Monday, February 10, 2014

The Wall

You guys.  I hit the wall.

Maybe it’s the winter blues, caused by all the snow DEAR GOD, ALL THE SNOW.  Maybe it’s my age.  Maybe it’s because I never leave the house because the people here, they need me.

For everything.

In this house I’m the touchstone, the one who knows all.  The general, the one who barks orders and commands, the end all and be all to their litany of needs and inquiries.

I’ve written before about being bombarded with questions.  My husband, The Inquisitor, can drive me to near lunacy with his conversational style that is comprised solely of questions.  What are you doing?  What are your plans? What are the kids doing?  What are their plans?  What is everyone in the world doing?  What are their plans?

My response to all the needs borders on the terse “I don’t know” to the lengthy lecture.  Yesterday was a time for the latter, as I dove into a tirade in the car on the way to church (because really, there is no better time to unload all your annoyances than on the way to a place of worship – leave your baggage in the car and heaped onto your family member’s heads is my motto) about how I’m done.  Done with being the nag.  Done with reminding people to practice basic hygiene.  Done with answering questions that people can answer themselves.  Done with telling children to do their homework, eat healthy snacks, put their clean clothes away, wear a coat outside because it’s winter for the love of everything holy, do you not see the six-foot piles of snow EVERYWHERE?!?!?

I am done with Being Mommy.

Yeah.  It was not one of the nicest things I’ve ever said.

And it’s ridiculous.  This is the role I have assumed.  My children will look to me for guidance and for the answers to the questions of life until the day I enter heaven.  They will wait for me to tell them to do things like take a shower and hang their coats up until they leave this house.  They will ask

What is there to eat?

What do I wear for practice?

What time are we leaving?

How long is this going to take?

Can you get me a glass?

Can you get me a plate?

Can you get me a fork?

Can you throw this away?

Do I have to take out the garbage today?

Can I have a friend over?

Are you going to bed?

Do I have to go to bed?

What are we having for dinner?

Do we have any milk?

Where is my shirt?

Can you wake me up?

Do I have to go?

Can you help me with this?

Can you do this for me?

Should I wear long sleeves or short sleeves?

until they are gone.

And then I will be here.  By myself.



I don’t know that I want to think about that.


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36 comments:

  1. I think my husband asks me more questions. Drives me crazy! I had barely walked in the door from my run this morning and he asked me the "Where is the..." about 5 things. Gah!

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    1. Ha! Yes, my husband is the King of Questions. My two favorite responses are to stare blankly or say "I don't know" when he asks anything.

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  2. NOLA, woot woot! Girl, I feel ya and we haven't all the piles of snow keeping us in the house. It's just plain crazy making to be THE one in the know all the time. Sometimes I tell everyone I am not Mom right now. I am Erin tapping out of parenting for an hour so nobody enter my ecosystem of computer, tea, and quiet. It works for 45 seconds when Andy wants to know if I've fed the dogs. And yes, reminding ourselves it is temporary is a relief and an abyss all in one. High Five for being Oz even when iyou'd rather not be all the time.

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    1. Yeah, girl, NOLA! I love it there.

      It usually helps when I specify what I'm not going to do but that still needs to be done. I said usually.

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  3. I've been known to yell "MAMA IS OFF DUTY RIGHT NOW!" just willy-nilly, whenever the mood strikes. Because Mama needs a day off too sometimes.

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    1. Yeah, sometimes. Or once a day, whichever comes first.

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  4. 50% sympathy 50% grins About 100% love. :-)

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  5. I smiled when I read your list of questions that are asked of you. My mom trained me out of asking any of those things at a young age. I quickly learned not to ask her to bring me things because her answer was always, "Your arm broke?" As soon as I got old enough not to hurt myself or seriously destroy things doing a task, she taught me the task - cooking my favorite dishes, laundry, etc.

    I know you take great pride in being a wife and mom. That is wonderful! I'm also glad you realize that you have your limits in taking care of other people. You are human. Maybe the timing wasn't what you wanted, but that message needed to be shared.

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. Knowing our limits is the most important thing in life, I think. So many of us learn this later than we should.

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  6. I am WITH you. Oh my - all the time - every day. And then my husband says, "Sometimes you overreact." There are no words.
    Thank you for this post - it makes me feel better knowing that we moms are all in this together. ;)

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    1. Thank you, Heidi! It means so much to me.

