Title of post is from the song Coming Undone by Korn.
The bedtime struggle seems to be the time that gets to me the most. By 8:30, when it's time to wind the kids down, my nerves are usually already frayed and I'm simply holding on by a thread. It's during this time that several things happen at once.
My 11 year old turns on his selective hearing. I say go brush your teeth, and he walks into his room and shuts the door. I say put the cell phone away and he continues to text. Tyler, my adorable 9 year old daughter, decides that everything that she didn't do when I asked earlier in the day, HAS to be done when I say bedtime. It's then that she pulls out that homework assignment that she conveniently couldn't find, or she has to hunt down a particular shirt she wants to wear the next day. When I tell Mason that it's bedtime the next two words out of his mouth are always "I'm hungry". It doesn't matter that I begged and pleaded with him to eat dinner just an hour or two before. It doesn't matter that I offered him an apple or banana just 30 minutes before. He will scream that he is hungry and that he therefore can not brush his teeth or get ready for bed.
It usually takes a good 45 minutes to an hour to get baths and showers done, all three in pajamas, with teeth brushed, and in bed. Maybe it was always this hard and I'm just feeling extra worn out because now it's all me. I don't know. What I do know is that by the end of that hour, I'm not even hanging on by a thread. That frail strand of sanity has broken, and I'm in a free fall towards desperation. It's at this point that I drag myself outside and sit on the porch. With tears streaming down my face, I light one of Mike's cigarettes. I haven't picked up smoking, but if I close my eyes and sit very still with the faint scent of his Camel cigarettes blowing through the air, I can almost feel him beside me. For that one deep breath the world is right and I can imagine that he is simply at work, and that this nightmare we are living is nothing but that...a nightmare. I allow myself this moment of delusion night after night.
I get that I'm not the only mother out there doing this alone, but this was never how it was supposed to be. It was never supposed to be just me raising these kids. This was not part of our master plan, and I am furious. I don't blame my kids for these hard times. They are dealing with losing their dad, and I know this is unbelievable for them. I hear it in their voices every time they ask about what happened to him. I can't wrap my head around it, how are they supposed to.
Here is to another night, and many more to come.