What a draaaaag it is getting o-old!
This song pops into my head every time I wash the makeup off my face. I'm currently battling zits and wrinkles--how unfair is that?
And then I think, "Fuck you, Mick, you smug little shit. If you were my kid, I'd pill up, too."
The song resonates with me and pisses me off at the same time. So much of motherhood--and NOBODY wants to talk about this--is a drag. It's boring. All the stuff we have to do--cooking and cleaning and signing forms and checking homework--it's important. I know it's important. But it's not intellectually stimulating. It's a drag.
And though she's not really ill, there's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day
Despite the condescending tone, I get why the mom in the song wants her little yellow pill. You do all this boring shit for the people you love, and they don't appreciate it. How do you deal? I'll admit that once or twice I've been guilty of HUI--housework under the influence. With a nice little buzz on, the work I was doing seemed relevant. It was an act of love rather than thankless drudgery. I'm washing their socks because I love them and I want their feet to be warm. How nice for them to have clean socks that actually match. Underwear, too! I'm such a good mom--hic!
But sometimes the problems go beyond laundry being a drag. Sometimes things get darker and more panicky. Sometimes a glass of wine or laughing at my problems doesn't do it anymore. Sometimes anxiety and depression are here, in my house, and getting in my way.
Things have gotten worse than having to resort to instant cake and frozen steak.
A while back, my friend Mama Fry wrote about the time she admitted to herself that she was experiencing burnout and needed antidepressants. The piece, called Paper Gowns and Prozac, is brave as hell and got me really thinking about it. And thinking about it. And telling myself that I didn't have time. And telling myself that things would get better if only...
If you haven't read it, please do. The first time I read it, I nodded my head. I reread it today and cried.
That piece was published in October. I finally made the call today.