I’m having an awful day, internet. The common pressures of motherhood are eating me alive.
There are a lot of mommybloggers who will tell you about the newest product you should try, or about the funny thing their children did today, or about how deeply they love their sons, or how potty training is oh so challenging. And while I love to tell you (some of) those things, that’s just not the kind of day I’m having. At all.
I haven’t found a mommyblogger yet that will tell you about the kind of day I’m having — an awful dark day when my four year old is so angry with me that he growls and shouts and leers at me, over and over again. Tidal waves of anger, with no discernible starting point. How he doesn’t treat other people that way, only me, and how that is a painful terrible knowledge -even if I know, intellectually, why that is.
I’ve never heard us confess to wondering if our child has started to hate us. Or talk about the terror of that irrational feeling.
We don’t talk about how it feels to have to deal with our own anger and frustrations, mostly all by ourselves, as we try to set a good example of how to be patient and kind, when what we really want to do is stomp our feet and shout “Stop treating me this way. Who in the hell do you think you are?”
We don’t talk about what it is like to stop trying — how it feels to act more childish than the child himself.
We don’t talk about that. We just don’t, and I wish we would. I know there are limits. Our children deserve our discretion. And they deserve room to go through undocumented phases. But I wish we could talk about it a little. Because if we could, I wouldn’t feel so lonely sometimes. And I deserve that. I think I do.
So for any mom who wants to feel a little less lonely today…
Today, my kid has spent more time angry at me than happy with me. The feeling has been mutual. Today, my son has flinched when I’ve tried to touch him. He has growled at me. He has thrown things at me. Today, I panicked and stupidly asked my son if he had stopped liking me and why. Today, my son sat on my bed in his red t-shirt and superhero underpants. He sat there with his fists clenched, gritting his teeth at me, with tears welled up in his eyes and he growled “Well you still have to snuggle me before bed, Mommy. DO IT!” I didn’t answer him, but just stood there staring at him, my fists clenched, gritting my teeth, fighting back my own tears, so confused and elated by this angry demand for snuggling. I laid down, but did not touch him or even look at him. After some time, he growled “Sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.“ And added, not sarcastically, “Please.” I contemplated refusing him, just to hurt him. But then I started to sing anyway. He moved closer and slung his arm around my neck. An apology of sorts. His touch did not soothe me. Too little too late. I cried as I sang the end of the song, aware that it was probably freaking him out. I gave him a perfunctory kiss, told him I loved him even when I was upset, and left quickly. And I sit here now, typing this out feeling helpless, exhausted and so confused, spending naptime already anticipating bedtime.
Some days are just like this.
And it’s a goddamn shame that more mothers won’t admit it.