When You Want To 'Quit' Motherhood
When I first became a mom, there were so many days where everything felt hard. It felt overwhelming, which isn’t something I was anticipating with such frequency. As time goes on, it’s gotten easier, but there are still days where I wish I could quit motherhood. Even if it was only for a few days, just to regain my sanity.
We all have times where motherhood is just too much. The days are too long, and our patience is too short. Where it seems like everything that can go wrong does. Like the kids getting sick, then a major appliance breaking down and topping it all off with having a major project at work. Somehow everyone wants us to keep going when all we want to do is get in bed and throw the covers over our heads. Put our phones on “do not disturb” and live in a blanket fort with a plate of tacos. If only that was an actual option, am I right?
Sometimes there are days I wish I could just put my shoes on and walk out. I most want to quit motherhood when my kid is being impossible, which is often. He’s almost always being stubborn and fighting me about every little thing. There are days when he will argue from the minute he wakes up until the minute he goes to bed. The child will stand there and argue with me about why he can’t have a cookie for breakfast. Or he’s fighting me about what shirt to wear. It feels like he will find a reason to test my patience. If I say, “the sky is blue,” he’ll say it’s green and make me want to rip all the hair out of my head. It takes everything for me not to just grab my purse and tell him, “Peace out, bruh.”
When I feel like I want to quit motherhood, the only escape I get is in my imagination. In my head I’m on a remote island all alone, with nothing but an endless stream of cocktails and books. No one is bothering me to open a packet of fruit snacks or cut an apple. Someone else is tackling the pile of laundry threatening to fall over. I can go to as many yoga classes as I want and meditate until I’m a fucking zen master.
Mothers never truly get a break. Even if we have the opportunity to take some time for ourselves, we’re usually not fully committing to that time. We’re always thinking a step ahead, so it’s so hard to fully check out. That’s why we want to quit motherhood. Because we almost never get the chance to just fucking exist. While I’m working, I’m also going through my calendar and checking my bank account for when bills are due. On the rare occasion I get to grocery shop alone, I’m preoccupied with the list of chores that need to be done at home. We feel we can’t relax because if we do, there are a million things not getting done.
When all the weight is always on your shoulders, of course you want to quit. All of your responsibility is overwhelming you and it’s tiring. Motherhood makes you feel like you’re at the end of your rope sometimes. Maybe more than just sometimes. But you push through because you know that if you don’t, everything will fall apart. And if you fall apart, there’s no one to put you back together.
As a single mom, I literally don’t have the option to quit motherhood. No, not for forever, just for 48 hours. But even when my son’s not around, he’s always on my mind. Usually it’s because I’ve stepped on another fucking Lego brick I’ve asked him to put away. Or because he’s left the toilet seat up in his hurry out of the bathroom.
But then I’ll feel little arms wrap around my waist and look down to see his smiling face. Or he remembers to put his cup in the sink unprompted. And there are the moments when he’ll climb up in my lap and just sit there, content with just being still. In those moments, I remember why it is that I deal with all the other shit. The shit that makes motherhood seem like it’s a terrible deal. Basically, all the things that make me want to quit motherhood in the first place. They simply melt away with an “I love you, Mommy.”
And right there are the days when everything feels almost effortless. Those moments where you wonder why you ever complain about wanting to quit motherhood. Because everything doesn’t totally suck for once. Everything is going the way you want it to. No one is taking more from you than you can give. In that time, you can remember that everything about motherhood is fleeting. Sure, the bad days can make it feel like you’re never going to get past it. But the good days more than make up for the bad ones.
If you quit motherhood on the bad days, then you don’t get to truly enjoy the good days. And the good days are the very best part.
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