Today I had an awful, no-good, very bad morning. Let me tell you about it.
I dragged myself out of bed later than usual, because my 10-week-old daughter was up half the night crying and feeding. All I can think about while I’m walking downstairs is “coffee, coffee, coffee – now, now, now.” I pour myself a cup and sit down at my laptop (well actually, at my husband’s old laptop, because he had accidentally broken mine after inadvertently stepping on it a few days prior). I then remembered the overdue writing assignment I needed to do for my part-time writing job. As I opened up the blank word document to start the creative process, my mother bustled into the kitchen in an irritated fashion (Yes, I am a grown-ass woman living with my mother. No, I’m not proud of it). Before I could even say “good morning” to her she rattled off a laundry list of criticisms on my parenting and housekeeping skills – “You know, when i checked on the baby this morning she had a wet diaper and spit up everywhere and I don’t really like the way your husband crushes cans before they go into the recycling, I really prefer if they are crushed a certain way and I left the vacuum cleaner on the landing for you….” I just stared at my now neglected full cup of coffee and waited for her to finish her passive-aggressive rant.
(Side note: I love my mother very much. Among many things, I admire her for her strength in leaving an abusive marriage and starting a new life on her own. But her communication skills are just terrible.)
After my mother leaves for work my equally sleep-deprived husband makes his way down the stairs. He had overheard my mother’s little speech and was not amused. After complaining about her passive aggressive tendencies for a while, he began to take his anger out on me. He wanted to know “what do you do all day?” that I might not have time to do the laundry later. He also pointed out how silly and pointless my writing job is. “It’s not going to lead to anything,” he reminded me – meaning that it can’t be used as a catalyst to start a real career.
When he sees how upset I’ve become he genuinely apologizes and attributes his frustration to stress. After he leaves for class I strap the baby to my chest so I can work and supervise her at the same time. What I really want to do is to hide under my bed covers, curled up in a fetal position. Instead I begin vacuuming the house, fighting back tears while I work. I kiss the top of my daughter’s head as she sleeps peacefully against my chest, and I feel grateful that she is too young to judge me for my many shortcomings.