the hours together. I got the kids in the car and took Rachel to swimming. Anything not to be alone in the house with them and my fractured mask of coping.
We went to the beach after swimming and I made sure we were home after The Geek was back, then I knew we would be okay.
Yme was great over the weekend and despite studying he protected me a lot. So Mother’s Day was fine, but today is Monday…