Sometimes . . . I hate being a mother. And, I wonder if I am really cut out for it.
What you just read—that confession—has been sitting in my drafts folder since March 2014. And now that I’ve said it, the urge to backspace and instead tell a fluffy little story about how much I hate laundry, (well, dirty laundry, not clean laundry) is so strong; Incredible Hulk-on-steroids strong. Because, I mean, who doesn’t like clean laundry, especially in the winter when it’s straight-out-of-the-dryer warm and it’s snowing outside and you are about to go build a snowman with sticks for arms and a carrot for the penis, I mean, nose.
To hell with laundry and to hell with all the sanctimommies waiting in the wings with their pitchforks and caps locks who will read my confession and think the reason I hate being a mother sometimes is because I’m (clearly) doing something wrong. Like maybe I’ve miscounted my blessings or I don’t meditate enough or have the right balance of cardio-to-weight training or eat the right amount of kale. Maybe I’m off my meds or I go out too much or not enough. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough to stay positive and I should smile more or choose a better mantra or get more rest, work less, find a purpose, use Turmeric, put yogurt in my vagina, or buy a better vibrator.
Whatever it is, whatever they’ll say, I’m tired of leaving my feelings in the drafts folder just because it feels dangerous to say them out loud.
The truth is, being a mother is fucking hard. Hard, because of the infinite amount of demands that are put on us. Hard, because of the relentless responsibilities. Hard, because of the filth. OH GOD, THE FILTH. It’s exhausting and somedays… somedays, I just want to set it all on fire while I watch from across the street laughing like a supervillain. Burn, dirty dishes! Burn, shit-stained underwear! Burn, bathtub ring that won’t come off no matter how. hard. I. scrub!
Don’t get me wrong, I love my son. Of course I do, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t also have this person, this woman, inside me who wants carve “fuck this shit” into the side of the minivan with an ice pick, take an Über to the airport, and fly off someplace where there are no rotting vegetables in the crisper, no “but all the other kids have new bikes, why don’t I?,” and no more birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s where the play area always smells like old vomit and toe jam.
I want to wear the red lipstick that has been rotting at the bottom of my purse. NO! I want to buy NEW lipstick, the kind that costs $36 bucks a tube, and a wardrobe full of miniskirts and sleeveless shirts to wear dancing WITHOUT SPANX and I want to relish the feeling of the breeze against my unadulterated body as it writhes to the bass-heavy rhythm under the hot lights.
I want to stop thinking of myself as a “before” picture and treat myself like an “after.” I want to sew all my “flattering” tunics into a giant flag and write “FUCK SHAME” in black sharpie, put it on the back of my bike, and ride through town naked.
No, I do not know where your swim shirt is. No, you may not have another piece of candy. Yes, I did get your voicemail; I’m ignoring you. TAKE THE HINT.
I want to join a drum circle in the park and bang triplets against eighth notes in a broom skirt braless, while smoking weed and eating Cheetos.
I want to let my laugh, my real laugh, off its leash to run kangaroo-on-crack wild until it kicks the polite mommy-chuckle lodged in my throat to the curb. For good.
I want to trade “yes,” for “NO.” “Sure,” for silence. And, “sorry” for “actually? I’m NOT.”
I’m tired of using my time wisely, tired of keeping up appearances, of reading labels, counting carbs, googling symptoms, exfoliating, deescalating, hand sanitizing, reorganizing, smart shopping, and “not to bragging.” Tired of the waxing and plucking and scrimping and scrolling. Of meet-ups and time outs and Jones keeping upping. Of holding my tongue while letting it go in an age-appropriate way.
I’m tired of being tired and even though I want to walk, no, run, no, sprint, away from all the crumbs, the pet hair, the moldy grout, the overdue bills, and the underspent years, I won’t.
Instead, I’ll finally hit publish just to feel alive for one more gaht dam minute before I run downstairs to the dryer, because the timer went off and you know how wrinkly the laundry gets when you don’t take it out right away.