Yesterday was a bad day.  Just a bad day.  A day can go along for a while, and then all of a sudden something as mundane and ordinary as a cookie just completely changes everything. 

And you can’t get out from under the cloudy gray suffocating feeling of whatever it is. 

And you can see, right in front of you all that you have, but you can’t seem to appreciate it. 

And every time you can come up for air, you feel it pulling you under again.

I went to sleep last night hoping today would be better.

But I woke up.

Not better.

I sent the kids off to school, and then laid down with Ella to try to sleep off the whatever it is.

And then they came home.

And they made noise.

And he started in again with the cookies.

And how he never gets anything good.

And how he hates going to CCD.  How boring it is.

And I just didn’t have the energy to argue.

And I whispered to the boy…Please, please don’t make this like yesterday.  Please.

And he looked sorry.

And then the little one woke up.

And I gave her some cheese and some crackers.

And she got mad because I opened the cheese rather than letting her try.  

And then she got mad because she broke her cheese.

And I showed her how to stack it and make it like a cracker and cheese cake.

And then the other boy began with the noise making.  Just noise.  Yahoo.  And “pants on the ground.”  And moans and groans.  And shooting sounds.  And jingle bells.  And buh buh buh buh…

And the little one went to get paper and came back screaming because it was crumpled into a ball.  Because she crumpled it into a ball.  I don’t know why, and I don’t get it.

And I clenched my fists and I gritted my teeth and I didn’t want to yell but I could feel it coming.  Rising.  And I knew it was going to come out and then out of the corner of my eye I saw the girl, watching me and I just closed my eyes and quietly said stop it.

And I scrubbed the sink.  And I sobbed.  They couldn’t see my tears.  And they couldn’t hear me over the running water, steamy and hot and burning my hands.  But they knew.  And the little one kept crying.  Pick me up.  Pick me up.  And she hung on me. 

And I wondered how I got to this place.  How I came to this foul, stinking place of total and complete frustration. 

Why are all these people making noise?  Why does everyone have to talk to me at once?  Why do they make noise for the sake of making noise?

Why can’t it be nice?  Why can’t it be pretty?  Why can’t it be lovely like it is in other homes?

I wanted to call someone.  I wanted to tell them.  I wanted them to hear what this is like every. single. day.  And why sometimes I count the minutes until 5:00 so I can feel justified in having a glass of wine. 

But it was time to take the kids to CCD.  So I loaded up the car.  I just wanted to get them in there and come home and put my bread in the oven and forget.

I wanted someone to tell me that it’s like this at their house, too.  I wanted someone else to look like I did, with the naked tear-washed eyelashes and the messy hair. 

But they were all happy.  They, with their many small children.  One on the hip and two by their sides, and kissing another goodbye. 

They were all smiling. 

They chatted with each other. 

They laughed.

And I stood there. 

And I wondered how I could feel so alone with all these people around me.

And I drove home and the house was lit and beautiful and it felt warm.  And inside the smell of fresh-baked bread filled us and the soup that took two days to prepare awaited.  Their noisy chatter felt less oppressive.  And I knew The Man would be home soon.

And I started to feel better, if only slightly. 

And I think tomorrow will be good again.


21 thoughts on “Alone

  1. Oh, yes. I know this feeling well. The swelling frustration and just bad bad badness of everything about my life, the clanging noise of children … and, most hauntingly of all, the way I can feel lonely in a big crowd.
    You are not alone.
    But I know the feeling.
    I hope tomorrow is better.

  2. I have been there friend, so many times I can’t even begin to count. I can tell you that you are a wonderful mom. I don’t know you up close and personal but you are wonderful. I read your blog and love the raw-ness of it and how honest you are.

    I hope tomorrow is better and that you have reasons to not only laugh but smile.

    P.S. I love the new look of your blog too.

  3. Reading your post is somehow inspiring. Sounds Crazy but, your truth is my truth. And I think in writing your story and reading your story, I have learned that I am not alone. Mothering is Hard! Marriage is Hard, LIFE is Hard…I hope that you feel better about things now, knowing that this season will pass…and who knows, maybe someday you’ll look back and miss this!

