Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Night I Ran Away From My Family

I don't remember the specifics. All I remember is wanting to drive. I was infuriated at my husband and children. I pressed the garage door opener so hard, that the button stuck in place and I couldn't close the door after pulling the car out. It was raining, the garage would get wet, I didn't care. Such a badass moment for a mother that is always lecturing, nagging, and worried about the safety of her family. Do they worry about me? I doubt it. Of course they do. Get hold of yourself. Just go.

I was fuming. I was driving to get away from my family, yet I missed them.
I wanted to send a message, yet this felt too harsh. I cared, but not enough to turn around. I didn't know where I was going but I needed to scream and yell for all the times I had held it together.

Like the time I thought my nipple got bitten off. I realize a nine month old babe can not say "No thank you mom, I think I am done with the whole, milk coming out of your boob thing," but seeing my child turn into a Parana at two in the morning was no what I had expected. I didn't even scream. I didn't want to startle my groggy baby or risk waking up the rest of the house. I endured severe nipple pain, just so the rest of you could sleep. How's that for badass?

Or the time I was called a "fun sponge" because jumping on the sofa while eating handfuls of cookies is frowned upon in our house. Fun? I am fun. I was fun. I knew all the words to every Abba song in college. I would dance all night on a rickety stage, in the backwoods of Vermont with a whiskey sour in each hand, then devour the Trucker Special at the local diner. Damn, they will never see me be that kind of fun. Unless I pull out some of my old tricks at their college graduation. They will rue the day they ever called ME a fun sponge.

I never yelled at anyone for flinging vomit in my eyes or mouth. I try to be understanding about the fact that you don't like to wake up in the middle of the night and puke all over yourself. Flinging the vomit from your hands all over the room is just another way of saying, "Why me? Why do I have to go through this again. This blows." 
I didn't even get cross the next day when I was on sofa having a puking party myself and you were feeling like a million bucks and decided to finger paint all over the wall. This was mostly because I had no energy to get pissed, but I should still get credit for that one. I did make you clean it up the next day, but it should also be noted that I was very calm about the whole thing.

For all the times I have run myself ragged, taking care of everyone and all their needs, and was still able to get a scratch made meal on the table deserves a medal. Moms don't get medals, though. They get, "this was better the last time." "I wish we could eat at McDonald's" or "didn't you add salt to this?" I have felt like flipping the table over numerous times, but I don't. That would be scary. Also, I really like my dishes and don't want to see them broken.

After I was done throwing my temper tantrum that night, I drove back home, a better version of myself. My kids and husband greeted me at the door, with looks on their faces that almost brought me to my knees. I felt horrible. They had been worried and scared. Worried, like I was the time I thought I lost a nipple. Scared, like I was the time I knew puke hitting me in the eye would lead to being bent over the throne the next day, while my husband was out of town on a hunting trip and I had three small kids at home.
They still talk about it, "Mom, remember the time you got mad and ran away?" They will always remember. I can't take it back. They don't remember all times I held it together. They are not supposed to. They are just kids and I am their mother, and that is what mothers do for their kids. Most of the time.
I will always remember too. I remember it was exactly what I needed in that moment.
I love being a mother. Even during the shit moments. I am thankful and my heart is full. There is nothing on this planet that has shown me who I am, like being a mother has. I wanted this. I will always want this. Even if I am speeding away on a rainy Saturday night, I will always want this.


beth said...

the idea of running away is so appealing sometimes... and yet, i have what i dreamed of as a girl... a marriage and a family. but, man, it is so hard some days... and rewarding and wonderful other days.

Philigry said...

Yes, Beth. I am right there with you. I wanted to share this so other parents would not feel alone. Thank you for reading!

a friend to knit with said...

oh katie. i just loved this.
i guess i have done a form of that... locking myself in my bathroom. ;)


MIchelle B. said...

I believe most people feel this way at one point or another. The important thing is that you went back. Plus I don't think it's a bad thing for family members to remember that everybody needs to be appreciated.

Jack said...

I wonder about parents who tell me they have never felt so crazed by all of the family stuff that they didn't want to run away for a while.

Jen said...

I can so identify! The theme of our live broadcast tonight is "mom tantrums!"

Marilyn said...

I ran away once. My husband and I were married on June 12. I ran away on July 3. I headed south - toward the beach. About forty miles from home, I realized I didn't have any money (before the days of credit cards), and the gas tank was getting low. I had no choice but to head back. As I recall, we didn't speak for a couple of days, and I can't even remember what the argument was about. It must not have been too important or ever repeated, because we will celebrate our 40th anniversary next year.

Rachel said...

This desire hits me every so often, definitely relate. It gets to be too much and being called a 'fun sponge' to boot. I also want to add, you had a nipple bit off.. damn. I cringed every time I read that line. It hurt to even read. You are not alone in the running. And you came back, so that is what matters. A little vent time is good, and needed.