      And you're right. There are no words in the situation you described with your husband. I know. I KNOW. :)

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  7. I so 100% get this. Sometimes being the only one that knows the stuff (or has to fake knowing the stuff) gets to be so overwhelming. I just want someone else to be able to answer some of the questions.

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    1. Right? And why do I have to respond in ways that make me look dumb, just so they have the chance to figure it out?

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  8. Consider the wall hit. It might actually be taking on some damage at my house at this point. ;)

    And I agree with Tammy, my dad would ask if my leg was broken though, not my arm. I need to start doing this. Thanks for the reminder Tammy!!

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    1. Yes! It's much better than "I don't know." Because I DO know. And THEY know I know.

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  9. Yes! Enough with the questions already, especially the ones from my husband. Though I have been known to rearrange the kitchen cabinets and not tell him where anything is, so I'm probably bringing this on myself.

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    1. Yeah, well, that's no excuse in my book. People rearrange things in this house (by not putting them away) all the time. And I still have to be the one to find them!!

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  10. tips, from a dad:
    - Answer some questions with questions.
    - Acquire an obnoxious gift of ill-timed humor when asked questions.
    - charge $1 per question. Double it if they reach double digits.
    - 30% of the time, answer with "go ask your dad."

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    1. I do all of them except for charging them. That sounds like a good way to get back all the $$ I give to my children to do nothing around here but ask me to do stuff for them. Thanks for the great idea!

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  11. So many questions, I know. Sometimes the questions just don't stop. Or, what is happening lately, they ask me the same questions repeatedly because they have forgotten the answer that I gave them 15 minutes before. :)

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    1. Yes, we have this, too. It's so much fun.

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  12. I get bombarded with requests ALL.THE.TIME. Granted, my kids are really young, but OMG. Also, my husband asks me where stuff is all the time. Even stuff that belong to him that I never, ever touch, or even laid eyes on before. Before he even looks for it himself. Why? Who made me the seeker of things?

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    1. Seriously. I did not sign up for that job. Sometimes I respond with, "We do not live in a castle or a mansion. The thing you are looking for can only be in so many places." Sometimes that helps. Oh, who am I kidding. It only leads to them asking me to help them find whatever it is they lost.

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  13. Hang in there, mama! I promise not to ask you any questions! #maybe

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    1. Oh, I'm hanging in there. By a thread. :)

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  14. Exactly! It's the constant requests! It makes me barmy! Get yourself a drink, you lazy little bum! Find yourself a snack--you know where the refrigerator is. *bangs head*

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    1. Can you? Could you? Would you? Will you? Barmy, indeed. :)

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  15. I second what Jennie and Eli said (also, don't ask me for advice - because my kids and husband have been in for a rude awakening the last 6 months - and it has been great for them :) )

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    1. You know, you have a good point - being thrown in the deep end just might be good for them. :)

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  16. I hear you *sigh*
    I've got a question for you: WOULD YOU LIKE SOME COFFEE?

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    1. Now that is a question I can really get behind. How about "Would you like two- or three-carat diamond earrings?"

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  17. Ah, yes, the "is your arm broke?" response. I've heard it. I've used it. I completely understand. I, too, am the person who is supposed to know the answers to everything. Most days, I do OK. Even way better than OK. But we all hit that wall. For me, it usually happens when they come into the bathroom when I'm taking a shower and holler over the water. Honestly! This is my seven minutes a day that I would like for nobody to ask me questions. And what do they do? "Mom, what should I wear?" "Hon, what should I pack her for lunch?" "Mom, I can't find my toothbrush." "Hon, where is her schoolbag?" Those are the days I crack - when even my shower can't be just a little bit sacred. :)

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    1. Yes. When the bathroom can't even be sacred, there is sure to be trouble.

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  18. It's crazy bittersweet. I caught a sob in my throat today, driving in the car by myself, thinking about how they will never be my little kids again at home. For the entire year before kindergarten I fantasized about them going to kindergarten and Zoe to preschool, and having some alone time. And now here I am sad that I will never again have two identical little pudgy 2 year olds, driving me to the brink of insanity while I try to rock their infant sister to sleep. I miss them so much.

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    1. OMG you just described the feeling that hums behind everything since the day my kids went to school. I miss my kids more now than I ever did, even when they're driving me nuts.

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