Consider this a continuum to my previous article, https://prairiemom.me/2015/10/12/crazy-mom/, in which I discuss the reality that as we age we just sort of turn into what we swore we would never become… like the mom who is nervous in social settings, the mom who is overly emotional, the mom who barks driving orders to her husband from the passenger seat. In that article I admitted I had already turned into the person Most Likely to Tell the Same Story Over & Over in Social Situations.
Men and women alike, beware: You know those people you always used to make fun of? Yeah. Watch out — it’s gonna get you next, and you won’t even realize it until it’s too late.
So, months after that original article, I can now report that new symptoms of my mom-ness have arisen. You may have read last week in https://prairiemom.me/2016/02/11/the-wind-she-blew/ that we traveled to Bozeman for a party, and I was so anxious on the road for the entire four-hour trip that I had to look down at my lap to keep my heart from exploding in my throat. In that article I surmised that the screaming babies, the talkative pre-schoolers, and the howling wind had combined to drive me nearly over the edge, rendering me almost incapable of ever leaving my house again.
Then, last night, my husband and I tried to watch the movie Blood Diamond (after the kids were in bed), which we saw together and enjoyed several years ago. But this time I couldn’t handle the scenes of the little African boy soldiers wielding machine guys. “These little boys belong with their mothers! I can’t stand the violence!” I cried. And I started to twitch. And we had to turn the channel back to something light… like Nickelodeon, which for the most part I consider to be safe.
That’s when I got to thinking back and realized I’d missed this sure sign: I was already fraying at the ranch rodeo I hosted last June. Here’s what happened: During the grand entry I got on the microphone to present an appreciation award to some faithful volunteers. Cradling my newborn baby, wedged into the crow’s nest amongst the timers and the scorekeeper, having neither slept nor showered for about five days, I started to read the script I had prepared for the award presentation. And live, on the air, I cried. Sobbed, actually. On the microphone, in front of the crowd, in front of 50 or so of the toughest cowboy competitors I know… I sobbed. I cried so hard I couldn’t continue, and I had to hand the script to the announcer to finish so I could slink out of the crow’s nest.
Ahem. That was, probably not surprisingly to you, not the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done.
Folks, here’s what I surmise is happening to me: My nerves are just worn very thin. I’ve been in the trenches of motherhood for a little over five years now, and I have to say even I have been impressed with my stamina. I’m a pretty tough gal, and I’ve held up to the rigors of this job for a long time — longer than a lot of my mom friends.
[taking a moment to pat myself on the back]
But it’s a hard job. I tell you, it has been an intense five years. These little Communists of mine have been holding me hostage. They don’t let me sleep. They jump on me every time I lay down. They make me cook for them and then they throw the food back at me. They interrogate me. They scratch, bite, poke me in the eye, tackle, pull my hair, hit me with their own heads, wrestle the glasses off my face, and jab me in the belly button. They try to brainwash me with long orations.
I held up for a long time. But I tell you, people, I’m starting to crack.
And that’s why I’m asking you to show me some grace if you see me in a social situation and I act weird. You know what they say: Motherhood’ll break you.
Wait. Who says that? Probably just me. Okay, you know what I say: Motherhood’ll break you.
My husband says my anxiety will get better once I’m a little better rested. Until then, I think I’m better off keeping to myself. So I’ll be seeing you in about twenty years… if I can work up the courage to leave my living room by then.
Another One Who Bit the Dust
© Tami Blake