I wrote the following on September 27, 2014. Fiona was 18 months and beginning her toddlerhood in earnest. I remember it seemed early for the horrible twos yet there she was acting horrible. And so I wrote out my frustration here. And soon forgot about it. Until I found this eloquent and desperate plea today. And want to offer up all of my compassion to anyone, mother or not, who finds themselves in a place that feels hopeless. That feeling overwhelmed is OK and writing or talking it is even better. And when you let go of your overwhelm and move towards hope again, you are noble and alive and will soon forget most of this moment. 

“So  I’m going under again. I am beginning to drown in all the obligations and the expectations. Seems, I have no time to have fun being me. Because I wouldn’t mind all of these must do’s if my fun do’s were satisfied. I’m irritated and impatient and I don’t like me so much these days.

Feels like I’m a better mother when I am alone. That I need a huge injection of soul satisfaction to then feel generous with my children, my husband, and anyone else related to me. I’m spreading the little time that I have alone too thin with all the other duties that are necessary but unsatisfying. And I am generally having no fun.

I’m out of touch with my writer self. It’s been so long since I have sat down and written something real and meaningful, I doubt I am in touch enough with how I feel. Or have that depth left. Because that depth requires space to sprawl into. And my brain is twitching inside the shallow space like an epileptic.

I’m angry and resentful. My inner child wants to go out and play but I have to balance the checkbook first. And vacuum the floor. Oh, what about the budget and the broken clothes washer?

Sad and angry and irritated. The next place all this goes is me feeling I’m a bad parent. Mostly, being a parent is knowing that you’ll fail the test, it’s just a matter of when. And this week I got an F for failure to keep my cool. Yelling and impatience. Projection and catharsis and guilt. All bad parents know this cycle. Yell and repeat.

Overwhelmed and thinking about what else I can do. About the set happiness point everyone supposedly has. That I have so been here with the first kid and now I’m falling down the same bad parent hole with my second. Feeling the martyr syndrome. And looking towards being trapped with a baby lunatic inside the house for the Fall and Winter.

It is getting better day by day. I expect to be here again. I expect you’ll pity me and want to give me advice. Know that by the time I publish this, I’ll have made a change. Because nothing stays up or down for too long before it swings the other way. And I had an appointment with my therapist yesterday. Yes, your happiness is really your responsibility. There will be fall out. And all you can do is apologize, take a walk, talk it through, and start again.”

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  1. I was just remembering these days yesterday, marveling at how much easier it all feels with an almost 10 year old instead of a toddler. And sometimes I wish I could bottle up this time right now and keep it forever. I know there will continue to be hills and valleys, but I hope I’ll manage it with more grace than the early years!

    1. You are so right Suzonne, you can’t stop it. The Winter is what you want in the Summer and the Summer in the Winter. The best plan is to be so here right now. Focus on freckles. Thank you for your thoughts soooo much.

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