Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Are we having fun yet?
On the count of three, let's just all say what stay at home moms the world over are thinking right now. Ready? One, two, three...no, not that you wish your thighs were smaller and your breasts were perkier; that's a given. I'm talking about the other thing...say it with me..."Summer sucks!" Now, doesn't that feel better? I think at this point, a couple of weeks into summer, there should be a workshop held for moms who are spending 24/7, 168 hours a week, with their children. The only requirement is that you bring your own baseball bat and your vice of choice (beer, chocolate, ice cream, pizza, wine, etc...nothing kinky please). Remember those inflatable pop up clowns that used to spring back up every time you punched them? We will have those stationed all over the room and the baseball bats will be used to beat the ever-loving crap out of them. Either that or I was thinking a rusty old car? My mom did that once at a feminist rally. You get the idea...just something to beat the s*$% out of. That activity will be followed up with the consumption of your favorite food or beverage in mass quantities.
If you have the financial means to enroll your children in many day camps, you are allowed to come because you still have to haul their asses around all over town. If you have a full time nanny like Charlotte from Sex and the City, you best be keeping that to yourself.
Perhaps you might respond to this post negatively. You might say, "My children are like manna from heaven and I just can't get enough of the little creatures!" I'm gonna call B.S. on that one. Why?? Well, did you know that the average four year old asks 437 questions a day? And if one parent is spending 90% of the day with said four year old, who do you think answers those questions? Yup! If the U.S. government knew about this powerful method of breaking down an individual's sanity, they would allow four year olds to infiltrate terrorist cells all over the world! The standard "Uh-huh" response doesn't seem to cut it anymore with my youngest. She is on to me! If I am not paying attention, she will ask, "Mommy, is your brain not working?" My oldest will just say, "Earth to Mommy...anybody home?"
Don't get me wrong, I really love those guys. They are the best. Literally. There is so much wrong with the world, so much hate, heartache, and brokenness. They are what is right. I can't even remember what it was like to be that trusting, that idealistic, and innocent. They see the very best in everyone and every situation. They say their prayers at night, nestled in their beds, believing wholeheartedly that they are safe. The biggest worry Lilah has is how many treats she will be allowed to eat in one day. Savannah only worries about how much time she's going to get on my Kindle tomorrow, and whether Lilah is going to mess with her stuff. There is so much light in their faces; so much hope!
I recognize that I have the greatest job ever. These years with them in my care are precious indeed. It's just that I think I'd do the job so much better if I had 24 hours out of every week to myself. No questions to answer, no fights to break up, no messes to clean up, no toys to step over; just solitude. Can you imagine? I actually got so desperate today that I started looking at Megabus schedules just "for fun." It's okay...you can shake your head. But, did you know that for like twenty bucks you can ride a Megabus from Atlanta to New Orleans? Or Memphis, Tennessee? I've always wanted to see Graceland, the way that some people want to see the Eiffel Tower. If I ever go missing and they put out an APB on me, just check Graceland first...I will be in the jungle room eating a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.
Nothing really prepares you for being a mother. From the moment that child is handed to you, the transformation begins, and suddenly it's just not about you anymore. Without a second thought, you would take a bullet for that tiny bundle in your arms. The scariest part about motherhood for me, has been realizing that even when the worst things happen, you don't get to fall apart. No longer is there someone around to take care of you...you are the caretaker, the nurse, the one with the stiff upper lip. This is nothing new; women have been keeping calm and carrying on for thousands of years. But, it is relatively new to me...and it's overwhelming.
Tonight, I really just want to raise a glass to mothers all over the world. Some of you are being both Mom and Dad to a child and doing a great job of it. Some of you are working 60 hours a week and still make time to love on your kid. Some of you are doing this tough summer gig year round, educating your children at home, and I am in awe of you. Some of you are exhausted, just like me; trying to catch your breath after the toughest year of your life. That's okay. We're all just doing the best we can. And if the smiles on their faces are any indication, I think we're doing a pretty good job, don't you?