I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?
I abandoned you when you were only 2 months old. I left you for a stay in the hospital. Mommy didn’t take her meds. Mommy didn’t visit her doctor. Mommy got sick.
I had to leave you at home, while I got better. I meant to be there for you. I meant to hug you and hold you and feed you and clean you and clothe you and comfort you and snuggle you. But I couldn’t. I wasn’t there.
I was stuck in a hospital bed. The night I was carried away, you were asleep. You didn’t hear Mommy’s screams. You didn’t see Mommy being put into the ambulance. You didn’t hear the ambulance pull out of the yard and take Mommy far from you.
You cried for Mommy’s milk. It was all you had known in your two little months of newborn-ness. Daddy warmed up bottles, carried you around, coaxed you to eat, comforted you to fall asleep. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help. I was in a psychiatric bed, pumping your milk with a manual pump, crying and sobbing because I couldn’t give it to you.
I am hurt by the time I have lost with you. Nothing will bring that time back to me, and now it is lost forever. Sometimes I fear that you have not forgiven me. Afraid you won’t ever forgive me for abandoning you at such a vulnerable time.
If I could go back and fix it, I would do it in a heartbeat. If I could rewind time, return to my pregnancy, fix my meds, visit my doctor, prevent everything that had happened that led me into a psychotic episode, I would. I would, but I can’t.
Ya Allah, please help me to accept it. Please help me to forgive.
As a mother, you do so much for your kids, but they won’t ever realize just how much. Yes, I received some acknowledgement on Mother’s Day (my son presented me with a poster he made at school – the teacher had written: “I love my mom because…” and he wrote: “she makes my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches”), and I am appreciative of all the hugs, kisses, and love I get from my boys, but at the same time, I just need a break.
I struggle daily with guilty thoughts – how I should be reading to them more, I should be taking them outside more, I should not yell so much, complain so much, argue. Even if I were the so-called “Perfect Mother,” there would still be something I’d feel bad about. I remember when my first son was born, I would visit my parents’ house and before I left after each trip there, my dad would follow me out to the care, hug me, and tell me that I’m doing a good job. I thrived on those moments through those first few years; it was all I had.
So today, I am going to make myself a list of the reasons I am proud of myself, in an effort to stop this cycle of guilt I twirl myself into so often.
1. If you fall asleep on the couch, I will carry you to bed so as not to wake you.
2. I will kiss every boo-boo and make the hurt go away.
3. I will stop doing dishes to get on my hands and knees and play monster with you.
4. I will remember that you will only be small for a short while and it will go by too fast so I better enjoy every minute of it.
5. I will make you brush your teeth every night. I will make you wash your hands before you eat. I will teach you how to pray before you put a bite of food into your mouth. I will tuck you in each and every night and make sure you feel safe.
6. I will take you to the store, to the park, to the gas station, to the library, to Grama’s house.
7. I will search the entire house up and down to find Leopard Kitty before you get in bed.
8. I will hug you tight no matter how old you are.
9. I will trust you.
10. I will listen to you.
11. I will thank God every day for bringing you to me.
12. I will let you go when it’s time.
I am proud of myself for committing myself to my children. It has not been easy, and I have struggled as every parent has. But all I hope for is that my sons turn out to be caring, helpful, positive young men, with the strength to stand up for others and to have confidence in themselves. That is what I pray for.
Reason #1. Sweating.
Reason #2. Bathing suits.
Reason #3. Shorts.
Reason #4. Pale, white skin that doesn’t tan. That only burns red and then doesn’t even turn into a tan, just goes right back to being white once it heals.
Reason #5 (and this is a big one). Hornets. I am deathly afraid of hornets. I don’t even really remember if I’ve ever been bitten by one in real life. I just remember from as far back as I can remember that I have been terrified of them. I used to have nightmares about gigantic human-sized hornets at the screen door, trying to get in at me.
These are other reasons why I hate summer.
Completely superficial desires.
But hey, I’m not a complete sourpuss. There are moments – like taking my boys to the beach and staying in a cabin nearby and playing in the sand and water.
But really, aside from that ONE experience, I’m not thrilled about the sun and the heat and the sweating. In fact, I hate it. And I think I’m the only one in the whole world who feels this way. Join me in my stinky, sweaty rage against hot weather.
“I’m trying to close on a house.”
“Ooooh! That sounds exciting!” says uninformed co-worker.
…Sure. I guess that’s one way to describe it.
If you’ve never had kids, you don’t know one damn thing about raising kids. That’s the truth, plain and simple. And if you’ve never bought a house before, then you really don’t know. I’m telling you, you don’t know.
Or maybe it’s just us. Reassure me that it is not, if it is not. Because I’m straight up losing my mind right now.
Last night, we were moments away from putting in the offer, and the realtor calls and says, “Highest and Best Offers” by 2 pm tomorrow. I call Dad up to tell him that news, and he gets mad and calls the realtor to yell at him (which he had promised me he would not do.)
So pretty much, everything is falling apart. After spending 4-5 hours per day working on this house deal for the past week, neglecting my kids the whole time while pacing the house with a cell phone stuck to my face, all of it is going to boil down to a fizzle. We’re not going to be able to draft a purchase agreement, we’re not going to be able to put in a bid, all of it will be for naught, and my husband and I will once again be back where we started. Yet again.
