3.19.2008

They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha Ha...

That is it. I quit. Seriously...

I don't know who I was kidding when I thought I would successfully be able to raise children. I am failing miserably.

I cannot remember when it was that I had a thought of my own. I don't know what it is like to have quiet in my house. I have no idea what it feels like to be able to eat an entire sandwich by myself. Forget about talking on the phone to anyone without being interrupted, and I think the last time I had a shower without a little person coming in to ask me if they could have a Popsicle at 8am was 13 years ago.

When Carl and I first got married we had a 5 year plan. We decided to wait to have children for 5 years. We wanted to grow as a married couple, become financially stable and possibly be able to buy furniture somewhere other than a second-hand store before we brought children into our love nest. 9 months after we said "I do" we became pregnant.

Two and a half years later we were pregnant again.

I was feeling good with having children so young. I was happy with the fact that I would still be a young 42 year old when our oldest went away to college. 40 is the new 30 right? I envisioned driving up to Hope's college on parent weekend in my BMW convertible and my hair blowing in the wind. Carl and I would be heading on to yet another cruise after we spent the weekend with our college student.

It was a nice dream...

Then we got pregnant again... and again.

Don't get me wrong, I love my children more than is humanly possible. That does not mean that they do not drive me batty just about every day of their little lives. Just because I love them, it does not mean I do not hide in my closet everyday around 3 pm humming "I'm A Little Tea Pot." Just because I love them, it does not mean that I am 20 lbs. heavier than I was on my wedding day because of all the extra half-eaten chicken nuggets that I consume off of Dora The Explorer dinner plates.

I am with my children 24/7. Homeschooling is stupid. OK, I did not really mean that, I just had to say it out loud for a second.

When people come up to me and say "I don' t know how you do it!" I want to say "I don't know either because I am damn tired... I mean damn damn damn tired."

You know how I had that dream of driving up to parent's weekend in my fancy car... well now I will be driving up to parent's weekend in my minivan with a first grader in the backseat and with fruit snacks stuck to my pants.

I know, I know, someday I will miss all of this. But right now I just want to have a little peace. I just want to be able to teach the 7th grader algebra without a baby crying, a four year old running through the house asking for a snack because she has a tapeworm, and a 10 year old playing civil war and shooting all of us for treason.

I just want to be able to clean the kitchen and have it stay clean for longer than 45 seconds. I just want to be able to wash only one head of hair a day (my own) and wipe only one butt a day (again, my own.) I want to be able to run to the store without packing luggage to go with me. I just want to be able to get through a check-out line without little people asking for candy and then screaming at the top of their lungs when the answer is no. I just want to get through one mother-loving day without listening to whining.

Sure, I pray to the Blessed Virgin for strength... but she only had one child and IT WAS JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF! I ask you, how difficult could He be? I bet He never asked his mother 21 questions after she got off the phone with the Maytag repair man. I bet He never asked for banana pudding and then changed His mind after two bites and cried for the chocolate pudding. I bet He never woke up his mother 3 times in the middle of the night for a glass of water, to go pee and to help Him find his baby doll that He can no longer find (which is laying right beside him). I bet He never once rolled his eyes at His mother or told her she was unfair and ruining His life!

Ahhh, but who am I kidding? I am in no comparison to Mary my Mother. I bet she never told her child that he was a pain in the butt and going to send her to the loony bin and he would have to take the bus to visit her since the police were going to take away their car because of all of the hands, heads, and feet that are sticking out of windows and are going to get popped off by the next passing semi truck! I bet she never referred to her child as "twerp." I bet she never hid in the bathroom eating a box of ding dongs and crying either.

I suppose if I thought I was a fabulous mother I would not try to be better. It is a good thing that I think myself a failure... I have no where to go but up (or to an insane asylum, which ever comes first.)

29 comments:

jenny gardiner said...

Hi there! En route to looking for a similarly-named blog I happened upon yours and got a good laugh, though honestly my heart goes out to you! Good lord, all of those kids!
You, I think, might get a good laugh out of my recently-released novel: SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER. I think your sense of humor is very compatible with the book. I've had tons of emails from moms everywhere telling me they appreciated seeing in print the feelings they've experienced, the overwhelm, the exhaustion, the "where the hell did I go?" of it all.
Anyhow, just thought I'd tell you so if you ever get a few minutes of free time to read (translation, go into the bathroom, lock the door, lower the lid and sit on the toilet while the kids think you're going to the bathroom), you might want to check the book out for a few good laughs! You can check out my website: www.jennygardiner.net for more info!

Bekah said...

