bipolar

by humanmama on November 2, 2011

There’s a certain bipolarism about having children. Being a parent is a daily struggle between loving your life until your heart just bursts from overjoy and absolutely feeling trapped, like a caged animal, and needing a way out.

At least, for me.

When I was pregnant with my first, I was a research coordinator. It was a good position, a position in my career field, and one that did not involve getting threatened by pre-teenagers on a daily basis, like my previous job did. No one was trying to kill me, no one was really taking advantage of me, and no one was yelling at me in one breath and thanking me for the help in the same sentence. Basically, it was far removed from parenting. So that might be why my first year as a parent was such a shock. Had I gone from Job A to parenting, it would have been cake. But Job B, with it’s coffee pot and desk and computer and private office was a little …cushier. Still, I loved Helena from the minute she was born, and so when I got laid off because of cuts in grants money 3 days after maternity leave was over, I was pretty okay with it.

But staying at home leaves me in charge of everything and nothing at the same time. And it hasn’t been easy.

The kids are wonderful, and at times it’s the best thing on earth. If you came over during those times–and they happen many times in any given day–you’d be thinking “parenting must be just wonderful. We had a moment today–we took a walk in the sunshine, with the dog, and then when we got home we all sat on the couch and watched a PBS show. The girls were sleepy and just cuddled with me, I was able to look at how Helena’s feel stuck off the couch and Lilly’s barely reach the edge of the couch. It was a good moment.

If you came during one of the other moments, you’d be content with your pet, separate incomes, and free weekends to do yardwork. There’s fighting. There’s pushing and hitting. There’s angry screaming. There’s getting out of the house and trying to shove breakfast into them when they don’t want to eat and you know there is a long day ahead of them with doubtful foodstuffs. It’s pulling your hair out trying to make ends meet with bills, with friends, with mental health.

Sometimes it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

But sometimes? Sometimes it is. And that’s what I always say. I’m not doing all this for now, I’m doing all this for thirty five years from now. Then it’ll all be worth it. And I’ll be too crazy to remember the hard times.

I hope.

It'll be hard to remember this face, as hard as that might be to believe. So drink it in, mom.

Imagine me at age 40, mom. I promise to love you then.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs Dzo November 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm

This seems to be the theme in mommy land this week. I know it’s worth it, but sometimes you just want to run away into the night and let everyone else figure it out. :)
Mrs Dzo recently posted…Wherein I Start Writing about Parenthood Again – Like I Was Supposed to Be DoingMy Profile

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Michele Friday November 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm

AJ, It was so nice meeting you at the park today! I have spent some time this evening reading your blog! It is wonderful and very honest! Thanks for sharing!

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