Today, I'm Drowning in Parenthood

04/14/2015 11:40 am ET | Updated Jun 14, 2015
Stephanie Jankowski

The 5-year-old is arguing because he is right and I am wrong.

The 3-year-old is whining because something, anything, didn't go her way.

The baby is screaming because she no longer fits in my uterus.

The dogs are so sick of the noise that they've disappeared upstairs, not even to emerge for their daily bark at the mail truck.

Today, the sh*t is officially hitting the fan.

Today, I am drowning in parenthood.

When my alarm screamed at me this morning, I turned it off, making the consciously stupid decision to forgo the only hour of peace I'm able to scrounge up each day.

The breakfast I make isn't served quickly enough.

I forget the napkins.

I don't realize the milk expired two days ago until I've filled cups to the brim.

Today, I am drowning in parenthood.

As I accomplish my mundane daily tasks -- unload the dishwasher, get dressed, change the baby -- I wonder if I have the energy to do them even for one more day. I'm aware of someone calling for me, yet again ignoring my constant reminder not to yell from room to room, so I choose to ignore him. For a second, I think about just leaving. Running away. How long would it be until they noticed? Where would I even go? I don't leave, of course, but today would be a great day to take off.

Today, I am drowning in parenthood.

I'm not a terrible mother. In fact, I think I'm pretty good at this parenting gig on most days. My daughter is always telling me how much she loves me, and she is nothing if not honest. But today, quite frankly, I suck. I want everyone to shut the hell up and leave me alone.

No, I do not want to watch the 34th slow-motion replay of your pretend hockey goal.

Please stop asking me for things. ALL THE THINGS.

Hey, infant, isn't it about time you held your own bottle?

The walls of our house are closing in on me and my chest feels tight. I can't even go to the bathroom without the "MUMMY I LOVE YOU" one following me to the toilet. I'm not just saying that because that's what we parents say: I can't even pee without an audience! I legit tried to get some privacy to handle my business and explicitly told my 3-year-old to stay out of the bathroom. She, too, blatantly ignored me. Now someone has to explain menstruation to her because I'm all tapped out today, friends.

Today, I am drowning in parenthood.

I love my husband, but he doesn't get it; therefore, he is on their team. I am alone -- an island of insanity just hoping for everyone in her house to be still and quiet and agreeable. My husband is better than 90 percent of other husbands I know, which means I've got it good, yet today, I want to smother him with the accent pillows on our couch because he doesn't have to concern himself with "trivial" things like consciously positioning the diaper bag just so in the backseat of the car for easy access to the baby's toy, the toddlers' snacks or his cell phone. He doesn't have to think about, anticipate, the boy's next move: will he hit his sister with that plastic baseball bat, or show restraint and save me the lecture? The mental grind of parenting is destroying me.

Today, I am drowning in parenthood.

Part of me feels like a complete ingrate for even thinking these things. My life is good -- so good -- and here I am up to my eyeballs in I HAVE HAD ENOUGH, when there are parents who have lost their children to accidents or cancer or something else. It doesn't matter what; they no longer have their babies and there is nothing worse in this world. NOTHING.

Yet another part of me knows this is honesty, and it's OK to be honest and admit that today sucks because my 3-year-old is f*cking tap dancing in plastic Snow White heels three inches from my face, each tap-tap-tap-a-roo puncturing my eardrum, splintering my brain. Honesty is me wanting to burn all of her toys.

Today, I am drowning in parenthood.

Nothing in particular and everything at once has done me in today. Though I did find $20 in an old hoodie, and neither dog peed in the house even though it was raining and they're divas who don't do rain. Another silver lining: my request for the husband to handle bedtime solo was granted, and with no eye-rolling or complaint, and that's pretty fantastic. With the noise on a different level of the house and a responsible party other than myself now in charge of corralling it, my shoulders are finally starting to melt back into their resting position, and I've exhaled for the first time in about 14 hours. I'm pretty positive that when I wake up tomorrow, things will be back to normal crazy instead of next level crazy. That's just how parenting is sometimes: it takes us to the brink of absolute lunacy, only to throw its arms around our neck with such sweet, reckless abandon that the ledge we were standing on just a minute before doesn't seem nearly as narrow, the fall to the bottom not nearly as steep. Don't get me wrong; the bottom is still there -- but suddenly, and thankfully, we're no longer inclined to fling ourselves into oncoming traffic.

But today? Today I am drowning in parenthood and I'm not sorry I'm not sorry, so there.

English teacher by trade, smack talker by nature, Stephanie Jankowski is a mother of three in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her blog, When Crazy Meets Exhaustion, was born in 2011 out of a work-at-home mom's need for adult conversation. Come say hey on Facebook and Twitter.

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