Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.

Hard Wiring

I have been kicking around this post in my head for a couple weeks now (yup, I store ideas up and mull them over for a while before posting... sometimes). I have this idea but I don't quite know how to express it without it coming out all wrong. So bear with me.

When I think about my life as a parent I am amazed at the degree to which we are "hard wired" to do this. It's instinctual. It's primal. No one has to tell us when to give a hug or a wink or what time our kid is going to get hungry. We know these things. What I do wonder about is what creates the drive. If you look at parenting from the outside it ain't pretty. Before I had kids I had nice clothes, my hair was done every day, makeup, great shoes. I worked at a good job with nice people and I was highly respected. I spent my weekends sleeping in or going out to dinner with friends. It was wonderful. Then this little clock starting ticking.

Now, as a Mom, on a given day I am lucky to have showered or even brushed my hair. It has taken me 3 years to get to a point where I wear makeup daily. I spent 90% of my day frustrated beyond belief by these two three-year-old terrorists that have me hostage (and I swear the other 10% more than makes up for that frustration). If you ran into me at Target or the grocery store you would hardly look at me and say "I want her life". But I did and I do. The big question for me is WHY?

Why was I willing to go through the heartache and expense of infertility treatment for years? Why not just give up and go on with my life? Why fight harder than I ever have before to get a job that is 100 times harder than anything I was ever prepared to do?

I guess we have to be hard wired for this or our species might die off. Who in their right mind wants to sign up for snotty noses, poopy diapers, fevers, temper tantrums, messy houses, lack of sleep, sex, fun and general hygiene? As I sit here and I think about it I know the answer. It's that wonderful 10% of the day. It's the smiles, the laughing, the joy they bring. But how on earth did I know that I wanted to sign up for this? Had to be in the wiring.

4 comments:

Michelle 11:00 AM  

I swear you must have been listening to my recent gripes all the way in VA! I've been a mess about this recently. Sometimes it truly gets the best of me :-(

I know we've discussed this before but it drives me crazy that my mind has turned to mush since having kids. Before kids I used to think about politics and religion and now I think about how many times each kid pooped today and whether I should spend my free time in the evening ironing my husband's clothes or menu planning for the next week. I miss reading the news and I miss talking to intelligent adults. I've found that most SAHM's brains have turned to mush so it's tough to find an intelligent conversation during a play date. That and you have to pause the conversation every 2 minutes to yell, "Be careful!" or "No hitting!" or "What's the matter?"

I joined a book club and I'm looking at joining another organization - all in an effort to save my sanity - BUT it's tough to keep up with such activities b/c while I'm sitting in meetings the laundry isn't getting done and the kids' nails aren't getting trimmed and the "thank you" cards aren't being written...etc. etc. etc.

It's a really difficult sacrifice that we're making. I truly believe that I have the most important job in the world and yet I'm not getting paid, I'm not receiving educational opportunities, my retirement savings has stopped and I DON'T HAVE TIME TO READ THE NEWS! Drives me crazy. Yet, I wouldn't trade it for anything...WHY?! What is wrong with us?! I wonder this a lot. What's the other SAHM gripe? Something about being under appreciated. Boy do I feel that way these days. I put so much effort into menu planning and grocery shopping so that my family eats healthy meals and my son throws the food on the floor and my daughter tells me that my food is gross - every day. I also hear from her, "You're a mean Mommy." I know, I know, I'm dealing with children but it still eats away at me after enough time. I work sooooo hard non-stop.

I can't afford to wear the clothes that I'd like to wear and it wouldn't make sense anyway b/c by the end of each day I'm covered in every possible bodily fluid and pasta sauce and ketchup and my clothes are all stretched out.

Really, I'm not complaining. At least, I don't think I am. I don't know what you call this - venting? Honestly, I'm thrilled that I get to play on the playground with my kids while all the working Moms are stuck in their stuffy offices dealing with office politics and I'm happy I get to spend my afternoons finger painting and going on nature walks. I think I'm lucky. I just wish my brain didn't have to turn into mush during the process...

Also, I feel kinda bad for women who think they don't want kids. After reading this who can blame them, but really, I think they're missing out on something incredible...It's that 10%!!

I didn't have time to write all this. I'm supposed to be doing laundry and making soup. Argh! You and your thought provoking posts! :-)

Kristen 2:01 PM  

Man Mich, I am so glad I am not alone!!! Some days I get to 9:30 and the kids won't go to sleep and my house is a mess and I ask myself "why did I want to do this"? I obviously know the answer and I love the hell out of my job but is is the hardest thing I have ever done. Worth every sacrafice but HARD!

I totally relate to what you wrote about working hard to menu plan, etc. only to have your food thrown on the floor. I feel the same way! I menu plan, I shop organic and on a budget (which is a tough mix) and half of my food goes in the trash or on the floor. SO FRUSTRATING!

Glad we both got to vent. :D

Anonymous 12:51 AM  

You hit the nail on the head. It must be something beyond our control. I was practically crazy with baby fever before we had our daughter. From time to time I get a glimpse at what my life was before mommy hood--like watching a person casually drink a coffee and read a book at a cafe--I used to do that. And sleep in until 10am...and leisurely garden...and hand make birthday cards (WTF, seriously, hello time waster!). I cannot imagine time for that nonsense now. Even when I get some "me" time it always seems rushed and riddled with guilt. We gave up so much for her, but I guess I kind of forget exactly what that was.

I do sometimes worry about my husband and I growing apart. So far there are no signs of that but with him in the "working world", career building and what not, and me in the "pee on my t-shirt world", sans hair washing and what not...I just hope that we can continue to find each interesting and lovely enough to mottle through. I wish we could flip flop being stay at home parents--one year on, one year off. Where's the federally subsidized plan for that?

Kristen 2:12 PM  

Anon - I want in on that plan too! I think every other month would be good. Work a month, stay home with the kids a month. Everyone wins. :D

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Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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