  4. Those Moms? The ones at CCD? They have had their days. Or maybe tomorrow will be their day. But they’ve looked at you, as well, and wondered why you get to be so happy when they were having a day.

    Tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better.

  5. Oh, friend.

    I’m so glad you let this out. And I’m so honored to stand in the gap for you, in prayer and friendship.

    You have TWICE as many kids as I do. You have kids younger than mine. You have kids with needs I can’t begin to understand. But this I know. God paired you with each of your individual children perfectly. Imagine the day that the noise will be but a memory.

    There’s really nothing magical about 5:00 unless it makes you feel better to wait….. but if you plan to LEAVE the minute the Man walks in, you might want to limit yourself to one.

    There’s nothing wrong with you. Get yourself alone like Jesus did and re-center.

    I hear you.

  6. I just have to commend you for scrubbing the sink instead of yelling. For realizing your daughter was watching and stopping yourself. I have reached those points of frustration and responded with yelling more times than I care to admit.
    I relate to every word of this, the wine countdown, the pointless noise, the feeling alone among many people….
    Hang in there, friend.

    p.s. I might come visit noVA in Feb. Wanna meet up?

  7. Oh, goodness. Your house could be my house- there are plenty of days where everything seems to have run (noisily) amok. And I only have two kids! In fact, both are wailing right now (Nolan is into hair-pulling at the moment- bad, very bad)…

  8. LT says:

    You are so not alone in your feelings. I have been there many times and have only one kid! I applaud you for stopping the scream before it came out. There is nothing worse or more heartbreaking than to see your child’s face after you have a meltdown. I want to crawl into a hole when I look into her eyes and see the confusion. No one is perfect. Even the ones that seem so at CCD. Inside they are about to crumble. We all are sometimes. Love your writing!

  9. Toni :O) says:

    Oh golly we’ve all been there….for sure! Hang on….this too shall pass….love the new blog design chicka…looks great! Maybe you need to treat yourself to a spa day…might make the gloomies go away! Good luck and hope you feel better soon!

  10. Oh, friend… I have had many of those days, too. I think it’s part of mommyhood. In fact, yesterday I made the kids all go upstairs and they couldn’t come down until supper was ready because I just couldn’t stand. all. the. noise. and whining and fussing and fighting. 🙂

    Love your new blog design! 🙂

  11. I’m not a mom, so I can’t relate. BUT, I do know you and what an amazing mom you are and if you have moments and days like this, then I know without a doubt there are plenty of others who do also.
    Praying for a better day for you.

    And I LOVE the new blog design.

  12. These are the moments, the days, weeks that drove me to blogging in search of community, understanding and compassion. It’s hard, and lovely and completely messy, isn’t it? … and you’re wonderful. I’ve broken down and cried, alone. Thank you for sharing this – now I know I’m not alone either. xo

    (Love the new look of the blog!)

  13. I can assure you that it is exactly like that here some days. Exactly. And I feel ungrateful and like a failure. Even though, on a good day, I know I am neither.

  14. I have days like that a lot.
    Like right now there are 3 loud boys in the house playing a fighting game! And when I ask them to be quieter, they are. For like 10 seconds.
    And I have NO idea what to make for supper.

    I am tired of being the worst cook in all the world.

  15. I let Betty Crocker do most of my cupcake baking. Because one time I put a cake in the oven and it was still LIQUID three hours later. I still have no idea what I did wrong…

    I love what they call cupcakes in Britain. They call them Fairy Cakes. I think this is because they are cakes small enough for a fairy to eat, but I like the idea of “fairy cakes.”

  16. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your honesty. I have had many of these exact days. They are unexplained, they come and go. I love how you described feeling alone. I often have felt the same way. As if I’m the only one barely getting by and everyone else has it all together! Found your blog through springofjoy. Thanks for the inspirations.

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