Being a stay at home mom is so tough in so many ways. More often than not you come out defeated rather than conquering. The walls seem to close in smaller as the hours of the day pass by. It's almost as if someone has thrown your life into this never ending things-to-do list and you just know that taking care of and playing with the kids has to be on there somewhere.....but where? While all those things are what I categorize as "tough," nothing can beat a mom down more than loneliness. And I'm not talking the all I ever do is talk to a two and three year old all day lonely. I'm talking "alone alone!" Where you wonder why nobody else's children act like yours, think no one can possibly understand what your life is like, and, dare I say, feel trapped....and alone. If you are a mom, then I can guarantee you have felt "alone alone." The crazy thing about that sickness is that it attacks everyone differently.
My "alone alone" comes in the form of separation anxiety. Both of my boys have suffered from this since infancy, and both of my boys have it to the upmost extreme. I've heard things like, "They just love their Mommy so much." Or "All kids go through it, it's normal." And while both of these things may be true, I see the looks on the faces of the teachers when I bring in the hysterical child time after time to school, church, the gym, even a friends house if I need a sitter for a short time. It is exhausting....for me, for the teachers, for my kids. I've done everything I know to do: bribed, spanked, rewarded, MADE them go because let's face it, they've got to get over this. Yet, they never do.
Do you know what it is like to ALWAYS be the person who has the screaming kids....always? To wonder if something is wrong with them because (and I'm not joking at all) I never see anyone else's kids having a break down EVERY single time? Or worse, to feel like you are doing something wrong as a mother? The most difficult part is that I feel like it is beginning to really wear me down. My temper becomes shorter not only to my children, but also the people who watch my children. Today it happened. Today I snapped. Today I went from the "apologetic" Laura who is sorry that her children act this way to the "Deal with it" Laura.
I had had a bad experience with the YMCA childcare on Tuesday. We switched to the Y....a gym a really do not like near as much as others....for the kids. They are supposed to have great children's care and activities. Tuesday was my first day and it did not go well with my two year old. (Let's just thank the Lord for a moment that I ONLY had my two year old that day.) So I was geared up ready to face today. As soon as I walk in with him they said, "Are you going to try again today?" Which to me came across as, "He's already crying, are you really going to leave him?" I am not tough! I am not stern! I am as far from confrontational as you can get! But something in me (the Stewart in me) came out firing. I simply told the girls that this is just what he does and that I was a member at Gold's before and he did it there too....but that they would hold him and he would be fine. They quickly replied (as they so rudely made sure I knew on Tuesday) that they have a 15 minute policy where if he cries for 15 minutes they will have to come get me. And that's when it came out......
"I know that is your policy but he is smart and will quickly learn that if he cries long enough, Mommy will come get him. And if that is the case every time than I guess I will have to quit the Y because I will obviously not ever get to work out."
You should have seen their eyes.....like who let this crazy person in here? Luckily a sweet girl came over and offered to take him and help settle him down. And me.....well I went to the locker room, found an empty changing room, and cried.