Tag Archives: frustration

Walking and Waiting for the Answers to Grief

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My friend died.

Over the past week, I have been walking down a shadowy hall.  It is dark and tight.  The walls press on me.  It makes me want to scream in claustrophobic panic.  I believe it is called grief and loss.

Every once in a while lights flash, startle me, and make me nauseous.  My heart races.  I think that’s trauma.

There are doors that open into little waiting rooms with chairs.  Films of memory play on vast, white walls.  But it hurts to go in and watch, so I keep walking down the narrow corridor.

I walk at a really slow pace.  My husband might call it moving at the speed of cheese.

How I’d love to call her up and talk about cheese.  She loved food.

See how that works?  I start to have a thought and then circle back around to her.   My head is so full.  Overloaded.  People are left staring and waiting around me, because my brain can’t move any faster.  It’s a slow computer.  God, that woman could not use a computer to save herself. . .  There.  I did it again.

As a clinical social worker (which by the way my friend also was), I know all about the stages of grief:  Denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance.  It sounds so tidy, laid out like that, and yet it is more of a mangled wreck than anyone could imagine.  On one level, I understand that the so-called stages are more circuitous than linear.

I know it was normal after I kissed her cold forehead to feel a surge of anger well up inside me as I left the funeral parlor.

Anger at her.  Anger at myself.  Anger at the universe.

Why couldn’t she have taken better care of herself?  Why did she have to go and deprive the world of herself?  Why did I not know sooner how truly ill and tired she was?

In addition to knowing it is normal, friends have assured me it is normal.  So a part of me can accept this anger for what it is.

But there is another part of me that is just her friend, a mere mortal who is still alive, and doesn’t know what to do with the thread of anger in this tapestry of pain I clutch at my throat as I walk down this hall.

Her head was so hard under my lips.  Like marble.

I know it is totally understandable to feel rational and accepting one moment, and then to circle back to denial and depression the next.

Bargaining is another “stage,” but it doesn’t seem necessary to bargain. Dead is dead.  But oh god (who by the way I don’t believe in), if I could just get one more minute. . .

And what would I do with that minute?

I’d ask her what to think.  I’d ask her what she would say to me upon learning of her death.  I’d ask her if she loved me as much as I loved her.

I’d ask her if she had given up, if the taste of death she’d had a month ago had made her want the real thing.  I would ask her why she didn’t call me back when I called her a week before she died.  Was it because I had been so adamant about her following the doctor’s instructions, and she didn’t want to?  Did she not want me to harp?  Had she accepted a fate that she knew would be too difficult for me to support?

Was I a bad friend for nagging her, for not being ready to be in the world without her?

At some point, I recognize, my heart will probably tell me the answers to these questions.  That after I get through the dark passageway and back to the land of the living, I’ll be able to see more clearly.

I’d spent so many hours sitting and chatting with that woman.  She listened endlessly to the minutia of my existence.  Birds in my yard. The fox. My children.

She looked at my pictures.

She kept my secrets.

She always took my side. Always.

Her patience and wisdom were never ending.  I’m sure at some point during those many times, she gave me all I needed to know, but until it is clear, I am left waiting, scowling, tapping my toe impatiently, for answers.

One more minute couldn’t scratch the surface. . .  but I’d give some teeth for it anyway.  One more minute to thank her for championing me when I felt like I had no one else.  One more minute to tell her I love her.  One more minute to ask her if she is ready, if she feels okay about this transition, if there is anything she wants me to do for her widow.

My friend had dozens of friends to whom she was close.  She was amazing that way.  She didn’t have casual acquaintances.  If you made it into her circle, you were under her wing of family.

I am sure they would all wish for another minute or three, not to mention her beloved of over 30 years, or her BFF of 54 years. . .  what makes me so special that I should feel hypothetically entitled to be granted one more imaginary minute?

Was I special?

What is it about death that makes me doubt my special-ness.  Does it die with the one who was loved?  Does it disappear behind the veil with their persistence and laughter?

