Some days I wish motherhood came equipped with a big red EJECT button. Like when things get hairy, I could just mash that sucker and watch the flaming wreckage of my crappy day plummet back to Earth while I drift ever so gently down to—well, probably down to the general vicinity of the crash site, to fix everyone snacks and collect their charred laundry. Because I’m a mom.
It goes without saying that I love my family more than anything, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t days where I’m not frantically searching for that big red button, a parachute, or one of those bus-pull-cord-thingies—something to get me off this crazy ride.
Motherhood and I don’t always get along, and here are 5 reasons why:
- It’s a thankless job. Don’t get me wrong; my husband pulls his weight, but I’m with these kids 24/7. I’m the meanie who shuts off the sprinkler and tells them to get inside. I’m the giver of baths and the enforcer of bedtimes. I’m the one who won’t let them eat candy for breakfast. Do they thank me for their lack of sunburns and cavities? Of course not. They do what kids do—complain. A lot. In another 10 years I’ll go from being the buzzkill who tells them to turn off the Xbox, to that crazy lady who spouts cautionary tales while trying to curb their teenage shenanigans. All out of love of course. Not that they’ll care.
- There’s no end in sight. I think the Dowager Countess in one of my favorite TV shows, Downton Abbey, said it best, “One forgets about parenthood. The on-and-on-ness of it.” Amen. I admit, I occasionally forget that motherhood is a rather permanent arrangement. When the thought occurs to me, I usually have a mini panic attack and wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. I’m stuck with these kids. I may not always be responsible for what they do, but I’ll forever be emotionally invested in them. And forever is a long stinking time.
- I’m bad at sharing. I’m working on it you guys, I am, but I really like my desserts and personal space. I suppose it’s a bit ironic that my first official act as a mother involved sharing my uterus with a tiny squatter for 9 months. My uterus was fine—I mean, no one else was using it I guess, but I’m not giving up my chocolate stash without a fight.
- It’s a huge responsibility. I don’t like responsibility. I like reading books, watching TV, and napping. Being responsible for 3 human beings is hard work. I still read, but instead of reading my books, I’m reading books to my kids about obnoxious little kittens and talking tractors. Instead of binge watching Netflix, I’m telling my kids it will rot their brains. Instead of napping, I’m. . .not napping. Nobody naps around here. Ever.
- I’m slowly being nudged out of the driver’s seat. If you liken their journey towards independence to learning to drive, right now my kids are at the stage where they sit on the front seat honking the horn and making car noises. I handle most of the driving. It’s the only way everyone stays alive and keeps all of their limbs attached. They’re getting more independent though, and I know the day is coming where, not only will I have to let them drive, I’ll have to hand over the keys for good. That scares me, because I’ll always be there no matter where life takes them—possibly stuffed in the trunk with an old sock in my mouth, because I wouldn’t shut up about their driving—but I’ll be there.
Motherhood, you are one strange lady—simultaneously the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. Sometimes I hate you, but I can’t stay mad at you. You bring me to tears and push the limits of my sanity, but I can’t quit you. You’ve given me so much.