The Island of Misfit Mothers

Some days I feel like my life is a surrealist painting.

Look! The children are taking pears for a walk! Now they’re making oatmeal paste on the floor. Now they’re using stacking cups to throw water out of the bath like a sinking fishing boat. 

Are those raisins from someone’s poop? 

It doesn’t feel very safe living in a surrealist landscape.

Nothing stays the same. Something’s always about to melt.

Raising a three year old and a one year old makes me feel this way a lot. Especially in winter when we can’t just run outside and dig stuff up in the yard.

I start to think, “Who thought it was a good idea to have children so close together?”

Really, “Who thought it was a good idea to have children?”

I want them to go on vacation without me.

The boys can be wild. There’s pushing, and pulling hair, and screaming, and throwing Tupperware… and cans… and empty milk gallons.

I’ve tried a lot of strategies. We’re in preschool. We talk to people. But there’s no magic bullet.

Some days just suck.

And on those days I think that I need to go back to work and hire someone else to take care of my children. And my husband, who is very supportive, will say, “Well, let’s get you back to work.” Which only validates my feeling of being a terrible, horrible, no good mother who can’t handle raising her own children.

If I’m no good at this, what am I good at?

Also, is there some place that still does electroshock therapy? Perhaps on the Island of Misfit Mothers?

I bet they have licorice. And massage chairs.

I say Yes.

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21 responses to “The Island of Misfit Mothers

  1. You’re a great mommy. I think all mommies feel like this sometimes. Check out “Confessions of a Scary Mommy.” It’s a funny, sad, and very truthful look at motherhood. And, she keeps a confession board. Google “scary mommy confessions”. We’re all in this together! Maybe all the ladies writing in are waiting in massage chairs…

  2. We’ve lived this situation a lot (weekly?) – and I’ve come to the same conclusion. Some days just suck.

    I think kids are a lot like deep sea diving. It’s important to be present and focused and enjoy the amazing opportunity to be where you are, when you are. But it’s also important and essential to come up for air and spend some time on land. No one can fault that basic human need. You’re (We’re) not Tom Hanks chasing mermaid Darryl Hannah. 🙂

  3. This is so appropriate for today…hell, this week! : /

  4. Oh how I understand where you are coming from…I have found myself checking out a lot when we are at home lately. I get tired of the same thing over and over and over again. Whether it be the same game/toy, the same misbehaviors, the same whining, the same schedule…it is just the same and not only am I bored, I have a list of about 10 other things that I think I want to be doing instead of what I am doing at the moment. It is a struggle to answer S’s request for me to play with him in an affirmative when I think I can’t possibly play one more minute of trains or trucks or whatever.

    In an effort to stop the sameness, I tend to just do stuff outside the house. Unfortunately we are dealing with the lovely “ick” going around and that isn’t a good idea. So I have started coming up with activities to do after nap that don’t involve something we normally do. Sometimes they play along, but a lot of time they resist and just want to do the same old, same old. 😦 I will push through this, but man are you right, sometimes there are days that just suck.

  5. Hang in there! You do an awesome job. Remember when I visited you and got all blubbery because I was sad to leave your idyllic home and your happy little family? Just remember, when things get tough, you have an enviable life.

  6. Parenting is hard. And lonely. And there are so many instances of feeling like a failure, and of life driving us nutty. I think being a full time stay-at-home-mom is the hardest because there is no true break, no moments of functioning in an entirely different world. There is no defeat in deciding to work a little/a lot outside of the home, in fact it may be the best way to achieve balance and harmony because it gives us a different perspective and energy. But if you decide to stay, don’t worry about the “island…” we’re all in this together and always just a phone call away. I am a sincere believer in creating our own village.

    • Amen! And I think about what you said about how kids have trouble navigating play dates/social situations until they’re five. We really need to build this island for the first five years and beyond!

  7. We all have our bad days and our good days whether it’s the kids, the parents or, dare I say, even the grandparents. Just the fact that you reflect, write and care about these things puts you at the top of the parent evolutionary ladder. As many, many an instructor told us in the multitude of parenting classes we took over the years, it’s a tough job and sometimes you’re going to be human. And being human means frustration and anger. It also means joy and love, and you bring ample joy and love to your boys and your family and friends. In a calm moment soon, sit back and reflect on how wonderful those little boys are and know, it’s because of you.

  8. Logan threw up into my arms while the girls painting each other with Vaseline. I didn’t anticipate parenthood being this sticky and wet. So yes, I hear you. Here’s to playgroup on Thursday.

  9. wow – thank you for this. My job just ended (long term sub position) and I am downright afraid to be home with my 3 and almost 2 year old. If I am not good at this, what am I good at? – powerful, validating stuff.

  10. You know that song, WE WILL SURVIVE? Let’s hold hands and sing it together!

  11. Pingback: Caramel Apples & Chocolate | momsicle

  12. Simply put: yes, some days suck. But it does get better.

  13. Pingback: When Mana Shim of the Portland Thorns Came Over to Make Salad and I Force-fed Her Gazpacho | momsicle

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