Or is it, perhaps, if I believe I wasn’t special, then it won’t hurt as much because it didn’t mean so much?

I believe in love, and I think I believe that love is a bond that cannot die.  I think I have to believe this about love, because if it is not portable to the great beyond, then I don’t think I could really get out of bed again.

Enduring love is the only “afterlife” in which I believe.

My friend was elderly, and yet, there must have been a rather foolish part of me that thought she would live forever, that believed I’d never have to face a world without her zany humor.

Somehow, her voice continues to fill my head.  I hear her make those noises she’d make when she was amazed or delighted by something, the oooohhhs, and gasps of wonder.  Despite seeing over 75 years of the world, she never ceased to be amazed by the smallest gestures of tenderness, by the beauty of nature, by the majesty of animals.

I did the stuff you’re supposed to do.

I cried.  I brought food to her wife.  I went to the services.  I cried more.  I got piss drunk and fell down.  I collected all the cards and little treasures she had ever given me and looked at her sloppy handwriting and laughed.

I walked in the woods.  I sat at her grave and talked to her.  I patted the freshly rolled out sod, crumpled into a ball, and cried again.

I started to feel better, as though the hallway were lit with skylights.

Then I felt like shit again, and it was dark and I was bumping into stuff.

At the burial, one of the funereal directors plucked roses off of the arrangement on the casket and passed them around.  She said we could place the rose with a prayer on the top of the casket to go down with my friend, or we could keep it in memory of her.  I clutched at mine while everyone else kissed theirs and placed them on the casket.

I thought of the red rose corsage I wore a year ago at her wedding, how I’ve kept it tucked into my mirror in my bedroom.

How could it be?  How could all of this be real?

It’s confusing how my brain is trying to fold around this information and digest it like a carnivorous plant.  I suppose the good news is that I don’t have to completely get over my grief for her today.  It’ll take time.  One minute at a time; one breath at a time.

I’ve never cried such fat, wet tears.

If I were sitting with her, she wouldn’t hug me.  I know that sounds weird and kind of cold, but it isn’t at all.  It’s perfect.

She listens to me with her hands on her thighs, fingers curled in towards her thumbs.  She breathes and nods slightly while I cry.  She gives my space and lets me have my feeling, my dignity, my rage.  

Then she pushes a box of tissues toward me.  She tells me with a wry grin that she has examined the woman before her, and she does not find her lacking.  She hands me a candle.

I dry my face, and plod forward.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/waiting/

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I’m a Feminist AND I Shave– Get Over It

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Lately I’ve been subjected to a glut of posts on social media about the social convention of shaving for women, and why it is holding us back as feminists.

If you haven’t seen these posts, Google it.  It is a thing.

There seems to be a general consensus that if you are a woman AND you shave, then you are allowing “the Man” to hold you hostage to misogynistic standards of beauty to which we have been systematically and habitually brain washed since childhood.

Apparently, because there are not any more important things going on in the world, like whether or not a flaming narcissist with a general disregard for human rights takes the throne of the free world, a conversation about the bodily hair of women has been started.  Feminists have been called to arms over the fact that the beauty industry has duped us lady folk into believing it is more esthetically pleasing to have shiny, hair free flesh.

My Hairy Feminist Sisters, I salute you, but. . .

Here’s the thing:

People need to shut the eff up about the fact that women shave their arm pits, legs, and/or lady bits.  I respect your right to be hairy, but my preference for a sleek physique does not make me less of a woman, feminist, or a crunchy-tree-hugging-hippie.

I get that people are just trying to stick up for women’s rights, and I am seriously not mocking anyone who choses not to shave.  I also understand that there are biological reasons we have fur, yadda, yadda, yadda.  But as with everything else directed at us women (probably including this post), this advocacy for pubic hair comes across as judgmental, at least to me.

