Selfishness just eases right in, doesn’t it?
So I’ve been obsessed with getting to work early, working extra hard at my job, and coming home to relax–NOT playing with my kids. Yes there are many legitimate reasons for this shift, and I will not disclose them here, but an adult confronts these issues rather than avoids them.
Sometimes I really hate being an adult.
Yesterday, after an especially hard weekend, I had a long cry fest on my husband’s shoulders explaining to him that I am a failure as a mom. He reassured me that I wasn’t; he also explained that maybe the failure is in thought and inaction.
I hate it when he’s right.
During the kids’ naps, I did some serious soul-searching. Yesterday I mentioned reading Brooke Shield’s book, Down Came the Rain. My feelings toward this book are hard to explain. There are moments when I really hated it and moments when I really loved it. However, those moments of hatred didn’t have to do with the words on the page, it had to do with seeing myself in those words and hating myself after reading them.
Something Brooke relates is how after she went on medication and started intense therapy, she was able to reign in her Postpartum depression. When she had her first taste of what a working mom would be like–a 4 week shoot of a show with her daughter on-set with her–she finally appreciated just how well her medication was working. Rather than feeling happy she was working, she felt sad that she wasn’t with her daughter and resentful toward her job for taking her away from their special time together.
Cue the [self] hatred.
I haven’t felt this. I miss my kids while at work, but not in this manner. In many ways, I feel happy they are in preschool/daycare because I know they are having more fun than they would if they were just with me. I could not offer them what their current situation can. At the same time, I haven’t felt this deep sadness when I’m not with them. I feel relieved when I say good-bye and head off to work.
What is wrong with me?
This weekend, as I mentioned, I had a Come to Jesus (Hallelujah!) moment. With all the pressures mounting up over the last two weeks, augmenting my anxiety and depression levels, I felt the urge to run away and hide under a pillow. Those familiar feelings of fear in the morning, evenings, and, particularly, the weekends added to my despair which led to more self-doubt and self-loathing; after a while, I didn’t recognize the person in the mirror.
What can I do?
I believe in change. I also believe that if sh*t happens in life, it is my responsibility to roll with the punches rather than succumbing to the inevitable pain, resulting in a TKO. When I found exercise hard, I woke up early. When I wanted to write without interruptions from kids, I woke up earlier. So with all this self-doubt and self-loathing (and, ultimately, selfishness), I just needed to think creatively.
It started with reading books to my little Andrew, then I moved to taking pictures of him and his sister; writing a post on my family blog about their silly antics; laughing with Ben over the phrases Emily uses (I can’t, I’m too little) and the serious looks on Andrew’s face; and finally, snuggling with my sweet, angels at the end of the night.
I can’t say I have eradicated all the gloom, but I can say I am trying. And that, for me, is the most important part of this crazy, self-obsessed, puzzle.
Also, before going to bed last night, I felt a twinge of sadness that I wouldn’t have all day to spend with my silly kids.