I'd love to be able to only wipe my own butt during the day! Honestly, I think by the time I get all my kids out of diapers and old enough to always wipe their own butts, my dear husband will probably start needing help with it. ...

And didn't Mary and Joseph have more kids after Jesus? I know he had a brother named James, I just can't recall how many more there were. She probably had it just as bas as you, too, because while Jesus was a great kid, all his little brothers and sisters were probably a pain in Mary's butt.

A Simple Sinner said...

"And didn't Mary and Joseph have more kids after Jesus? I know he had a brother named James, I just can't recall how many more there were. "

No. Brother = cousin in the Greek. More links on that if you like...

As to Mrs. Cleaver... I think you need a 6 pack stat! Fruit snacks stuck to your butt.... Still giggling about that.

In the past week I have read through all your archives... This is pure gold, and we all know you would not have it any other way!

Cris said...

simple sinner-thanks for clearing up the brother/cousin thing. I was about to do that but you beat me to it.

:)

Anonymous said...

Crissy,
I'll just bet that's how Grandma Mac felt when she threatened to sell us all to the Indians.
But, trust me, it is just like childbirth...once they are all raised you forget about how big a pain in the neck they were! I'm happy you are blogging your way through motherhood...and another St. Patrick's Day is just around the calendar!
Love,
Aunt Barbara

annemcd said...

Amen, sister-- four kids 6 and under at home and homeschooling. I WAY prefer your Catholic homeschooing blog as opposed to so many more that make me feel like a complete failure for not having 10 kids aged 7 and under, but I digress . . .

I've oft said, Mary never had Jesus by the back of His collar, threatening Him that if she had to take Him out of temple again . . . I'll think of you when I hit up a glass of wine in a few minutes. I don't know how you do it with a travelling husband! My hat's off to you!

momto5minnies said...

Oh ... glad to hear that I am not the only one whose dream has been shattered ;)

I bet you are a great confessor. If I get to read all this here, I can only imagine ;) Seriously, I love that you bring a lot of honesty to motherhood. I can just tell that your family life is exciting.

Some day you will get your time alone. For now just laugh a lot. Laugh lines are just cuter than frown lines on the forehead.

Jennifer F. said...

I can at least somewhat relate since I have three ages three and under -- only half as many children, but I get some credit for three babies in three years, right? And my husband and I are both only children so it's all just insane to us. :)

One thing people keep telling me is that is goes by so fast. That's a lie. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE my kids and don't even wish that anything were different. ...But it is not going by so fast.

BTW, do you have any outside help so that you can be by yourself even if it's just for a couple hours per week, even if you stay in the house but hide away somewhere? My babysitter recently quit, and after I spent a couple days in the corner of my closet with a bottle of wine, I decided that I'm going to place an ad in the neighborhood newsletter saying "Responsible babysitter needed to watch kids a couple hours per week during the day. MONEY IS NO OBJECT! I HAVE CREDIT CARDS! PLEASE, COME OVER RIGHT NOW!" Having even a little bit of help is something I found to be a complete life saver.

Gretchen said...

I so love your blog and identify better with you than any mother blogging anywhere. I'm having a crisis with my 17 year old son (God help mothers of teens) and I wish he understood that neither one of us are perfect and we need to learn and move on.

Thanks for the laugh.

Cecilia 'Sam' said...

thanks for making my husband and I laugh!!! Keep up the good work!!!

angelasustala said...

I'm laughing so hard (and being 7 months pregnant with #4, that doesn't come without a mess)!
I felt for a moment like you must have had cameras in MY house!
Too funny, as usual! I always look forward to getting a good laugh when I read your blog!

Beth said...

Please keep in mind that I am laughing WITH you not AT you.

I only have two kids and honestly can not wait until the oldest one is in Kindergarten next year.

I have huge amounts of respect for homeschoolers! Not sure how any one does it and stays sane! Props to you girlfriend!

Hang in there and keep asking Mary for help. She will give you a helping hand...even though you are right...hers was the only perfect person ever born! Not sure she can relate!

Out on a Limb said...

I seriously have written posts just like this...although not nearly as funny...lol.

All I can say is "hear, hear!"

Tina said...

So let me guess... you have been to confession and mention your kids too and how difficult it is sometimes and the priest tells you, "Follow the example of Mary." Yeah whatever! Somehow I wasn't born without sin enough to do that! And neither were my kids! Just when I was feeling sorry for myself that I was the only one who felt like this about being a mom.. I read your post. Thank you much.

Steve said...

"Twerp", now that's funny!

maryarm5 said...

