Motherhood: Get Me Off This Ride!
Crazy About Being A Mom
So I have been struggling with what to write this week because, well honestly, I don’t want to sound schizophrenic, psychotic, crazy, loony tony…you get what I mean. You see looking over that last few columns it sounds like life has just been peachy here in teenage boy land. But well that just not true. It truly is a see saw here, or a roller coaster, or our household is bipolar. I don’t know, I can’t think of any other analogy for “up and down.” But would you know what I mean if I said that Paula Abdul’s “Two steps forward, three steps back” song plays over and over in my mind lately.
I mean there seems like there is so much to celebrate. And I have mentioned those. I mean there’s the new girlfriend who really and truly is every mother’s dream. There’s the fact that Aidan got a job. Then of course there is my determination to be at peace with Gannan’s decision to live with his father (and well, gulp, live LIKE his father as well.) There’s the fact that we are planning for college and prom has come and gone. Summer is here and with it comes new jobs for each boy making them independently wealthy and in need of less gas money.
But with every good thing, every rise of the roller coaster, height of the see saw, every manic mood (okay, I’ll stop with the analogies,) there is something or some things that inevitably pulls me back down to the depths of despair and blackness and worry. No it’s more than black desperate worry. Quite often it is anger and frustration and an incredulous feeling that those teenage boys could be so damn disrespectful, so damn exasperating, so damn stubborn and entitled.
Here’s an example: Teen one goes to the prom. I paid for the tux, the tickets. He looked so handsome in his charcoal gray. He indulged me in a thousand pictures. He smiled with his girl. His grandparents SET HIM UP with a vintage Cadillac convertible in school colors no less to arrive in style at the big dance. During the coronation he sauntered confidently up the aisle with his gorgeous girl on his arm. And he was happy. Good goodness he was happy. I drove home warm and squishy and hopeful and full of thoughts like, “My boy is growing up. “And “not a bad job mom.” But we couldn’t go to bed right away. We had to pick him up at the prom at midnight to bring him to the after party, and then sneak in four hours of sleep to wake up at 4:30 am to pick him up from the after party. But no matter. Any mom would be HAPPY to do that for her child. I climbed into bed that night so pleased that my son had experienced a dream prom. And yet, and yet, inexplicably that same son got in the car after the After Party and actually slammed his fist against the dashboard because something he put in the wash wasn’t put in the dryer. Really? Really? UP and DOWN. UP and DOWN.
How about another? Teen one comes home. I gently say that his Spanish grade isn’t as wonderful as it could be as mentioned in an email I had received from his teacher. I discussed said teacher’s offer of retaking ANY test to raise his grade. That is right I said ANY. He listened intently and even took the printed email. He said, “I am definitely going to take advantage of this. I will retake every quiz that way I can raise my grade.” I went about my business making dinner feeling warm and squishy inside. Flash to two weeks later, (last night as a matter of fact,) I asked, “So son how many of those Spanish quizzes did you make up?” Well all that warm squishy feeling in the pit of my stomach was punched right out. “I DIDN’T MOM! I DIDN’T MAKE ANY UP. GET OFF MY BACK!!!” Slam (door). Pound, pound, pound pound. (Feet down the stairs.) SLAM! (Bedroom door.)
It is moments like these that I could throw something. I could repeat over and over and over and over, “How dare you! How dare you! How dare you! Don’t you know I am trying to make sure your life the best it could be? Do you know how much I give up for you? How many bleepin’ times can you slam a bleepin’ door in my face and scream over my words when you don’t like what I am saying?” I can get so angry. I can feel so irrational. Those eye rolling, door slamming, sometimes laughing in my face scenes can make me absolutely schizophrenic, psychotic, crazy, down-right loony toony. This up and down life is making me sick to my stomach. Motion sickness caused by two teen boys can really exhaust a mom, so would you blame me if I told you that there are some days that all I want to do is get off the ride?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed.