First let me tell you about the slump.
Why have I been writing blog posts about plastic surgery and birds? Believe me, I already know that people love to hear and read about other people’s misery. Even when someone writes about their happiness there is someone out there who doesn’t really believe it. Sometimes all of that happy sunshine bores people. Give them a good war, a good fight, some gory accident or an attempted suicide, but happiness? I mean, she can’t be real, can she? Nah. It’s all a front. She’s such a whore, always smiling and prancing. Yah, she’s such a happiness prostitute.
The funny thing is that people respond even more crazily to unhappiness. So screw the judging, I will let it all out because believe it or not even single, working mothers gets into a slump every once in a while.
I am not sure what came first, the chicken or my eggs. My doctor keeps telling me that I am tired because I do too much. I tell her that I have always done too much so since when did things change? Maybe it’s because I am turning 36 in a month? Now how’s that for adding a little insult to my aging eggs.
My typical day lately seems to go something like this. I wake up to a pile of laundry to fold and one to put into the machine, beds to make, and three billion lunches to prepare. Somehow through all of that we are still finishing up some left over homework from the night before because either I got home too late, they were too tired or a combination of the two. One of the kids keeps asking me the same question over and over again but I can’t hear them because I am busy talking and listening to two other kids already.
Then finally, when I can concentrate I realize that the question was simply, “Can you give me water?” and unlike the mother I should be, I become the mother I don’t want to be as I lead my poor innocent child over to the fridge and show them the built in water tap on the door and say, “Now why couldn’t you get some water yourself? Huh?” And I know, in my heart of hearts that my kids want me to be the one to give them water because it makes them feel cared for and loved but with everything going on around me I can’t help but be a bit cynical.
That is a typical morning for me and I eventually reach the point where I am standing behind the counter serving breakfast to the kids who are sitting across from me and making lunches on the counter in front of me. I have already been awake for two hours if I was lucky enough to hear my alarm the first time at 5:30 and get up for a run. If not, then I got up at 6:30 and I am still wondering why I am so tired if I went to sleep at 10 the night before. Oh right, I know why I am so tired. Because at the end of my work day, after picking up my car from the garage, taking my kid to a doctor’s appointment and dealing with a leaky ceiling at work I came home to find backpacks by the front door that needed dealing with, a sink full of dishes, tons of laundry and a pack of hungry kids looking at me with those puppy dog “feed me” eyes.. This pack of kids are MY beloved hungry kids and I need to feed them.
And when I got home from work I couldn’t even concentrate on what they were saying, because I could only think about how much I wanted to get upstairs and kick off my heels and my work clothes and slip into my jogging pants a t-shirt and flip flops. After kissing everyone hello, I finally do the classic Israeli hand motion of regah (just a second) with my thumb and fingers touching each other and climb the stairs to my room, place my heavy laptop backpack and purse down, kick off my heels and do the switcharoo from working mom to just plain working mom.
When I go back downstairs, I start to cook dinner and the kids start to chatter. I love to hear them talking and they already know what I am going to say, since I have said it a million times before, “If I had a shekel for every time someone said mommy, I would be heading for early retirement.” Alas, I don’t.
Which reminds me: money.
I hate money and I love money but money seems to hate and love me too. I can’t stop thinking about how my oldest is going into high school next year and her tuition has now gone up tenfold. I am making supper while trying to figure out in my head where I can cut corners to make it possible for her to attend high school, which isn’t really a debate anyways, but since I am not going to start sewing my own clothes, growing my own wheat (sorry people) or walk around with a uni-brow, there is a limit to where I can cut back. But nonetheless that’s how the money part of my brain works.
Maybe I should get rid of my 13 year old car. I am so super fancy shmancy, I know. But then I cringe at the thought of living without a car again, which I did for 2 years after my divorce. I remember what it was like every time I had a sick child or they were stuck somewhere and would call me, their mom, the queen of solutions, who sometimes had no solutions. So I would then call someone who was close to me and ask them to help me out but even asking for help wears thin after a while and if you have any pride at all, you just get sick of asking.
And so I brush aside the thought of giving up my car and think of other ways to make those overdue payments this month. But even with my innovative mind there is no freaking way I can come up with the thousands shekels needed to pay for the kids summer camps, the overdue payments to the ganim, the apartment maintenance, the car license renewal and the down payment the high school asked for while still paying payments for the current school year’s tuition.
And through all of these thoughts going through my mind I feel this shooting pain in my neck which I forgot about momentarily with all of the other things going on around me and that has been plaguing me since I woke up this morning. This pain probably developed as a result of my car being in the garage yesterday, having to carry my heavy laptop bag too much and totally doing myself in. I keep waiting for the pain to subside because it freaks me out and reminds me of the car accident years ago that is the source of this mostly dormant pain I endured and which I always fear might make a comeback.
I would just like to mention that somewhere in between morning and evening, I tend to somehow miraculously make it to work.
And then there is today while packing up to head home it hits me that I have a year-end party for my 4 year old at preschool and not only do I need to prepare myself emotionally because I will be going alone and sitting alone but I also need to prepare myself physically for the mad insane rush of running home from work and through the door at 5:30 PM, putting my stuff down and running out again with my four year old in tow leaving everyone else at home alone without a chance to really connect. Now I may be the solution queen but even her royal majesty hasn’t yet found a solution for working mothers everywhere on how to feed your kids and spend time with them even in your own absence.
Case in point.
Now if that wasn’t rant enough, let me just tell those of you who think I need to have more faith that you are not George Michael and I HAVE faith so you can keep your faith to yourself. I am a realist so instead of sitting around hoping for the winds to change, I just adjust my sails accordingly and sail on. And if something does possess me to go and visit the Kotel sometime soon, it is most likely that I am going there to stuff my unpaid electric bill into the cracks between the wall with a little note to Nir Barkat or Yair Lapid that says, “You cut back on my child payments so pay this one for me and maybe we can call it even”
And don’t offer to lend me money because that just messes things up between us and makes me a debtor and you the creditor of me. No no no. That just won’t work.
But I do believe in myself and in the future.
I do believe this time will pass, sometimes so fast, too fast, that I am scared of missing out.
I do believe that every step I have made up until this point has helped build and strengthen me as a person and in so much as I am strong, I will overcome this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
I do believe that everything I am doing is because of the love I have for my beloved children and for myself.
I do believe my rant is over.