I espouse this rant as someone who has done both- been hairy and clean shaven.  At one point in my life I chose not to shave, not because of any political agenda, but because I was curious about how it would feel and what it would look like.  It was cool.

Actually it wasn’t cool, it was warm, cuz you know, extra hair.  But you get what I’m saying.

My body hair at one point prompted my brother to tell me he could lose his car keys in my leg fur.  Others made jokes about having Jerry Garcia in a headlock.  One guy I dated at the time told me he loved it and found my arm pit hair incredibly arousing because it resembled two additional vaginas.  (???  Men.  AmIright?)

I took all of this feedback with a grain of proverbial salt because I was content with myself, in my own bushy skin.

Over the years, I’ve just realized I prefer to be clean shaven.  I don’t spend a great deal of time shaving, and don’t spend a lot of money on shaving products.  My hair is light and fair and does not need frequent pruning to begin with, not that I should even feel compelled to justify any of this to anyone.

But lately in the shower, when I reach for my pink lady razor, I’ve been feeling a twinge of discomfort, like I’m doing something wrong or embarrassing to womenkind.

Well, no more shall I feel less than for shaving.

Look, I’m still a granola and animal-right’s loving hippie peace freak.  I still do all sorts of crunchy things.  I wash my face with organic jojoba oil.  I practice meditation and take daily walks to “ground myself.” I try to be mindful. I voted for Bernie in the primary.  I purchase cruelty free beauty supplies.  I breastfed my daughter until she was four years old.

I am also a feminist who stands staunchly for women’s right to choice, freedom, and equality.

And yeah, I shave.  I buy pink razors and shaving cream that smells like raspberries.  I do.

I don’t do it for my husband or society (although 20 years ago when I graduated from college and dutifully read “What Color is Your Parachute” it was the general recommendation to shave up before an interview and so far this advice has worked pretty well for me).

I shave because I find it pleasing to my own esthetic, and because it is my right and my choice to do so, just as it is someone else’s right to grow their armpit hair and dye it rainbow colors (I kid you not.  Google it.  It’s a thing.)

Again, I have no problem whatsoever with women who feel more comfortable al natural. What I take issue with is the judgement that comes along with these posts that if we do shave we are not as good at being women and feminists.

Don’t we face enough judgement and vitriol for our every move as women and mother’s?  I know, as a working mom, I never feel like I am doing anything right, let alone living up to the grand and splendid tenet of feminism that Yes! We can have it ALL.

Please.  I beg of you.  Let me shave in peace.

I’d like to leave you with some lyrics from my OG feminist troubadour, Ani Difranco’s song “Little Plastic Castle”:

People talk about my image like I come in two dimensions

Like lipstick is a sign of my declining mind,

Like what I happen to be wearing the day that someone takes a picture

Is my new statement for all of womankind.

I wish they cold see us now, in rubber bras and leather shorts

Like some ridiculous new team uniform

For some ridiculous new sport

Quick someone call the girl police

And file a report.  

I dunno if Ms. Difranco shaves, or not.  But she got that one right on the nose.

Momaste to all of you women and moms out there who are working hard at whatever it is you do.  Take a minute to accept, appreciate and love yourself just the way you are.  You’re fabulous and I’m so happy you’re here.  The mom and woman in me bows to the mom and woman in you.

Chocolate Babka

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Eating chocolate babka
over the sink with my fingers,
the day violated me,
pinched my every nerve raw
with the constant need of me
to be all things
to all people.
It doesn’t matter that
it is all in my head.
I yell at my daughter to go to bed,
and stain the dish towel
when I wipe the chocolate
and cinnamon pastry from my hands.

Why Does Your Birthday Make Me Want to Cry?

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 Dearest Jack,


Tomorrow you turn nine.

I’ve often described your birthday as a national holiday in the country of motherhood, because it feels huge and spectacular.

The story of your birth is like a legend to me. I tell it often, and although it may bore others after the 47th time, it is always magical to me. I remember how it felt to walk the neighborhood with amniotic fluid dripping down my legs, surprised at how it didn’t stop flowing. It was the first of many surprises motherhood would bring my way.

