How many times has this phrase come out of your mouth?
“I can’t do it anymore.”
If you haven’t spoken it aloud, how many times have you thought it?
A dozen? A million?
I’m not even talking about the pressure to be supermom along with superwife and superemployee and superwhatever all at once. I’m talking about looking at your kids, who you would move mountains for (for whom you would move mountains), and wanting to walk away. After you’ve said the same things – walk in the house, flush the potty, don’t forget to use soap, keep your fingers out of your mouth, blow your nose (seriously, WHY is that such an ordeal?), hands to yourself, put one thing away before you get out another, your sleeve is not a napkin – so many times that you want to scream and flail around before hanging your head and admitting defeat.
Now throw in some special ingredients
Every parent gets to that point every once in a while. The ones who claim not to are either lying or brain dead. Then throw in a kid who has “issues” or whatever and ohmydearlord it’s just…indescribable. I know I have it relatively easy. My kids aren’t terminally ill or have MS or anything. I’m very lucky in that regard and I know it. I DO appreciate it on a daily basis. Don’t get it twisted.
But I do have one kid with ADHD and one kid who splits time with us and her mom. So I’m technically her stepmom – we prefer the term ‘bonus mom’ – but I think of her as my kid. All kids are challenging in different ways, obviously; these particular children come with their own special brand of frustration.
Let’s go with ginger:
Ginger is pretty awesome. It has medicinal qualities and is soooo yummy when used appropriately. However, use too much and you get diarrhea. That’s L.
And then there’s star anise:
Star anise is incredible and crazy versatile. It can be used to make Pho. It can also be used to make cookies. That’s a pretty wide spectrum; the only change is what’s surrounding it. That’s A.
These girls can be the sweetest, most loving, smartest, most considerate and amazing kids when they’re together. They can make ginger and anise tea. Phenomenal.
But then again, they can be just a big ol’ mess.
Enough with the half-assed cooking analogies
Basically, they’re sisters who act like sisters. But with Lexi’s ADHD and Audri’s sporadic presence, it can be a frikkin nightmare. I know siblings fight. I know, I get it. But over here you’ve got an ‘only child’ who lacks the impulse control necessary to always play well with others and another ‘only child’ who spends half her time at her mom’s and the other half with her dad, bonus mom and sister. Put the two together and you also get a mother who sometimes just wants to pull the covers over her head and make it all go away. I quit at least once a day. At least.
I give up when L cries out of nowhere that she misses A when she’s with her mom because I can’t fix it. I give up when A cries out of nowhere that she misses her mom when she’s with us because I can’t fix it. I give up when L and A can’t play together for 30 seconds without a fight or when I’ve told them the 12th time in 5 minutes that they really don’t need to yell at each other with they’re sitting literally 1 foot apart. I give up when trying to find my place as stepmother when it comes to discipline. I give up when I want to give A and her dad some time alone without having L feel left out because it’s not really an issue with her since she’s here alone half the time. I give up, I give up, I give up.
But then I pull up my big girl mama panties (you know, the white cotton ones that cover your whole ass and go up to your belly button) and get back in there because I CAN’T quit. I can’t give up, I can’t stop trying, I’m not allowed to just walk away and let them figure it out for themselves. I’ll walk away one of these days, but not because I give up. Because they’re growing up and are learning the skills they need to be ABLE to figure it. Until then, I’ll quit in my head. I’ll give myself a minute to cry in the bathroom. And then I’ll get my butt back in the game.