As a fairly busy full-time homemaker and stay-at-home mom, I often wondered how women who worked for a paycheck by day and cared for a home and family by night ever found the time to do it all.
Now that I am a member of the legion of working mothers, I can finally and definitively answer that question for myself:
(Apologies to those of you out there who can and have and currently are doing it all and doing it quite well, thank-you-very-much. Clearly I’m not talking to you. You are Super Mom. I’ve heard of you. You have inadvertently stumbled across the blog of a well-intentioned, intermittently inspired, but *Merely Mortal Mom. This blog is like yours, but with whining. Allow me to redirect you: kryptonmoms.wordpress.com. Be sure to check out their online store for the stylish new Maya Wrap/cape combo!)
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh, yes…
I miss housework.
Did I type that? I must have, but I dozed off for a minute there, so I’m not entirely sure. It’s true, nonetheless.
When I was at home, I did housework every day. Mostly when I felt like it, with occasional breaks for reading or playing with Caleb or running errands, but with a regularity and efficiency that rendered my weekends completely free for family frivolity and lovely, languid afternoons of shameless vegetating.
Now the dreamlike landscape of my weekends has given way to a strange continent of laundry mountains, flowing with rivers of dishwashing detergent. I’m playing catch up, but I must not be very good, because I haven’t caught up yet.
When I was working at home, I stayed up until midnight every evening with my night owl husband, nourishing my marriage with long, soulful talks and marathon horde-bashing sessions, knowing that I could always make up for it the next day with a quick doze on the couch when Caleb went down for a nap.
Now I’m the fuddy duddy falling asleep on the couch at nine-thirty, head back, mouth open as if frozen in the act of teaching my kindergarten class the short “o” sound–which is probably what I’m dreaming about.
When I was a full-time domestic engineer, I ran a tight ship. A place for everything and everything in its place. Dust was banished. The toilet was clean. The kids’ toys were sorted neatly into categorized bins at bedtime. I cared about these things, deeply.
In recent weeks, I have waded through the contents of an upturned toy box to tuck the kids into bed, stopping only to kick a clear path to the door. I have been slowly cultivating a science experiment of alarming color in the bowl of the toilet, and yesterday I wrote my To Do List in the dust on the coffee table.
To put it simply, I’m floundering.
I know the most important things are getting done. I’m teaching, and I love it. I’m spending time with my children, hugging and playing and reading a little every day. Paul does help out when he can, and he and I still get some time together every night, even if we are under the gun to get in bed before my coach turns into a pumpkin. Life is good, and I have absolutely no reason to complain (but when has that stopped me?)
The truth is, I miss my tight ship. How do they do it, those other moms?
I am such a weenie.
Where’s a super hero when you really need one?