Tonight, on the eve of your birthday, I told you about how when a mama is pregnant, the baby floats in a sack of waters, and how sometimes when the waters break, it means baby is on the way.

“That’s so weird sounding,” you said.  “Water breaking.” You walked off to play legos, unimpressed.

I labored for 22 hours with you. Most of it was very peaceful. Since my contractions didn’t start on their own after my water broke (an expression which forever after will sound weird to me), I had to be induced. The artificial chemicals caused me a lot of pain. I was tired and I could tell people started to worry that I would end up with a C-Section (that’s another lesson for another day).  I begged for an epidural, and within an hour of getting it, was fully dilated and ready to push you out.

I pushed for a little over two hours. It was two of the most focused, intense hours of my life.  It seemed like just minutes.  It seemed like I was deep inside of my own body, with you, helping you to find your way out of me.

You came out squished, with your head elongated and cone-shaped from being in my birth canal for so long, but as I grabbed you, snatched you to my chest, I sobbed, “He’s so beautiful,” over and over and over.

I couldn’t imagine ever feeling anything other than mystical love and adoration of you.

I couldn’t imagine that I would be so tired and so hopelessly depressed with post partum hormones that I would want to leave you on the steps of the church across the street, or sell you on the internet.  I couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to leave you at daycare when I went back to work, how I cried until my face looked deformed, how I felt like an incomplete person to be apart from you.

I couldn’t imagine how you would test every nerve in my psyche with your strong will and fierce independence.  I couldn’t imagine how you would make me swell with laughter and pride when you made your first smile, took your first steps, or made your first jokes.

Nothing could have prepared me for your otherworldly wisdom, your past life regressions, and your fiery temper.  No one could have warned me how scary it would be and how much I would worry about your heart and soul.

I had no clue you would become so tall so quickly.  That you would be a brown belt in karate.  That you would be fascinated by science.  That you would be such a picky eater.  That you would be so incredibly sensitive.

I had no clue how much you would be like me, and how much that would challenge and frighten me every day.

I had not an inkling how hard it would be to be a mom, to be YOUR mom, to juggle everything we would both need and want.

You came to the bare skin of my chest that August night wired with your own personality, your unique intensity, your distinct weight and volume in the universe.  I’ve tried to shape and help you, and I always will.  But I have also learned to respect that you are your own.  For as much as I will always love you, you do not belong to me.  And maybe that is the scariest part of being a mom.

Before bed tonight, I hugged you close, felt the solidity of you in my arms.  I didn’t tell you that a part of me wanted to cry, wanted to go out and shake all the bats from the trees in the summer night with my wailing.  I just held you and patted you and felt how different and new you feel in my arms as you grow.

And I think that’s the thing.

I think that’s the part that makes me want to cry–  every time I embrace you, you are a new person and it is like the first time I ever clutched you to my breast, weeping for your beauty.  It’s a mixture of joy and sorrow that is every bit as strange and individual as you are, my son.

So here’s to your ninth birthday.  The last year you will spend in single digits.  Here’s to hugs and legos, starbursts and peanut butter sandwiches.  Here’s to Doritos and learning to canoe, swimming with friends and Harry Potter.

Here’s to you.  Here’s to you and me, even on days when it is kind of hard and when we both feel frustrated and scared.

Happy birthday, Sunny Boy.

I love you,

Mama.

When Mama Isn’t Happy, Nobody Is Happy

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Kwan Yin with a baby

I’m stressed.

I got home late from work after a cluster fuck of a day.

Sorry I said the eff word, but there was no other way around it.

My last client had some complex and very dangerous stuff going on, and it would not have been ethical even in the best of times to say, “Gee I’m sorry but I need to get home to my own family now.  Good luck with everything you are going through.”

Like, I could have been sued for that shit.  And people could have been in serious danger.  Like life or death kind of stuff.

