Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I'm Awake, Because This Parenting Thing Is HARD

It's nearly one o'clock in the morning, and even though I am bone-tired and utterly exhausted, I'm awake.

Tonight I took some cold medicine, and curled up in my bed with a book.  I was feeling sleep curling around the edges of my body, seeping into my bones, and dragging me into that peaceful place you only know when your eyes are closed and your brain is resting.  Was.  Then there was a knock at my door.

Kid 1:
"I don't know what's wrong with me.  I feel so depressed."

We've been so sick the last week, the two of us.  She's been on a new medicine, and it's not quite ingrained in my head yet that it's a fixture, and I MUST REMEMBER.  I've been so focused on getting her well from this monster cold that I completely spaced out on giving her this medicine - for days.  The medicine for her anxiety.  Great job, Mom.

I go upstairs to try to help in any way I can, soothe her, give her the meds, get her into a warm bath, etc.

Kid 2:
(stops me)
"Hey, Mama.  :(  I'm so lonely."

The kids have been having trouble finding common ground/getting along these days, more than ever. Their interests have diverged widely, one of them is in the clutches of puberty while one is still clinging to dolls, they fight, they hurl insults... it's been a rough ride lately.  This is VERY hard for Kid 2, who is incredibly sensitive, and craves the connection she's not getting.

I do what I can, promise that we will find a place tomorrow where she can get plenty of interaction with other kids her age.

The long and short of all this?
I feel like a failure.
That lovely sleep that was closing in on me was gone in a flash, replaced with worry, my mind tallying up all the many ways I'm screwing my kids up.

I love them so much it takes my breath away, but the emotional toll of parenthood sometimes makes me want to buckle.  I don't just feel badly for them, I FEEL it too.  I feel it, and I feel the weight of failure like a brick tied around my body, because I couldn't or didn't stop it.

I'm up in the early morning hours now, wondering how everyone else does it.

How do other parents weather this without drowning under the weight of the emotions?  How do they keep it together, and when they don't, how do they keep the worry and guilt from rendering them sleepless and anxious?

I never knew how lonely and emotionally taxing being a Mom could be.
I'm not really sure I would have believed it if someone had told me... at the very least, I wouldn't have grasped it, not really.  I've been through a lot, so I thought I was prepared.  I wasn't.  I'm not.  You're never prepared.  There's a saying that being a parent means having your heart walking around outside your body... there was never a more accurate statement.  I wasn't prepared for what it would feel like to have my heart walking around outside my body, unguarded, and not be able to protect it.

This is effing rough.  It's rough, and I'm awake, but I'm sure I'm not really alone.

I wonder how many other Moms are awake worrying, and beating themselves up over their failures tonight?

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