I feel like all I write lately is “I’m so busy; I’m so sad; I’m so sorry.”
It’s just that I’m so busy and so sad. I managed to get two college degrees, but never learned to manage my time, workload, or money (that’s a whole other Oprah). The papers, dishes, and laundry are stacked high.
Today I read an article promoting a book about being a busy mom. The comments section was like a punch to the face. “Why did you have so many kids?” “If she’s so busy, where did she find time to write a book?” “Who would take a job with a two-hour commute?”
Although we are inundated with cliches daily, especially at the end of the day, I remember hearing that “It takes the village to raise the child.” Where is the fucking village?
The village is judging you. The village is calling you an asshole. The village is burning down your hut.
I’m not “hating on” internet critics. That doesn’t bother me much. I am an internet critic. The windows of my glass house are covered with grimy hand prints because I’m also a shit housekeeper. I’m still not going to throw stones; although, I have plenty I could throw. Pringles fills her pockets with rocks every day. She’s my budding geologist. And she steals things.
What I hate is how some woman somewhere once made a pretense of “having it together” and everyone believed that she was the person telling the truth, while the rest of us who said “I’m falling apart” were lying. Thus “falling apart,” while it is actually the norm, is thought to be the exception. And not like “You’re so exceptional! Good for you!”
Not like that at all.
I’m terrified to admit that I’m not handling my responsibilities well. What about the women who are doing everything I’m expected to do but don’t have husbands? Or don’t have health insurance? Or don’t have ____________?
Fill in the blank with everything I take for granted that invalidates my complaints. You’re writing another blog post about how hard you have it? Some people don’t even have computers! Or fingers!
Numbing out with ice cream while watching pay television? Must be nice, privileged bitch. Why don’t you CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE, and then tell me all about your problems?
I hate that admonishment. “Check your privilege.” I always think, “Glasses? Check. Seat belts buckled? Check. Privilege? Check. Okay, let’s go!” What? You said to check my privilege. Like most things English teachers complain about, it’s not the crux of your argument, it’s the wording.
I’m white, female, educated, and I’d be middle class if I hadn’t taken out loans to achieve that third thing. I’m grateful. I’m blessed. I know it. I remember it. But damnit, I’m also feeling like a big fucking failure. And I’m sad. I’m so sad. You know what the worst thing about clinical depression is? The sadness.
I’m sorry. I feel like such a dolt complaining. And I have to wrap this up because I’m super busy.
Hang in there! It gets better, and I know that sounds false advertising. But, it does. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Each day just choose something to be happy about-the sun, the clouds, the kids. Our society believes we can achieve it all. And that is FALSE advertising. We can only do what we can do. Love your children and keep writing-I love reading your blog……
I have been meaning to send a comment your way for a while now! I’m a recently retired teacher, and I can tell you that a lot of the feelings you’re having are due to being a teacher. Your job is NEVER really finished, there is always something you should be working on…..grading papers, planning lessons, calling parents, blah blah blah!!! I recently went to visit my son and daughter-in-law. She is educated, has two children (ages 2 and 4), and works full-time. Well I was there when she came home from work, and she changed clothes and completely FORGOT about work. My son, same thing! I remember coming home and having at least two hours of grading and planning and I almost never got out of school on time, so it was always very difficult to feel like a great teacher AND a great parent. And, you know, I think many people feel the way you do, but don’t admit it. So enjoy that ice cream, watch that movie, have that cocktail, and remember that you are NOT a failure!!!
clean houses and perfect lives are overrated. For every perfect life there is a skeleton rattling around waiting for a way out! live day by day, enjoy the kiddos when you can and let the rest go., Lots of us work at jobs we would enjoy if only _________. Sometimes life is just sucky and you have to get through the shitty part until a better part comes along. Many a night I told my boys “sorry I was a crabby mommy today” then I just moved on.
Sorry about the sadness, Depression is such a vicious cycle, you get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the time.
do the best you can and screw the They’s. They with the perfect children and neat houses. they who love and excel at their jobs, They who have money, happiness and no worries. News flash, they don’t exist!
(if it makes you feel better feel free to critique my grammar, punctuation and spelling. I won’t give a shit. 🙂 )
I’m a mom of 21-month-old twin boys who has worked full time as a lawyer since they were 10 weeks old. Although you and I work in different fields, I get it. Most days, I feel good if I can just get through the day still gainfully employed, with my sons safe and healthy and my sanity intact. I feel I should be able to do more, set the bar higher. But somehow I can’t.
I have help in the form of a husband who willingly takes on his share of the household tasks and parenting, a nanny, inlaws who live near-ish, and similarly situated friends. . . and it’s still damn hard.
You are definitely not alone in feeling like a failure.
So many warm Internet hugs to you, Mrs Odie. Depression is such a bugger and so are judgmental fools who are yet to walk a mile in anyone else’s moccasins, and probably would not survive if they had to.
