“I don’t want to do this anymore. Can I run away?”
“Not without me you can’t.”
It had been a particularly challenging day of doing all the things. As a mom of three between the ages of 1 and 9, the days are never the same. I have some friends who have officially hit that stage where they are in a groove. Over here on this side, we are clapping on the 1 and the 3 and never catch the beat drop. If you didn’t understand that metaphor, our “groove” is not yet in sight.
As a dear friend put it, “You do not have any duds.” All my kids are full of extremely different personalities. There are no dull moments. With my first, I feel like this parenting journey has been like being baptized in fire. He came out swinging, and I have been trying to catch up ever since. My second is highly sensitive but extremely fierce in her own unique way. The boss baby is just that. He is currently ruling the nest and all of his beloved subjects are falling in line.
This is why it is absolutely necessary for me to have a tribe of moms where I don’t have to have a preface to my comments or vents. What I loved about that interaction was that no one batted an eye. They didn’t judge me for what I said. They didn’t alert the authorities. They just let me feel my feels and commiserated with me a bit.
I feel like we have gotten to an odd stage in social norms where mothers are expected to grin and bear this entire journey without complaining because of the “there are people who are struggling to conceive and would die to be in your position” commenters. If we mention that our children were horrible today, we must either start with, “I am so thankful for them,” or end with, “but they are so lovely and I wouldn’t change any of this, at all, not ever.”
The same way we just laugh when we mention, “Oh, I could have killed my husband for [fill in the offense],” and we get the universal pass because everyone knows that is not an actual threat, is the same way we should treat a mother just trying to make light of what we all know to be a wonderful, but difficult, journey of parenting. We should just assume that the person who has birthed and is now rearing these beautiful beings, actually loves them and has the best intentions for them, even when they call them a terrorist. Because have you ever met a 3-year-old?!