I get such a laugh out of your writings!
I can relate to your desire for just a little peace and quiet.
I was woken up from a good sleep this am with my 5 year old asking me if I thought "it wouldn't be that hard to strangle a worm, would it?"

Lori said...

Cris, you are a hoot! If I had a way to send DingDongs and a bottle of wine through the internet, it would be on its way!

I have 5 kids, am a homeschooler, and my m-i-l is in town, so I'm off to my closet for a little relief, myself...and it's not even 8am!!!

g said...

You're just great, Cris!! I love your frankness...it is just great to read that there are other imperfect homeschool moms out there besides me!

I loved your Irish posts and photo. You're a doll. And a riot. And I think you are a great mom. Even if you often don't think so, I bet your kids and husband do, too.

Have a holy Triduum and a GREAT Easter!

Anonymous said...

So true... I am laughing and crying at the same time! This is my life. The thing that gets me at times like these is, the rest of the world will NOT ALLOW you to complain (after all, you were nuts enough to have that huge family!!! So deal with it...) That's why I come here! You are wonderful, and there are better moments ahead.
Mom of 8

jenny gardiner said...

Me again--I've been reading your many posts and thought I'd steer you all to a very funny memoir that a friend of mine wrote since many of your readers are Catholic homeschoolers I gather (?!). Book is DON'T CHEW JESUS by Danielle Schaaf and is a really sweet and funny collection of stories of various people's memories of nuns.

Urban Mom said...

Oh God, that was hilarious! I hear ya... I'm looking forward to the day when I can go to the bathroom without an audience.

namllord said...

You are funny!

My wife asked me to tell you that you have her life, and she identifies with you. We have 8 kids and are homeschooling. She doesn't have time to blog. In fact, I just printed your article and followed her around, reading it to her. She laughed hysterically... of course she does that a lot, sometimes for no apparent reason.

God bless, Michael and Teresa

Mary Poppins NOT said...

"I bet she never hid in the bathroom eating a box of ding dongs and crying either."

Maybe not, but I certainly have. I have hidden in closets, behind the shed, out in the woods, and in the bathroom.

Here is my take on all this, and the women who say, "These are the sweetest times of your life. It flies by, enjoy it." Yes, they are cute (good thing, it helps them stay alive). But the work load and frustration level are huge. What all these ladies are saying is really, "Those years are much better as memories". And that, my friends, is the truth.

jenny gardiner said...

Mary Poppins not,
There's a lot of truth to that. I had 3 kids very close together in age. It was so so challenging at times. They're all teens now. I had to go back in the old photo albums last night to pull out a baby picture of one of the kids and got to looking at the photos--which of course gloss over all of the hard times with beautiful smiles and everyone looks contented. But I will admit I felt a real pang of wistfulness gazing into the faces of my beautiful young children when they were so sweet and adoring and all. Don't get me wrong, I love the teens and nearing-adults they've become, but retroactively there's something so endearing about the small child phase...perhaps a part of it is revisionist history, who knows? But just hang in there. It's not easy. Try to hold onto the good times when the hard times are at the forefront.

Heather said...

Oh, from one homeschooling Mother to another - ain't it the truth!!
BTW - Thanks for the image of Mary raising Jesus. I never thought of it in those terms, but you are right. He never sinned, so he really must have been a lot easier to raise!

The Ironic Catholic said...

I love this blog. Thanks for your wit. I have three kids, don't homeschool, but I can still relate to too much of this....

Kimberly said...

Could you though imagine, really imagine, raising a PERFECT child? My goodness, I feel loony enough with my two little darling boys who, though good, are far, far from perfect. I am filled with enough anxiety about how I will totally screw them up being their Mommy, how I constantly pray for them because of who their Mommy is, and how completely and utterly inept I feel in all my wretchedness...how much crazier would it be with a child who is perfect and without sin?

Catherine said...

LOVE IT! You are my new best friend. A homeschooling mom with a bunch of kids who doesn't want me to go out and shoot myself because I'm not perfect enough!

Thanks for being REAL. And real funny.

SharonAdelle said...

Have you ever read "I should have seen it coming when the rabbit died" by Theresa Bloomingdale? A Catholic mom who had 10 kids in 12 years--very funny! I think it inspired me to have my 5! People too ask me "how do you do it" and I usually answer "I don't!" My house it usually a mess and I don't homeschool--sorry, but I need that time to recover. My kids are now all in school and I feel like I've graduated!

You made me laugh out loud when I'm sitting here all by myself at the computer at 9:00 in the morning!

I also loveyour choice of music to listen to!