Once, in a fit of new-mom exasperation, I posted what I thought was a decent list of reasons having a kid wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies. The list consisted of items like diaper blowouts, household clutter, how I needed to brush up on my organic produce know-how, and my frustration over not being able to remember the right lyrics to lullabies.
I’d like to go back two or so years in time and laugh at myself. “Oh. Just you wait,” I’d say, while tossing back a shot of whiskey and laughing maniacally.
Ok, maybe without the whiskey.
I belong to the exclusive purgatory reserved for moms of two-year old boys. My sanity, it ebbs and flows. Today was not a good day. He peed all over me this afternoon. Then he threw a tantrum or seven. Then he busted his lip open during one of the aforementioned tantrums. Then he called me “annoying” (he has quite the vocabulary for 36 inches). The countdown to bedtime started around 3pm.
I’m writing this out because 99% of me believes that my temporary inability to cope is normal/relatable, and I’m also writing this down because these thoughts make me feel incredibly guilty. Ineffective. Inadequate. Insufficient.
I know “mom guilt” is a thing. But I’ve always been a sucker for making myself feel guilty for what is way out of my control, and that, my friends, is what is annoying. Not sure I can change it. There’s no way to experience everything I want to experience and accomplish everything I want to accomplish without accepting the constant state of being stretched too thin. But I’m not going to lie to myself and pretend that this constant state of being — the boat that all of us simultaneously chose and were forced into — is always smooth sailing.
That off my chest, life is overwhelming and wonderful, as per the norm. Carter’s a super neat kid — precocious, funny, lovey, and mine. He’s always doing something to remind me how cool he is. Like driving his Lego motorcycle across the floor humming and muttering about how he’s “goin’ to tha bookstore”. Real danger seeker. Or trying to convince me he has a fever in his belly. Or telling me, “Oh, Mom! You look soooo handsome.” Or getting his boogie on to my new Carole King vinyl. The earth? He feels it move. Under his feet.
It’s fall. I love fall.
Carter dressed up like a duck commander for Halloween, and it was a hit. I bought him the ugliest boots for his costume, and now he wants to wear them everywhere. Figures. He loved trick-or-treating, so much. He really got the gig down this year. I was so proud of his “trick-or-treat” volume and the frequency of his “thank you’s”. It’s the small things, guys.
November means my birthday, and it was stellar. I know the best people, the kind that wake you up with awesome cards and coffee, deliver presents and flowers and baked goods to school, throw you lunch-time parties, cook and eat favorite dinners with you, replace your college pots-and-pans, surprise you with pretty girly gifts, and point out the new record player in your house before you fall asleep. Don’t know how I deserve to have as many fabulous people in my life, but I’ve got them, and I definitely felt special, so I’ll take it.
These kids, they’re getting big. Pumpkin patches and birthday parties and zoos. Big and busy. There’s an established chain-of-command. Mi bosses Carter. Carter dictates LuLu. LuLu tells Seany what’s up. Emery watches sometimes, but mostly sleeps.
School (the one I work at) is great. Lots of changes on campus make it a bit hectic, but I work with awesome people, my students are phenomenal, and my early drive to work includes mountains, the sunrise, and hot air balloons. All 9th graders (Core and Honors) this year, some NHS co-sponsoring with a best friend, AIMS tutoring, library tutoring, Adopt-a-Kid project — it’s full.
School (the master’s program) is online and occasionally brutal. I’m thankful to be learning new skills. Lucky that I’m rather resourceful. Desperate for more hours in the night. A bit intimidated by the road ahead of me there. Excited to be back in school (you know what I mean).
No matter the age, I’m still an old lady by choice. It’s 10pm on a Saturday night, and I’m in my pjs, torn between watching Lifetime and listening to Elton John in between laundry cycles, grading papers, and snacking on toast with peach jam. Most nights, it’s a similar scene. The highlights of this weekend included trying out my mom’s new juicer, hanging out at the farmer’s market, and getting some early Christmas shopping done.