Friday, July 16, 2010

Ugly Mother

I have something not pretty to say about myself.

I stick my tongue out at my daughter when she’s being a brat and turns away from me.

I call her nasty names in my head when she is being rude and disrespectful.

Tonight I almost slipped and said something very not-nice. I caught myself and my head spun as I stood my 32-week pregnant belly up off her bed, searching for something to say out loud that would shock her into six-year-old recognition of how mean she is to me.

“I…I…I don’t want to be your friend anymore!” I said.
With that, I left her room and shut the door and sat on my bed and buried my face in my extra-large body pillow.

And she does not react. She does not cry or feel bad or care.
And all I can think of is how I would have reacted if my mother had said that to me. I would have sobbed and run to her and begged for forgiveness and told her how much I love her.

But my daughter only says “I love you” to me when she wants something. She does not hug or kiss me. She decided awhile ago that she does not need me.

And we have tried everything under the sun (besides any physical punishment)—ignore the bad behavior, use natural consequences, instill time-outs, take away videos, reward for good behavior, etc.
But again and again she disrespects me. And people tell me it’s a phase and I tried to convince myself of that. But I don’t think it is. I think her personality is showing.

If you are not a mother you are probably thinking, “She’s six! Give her a break!”
I have. And I have.

But how much disrespect and apparent hate can a mother take from her child, day-in and day-out?

Where did I sign up for this? Where were the warnings of what being a mother would be? And how did I miss them?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Sick Toddler and a Cranky Six-Year-Old

It is these moments.  Today is the second day in a row.  At about this same time. 

When my daughter will not listen and I am tired and feeling very pregnant.

When Cole has a 103-degree fever and is lying on the floor crying.

Dishes undone.

Toys all around me.

When I sit on this red dining room rug and cry.  And wish I were anywhere but here.  And wish I were anything but a mom.

And I can understand why women would take their own lives when overwhelmed by it all.

When sitting and crying and asking where is the joy that I feel like some 1950's homemaker, trapped.  Wondering how I will go on.

And, of course, I can reassure myself that it is my depression.  Overwhelmed.  Feeling helpless without my own mother to speak with.  To say, to cry, "Mommy, how did you survive?"