I’m tired of being needed. I know, I had the four kids; I’m a breeder, so I’m not allowed to complain now about any of the challenges of raising them. Especially if there are any “child-free” people reading: they’re always the first on Facebook to chime in with “Reason #769 I don’t have kids.” Good for you, zero pop. Go feed your fucking cat and leave me alone.
I think about the book The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan and realize how right she is: it’s called “middle age” because we’re right in the middle of parents who are in varying stages of needing care and children who are in varying stages of needing care. We care. We give. We are the giving tree. I’m observing versus complaining about this because really what’s the point, I just want to take a bath.
We moved into this house where there’s an amazing bathtub that I swore was all mine. I bought candles, and expensive “Monkey Farts” banana bath scrub. And every time it occurs to me to take a bath, one of my kids is in my shower. They have their own bathroom and are supposed to share it and yet someone always ends up in my bathroom until it’s wet and I hate that and now I’m picking up towels and clothes again and I’m too tired, I’ll just go to bed.
I’m tired of being a tragedy whore. Nothing else is allowed to happen to me. I won’t allow it. If one more shitty thing happens to me, I think it’ll be my turn to check into a place where someone else has to worry about providing healthy meals and whether the laundry is done. Someone else can start the dishwasher for a change. It’s disgusting, really, this stupid rant. Poor upper white trash suburban McMansion bitch.
I complain about having no friends to go to lunch with and then I cancel because I can’t keep telling the story and reliving the trauma over and over and then I don’t understand why no one just understands and accepts me without having to change; to put on the show of the perfect sideline fan-mom who doesn’t check her phone during her kid’s game. Who checks the online “Parent Portal” to see how her kids did that day at school. Fuck the Parent Portal. I’ve never been on it once for any of my four kids. I figure if the school has a problem with my kid, they’ll call. I’m not going to micromanage my kids’ every quiz and homework assignment—especially not with four kids in four different schools. I love them, but I don’t have time to stalk them.
I don’t have a writing place on an island anymore because I couldn’t afford it. I have kids who need things and that’s the priority, not the fact that my novel is overdue. My laptop is dying. My chiropractor is impressed by how fucked my neck is from all the migraines. I’m so, so tired.
My sister hung herself. Please stop telling me to hang in there. I know, you don’t mean it, and we all say that all the time. I used to say it myself, and now I don’t. I used to say I was going to “jump off the bridge if…” or that if that happened, “I’d kill myself.” Now, I never use terms about suicide. It’s just a sensitivity I have, and I never blame anyone else for not having it. But the joking Internet “kill yourself” meme isn’t funny to me anymore.
I want to be left alone, but I hate being lonely. I don’t know what I need. I hate going to the grocery store—the sympathetic glances, the polite but intrusive questions. It’s so clichéd to be depressed at the holidays, but here I am. I want “Feliz Navidad” to stop playing on the radio. I want peace, but all I have is chaos.