"I'm having a hard time!" says my 6 year old. Almost immediately the giant doberman puppy that I willingly acquired knocks over a brand new decorative glass bottle and "crash!" it breaks into pieces. She's having a hard time?!
I loved that bottle...someone else was willing to part with it for two dollars! I suppose it's true what they say that "one man's trash is another man's treasure." I'm oddly upset by the demise of this two dollar turquoise bottle that was most likely manufactured for pennies. I begin gluing it back together as the defeat sinks in.
I cannot blame anyone, I think that's the worst part about this situation! I could blame the mindless black blur that is the dog but it's not as if he purposely sought out my new bottle and maliciously destroyed it...or did he???
These are the thoughts of a mother who is completely and utterly tired. I'm pretty sure that half of the women that you see in the mug shots on television are mothers that just needed a vacation or perhaps a nap. Exhaustion does crazy things to a person, especially to a person who already exhausts themselves.
It's not the actual bottle that I'm upset about...or is it? It's what the bottle represents which is a beautiful thing that is now broken. A beautiful thing that won't be the same despite the immense amount of super glue puzzling it back together. There are pieces. Lot's and lot's of pieces. The bottle will turn it's broken side to the wall and be forced to stay that way. Always broken, always facing one way.
The idea of this is sad to me yet alarmingly familiar. At the risk of being a complete downer, this bottle is the perfect parallel for a mother battling everyday challenges mixed with a fair amount of anxiety and depression. Like the bottle she is still beautiful and serves an important purpose. She brings color and usefulness to the family all while trying to hide the broken parts of herself.
I have battled depression and anxiety from the time I was thirteen. Looking back I can see that the anxiety started long before that but the official diagnosis and medication didn't start until my teenage years set in and I seemingly lost my mind. Being a mother to a twelve year old I now feel the overwhelming need to apologize to my parents for my very existence. Now that I spend my days in what can only be described as terrorist negotiations, a swamp of cheerios and last nights dinner dishes, I understand better what my parents were talking about when they said "I brought you into this world and I can take you out!"
Being a mother with depression and anxiety disorder presents a whole realm of challenges that I never considered before I decided it was a good idea to procreate. It honestly never occurred to me that laundry and a dirty kitchen floor could leave me balled up in a corner on the couch crying. I didn't know that Xanax existed until my second child was 6 months old. Shouldn't that stuff come standard when you have a child? "Here! Have a diaper bag with a months worth of baby supplies and a standing prescription for Xanax, you're going to need it!"
I honestly don't know how some of you mothers do it! I stand in awe of the women that show up to school and church with a row of tiny duckling little little humans all in a row. They look like they were sent through a primping assembly line and there's a smile on moms face! IF I show up at all my hair looks like something out of an 80's magazine my expression is that of a crazy person and there's most likely toilet paper or a baby wipe stuck to the bottom of my shoe. My kids file in eventually and we most likely can't find my two year old. You laugh but it's happened! Their socks never match and I'm not sure when they bathed last but they are usually smiling and that has to count for something right?
The majority of the time I feel broken and put back together, trying to hide my flaws from the world. I am so thankful for those seemingly perfect women that I see because they show me that there is life out there where depression doesn't cripple human beings. I am also incredibly thankful for other women who every once in a while show me the broken sides of themselves. It shows me that there are other mothers out there fighting my same battle and probably using just as much Xanax as I do.