Sometimes it is really hard to have to put other families before my own.

It is especially hard at 5:25 pm when I was supposed to be home already and am stuck at work trying to convince someone that they actually want to make a safe choice.  And because of the nature of my work, I can’t really tell you any more than that.

So that stresses me out too.

Because I then get home and can’t really talk to anyone about what just happened and why I’m late.  Because ethics.  Always with these ethics.

I thought I had planned a super sweet dinner for the family with a rotisserie chicken and potatoes and stuffing and all that shit.

Sorry I said the ess word.  But there was even a vegetable, even though it was smothered in a cheese sauce.  And I had visions of eating ice cream on the porch after.

One big happy family.

All I really wanted was to sit down and have dinner together as a family, but apparently this is an unrealistic expectation.

My son refused to come out of his room because he just learned he has five weeks where he will be attending summer camp this summer instead of being on an eternal weekend for 10 weeks.

And my daughter has pronounced what a “bad mama” I am because I am already making three different meals tonight (leftover mac and cheese for the boy, leftover spaghetti for her, chicken dinner for me and the hubs) and I wouldn’t make fresh mac and cheese for her too.

My husband was quiet and sullen, trying to cajole the kids and me into all being nice on a path of least resistance.  I’ve tried and tried to tell him that the Path of Least Resistance is not the best way to raise children or “be” in a family, but he don’t care.

Whatever.

And deep down, I am still stressing about if someone else’s family will be safe tonight and if I did enough before leaving work.

Fuck.  It.  All.

Again, my apologies for the eff word.

Did I mention I am also in the throes of rampant and savage PMS?

Yeah.

So I’m unhappy.  And I’m disappointed, a little angry, and pretty frustrated that I can never fucking “nail” anything as a working mom.

Really, my feelings are just hurt.

So, no one else in the family is happy, because I’m not happy.

I’ve taken away TV.  And dessert.  No ice cream on the porch.

And as I stomp off to walk the dog and then change out of my work clothes, it strikes me what a monumental responsibility it is being a mom and trying to keep everyone happy while simultaneously implementing appropriate rules and consequences, and also balancing my career and setting up the coffee for the next morning.

Whatever I am feeling seems to trickle down, one way or another, onto the rest of the family.  Sometimes it feels like if I am not if super-chipper-robot-mode, then we are all fucked.

It seems really hard to have an authentic feeling without either going over the top and ruining everyone’s day, or retreating to a cave of solitude and ruining everyone’s day.

And happiness?  WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?

Most of the time I am an anxious mess trying to keep all the balls in the air, and the genuinely good moments I share with the family are few and far between and savored dearly.

In my office, I would preach emotional regulation and self care.

In my reality, if I can find the 25 minutes to write this post before I pass out in front of Netflix, then I can chalk it up to self care for the week.

Look, I realize my experience is not unique.

This is the life for which we sign up as working moms.  I don’t really think any of us could have possibly predicted what a gut busting marathon working motherhood, or just plain motherhood, truly is.  People try to tell us.  Very well-meaning people try to tell us how difficult it is, how tired we will be, and how quickly it goes by.  But no matter if we listen to them or not, we can never truly predict the reality.

It begs the question, if we had known, would we have done it?

Furthermore, what the hell are we supposed to do with this complex blend of exhaustion, frustration, anger, and confusion?  How are we supposed to express it–  how are we allowed to express it–  without upsetting the family apple cart.

Because anything we feel, the rest of the house is going to feel.

We didn’t know that either, but that’s just the way it works.

We are the emotional barometers in the home.  We set the tone and temperature for how it will be.

If we had known, would we have been crazy enough to reproduce?

It is also the path I chose when I became a clinical social worker.  And little optimist that I was, I had no fucking clue what all that meant.  It is the same path any working mom choses when they become a doctor or lawyer or supervisor or whatever where you have to put the needs of others front and center.  This was all well and good before I had kids…  but now?  It is almost unbearable.

