Sometimes I think why can’t you just stop and
be
in this moment
stop
just
stop
and be here
all of your attention
and sometimes I feel like screaming because
there are two of them
and I
can’t no matter how hard I
try but
let’s not lie
sometimes I don’t
try as hard as
I should

Sometimes when I’m at work I
want to be home and sometimes when I’m home I
want to be at work
or at least somewhere
with adults
and the luxury
of not doing the eight million things
I wish I didn’t have to do when I am
doing them
that I wish I were able to do
when I am
not

Sometimes
I don’t feel particularly
good at
any of my
jobs

Sometimes I feel so restless and
bored and
I wish I could just
leave
go to the
bookstore or the
wherever
without the back and forth and the favors and the tick tick ticking clock while I’m gone
and the moment I see
someone else’s child when I’m on my own I
feel guilty and sad and I miss them and
sometimes when I get home I think how I just want to
leave
all over
again

Sometimes I tell myself over and over that it will be easier when they’re
older
and isn’t that nice how I am
wishing away these years I will never
ever
get back

This weekend I felt like I was pacing in my
life like a zoo animal
trapped and wild-eyed
and I was frustrated with one child for being
well
the short story is
for being 19 months old
and I was angry with the other child for
refusing to eat and he started whining and something in me gave way
all at once
like a rotted old barn
and I reached out and grabbed his shirt and pulled him
howling
across the kitchen bench and yanked him to his feet and
my voice was
it was
(I don’t even want to remember)
so loud
and all I wanted in that moment was for him to feel
just as miserable as I did
I could have
slapped him
until my hand ached
(I did not)
and it was all over
some
fucking
chicken
later when I could
breathe I
realized that if I’d felt trapped
before
by neediness and fussing and the confines of parenthood
that was nothing compared to the feeling of
knowing
exactly
what kind of person you are capable
of being
and you can’t take it back
(you can say you are sorry)
(but you can’t)
(go back)
(and make it unhappen)
I felt like one of those Russian dolls where every successively smaller part of me was
held inside
another and they were all
ugly
broken and
terrible

Sometimes I am lifted by them
scattered in the air like a million spinning dandelion seeds
blown by my child
(who calls them
candle flowers)
and sometimes I am held fast to the earth
counting the minutes
until I can escape
everything I hold closest to my heart

I am ashamed that
sometimes I turn on the TV because I just want them to
shut
up

Sometimes it seems relentless
and I can only see the side of the coin with the
drudgery
like that which I am most proud of
is a jail sentence that goes on and on and
oh what a
fucked up
way to look at it
because the other side
is indescribable
in its beauty
and if you must endure one to be gifted with the other
such is
life

Sometimes these bad moments feel
consuming
but sometimes
(most of the time)
(most of you understand)
they are not

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Jeanette
13 years ago

Those days can seem endless but do go by fast and believe it or not one day you will wish them back.

Billie
Billie
13 years ago

Thank you, Thank you! It is so comforting to realize that even you, who seems so perfect to me, can sometimes lose it. Now I don’t feel so bad about the times when it sometimes happens to me!

Karen Lee
Karen Lee
13 years ago

Linda – that was so touching…you are such a talented writer.

Must Be Motherhood
13 years ago

“and all I wanted in that moment was for him to feel/just as miserable as I did”

It is too often like that of us too. And I wonder, what kind of a person punishes a child for being a child?
We are all thrashing around, trying to figure this out, trying to figure ourselves out. And no one told us how hard it could be.

Valria
13 years ago

Powerful writing!
I hope you (all) have a better week.

Sharon
Sharon
13 years ago

Wow! That was amazing… you have put into words what I feel myself. Thank you! I know I’m not alone in this motherhood journey. But when someone else can put what you are thinking so eloquently it makes me realize I’m not the only one with these feeling. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m sure that was really hard to write.

NM Liz
NM Liz
13 years ago

My husband doesn’t understand why I read so many blogs — this is why. So I know I’m not alone in these feelings.

Leeann
13 years ago

Yes Yes Yes to each and every word. Do you live in my head?

Lisa
Lisa
13 years ago

Yes Linda, we absolutely, with every cell in our bodies, understand.

telegirl
telegirl
13 years ago

Exactly. It’s nice to know that maybe I’m not the only one that feels this way sometimes. I feel sometimes like I am wasting away the best times of my life because I get frustrated. He’s only 2 1/2. I need to understand that better. Please help me understand that better…

Amy M.
Amy M.
13 years ago

Perfect description of my weekend! Thanks for allowing us to read your poetry!

Teralyne
13 years ago

Very good and very true you hit the nail on the head again. I don’t know about everyone but I sure have been there done that and I feel the same way at times like that, thank you.

Nicole
Nicole
13 years ago

Thank you for being so honest and for expressing so beautifully all the emotions of motherhood. It’s soooo hard and I’m glad that I’m not the only one that feels that way.

Dawn
Dawn
13 years ago

We must have had the same exact weekend.

Colleen
Colleen
13 years ago

Oh, I do understand.

hydrogeek
13 years ago

Wow. Thank you for writing that. I feel like it should be printed and framed and hung in my brain.

Jaidnoire
Jaidnoire
13 years ago

Jesus Christ, were you in my head and my house this weekend?
*trying not to cry at work*

Mel
Mel
13 years ago

I do understand, completely and utterly to the core of my being.

This has been my life for a few weeks and I’m still searching for the magic solution that will help me find the light at the end of the tunnel. The one that will tell remind me more often of the other side of the coin.

Jen
Jen
13 years ago

I understand. MUAH!

Kristi
Kristi
13 years ago

I think we could be friends.

Audrey
Audrey
13 years ago

Thank you for putting this into words. And the feeling of “that voice” and the look on your childrens faces…oh how I hate it and feel so awful afterwards. So nice to hear another mom admit to her imperfections.

