My 7-year-old informed me the other night at dinner that I’m “kind of a negative person.” I think Robbie saw the crazy flash in my eyes, so he immediately said “YOUR MOTHER IS SUPER FUN.” (No one believed him.)
I want my kids to see my fun side, but it’s hard to show it — especially for people like me who are very goal-oriented and focused on results.
Okay, FINE. I’m uptight.
In my defense, someone has to be. I mean, if I were as laid-back as my husband … I really don’t know what would happen. Probably nothing. But also, maybe something terrible. Like pin worms.
Every day in parenthood, there are approximately 67 tiny goals to accomplish between the time I get up and the time I go to bed. Put on clothes that make me look like a mother and not a hooker. Ingest coffee while it’s still hot. Pack three semi-nutritious lunches.
School drop-off presents its own unique set of goals: Keep my composure in the face of tantrums. Refrain from screaming at the woman who damn near ran over my child. Try not to look too excited as I hurry back home.
Back at home, I begin my next set: Write. Laundry. Call my mother.
You get the picture.
I am regimented and focused and uptight, but it’s not because I’m unhappy. It’s because I have a lot of worries. I worry about my children. I worry about my parents. I try not to talk about it too much, but my mother has cancer. That’s concerning. Maybe men do a better job of compartmentalizing everything, but my entire life is a jumbled up heap that tumbles around in my brain like shoes in a dryer.
I have a lot of joy in my life, but I have lot of stress as well.
Until I figure out how to keep my worries from manifesting in negativity towards my immediate family, I will be referring to myself in the third person. Hi, I’m Negative Mommy. For example, “You don’t want to miss the bus today, Maverick, and end up stuck with NEGATIVE MOMMY all day.”
I tested this out a few mornings ago when he was dragging his feet.
He got on the bus.
Maybe I can make this work out in my favor after all.