Tell Me I'm Not The Only One

by Panda Elder
Originally Published: 

My children and I make the rounds. We regularly go to swim lessons, story time, and the playground. Naturally, I stumble into these places like a disheveled mess with my 7-month-old hanging off my hip, an overflowing bag or two up my forearm, and my 3-year-old clinging to a bit of my raggedy dress.

Despite all the shit I tote, I never have what I need. I look around in wonder at the other moms with their perfectly-packed diaper bags, their blow-dried hair, and their children dressed in presentable clothing. I watch these women hand their little ones sippy cups which are actually filled with fresh beverage, and I feel a mixture of admiration and hatred. Their ability to be so put together makes me question if I am the only one on Struggle Street.

Am I the only one who can’t keep my body hair away? I can’t manage to take long enough showers to thoroughly shave any part of my body. Hell, I can’t even keep the mole hair on my face under control.

Am I the only one who has spent years having quickies in the living room while our small child napped in our large bed? We just moved into a house with more than one bedroom, so hopefully this is a thing of the past.

Am I the only one who has uglier feet than a cavelady? Seriously, my heels are cracked and peeling. I’m afraid to wrap my legs around my husband during sexy time in case he gets sliced. I just started putting lotion on my body again, and that feels like a huge step in prioritizing self-care. My feet beasts are going to have to wait … or rot.

Am I the only one who apologizes to whoever enters my car? It is disgusting. It takes me three trips to load all the shit I need into the car, but I don’t make three trips when it’s time to get out. I grab just the kids and rush their tired asses off to bed. I leave the wrappers, the coffee mugs, the toys, the mail. Once I even left a dirty diaper. It cooked in the heat the following day and smelled like something special.

Am I the only one who is tempted to leave the toys scattered all over the floor? It’s going to look like that again as soon as the kids wake up anyway.

Am I the only one who has given up jewelry and nail polish? My jewelry gets pulled on, and I don’t want my earring tearing through my lobe, nor do I want my string of cheap beads to bust. As for nail polish, not only do I not have the time to apply it, but I also don’t have the time to remove it or redo it when it chips a half hour later.

Am I the only one who has left the house without the mom-essentials? If my baby poops, I am liable to ask you for an extra diaper or wipe. Or I’ll search my shit-car because there has to be one hiding under a seat somewhere. Don’t ask me what the hell is in my diaper bag. It is all useless. I usually can’t even remember my 3-year-old’s need for refreshment until we leave our neighborhood and he says from the backseat, “I’m thirsty.”

Am I the only one who panics about possibly leaving the oven or a burner on after leaving the house? I wonder if my husband would even be all that surprised if I burned the house down by accident. There have been a few times in the past month that I actually drove back home to check.

Am I the only one who feels like a hot mess all the time?

I’m trying to get my shit together. I really am. Maybe I need to find some sort of coach to help me. Or maybe I’ll just look for some ideas on Pinterest later.

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