Why did my own mother do such a fantastic job raising us that motherhood not only looked enviable (you would always have friends a.k.a. your children, you got to dress real live "dolls" and cook food for everyone!) but it seemed easy? Now, I only have child and I cannot help but marvel at the people who have more than that and look so well put together.
Tonight Maddy and I went to the store and I broke my cardinal rule of going to the grocery store in sweats. Not only that but my other rule, I had on no make up and hmmm did I even brush my hair? Or my teeth!? The apartment is messy after I just cleaned it this morning, the dishwasher is calling out to be unloaded, phone calls need to be returned, YW Presidency meeting plans for tomorrow, photo shoot to be edited and re-scheduled because I'm not happy with the lighting, banana bread to make, pots to be scrubbed, library books to return...well, you get the idea. In fact, you probably have a list longer than mine.
I'm determined to help Madelyn learn how to soothe herself to sleep. Which means crying. I can't stand crying. Not even a little bit. I'm horrible at "tough love". I always want to run into the bedroom and rescue her and get out some toys to play, to let her know I'm there. But as I read in a book recently, there is "intelligent love" and if I look at the situation clearly, it will benefit her so much more in the long run (and myself as well) if we both can learn that when it's bed time, she goes into her crib and I have to leave. The goodnight's sleep that ensues is so worth it. Otherwise, if I try to rock her to sleep she fights it and wants to play and it's hours and hours before she'll relent. Then she's extra tired and I'm extra cranky. Tough love baby. Tough love, mama.
Aaron has had to jump into his busy season with both feet. That means, gone at 7:30am and we see nor hear hide or tail of him until 10:30-11:00pm. Saturdays he's at the office and Sundays we just try to catch our breath. Only 6 more weeks to go!
I guess what I'm getting at is...everyone keeps asking me how Aaron's busy season is going, there is such a "to-do" about it. We go to our friends' house for the weekend to relax and vent about the boys' busy week and eat delicious steaks. But what about a mother's busy season? The moment that sweet bundle of joy comes home you're on call 24/7 and suddenly your needs, wants, dreams, desires, goals, taking showers regularly get shelved. It is the highest calling or position demanding an endless rope of patience, bottomless energy and tough arms for swimming through the mire of other responsibilities. If you're a mother, chances are no one has asked you how your busy season is going...how are you holding up? Boy, that was a late shift last night, wasn't it? Did you get that potty training project finished? How about that nap schedule? I need it on my desk asap.
I guess growing up I assumed that my siblings and I were all my mother needed to be fulfilled and happy. And I bet she would say that we were a big part of that. But I never would have thought of the things she put on hold for us, the lonely nights spent treading a circle with a baby in her arms, the endless afternoons cleaning, feeding, running after, changing, and soothing. So much of that I never figured into this motherhood thing until it happened. And I have found that reaching out to others who are in my same boat is about the only thing that keeps a mother sane. We need each other. Friends (mothers or not) are essential beings to helping us remember who we are underneath the spit up and sweat pants.
So, from one mother deep in the trenches..how is your busy season going? Are you staying afloat? What troubles are you encountering with your "clients"? You are not alone!