I could have written almost every word of this a year ago. (Although I’m a shitty writer and you are excellent.) After I had my first and only baby I was shocked that my friends disappeared out of my life. I was depressed, overwhelmed and felt completely alone. Full disclosure, I still feel alone, but I’ve been able to kick the depression. If I could I would come give you some company and do some of those dishes.
Ha, ha, I read the same article.
I hate the “My hurt is bigger than yours.” bullshit. It isn’t the cause, but the effect life has on us that matters. I have seen parents with five kids parent better than parents with one. I have seen women who work three jobs balance life better than rich stay at home women.
You may have it “better” than others, but it does not negate your difficulties. It does not invalidate your sadness. Your emotions are valid.
There are no hurt Olympics, we are all entitled to our own piles of shit and how they make us feel.
THIS. There will ALWAYS be someone somewhere with loads more wrong in their lives that I have going.
This is SO my life. Thank you.
I’m the mommy of two (5 and 1) and work full time and i’m feeling like i’m loosing my shit on a daily basis. My stress and anxiety are off the charts. I’m down on my self these days. My house is a mess. I can never stay up on the laundry. etc. etc. I just feel like all the things I’m supposed to be doing. All the things i’m supposed to be and have…are just a dream/mirage. So…I too am adrift. I don’t know what the f is going to happen. But I’m here too. xxxooo
Yup, I can relate. I often feel like I’m running on one of those hampster wheels – running, running, running my ass off, and getting nowhere. I’m often frayed and overwhelmed, and sad and pissed off. I know how good I have it – mainly because I’ve had it much harder in the past. But, damn, it’s just hard, this juggling act. And all the judgment – do they think it helps? Do they think their “wisdom” will change lives? It just makes it all harder than it probably needs to be.
Woman!! You KNOW that I totally get it. We’re in the same trench…only my own children are older. I blogged about the “sad” just the other day and then cried while attempting to edit it. Work is stressful, the expectations are oozing over into my personal time and there is less time to work out, which I need to continue if I don’t want to wind up the size of a parade float by Christmas.
Who says college should teach us practical skills like time management? Ha! Hugs to you. I don’t mean that to sound trite. I’m a working mom, too, and even though I have only one child, I never feel like I have it together. Never ever. I blogged about it a few weeks ago myself.
Dear Mrs. Odie,
I do not know whether or not you are familiar with Alice Miller but I would highly recommend if you read at least her The Drama of The Gifted Child book.
Oh, this has nothing to do with this post. I think it would be enlightening for you. And I do not mean this in a bad way. I know you love books and you are an intelligent person.
Thanks for having balls. I like your style. I feel less alone in my cynical approach to parenting my first and possibly only since reading your blog.
I hope you decide to write more often.
When my oldest was born, my amazing mother took 3 weeks vacation from her job and just MOVED IN WITH ME. For three blissful, glorious weeks, I rested, was fed nice meals and got to hold my baby while she was coo-ing, sleeping or marathon nursing. The instant that wee girlie cried or was done milking me, my mother swopped in, grabbed her, soothed her and sent me to sleep. And I could sleep, because I knew my babe was in the hands of the only other person on the planet whom I could completely entrust her. My husband stayed home for two weeks after that, since my mom had taught me all about newborn care and I spent those weeks teaching him. I recovered beautifully from giving birth and once a week, my mom still came over and spent a full day AND overnight, keeping the baby so I just had to nurse and not rock her back to sleep after. That one night per week allowed me to recover and be a better parent the rest of the week. That was just what my mom knew – as an immigrant from Europe, that’s just what happens when a baby is born – the village steps in.
And you know what? I had several women call me out on my “laziness” and my “inability to care for my own child.” We live in a weird, strange competitive culture. (And for the record, my house is ALWAYS a hot mess unless company is coming over – and then the mess gets relocated the the basement).
*Swoop and *with whom – can’t type, exhausted.
I know you’re down and on a certain level I can relate. Just ask my wife. But let’s switch gears for a moment: Tell us your favorite: band, movie, actor, actress, book and/or author (you’ve probably mentioned that), TV show past or present color, food, drink, dream job, animal (dog and cat are off limits. So is armadillo) favorite planet (Mercury has a lot going for it) and I guess your favorite disease (I dig mumps) and whether you use an 8 inch or 10 inch pan for omelettes, and why. Just for the hell of it. And tell us whether you would’ve used semi colons instead of commas for this comment.
Checking in on you everyday. Just letting you know.
One time back in college, a friend was telling me her painful story of how her parents could not be bothered to come to her high school music recitals. She was terribly hurt about this. Suddenly she looked at me and apologized through her tears because she understood that her childhood was charmed compared to mine. But her hurt was equally as real and I did not discount it simply because my childhood was more brutal. My point is that most of us are both blessed and broken in some way, and yet we can always find someone with whom we can compare ourselves and come up privileged. Be sad if you are sad, a guilt-free sad because privileged or not, we are each entitled to feel our own pain.