October 10, 2012

I Can't Pour My Heart Out

SI and RH
It's been a really hard week.  Month.  Year.

And I want to bare my soul and weep onto the page, but I can't.

I can't simply air me and my husband's dirty laundry all over the internet.  I don't want to make things worse during the hardest time my husband and I have faced in our relationship.  Yes, harder than brain cancer.  Harder than newborn, preemie twins.  This is the hardest it has ever been.  But I can't talk about it here.

I can't bemoan the loss of my friends or past friends or whoever and whatever they are publicly.  I don't want to burn any bridges.  I want the people who I love, who are angry at me because I'm wrapped up in my own world, trapped inside my own depressed thoughts, to be able to forgive me my selfish self pity and come back someday.

I can't pour my heart out, empty it of all the pain and grief and confusion, because I truly fear that if I do, I'm just going to make things worse.

It's a helpless, trapped feeling.  And I've spent so much time feeling helpless and trapped.

They tell you that having kids is hard.  But you never really stop and think that maybe, just maybe, it's just as hard as they say... but for all the unsaid reasons.

That it's so hard because everybody knows, but it all happens inside your own head.

It's not being "stuck at home" with the kids.  It's having the kids be the only people you spend time with.

It's not being needed 24/7, it's the sociopathic need- the moment to moment total obliviousness as you as a human being, and not just as the provider of all their earthly needs.

My children are wonderful, and I love them so much... every day they do something new, something wonderful, something hilarious.  Every day I am overwhelmed by how deeply I can care for them.

But that is a trap too- an emotionally exhausting cycle that never ends.  You never get to idle in neutral, you're always running through extremes- jumping straight from first into fifth and then suddenly dropping it into reverse.

It kills your transmission.  Or, if you don't like that metaphor, you just get totally burnt out.  Worn down.

And for some reason I believe that most moms have other mom friends.  That they have other people they can talk to about it.

I have so few other mom friends.  And like me, they're too busy to talk about it.  It's hard to have a conversation when any second you might need to nurse, or wipe a butt, or kiss a boo-boo.  When on top of the childcare, there's laundry to be done, and food to be made, and floors to be swept, and somehow in all of that you need to find time to do something as simple as make yourself a cup of tea and some toast.

It doesn't matter if you have a three day migraine, or if you have a cold, or if you're queasy and tired, you don't get to stop.  You still have to feed the baby, clean up the oatmeal from the floor, moderate battles over who gets to play with the ninja.

And you still want to do all of it- to give your kids the best possible childhood they can remember.

Because they will remember.  They will remember you yelling.  And they will remember you crying.

And while they might not remember the details, you will.  You'll remember sitting on the floor and weeping while your children take turns hugging you, kissing you, wiping your cheeks, and asking you not to be sad anymore.

You'll remember that.  Until the day you die, you'll remember that.

Because that is not their damn job.  That is your job.  It is your job as the adult to suck it up and be a fucking parent.

It is not their job to parent you.

And so I'm not going to tell you about how hard it's been.

Instead I'm going to say how desperately grateful I am to the friends who have reached out to me in the last week.  Offered to meet me for lunch with my kids, offered to come by with a bottle of wine, offered to come crash on my couch and have some fun with me.  Offered to let me come and stay with them, if it came to that.

I am so, so incredibly grateful.

And getting those texts, those emails... the occasional phone call... the note on facebook suggestion a play date...

The comments from strangers on my blog, telling me that my lovely readers care, that they might not know me, but that they care.

These things mean so much more to me that I can say.  These things make it kind of okay.

These things make me feel so much less alone.  So much less lost.  So much closer to putting this very, very hard time behind me.

This time that I can't really talk about, but that I am grateful to have somebody willing to listen to.

Thank you.


  1. your girls are not parenting you when you show them all of you. they are showing compassion and empathy- all of which you've taught them. you are an amazing mom, amazing woman who is ON 24/7 and then some. it's OK to break down every so often. you are still a human being. showing your kids every side of you is part of being an amazing parent IMO. because yes, you want them to remember and have a great childhood, but in order to do that, it has to be a real one. ::Huge hugs::

  2. I think every mother who reads this will sympathize and understand, completely. As I tell my daughter, no one can expect you to be perfect, because no one is perfect. We can only do the best we can. And you clearly work very hard at your family. Your children will know that, as they see all that you give to them. Let them see you be human. You are amazing and inspiring. I might not know you, but I care.

