I want to do so many things. I make a lot of lists. I wake up and jot down to-dos in my planner (yes, I still have a paper day planner). Exercise! Finish that Shutterfly book of Shepard’s first year! Make a playdate with so and so! Write a blog post! Get in touch with all your clients and set a date to return to work part-time! Sort that mountain of papers on your desk! How come most days I end up doing nothing? Well, not nothing, just nothing on that list. I have to do so many things just to keep the household running that I don’t accomplish anything else.
I want to do things for me but end up only doing things as Mommy. My schedule goes as follows – “wake up” which I write in quotes because I never fully go to sleep with this baby bothering me all night, change diapers, make the coffee, prepare breakfast for Shepard, nurse Pippa, scoop the litter box, take Shep to school (Tues & Thurs), the rest of the days amuse him in some way until nap time at 12:30 or 1. Make lunch. Downtime from Shep for a couple hours, This is the part of the day when I could do one of the things on my list but usually I lie down and will Pippa to sleep so I can nap and/or watch Sons of Anarchy (I’m on Season 4).
Then Shep wakes up from nap. I make snacks, change more diapers, put in a load of laundry, fold clothes and endless towels, rags, diapers. Around 5 I begin to think about what to make for dinner. We play outside in the dirt or if I’m in the middle of something I let him watch one of his shows on the iPad. I wear Pippa around in the sling until my neck and shoulders ache. Feed Shep dinner while making another dinner for Alan and me (to be eaten after kids are asleep. I want this to eventually become family dinner when the kids are older but for now I covet our adult time).
Next it’s time to start “Nite Nite Routine” starting with bath time which Shepard invariably pees in. Midway through I dip Pippa in for a few minutes to get the sour milk smell off her neck, brush teeth, baby massage for both kids, diapers, PJs, stories in Mommy’s bed for Shep while nursing Pippa or briefly ignoring her while she cries in the other room so I can give Shep special Nite Nite time. Then one more short book in Shep’s big boy bed, give him his baba (which he’s not supposed to have anymore), lights out. Phew! Then I finish making dinner and wait for Alan to get home. Finally I pour myself a glass of wine and I hear “I want to go in my crib!” or “I need more baba!” Almost every night lately Shep has one of those requests about 10 minutes after I put him down.
By now it’s close to 9pm and I think, what did I do today? Nothing beyond feeding, clothing, amusing children, preparing food and cleaning/tidying/laundry/grocery shopping. This is my job. The hours stink but hey, the pay is terrible. Ba dum bum. I am not trying to say, poor me. I always wanted to be a mother and I love those two little people so much it hurts to look directly at them. But there are many days that I feel I’m losing myself. Whole chunks of me are being starved. I love to teach, write, paint, run, go to yoga and see friends and I rarely do any of that. Right at this moment Shepard is at school and Pippa is asleep. I was going to go to my mommy yoga class but decided to sit down and write for a bit. I wanted to do both today but there is only time for one. Looking around the house, it’s a disaster so I really should be sweeping/mopping/vacuuming/laundering before Shep gets home but I feel I have to seize this moment.
I beat myself up so much for not doing more. I want to go back to work part-time. So far I’ve only pulled off teaching one hour a week on Saturdays. I still don’t feel I can leave Pippa for more than 3 hours because she’s just breastfeeding and isn’t good with the bottle. I want to write my blog a few days a week. I think of topics I want to write about all the time. I want to finish the painting I started of Alan and Shepard months ago as well as a whole bunch of other ones I think about starting. I want to work on my body. I love going deep with Pilates, getting a sweaty yoga practice in, running and swimming. I love being super fit and I’m not getting there by doing mommy yoga and Pilates once a week.
Why can’t I pack more into each day, you ask? I don’t know! Why can’t I wake up earlier before the kids to exercise and write during their naps and stay up late to paint? I’m so freaking tired all the time. I have so many mom friends who work full time and exercise and see friends and and and. I don’t know how they do it. I want to do so many things yet I end up doing nothing beyond what has to be done for basic survival and I’m still exhausted! So, I’m trying to come to terms with what I should be doing versus what I’m actually doing. Am I happy being a stay-at-home mom? Is it enough? If I’m not doing all these things I supposedly want to do, do I really want to do them? Or do I just think I need to want to do them? Huh?
Did I mention I am so sleep deprived that a lot of the time I feel drunk or wonder if I’m actually even awake? I guess my point is, without a housekeeper and nanny, my job is to run my household and make sure my children are clothed, fed, napped and happy. At this point in their lives that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for my own pursuits. But I just wrote this blog post, so there! So what if it took me two weeks because before when I said Pippa was asleep, well she woke up a few minutes later and when she’s awake she expects to be entertained with interesting sounds, faces and dances nonstop.
Motherhood is humbling. Actually, being a human is humbling. We’re all doing the best we can to survive. I know this period of having little little kids is such a blip and one day I’ll look back and long for this relentless drudgery. As I just wrote that my Pippa reached up for my face with her little baby hands and gave me the sweetest, two toothed baby smile. Now I feel like a huge jerk for calling caring for this angel drudgery. I do love it. I would just really really like some sleep and perhaps a part-time nanny.