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Single +1

Sarah Fowler

Brace yourselves for this shocking announcement but I think I’m in need of a good therapist. Because no one saw that coming. I came to my little moment of enlightenment about a week ago. I was standing in the middle of my kitchen, smoke billowing from my stove in my most recent attempt to burn down my apartment, er, cook dinner, when Prinny got out of the bathtub, tripped over the dog and both of them went flying across the room. In the sheer insanity of the smoke detector going off, my child crying and the dog yapping, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It took every ounce of energy I had not to just say “the heck with it” and go to my bedroom, close the door and pull the covers over my head. I’ve joked about using wine for therapy and carrying around a little Ziploc baggie full of happy pills but even those old faithfuls aren’t going to do the trick this time. It’s hard to admit it but I need help.
I pride myself on being a good Mommy. Prinny and I are constantly spending time in the kitchen baking cupcakes, playing board games and reading bedtime stories. I’ve never missed a field trip or school play and drop everything to make sure my little Princess knows Mommy is there. But lately that perfect Mommy image is getting harder and harder to maintain and to be honest, I’m freaking exhausted and tired of trying. I have this image in my head of “Super Mommy” and I don’t even come close in comparison. I imagine a woman stylishly dressed in pearls, a sweater set and sensible shoes calmly driving her minivan to and from soccer games and ballet practices, not a hair out of place or a line of worry on her forehead as she goes home to her adoring family to prepare an organic gourmet dinner to be served on the finest china. That’s not exactly how it works in our house. I set the dinner table for the first time in ages the other night and Prinny shockingly proclaimed “Who’s coming over that we’re eating so FANCY?!” Whoops. Parenting fail 1,347. The mountain of laundry seems to multiple by the day and the army of dust bunnies are grabbing their artillery and going on the attack. Maybe I don’t need a therapist, maybe I need a housekeeper.
One step further into my own psychoanalysis and I realize that not only am I perhaps judging myself too harshly as a Mommy, but as a potential love interest as well. My dating life has become practically nonexistent because not only do I not have the time to date these days, I don’t have time to care. I am so involved in my daughter and work that everything else has fallen by the wayside. I met a really great guy over a month ago and we’ve been trying to set up a date ever since. Every time we try to get together for dinner or even a quick drink after work something always comes up and I have to cancel. I would normally feel guilty but I’m too busy to stop and notice that all of a sudden I’ve become a flake. But the thing is, I don’t know if I care. Yes that sounds selfish and yes it is incredibly self-involved but if I can’t find an hour to go to dinner how am I going to find time for a relationship? That’s not fair to him or to me. Bring on the happy pills because I’m thinking there are going to be a lot of lonely nights.
Without a doubt I classify myself as an independent woman. I’m incredibly stubborn, strong willed and have a very hard time asking for help. So in times like these when I am so overwhelmed I can barely see straight, as much as it pains me, I have to take a step back and realize that I can’t do it all on my own. What I need the most help with isn’t my cooking skills or lack thereof, the piles of never-ending laundry or a flailing love life, it’s taking time for myself. I used to dream about vacations to Paris, cruises to the Caribbean but now my biggest fantasy is going and checking myself into a hotel with room service and taking a nap. It sounds like pure bliss in theory but actually finding the time or creating that opportunity is easier said than done. I go to work everyday, come home, burn dinner, do Prinny’s homework and then my own, put her to bed, work some more and collapse into bed. I know countless other mommies who are doing the exact same thing. We are so busy taking care of everyone else and it never even occurs to us to ask for help. Well that ends right now. We’ve all seen that woman in Wal-Mart that looks like she just got hit with a Mack truck. She has a crying toddler on her hip, baby spit up on her shoulder, bags under her eyes from a lifetime of sleepless nights, her unwashed hair is in a ponytail and she has a look on her face that practically screams “This is not my life.” Dang it, I’m not going to be that woman. I may feel weak momentarily for reaching out for help and admitting that no, I can’t do it all, but I know I’ll be a stronger woman for it in the long run. I’m ready to be that woman and prepared for the work it is going to take to get there. I just hope my new therapist is.

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3 comments

  1. Single -3

    When you choose to make time for a partner, you will. And, perhaps you could use a partner because you can’t do it all yourself. And, between all your psycho-babble, maybe you just need a little more hope for a brighter future at about $200/hour. Who knows but you. I say wait for it and it will come. But in the meantime, when those nights get soooo lonely, just send me a text. :)

  2. Single -3

    How could I forget to address the happy pills? Whatever they are, temporary relief is the best they can do…and even then, the number of happy pills (whatever they are) will continue to grow. The point here is, I never had a problem with happy pills (whatever they are) as long as I could afford to buy them.. enough of them… so get happy without them… it’s memory pills I can’t find…

  3. Mike

    If there is laundry piling up and dust bunnies all over the apartment maybe you need to get a different cleaning lady…you know, the one you are so “guilty” for having?!?!

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