One of my favorite country songs (yes, you read that right: there is some country music I actually enjoy) is about a woman's reaction to a recent break-up. Her mother is disgusted by her seeming lack of self-control and tells the daughter:
Go and fetch your make-up.
Girl, it's just a break-up.
Run and hide your crazy
And start acting like a lady...
I love that part about "hide your crazy." I don't hear her singing "you're crazy" but "your crazy." It's a part of her, something she owns. I suspect we all have a little crazy inside. Mine pops out every time I have a baby. And it stays out for a few weeks (okay, a few months).
If you read my previous post Just One of Those Days, you know what I mean. I completely forgot about one embarrassing aspect of that day when I wrote the post. My crazy was exposed.
I am not technologically savvy. I have yet to figure out all the bells and whistles associated with my smartphone. In fact, my smartphone tends to make me feel quite stupid. One thing I hadn't learned was how to lock it so it wouldn't randomly dial people when in my pocket. So all day on that horrific Monday, I was butt-dialing an old acquaintance. And leaving messages. Unintentional, crazy-sounding messages. Of course by the time I realized this, it was always too late. Each message contained some sort of rampage. The last of which I'm sure included me shouting, "No I will not take off my 'grumpy pants!' I was up until midnight last night cleaning this place up only to have you destroy it today. NOW PICK UP YOUR TOYS!" Nice.
What makes it even worse, is the fact that I used to babysit for this person. It was one of Aaron's graduate school classmates. I was working evenings as a counselor for children (ironic, huh?). My mornings were free, so I babysat his sweet son and was friends with his lovely wife. The same wife who was sure to hear my mad ranting and wonder if her own child endured such ugliness under my care. Ugh!
I sent him a text apologizing for the many calls and messages, explaining I didn't know how to operate my own phone, I'd just had a baby, so sorry if I sounded grumpy, blah, blah, blah. He responded with: "That's fine...Who is this?"
When we moved and got new phone numbers, I apparently forgot to alert all my contacts. Why didn't I just lie? "Oops, wrong number. Who is this?" I could have written that. Instead I fessed up. It was me. Crazy me.
I relayed this story to a dear friend (who shall remain nameless). She laughed when I shared my fear that I had crossed some sort of childbearing threshold. Maybe I had too many and there was no way I would ever be able to effectively, lovingly care for all of them...No, she assured me. We [mothers] are all a little nuts sometimes. She has two children, close to Maddie and Parker in age. Her daughter recently told her, "Mom, you're crazy. Not the good kind of crazy. Crazy like the devil crazy!"
I was so relieved when she told me this. It brought to mind a number of adages: Misery loves company. There's safety in numbers (not sure why I thought of this one, perhaps because sometimes I think my kids are conspiring to drive me insane, and banding with other mothers will offer some sort of mental protection). This, too, shall pass. And on and on. My favorite one, however, comes from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group: Friends don't let friends mother alone!
I think it's so important for moms (and dads) to have friends to help them along the long, arduous (though eventually rewarding - or so they tell me) journey of parenting. I don't have to hide my crazy from my true friends. They hear me out, listening to my struggles, sharing their own, laughing with me, crying with me, and encouraging me. I am joining with one such friend in a challenge to stop yelling at the kids. It's called the Orange Rhino. If you are a parent who is tired of hiding your crazy, feel free to join us!