Who are you and What have you done with me?
Kevin had a friend in graduate school who claimed there were only two kinds of people in the world, those who feel guilty and those who feel screwed (which, incidentally, is one of the more brilliant insights I have ever heard). I definitely fit into the former category. I have many faults, but at least I am aware of the fact. Still, while I think people who feel guilty a lot and therefore take responsibility for their characters are generally the better half of humanity, feeling guilty and being self aware does not necessarily prevent bad behavior.
Believe me, I know. I have been feeling guilty A LOT lately, because I have been screwing up A LOT. I've never been particularly "sweet" or "nice." Many people think that I am, but that's only because they don't know me very well. Patience, gentleness, kindness, self-control--these are the fruits of the Spirit, and the Spirit is working his butt off with this soul. He apparently even needs to take frequent vacations to Fiji because I swear there are times when there is no sign of him anywhere. But Holly Post-Charlotte makes the pre-Charlotte version look like Mother Teresa. Post-Charlotte Holly it seems uses up 99% of her patience and goodness and unselfishness on Charlotte, leaving the world, and especially Kevin, to suffer. Kevin and I used to be the most nauseating couple on the planet. We never fought about anything. Now it seems like hardly a day passes that I don't bite his head off for some egregious offense, like asking me where my W-2 is (because the 10 seconds it takes me to find it for him is so much more of a burden than the 10 hours he spends actually doing our taxes).
I don't know what it is about motherhood that makes me so angry and crazed. It seems I am not alone either; in talking to many of my Mom Friends (which are more akin to fellow support group members than just regular friends), they also are angry and crazed. Especially at men, and especially at the father of your child. If this is some kind of evolutionary thing, it is really counterproductive, because if you are now mothering a child, you should probably try to be a better person, not a more evil person, and you probably need to love your baby's daddy more, not less. Maybe in caveman times, instinctually treating your man like crap was a primitive form of birth control (although it works only about half the time, I find. While men like to be treated with respect, it turns out they like to have sex even more).
I think it's just that we women end up managing all the little bitty details of parenting a child, whereas men kind of just show up. For instance, this is my thought process getting ready for church: OK I need to feed Charlotte, change her diaper before we go so they won't have to do anything in nursery but if I give her a snack now she won't be hungry for dinner before we leave so I better just give her a few goldfish crackers now, then about 15 minutes before we leave, I'll feed her dinner then I'll just have like a Nutrigrain bar in the diaper bag in case she gets hungry in the nursery because Nutrigrain counts as a fruit and she's only really had one fruit today whereas goldfish count as a protein oh and I had better wash her coat now because she got mud all over it this morning at the park and the other coat really isn't warm enough for this weather and I'd really better put a change of clothes in the diaper bag because her poop has been a little runny since she discovered shredded wheat and I don't want her to have a blow out at church. Oh and I need to dress myself. Note to self: Don't forget to put on clothing.
Whereas this is Kevin's thought process: Looks like it's time for church. Let me put my shoes on.
So when Kevin needs something, like my W-2, my knee jerk reaction is, Are you freaking kidding me? Can't you do one thing yourself?
But there really is no excuse. Kevin, I'm really sorry. But the least you can do is forgive me after all the trouble I continue to go through to birth and rear you child! See, I can't be helped....
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