Monday, October 5, 2009

an exercise in perspective

My confession of the day is the following: I feel like a hamster running on its wheel at top speed. Unfortunately, I'm not getting the exercise in (just the futility, or at least that's how it feels). I feel guilty for even letting this one out of the bag. I mean, how many times do we new moms gush to other moms or moms-to-be: "Being a mom is the most WONDERFUL thing. It changes your life, but in a good way" (hmmm...especially to the latter group, which makes me wonder if we are purposely trying to pull the wool over their eyes? Only to then sit back and laugh and say "Welcome to the club!" while they bemoan the same struggles IF they have the courage to admit it back to us; we, who have not been 100% truthful in these matters).

So much of doing the mom thing is in the little things, and those little things have to be done today and the next day and the next day...till kingdom come it would seem. I take issue with changing diapers the least, in case that's what you're thinking. Maybe it's my weird bathroom humor but I find it absolutely a riot that my toddler now says caca in Spanish every time she has a bowel movement...or not (hey it works for pee too in toddler world) or now even when she sees the toilet. "Yes sweety, that's where mommy and daddy go caca! Good girl! You're so smart!" so that bit of tedium isn't so tedious for me (go figure!). But talk about food preparation or clean-up or activities of the day (like my new "favorite": the UP UP game: We go out into the main hall of our condo building and my daughter wants to practice her stair-climbing skills, which also includes a side-bar activity of Mommy running around like a crazy, playing peek-a-boo through the spaces between the stairs while Little Girl laughs and laughs and commands Mommy to do it again...and again...and again until said Mommy, now sweating and panting (Remember: I don't really do hamster exercise, so this is already starting to hurt) must peel dear daughter from the bottom steps now crying and flinging body parts every which way and demanding we keep playing UP UP.

Yes, that's a glimpse of my personal tedium. I admit: every morning I inwardly cringe when I wake up and think: What am I going to make for breakfast today? These are the days that skipping a meal is a criminal offense. Forget what I used to do before baby. Now I will be the first to put myself on trial if I don't get my act in gear and serve some kind of protein, fruit and grains (and I try really hard to get a veggie in, but come on, I already blogged about perfection. It ain't here) in the morning, and then before the afternoon nap (otherwise known as lunch but you see where my focus is at. How many hours left until the nap??? Ladies, you know what the Y of Tracy Hogg and Melinda Balu's Baby Whisperer "EASY" acronym stands for: [baby] Eats-is Awake-Sleeps-YOU!!! time Yes, Tracy I wish it were that EASY. But here's more of the hamster ordeal: as soon as she's asleep there is food to be eaten (oh yeah! by me!) and you know, stuff to do in the house some of which has not been touched for months (so why start now? Excellent advice. That can wait again. But I still have to stare at an untidy abode which makes me absolutely nutty at times), my work stuff (I hate grading papers but don't tell my students or they'll stop turning things in), my daily higiene, maybe a phone call made or an e-mail sent to a friend and oh yeah! There's still ME time, right? Most of the time, not really.

So I keep running and running and hoping that this week I will cross some more things off of my to-do list while keeping up with the daily hamster pace with a toddler. And I might succeed--but next week there will be even more stuff to pile up. So it's no wonder that on a Sunday night when I threw my exhasted self into bed that a such a mental image as a furry little rodent going round and round and round has entered my brain. Not even the weekend offers a true rest from the wheel. (Oh yes, right! I don't work on the weekend! But only a mother will tell you the truth: going to work is actually our break. Oh yes, don't let them fool you. We know who the real working mothers are. They are wiping dirty chins and making pillow houses in the living room.)

All of these things swirl in my brain, until I feel like the little hamster has picked up his wheel an moved into my psyche. It's enough to make me crazy until I realize that I am missing the forest for the trees. I have to honestly say that I don't enjoy every minute of what I do as a mom. But when I lift my eyes up I remember that I have been entrusted with a most meaningful task: --I get to show my baby LOVE every single day-- then I know I just have to suck it up in the moment (and the next moment, and the next) and hurry up and plan that girls' night out and the date night. Soon.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
I Corinthians 13:13

1 comment:

  1. You do a great job of communicating the tedium and frustration of the mom at home alone with a toddler! Surely many young moms can relate to that. Hate to tell you, but it doesn't really let up when they get older--it just all happens further away from home. At least when they're older, sleeping through the night is more likely.