Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Motherhood, Unwrapped

I'm fried today. I feel like the longer work hours and non-stop kid duty have caught up with me and I need an early bedtime - no night owl stuff tonight. And it seems an odd day to crash, as I didn't cook today, and I was less one kid (Claire stayed at preschool until 2:45pm, and then Kyle took her to work with him after that). Maybe it was the slightly lighter load for the day that allowed me to feel just how truly exhausted I am. I rarely allow myself the luxury to feel my fatigue. What's the point anyways? It's not as if I can walk away from my day-to-day duties. And I have no trustworthy, solid back up ... no family to pitch in, no friends who offer assistance, and limited means to find a reliable babysitter when in desperate need of a break or a real adult vacation. It's sometimes a dark, lonely place - this state of being we call motherhood - and I'd like to think all of us moms see eye to eye on it, but I've realized we don't.

There are the uber-mommy types, who seem to be completely fulfilled by motherhood, and give me blank stares when I talk of needing an identity outside of motherhood or complain about my kids (gasp!). Fatigue, they say, what fatigue? Aren't you completely energized by watching your children grow and learn? Isn't motherhood the best thing in the world? Why do you crave adult time? What more could a person need than to be a mom? You should feel blessed every day and don't sweat the small stuff. Don't you just love doing crafts with your kids? Uber-moms make me question my mommy qualifications (folks, I don't know the first thing about crafts), but the cynical side of me often wonders how much of what they say is for real. Seriously, don't they ever daydream about life without kids, or at least a long weekend away?

And of course there's the other end of the spectrum - the women who seem to have had a child (or children) for the sake of checking off another item on their "to do" list in life, and sappy notions of motherhood are nowhere to be found in their lives. These types of women make the rest of us feel smug and holier-than-thou.

Obviously I fall somewhere in between these two ends of the spectrum (as do most of us mothers, though I seem to have encountered a large group of crafting uber-moms recently). I maintain a death grip on the last vestiges of my pre-motherhood identity. And unlike uber-moms, I can admit that motherhood is not always rosy. The nonstop cleaning, diaper changing, refereeing of sibling fights, the never-ending cycle of meals, the feeling that tomorrow will be just like today - it can all be numbing. The prickly sense that there's no light at the end of the tunnel but just another challenge is a thought I judiciously avoid, and for good reason ... I think that's a dark path to follow.

I just try to live in the here and now, and enjoy the funny moments we have as a family, and avoid predicting what's to come. This runs counter to my usual mode of thinking, but I've learned it's critical to my happiness as a parent.

So for my funny moment today, I'm posting more video of the twins interacting with each other after snack time. They made such a mess dropping food on the floor I kept them seated (and facing each other) while I cleaned (oh yipee, more cleaning), but of course they started acting funny so I grabbed my phone and took the video of them being goofy. That twin bond that twins speak about? I think this is where that feeling gets started.

No comments: