I’m under two years into my tour of duty as a mother, and I hate myself.
I love being a mother. I love my daughter with an intensity I never thought possible, that I-would-pull-down-the-sun-with-my-bare hands-if-I-could kind of intensity.
I have settled into a comfortable love with my partner stable and happy life, with the occasional, blowup. I no longer need him to show his adoration for me every moment of every day; I finally understand that doing the dishes and grocery shopping while I pick up/bathe/feed/change/launder is his way of loving me. And while I still am wistful for the passion of the early years, it’s in there – I finally see it in all the things he does, not just the passionate things.
I have this great husband, but often he has to deal with me and this imposter wife who lives with us. I don’t like her.
She is a worrier, a nagger, and a bitch. I hate this woman who sits in my chair and sighs all the time, rolling her eyes and acting so put upon. I hate the guilt that ravages her about practically everything. I hate that she even seems to forget what fun is.
SHE is not me. I am fun-loving. I love to laugh, and no one makes fun of herself more than me. I love to make people happy, and try not to sweat the small stuff. I value the minutes of our lives together, and don’t lose it over the little things. I am the one who wants to live in the moment, as much as I can. I am the one says ‘to hell with it’ and goes to the park and play. Not her, though. She has shit To. Do.
Sometimes she gets caught up in her own pity party, and thinks she is the only one who does anything ever. She forgets the little joys, and loses her shit over spilled sugar on the counter that was an accidental mess left by her partner making his 4:30 a.m. coffee before work.
She comes home from her work some days and is just too tired. She just wants some GODDAMN PEACE.
Doesn’t she know I want to play with my daughter when I get home, to savor the moments that are gone before I even know they happened? She needs to slow down more often, and remember ME.
Who the hell is she, and when did she replace me?? This bitch needs to hit the road. She is impeding my life, and I can’t have it anymore. It’s hard enough to be a parent without all of the crap she brings to the table, 90% of it needless (because, really…sometimes cleaning up that sugar for the 862nd time can piss off even the most Stepford of wives).
I am slowly learning how to rein her in. I have taught her to take a breath and walk away for a minute if she is feeling overwhelmed. I have shown her what it is like to forget the laundry/bills/adult crap for a day and sit in her pyjamas on the floor reading books. I even helped her figure out that counting backwards from 100 helps her turn off her brain at night to get to sleep.
She fights me, but when I talk to her in the kitchen, when she is fuming over the sugar, she hears me sometimes. She lets it go and wipes up the sugar. She even discovered the value of not dealing with a problem in the moment, and realized that sometimes, after a cooling off a little, it doesn’t even matter anymore.
We’re coming around to some understandings. I let her worry long enough to come to a solution, then get over it. She gets to have her moments of pitying herself, then GETS OVER IT. I forgive her for all the things I hate about her, because she isn’t perfect either. She is trying just as hard as me to just get by and be happy.
We may become one yet, this imposter wife and I.