About 10am on Mother’s Day, now almost two weeks ago, I realized that it would have been really apt of me to have had a blog entry ready to publish that day. I quickly scanned the day in my head and realized in about 2 seconds I had absolutely zero time to sit down at my computer and write. So I would have no well-timed article on how amazing it is to be a mom published that day. And the article I started to write the next day, has now taken almost two weeks to finish. I guess that’s the reality of mommyhood!
Let me tell you how my mother’s day started. It started with a jolting burst into reality from sleepy dreamland by an incredibly enthusiastic 3-year-old voice yelling ”HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY” and the thwump thwump of a balloon being kicked by 3-year-old feet around my room. Then little feet were jumping on bed and little hands were thwump thwumping said balloon.
Attach 8-month-old to self and close eyes. I just need 5 more minutes. Twenty minutes later we are up. It’s Sunday. We leave for the 10am church service we go to at 9am since that’s when baby girl wants to start her morning nap and she’ll do about half a nap in her stroller and we call that enough for a Sunday—especially since it means we walk to get scones and coffee before church and actually make it there on time. Since it’s also Mother’s Day, we’re meeting my mom at church and then taking her out to brunch with my older brother because my dad is out of town.
Place baby girl in jumpee in my bathroom, quick shower, dressed, hair and make-up in 15 minutes flat because that’s how long baby girl will last jump-jumping with only mild squawking. If we approach 20 minutes, squawking turns to full-fledged screams. Then pound upstairs to feed baby girl yummy goo of pears, bananas, yogurt, and prunes (yes, still feeding prunes every day—hilarious how the ruin-an-outfit poop so quickly changed to yaay-I’m-eating-solid-food-rabbit-poops). Husband and little man have made eggs and left me some in the pan. I don’t bother to reheat them or even put them on a plate. Instead I sprinkle salt over said eggs, pick up pan and fork and shovel eggs into mouth. Leave husband dishing food into baby girl’s mouth and run downstairs to pack puzzle, coloring books, and iPad (in case neither of the former items inhibit public meltdown) for restaurant, gather items for Nana’s gift and tie together with cute ribbon, pack diaper bag, run back upstairs with outfit for little man, grab baby girl, run back downstairs and dress wiggling infant in frilly church dress coordinating with little man’s attire (yes, I’m that mom), grab lovey item for baby girl, and call upstairs to husband that I’m heading towards the car. Turn on car with soft Pandora hymn station playing, put baby girl in carseat, cover with dark blanket, load little man into seat as he wanders out to garage, flop down in passenger seat of car. Breathe. 9:10am.
In my head, I envision that Mother’s Day is supposed to be relaxing—supposed to be a break for me, right? I’m still just running around like a chicken with my head cut off pulling everything together.
We get to church, park, luckily baby girl has dozed off on the ride with only mild squawking, put helmet on little man and watch him Flinestone his way down the sidewalk on his balance bike. Then we’re getting coffee (praise the Lord) and scones and pedal pushing back towards church pushing stroller and coercing little man into continuous forward movement (Look mommy, a bee! Look mommy, is that poop?) and all I’m thinking is that I really want to streak for my car and run for this hills as fast as I can—which in my case, would be the mall. Now. Oh how I would love to wander around for a couple hours with NO ONE I know around me and NOTHING I actually have to purchase and just wander and wander. Maybe sip my latte slowly (rather than in hiccup spurts as I steer little man away from the huge puddle tempting him and his shiny church clothes) and just wander with all the time in the world and no one texting me about when I’ll be back or what do I want to do for dinner.
Okay, return to reality. Now we’re sitting in church and the pastor is praying and he’s thanking God for mothers and how amazing they are and yaddy yaddy yadda and I’m listening with only half my brain as baby girl has woken up and I’m wrestling her in the back of the hall (because yes, I’m still a little afraid to put the screamer in the nursery). And then the pastor says, “and we pray for the people for whom today is a really painful day…”
“…for those who have miscarried or are childless or have lost a mother recently…”
I’m temporarily listening with my entire brain and then I’m kicking myself in the arse for my pity party. Once again. Here I am, with a life filled with blessings and I’m the one having the pity party. It seems like on Mother’s Day, I should probably just be thankful—thankful for 2 beautiful, healthy children, a kind and faithful husband/father, an amazing community, family close by…
I realized I’d spent the morning focusing on what I don’t have (like, any personal time) and not what I do have. Let’s say these last 4 years had not been filled with 2 pregnancies and the entrance into life of 2 little people…let’s say it had been filled with fertility treatments or adoption attempts… I would probably be sitting in church with a lump in my throat, whisking a tear out of my eye, and glaring at any mom wining about how she doesn’t have time to go to the mall today.
It’s interesting how I go through these waves of feeling stressed and then feeling guilty about feeling stressed. I love my babies so much and don’t know if I could survive actually losing one of them (that’s the stuff of nightmares for me and daytime paranoid moments), but there are times I want to throw them out the window…or as one of my girlfriends said, throw herself out the window. Or like another girlfriend of mine actually did, shut myself in the bathroom and just scream as loud as I can. I guess mommyhood is accepting both sides of the coin: that it’s okay to need breaks and occasionally feel like you want to throttle your children yet still feel incredibly thankful for them and thankful to be a mommy. And needing breaks or wanting a peaceful moment wandering around the mall doesn’t make me a horrible person or ungrateful. But I also do need to be snapped back to reality, like the prayer did, and remember to focus on the amazing amount of gifts in my life (and not my own arse).
So church is over and we wrangle 3-year-old into car, put mum mum in hand of squawking baby, drive to brunch spot (carefully chosen since it’s a 2 minute walk from our house in case either child completely unwinds), find my mom/Nana at table (little man proudly carries in gift for Nana and holds it up with a big “TA-DA!”), get little man in booster seat and spread puzzles and coloring books out in front of him, unpack food for baby girl, do once over skim on menu to quickly decide what I’m eating, start shoveling food into baby girl’s mouth, and attempt to half-way carry on conversation with Nana and brother/uncle who has now arrived. After a little over an hour of shoveling food in either my or one of two little people’s mouths, baby girl is unwinding so I say goodbye to uncle and Nana and whisk her away to home where dark room and happy crib await. Then finally I am collapsed on my bed while husband is getting little man in his. And it’s 1:15 pm. Whew.
So here’s my plan for next year: mommy brunch. As in mommies and champagne only. And pedicures to follow. No babies. As much as I adore them, I have a new plan.
Until next time, carry on mommy friends, you are awesome at what you do!