Lately, my blog is feeling like that beautiful girl who can’t get a date because she’s so intimidating. And then when the guy does work up the nerve to ask her out, he forgets what to say.
I’m sitting at Starbucks right now with no kids around (well my oldest is here but he hardly qualifies as “kid”), and can’t think of all the things I wanted to say.
Wait a second. I remember.
You know what’s the most exhausting thing about being a mom? At least, to me? It’s not the sleep interruptions, though I’m certainly dealing with a lot of that right now.
It’s dealing with All.The.Feels. of everyone in the house all the time.
Since our particular culture dictates that it’s the woman’s job to deal with All.The.Feels, and nobody else is particularly good at it (or at least willing to do it), the task falls to me.
Which is fine most of the time.
What isn’t fine is when I don’t have time to decompress from everyone’s Feels.
It starts with the top and goes all the way down. My husband (who, as an INFP is a big feeler, but not so good at expressing feelings but expecting mind-reading because that’s what INFPs want in the dream worlds of their minds), gets a letter in the mail that I know he’ll have a hard time dealing with, so I have the task of choosing the right time to give him the letter and then helping him process All.The.Feelings. he has about it because our culture also mandates that men aren’t allowed to have All.The.Feelings. which only makes them all the more powerful over him.
Then my oldest, who (like me) does great processing All.The.Feelings. on his own but needs solitude and quiet but doesn’t get enough of it, becomes (also like me) overworked and resentful as a result. And I notice he’s beginning to spill over All.The.Feelings. so I have to take time to help him work through those.
Then my next-oldest, boy 13 who is going through his Rooster phase. Oh, you haven’t gone through the loveliness that is a pubescent boy and the Rooster phase? Let me introduce you.
Roostering is what preteen boys who have 5000% as much testosterone as they will as grown men do, which is basically go around pecking at the hens (the females, including mom) and bossing and stressing them out. It will pass (my oldest went through the same thing), but it’s a challenge while it’s happening. You can read more about the Rooster phenomenon here.
But because he isn’t yet full grown, I picked him up from someone’s house Sunday and he was crying and needed 30 minutes of mothering and my helping him process All.The.Feelings. before he could be around people. (He’s also very sensitive and experiences plenty of feelings but seems to be ashamed of that part of himself, which is a shame.)
Then my next child, a sensitive 10 year old daughter, who experiences All.The.Feelings. before 9 A.M. and who has the nerve to pour out All.The.Feelings. about all the injustices involved with having younger sisters before I have even had breakfast and my second cup of coffee.
(Is 9 am too early for wine?)
(An update several years later when the 10 year old is 13: just yesterday she bursts into tears after an angry rant about all the annoying, disgusting things the 4 and 6 year olds are doing.)
My 8 year old, who never walks but skips, jumps or cartwheels across the floor, wakes up tired because her older sister wants to snuggle up and sleep next to her at night, so she has All.The.Feelings. except instead of expressing them passively in tears and pouting they’re lobbed with energetic force. Even her happy feelings are exhausting.
3 year old has All.The.Feelings. when anyone touches her things, which are lined up neatly in a row and I pity the fool who tries to rearrange them, because they will experience a sharp shriek right in the eardrum.
Even sweet little 17 month old is beginning to have All.The.Feelings. about difficult teeth coming in, sensitive skin that breaks out easily and the unfairness of mommy wanting to do anything other than nurse, rock or hold her 24 hours a day.
I need a whole lot more of this: