Ennui

[ahn-wee, ahn-wee; French ahn-nwee]
noun

a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom

People like to give you advice on lots of things when you reach adulthood – bills, marriage, loans, credit, the right mattresses, buying organic, raising non asshole kids, etc. But the one thing people forget to warn you about is the never ending, all consuming, soul killing ennui.

Oh sure, I’ve felt it in my teens, you say. But you’re wrong. It’s not the same restless boredom you feel when you’re sixteen and listening to that Garbage CD and wondering what else is out there besides feeling like you don’t belong to the Grunges, the Freaks, the Preppies, the Ultimate Players, or the Geeks. It’s not the same thing as looking out your high school class window during Biology and seeing Brett kiss Gretchen and wishing you were anywhere but here. That was just teenage angst. Ennui is entirely different.

Ennu is being so in love with your kids that you can’t imagine life without them, but at the same time imagining hopping on a plane and running away to a remote island to work as a bartender and just talk to adults all day long just do you wouldn’t have to answer another question about bugs or change another diaper.

Ennui is loving your husband but at the same time hating him. You love him for all right reasons – he’s a great dad, he provides for the family, he’s responsible, he’s smart, he’s dependable, he’s nice to your mom. But you also hate him for not trimming his nose hairs, complaining about your dinner, telling the same story over and over again, leaving his socks on the floor, making a jab about your love handles, that thing he said two years ago that you just can’t forget…

Ennui is wanting to go out and paint the town red (okay how lame is that saying? What am I, 75?) but ending up staying home because you know your kid is going to wake you up at 6:30 and you need a full 8 hours sleep.

Ennui is knowing that even if you wanted to go out, you’d have no one to go out with because all your friends are boring ass moms like you.

I mean, how can you be so happy with your life yet feel so dissatisfied? The French have this saying for it. I wonder what the American saying is? Dissolution? Dissatisfaction? Boredom? Somehow none of these words feel as fitting as ennui.

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I think every parent secretly feels this – they love their kids equally but there’s one that they have a special bond or connection with. It may change from time to time or it may just stay fixed. For example, sometimes I feel more connected to my son and other times my daughter. I think it depends on who’s acting brattier and who’s more annoying at the time.

These days, I feel a special connection to my daughter. I think it’s because now that she’s two and a half years old, I see her personality coming out more and more and I see myself in her. She has a really quirky sense of humor and it’s pretty witty for a two year old. She’s also very stubborn and a bit bratty, which is really funny because she’s so young but I know will give me headaches when she’s a teenager. Sometimes she’ll throw a little tantrum and I have to hide my laughter because it’s just so dramatic but harmless. She’s a little weird which I love because I’m weird and I get it. I get where the weirdness comes from. She sees the world a bit differently and interprets things slightly off center. I hope that part of her never changes, because I know as a kid and even as an adult, you conform into what you think society expects of you. You conform into what you think people expect of you. And then your ideas about yourself change and you realize you don’t know who you are anymore. I think that’s what’s so special about young kids. They don’t care what anyone thinks of them. Especially when they’re throwing a tantrum in the middle of Target aisle 6, haha.

My mom on the other hand has a special connection with my son, and he has one with her too. She lives overseas and doesn’t get to visit often but she’s here now and I see the special love she has for him. She says it’s because he’s her first grandkid. My husband thinks it’s because she raised two girls and now gets to see a little boy grow up. Maybe it’s because she sees a bit of herself in him. Sometimes I joke that she loves him more than my daughter but I love the bond that they have together. He doesn’t even wake me up in the mornings like he always does. He goes to my mom’s room and they go downstairs together where he’ll play and talk her ear off and make breakfast together. She slips him candy and tells him it’s their secret. He draws pictures of her house with her face in the window. She teaches him games she played as a kid. These are the things he’ll remember when he’s older and my mom will think about when she’s back home.