Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers and Madness

I recently unearthed some pieces written twenty-five years ago and left to neglect. I decided this one was amusing enough to share with other mothers who have found themselves suffused with frustration, exhaustion and a love that's stronger than anything else in the world!
Mothers and Madness
I’m not saying that children cause brain damage, but in my case there is indisputable evidence that brainpower has been seriously diminished since the onset of motherhood.
Before the birth of my first child, I was a sharp productive woman who could make decisions and follow them through with resolution. Thirteen years later, I need a solid hour to decide between fresh and frozen peas for dinner; and resolution is only a word I’m unable to spell when one of my children asks me.
Once a woman who moved with flair and delivered speeches with aplomb, I now stumble about with all the grace of an alcoholic moose, and seem incapable of stringing together a sentence any toddler could master.
I suppose it’s not surprising. What brain could really be expected to hold out against the baby blues and the terrible twos? One mind-numbing childhood phase leads invariably into another; the cycle has been set in motion!
On reflection, I can see that the change from superwoman to idiot took place so insidiously that there was no way it could have been avoided. I went from interviewing applicants for the job I was vacating, to hours spent babbling nursery rhymes to a wide-eyed creature who never seemed to tire of my attention.
Suits gave way to jeans; trade journals to baby magazines. Executive lunches were replaced by creamed spinach, and weary midnight mutterings pushed aside witty repartee as if it had never existed.
Today, the transformation is complete. While the children have developed and grown, there has been no indication that my brain will return to its previous level of functioning. Indeed, judging by the snickers and outright guffaws that result each time I open my mouth, I have reason to believe that further deterioration has been noted.
In spite of it all, some small flicker of hope remains alive in me. I do have days when everything comes together, and I allow myself to trust that the brain damage might be reversible.
But that will be the same day one son brings home his lunch bag and smugly pulls out the mustard jar I packed instead of a sandwich; and the other one responds with hysterical laughter when I suggest that I might have something to contribute at his school’s career day.
It’s daunting how quickly one’s hopes can be dashed. Yet, I need only keep in mind one of life’s certainties; children do leave home in the end.
The brain damage may be more extensive than I’d imagined. I’m almost sure I’m going to miss them…

My darling Jules, Nik and J.J....always remember that I love the three of you dearly...the joy you have brought to my life is beyond all measure.

Julian loves parties

J.J. with our girl Meeghan
My baby sister Nikki is just another one of my kids


Arti said...

Beautiful post! So heartfelt...Could feel each word of what you have written!
Have a lovely day :)

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

Dear Lynette,
Belfast does not know what it is missing with your absence!!
This is a piece of writing, which had me tear-filled with emotion. Your love for your children is palpable, through these lovely, ordinary words. A real mother account of the ultimate love.
Lynette, I thank you so much for your words at my poems and Facebook. I will email you!
Best for Now,
Eileen :)

Jillsy Girl said...

an adorable post!

Pat said...

Oh, so poignantly true, Lynette! You described what I, too, went through in going from the world of teaching and getting enough sleep to the world of being a sleep-deprived mommy and feeling like my brain and self-confidence were shrinking. But, oh, don't I miss those three boys now. I rest in the thought that they are happy and doing well in life. This is a touching and humorous description of motherhood. Thank you for sharing your words.

Mary said...

You have a great attitude and your posts was a wonderful way to get to know you. It's my first visit here but I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Deborah said...

Oh I just loved this, so full of love and humour, simply wonderful!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I enjoyed this post so much, Lynette, the snickers and guffaws , the packing of the mustard jar, the hysterical laughter concerning career day......and especially the photos........such lovely beings. I love Julian's expression as he sits by the cake! J.J. is the image of Mike, isnt he? You have such a beautiful family.

Katy Cameron said...

Lol, love it. Except I have no kids, and I'm sure my brain's already pretty fried o.O

EG Wow said...

Oh my! I can relate to this. :))

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Teeeheee! Though I am not a mother, I am a TEACHER for fourth graders.....50 of them now because of cutbacks. DO I RELATE TO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING! I would say these little ones EXERCISE YOUR MIND and put you into shape, and like any exercise you exert yourself in, YOU COME HOME BUSHED! Lovely and CREATIVE POST! Thank YOU for visiting me! Anita

aka Penelope said...

Funny you should say children leave home in the end … because I hear they often come back! Great description of the yin and yang that it is to have children, Lynette. There is not much that can bring out the level of angst and sheer joy that one’s own kids do. :))

adrielleroyale said...

Oh, this is just great! Now that I think of it, I spent my whole younger life avoiding arguments only to birth the princess of argumentative speech! Hahahaha! Joke's on me! So many interesting aspects of motherhood :)