I just wanted a damn casserole. But I didn't want to make one. I wanted someone to make one for me.
But it's not just about the fact that I was craving a good-old-fashioned-home-cooked meal. It's the fact that there was nobody in my life baking nor bringing me one.
Because I'm a single mom, whose own mother is dead. Sure she wasn't the best cook on earth, but she was good. And she would've spent all day making it and had brought it over.
My mom's been gone 13 years. And I'm still not over it. Never will be. And that's okay. But it's not okay, because women need more women. We need, like one of those knitting circles (though I don't knit), where women of all ages come together. Cuz I need more older women in my life.
But I don't have them. It's basically me, myself, and I. With my two teenagers and some really good friends at work.
So...I totally went ape-shit, off my rocker, bat-shit crazy one day.
Mid Life Crisis? Maybe. Childhood trauma? Yeah. Adulthood trauma. Yeah. Lonely? Yeah. Casseroles coming? Nope.
So, I had a good-old-fashioned breakdown instead. Not as good as my mom's, but close.
I'm going to be 43. I'm officially perimenopausal. I'm still a single mom of (nearly) two teenagers.
I'm allowed to go off my rocker every now and then. (I actually wish I had a rocker. Might be good for my bad hip.)
I give myself permission to feel my feels.
But why is it that men are expected to have a Mid Life Crisis with the Corvette and the trophy wife, but women aren't "allowed"?
Well, that's just not fair.
Life gets to us, too. And we try our best to cope: for better or for worse. But instead of buying the Corvette or getting ourselves our new trophy partner, we go what some people call "bat-shit-crazy" or have a "nervous breakdown".
Let me tell you something, folks:
It's called Being an Overwhelmed Working Mother During a Pandemic who Just Wants Somebody Else to Make the Damn Casserole. (TM. Ha.)
So, yeah, I had some really strong feelings that day; and so did my hormones. (And the wine didn't help. It never does.)
I still just can't wrap my head around the fact that this...emotional journey is nearly expected of men, but people recoil when women hit that spot in their lives.
Men congratulate other men. Envy them. Copy them.
Wives and children? Sorry: Corvettes only seat two.
Well, apparently perimenopause along with other working mom stuff scares men and small children.
But, that sounds like a "them problem". Cuz I gotta take care of myself first. It is, afterall, my most important relationship. Enough with contorting my time and my life around everybody else's whom I love.
I'd contorted myself for so long in so many ways...of course I snapped.
I remember a friend of mine telling me that her mother had just "had it one day. She was screaming instructions for the husband and kids while jotting down sticky notes of what to do, slamming them down where they needed to be, and then said she was going on strike and left." (Of course she came back a couple of hours later.)
I get it.
So, I'm going to hit the RESET button on/for myself. I'm not sure what that looks like yet, but I'm figuring it out, day by day, hour by hour.
We all need a RESET every now and then.
Life is tough.
So if you live with or know a perimenopausal working mother, just ask her if there's anything she needs. She'll say no, of course. But look around and do something anyways: vacuum, do the laundry, take the kids overnight, get her a massage.
Bake her a damn casserole.
After resetting last night, I'm up for making myself a nice homemade dinner.
But I'm not really making it.
My Crock Pot is. Maybe she's my Corvette.
(Thank you author Ada Calhoun.)