Today is one of them. The Beav and I covered about four-and-a-half miles this morning in triple digit temperatures and I swear, as much bile spilled from my tongue as sweat poured from my glands. If there’s really such a thing as “going on strike” from the job of motherhood, I think it’s fair to say, this morning I declared such a strike.
I did not get out of bed before the sun. I did not wake up either of my children. I didn’t prepare breakfasts or lunches. I didn’t issue reminders to bring homework or weekend projects. I didn’t ask about upcoming tests or even about after school activities. I’m not going to do one piece of laundry, pick up a hair-tie, bobby pin or stray earring. Shoes will remain where they were kicked off. Popsicle sticks, milk rings and breakfast dishes will sit and for all I care, attract ants.
If I can no longer perform the chores of motherhood with a sense of love and responsibility—only anger and resentment—isn’t it time for me to step away from the job?
Besides saying “good morning” and “good-bye,” I didn’t speak to my children before school. I figured by not saying anything, the opportunity for them to snap back or respond to me in a disrespectful tone would not exist.
I don’t think they noticed.
Since they don’t seem to pay attention to the things I say and all that I do for them, who knows how long it will take for them to notice the absence of these activities?
Two weeks ago while in the midst of cleaning up stray socks and listening to the whining over another lost iPod—(or was it a cell phone?)—I broiled with internal rage and concocted a list containing items banned from purchase for the rest of the year and taped it to the refrigerator. The headline screams NO MORE and the list includes things my kids regularly lose or don’t take care of properly. Each item on the list is over-represented in the clutter of this household and I simply have NO MORE tolerance for any of it.
When my husband came home and read the list, he laughed. And with his sense of humor still in tact, added the final bullet to the NO MORE list:
• WIRE HANGERS
“Very flippin funny,” said Mommie Dearest.
He’s been home for just shy of a week and to my knowledge, he hasn’t purchased any of the newly listed contraband; however, yesterday he did look at a big, black pickup truck, which he’s considering buying for our soon-to-be 16-year-old.
I’m telling you, this just might send me over the edge, because I’m caught between wanting to be released from carpool duty and not wanting to perpetuate my child’s obvious sense of entitlement.
Did I receive a car at the age of 16? Hell no. I wasn’t even allowed to drive the family car when I was in high school. And further, my parents didn’t drive me to school or to extracurricular activities. I was forced to find a ride, ride my bike or walk. And I honestly don’t remember feeling deprived. It’s just the way it was.
What I do feel right now—and I feel it keenly—is that this thing called motherhood is by far, the most difficult job I’ve ever had. The workload is tremendous, the praise is practically non-existent and the pay has left me feeling impoverished. Worst of all, there’s no vacation in site. Ever.
So for today, I’ll have to settle for a strike. And BTW, my BFF Beav says my feelings are justified. And as the mother of four, she knows what she’s talking about. As far as I’m concerned, she’s president of the motherhood union.