So I had an interesting conversation with my son this morning. He pointed out to me that lately I have been a bit neurotic, a lot OCD and a rather large, pain in the butt trying to micro-manage not only him but everything in the free world. His 19 almost 20 year old face was perplexed and I could tell that he was clearly irritated with my fixations on the cleanliness of the house, his where abouts and my constant and total exhaustion. It really got me to thinking.
This is not unlike other moments in our life when he and my other kids get frustrated with the fact that I repeat myself a thousand times, catch myself walking into a room only to absolutely forget why I was there or to lose complete track of what I am saying in the midst of saying it. From their perspective, I am sure they are already picking out skilled nursing facilities to put me in.
Sadly, I remember feeling these exact feelings towards my own mother. My patience with her was very low when I was in my 20's and 30's or as I like to call them, "my know it all years." It drove me to distraction that my mother called me 100 times a day to see what I was doing, that she repeated herself over and over or that she couldn't remember where her keys were, her glasses were or what she was saying in the middle of a sentence. I remember honestly wondering if she was in the early stages of Alzheimers. Now though, I know she wasn't. She was just a mom with a full plate and many years of information fighting for space in her brain.
Kids have no idea what parents, but mom's especially, hold in both their hearts and minds. Sometimes the two are very closely connected even if anatomy tells us differently. Mom's are usually the center of the home and the place where all security, information and need is tossed with the knowledge that Mom will handle it. If Mom is the only parent in the home, she also becomes Dad and is solely responsible for everything both good and bad that happens. It is a daunting, sometimes unforgiving and unappreciated role, because it is simply taken for granted that Mom can do it all....mentally and physically. And most of the time....we can, but not without the consequences of things such as looking for our glasses when they are perched on our head or frantically looking for our phones as we are talking on them. This is always followed by the eye roll and obvious questioning of our mental health from our kids.
At any given moment my brain is running at full tilt thinking of all the things I have to do for the kids, for the house, for David especially. I have to think about and worry about bills and finances and then throw in the problems of the people I love, things others come to me with and the many small things that are just everyday life and there is a lot that fills my heart and my brain daily. Sometimes I am exhausted and ready for a nap before my feet ever hit the floor in the morning. Then there are those things that kids simply have no understanding of such as parents worrying about their kids health, their futures and their safety. That is not something a parent can turn off, although there are times we surely would like to. Our kids are our hearts and until you have a child, you never understand that tie that will bind you until one of you leaves this earth. Add in the speed bumps of health, family issues, doctors appointments, holidays, jobs and the scheduling that keeps us going from one daily event to another and it is a complete miracle that a mothers head doesn't explode at least once, on a daily basis.
Yes, I forget that I have asked you if you have fed the dogs for the third time, but I can remember every medicine David takes, the exact dosage and the date and hour of his last seizure. Yes, maybe I am OCD about my house. Why? Because I can control how my house looks, but I can't control that someone I care about is hurting, that I may not always be able to provide a roof for my children or that if my car quits working I can't afford another one. Yes, maybe I say lets clean together, cook together or watch a movie together....A LOT.....because I know...one day very soon you will be gone and so will this moment in time. And yes, maybe I want to know where you are and what you are doing because it gives me some peace in the moment and sometimes that is really all this mother needs.
So yes, I am neurotic, OCD and micromanaging as hell! I am not however crazy, psychotic or ready for the home. I am simply a mother with a mothers brain.....and someday God willing, you will understand.