It is nearly midnight when I finally climb into bed with blood shot eyes and achy bones. After the race to get through dinner and then bedtime with two kids, I spent hours trying to put the house back in order. I meant to curl up on the couch with a bottle of wine and some trashy TV, but when no one else is willing or able to clean and wash and plan then the endless list of chores silently and expectedly falls to me.
I’m not sure how I got to this place where the parenting and the running of this household all become my sole responsibility. I’m not a single mother; I am married to a generous man who spends his days building wooden boats two miles away from the ocean’s edge. He lives a charmed life. And according to Facebook, I do too. I have two funny kids who are always getting into comically ridiculous situations that turn into photo op’s for me to post online. But quietly—and privately—I sometimes resent this job of motherhood. I feel invisible.
Mother’s Day is around the corner and in the recesses of my mind I am already wishing for the decadence of expressed appreciation from my small brood. I am daydreaming about being thanked a thousand times for all the poopy rears and snotty noses I’ve wiped. I wish for heartfelt apologies for all the meltdowns thrown my way. I long to be hugged by my husband for more than four seconds before whiny voices beg and plead for snacks and more TV. I imagine that for one day—just one day—someone else will offer to do the dishes and the laundry. Perhaps the chorus of hungry bellies will compliment my cooking instead of protesting it before they destroy the dining room with globs of food flung every which way.
This year for Mother’s Day, I am tempted to take a day off from motherhood entirely. I want to spend the day trying to remember that somewhere under the folds of my sweat pants and flannel shirt, behind the matted ponytail that hasn’t been brushed in days, and lost inside the stretched skin of my postpartum body is me.
I am here and I need something beautiful and selfishly mine: recognition. I don’t need breakfast in bed (although that would be nice!) I don’t need an hour alone in the bathroom so that I can soak in the tub without interruption (wait…yes I do!) What I need more than anything is to be made to feel truly and absolutely appreciated.
(And maybe some wine and trashy TV too.)