Monday, May 10, 2010

The Mom Thing

Sometimes motherhood feels a bit like one of those dreams in which you are running from some unnamed monster but putting one leg in front of the other is like moving mountains and you can't for the life of you seem to gain any momentum. I don't mean this in the terrible way that it sounds though. I just mean that it takes FOREVER to do anything with a baby. I really had no concept of how much work just getting from here to there took for mothers until I had Edie. I suppose there's no real way to appreciate this until you're actually doing it, but still.

Sometimes I'm running fairly on-time for an event of some sort, but then as soon as I think I'm ready to leave, I realize I don't have enough clean bottles for the 4 hour outing planned. In my pre-baby life, I would just rush around the kitchen, hurriedly wash two bottles and then literally run out the door (although before I had a baby, I suppose I didn't have much need for bottles). Now, I have to convince a wiggly baby to sit in her high chair, strap her in, and find a toy to occupy her happily while in said high chair. Only then can I rummage through the house to find two bottles, wait for the water to get hot, then scrub the 237 pieces of each bottle, fill each with water, cap them with the 237 pieces I just washed (why do bottles need to have so many parts?!), find the bottle caps (which for some reason are NEVER anywhere near where I left the bottles) and then place them in the diaper bag. While doing this, I must stop what I'm doing approximately 5 times to pick up the toy Edie keeps dropping. Then I suddenly realize that the stroller isn't in the trunk like I'd thought, so I must collapse it and run it out to the car. By the time I get to the car, I realize I can't find my keys. Are they in the diaper bag? My purse? Of course not! They are in the stroller pocket from yesterday's walk. You know, the stroller I just collapsed? So now I must UN-collapse the stroller, remove keys and repeat. I run back into the house to get Edie and put her in the car, but sometime in the forever minutes it took me to put the stroller into the trunk, she has lost a shoe and a sock. I finally get footwear adhered to feet when Edie starts fussing for a bottle, despite having eaten an hour earlier.

Jeff says I have an unpleasant knack for describing things in such excruciating detail that people are forced to "feel my pain" in a way that they may not necessarily want to. So I'm guessing you're feeling a bit like you're running with legs made of lead and the big bad monster is slowly gaining?

The thing is though, I don't actually mind any of this. I may feel a bit harried in the moment, but I really love what I'm doing every day. I'd take it over 8 hours of answering emails any day. The truth is that this entire ridiculous process of getting out the door actually only takes about 15 minutes, but it feels like FOREVER compared to the carefree way that I used to step out the door with my purse that weighed less than a feather slung over one arm, both hands free to pull the door closed and lock it. I sometimes think our neighbors must be laughing at me as they watch me run to and from the house a bajillion times just trying to get everything ready for a trip to the grocery store with E. Not to mention the unloading of the groceries upon my return.

This may seem like a whiny post, but I actually intended it to be a braggy, self-congratulatory post about what an awesome Mom I am. Or maybe how awesome being a Mom has made me? It's just that "doing stuff" was so easy before having a kid. Of course it didn't seem easy then. But now I realize that it was. Because doing all the same things but with clean bottles, a properly collapsed stroller and a clean (enough) and happy (enough) 20 pound baby clinging to one hip is inarguably more work. And my Mom did all these things with me 31 years ago. And then she did them again 3 years later for my brother! And we can only guess how much harder all these things are with a 3 year old AND a baby. In particular a 3 year old who is convinced that her seat belt is "CUTTING ME IN HALF" and who's shirt tag is "ITCHY MOMMY. IT'S ITCHY!!!"

So. Happy belated Mothers Day to me. For cleaning all the bottles, picking up the dropped toys, using the safety strap in the high chair, reading the stories (with voices) and remembering the stroller.

And happy Mothers Day to my Mom. For doing all of it first. Twice.


Tib said...

Indeed... Happy Mother's Day Jill; I haven't gotten to see you in action, but I am pretty sure you are doing a fine, fine job.

Hopefully you had a lovely day, and didn't have to run around too much.

Lindsey said...

Happy 1st Mother's Day to someone who is clearly a wonderful, devoted, happy mother who is never afraid to tell it like it really is. Thanks for always keeping it real, Jill! Edie is a lucky little lady.

Kathleen said...

After that post, I am now going to take a nap. Whew. What does it mean if my life feels like that on some days WITHOUT the baby? EEK!

Anonymous said...

After driving in rain all day through MI and 1/4 of the way through WI, not reading your blog for 3 days due to no wifi; we finally reached a place in Crandon WI with wifi! First thing, opened Jill's Daily Note. Now tears...but so worth the read. xoxo

dayu said...

I sometimes feel the same way .. but if I am facing a problem in the office, just look at my son's face as he slept makes me feel very lucky to have him, being a mother .. so happy mother's day Jill .. I like your writing!