I hid in my closet today. I cleared a space between my shirts and sat. I was quiet. My youngest was crying in his room and my oldest was yelling at him, “What did you do?”
I close my eyes and envisioned the beach. A beach with a crying child. No wait that’s not right. Ok, I’m trying it again. A beach with only the waves and wind. “Mommy??” a frantic wave said. A wave? Ugh, it is my oldest.
“Mommy where are you?” the panic in his voice making him sound younger than his 12 years. I said nothing. I kept my eyes closed and watched the waves. I breathed, deeply.
“Moooommmmmmeeeeee!” he was getting closer; it sounded like he was in my room. I only had seconds left. I put my toe in the water and felt the waves caress my feet.
“What are you doing?”
He’d found me.
“I’m breathing and enjoying the waves,” I said. I opened my eyes. He was staring at me. I knew he was confused. So was I. How had being a mother become so hard? How did I become so out of my element, so out of my mind and so out of patience that I was curled up in between my shirts on the floor of my closet envisioning talking waves while my kids played a game of hide and seek where no one knew the rules?
He looked at me expectantly. I would have an answer, I always did. Right? I had no answer. I had no energy left to answer even if there was an answer.
“Are you ok Mommy? Why are you on the floor of your closet?”
I wanted to tell him the truth – that they had reduced me to this. Their fighting, their constant NEED of me, his inability to complete the tasks I asked of him, his constant singing, all this had sapped me of my strength and the only place that felt safe was the dark corner of my closet. Surrounded by my clothes that smelled clean. I opened my mouth to speak and nothing came out. I was like a fish gasping for air. I felt horrible.
It’s amazing as a mom because I can feel this way, like there is no hope and I will never be able to stand again, or cook them dinner, or referee another fight, and then something kicks in and I do stand. I don’t want to but I do. I stand and I walk out and I do what I need to do. Everything is heavy and I want nothing more than to sleep but I do cook, and I referee and I bathe and read a night-time book. I do it all without complaining and they are none the wiser.
I’m not sure how life turned into this. When I look back to 10 years ago, if you’d told me this was how life would be I would have died laughing. In some ways it is exponentially better and in others, well it leaves me sitting in the corner of my closet.
I’m a divorced mom of 2 boys, 7 & 12 now remarried and a step-mom to an almost 11 year old boy. My 12 year old has ADHD and my youngest is hard to see in the ADHD shadows. My step-son is having some troubles adjusting to our new family. So my hands are full.
But I’m a mom on a mission and I’m passionate about this mission to raise awareness of not only ADHD (because let’s be real, who these days has NOT heard of it?) and what is means, but also how it affects the family unit. How it affects us moms. I want people, especially the mother’s out there, to know they are not alone. I want you to know that at night, after the kids are all down and the house is quiet, it is TOTALLY normal to stuff the entire red velvet cupcake into your mouth, then wash it down with a diet coke. And to tell yourself the two cancel each other out. You are not alone.