Runaway Mom

“There’s a lot more to being a woman than being a mother, but there’s a hell a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect”  Roseanne Barr 

I have a confession. I hereby confess that nothing, nothing, nothing could have prepared me for being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, it has more perks than cons, but even moms need to get away from it all ….and recently I ran away from home… again. Let me explain.

My brood of 3 range in age between 17 and 11. My teen daughter constantly reminds me why female animals eat their young. The fear of jail time is the only thing that holds me back at times. I wasn’t a model teen, and life has a strange way of repeating itself, but this my daughter is like a cool glass of stress. One son has a pathological hatred for homework and requires constant follow up which is quite frankly punishment. I hate going through his homework as much as he hates doing it. And my other son has my stubborn streak. When he decides not to do something … well you’ll do it for him then.

The first time I ran away was after a particularly harrowing shopping trip with my sons. They were toddlers and I still believed them to only be misguided angels at times. We get to Nakumatt and lo and behold they’ve introduced cute shopping carts with the cars on the front. Dilemma moment: who will sit in the cart, who will sit in the car? I don’t expect the boys to decide so I do. I reach out for a regular cart and then all hell breaks loose. The angels drop to the floor and start screaming. I try picking them up, tell them to be quiet. More screams. By now people are staring and against all odds, I am turning red with embarrassment. I grab each hand and start dragging them out. They are still kicking, screaming and I’m beginning to feel like a criminal. Two security guards approach and choking back tears, I explain that I am not a kidnapper and ask them to help me. Like knights in shining armors they grab one each and I shakily lead them to the car. It takes me over 15 minutes to compose myself and start the car. Having sensed my rage, by now the boys are quiet and actually looking nervous. I drive in steely silence and when we get home I ask the nanny to follow me out to the car. Concerned she asks what’s going on and as I explain I hand them over and drive off to the refuge that only childless friends can offer. I finally go back home late knowing they will be asleep. Phew.

I ran away the second time after a sudden and brutal breakdown. I had been working some grueling hours and felt altogether overwhelmed. By now daughter was in form one and the boys in lower primary. The year had been plaugued by constant battles over finishing homework and getting better grades. What should have been a relaxed Saturday morning became my tear fest. Screaming like a banshee I berated the children over their grades, their attitude, their rooms, global warming, anything I could think of. They just stared at me in that way that shocked children do and, to save face, I locked myself in the bathroom. An hour later, dressed and my eyes less puffy, I called my mother and explained I was fed up and running away and that I expected her to come right over and deal with her grandchildren. This time the refuge was the spa and over endless treatments and a glass of wine I contemplated my next move. I ended having dinner with friends and eventually got home late knowing they would be asleep. Phew.

This August I ran away for the third time. Daughter now 17 and the boys fast approaching their teens; dynamics in the house are now marked by increased sulking and the usual homework and attitude issues. My home is no longer a sanctuary and the last bastion of peace, my bedroom, is fast coming under attack. Burnt out from a grueling project I’ve finally completed and fed up in general I wake up to the usual domestic drama and I know I can take it no more. I request a family meeting and weeping uncontrollably I tell them I TOTALLY FED UP with the drama. Once again the pseudo innocent bewildered stares. I pack a bag and tell them I’ll be staying with girlfriends for a few days. And once again I call the only person who will understand… my mom. A few days later rested and rejuvenated I come back home. And this time they are all awake and as we hugged and kissed I knew bygones were bygones.

Will I run away again? Probably! I’ve become pretty good at it and I recommend it to any mom when she feels its all too much. Moms need a break too and it’s okay. For if we are drained, what will be left over for them?

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Each life is a personal journey no matter how public it may all seem at times! I'm still figuring it out and here I share my journey ...and what I'm discovering along the way.

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