On any average day at our house I have to ask the kids to clean the living room between 4-10 times (this means putting all the big and little pillows back on the couch, picking up all the toys that aren’t even supposed to be out there, fold and put away the blankets, pick up all the stray clothes, and throw away the ten thousand fucking baby wipes that they like to throw in the air like confetti). Oh, and before any of your start chiming in, yes, I do tell them not to make a damn mess, yes, I do punish for messes, and yes, I do make them clean their own messes. Also, yes, I am paying attention to them, but sometimes a lady has to pee and these three are amazing at making a mess in minimal time.
Around the third or fifth time of having to say, “NO! Pick up all the pillows!” and subsequently watching them not hear me and/or walk like they suddenly don’t know how legs work (You know, when I say the word “chocolate” in a bedroom with the door closed, they can suddenly hear me AND run to me faster than The Flash… interesting) I start losing my gusto. I don’t have a hell of a lot of fight left in me come 3pm— and I know that I have at least four more hours, bare minimum, that I have to fake it until bedtime.
This is where my Demons seem the most violent, in particular, my Mommy-Demons. Haven’t heard of Mommy-Demons? I bet you have, you just call it something different. Let me jog your memory a bit.
My Mommy-Demons show up during a few different scenarios, but two that are the most obvious to me.
–The “Mommy Breakdown” Demon—A little past Midday when my voice is tired, my body is tired, my coffee is wearing off, and I am nowhere near close to bedtime. The demon is wearing lounge clothes holding a glass a wine, smugly staring at me. Mocking me with all the free time and silence they are enjoying. Sipping their overfilled Pinot and clicking through YouTube with slippers on. Showing me what I could have and then watching me cry silently because I am nowhere near capable of having it right now.
–The Mom Guilt Demon—This Demon, for me, is dressed like the Mom I never can figure out how to become. It has perfect hair, perfect make-up, a freshly exercised body, holding a protein shake while wearing clothes that are clean, with no crumbs or child-spills, and are also, somehow, pressed and steamed. They are rested and alert. They show up when I look around and realize how much I feel I failed that day. When my kids are still in their pajamas at lunchtime. When we stay inside all day and watch movies on the couch. When the laundry goes unwashed for a bit too long. This Demon is there to say, “I’ve got it all figured out and then some, why can’t you even accomplish the basics?” She tsks and tatts at me when I forget to thaw the hamburger meat for dinner. She sighs heavily at me when I break and yell at my kids. She shakes her head in disappointment at my Day Two yoga pants and sports bra.
My Mommy-Demon is friends with a few of my other Demons (See Also: Grief-Demon, Academic-Demon, Relationship-Demon, and Writing-Demon… I particularly hate my Writing-Demon! I’ll likely write about these another time… if Writing-Demon lets me). I’m curious as to whether others have these Demons that seems to feed off the torment of their victims because, in this age of Social Media perfection, it would seem that I am all alone in this game of Cat & Mouse. We post only our best for the world to see, which, initially, seems like a great idea. We don’t want the world to see our dirty floors, unfolded (but clean!) laundry, stray paper on the ground, unbrushed teeth (and hair!), or any of the other socially unacceptable things we have in our homes or on our bodies (fun fact: I haven’t shaved my legs IN WEEKS because I literally DO NOT CARE if you see my Wee Little Leg Hairs).
The problem with what we have all done (and yes, I am certainly guilty of this in the past) is we have created a lair for these Demons to nest, breed, and take over. No one knows what real life looks like anymore— we think everything and everyone leads these perfect, manicured lives and we live this horrendous, dirty, mismatched-socks kind of life. If everyone on my Facebook lives exactly as they post they do, then I am for certain total Gutter Trash.
I’ll leave this post with a question: Do you have Demons? What are their names, what do they look like, and how do they bother you?