Monday, February 18, 2013

Baking Cookies and Knitting Scarves: The Joys, Difficulties and Misery of Motherhood. (Why is it so hard?)

It is midwinter break and this time of year is always a drag for me.  I find myself, like a plant left in the window, yearning and leaning toward the sunlight. I feel devoid and almost a shadow of myself. 

I miss the spring. I miss the summer.  I even miss the fall. 

There is none of that though.  The crisp and clear cold was enough to take my breath away today as my daughters and I ventured into the cold only for moments until we managed to embrace the warmth of the car. 

We spent the afternoon with friends at the Aquatic Center in Cornwall, followed by a dinner at East Side Marios.  Both experiences were frantic and disheveled.  It was Family Day in Canada and so, unknown to us state side, swimming at the Center was free.  We had to wait a half an hour in line to get tickets, which wasn't so terrible, then wait about ten minutes for entrance to the lockers, which, upon entry, was elbows and arms, bumping and "excuse-me" ing while in a state of undress.  I learned today how to change my panties for a bikini bottom while holding a towel around myself.... The pools were slap happy, splash happy, spit happy children everywhere screaming and echoing.   The few moments in the hot tub surrounded by complete strangers who could practically smell my armpits really did not salvage the day.

What was supposed to be a fun family event was fun for the kids, but felt seriously lacking for me.  I wonder if that is the way it's supposed to be.... It all seemed like work. Costly work. Emotionally draining work as I faked being happy for the kids.... Seeing the girls smiling did brighten my day... and of course their hugs and "Love yous" were appreciated, but it just felt difficult.  Forced.  Chaotic and not cathartic at all.

I suppose my lack of a "good time" has something to do with my expectations of what being a mother was going to be like, which is not what it IS like.  And perhaps the worst part is that I feel guilty that I really did not enjoy the day's events.  Wouldn't a good mother pack the swim suits and the towels while baking chocolate chip cookies and knitting a scarf? Ok, I'm exaggerating for effect, but my point is I was disgruntled and I'm disillusioned and I miss the sunshine and the sound of the waves on the beach.

Summer will come soon enough.  I need to remember they are little.  They will only be that way for a while.... How they perceived the day was much different than they way I did....

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm going to paste another pretty smile on my face while I bake chocolate chip cookies and knit scarves.


  1. You're human. And your girls are very fortunate to have a mother like you; someone who, despite the way you're truly feeling, will still turn on the smiles and warmth to reassure them and guarantee they have the good time intended. There's no need to feel guilty about not having fun yourself. You're human and this is real life; imperfect and unpredictable, overpowering enough to effect us all in unexpected ways at times. But you protected your children from the things they didn't need to be burdened with and that makes you a strong, loving, great mom. <3

    1. Thank you, Barb. When I look at my girls and how amazing they are, I can't help but feel like the challenges have been worth it.