I cried in my car today, and now you know that the Target pharmacy bathroom isn’t the only place I lose it. The reason I cried today was ridiculous. I’m not downplaying my feelings here, the “straw that broke the camel’s back” in this case is completely comical.
You see, it all started last night when my daughter kept throwing up, I wish I could say this was unusual, but alas, it is not.
Every time she would throw up, my 5 year old would appear in my room from the dark hallway and shout, “Bravo!” to congratulate Ella’s vomit. Easton is a character, he can make any situation funny, but at 12 in the morning while sitting in another person’s puke, I was hoping Easton would quit being Ella’s cheering section.
Which brings me to today. I was tired. So tired.
The kind of tired where I contemplated calling both of the kids out of school because the thought of getting them ready made me regret all of my life choices. I soon remembered, however, that if I kept them home, they would annoy the hell out of me all day long. So I sucked it up and haphazardly shoveled them off to school.
Now, at this point in the story, it is important to point out that today was pajama day at Easton (the cheerleader’s) preschool. It is also important to note that he wets the bed often.
Back to my story, after Ella and I drop the older two off, we come home and relax. Eventually, I start cleaning the carpet from last night’s puke-a-palooza and I walk into my son’s room to check things out.
Once there, I realize he wet the bed. He wet the bed in the pajamas he WORE TO PAJAMA DAY.
See, this is funny. It’s ridiculous. It a quintessential “parenting fail.” But it sent me over the edge. On my way to school to pick him up, wearing the same sweatpants I wore that morning to drop him off, I cried.
I bawled my eyes out, for no reason in particular, but also for every reason under the sun.
Usually when I cry, I bottle it up until I feel like I’m going to explode. Once I start crying, it’s fast and fierce, then I’m done. I pull myself together and put on a smile, a happy facade, a mask. I’m not depressed or overly anxious, I’m overwhelmed. I feel like I’m constantly being pulled in a million different directions and never find myself able to keep up with my life.
I find being my children’s “safe space” overwhelming, because I get the worst and the best of them.
I get all of their tantrums and anxieties and fears. I need to be everywhere for them at once. I need to have one on my lap, one on my shoulders, and one right next to me at all times, because none of them want to be without me. Dividing my time between three lives from sun up to sun down is daunting.
I feel like I’ve lost myself, but no one else notices.
Outside I’m bubbly and sarcastic and fun, on the inside I wonder when life will get easier. When will my kids start listening to me the first time? When will we have one day where no one pees the bed or throws up on the stairs?
When will my husband understand the struggles of life at home? When will I find a balance between family time and “me” time? When will I stop feeling like I’m getting knocked down before I’m able to fully stand back up? I don’t have that answer.
So, for now, sometimes I cry in my car. Sometimes it’s the only way to let my frustrations out.
Just because I overcame postpartum depression doesn’t mean I’ve got life all figured out. I could’ve never fathomed the amount of tears motherhood would bring. I would’ve never believed how difficult marriage would be, even when it’s to the right person.
I never realized how much the disappointments of childhood would affect me this late in life. I didn’t think about the logistics of being the center of 3 small people’s world. I never realized how heavy all of that responsibility would weigh on me. I didn’t know, but I’m learning every day.
This post originally appeared on Not Your Mama’s OCD