I used to think I’d grow up and be a stay-at-home mom.
I imagined sewing dresses and kneading fresh bread dough and growing dahlias in my lush back yard.
I never anticipated how distracted I would be as a mother. I had no idea how many of my hours would be devoted to earning money and tending to dull but necessary tasks. How was I so delusional? I’m going to have to blame too many episodes of “Little House on the Prairie.”
Or “The Brady Bunch.”
Or someone or something that picked me up and dumped me right into this family where I am nothing like I thought I would be. Where are my dahlias? What happened to baking bread with yeast? And let’s not even contemplate how long my sewing machine has been broken and neglected.
So, while I would like to just complain about how hard it is to be a work-at-home mother, I can’t. I am grateful for my job that allows me to be at home with my kids, even though I joke that I ought to get hazard pay for working in my family room in the midst of the occasional chaos. The Noise! The Noise!
I want to complain about all the years I did childcare in my own home for other families, but I can’t. I am grateful that I could care of other little ones while caring for my own. Those days were long but how short the years turned out to be.
But I have to say that it’s hard, way harder than I ever expected to tend to my house and my kids and my self and my marriage and my brain.
How do people do this?
How do I do this?
I wish I were doing a better job. I wish I could be in more places at the same time. I wish I weren’t so distracted and fractured and impatient.
(Tonight, I am watching infomercials as usual since it’s so late . . . and tonight’s temptation is P90X. I’m just about convinced to order it so I can have rock hard abs. Because I TOTALLY have an hour a day to work out to a DVD and I wouldn’t AT ALL feel like an idiot doing the work-out while my teenagers and their friends wandered in and out watching me. Then I could enter a body-building competition and get a spray tan and hey, why not?)