Opinion: Stop needing me!


Commentary by Danielle Wilson

Sometimes I just don’t want to be needed. Maybe it’s the holidays, but I am literally about to shiv the next person who asks for breakfast, a back rub, help with homework, or anything that involves me and/or my superhuman, Jane-of-all-trades capabilities. Being a mom is exhausting.

A large part of this feeling is the nature of being an educator. Teaching high school means I’m basically a surrogate parent to 180 of our future leaders. It’s taxing to say the least, especially on tests days when 123 of them realize they have no idea what I’ve been talking about for the last week and they all come for help at 7 a.m. I’m a good enough actress to proceed with patience, but on the inside, I’m questioning the world’s chance of survival when this lot’s in charge. (Kidding! You’re all brilliant!)

After a day of helping everyone else’s teenagers, I go home to my four who’ve been left to their own devices for at least an hour. My oldest daughter asks me to listen as she talks stream-of-conscience about her emotions. My youngest begs for help with math and laundry. My oldest just wants me to make him “food.” And my middle son sits so quietly while he plays games on his phone that working-mom guilt compels me to ask if I can do anything for him. Argh!

But I don’t want to do any of this. What I want is to lock myself in my bedroom and zone out on Drunk History. I don’t want to plan dinner or run to the grocery or pick anyone up from [enter your sport here]practice. And I sure as shoot don’t want to play the good wife to my husband, who can often be needier than the kids! “Will you please rub my feet/grab my dry cleaning/watch Top Gear with me?” No!

But of course I do. Because that’s what it means to be a spouse, mother, and/or teacher. We answer the call even when we don’t want to. And on that note, I must go. Someone needs me!  Peace out.