Christine
Christine
13 years ago

This is my first time commenting…this post is EXACTLY why I keep reading.

Thank you for this.

marcoda
13 years ago

Yes. I understand.

Amy W.
Amy W.
13 years ago

I understand. What you wrote? That was a perfect distillation of what goes on in my own head and heart nearly daily. Thank you.

warcrygirl
13 years ago

Amen!

Erica
13 years ago

exactly

Emma
13 years ago

For about the 50 million-th time you’ve put what I think into words. Thank you so much for this post.
You MAY have just put a little tear in my eye. Just a little teeny one.

Jenn
Jenn
13 years ago

It is so hard sometimes, isn’t it? I have two under 28 months and sometimes (rarely, but still…) I yell so loud it scares me. Retrospectively, it makes me feel like shit. Thanks for understanding and sharing.

Erica
Erica
13 years ago

Wow – if only I could say it so eloquently. I feel exactly the same way, thanks for making me feel like I am not the only one stuck in what some days feels like hell.

Molly
Molly
13 years ago

It’s been said already … but
Exactly.

Brie
13 years ago

I understand. Oh, how I understand.

autumn
autumn
13 years ago

I hate myself when I yell. It shouldn’t make me feel better that you messed up too, but it does and I sincerely thank you so much for sharing this and reminding me that I’m not the only one who messes up and that the other side of the coin is absolutely beautiful and magical. Feel better.

jens
jens
13 years ago

well, shit, here I am crying at lunch time, while my 3 little ones are counting cheese cubes instead of eating them.
I share with the other commenters- it’s like you were in my head. I beat myself up every day for not being kind enough, patient enough, understanding enough…all the while I feel like my ‘real’ life is on hold while I do everything for my kids. Some days I can hardly imagine the next 15, 18, 20 years of my life. Some days it feels like… well, like you said, a jail sentence. How can I raise my children like this? I wonder if I need to be medicated.
I need a hug. So do you all.

Dawn
Dawn
13 years ago

I understand and I don’t even have children. You are an amazing writer, Linda, and the fact that you let all of us into your heart is generous and cathartic for all. As a matter of fact, your words often make me want to be a mother, even these. Because I know that though it is the most difficult job of all, if it made me a stronger and more intuitive person, as it seemingly has made you, then the reward is worth it.

AndreAnna
13 years ago

I’ve met my Russian dolls and they are not pretty.

Thanks for writing this.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

Oh Linda, I understand.

Katie
Katie
13 years ago

Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hated the mom I was on Sunday, but it helps so much to know I’m not alone, and that it’s okay, and that we just have to keep trying.
Thank you so much for your honesty Linda.

JenniferB
JenniferB
13 years ago

Beautiful — and thank you for articulating the honest truth of how much love and pain can exist in the same head/heart at the exact same moment in time.

Smileen
13 years ago

It really can be a soul sapping job to care for humans. The wife, mother, bringing home a paycheck to a nest you dearly love but feel you out to be paid MORE to even walk through your front door given all that awaits you on the other side. MY GOD do I understand.

I also find it particularly taxing on my whole being to mother correctly for a boy. It seems everything involving the Y Chromosome is kicked up a few million notches leaving me in a tailspin of despair, vexation, unfathomable love & broken record of OMG STOP IT NOW, now! NOW! STOP, hold on, one sec, BE PATIENT!

There are so many joyous peaks in my day but almost just as many seconds that are equally frustrating. I hate myself for sometimes having that heart dropping trepidation when I hear his RAGE filled scream after a nap to be picked up. Then it melts away when I see how happy he is to see me.

GOD. Emotions, too many of them.

Not to utterly geek out on you, but a quote from Steinbeck always stuck with me and I apply it to motherhood: “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

I hope your spirits are lifted soon :)

amanda
amanda
13 years ago

AMEN. You have such a way with words. I think you just said what millions of working moms go through daily.

Laurie
Laurie
13 years ago

Thank you!!! Its so nice to know I’m not alone, you have wrote exactly how i’ve been feeling lately.

Tessie
13 years ago

Me too, man. Keep on keepin’ on.

Maggie
Maggie
13 years ago

OMG, I must frame this because like others said, it was like you were in my head too. I am constantly telling myself to be in the moment, we will blink and they will be gone, but I have such a hard time actually doing it. You put it so well. Thank you for your honesty. It feels good to not be alone.

Joy
Joy
13 years ago

Thank you for your post today. I have been feeling exactly like this lately. Your words “This weekend I felt like I was pacing in my
life like a zoo animal trapped and wild-eyed” describe how I am feeling right now. Thank you for your honesty and ability to put your feelings into words.

Christina
13 years ago

I hear you sista and we had a Sunday like this and I kept trying to be less angry and more glad and I struggled and I did not succeed each time but I did most of the time but OH my I know how you feel.

Laurie
13 years ago

Our Saturday ended with my 9 year old saying that if she had to make a list of the worst days of her life, Saturday would be at the top. It was all because we were trying to clean the house after a long stressful week of working and the kids just wanted our attention after a long week of school and daycare. This is the reality of parenthood and it affects the kids, but they bounce back and we bounce back until we do it all over again. I have been thinking how often parenthood has pointed out how very selfish we (and by we I mean me) can be. It’s nice to know others are feeling and experiencing this too.

Julie
Julie
13 years ago

I love how you can put into words the feelings we “normal” mom’s have. Thanks for being so real.

Maria
13 years ago

Beautiful, true.

Eerily familiar.

Alexa
13 years ago

BOOKMARKED.
Thank you.

Katherine
Katherine
13 years ago

Thank you. (working mom to two – 4 yrs and 8 months).

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