I’ve been a mother for just almost 5 years. I have never had a village. Of any kind. I have this strange “settlement” with some people that “would love to help” except that they can’t, or they don’t, or they won’t. I have 2 ladies from church who offer to help, and who have gotten me out of a few binds by keeping 1 or 3 kids. But they’re busy. And they live over an hour away.
I do not have grandparents to call. I do not have a best friend down the street. I do not have Aunt’s to host slumber parties when I need a night off. I don’t have people who just show up to help. In 5 years I’ve never been able to say, “I can’t take the screaming anymore. Help.” And have ANYONE show up. I’ve never had anyone to call when my depression makes me want to throttle everyone in sight; some one who would just show up.
Maybe you have a village. Maybe your mom, or Mother-in-law lives just 15 minutes away. Maybe you don’t need help. Maybe you have never felt like giving your kids away to the first passing car. Maybe you have never hated your job.
I can’t say any of those things. In fact, 2 years ago, while going through a tough time with my depression, I lost “friends” — several of them. They basically told Brandon they thought I was too negative, and needed to just do my job without complaining.
With friends like that who needs enemies?!
Instead of a village, I have mountains of people who take for granted that I can do whatever they want… usually whenever they want. Even if it’s over an hour away. Those people do not offer to come to my world. (It’s too far, afterall) They do not offer to actually show up and help with my work. Some offer to talk if I need to… If I could manage to stop and talk and actually remember how to have a conversation, and hear anyone…it would just put me behind on everything else that is swallowing me.
I feel like an island. And I’m absolutely drowning. I could read any parenting, homemaking, momming book out there and none of it would help. Instincts are overridden by fatigue and stress and frustration. There is no calm left only anger. No hope. Only guilt. No joy. Only resentment.
If you have never parented from a point where you could not get help; then you have never seen how many walls it puts up. Soon even if someone was to offer, your mind and heart can’t accept it. You’re so used to being “ok” that you put up defenses. If someone says, “let me know if you need anything.” You’re heart just rolls it’s eyes and says, “yeah. Right. ‘Cause that always works out.”
A lot of people have told me in not so many words, that I’ve put myself in this position. If I’d just done x, y, z then I’d have all the help I need. How does that work?! I don’t make the choice whether anyone offers to help. And I have asked…I get crickets. No response at all.
And here I sit, angry and wishing someone — anyone would read this and have a clue how I feel. Maybe it’s begging. Maybe it’s whining. Maybe it’s just a wife and mother at her wit’s end, with a to do list that’s longer than her stamina. Maybe villages of people helping people don’t really exist anymore. Maybe I expect too much and set myself up for disappointment. Maybe…. But then Maybe someone else can at least say they feel this same way. At least then I could be part of a group of islands….