  3. Been there, done that all too often, finally had to go and take care of ME for a few days, get on medication and do the things I needed to do so that I could deal with the day to day stuff. It helped, a lot but I waited a very long time before I did it when I could have been feeling better sooner.

    Don't be afraid to seek help, to seek out someone to talk to who can listen and be objective. It can help to have a good sounding board. I know it helps me a lot, keeps me from bottling it all up inside.

  4. Oh, hon, I think you just did. :)

    I so know. My post today comes after actually speaking with one of my best friends from back home and bawling like a baby. Sometimes we just need to do that and it's so hard.

    I wish we lived near each other, even though we don't know one another (where DO you live? ;)!), so we could be that person for the other, ya know? It's so rough. I'm sorry you're having a rough go. I send you virtual love and hugs and a reminder you have friends here who will listen. ANYtime.

  5. It is so damn exhausting-physically, mentally, emotionally. And even if you can't pour your heart out about the specifics you can share your struggles and feelings. I never knew motherhood cold make me feel so trapped. Mine are school age now so things are a different kind of hard but getting out & being around other ppl really made a difference. The last thing I wanted to do was drag my saggy, leaky boob, frumpy, sleep deprived ass out in public but I was DESPERATE for itneractions with real adults in real life. Thinking of you.

  6. You're not the only one who feels that. And yes, I am grateful in a way that I still have to go to work. I love my boys but I need a break to have an adult conversation where I could be silly, sarcastic and fun. I can't be that at work. Sure, I can be silly and fun with the children but it won't be adult. My husband understands my need for friends and that took a lot. He thought a toddler was enough. Literally had to tell him: I am not physically alone, I'm not that nuts but our toddler lacks full language and thought comprehension. Surely if you could follow a girls-only conversation, I would share with you but you kinda lose interest and I don't blame you. So I need to see a mommy friend or at least a girlfriend so I stop feeling like a robot. So he understand the need but not the frequency. He can go 4 months without a guys sans kids outing, I'll lose it if I went that long. And now if hubs cant understand that need or thinks you are not worthy of it because you are a SAHM, I will gladly set him straight. It has nothing to do with your love for your kids, but you are not completely defined by being a mother. No one is, if you find one, either lying or deluded. There are other parts of you that need attention too. If these parts don't get the attention, it will pass over to the mommy role. And the wife role. You are welcomed anytime. Once RH grows a little more, I could take them all so you can just be you for a few hours.

  7. I have been there and it hurts so much. You are not letting your girls parent you. They love you and we take care of those we love. You are a great mom because you have taught them how to love and take care of eachother.

  8. I hope that you have someone you can talk to about whatever is going on. xo

  9. even in your grief, you are such an inspiration. I only have a few married peers, so I have always appreciated what you shared- triumphs and struggles and all in between. It's been years of reading your blogs.
    You are an example of a strong woman who always tries, reexamines and tries again. Things will get better. I'm glad you have a strong local network. If you want to skype with a semistranger, I'll be on for much of tonight. Good luck. Lots of warmth and good energy..

  10. I am sitting in the boat with you. Only a few friends but most of them judge me when I talk about certain things. Only some know who I really am in certain places and no one is clued in on the whole me. Let me know if you need an unjudgemental conversation!

  11. I am so sorry you are going through this. I have many mom friends, and sometimes I don't realize how lucky I am.

    I've cried a lot in front of PJ and Mags this year. And every time, PJ comes up to me, takes my hand and says "You still miss grandma Mommy?" and even if that's not what I'm sad about, I say "Yes baby, I still miss her. I will always miss her." And then he hugs me and says "Don't cry no more mommy."

    And I always stop. And it doesn't mean they are parenting me. It doesn't mean I've failed at sucking it up and being an adult. It means my kids see I am a person. That I hurt, like they hurt. And it teaches them empathy. Kindness. What to do when someone they love is sad.

    You should cry in front of your kids. I don't want them to think I'm unbreakable.



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