A Mom’s Secret Wish: Not to be Needed
Over the long weekend, I had what I should have expected I’d have – just your average, run of the mill mommy meltdown. I should have expected it because I always have them around holidays and long weekends and, you know, randomly. I don’t expect them because I am a slow ass learner about certain things. Like my feelings. Which is why I eat instead of process. Anyhoo. I melted. And I realized something shitty.
I have a lot of complex feelings about being a mom. This I know. Do I sometimes think that I am dealing with those complex feelings better than I am? Hells yeah. But I didn’t realize that I might be a bit blamey. And isn’t that the classic passive aggressive gendered move for women: We blame others when life doesn’t go the way we want it to because it has to be someone else's fault otherwise I might have to change something that involves meeting my own needs instead of expecting everyone to leave me alone and/or read my mind so instead I’ll just be mad. Sound familiar?
Now I am not saying that there aren’t jackwagons around you that you deserve to get mad at. Honestly, they probably have it coming – let me rephrase that – they have had it coming FOR YEARS. But that isn’t really what I am talking about here. I’m talking about the more shame-inducing stuff where you get mad at you kid because they need you (SO MUCH, mind you) and/or your partner because they, too, apparently have needs and honestly, that can just be annoying when you feel like you just don’t have any more to give.
Do you ever feel like just everybody needs you all the time and it makes you wanna scream? Yeah, me too. I often wonder if all mothers feel this disproportionately or if just I do because of my own tumultuous motherhood journey (that involves me simultaneously wanting to attach to my child and obsessing over it while also wanting her to live at Grandma's). I, perhaps ashamedly admit, I only want to be needed so much. Which is interesting when you think about it because I certainly don’t want anyone to have any limits when it comes to me needing them. NO SIR/MA'AM! You will be available for my every need and be HAPPY ABOUT IT, K!?!?!
But all this neediness talk – and my perhaps disproportionate anger response to it this weekend – made me realize that I ignore and negate my own needs a lot of the time and so it makes me very angry when people keep needing me and I feel empty of the ability to meet anyone's need - including my own. Sometimes I want to scream that I just want to be left alone. Like, I'm not exaggerating here - like REALLY scream it even to a field full of mud and some lonely-ass con stalks). Sometimes, and especially since becoming a mother, I want to be alone in a way that creates a deep ache in my soul and a longing so visceral that it scares me.
I don’t have a pretty bow or a platitude for this one. It is a work-in-progress problem just as I am a work-in-progress mom. The good part is that I didn’t beat myself up for being a bad mother this time. Instead I just ate my feelings as usual, cried a little, and plotted my revenge.
Just kidding about the last part.