I have always longed to be one of those people who oozes friends. Instead, I am a very solitary person. I could say it's a result of my being an only child, but I know some very social onlies. I guess I am what I am. Honestly, I would rather have a few really great friends, than one for every day of the week.
I have been having a very, VERY rough time lately with my 2 year old. He's been hitting and kicking and biting and scratching ME. Not his brothers or sister (unless provoked, whereas mine can often be unsolicited), but me. I have felt very alone in this and my longing for sisterhood has increased greatly. I have to admit though, that a part of me felt like if I was to speak about this I would be breaking some unwritten code of motherhood where you don't speak of things so wrong that you feel anger toward your own children.
Today I let go of this and the flood gates opened. First I went to the director of the preschool. When she said to me "He's hurting his mother." I about broke down. My sadness over all of this set in. How is it that a child that I love so deeply and would do anything for could be so spiteful and hurtful to me? I began to step back a bit and look at how this is affecting the rest of my family.
When my 8&10 year olds got home from school I sat down with them and explained this to them. Right then I felt a shift. It was like I went from being grumpy, pissy, stressed out mom, to just working through this phase as best I can and trying to hold it all together. They seemed to understand and seemed grateful to realize that my actions had no reflection on them. It was like we united in this a bit.
Later that day we went to my daughter's dance class. There are 4 moms who are always there, and between us all we have a whole gaggle of kids that fill up the waiting room. I find that I look forward to Tuesday afternoons for the chance to hang out and be with these women. Today, we each began to comment on how we see each other as being a very calm mother. Each of us in turn saying that's not how we feel about ourselves and we, therefore, hide our angst very well. It was so wonderful. We began to talk and laugh about that point when we do snap and it becomes like an out of body experience, an out of control train that you can't stop or get off of, usually ending in tears (often the mother's) and apologies (to those left in the wreckage).
As I have thought back on this conversation two things have come to me. The first is that we all have a point at which we snap and loose it. What I feel makes it so hard for us is when we do it to those whom we have put so much love and parts of ourselves into. And second, how wonderful is the power of women. To be able to love and laugh and share and heal as we do. I think back on times when women spent more time together, helping each other, working side by side throughout the day, and can't help but wonder if we all wouldn't be a little better off with some of that back in our lives.
I have 5 amazing people in my life, 4 under the age of 11. Every day I learn something new from them all. In the midst of homework, diapers and laundry, I am working to get my creative mojo back, one step at a time.