Things fall apart.  Tantrums happen.  Doors slam and you are told what a poo poo head you are because you only have two hands.  Work spills over into home just as home spills into work.  Balls drop.  Some nights you don’t sleep.

In the end, I sort of stomped off to my corner of my room to implement a time out for myself.  It was all I could do.  I started writing this post.

And both of my kids came up to check on me.  They couched their concern in questions about other stuff, or random fun facts about their day, but I could tell that they were checking in with me, making sure I was okay, much as I check in on them and make sure they are okay.  They weren’t nervous or upset.  Their anger with me was all over and done. They were allowing me to have my feeling, but offering me a little connection, a peace offering of sorts.

I didn’t totally grasp this at the time, but later it hit me.  I’ve modeled enough emotional regulation for them–  maybe just enough—  that they get it.  They respected that I needed space, and they gave it to me, but also let me know that they were okay and present.  They knew I was upset and were modeling back for me what I have tried to model for them.

That’s kind of cool.

It sort of tempers the responsibility of keeping my shit together–  maybe just enough —  to see it reflected back to me in my kids.

So maybe I nailed that. And maybe we can all have ice cream together on the porch and be a perfect family on another night.

Grinch of Mother’s Day

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I’m shaking with rage.

It’s “Mother’s Day” and I am doing laundry and cleaning up the art supplies and dried paint from the craft my husband planned for the kids.  The craft that ended up flopping and was unusable for gifts for the grandmothers so I had to come up with and execute something last minute.

I hate Mother’s Day.

I hate everything about it.

I hate the commercialism.  I hate the expectations that are never met.  I hate having to do stuff when really I just want to stay in bed, or wander the mall by myself.

I hate the added pressure to do special crap that I really don’t want to do for my own mother and mother in law.

And then I hate the guilt I feel for not loving a day that is supposed to be all about glistening gratitude and love.

I’m like the Grinch of Mother’s day.

And like the Grinch who stole Christmas, I dread Mother’s Day every year.  Every.  Fucking.  Year.

Last year was halfway decent with mimosas and breakfast in bed followed by a walk on my own at the beach.

But this year it was like the goal of the day was to make me feel as un-special and pedestrian as humanly possible.

Look.  My kids are alive and healthy.  I have a beautiful roof over my head and a cute dog.  To the naked eye, my life is perfect.  I’m grateful for all of this.  Really.  I do not mean to sound like some harping fishwife about Mother’s Day, even though I probably am.

I’ve also learned that expectations are usually not met, so it is best not to have any.

And I’m not actually a high maintenance person.  Really.

But when my husband is going out at 8 pm the night before to buy me a card, and then making the kids make me half-assed cards the morning of. . .  Well, it just kind of highlights the fact that no one really gives a fucking rat’s ass about what I do the rest of the 364 days per year.

It is usually one of the two days per year that my husband gives me some kind of flower arrangement.  This year, he gave me coloring books.

Yup.  Adult coloring books and some colored pencils.

Had I EVER expressed even the slightest interest in coloring, it might have been thoughtful.

OR, had I the time to color, then maybe the gift wouldn’t have seemed like such a slap in the face.

Maybe if I hadn’t actually mocked and reviled adult coloring as a hobby for myself. . .  but no.  This was the gift that basically screamed, “Hey, I have to give you something and I really didn’t want to put much thought into it, so here.”

I’ve been trying all day to breathe and allow and accept that it is really just another day, and it is alright that no one made me breakfast in bed or took me to the ocean or even folded the children’s laundry for me.  I’ve been offering gratitude for my children who are alive and never had cancer or anything horrible happen to them.

I’ve been offering gratitude for the opportunity to clean the toilet, and to run all around the state dropping off my handmade gifts to the mother and mother in law.  They deserve it.  They do tons of shit for us.  If anyone deserves recognition on Mother’s Day, it is them.

