9 In LOL/ MOTHERHOOD/ PARENTING

WHY I RAN AWAY FROM HOME

A story about why April Davis ran away from home to southern california to spend a day away from her children for her thirtieth birthday

You guys.  I’m struggling.  There is a reason I ran away to California for my birthday.

I’m tired of my kids.  I’m tired of my laundry.  And I’m tired of trying to keep up with both.

My poor husband kept asking me if it was him-was it because he didn’t plan anything?  Was it because of something he said?

Oh, no.  As I explained it to him, I think if I was given the option to run away from home 9 times out of 10 I would say yes.  I fantasize about running away all the time.  It was my birthday so I actually did it this time.  My only regret was not being able to take him with me.

It was glorious.  I listened to old punk rock from high school the entire way down.  No one whined.  No one was screaming.  No one took anything away from the other.  No one was touching each other.  When I wanted it to be silent…it was.  I watched the sun rise over the beautiful mountains of California and was close enough to just start to smell the ocean by breakfast time.

I started at the fashion district.  No one peed their pants.  No one argued with me about what colors I should buy.  No one tried to run away from me or into traffic.  I just got to meander as I wished through the shops, haggling and buying fabric at my leisure.

Next was LAX to pick up Lyndi.  At the drop of a hat she flew in to meet me there.  She’s pretty amazing.  No one cried about not getting to ride on an airplane.  No one hit their sister.  No one whined for treats.

Phillipe the Original

We then went to Phillipe the Original, one of my most favorite sandwich shops.  The food is AMAZING, and the fact that it’s located in LA makes it even better.  We peacefully enjoyed our food.  We stayed in our seats.  We ate what we bought.  We didn’t complain, we enjoyed.

After that, the beach.  The beautiful, wonderful, salty ocean.  It was just warm enough that once you got in it wasn’t so bad, but bad enough we were the only ones in the water.  We laid out on a big denim blanket and just let the sun warm us up.  No one drowned.  No one ate sand.  No one screamed and cried because it was afternoon.

Finally, dinner.  We feasted on seafood.  So much seafood.  The first thing I told the lovely, overly Californian boy that was waiting on us was that it was my birthday, and not only my birthday, but my 30th birthday.  This restaurant was so classy they just brought me my ice cream cake, “happy birthday” written in cursive and no singing.  It was pretty amazing.  And relaxing.  And there was no screaming.  At any point.

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I feel horribly, terribly selfish as I write this.  I ditched my family.  I ditched my children.  All I wanted for my birthday was to be far, FAR away from them!  They are making me crazy.  I am making me crazy.

The saddest part?  I’m sure it’s my fault.  I know I could be doing better.  I should turn off our tv more.  I should be coloring and painting and running around with them more.  I should be making them clean more.  I just don’t want to.  I’m tired.  I’m over it.  I’m lazy.  If we color, it’s a mess-a mess they should clean up and they do, but then it almost always turns into more of a mess that I then have to clean up.  Same goes for painting and really anything crafty.  And if you do it once they want to craft things everyday.  And then when am I supposed to do laundry?

I daydream of a clean house.  I vacuumed yesterday.  This morning that floor I vacuumed was layered.  First with popcorn dropped by Paisley the previous evening.  Normally I’d have her vacuum it up but we just burned out our 3rd stick vacuum.  And it came down to bed time or picking up popcorn and I chose bedtime.  Next Stella threw all the tops of her strawberries on the floor from breakfast and then went ahead and peed on the whole thing from her perch on the barstool.  Yesterday.  That floor was CLEAN yesterday.  Today?  Disaster.  Of course I enlisted Stella’s help to clean it all up BUT let’s be honest…it’s about twice the workload having help, not half.

We also have tried 10 different cleaning solutions now to try and take the pen off of our white leather couch.  You see, I thought I was being smart buying leather…and my children were still able to find the one thing that doesn’t just wipe off.

This too shall pass…it’s a phase…blah blah…best times of your lives…I’m calling BS!!  Those old ladies passing me at the grocery store as my 2 year old is on her 20th minute of screaming don’t remember!!  They blocked out cleaning up layers of popcorn-strawberry pee.

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And then my favorite question…so when are you having more?

The real answer?  Never!!  Never am I doing this again!  And I am fully guilty and I don’t even know why!!  Why do I feel like I need to have more?  This is not going to miraculously get easier!!  I look at women with 10 kids and I just think maybe that’s their calling in life and I have a different one.  Maybe I just take pictures of her 10 kids, or help her give birth to all of them.  I haven’t gotten that calling.  I think I MAYBE do this one more time but even then I am 100% scared to death to take that on.  3 kids officially out-numbers us.  And honestly, I don’t know that I’m doing that good of a job with the 2 I already have-is it really a good idea to make another one?

