No one WARNED me, before I had children. No one told me how HARD it truly was. There was only a sprinkling of comedies about the woes of parenthood and a male friend once said “No, you don’t” when I stared longingly at his young son and said that I wanted one. I had no idea what he meant. At a buffet, a week or so before I had my oldest son, my mom said something to the effect that “you’re in for it now” but smiled as though she was joking. She wasn’t.
As though it’s an embarrassment or a disgrace to complain about the madness that is the unsupported modern motherhood and because no one DOES complain, (except mothers up in it together, to each other) because it would prove the inferiority and failure of the complainer. It’s the ultimate and complete disservice of the disconnected community that Capitalism has left on the shoulders of the Mothers.
But, I happily, I’ll accept the title of Queen Complainer/Failing Mother to warn future generations that might feel THEY are inferior if they do not have children. (They are not.)
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
I wake up late (8:30am) on a Summer weekday, exhausted and sore from the previous day and immediately go to the kitchen (after posting pics from the day before to Instagram to feel somewhat connected during the pandemic) and start making (a quite lovely) breakfast. The children come in and happily agree to start squeezing, ever so messily, fresh orange juice out of the dozen or so cuties that will otherwise go bad soon. (I’ll will be left to clean up this stickiness at 10pm.)
Over breakfast (one kid loves it, the other complains and asks if there is anything else) I break the news that I have an exercise class at the Y and that they will have to go to the day care there. The deafening wails and moans are headache inducing, so early.
But somehow, I convince them and they agree to ride our bikes the 35 minute trek there. (I’m always trying to exercise them- for several reasons- #1. Is that they have SO much energy and act crazy if they’re not exercised enough..) It is easier to pull teeth than to get Child B dressed, finally do- and notice his jeans are too short. Oh well, all of his other long pants are dirty and he always tends to fall and hurt himself on his scooter if I dare put him in shorts.
So, we’re on our way, Child A wiping off the last off his protesting tears as we take off on bikes through the alley and onto our 30 minute adventure to the Y. (We’ve never ridden our bikes there before!)
We arrive, 5 minutes AFTER my class has started. 10 minutes into filling out day care paperwork, I go and do a cycle of the weighted machines, instead. Before I do some cardio to end with (why!?) I check in with the children to see if they want to play on the basketball courts instead. “No.” So, I go do 5 minutes of cardio then guilt ridden, I go get them.
They want sodas, they get waters and sit at a table outside of the basketball court. I tell them I’m going to go shoot some hoops, my 5th grade basketball skills are still not fully realized. Child A, then B, join a bit, “A ha!” I think, and plan to trick them into playing a bit of basketball again, soon.
We ride home, the long journey’s complaints are only appeased, a bit, by boba tea treat promises. We drop off our bikes and wash our hands (pandemic) and get in the car (Child B can’t find his shoes, is found doing the yoga child’s pose over our cat instead of looking for them, delays the process 7 minutes.)
I get us drive thru bean burritos for protein (Mama hasn’t eaten all day except for a gulp of water, earlier at the gym.) We eat a burrito then drive to the boba place. Child A is happy with his low-sugar boba but Child B wants french fries and I agree to drive HIM to his favorite fry place. We get there, it’s evidently closed, forever (pandemic.) I drive to the next closest fry place I can find, we wait in the 3rd long food line of the day, lunchtime rush.
Everybody happy-ish, we head home. I let them have screen time, since they were “so good” all morning. 90 minutes of checking emails, instagram, facebook and polishing a blog article, I see the email that Child A is to start baseball practices that evening at 6pm. It is now 3:00pm and I had promised Child B that I would take them to the city pool. Child A complains, lightly. We change and get everything ready to go to the pool, and after finding Child B’s shoes, again, we’re off. (If you’re exhausted reading this, imagine LIVING it, for YEARS. The mom’s reading this are just, like: “YEP.”)
Pool time, I get to “relax” aka answer text messages for 5 minutes. It’s HOT, one child wants me to swim, and the water is ice water COLD. Once I finally acclimate to the water, Child A asks me to go get his goggles, he’s too embarrassed to get out of the pool and go get them himself. I roll my eyes a LOT, but I go get them!
As I get back into the pool, the whistle blows, it’s adult only swim. I’m not getting out now, and I start to side stroke, I keep going, almost the length of the Olympic sized pool. I swim under the divider to the lap lane and begin to backstroke, staring up at the clouds as only one other adult in the whole pool also swims, somewhere. The clouds look like bellows of angels the way ancient paintings used to portray. I swim two long, relaxing laps with my already sore body, always on the verge of a Charlie horse. The whistle blows right after I exited the pool and children scream and jump in. I tell the children we have 10 minutes. 20 minutes later, we flip flop to the car.
Home, I quickly shower, yelling out to the children to put on dry clothes. I hear loud arguing and someone is crying. I think about how long it’d been since I shaved my legs as I dry off. No clue.
Child A is actually dressed, seems excited about practice. This is huge. Child B can’t find his clothes, shocker. Just with enough time to make it to practice we jump into the car, into rush hour traffic with some fruit and ice watered bottles. The children sense the frantic traffic energy and begin arguing over simple semantics. I keep shushing them. Must’ve cut someone off because they angrily swerve around me and slow down to give me a look. “Bring it”, I think and look right back.
We arrive, Child A goes right in to start practicing, I meet a mom as Child B meets a muddy new friend and joins him. Near the end of practice, my life partner shows up and gives Child A some tips as I (finally) clean out my car a bit. (Been wanting to do that for OVER year, seriously!) I order pizza on an app to be delivered and leave early for home to wait for that delivery and to make the yummy, healthy pasta recipe I found at midnight last night on Pinterest, along with a new salad dressing I’ve been wanting to try. WAY too gourmet but it’s my treat, too.
I slave over this delicious food, that my children only have ONE bite of and complain about veggies on the pizza (hehe.) We watch a show about food and travel and now I want cake.
My husband goes off to his home office to work as my children happily go off to do their own things as I conspire to make a treat “for them”, some gluten-free, mostly sugar-free brownies with vanilla vegan yogurt and fruit. I intermittently doing dishes (to help out my future self) as well as some laundry (starting with tiny long pants.) At 10pm, everyone’s WIDE awake and happily eating the brownies. We clean up, the sink is half full of dishes, all over.
I start announcing the three things the children need to do before bed: jommies, brush teeth, grab a book as you get into bed. At 10:30pm, I’m on my bed, writing this. They keep coming to visit me, to show me things. I have to start threatening to take away cotton balls (a reward system, Child B’s ADD dr. recommended.) 11pm, I hear them arguing. Next, I’ll have to go in and turn off lights and tell them to go to bed. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THEY STILL HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY.
I still have laundry to do and wonder if it will EVER get folded. Tomorrow, early, it’ll start all over again. I look up tickets before falling asleep, to take them to the science museum early tomorrow morning.