I love my kids.
Most of the time, we're fine.
Sometimes, though, I wonder how much happier I'd be if I didn't have kids. Sometimes I wonder what it's like not to have other people entirely dependent on me every moment of every day. Sometimes I wonder what it feels like to run an errand, read a book, type a blog post, or even get a drink of water without having a little shadow following behind pestering with questions about what I am doing, or why, as if I haven't done it a million times before and answered those same damned questions a million times, too.
Sometimes...not all the time, not even often, but sometimes...sometimes, I wish I didn't have my kids. I always love them, let's get that straight, but once in a while I really do think I'd be happier NOT being Mama, Mommy, the woman responsible for every damned aspect of their lives.
I can't eat, drink, sleep, or go to the bathroom in peace. I can't cook, clean, do laundry, or carry out the trash without being interrupted a dozen times with questions or requests for food, or something to drink, or a toy or book or to watch TV, all things they are capable of without my help for the most part. I tell them to get their own water, banana, turn on the TV themselves, and they look at me like I'm speaking Esperanto.
If my kids were taken away today I would be devastated. I would cry, be a hot mess, possibly have a little breakdown. But then?
Yeah, yeah, I'm a horrible person. Well...I know myself well enough to know I would hurt, but then I would get up and get on with life because that's what I do. I can be miserable and still do the dishes, because I am a mad multi-tasker, yo.
Hell, it's what my own mother did - abandoned us with our grandparents, knowing full well how terribly abusive my grandmother was and how indifferent my grandfather was, she handed us over to them and never looked back. Four years. She spent four years "getting her head together"...and I understand, I do - being a single mother of two kids? Is exhausting. Having a few minutes to just not be mom, relentlessly, endlessly, grindingly, mom...oh, how marvelous. She had four years. In that four years, in the moment, it didn't seem like she missed us even a little. She had a life, went on dates, worked, went to school, sometimes called us or wrote, even visited a few times, but we weren't anything NEAR the focal point of her life, SHE was.
Honestly, I couldn't tell you what it's like to be able to just take care of myself. Honestly, I don't know if I would even begin to know how. Honestly, I don't know if I've EVER known how,
My mother got rid of her kids and she was just fine. I'm so very like her...I bet I'd be fine, too...we adapt, in my family, roll with the punches, chug along, keep keeping on...and in my little daydreams about finding somewhere to put my kids (certainly NOT with abusive grandparents!), I would always get them back after a little while, be a better mother for having rested and gotten rid of so much of this anger (not towards them, no, but anger is anger and colors everything), and move on from there.
It'll never happen. You'll get my left lung out of me before I'd give my kids over. NO ONE can raise them, love them, appreciate them, like I can, and it would be a worse form of abuse to let them feel, even for a moment, that I didn't absolutely need them in my life, than it is to yell at them sometimes for making another mess, following me around whinging for cookies or ice cream or wanting to know if they really have to eat all those peas on their plate before they can have dessert.
Yup. Motherhood - cleverly disguised as a combination of psychosis, nervous breakdown, exhaustion and exultation since the dawn of time.