Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ready, Set, Go

Okay, I thought that the kids being home, having a very loose schedule to contend with, would give me oodles of time to think, write, post, draw, read and relax.  What a schmuck I am.  Of course that hasn't happened.  Instead I've been trying to invent ways of evading the kids, all of them, in order to put a few meaningless blurbs on the blog, or read a couple of paragraphs here and there.

Obviously I have not been at all successful, in fact, I feel like I've fallen further behind.  I've gotten less time to be selfish, if you call wanting to change your tampon in private, being selfish.  I don't even feel like I have the time or energy to bestow any kind of intimacy on my ever patient husband.  What is going on here?

Well I'll tell you my friends, I'm a mother, a parent, a spent, drained shell of a woman.  Sometimes it kind of hits me, that not only I, but millions, probably billions, of other parents out there, did not put in the kind of thought we should have, into becoming parents.  I adore my children, I even admit to loving being a mom now and then, but I don't know if I'd have chosen willingly to spend from mid-twenties onward, being a parent, had I the opportunity to really see my future.

It's bloody hard.  Harder yet, to admit that it's not all we thought it was cracked up to be.  From the moment of conception, in whatever form that takes.  Whether one has waited years to become a parent, or whether it was over a few bottles of wine, and a sudden, "let's just throw caution to the wind", sort of deal, it changes your life forever.  

This occurred to me again today, as I was changing what seemed like, the tenth shitty diaper of the day.  I am a mom, a real no-shit, mother.  My life has been irrevocably altered, who I am will never be who I once was, years ago.  I automatically think now about things, like, mealtimes, snack time, sunscreen, bedtime.  Those are the first thoughts in my head when the days starts, "what do the kids need?", then I can pee and have a cup of coffee.  The little sounds that are constantly in the background, you know the ten thousand chants of, "mommy?", we hear everyday, yet somehow still block out, become, for whatever reason a part of us.  

The constant thoughts that are present in our minds of our children; where are they, what are they doing, who are they with, have they eaten, what time will they be home, what time do I have to pick them up.  This is now ingrained in my person, who I am, who I have become.  I can't seem to shake it.  The sounds, the thoughts are always with me, even when I am so exhausted, drifting off into sleep.  Those thoughts are just between that moment I am conscious and dead-to-the-world asleep.

When you become a parent, your world changes, almost without you knowing it.  New parents ask themselves, "will this all come naturally to me one day?".  Oh it will become more than natural, it will become like blinking, so automatic you won't even notice.  You'll be wiping your child's snotty nose with the bottom of your shirt, or spitting on a tissue to wipe their face, in no time flat.  And the horror is you won't even notice when that change takes place.

Whether you like it or not, your life is no longer your own.  You honestly are unable or incapable of ever doing anything easily again.  Your days of getting only yourself organized are over.  Your mind has essentially been taken over, and all you can do now is run with it.

In the time it's taken me to write this, I have literally had to stop at least a dozen times, and, what is so ironic about this, is it's normal, I wouldn't expect anything less.  Somedays are easier at coping with these changes, interruptions, yet other days it's nearly impossible.  They make you want to run screaming, crying off into the sunset, never to look back.  

All of the little things about becoming a parent, makes one just that, a parent, that's all.  We're not super human, we're not able to leap over buildings in a single bound, we're just people.  Silly people, who've decided to extend our genetic pool by becoming parents.  We have our ups and downs, and at the end of the day we're just happy to have made it through another day, another year, another child without completely imploding.  

Being a parent is like running a marathon, a lifelong, achy, marathon.  You have those moments where you catch a second wind and you feel like you are invincible.  Then you have those other moments where you really hit the wall, and feel like you just can't go on.  Just take a big deep breath and carry on, we all make to the end someday, some way.


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