We have been pretty honest here on The Cocobee about how tough and isolating motherhood can be sometimes, and last week I was hit with those feelings pretty bad. I wrote this letter in the midst of it all, being sleep-deprived and trying not to lose my marbles in front of the girls. It’s not perfect, and a little embarrassing because I’ve never voiced some of these frustrations before, but I decided to share it here in case you’re a mom and you’ve ever felt the same way. Sometimes it’s just nice to look up from the grind and realize you are not the only one, and you are definitely not crazy.
Dear Imaginary Mom Friend,
As I sit here on the floor eating ice cream and drinking my fourth cup of *thrice* reheated coffee while the baby plays in the bouncer and the toddler (miraculously) naps, I am wishing you were real. Today is one of those days where I could really use a friend and, unfortunately, all the ones in real life either have plans or busy with their own kiddos. I don’t want to call them up and bug them because I know they’re also dealing with their own struggles of adulting and motherhood.
If you were real, Imaginary Friend, I would have called you up this morning and confessed that I wanted to quit. Yeah, quit being a mom. This is not easy. Sometimes I (guiltily) miss my old, child-free, life. I’m exhausted, mentally and physically. We managed to survive the first full week of the husband going back to work after three glorious four-day working weeks in a row. We didn’t come out of it unscathed, though. I finally broke last night when the dog was whining nonstop and I yelled at him. It scared the baby but the toddler thought it was hilarious. I guess that’s a good thing because she hasn’t seen me get that mad all that often, so she doesn’t realize it wasn’t meant to be funny.
And now here I am, day six in a row without the husband since he’s out doing some things with friends. We had agreed on this date a few weeks ago, but it doesn’t make today any easier.
I wouldn’t have needed you to fix it, Imaginary Friend, I just needed you to listen without judgment. You already know that, though.
You would have understood when I explained that I really do love my kids but it is draining when both need my attention…all the time. And just when I think the toddler is entertaining herself and I try to sneak away to clean up a little or eat a snack, she inherently realizes I am going to be preoccupied and decides that is the moment, right then and now, that she needs me to play with her.
You would probably have nodded in empathy when I shared that holy crap, I am really over poopy diapers these days. M had the biggest blowout I’ve ever seen this morning and you would have laughed because I truthfully would rather change a million baby blowouts than a dirty toddler diaper. Man, that stuff stinks (literally…and yes, I would have used a different word if we were talking in person). I know potty training is going to be in our future soon and I don’t know if I should rejoice or be filled with dread.
I would have told you the reason why I’m so exhausted lately, besides the waking up every two hours at night for M thing, is because I’ve stayed up super late working on my rebrand for the photography business. And this morning I decided to scrap my whole color scheme. The one that I’ve been dreaming about for months and months. It’s not coming together the way I want it to, so I’m starting over. I am working so hard on it and it’s disheartening to have to go back to ground zero. You would probably agree that it’s better I figured it out now instead after my new site went live.
We would have had our fair share of story swapping. You know I love a good life update and I’m sure there’s probably a lot of juicy stuff going on in the imaginary friend world.
And then you would have offered to watch the girls while I went to take a nap, and I would have agreed because I knew you could handle it and we have that type of relationship where I wouldn’t feel guilty leaving you with two young ones who will drain you of all remaining energy in a matter of thirty minutes.
And when I woke up I would have walked downstairs and cried tears of joy to see the dishes done, the floors clean, the carpets vacuumed and the girls quietly playing.
Ha, who am I kidding? I’m just dreaming out loud now.
Thanks for listening, imaginary friend. I hope we get to catch up again soon.