Sometimes this mothering thing is just too damn much.
There is a lot of shame around saying that. So many women are unable to have biological children and some hoops to clear for fostering and adopting can be tough. Saying that mothering can involve misery feels rather taboo.
I’m actually not supposed to say that, right? Because I wanted to be a mother. I’m not supposed to not love every effing minute of it, right?
And yet, this week I’m pretty miserable.
As the holidays approach, expectations seem to rise. My dear Hope seems to struggle as we get further in the school year, but her pride prevents any kind of help from cracking her protective casing. Yappy has developed separation anxiety. Work is…well, busy is an understatement.
The mental energy and gymnastics to parent a traumatized kiddo while being on top of things in the other areas of my life has driven me back to white knuckling it and popping anxiety meds reserved for….
Well, this is that time.
I melted down this week. I hadn’t had one of my meltdowns in some time, and when I crumble it’s like…
The exhaustion and frustration and anger were and are just so real and too much. I hit my limit, my hard limit. And somewhere along the way I took all the things that Hope won’t/can’t do personally. No good can ever come from that, and yet it is a rabbit hole that I fall into ever so often. Hurts like hell to to fall into and climb to get out of.
I am struggling with parenting. It requires me to toss out 99% of everything I learned from my parents. If my parents gave me a list, I got that list done because they told me to do it and not doing the list would be considered disrespectful and disobedient.That combination didn’t go over well with them.
I give Hope a list and it will be balled up on the floor in minutes. And I can’t reconcile that with the narcissism that is simple teendom and the narcissism that is trauma teendom. My reserves are so low at the moment that it quite seriously causes me lots of anxiety as I attempt to keep my anger and frustration in check.
Last night I failed.
So, I lost my ish…royally.
I didn’t yell at her. I just yelled at the universe on the other side of the house. It was all just too much. The truth is that it’s always too much. Parenting my daughter is really is about how much I can I manage me; it’s clear I can only do so much in managing her. This control freak has nearly no control, and it’s driving me nuts.
After about 30 minutes, I went to talk to Hope, only to find her packing. The dresser drawers had been emptied, and she was working on the closet. She screamed at me that I could just put her back in the system so that I could get my life back and not be miserable anymore.
Oy, Great, now both of us feel like ish.
We talked after I quietly unpacked all her stuff. I reminded her that families fight, but no one is supposed to leave. I’m entitled to my feelings just like she is, and sometimes my feelings boil over and those feelingd aren’t fair to anyone around me either.
These last two years have been hard. Really hard. They’ve been traumatic in ways I never imagined. We’ve been through the ringer. But we’re still here, even when it feels like it’s all too much, and last night it really was too damn much.
I apologized for scaring her, but I didn’t apologize for my feelings. They are real. They are mine, and I’m entitled to feel some kind of way. I honor her feelings.
It’s hard have so few folks around for whom I can drop the veil, reveal my true feelings and have them honored as true and authentic.
So on top of everything else, I’m realizing that I’m lonely too.
Single parenting is both awesome and sucky at the same time.
This week, I’m just surfing until Friday because it really does feel like too much.