Who came first? The Mother or the child?
We all know that the Bible tells us that Eve came first. So, how is it, these days, in my daily grind, that I come last? Behind the kids, the husband, the dying dog – yes – she is holding on – and the two other dogs? I know I fall behind extended family at times, and I even wonder how I get pushed out of friendships.
When did it happen, I wonder, that I became that woman everyone depends on but whose needs seem to come last?
Now, this is not a whiny, woe is me, how come nobody loves me, kind of post. Because, obviously, I am loved. Very much so, in fact. By a wonderful husband, three beautiful daughters, and all of the dogs I feed.
But, lately -well longer than lately – like since my water broke the first time, I am feeling a lot like I work for the kids. Like I am their maid, nanny, therapist, chef, mind reader, and butt wiper all day, every day, regardless of my needs.
It seems it is getting later and later that I get to brush my teeth… don’t worry, I make sure it is done before I see you… and longer and longer between showers. Again, I try before I know I will come in close proximity to other humans. And the last time I had a manicure/ pedicure I think Bush was in office. OK, not that long, but, in my defense, my years are all blurred together.
I did not use to mind it. I ran with the mindset that being a mother meant I was supposed to serve people all day, every day, with no break ever. And – at least for the first 3 days, I loved it. Those were the good ole days – before the complaints, hiding in the closet, and rushed bathroom trips. When I just did it and did not think about it. When I had one. Who slept… sort of. And pooped… in a diaper. And ate… from my boob.
There were no dishes, no toys strew about threatening to send me screaming in pain and cursing like the sailor I should have been, and no endless parade of laundry loads that stalk me even when I sleep. It was… dare I say to all of the hard working Mother’s of one out there… easy?
But now that they have multiplied – yes, I know how that happened – and taken over, I am a slave to their demands. And it is getting kinda old. Because I am so low on the food chain now that the dogs come over and pat my back on mock pity… right before they ask for a bone.
So how did it happen that I am the working bee and not the queen bee? That I am not the Paul to the Beatles but the roadie to the water boy? That I jump when a request is made but the same favor is not returned in the least?
Did I not come first? I carried them – lopsided at times – until they breathed air. Fed them until they gained fat. And have the scars to prove it! In places I did not even know could scar!
Shouldn’t I be in control here? Dictating the day? Creating the peace and harmony that all families strive to live in? Making the dinner and the rules? Washing the laundry and the bad words out of their mouths? Mopping up the floors and the praise at how well they all listen to me ?
Instead, I am a hamster. Spinning furiously on my way to insanity. Getting this, pouring that, picking up here, cleaning there, spewing directions to those who have no desire to follow them, praying that when people say it will get better, they do not mean my alcohol expertise. Because then I would just be drunk and spinning and no one needs to see that.
So, what do I do? How do I fix it?
Who’s more important?
And will I even be wise enough to know when the answer is thrown at my head… sealed with a kiss?
Or will I be asking this question for decades to come, awaiting when my children become mothers… and I can enact appropriate revenge?