I am overwhelmed. I am confused. I am scared. I am excited. So many things are happening all at once. Or maybe it’s just a few things. But really big things.
My husband and I are making what will probably come to be one of the biggest decisions we have made as a family. Should we buy land in the country and start our dreamed of community? The property is there, the price is right. It will go fast if we don’t make an offer soon. We could do it. But should we? After years of fantasizing, I feel I am so unprepared for this question. My biggest fear? Isolation. If we build it, will they come?
I thought sure, if we get one or two other families to join up from the start, at least we wouldn’t be alone. But in my heart I always knew that I needed the courage to make this decision without a safety net. I always looked like a brave kid. Sure I could jump in the cold water first. I could go on that rollercoaster. I could stand on stage and sing. But I could do it if I knew others would right after me. If I knew others would be around. I didn’t go to the lake myself and jump off the docks.
And now, now that I so badly want the security of knowing other people will make this leap right after me, I need to make the leap alone. And I’m scared. But a decision needs to be made. And it needs to be made soon.
So while I am obsessing over the future, the here and now are happening and I’m not present. I am not on top of dinners, laundry, clean up, discipline. And so yesterday morning things spiraled out of control. Instead of sticking with the 1,2,3, Magic system, which has really been working so well, I reverted back to being a frustrated, angry mom.
At one point it got bad. It got ugly. Instead of trying to discipline my needy son (of course he was needy, I was out to lunch), I tried to just ignore him and read to his sister. That really ticked him off. So he starts with annoying noises. They get louder. And then the poking. Oh the poking. My G-d that is annoying. So without even turning to look at him I reach out and grab his PJ’s and pull him to me so I can yell at him.
Since I didn’t turn my head, I didn’t see that instead of a handful of clothes, I got a handful of hair. And I yanked. Yup, some of his hairs came out in my hand. Did I suddenly break down and apologize for my unbelievably immature and unthinking action? Inwardly. But outwardly I just told him to leave me alone.
All I can think is, I am the worst mother. When you read about parents with difficult children, you never hear about the parent who lost it and back handed the kid, or pulled their hair out. No one ever admits to that. But it happens to me. I do lose it every now and then. And I get so ashamed for how I screamed directly into his ear, or pushed him away a little too hard and he fell back. Or some other unintentional, or slightly intentional but not really, action.
But no one ever talks about it. And I am left to feel that I am the only mother who does this.
My father comforted and reassured me that I simply fell off my supermom throne and joined the rest of humanity. And hopefully I will work my way back to being supermom again. I am trying. And I suppose that’s all I can do, try.
And the truth is, the more I can forgive myself for not being perfect, the more I can forgive my son for not being perfect. And my husband. And my extended family. And the mean sales clerk. And the guy who cut me off. We can’t be perfect. I know I can’t be perfect. And it’s a good lesson to teach my children too.
As for my dream of building an organic, eco-sustainable, orthodox Jewish farm community? Well, if you’re interested, let me know!
1. The chance to live my dream
2. Fresh air
3. Learning opportunities
4. The librarians (I mean really, they’re awesome!)