I keep composing these eloquent and interesting essays, about motherhood and sleep deprivation and dating and squirrels and the holidays. But it all happens either as I’m falling asleep or while I’m laying in bed in the morning not ready to get up yet, and by the time I get here to write, I simply don’t have the time. Such is the path of – well, all of us, I suppose.
While I was doing my 30 minutes walking for 50 steps/running for 50 steps today with the baby in the stroller which has no turning front wheel and has thus become my newest excuse not to work out, I attempted to recall what I ever did before I did THIS every day. It occurs to me that although I do love being home, I hate the work that being home requires of me. I’d almost prefer to get a job to pay a housekeeper and a nanny, at least a few days a week.
Why is it that people who don’t feel cut out for full time motherhood still feel such a strong instinct to reproduce? Does anyone, really, feel cut out for motherhood on a full time basis? I know, I know. People have been doing this for a hundred thousand years, this is what mothers did 50 years ago, blah, blah blah. But that was back when there was a village to help. And 3:30 cocktails, cigarrettes, kindergarten to look forward to, and amphetamines being handed out like candy.
It’s a different place now, the mother’s world. I am defnitely not cut out for this isolation, this 100% focus for 10 hours on one other person who can’t talk back to me and who doesn’t know how serious it is when Mommy can’t, truly just CANNOT, get out of bed. I am not cut out to do serious, heavy-duty, saty-at-home-mom style housework. I don’t care that I have help with housework and that usually, someone else cooks dinner. It’s not happening like that because I’m relaxing at night, taking a load off. The reason I can’t cook dinner because when M gets home, that’s when I sit down to actually work, which, while it doesn’t bring in much actual money, is the only thing that makes me feel intelligent and adult, these days. I should quit, I really should. I have no leisure time because of this imitation job I’ve been clinging to. But the alternative, the leisure time spent reading Woman’s Day and Good Housekeeping during my 15 minute breaks from FLY-ing my household into perfection-I don’t think I could survive it. I hang onto this excuse, this one last reason not to immerse myself into the SAHM life, because I am terrified of what a miserable failure I will be. I need a reason for the mess and the disorganization and the whole days the baby goes drinking bottles of milk instead of eating her organic and perfectly nutritionally balanced meals. I need to be able to say “well, shit, who has time to get out of ththeir pajamas, to work out, to eat, for god’s sake, when all I do all day long is the baby, and all I do all night long is work? how much can one person do?”
And then I try, really hard, not to think about all the mothers out there who are showing me with flair and panache just how much one person can do, going to work at a 9-5 every day (I still think they’re lucky) and coming home to fold lanudry and pull out their perfectly planned dinner menu while carrying the baby on one hip and cheering their soccer player on with their free hand. They are villages contained in one body, and almost every day of my life I wish I could be one.
But then some days it’s so fun to lay around in bed all day and I remind myself that the more you wear the same pair of PJ’s the less laundry you have to do, and the less you leave the house the more gas you can save, and so what if the baby never wears clothes. That means there are always clean ones, and we’re saving water and laundry detergent.