It’s seven a.m. Thump, thump, thump. It’s Brenna on her way to my room. She has my mother’s heavy heels; she was also a tiny person that managed to sound like a rhinoceros coming down the hallway. “I swear I didn’t wake her up” Stephen says. Brenna enters, plops onto the bed and proceeds to smush the dogs face like fresh Play-Doh. “Good morning Mom! Hi Roob-Doob, sweet little puppy, oh what a sweet Ruby, I love you, love you, love Ruby Dooby Doooooo….Mom, I’m gonna go get cereal out for you to make”. I have yet to untangle myself from the sheets, pee, or brush my teeth and I have to make peace with the fact that another day has dawned that I didn’t get a sip of coffee in solitude before the demands began.
“MOOMMMAAAYY!!!” Aaah, my other little blessing is ready to join us. Let the paci battle begin. “Keep it” Stevie says. “No, it stays” I reply. “Pink one?” She asks and offers up the other pacifier. “Nope, that’s a paci too, night night only”. This is met with an audible growl and “Lovie Bear keep”. “Fine, you can keep the bear” I say. My pattern of losing is set.
7:30 a.m. at the breakfast table.
“Mom, I don’t like this oatmeal. I want bacon and eggs”
“Can I have cereal?”
“Eat your oatmeal”
“You forgot juice”
Then the morning cartoons are turned on “No this! Elmo! Elmo!Elmo!” screams Stevie. At this point the cartoon narration begins ” Mom, Martha eats alphabet soup and then she can talk, blah, blah, blah” I imagine Ruby adding her two cents to the cacophony of words and shudder. “Done, done, wipe”. I clean child number two and look around at the pile of dishes, the oatmeal on the floor and remember the three loads of laundry I have to do and the bathrooms that need cleaning. Then I realize I still haven’t peed, brushed or had that coffee and my head still feels tangled up in the sheets.
Sometimes I think I am failing miserably at this stay at home mom gig. When I was working I was obligated to give 100% to the kids in the class; plus I had no laundry, dishes or chores to do and no errands to run. It was nine hours of love, crafts, games, learning and play and at nap time I actually sat the H-E-double hockey sticks down and read a book! At home I feel like I entrust them to PBS kids so I can do the housework which takes hours to get done for stopping to break up fights, make lunch and more mess, and keep someone from pulling the books of the shelf for the thousandth time. Nap time isn’t “me time” it’s “my time”-to fold the wash or paint that bag that was ordered days ago. As I sit here and listen to the musical stylings of The Pot and Pan Band I can say it was easier to work. I felt guilty about the time I was away so I made up for it at home. Everything was put aside to paint a picture, play outside or cuddle on the couch. And at least at daycare there was someone there who was also obligated to give them 100%. I think I have so much time since I’m at home that I’ve filled it all. MOPs, blogging, painting, etsy shop, cleaning. When I was a working mother I felt I owed myself downtime; now when I sit down on the couch I have a cloud of “I should be doings” over my head.
I’m disappointed in myself that the fantasy I had of wholesome breakfasts, sparkling bathrooms, daily activities, manicured toes and the scent of baking filling the air hasn’t come to fruition. What’s the secret? Any of you ladies who have it all together care to help a sister out?