Monday, September 21, 2009

the rock and a hard place trap

Sigh. My 8 year old is coughing nonstop, wrapped up under blankets in my bed, running a fever which I've only officially discovered as our thermometer went missing yesterday. My mother is heating up lasagna (laden with meat) for breakfast, before she heads back home to Florida. My husband always runs late in the morning so my daughter was hysterical about being late to middle school which is way across town and requires public transportation. Somehow his being late and her panicking is all my fault. As they got into the elevator, he said my anxiety bordered on abuse, as my stepfather walked by. Nice touch. There were 3 sobbing phone calls from the bus and a couple of curse laden texts all lobbed at me. Meanwhile, I was trying to get medicine down the little one's throat and help him neti pot so he could breathe.

This is after having my parents in my living room since Friday afternoon. 14 people for dinner—I did all the cooking. Large scale homework assignments with my older one. Increasing snot from my younger one who woke up at 2 in the morning the night before last, screaming, because his nose was so bad. By last night, after 10 people sat around having dinner, as I scraped off the dishes, put away the 15 glasses my mother used for club soda, fought my way through piles of books, suitcases, extra pillows and the extra large garbage bag full of bubble wrap my brother brought over for the kids to play with, organized backpacks for school, got kids bathed, read to and into bed, all I could dream of was the quiet and calm of Monday, when everyone headed out and I could settle in, regain my composure (and sanity to be honest) and get some work done.

But no. Jack is full scale sick so we're home all day. My parents don't head out to the airport until 12:30, so I have exceedingly lovely houseguests who make it impossible for me to ignore them and settle in at my computer. I love having them visit, but 2 bedroom apartments are just hard when there's no where to go. I ended up crying on my bathroom floor at least twice, just to relieve the tension. Not to mention that I finally have to face the fact that my mom isn't well and she's not doing anything to help herself get better. Last week she told me she needs a hip replacement. That, on top of both knees and necessary foot surgery. That, along with diabetes, reflux and a host of other things I can't keep track of. She can't handle any of it until she loses weight, but with lasagna for breakfast, that's not happening soon. I told her yesterday, after keeping my mouth shut for years, that if she doesn't start taking care of herself, we can't come down to visit. What I got in return was a tirade about what a bad mother I am (that caused one of the bathroom sobfests).

I try so hard. All the time. I am responsible for so many people. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I disappeared for a few days—how would anything get done? But, I can't. So I get yelled at, taken for granted, insulted, overwhelmed. I have to sign again. Life as a mother.

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