Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day - 24 hours of payment for 8,760 hours of work.

Mother’s Day. Who knew that a made up holiday would mean so much to me. I know I have posted before on my feelings of the day, but alas, here I go again. I can only speak in reference to being a working Mom, although, I am in no way diminishing being a stay at home Mom. Being a Mom is hard…period.

Clearly, I love my little Rorybee! I wouldn’t take anything for her, and I love being her Mom, but wow…is it hard! Some days, I wonder what it would be like to actually own my body again. From the moment that I got pregnant with her, she has owned me…hook line and sinker. I thought that it might end when she was born, but nope. I am her security blanket, her band-aid for bruised knees and bruised feelings, bed when she is feeling cuddly, ladder when she wants to get to something, jungle gym when she wants to be froggy (although some days I feel more like a speed bump as she flies past me), pillow for her sleepy head, vending machine for the never ending requests (Mommy, juice/milk/fruit snacks/cheese/macaroni-n-cheese/grapes/yogurt…please) and recreational director. Sometimes after getting home from work, after I have helped 465 people get through a situation that 9 times out of 10 they profess that they knew they shouldn’t have gotten into, and being inundated with the endless requests, I admit I sometimes want to scream.

Some days walking into the alternate universe where Buzz Lightyear and Woody are plotting evil schemes from in between the couch cushions overlooking a sea of mismatched puzzle flashcards, all the while, there is a naked Barbie Woodstock being thrown in front of the play kitchen in which the playfood is reproducing faster than a gaggle of bunny rabbits, makes me want to run screaming out the door. Then, here she comes, barreling towards me, giggling…”Mooommmy….I missed you sooooo much!!!!” and I shut out the wasteland of toys and juice cups, scoop her up and inhale the smell of her…most days a mix of grape juice, peanut butter and J0hnson and J0hnson No More Tangles, knowing that this diapered toddler in my arms is growing faster than I care to think about. We have limited time left where she will still fit, all squishy warm and wiggling in my arms. There will be a day when those little dimpled, toddler hands won’t leave peanut butter and jelly remnants in my hair when she hugs me. One day, the explosion in our living room won’t be of Disn*y toys and sippy cups, but of teenagers and attitudes. One day, my sweet tiny girl is going to be abducted by teenage angst and leave me with a teenage girl…Lord help us all when that day comes.

I admit it though, I am beat! I try to spend a good solid, 2 hours, just she and I, playing and doing what she wants to do. I try to soak in all the love and fun that she can throw at me. I try to ignore the mass chaos that has become my house since I left for work and just enjoy her. We play and splash at bath time, we brush her teeth and hair. She giggles as I lay her on the bed in her room and act shocked when I unwrap her blue hooded towel and find her little naked self, and wrap her back up with a feigned rush. I relish the smell of that baby lotion as I put it on her little toddler legs, and sweet little toddler hands. She always asks for a little more and insists on putting it on my cheeks because, as she says, ‘Dat means love.’ I slip her into her footie pajamas, dreading the day when she has out grown them. We go and get her some milk and we snuggle on the couch, just the 2 of us, until it is time to say her prayers, which she has started saying completely on her own, and then I take her and put her in her bed. I always tell her the same thing, “goonight, sweet dreams, I love you, see you in the morning” and it never fails, as I push play on her CD player and close her door, I hear her little voice, “I love you too Mommy…see you in the morning.” I have to fight the urge to go and scoop her up and do it all again, just to hear her say it again.

As I turn to go back in the living room, ripe with love and sweetness, I am brought back to reality, the living room. 68 puzzle flash cards scattered in the floor (how do I know that there are 68? Because I put them all back together every night), 2 empty juice cups, 3 ‘snuggling’ quilts tossed haphazardly all over the furniture and floors, the contents of the Disn*y store sprinkled all over the living room, dining room and kitchen, 3 empty baskets and the playfood that is supposed to be in them, empty water glasses and coke bottles from the sitter, her brother and Kevin, a sink full of dirty dishes, and a dishwasher full of clean dishes. I walk to the laundry room and get the clothes out of dryer, to the love seat they go, open the washing machine…great…sour clothes…yeah, forgot that I wanted to do ‘1 last load’ before bed at 11 last night. Dang…turn those back on, with a little extra oxyclean, and start on cleaning up the debris from the bomb that went off in the living room. Fold the clothes, unload the dishwasher, reload the dishwasher, put the clothes away, put the (2nd time washed) wet clothes in the dryer, put another load in to wash, wipe down the counters, pick up the little bits of paper crayon wrapper that I didn’t notice before because of the explosion of toys that was covering them, let the dogs out to go to the bathroom.

By now it is 10:30…I still need a shower and to get some stuff together for work tomorrow. Kevin usually gets home about 11, and he calls me when he turns on the street so that I can come and unlock the door, so that the dogs don’t bark, and wake up Rory. Jump in the shower, jump out, thrown on a T-Shirt and boxer shorts, fix the sheets on the bed and sit down, and wait for Kevin to call. Look around the bedroom…crap…clothes still in the washer, go and get those, put them in the dryer…clothes from the dryer…on the bed, to fold and put away. Kevin calls, go and unlock the door. Get a glass of water to put on my night stand, turn off Rory’s light (if Kev hasn’t already), put the clean clothes away, plug in my cell phone, turn on the alarm and get in bed. Kevin usually joins me in the next minute or two.

“How was your day?” he says.
“Good, how was yours?” I reply.
“Good, I am really tired.” He replies.

About this time, Rory stirs, I hear her on the monitor…I go in and check on her and find her standing in the crib…all the hair on one side of her head is sticking up. This is one of those times when she just needed Mommy…I scoop her up, tell her that I love her and that she has to go back to sleep . She says “OK” and I put her back down and cover her up. As I walk out of the room, I hear her little voice again “Night Night Mommy…sweet dreams.” “Sweet dreams sugar-plum…see you in the morning”

I walk back into the bedroom. Kevin is playing on the laptop. I am pretty sure that he has no idea the condition of the house or the mass chaos that was left in the wake of the toddler and 2 teenagers that spend 5 hours of their day at our house, and who I think bring the soda bottles, chip bags and trash from their neighbors to our house with them.  He has no idea what it looked like when I got home, but that is OK.  I am asleep in like 2 minutes and the next thing I know, the alarm is going off at 5:30 and I hear Rory in her bed calling me to come and get her up.

It is a vicious cycle…but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. All of this to say…as Mothers we have earned 1 day out of 365 and fellas, give your wives a break…24 hours isn’t too much to ask!!!! It may be some stupid, Hallmark created holiday to you, but to us, it is nice to feel like we are appreciated. Happy Mother's Day to all my Mommy buddies, and an extra shout out to my Mom...thanks for not killing me...or Dad.

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