I have a case of the grogs every morning because I need some sort of sleep aid to get the amount of sleep I need. If I don’t take anything, and I am able to fall asleep, I wake up around 2am and the mind starts churning, begging me to stay up and have a stress party.
So, it’s either sleep or feel heavy and slightly hungover each morning until the grogginess wears off.
Going anywhere these days feels like the ultimate chore at times, but I need to get out of the damn house. When we do venture out and go grab takeout or something I have to remember to grab masks for everyone and check the level of hand sanitizer in my purse first. Another chore that has been handed over to the moms across the land.
The daily grind hits me hard every day, and every time I’m trying to work and one of my kids asks me an innocent question, I feel like it hits my nerves in a way that’s too extra for what’s going on.
In my mind I’m thinking, Please don’t. Please don’t give me another thing I have to think about or add to my to-do list. Just wait until my mind is free and clear.
But, mother to mother, we all know there is no time when our mind is free and clear.
When I’m standing in line at the grocery store or rushing into Target to get a new vacuum cleaner because my old one is broken and I really can’t wait for someone to come fix it, I’m thinking about the next thing. And the next.
I’m in a rush to check it off my list and tend to all the other things I need to do.
Some might call it bitch mode, but I call it survival mode. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not afraid to say “no” to anyone and I have no problem not responding to a text until I can get to it.
If don’t want to smile at you or I don’t see you wave it me it’s not because I’ve got a case of the cunts, it’s because I’m thinking about my son’s algebra homework and the fact he’s stuck and I can’t help him, but I also need to get dog food because we are out, and don’t we all have dentist appointments next week?
I’m not ignoring your call, I just can’t get it to right now because all I want to do is lie in the fetal position and take a load off but that day will never come, so something has to go.
It seems as though women are put into categories: “nice” when they are doing what everyone else wants, or “bitchy” when they are doing what they need to do, whether it means speaking up for themselves or choosing a different option than what someone else suggests.
We are also hard-wired to make our kids’ days better — give everything we’ve got to our relationships and our careers. Then, we need to make sure everything is in working order in our homes. The daily tasks don’t get up and walk away.
If there is ever a sliver of time left, the moms of the world think, What am I missing? What did I forget? Why do I feel so uneasy right now? There must be something.
We are running on fumes. We have to keep the wheels turning because if we don’t, then who the hell will?
It’s on us: the thinking, the planning, the doing, the delegating, the noticing.
After I became a mother, my best friend (who didn’t have kids at the time) said to me, “I don’t know, Katie. Lately when I see you, you just seem different. Like really stressed out or something.”
Now she has kids of her own and I think she’s beaten herself up about saying that to me for the both of us.
I wasn’t being a bitch, but then again, so what if I was? I was, and have been ever since, just trying to keep it all together. Trying to keep it all straight. I’ve been wondering when this tattered, weighted blanket that feels like it’s covering my whole body is going to lift.
But I know now, seventeen years into being a parent, that blanket isn’t going anywhere.
So, yeah, the load I carry makes me forget to do things like smile to everyone that walks by.
It’s forced me to stop saying yes and acting like things don’t inconvenience me in the least.
I no longer feel like I have to be fake and cheery, because let’s face it, that display would take a special kind of acting, and I’m in no shape to put on a performance.
I simply cannot keep up with it all, and there are times when I’m going to look like a bitch because I’m literally running into the ground and there isn’t a soul around trying to lighten my load.
If that makes me look like a grouch, so be it — because “don’t be a bitch” isn’t going to be added to my never-ending to-do list any time soon.