Story-time makes it glaringly obvious.  My child is the one wearing her most fancy dress for the 3rd day in a row-food stains on the front and hair unbrushed.  She’s got her shoes on the wrong feet and a mirror in one hand with gum in the other.  My girls HATE having their hair brushed and I hate torturing them over vanity!  They like to dress themselves and I really try to let them.  Stella and I spent 15 minutes arguing over which shoes go on what foot and I finally just gave up because really, they’re too big for her anyway so it’s not like she’s uncomfortable.  She wildly stood out among all the well groomed little girls at the library.  All of them had shoes on the correct feet.  All of their hair was combed, braided and even curled.  Their clothes matched (outfit and season).  Paisley is the same-do I fight to make them match and comb their hair when we’re already fighting over getting up in the morning and going anywhere?  Or do I continue to leave them as-is…wild and untamed?  The answers to which battles to choose are becoming blurrier and blurrier.

I relish in these moments without any screaming, but they are few and far between.  We talk often about being sweet to each other, sharing, saying nice things and not yelling.  I’ve made huge efforts not to yell at them-you would never know.  They scream at everything, all the time, always.

I know phases of this come and go.  I know it will get better, and that they will grow and I will miss their bellies, being touched too much and their little hands…but will I miss any other part of this phase?

I’m sure I will.  But for today, I complain.

 

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Clancypants
    March 4, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    This might be the best thing I’ve ever read. I want to drive straight down to St. George and sit on your couch and talk to you for ten hours. I sure like you.

  • Reply
    Charity M.
    March 4, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Oh, April I love you. Don’t feel bad or guilty about being the mother you are and not the mother you think you should be. My house is never clean, I frequently put myself in time out to get a break, and I pick up extra shifts at work when the chaos at home is too much for me. I love my kids, but I don’t stress about making sure they are always entertained or doing some activity that makes them smarter. It’s just not me. Your girls will learn a valuable lesson if they see you loving yourself and taking time to nurture your personal interests and goals. It’s okay to abandon the kids every so often, just as long as you come back.

  • Reply
    Cass Miller
    March 4, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    i just love you and so completely get it.
    Cheers to day dreaming of long quiet drives and not sharing dessert. Xoxo

  • Reply
    Andee Ott
    March 4, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    its a phase. Not them, but you. They will continue to pee their pants and scream
    When their hair is brushed, they will not stop fighting with eachother or wanting to “craft” on every surface of your house… But you will grow in and out of phases when you enjoy it and when you loathe it. You should not feel guilty for this “phase” cause we are all cycling in and out of it, we just don’t have the balls or wit to write it so well… Loved this.

  • Reply
    Chris Jones
    March 4, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    You so rock 🙂

  • Reply
    Tessa Rosales
    March 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    I love you so. Those girls will remember their mother as being spirited, nurturing, and supportive. I do miss our chats so it was nice to read this even though it’s not the same as hearing it. If it makes you feel any better, I would L.O.V.E to run away right now too.

  • Reply
    Rachel Tatom
    March 4, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    This was fantastic. I feel so many of these same feelings so often. It’s funny, being in Colorado those 6 months made me realize that the vanity pressure on our kids is so much stringer here. I could go out with messy kids and undone hair and mis-matched clothes and no one really noticed or cared because it’s more normal away from the bubble. The perfection level here is overwhelming sometimes and I feel like not enough women have the courage to admit it, let alone talk about how inadequate or unwilling we feel sometimes. I love you and think you’re great. Next time you run away please call me so I can come too 🙂

  • Reply
    Lyndi Benson
    March 10, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE how honest this is. This is what people actually want to read. LOVED running to cali with you. #aprilandlyndichaseseagulls

  • Reply
    Katrina Jones
    March 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Oh, April, I hear you! I was going through a hard phase just a couple weeks ago. It felt like I was drowning and there was no way I would ever gain control of all the things to do and all the little people I’m in charge of–and that I was losing track of who I am as an individual. Life is just hard sometimes and no amount of positive thinking can change those hard things. So I’m glad you complained and that you got off for a trip by yourself! If I were braver and not such a homebody I would do that myself. I hope things get easier soon. I’m the queen of guilt, so this is as much for me as for you, but try not to feel guilty over everything. The Lord knows how hard you are trying in so many areas and He accepts your efforts!

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