My Mama Said


My mama didn’t say there’d be days like today.

She didn’t say I’d wake completely wasted from staying up writing for a job I took because I have no job skills and only the lingering hope that everyday writing will somehow help and the paycheck is something whereas writing what I feel is nothing.

And the children, the children are yelling and picking and putting each other down like mean little parrots of their emotionally-drained parent who stayed up writing and let them watch a movie as a treat and to distract them from herself.

But watching a movie wasn’t a Fun Mom thing after all because now my child with some behavior diagnosis or another is telling me exactly what he thinks and his disrespectful behavior is the sort that would have gotten knuckles slapped or backsides switched a hundred years ago but instead I’m supposed to hug him and reassure him that his erroneous feelings are valid and I love him no matter what.

I don’t remember my mama telling me there’d be days where I didn’t love my children, no matter what because they’re impertinent and rude whilst telling me that I am the rude one while I’m washing their clothes and making their food and cleaning their residual dirt from all the floors.

No, she didn’t tell me about how many floors were in a house and how many clothing items four small boys can manage to dirty per hour or how many times they’ll throw an empty cup in the sink till only the backup ones are clean and those free-from-restaurant sorts are what visiting guests drink from.

But, really, I’m sure my mama did not anticipate driving to preschool in sock feet, gym clothes that never saw exercise today, and hair that keeps falling out when a light zephyr passes through the air or when a child dislodges several in a rough sign of affection that was probably more of an attempt to show how upset he was over yet another Rude Mom gesture.

Perhaps she knew about the hopelessness, about the parroting, about the ramshackle hairstyle. Maybe she was watching us mirror her sadness and repeat her empty, futile anger as we did whatever we wanted. Did we hear her crying as we knocked incessantly at the locked door?

Honestly, I’m not sure what my mama said because I didn’t always listen.

unsplash-logoFinn Hackshaw

6 thoughts on “My Mama Said

  1. Golly, that’s true. I brought up two boys on my own, and it was exhausting. Utterly exhausting. But looking back, I do just remember the good stuff. The cuddling up together on the sofa watching a movie, well them watching, me falling asleep. I remember mealtimes and holidays and happy times in the garden. I miss it. I long for those times when I was so ridiculously anxious and yet, did it really matter? Did it matter if I wasn’t perfect or if I turned up to school in shorts, t-shirt and wellington boots because I’d been working in the garden when all the other mums were dressed as though they spent their lives shopping and having manicures? No, it didn’t matter, but I thought it did. Sorry, I’m rambling, I just miss my little boys and I wish I could have it all over again. Lovely post and thanks for sharing …. You’re right … did we listen? I’m not sure I did. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true points. When I’m in the thick of it, I mostly feel badly from all the stress of everything coupled with the negative way they keep talking to me. I’m hardly materialistic, so I suppose the element of sock feet and exercise clothes was that I was uncomfortable and waiting for my exercise time all day and never got to.
      (I also cut out the angry bits regarding the husband sleeping in, showering for half an hour, and whistling to and from work…)


  2. Actually my Mamma DID tell me there’d be days like that. But I grew up with Jewish guilt,so I heard all the time about how much she was doing and how difficult I was. You see, I grew up in the 1950’s and danced to the beat of a different drummer. My brother and sister were good listeners and well behaved, and I questioned everything… so my mother’s biggest threat to me was, “I hope you have a child who is just like you and drives you crazy!”
    The funny thing is, that now looking back I think her life was so much easier than mine. I was a divorced mom when my oldest was ten months old and I worked two or three jobs to make ends meet, and so he was pretty well behaved because he was starved for time spent with me when I wasn’t teaching all day, then doing after care, then running off to sell make-up or tutor at night. My second son wasn’t born until almost 16 years later with my late second husband,and I pretty much took him with me everywhere because I had to work then too. I am convinced that stay at home mom’s have more rambunctious kids. The children are used to seeing their parents all the time,and therefore, take them for granted. I don’t know the ages of your sons. (Four boys??? OMG how do you do it???) But, even good kids get weird during their pre teen and teen age years. And boys are just more physically active than girls. I didn’t have electronics to help with my first son, just books and star was action figures, oh, and crayons and paper. My younger son did have electronics and he started making movies at a very young age. He is now 29 and is in the director’s guild working as an assistant director on major films and TV shows so the toy movie camera I gave him in 2nd grade worked out really well. My oldest son will be 45 this year and he tis he executive director of a non profit foundation for a all of fame football player. He has done amazing things and created programs to help young people in our community. But, When I had to raise him alone as a single parent I thought I’d go mad, and yet he turned out great. They both did. In spite of everything. Life has a way of working out eventually.

    You are tired and stressed. But guess what? Our children grow up anyway. I have so much more patience with my grandchildren than I did with my own children, but I’m not rushing to be at work at 7:00 am every morning any more. (I taught elementary school for 36 years.)
    Being a mom is really difficult. You don’t find out what a good job you did until your children grow up and finally tell you. My oldest was driving his daughter to high school last year and called to thank me. I asked him, ” What for?”
    He said that now that he had a teenager he realized that he wasn’t the easiest teenager in the world growing up and he apologized for being a jerk during those years. He then thanked me for being so understanding. He said now he had to really hold in his anger when his daughter got all emotional and sassy. I laughed hearing him share this. I accepted his thanks and told him in 15 or twenty years when she was a parent she’d call and thank him too. And that the wait was well worth it.
    So, hang in there. Your children will grow up and appreciate you one day. It may be a long time coming but it is so worth it!!! Our children drive us all crazy. I think it’s a rule in the universe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 My mom blessed me with the same thing. She called it The Mother’s Curse.
      Thank you for all this supportive information! It’s certainly a goal of mine to have them become parents themselves and look back on their childhood with fondness.

      Liked by 1 person

      • While you’re in the midst of the chaos you think it will never end. You feel guilty that you want to runaway for peace and quiet. And then one day they are gone and it’s just you and you actually miss the chaos a little because the silence is often just as deafening. And then when you have figured out how to fill the void and find yourself along come the grandkids and the chaos begins again. Only this time around you’re a lot better prepared. AND you can Give them back. Lol. Yep it’s a curse and a blessing. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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