This happened once before already in mid-November of last year.
The positive take on this is that by the time we actually get a home, it will have been such a battle that we will appreciate it all that much more, having struggled so hard to get there.
The negative take on this is I-can’t-do-this-again-get-the-heck-away-from-me-nobody-even-look-at-me-HEY-are-you-looking-at-me-it-looks-like-you’re-looking-at-me-leave-me-ALONE.
Maybe it’s just because it’s Monday.
I’m fuming. I shouldn’t release all this on a WordPress blog. This isn’t the place for it. I should call my favorite girl and vent like there’s no tomorrow. But instead, I’m going to write all of this:
Me: Come downstairs, it’s time to eat.
Baby comes downstairs obediently. Husband follows.Husband: What? You didn’t make me anything?!
Me (Incredulous): I didn’t know you wanted anything!
Husband: You never make me anything to -
Me: Are you serious?! I didn’t know you wanted anything! Every time I do make something for you, you say you’re not hungry or you don’t feel like eating or you’ll eat later. How am I supposed to know you are hungry?! I thought you were sleeping!
Me: I swear, honey! I don’t believe this.
Me: Are you serious right now? Are you just messing with me?
Husband: No, I’m not messing with you, I’m serious. Every time – just forget it.
Me: Oh my God.
Sit back down at table. Stare at unappetizing food on plate. Put fork back down and leave the table, leave the kitchen, leave the house. Puff on cigarette in anger.
I don’t believe it. That was ridiculous. How many times have I made food just to have him say thanks, but no thanks to it? How many times have I prepared him food when he came home from work after fighting the kids off all night? I even asked him today to go get us meat so we could eat dinner together tonight, and he didn’t buy anything.
Besides, he was upstairs watching The Walking Dead with the door locked. Then he comes down after an hour and a half and expects there to be food on the table for him, hot and ready?! I don’t get this man. I seriously don’t.
Okay, so that was a 2 cigarettes ago – now what? What do I do now? Go back in with my tail between my legs, suck it up because marriage is all about compromise and forgiveness? Where do all these ridiculous expectations come from? I can’t read your mind. You never commit to meals with us, so how am I supposed to know you cared so much to join us?
I feel hurt, all over a stupid meal…and it’s only Monday.
I did it!
Let me take you on a little journey:
October 2011 – Baby born.
January 2012 – Mumma suffers terrible postpartum depression/bipolar disorder breakdown. Winds up in psych ward for 3 weeks.
February 2012 – Loses job. Starts smoking.
March – April – May – June – July – August – September – October – November – December – January – February – March – April – May – June – July – August – September – October – November – December – January – February – Recovers.
March 29, 2014 – Takes a walk.
I have done no physical activity for 2 full years. I have gained more than 40 pounds. 44.8 to be exact. I hate the weight. I have tried to love it. I have tried to accept it. I have tried to see beyond it.
Scene 1: Wakes up. Another morning of determination. This time is different. She puts it in her head that no matter what the circumstances, she has to exit the front door ASAP. Scrambles to find a sweater, long johns , pants. Grabs clothes and socks and tip-toes down the stairs to avoid waking up The Ultimate Distractions. Sorts through shoes and digs out squashed tennis shoes from bottom of pile. Dresses in kitchen near exit door. Creeps out of house. Breathes deeply. Starts walking..
Scene 2: Walking. Feels warm and good and happy and proud and oh-so-thankful to be out there. Finally made it happen, after two long years.
Yes, I ran out of breath.
Yes, I had to stop repeatedly.
Yes, I lit a smoke half-way through.
Yes, it was just one measly, short little walk.
But I did it. And I’m proud.
Knock, knock, knock.
Son: “Mommy, come see.”
I know what this means. It means there is a mess somewhere in the house. I know it was the baby’s fault (it’s always the baby’s fault). I know it means someone left the fridge unlocked. I know it means someone left the bathroom unlocked. I know it means someone left the door to the upstairs open.
It means there are a dozen eggs smashed into my carpet.
It means there is an entire jar of Parmesan cheese sprinkled throughout the kitchen.
It means my bathroom cabinet has been ransacked, and there are several layers of shaving cream and body lotion covering each square inch of floor and counter and rugs and shower curtain.
It means I will approach the disaster and feel deflated when it is discovered. It means as much as I’d like to not be shocked, I am still shocked. It means it will take me several seconds before I can come up with something to say. It means the silence in between the initial shock and the subsequent yelling will be filled with smiling eyes and a look-at-this-face grin.
It means I will yell and enforce a time-out and get on my hands and knees with a towel or sponge or washcloth depending on the size of the disaster, and I will scrub and curse and scrub and curse. And then I will stand up and be exasperated and wonder how long the stain will remain.
And now it is bedtime and the lights are finally out and the noise has stopped and I look again at the stain but I cannot find it because it doesn’t really matter when they are both in bed and I have the house to myself and I am already forgetting about the struggles of the day and feeling excited for the moment when I open my eyes to either the morning sun or my very own sons, their bright eyes shining, ready for a new day of messes.