Maybe its been a rough week.
Or maybe, the universe is trying to tell me something by nudging me over the edge with annoyances and frustrations so that I will finally develop a backbone and STICK THE HELL UP for myself. I realize that no one, and I mean no one (not even the dogs) realize that I am a human being with needs and wants and desire of my own. I realize that being taken for granted is part of the grand scheme of family life – even though I don’t believe that it is the way it is supposed to be. And most of the time, I am perfectly okay with this. But every once in a while my ‘cup spilleth over,’ and I become angry and frustrated and pushed to the brink of tears.
When I lift the toilet seat and see the mess that my family folk left me, it makes me feel like I am nothing but a shit picker upper. Last night, when the entire family ate dinner without me (Chinese takeout) and then left the table and left behind their paper plates, utensils and remnants of rice and peas all over the place, I felt like I must be the hired help. When my kids see me on the phone, or see me working yet continue to barrage me with questions and cries of “Mama, will you,” I question whether my children have any iota of what it means to be respectful to others. Especially those ‘others’ in their life who take care of them and love them the most.
Simply said, loving our children and doing as much as we can for them, is NOT the way to foster children who are compassionate and considerate of others. They won’t just have the revelation one day that mom is such a thoughtful, considerate person that “I think I want to be one too.” In fact, being a doer of all things, inversely makes them selfish little overly dependent brats who never seem to grow out of the stage of thinking that the entire world revolves around them.
Guess what kids. It doesn’t. It never will. Get. Over. Yourself.
So, like any mom – I have those moments where I just sort of get sick of it all, and blow up. Suddenly, everyone in the house is minding their P’s and Q’s and at full attention. The lingering tasks and chores that I have been nagging them to do for what seems like forever, suddenly get done. They pick up after themselves, use kinder words, clean up their rooms.
Then, in the aftermath – they accuse me of being bipolar. Or about to start my period. And say in their sweet little voices, “Mom are you okay!”
Here’s the thing. Sometimes I get tired of doing every thing. I get tired of being taken advantage of. I do not exist in the world of Leave it to Beaver where washing clothes and ironing and cooking meals are the highest extent of my fulfillment. I need MORE than that. I want MORE than that. And I believe that when I am triggered into a tirade, the universe is basically saying “Hey you – your gas tank is about to be completely empty. Make some quick changes lest you lose yourself completely!”
Plus, I do want my girls to grow up as women, who may become mothers day with the knowing that it is okay to have a personality, a side of yourself that lacks any hint of maternal instinct. I want them to know that they can have kids and a husband and a house, and not be the sole person amongst the family responsibility for cleaning up everyone’s shit. (Literally and metaphorically). And, at some point in their lives, I want them to see me as a person of substance, who has something to offer, who has skills and feelings and talents and abilities that are beyond those compartmentalized within being a mother.
Even more, I want this gentle awakening of realization to occur WITHOUT me having to go all freak nuts on them.
Is that too much to ask?
Seriously. When you take away the curtains of motherhood, our children shouldn’t have to ask, “Who is mom?” We should give them the gift of knowing us, not just as the doer of all things, the creator of life, but as strong, happy, fulfilled women of substance.