Friday, October 23, 2009

Mama Train

For more than fourteen years, I have considered my job as an exercise in futility. The job? Motherhood. The futility? Everything I do today must be redone tomorrow, and nobody notices a single thing I do... unless I don't do it. Over and over and over.

Do you know this feeling? The second the laundry is folded, someone throws up in his sheets. The minute dinner is cleared and dishes done, someone is STARVING. As soon as the kitchen is swept, along comes King Kong, stomping on the Cheerios he just poured onto the pantry floor. Ah, Baby is finally sleeping... just as Toddler throws herself off the edge of my bed and requires stitches. Vacuum? Why bother? That sweet mommy-voice I've tried to cultivate? Doesn't get the job done. If I start the bartering process with a shout and a throbbing vein, chances are good I'll end it faster.

What's the point, right? So I skip the vacuumming. And the carpet turns to velcro instantly. So I take a break from laundry, and suddenly everyone is naked and IT'S ALL MY FAULT. Don't feel like making dinner? Or lunch? Or that hot breakfast? "Hello, this is Child Protective Services, we need to have a talk*."

But a funny thing is happening around here.

I hesitate to confess, but I'm among friends, right? So huddle up. Shh. Here it is. I think it's getting easier.

The work still must be done, and done every day. But if I don't want to switch the wet laundry out of the dryer because I'm up to my elbows in pie crust, I can ask any one of four talented and capable kids to do it for me. And chances are, it will happen. Before said wet laundry grows fur. I can still spend 3 hours making a meal that will be a memory in seven minutes, but I WILL hear at least 3 people say "Thank you" for it. Does that make the meal taste better? You better believe it. I still have to sit next to the piano for many hours of practicing every week, but somehow, my urge to strangle Kids into proper hand position ebbs.

I've spent** far too many hours of my life waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because, hey - if it's going to drop, it's under the control of gravity, and there's very little I can do about it. So I choose to ride this train. I have fairly healthy, relatively happy kids who like each other. This is what most parents crave. Pray for. Work toward. And I should, can, will enjoy it, for as long as it lasts.

*Please don't worry. This is a hypothetical phone call. Plus, we have Caller ID, so I just wouldn't answer that one.
**Translation: Wasted


  1. An excellent post, Becca. Choosing to see the good in everything doesn't mean you're ignoring the bad. It just means you're choosing to life in spite of it. I'm glad you're living well.

  2. My favorite television commercial is the "invisible mom" commercial. Glad to hear your cloak is coming off.

  3. I've actually tried to talk Neil into buying me a front loading washer based on the concept of teaching Emma how to work at an earlier age. I love the idea how older children - you make it sound quite appealing! And I love how you're seeing beyond the mundane. Some days that's a trick and a half.

  4. This gives me hope. I'm sure there will be a time when they're all grown up that I long for the kids' toddler days, but for right now, I need to remind myself that it does get easier.


If you want to say it, I want to hear it. Bring it on.