Three Kid Circus : Somebody slap me

Monday, July 26, 2004

Somebody slap me

It has dawned on me that most mothers feel slightly crazy.  A random sampling of 'blogs had me in stitches... Almost every mother included the actual word "crazy" in their summary. Now, why is that?  You'd think that there was a mental health epidemic.  Are we a bunch of drama queens and martyrs?  Are we truly imbalanced enough to earn the C-word?

In my case, yes. 

I had a discussion with the hubs the other day.  We were comparing notes on how our lives have changed since the birth of our children.

Hubs:  Still works in same field.  Still drives same car.  Still has same friends.  Still plays video games and has poker night.  Still makes plans based on himself.

Me: Totally new 'job'.  Now driving mini-van.  Whole roster of new friendships, largely based on kids who play nicely with mine.  Rarely a moment to myself, let alone escapist fun with friends.  All plans are contingent on naps, tantrums, laundry status and other obligations.

Hmmm.  I'm not saying my life has been affected more than his.  Oh, wait.  Yes.  Yes I am.  Am I resentful?  Sometimes.

I whine to friends that "I used to be fun.  I never said 'no' or left the house in the same clothes I've been wearing all week before I had children."  I regularly answer the question "How are you?"  with  "I'm crazed."  Do people want to hear this?  I don't think so.   

So, if we are all nuts, what does it?  Lack of sleep?  Probably not, because I used to stay up all night dancing and drinking, with no need to proclaim myself crazy.  Responsibility?  Probably closer to the root, but many of us manage jobs, homes, schedules without the C-word.

Did motherhood transform me from a normal, linear thinking woman into a mess?    Actually, no.  I was all over the road before (see drinking/dancing above) and although I worked, I was never an exemplary employee.  I'm a lousy housekeeper, and a world class procrastinator.  What motherhood did was bring a renewed sense of purpose to the daily grind.   I do these things for my family. 

Is my family grateful?  Like most services, you don't know how good you have it until it's gone.  I only hear about it when I drop the ball.  I'm sure they appreciate the work I do behind the scenes.  I don't want to be the mom who actually feels the need to say "you don't have any idea how hard I work for you, you ungrateful little wretches." 

I wish I liked to do laundry.  I wish there was great fulfillment in putting a meal on the table.  I try to do these things with love.  I just don't FEEL the love.  It is still a chore. 

My latest panic is the start of Kindergarten.  I have a month to acclimate myself.  For the first time in six years, I will have to be somewhere each morning at 8 am.  And back again at 1:30.  I get to do this with my partners in procrastination, who don't like to eat breakfast until 10 am, who prefer being nudists to all forms of clothing... and add to that the insider tip from a friend that THE MOMS CHECK EACH OTHER OUT TO SEE IF YOU ARE TOGETHER OR NOT.  

What?  I'm going to be judged? My inner diva says *let them judge* but the outer mommy says *I am going to affect my children's social status if I show up in a flannel shirt and sweatpants.*
Somebody slap me.  I'm over-thinking this.    See, more proof that I am, indeed, crazy.