I love my daughter with every inch of my being. Since she was born she has constantly allowed me to surprise myself with just how much love I can feel. It’s beautiful and sad and exhausting. She is exhausting.
As much as I love her, as much as I think about her when we’re apart, she is often exactly the kind of person I just can’t handle being around. And I’m ashamed that I can feel that way.
I am an introvert. I like my alone time. I need quiet. I have a six-year-old who has spent very little time in her life being quiet. She’s a talker. She loves to sing and tell me stories and ask me questions and explain things to me – and I love that about her. But then there are the times when I can’t handle it at all.
There are days when I have been as patient as I can be all day and then it’s bedtime and then she gets out of bed three, four or five times to “tell you something” or “I have a question…” and I just need my time.
And I worry that in those moments when I lost my patience, those times when I raise my voice, those days that I ask her to please just be quiet, that she’ll think I don’t love her, not as much, right then.
And I feel alone. So often I feel as though other mothers don’t struggle like this. Other mothers don’t have moments when they want desperately to be away from their children.
Even though I know, and have known for years that’s not true.
There is always the voice in your head that says you are not good enough. You are worse that others. She’s be better off without you. The whole family would be better off without you. Some days – today – it is louder than others.
Days when you want to get things done, but you also don’t want to ask too much. Days when it all topples over on top of you. And you realize just how useless it is to clean when everything gets messy again, when you can’t think of what to make for dinner, when you know you’re supposed to be taking care of yourself first but it’s just impossible. It doesn’t work that way.
Days when you realize just how exhausted you really are.