The truth is, I’m feeling a little bitter at the moment.  Now, I tend to avoid saying things like that because I don’t need any helpful comments or sympathy or judgment.  And I could shape this into a life lesson and wrap it up with a cheerful bow, but I don’t want to.  I just want to express the way things feel at this moment, even if it’s not pretty.

Perhaps I’m not actually bitter.  Maybe it’s exhaustion.

Actually, here is what it is.  I am a passenger in a car and I want to be the driver.  I don’t want to go where this car is taking me.

Here’s what I want to do:

I want to spend days alone.
I want to plant a garden.
I want to sleep in.
I want to see three movies in one day.
I want to read a whole novel in one sitting.
I want to watch the sun set.
I want to take a walk.
I want people to stop talking to me and asking me things and calling, “MOM?”

Basically, I want to be selfish.  I want to put myself first.  I want to do what I want to do and I don’t want to have to stop to make dinner and cook food that I would never choose for myself.

But I’m just along for the ride.  I work, I take care of kids, I tend to my kitchen, I wash laundry, I shuttle kids to their activities.  And there’s never time left over for me.  It’s like I handed over my driver’s license all those years ago and now I’m just riding along, locked into the backseat.  This ride has no brakes.

Now, of course, there is time for me.  Rarely but sometimes.  And I feel guilty when those times arrive and I have to carefully arrange that time so everyone else is taken care of  . . . and I answer my phone while I’m away because everyone needs to know exactly what time I’ll be back and am I bringing dinner?  Or what will I cook when I get home?

I’d like to time travel twenty years into the future when I have the luxury of  a quiet week and leisure time and less of this scurry and hurry life because I know when the silence comes I will get all nostalgic and wish for just One More Day of all of this.

But right now I’d like to take my car keys and drive up the coast but instead I will sleep for six hours, take my daughter to school, start working, wash my son’s lacrosse uniform for Picture Day, pick up my son from school, have a meeting with my daughter’s teacher, remember that I forgot to plan dinner, debate going to the gym with my boys, drive son to music practice, take a nap and work again until midnight.

And here’s the thing.  I am essentially an introvert who is never alone.  I’m a creative soul who has no creative outlet.  And every time this one plant in the back yard starts to create a bud, a snail gnaws it off and that, my friends, really irritates me.

14 thoughts on “Crabbypants

  1. Reading helps. I just finished Penelope Wilcock’s Hawk and Dove trilogy, and felt it helped—pay attention to the daily, to the person in front of you, to the wisdom that rises from the routine, which forces us to notice the small deviations. I’m also reading her book about preparing to go into a nursing home, which interacts with those ideas. Helps set priorities.

    Sorry about the snail eating the bud. That is sad. Maybe you can meet a local gardener or make a friend of someone in the nearby nursery, and get free advice.


  2. Did you reach inside my head and write down my thoughts? Your wish list almost exactly mirrors my own. Especially that last one. Meal planning is the number one task I dread each and every day and yet the kids seem to want to eat each and every day. Maddening! And I say that with absolutely no irony whatsoever.

    Just letting you know, as a fellow introvert in an extrovert world, I can relate to this in a huge way.


  3. I can so relate.. I planned to have all my children by age 30.. I did.. 3 children and they are all grown and on their own.. but then at 50 I married a man who had two young boys who I have been raising for the last 10 years.. I do have my alone time but I really thought I would be done with all the child raising at this point.. that is why I had my children at a young age.. I don’t have to do all the things you do.. but honestly at my age and having had health issues.. I’m tired.. I just want to do what I want to do.. it will eventually come but it’s hard when we are in the moment. A long time ago I had to tell myself I could be happy or I could be miserable.. Every day I have to choose happy.. Melodee, you plate is very full right now.. I don’t know how you do it.. this too will pass but I know it’s hard for now.


  4. Honey, you’re burned out! You need a break–I know you know this–and I’m saying this as one who has been in those shoes um, more than once. Tell your family you need an hour, two hours, a day, to yourself, that you’re desperate and exhausted and about to lose your mind. They can fend for themselves for 24 hours, trust me. 🙂 Even 15 minutes a day will help–make the time for YOU–and I KNOW it’s not as easy as it sounds, believe me, I know. You’ve got to take care of yourself. Please do.


  5. Aawww – I’m sorry.

    It came for me – that day when I only have to think of myself – it will come for you, too.

    My life is too quiet sometimes. I’ll spend more of my quiet minutes thinking of – and praying for – you.

    I love you.


  6. My days have calmed down a bit, but I soooo remember being where you are now. I remember thing to myself, “I don’t WANNA be the mom anymore!” There are still days like that, but I don’t have the part where I am constantly ‘on duty.’ THAT, is the hardest. You will make it through.


  7. Sooo sorry. Sooo been there. I don’t miss those days AT ALL. Grown-up children really are the only way to go. The grand kids go home. I sleep in peace.

    If I had it to do again, I’d wear ear plugs 24/7. I think I would have been a darling deaf mom.


  8. Do you think misery really loves company? I am exactly the same way. . .momma guilt is the worst. And I’m sure that once I’m alone again I’m going to regret not treasuring this time more. I just can’t win.

    I’m often so crabby I can’t stand myself. . .luckily that feeling is usually short lived and when it comes on all it takes is to mow the lawn or do something out in the yard and it goes away (heh heh, I can’t be chattered at when the mower is running). If that doesn’t work my other option is tell my husband that I’m crabby (to which he replies in a very sarcastic voice “Really, I hadn’t noticed”) and he’ll tell me to go to my room and he’ll deal with the kids for an hour or two.


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