Every so often there’s a parenting article that totally shakes me — not because they’re always something I relate to, but because they’re so honest. This piece by Mindy Berry Walker is one such case. In it Mindy talks about the two sides of herself — the happy, energetic mom in in public, and the worn-down, bitter mom at home.
“You have such a can-do spirit,” a school foundation member recently told me at a volunteer fair. “Mindy, can I just bottle up some of your enthusiasm?” a friend joked at the playground. At preschool drop-off, I often get, “I wish I could be peppy like you every morning.” About the class parent meetings I organize, I hear, “How do you juggle this stuff like it’s fun?”
Easy, I want to tell them. I’m a wreck at home. Moody, resentful, bitter — that’s how my husband might describe me on those weeknights when he gets home after the girls are in bed. The house is quiet, but the chaos from the hours just prior — the refusal to eat the red sauce, the wrong PJs — hangs in the air. Sometimes I am too worked up to speak. I literally can’t tell him a thing about our day because I’m spent from reading books, playing hide-and-seek, folding the laundry and pretending to be Mr. Potato Head with the purse, who sees a coyote but isn’t afraid.
On good days, my girls go to bed and proclaim that this was the best day ever. I am able to conceal from them that the whole evening routine suffocates me. Being at home often makes me feel trapped, like the whole world is productively moving forward while I brush three sets of teeth. Once that feeling comes on, I’m steps away from guilt and anger.
What do you guys think? I completely admire Mindy’s bravery — and I do consider it brave to be honest to this degree — in admitting the range of emotions she feels as a parent. Head over to Babble and read the rest and see what ya think!