I am a very selfish person. I like to come and go as I choose. I prefer my own company. I readily ignore the needs of others when they bump up against my immense longing for solitude, my need for achievement; or when my ideals are challenged. I am deaf to your requests, and sometimes your cries. My heart is small and flinty. The Grinch and I are twins, separated at birth.
This does not bode well for a married mother of three.
How is it that you, my husband, and you, my daughters, have taken up residence in the largest chamber of my heart? You have warmed my blood and massaged life into that atrophied pump, transforming its creaks and clanks into chocolaty purrs. Your dwelling there causes me to declare war daily, such that each hard-won battle yields the gifts I want to give—or rather, want to want to give—but can’t. Yet somehow, I do. Again and again.
I give you my time; my sleep; my cooking; my cleaning; my chauffeur service; my presence, spoken words, listening ears, and comfort; my tutoring; my prayers; my tears; my praise; my privacy. I gave you things I didn’t even know I had given you: my makeup; my socks; my cds; my pony tail holders; my stacks of index cards; and apparently, my laptop. I gave you my belly, my breasts, and my shoulders. My bed. I give you my dark chocolate, and I just gave you the blueberries I had stashed at the back of the fridge. I didn’t even mind. At times I become tired and impatient but the struggle is well worth it. In the end, I am happy to give to you, whom I love so dearly; you, who have enlarged and softened my stingy heart. I can authentically say, most of the time: “These are gifts to you, freely given.”
Just don’t take my brownie.
Today I sat at the table after lunch, quietly contemplating my afternoon cup of coffee when you reached across the table, Hand. Thoughtless and confident, you slithered over to the lone brownie on my plate and began to pick at it. Four feet away sat a full plate of brownies, one of my gifts to you. You knew this. I watched your leisurely fingernails dig out a walnut and carry it away.
Startled by sudden rage, I felt myself begin to tremble. Scalding words rushed from my chest and poured out of my mouth. Words a mother should never speak to her child. Violence was discharged in one beat of that same heart.
I totally get this!
I’m a years over due for a vacation and as a single parent it feels like I give to the point of having nothing left to give AND THEY STILL WANTING MORE!
How much more? EVERYTHING ! That’s so unfair! What about me? Sometimes I want to just scream WHAT ABOUT ME? And Sometimes I want to just lay silently in the middle of dishes to be done, dog to be walked, dinner to be made, kids to be bathe, house to be cleaned, just to give my brain a chance to wonder freely with my own thoughts, not the screaming, the relentless calls of “MOM !”, not the breaking up of fights, not the telling on each other, JUST SILENCE. But even such moments elude me, at least in the daytime, I must instead wait until the dead of night for such silence. It is for this reason I hide my chocolate. It is a special gift to myself. A gift that makes all the craziness seem worth it (even though I sometimes need to hide in the bathroom to eat it).
Oh how I wish they understood but I’m glad you do. Thank you!
Great post 🙂
I am glad you liked it. I can only imagine the exhaustion you must experience. My youngest is 17 now (I wrote that a few years back), and I feel stretched less thinly in those ways. Also, My husband has always helped. Summers were always the hardest for me as an introvert. I felt desperate and crazy by the end of them after having so few times to sort through my thoughts in solitude. This was true even though a lot of things we did were fun.
Hang in there, friend. It gets easier at some point. But in the meantime, keep that medicinal chocolate well hidden!! 🙂
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Ah yes, must keep that medicine hidden! 🙂
I should have guessed that you were but I see it now, I too am an introvert. The chaos is maddening for me! Rules, boundaries, order, containment, respect are what I try to teach my clan on a daily basis. I’m always “barking” rules and consequences like a dictator lol. I don’t like having to be that way all the time but it’s the only way to keep them from making me completely insane.
The good thing is, the boys are older, 18, and 20 this year and off pursuing employment opportunities to help with college expenses (unfortunately I need their help with that) , so only the toddler and the dog are the immediate culprits, but my toddler has the energy of 3 kids (I’ve never seen anything like it) and is very demanding so I need a whole new playbook with her since she thinks none of my rules apply to her AT ALL! Lord help me!
Have a great day 🙂
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No body touches my brownies…no body. They know better.
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That’s my girl! LOL! 😉