Overtouched. Under Appreciated.
So ... I’m depressed.
I’ve known it for sometime, if I’m being honest. I’ve been down this road a time or two (or more) before.
My depression is sneaky. It wears many hats. It’s manifested itself in a number of emotions, but the one I’m battling the most these days, is ... rage.
I am full of rage. I am mad. Flustered. Red hot angry. At nothing. At everything. At nobody, at everyone. It’s your fault. It’s my fault. Rage followed by guilt. Rinse, repeat.
Before I started staying home I vocalized some concerns. I’d read so many Mommy blogs that chronicled the difficulties of staying home - of losing yourself in your children. I knew it would be hard. I knew I would struggle. But goodness, I didn’t know it’d be like this ...
I struggle because explaining my reality feels... impossible. I mean, it’s me - I’ll still try. But it’s jagged and full of contradictions.
I am desperately lonely - BUT - I am never alone. I co-sleep, co-breathe, co-bathe ... I mean, real talk, I even co-poop. These kids are seriously with me, everywhere. And I love them deeply, but they can’t fulfill the emotional welfare of an adult woman, ya know? Waitressing meals and snacks and organizing activities and even reading a book together is not meeting my adult-conversation-quota. I want to be alone, I want time to spend on just me. But. As soon as I leave - I miss them. I crave them. My mind centers on them. It’s super messed up. I want to get away, but I can’t. Or I won’t. Or some hybrid of the two. I’m blissfully, tragically, trapped as a hostage to motherhood. Get me outta here but there’s no place I’d rather be. Messed up, right?
If I had a personal motto for this stage of my life it would be, “Overtouched”. In fact, that’s probably just the name of my autobiography. Or the title of this blog. I am touched, prodded, poked, hugged, kissed, pulled, grabbed, stroked, squeezed, rubbed ... always. Throw in the occasional smack, pinch, hit, punch. And shocker, here comes the contradiction. I love that my kids want to cuddle me, love on me, snuggle up to me. I love the smell of their sweaty skin. The velvety feel of their angelic flesh. The joy of a wet kiss, a nose-to-nose kiss, a butterfly kiss. But I also want to exercise some personal space. I have an almost two year old who wants to nurse like she’s a two month old. I’m worn so thin. My boobs ... my poor boobs. Breastfeeding, once my very favorite part of motherhood, has become my nemesis. “Bombie” as the girls affectionately call my boobs (and also me) has become a 4 letter word. I desperately want to get through this era. However, I don’t want to wish it away. I want to enjoy it - I do enjoy it - But I’m also miserable. I have magical moments of pure and unencumbered joy peppered into the majority of the monotonous backbreaking work of parenthood. How do you work through that kind of thing? Anxiously awaiting a period of time to end, that also offers you some of the sweetest and most darling treasures of your children’s lives? It’s a conundrum.
And for all that I give. Y’all. I feel invisible. The stuff I do isn’t recognized unless I don’t do it. I don’t get paid in money, or even thanks. Theres no recognition. The legacy and kudos of what a great mom (I might not be) won’t come for years down the road. I bust my ass for my family, I am the glue that holds it all together, but ... I feel unseen. I mean. Glue isn’t really what gets the attention. (Until it buckles under the pressure or it tries to hold too much together ... Kind of the perfect metaphor, eh?)
It’s a non stop shitshow at my house. Somebody is always screaming - and over the years, as my patience has wained, my voice has strengthened. Now, unfortunately, I exercise a turn in the “Fill the house with screeching” game that we seem to keep playing. Then there’s the messes. The infringement of personal space and absence of enforceable boundaries. The lack of self care, the inability for self care, the absolute puzzle of self care. (I don’t even know what I want/need at this point?) I’ve lost Taylor, not just a little, but on a whole, to this gig of being a Mom. And I’m eternally grateful for my kids. Deeply fulfilled by them. And also hollowed out, empty, ragged. I give, give, give and now I feel ... empty. I’ve given it, and them, my all.
Maybe it isn’t motherhood that I’m struggling with. Maybe it’s the depression. But in my heart of hearts, they feel tied together. And yet, how can I be so wholeheartedly in love with a role that feels so crippling, and painful? Why doesn’t anybody talk about this - That being a Mom can be the greatest gift of a lifetime but it will gut you, engulf you, and dominate your existence - From that first little belly flutter and every moment beyond.
I love my kids. I LOVE my kids. But man, this job is for the birds. I feel like an ass for saying that, and I don’t really mean it. BUT I DO. It’s misery. It’s love. It’s the best and and the worst. I will miss this time in my life. I will look so fondly at the highlights. But I’ve also never struggled more. Cried harder. Screamed as much. I can’t think of a time when I’ve felt more broken. More sad. More wholly fulfilled. More in love.
Motherhood. I’ll say it again ... This shit is for the birds.
I’ll be getting help. Therapy and a jolt of serotonin will do the trick - it always does. Depression isn’t only feeling sad. If you find yourself stomping around your kitchen at 8:15 am because, well who even knows why*... You might also look into getting help.
*Who even knows why: A screaming child who wants you to hold her but also wants you to put her down, stomped on cereal that is enticing your slobbery dog to bark and drool uncontrollably from the room he’s locked in, a nipple that just got bit, tv volume that’s way too loud and the missing remote to assist you in turning it down, an immediate demand for chocolate milk. Chocolate milk. CHOCOLATE MILK. (Times every hour, for the last 4 years.)