I spend a lot of time writing about how my kids are driving me to drink.
I have blogged for almost 5 years about all the ways motherhood stresses me out. I’ve talked about the things my children have broken, peed on, or otherwise damaged. I’ve lost kids, locked kids in vehicles and houses, and made a fool of myself at drive thru windows. What makes it all so comical is that I really do consider myself to be a relatively capable and intelligent human being. When I got married in 2005, I was a woman who was always put together, knew what day it was and how much money was in her bank account. That person read magazines and newspapers and knew what was happening in the world. I was going to be somebody. I had plans.
I am now none of those things and I know none of those things. With age, I have realized I AM someone right in this moment. There is no more aspiring to become someone. I made three someones, and my plans now consist of getting those people to adulthood in one piece.
I don’t know the date. I don’t know which bills are due when. I don’t know when I last mopped. I don’t know where several important documents are located, or where the slips are that I signed for Maverick’s school. We do not have a family dentist and that FALLS ON ME. The burden of our oral health is resting on my shoulders. It feels heavy.
Women carry an unbelievable load that often is not recognized or applauded, because no one can see it. We carry emotions and feelings and worries and love. We carry plans, aspirations and schedules and love. We carry lists that are written on a million scraps of paper and love. We carry every sad look from our children, every wrong word spoken in haste, every runny nose and strange-looking dirty diaper and nuance that tells us something might be wrong, and love. We notice smells and changes in behavior before anyone else. We see when things are wrong and when things are right, and we know when the toilet is really, truly, absolutely clean … because we love.
Sometimes that invisible load is just so. damn. heavy. I get bitter and resentful and I take it out on my husband and my children, just because they’re there AND THEY WANT SOMETHING. I feel unhappy and alone and certain I’m the only person ever who has to cart around this kind of load. Does any of this sound familiar?
Today I remembered that as much as my children, with their chaos and incessant demands, add to my load … they can also lessen it if I let them. Because children — messy, sticky, loud children — emote joy over things like tall bar stools with seats that spin. They press their faces to glass cases and peer inside at all the different kinds of cake balls like it is the MOST AMAZING THING EVER.
They touch everything. Because they must.
They wake up excited to see what they new day has in store for them, and at night after they have run us ragged, they snuggle down deep in their beds and whisper “I love you, Mommy.” Children love life, and they breathed life into what would have been my very boring existence of knowing the exact date and time.
If you’ve ever wondered why people have children, this is why. If you’ve ever wondered why Robbie and I have three of them … well, there you go. They give us as much as they take and more, in their weird, loud way, and I love them more than biscuits and gravy.