Do you ever plead insanity as a mother? I do, all the time. I truly believe that motherhood can actually make you temporarily insane. And I’m not just saying that because I use words like “surrender,” “give up,” or “white flag” more often than I’d like to admit.
We are dealing with irrational little humans on a minute-by-minute basis who want you to explain the meaning of every tiny detail of every single thing you are doing. And THEN they cut your hours of sleep needed to survive in half. We’re knocking on death’s door most days, and that’s why we look the way we do, but we truck on.
In all seriousness (and a splash of sarcasm), becoming insane during this phase of parenting is nothing short of a miracle. A miracle that is so beautiful it allows us to retreat into an altered state of reality in which we will forget it, and even miss it once we come out of it. Either that or the little varmints brainwash us, but at this point, I’m fine with that too, because I have no concept of what’s real or unreal anymore. I’m really just surprised I’ve survived this long.
Here are seven reasons I plead insanity …
1. It takes me 15 minutes to get my kids into the bath, and nearly an hour to get them out.
What gives? Is it because the water feels too good and the outside is now too cold? Is it because they know bedtime follows bath time? Or could it possibly be that they just want to do the opposite of what I tell them to do? See, I know you’re thinking it’s the first or second option, but my insanity tells me it’s the last one.
2. When it comes to toilet training, my children practice resistance, resistance, resistance.
They decide to begin potty training during outings at the grocery store and five minutes into road trips. I mean, I love their independence, but racing down aisle five while holding my son as he screams, “I CAN’T HOLD IT ANYMORE,” really just makes me want to hole up in the house for a few weeks until he’s got his urine and bowels under control. Is that so wrong?
3. The moment I sit down to do nothing, every child needs SOMETHING!
It’s like I have a sensor attached to my ass that alerts my kids every time it hits the couch. “Oh look, mom’s bored!” Um, no, mom is NOT bored! Mom is dying of exhaustion and sleep deprivation!
4. Any desire I ever had to be popular was thrown out the window once I had children.
At this moment, I am the most popular person in my house. Where I go, my posse follows. And “MMMMOOOMMM!!!!!” is their favorite word. I’m just too famous for my own good.
5. At the start of a good scolding, I, the parent, am asking for an apology from him, the child.
But by the end of the conversation, I’m apologizing to him for God knows what. I realistically should be apologizing to myself for ever attempting to reason with a manipulative 7-year-old and an irrational threenager, but by that time it’s too late, I’m in too deep. Really, who do I think I am, the pope?
6. It doesn’t matter if my toddler has the iPad, iPod, or iPhone sitting on his lap; if I’m sitting in a cardboard box, my child will want it.
Whatever he can’t have, he wants, desperately. I just want some peace and quiet. And if that means in a cardboard box, I’ll take it!
7. I’ve figured out the reverse psychology tactic when dealing with a toddler in public places, and I use it often.
But the 20-something in the department store hasn’t quite figured that out yet. She just thinks I’m insane when I tell my child that I’m leaving him in the store and I’ll see him later. Translation: “Come on, we’re going home.” Everyone knows that! But instead I get the look of judgment as she calls her pharmacist to renew her birth control prescription and I scowl back with a look that says, “Lighten up! Your dreams will come true too and this will be you soon enough.”
I’ve got no shame when pleading insanity as a mom of small children, because it’s the damn truth! It means I’m overly exhausted, under-appreciated, missing a shower, and running thin on patience. But I hear it gets better. I hear the brain fog starts to lift after the toddler stage, so that’s somewhat encouraging …