mean mama

Mother’s Day on the Dark Side
May 11, 2008, 6:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

An aquaintance with whom I was chatting the other day was more or less complaining to me about my lack of bitterness over our whole situation right now. “But aren’t you angry about everything you’ve been through?” Me:I don’t know. Her:Well. I just think if you don’t take time to feel your feelings about all that has happened, it will catch up with you later.

And I thought to myself, “So what.”

I mean, seriously. Sorry if my positive outlook and determination to push through each over-stuffed day is annoying some people. And maybe things will catch up with me, but I hardly think that the present, a time in my life when I have to just get through every day without falling apart, is the most convenient time for a nervous breakdown.

But just in case I have eluded any of you with my lack of bitterness, I’ve come up with a Mother’s Day List of Grievances, based on my experiences so far as a mother:

1. It sucks to have a baby in the NICU on Mother’s Day. And nothing can help. No meals out, no flowers, nothing. It just sucks.

2. It sucked to have my 6 month-old child scheduled for an MRI the day following Mother’s Day in 2006.

3. Ok, here is something – what do all you people with normal pregnancies and typically-developing babies do, anyway? I mean, how do you spend you time? And what do you worry about as a parent, when you have an advanced child? Preschool admission? I mean, really. I’m working my ass off over here.

4. Word to the wise: it never makes a person feel better when her baby is in the NICU, and some well-meaning buffoon says, “Well, at least you can get some rest before the baby comes home. We were up four times a night with little Johnny when he was a newborn!” Oh, you mean the little Johnny you brought right home from the hospital with you? Poor you. And by the way, when one actually does get to bring her baby home from the NICU, he is still up four times per night. The difference is that you don’t mind so much because HE’s FINALLY HOME. Meh.

5. Sometimes when people hear that I have 2 yr old twins and just had another one, they are all like, “Are you serious?” Is that not totally rude?

6. My family was all sick on my birthday this year with the stomach flu, and today my husband has some sort of respiratory infection. I don’t care as much about Mother’s Day as you’d think, but it’s pretty bad when you have to buy your own flowers. Oh, and while we’re on the topic of sickness: on the way to the NICU today, M got car sick and threw up what seemed like gallons of a water/apple juice combo he’d just drunk. Happy Mom’s Day, y’all.

7. When I see women in their pregnant, spring/summertime glory, tight shirts, no coats, bellies all aglow, I am bitter, because I was still supposed to be pregnant. I am not bitter when I see people with newborns. Just those grand bellies.

8. They taught the boys to say, “Happy Mother’s Day” at daycare. They promptly wished a wooden toy dog they own a hearty “Happy Mother’s Day!” but could not be convinced to say the same to me.

9. My husband and I had our first argument in months today. Just a little one, but still.

10. Is 2PM too early for a cocktail? When the boys and my husband are napping?

That’s all the bitter I can eek out. And it is certainly in there. But I still insist I am coping and lucky to be a mother in the first place.


6 Comments so far
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Do people really say Number 4??!!! Come to think of it, I have had my fair share of stupid twin comments so I guess i can see people injecting themselves into your family planning schedule.

I think you are handling things in the best possible way. I can’t even imagine what it feels like for you. I also can’t imagine how amazing it must feel to have three little boys. I flash forward to your future and I see many mother’s days when you won’t have to buy your own flowers! You are the queen of the house. Your husband seems like such a great person so I can only imagine him plus you will equal three amazing flower-buying sons!

Comment by Jennifer

i think 2pm is a fine time for a cocktail :} and had i known, i woulda joined and toasted our separate but mutually occuring “funk”s

thanks for your sweet comment earlier about the pit i’ve been residing in lately. hugs right back 🙂

Comment by gypsygrrl

And if you were bitter and angry, those same folks would probably be telling you to look on the bright side. Go have a cocktail to spite them – I’d join you if I were closer!

I have probably been guilty of saying things like #5 just because I am in awe of you twinmamas and feel like you must have some font of wisdom and patience that perhaps I could tap!

Comment by artsweet

I, too, am outraged that people actually say #4… My niece was in the NICU for only a week and it was nervewracking and stressful and I’d be surprised if my sister-in-law got any sleep. People really don’t think before they say things… it always amazes me how stupid people can actually be.

You completely amaze me how you are dealing with all of this– it’s very inspirational and honest.

Comment by JB

Um… deal however you deal. Period. (I am a stoic myself and I get flak for it. It strikes people as unfeminine or robotic or something, but it’s just how I am.)

And it’s not always true that keeping things in is a bad thing. Sometimes, repression is healthy. This is a bit of a tangent, but I remember reading after 9/11 that a lot of what therapists used to think… that repressing one’s feelings or traumas was bad and would eat you up inside… isn’t true of all people. Some people, in talking too much about their traumas and processing them to death, end up reliving them and retraumatizing themselves and making things worse. Others, who can repress such traumas, are sometimes mentally healthier doing just that.

That’s not entirely relevant to your situation, but it is a little. And I’m in total agreement with you about the “so what” factor. You can’t dwell right now even if you wanted to because you can’t crash right now. You have to get up and go to the NICU every day. You have to care for your other two sons, as well. You are too busy to dwell. (I have been in a similar space before… in terms of taking care of ill family members, not with my child.)

And you can be angry or bitter later… or not. I don’t see anything wrong with your trying to focus on positive things.

And a 2 p.m. cocktail? Why the hell not? Call me… I’ll go the liquor store for ya.

I’m thinking of you. I think your sons are lucky to have you as a mom.

Comment by Co

AWESOME bitter flavor, girl.
But seriously- how do you deal with all of the stupid things people say to you? sheesh!

& I can not TELL you how many times I have been tempted to have a glass of wine when my Grandmother is having her afternoon nap. Don’t Italians have wine with lunch? I want to be Italian.

MUCH love to you, sweetie.

Comment by Calliope

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