Today it’s finally clicked for me, why there’s so many memes and posts dedicated to Moms and their love of wine, or alcohol in general.
I am tired. I am chronically bitchy and irritable and stuck within 4 walls with 5 kids. Their personalities are as wildly varied as their ages; from newborn to teenager and I don’t know how to parent each of them individually. You’d think, after being a mother for nearly 14 years, I’d be a veteran, I’d have this shit pat down.
Sure, being a SAHM is one of the toughest jobs a parent can have, and true, it can be rewarding, but at the same time it can be psychologically damaging. The constant arguing, bribing, negotiating, demanding…and that’s all AFTER the civil conversations. My issues vary amongst the kiddos too; one refuses to do her chores correctly or just doesn’t do them, another half-asses them and I have to go ’round and clean up what they supposedly cleaned and the other 2 just refuse to do their ACTUAL chores in favor of doing the easy things that’ll earn them points on their chore chart. My oldest is lazy, which, I wish if I were as lazy as her, I wish I could be as thin as her. My son, though he is INCREDIBLY helpful and always asking me if I need anything; has a habit of forgetting to do things, things that are specifically spelled out in his chore folder. Then the little girls; they throw each other under the bus for playing rather than cleaning and they get distracted by EVERYTHING.
I didn’t grow up as spoiled as my kids are. I didn’t have Wifi and Social media. I didn’t have smartphones, tablets, a DS, a PS4/PS3/PS2/Wii and Rockband equipment. I didn’t have huge flatscreens with cartoons and DVR’ed episodes of the shows I loved. It took nearly a decade and a half before I had my own room; I almost always bunked with my little sister who’s about 7 years my junior and we clashed all the time. I didn’t have a bike, or rollerblades, or all the fun outdoor toys. And I sure as hell didn’t have a huge 50×30 sized playroom FULL of hundreds of thousands of dollars of the coolest, most requested toys. I had books and paper to write on and had to ask permission to walk to the local library, where I’d spend hours of my free time.
And all I ask these kids to do is help out and keep their rooms clean. And even with their help; I STILL have a a lot to do daily myself. Laundry, especially the laundry, with 7 people, it’s never ending. The bulk of my days are spent loading laundry to wash, starting the dryer, nursing a baby, folding laundry, putting it away, starting another load, drying another and nursing a baby again. And sprinkled in between those hours are dusting, making beds, straightening up, fixing the couch, picking random shit up off the floor, going through the always-present mountain of mail and school paperwork and bills. I wash the dishes and then wash the baby’s accessories and by then someone needs to be nursed again. And I’m expected to not only find time to READ a book, but write 2 myself, as well as maintain a blog AND do my school studies? No wonder my blood is at least 50% caffeine.
Maybe having my mother move in would be a good idea, but after a long and thorough conversation with her and Derrick and the kids. Because sometimes her harping on my kids is far more of a hindrance to me than helpful. And I don’t want my kids resenting me the way I did my mom for the longest time. But maybe her being here would allow me to focus on school like I should, and she could help me with a few of my chores when I’m busy with the baby–but I wouldn’t blur the line between grandma and housekeeper. I hate being treated like a housekeeper, so I wouldn’t do that to my mom. And who knows, maybe it’ll be easier this time because my sister and her kids aren’t here. It was a bitch trying to maintain this house with the three of them here, because she was lazier than Evelyn, didn’t pay rent and ate up all my food and towards the end, I easily dropped a hundred or two on packs of cigarettes for her. WTF she was so stressed about beats me, if anything I could’ve used the $200 worth of cigarettes for my anxiety and stress, let alone poor Derrick who was keep all of us afloat.
But then another part of me worries about having my mom here. I become of two minds when she’s around. She’s the last parent I have left; after my dad choosing to not be a part of my life and Stephanie dying, so I try to maintain a relationship with my mom, because she’s technically all I have left. But when she’s here and she’s either yelling at my kids or berating them to me; she doesn’t recognize the repetitive exhaustion on my face from being tired of hearing the same “you’re not a good enough mother and if these were my kids…” speeches. And at the same time, I’m so used to her yelling and berating from my childhood that I either ignore it or I tend to harp along with her to my kids. And I’m both a stressed out 32 year old mother of 5 who can’t get her kids to listen, and she’s grateful for the help…and then I’m also that 11 year old again, who’s trying her hardest to be an Honor Roll student and keep a clean house just to “please” my mother.
Why the fuck do I do that?
And then she has the habit of making it worse by talking on and on about her workouts at Curves and how she’s using this new weightloss pill and that weightloss pill and how these WorkIt Wraps are a Godsend and blah, blah, blah. And I’m like TRYING to get my mental and emotional shit in order so I can work on my physical appearance, but to literally have EVERY conversation stream from my kids’ inabilities to clean properly to how I need to lose weight since she has, is really fucking damaging to my psyche.
And after I’m stressed out from trying to man my house, do chores, be a dairy-cow for a baby on demand, and try to parent my other 4 kids whom are capable of cleaning and following directions, to being a cook who’s responsible for at least 2 meals a day, to dealing with guilt trips from my mom and her not respecting my mental boundaries with my grandfather and her constant pressuring to FORGIVE him so he can see my kids, to her bitching about my kids to me making me feel like a shit mother, to her going on and on about diets and pills and wraps and Curves and then her transition to shit about Keyre and then somehow she’s bitching about Robert and the shit he took from her, to me needing to nurse again and swap the laundry again, then arguing with the kids about why their rooms aren’t clean and it’s 20 minutes till bedtime and showers need to be taken and there’s more laundry and I’m counting down the minutes until Derrick gets home, so I can clock out…but then guilt hits and rather than “clock out” I make a drink and I UNLOAD all my stress of the day onto him.
I don’t expect him to fix everything; but I married a smart man and damn; all this shit every day makes me hella indecisive and I’m left between a rock and a hard place.
I am struggling at this parenting thing.
I am struggling at this being an adult woman thing.
I am struggling at this being a wife thing.
Now that it’s summer, I’m hoping like hell it’ll get a bit easier. Done, for now, are the 5am alarms. So no morning madness rushing while sleep-deprived. I can nurse at 4am and go back to bed if Ivy allows me to. Hopefully I can finally tend to the personal goal list I made myself. I want to go to the gym and at least run on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day; listening to music, not newborn screams or little girls fighting over their Troll hairbrush. I’d like some help with the laundry; I don’t mind washing and drying, but can someone else at least fold? And I don’t mind doing the dishes; if someone else puts them away.
These kids have so many expectations this summer; from trips to the Great Wolf Lodge, Seaworld, the beach and hella activities…and my expectations? A clean house in case company comes over, where I’m not rushing to clean an hour before their expected to arrive and I’m a fucking bloody sweaty mess when they get here and I can’t relax. I want time to READ an actual book. And yes, I expect a fucking getaway with my husband this summer, without the kids, because I am with them ALL THE TIME and he works so fucking hard to provide for us that he deserves to PLAY with some of his money, not just WORK all the damn time. 6 to sometimes 7 days a week, sometimes pulling 36 hour shifts, as a driver is fucking deadly for him. I am truly paranoid about it–but he does it to pay for the internet, the food, the electronics, a fresh supply of art and craft shit and so many other things the kids don’t fathom.
Today is one of those days; where as soon as Derrick left for work, the baby became inconsolable and nothing I did calmed her down, until 3 hours later, I think she passed out due to exhaustion and screaming. The AC is still broke and it’s over a 100 degrees here. I am pouring buckets while sitting here typing this AND I’m sippin’ on an icy drink. The girls (ALL of them) haven’t cleaned their rooms and I made the mistake of gifting Evelyn back her iPhone yesterday, in agreement that she’d keep her room clean–that worked out gleefully (sarcasm). Maverick is the only one who did his chores without asking AND he asked me if I needed anything else. There’s still laundry, even though I’ve already done 6 loads today. But the garage is like a sauna and I’m trying to avoid it at all costs; but I tore our bed apart, to wash the sheets and blankets in Dreft…so I have to tend to the laundry whether or not I actually want to.
So I get it, moms who enjoy their wine. Except I need something with a higher proof.
But I can’t get drunk or even buzzed, because I REFUSE to dip into my freezer stash of breast milk. That is SOLELY for when Derrick and I go away to Costa Rica later this summer and I am NOT fucking up my supply!
So I’m sippin’ on my weak ass Mai Tai that’s far more juice than rums and I say CHEERS to all the SAHP that are dealing with similar shit, just a different day. We’ll figure this out eventually. And hopefully they’ll clean up their fire hazard of a bedroom before they actually become fire hazards. Cheers!