I’ve been attempting not to be resentful that my husband did basically nothing for his mother and that I had to step up to recognize her.  And I have been trying to not be a dick and be upset that my own brother is mentally ill and missing in action, and my sister moved 3,000 miles away so I am the only one to give and show love to my own mother these days, despite the fact that I can never really seem to please her and anything I do pales in comparison to my sister’s Facebook status from 3,000 miles away.

But come on.

What the fuck?

When am I allowed to say enough is fucking enough and I feel like shit and I hate coloring books and it would have been nice if you could have even kept the kids from waking me up before seven this morning?

I mean, come on.  Dude.  Don’t we stress as moms like every second of every day during the year?  Is it way too much to ask that we get even an hour of feeling special on our fucking “Day”?!

What.

The.

Fuck???

Tomorrow I will get up and bring the kids to school and go to work.  And it will be another day.  People at work will talk about the flowers from their kids, or the perfume they got for their moms and I will smile and nod.

I will quietly wonder if there is a word that encompasses a middle ground between “mediocre” and “crappy” and will silently use that imagined word to describe my Mother’s Day to myself.  Because no one likes a Grinch.  And no one wants to hear about how sucky, passive-aggressive, and enraged you felt on Mother’s Day.  Goddess Forbid.

In the mean time I want to slam shit and have a tantrum because Hallmark set me up for yet another incredible disappointment.

I know for a fact there are a lot of you out there for whom Mother’s Day is really rough.

Maybe you lost the baby you always dreamed would make you a mother.  Maybe your child is desperately sick, or caught in the grasp of addiction or mental illness.

Maybe your mother was not kind to you when you were young and a tide of disruptive memories comes flooding back and sweeps you off your feet and into its angry current.

Maybe you are battling your own demons of depression and despair.

Well, you are not alone, my sister-friends.  You are most certainly not alone.

So next year, I say we take all the coloring books and crappy cards that weren’t hand made, and everyone else’s bouquets to the top of Mt. Crumpet to dump it.

And maybe if we strain our ears, and peer into the rising sun, we will hear a sound.  Maybe we will hear the sweet song that actually clues us in to whatever the hell this day was supposed to be all about.

And the Worst Mom in the World Award Goes to. . .

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My daughter goes to a preschool that we can’t really afford.  It is the best in the state and it is driving us deep into debt to send her there.  My son went there too.  It is a long story, but we have committed to keeping her there for another year until she is ready for Kindergarten.

Instead of the regular school photos that most places do, which are expensive already in my opinion, my daughter’s school has a private boutique photographer come in to do photos of the children.  And these photos cost the equivalent of a flight to the moon, in my opinion.

Most of the other parents are doctors and lawyers and business people who can afford such tom foolery.

We have skipped on the photos for the past two years, but for some reason my hubs decided that we would go for it this time around.

So we paid the sitting fee and then completely forgot about it.

My husband sent me a picture of my daughter standing by her cubby in a pair of leopard-print leggings that were ripped in the knee, a mis matched top, and her fine, curly hair completely unbrushed.

She was glaring at his camera phone with glassy, annoyance because I had also sent her to school sick.

Beneath this photo, read my husband’s simple text:  Photo Day.

I wanted to cry.

Not only had I sent my poor little ragamuffin to school sick, but I sent her dressed like something out of a Charles Dickens story on picture day.

This is the crap that makes me feel totally out of control of my life.

This is the crap that makes me feel like I am juggling furiously, but the balls still keep dropping everywhere, and then I am tripping over them in an attempt to gather them all together again.

I went off to work feeling sad, mad, overwhelmed.  I ran a red light in my distraction and I’m pretty sure my transgression was caught in the flashes of a traffic camera.

It all made me want to cry.

Sure a good laugh was had by all the other working moms at work, who let me know they had done the same, exact thing at one point or another.

I still wanted to cry.

The other day, I wrote about about losing our shit as moms, and how we need to practice self acceptance and self compassion in our day to day, so that it will be there for others.

Ever notice how things are so much easier blogged than done?