Time keeps on tickin’….

I’ve had a lot of feedback lately about time.  My time, in particular.  Things like, “what are you doing calling me during the day?  I’m working!”  or “What, do you sit in front of your computer all day?” or “how do you find time to write a freaking blog?”  Things like that.  It would seem to most people that I have a lot of free time.  Which is absolutely HILARIOUS. It is akin to the old assumption that stay-at-home mothers sit around all day eating bon bons (what the hell ever happened to bon bons?) and watching soap operas.  (I’ve got to say that I totally should have done more of that before I had kids.  Because that is not fucking happening over here now—it takes me an hour to finish my coffee.)  It used to be a pet peeve of mine, all of the assumptions and judgments made about parenting and things associated with it.  I feel a little less violent toward those people now, probably because I am medicated (due to parenting), but either way, I very rarely want to kick anyone in the ding ding any more.  I guess that is a good thing.

I do have a lot of free time.  If you add it all up.  Not that the time actually belongs to me anymore or anything.  I think it is important to give you an idea of how my time “rolls” if you will.  For example, I will sit down to write a post and I will type, say, two lines.  Then I get up to find out why Luca is crying, comfort him, come back and type one sentence, Luca crawls up on my lap and I type while he tries to pull my shirt up and stick his finger in my belly button.  He thinks it is hilarious, so I humor him for six seconds and then tell him to quit it. No, really. Then Rowan comes in and says that he wants to get on my lap too so I put Luca on one leg, Rowan on the other and type 3 words while also answering the question, “how can a dog talk?” I convince the children to get off my lap by saying, “What is that?  Is that a T-Rex coming?  YOU BETTER RUUUUUUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and they hop off my lap and run away.  I turn to the computer and type in a few sentences until Rowan comes in and asks me for some milk.  I get up and get his milk and on the way see that I forgot to put the wash in the dryer two days ago so I quickly do that and while I am in the middle of doing that Luca falls while running from a “comet” and I go see if he is alright.  On the way back to the laundry I glance at the computer and see that someone has e-mailed me so I quickly check to see if it is anyone I like.  While I am looking at the e-mail I think of another thing I want to type so I flip to that window, type it, and when I am almost done, Luca comes in and tells me he has to go pee-pee in the potty.  So, we run to that bathroom and do that, I put a clean diaper on him ONLY after chasing him around the house until I catch him, go back to the laundry and keep transferring that to the dryer.  Done with that, I go back to the e-mail so I can respond.  I respond to the e-mail, and as I hit send, I remember that I have to feed the kids.  I make a quick lunch for them and once they start eating I load the dishwasher.  I put one cup in and Luca starts to cry because his noodle fell on the floor.  I pick up the noodle and he asks me to feed him.  So, I scoop one bite in his mouth and then load a plate, another bite, load two cups….another bite, then I think of something else I want to write so I head to the computer and on the way notice that Luca’s milk cup has spilled a little on the floor so I head back to the kitchen, grab a towel, put a bite in Luca’s mouth, clean up the spill and then . . . I check Facebook, and just as I do, Rowan says something like, “Mama?  Where is your vagina?” and voila!  I have a status.

Later, after I take the laundry out of the dryer, I will smell it and remember that it sat in the washer for two days, and I start that all over again.

That is the kind of time I have, beyotch.

I tend to bathe in the gray area of most things (as I pointed out in my first blog post), so I like to sit back and observe the righteousness that a lot of moms give off, as a very interesting social experiment.  (Okay, and every once in a while I get really, really, really pissed.  But for the most part, I just find the whole thing fascinating.) And I have an enormous amount to say about motherhood.  The first thing is that I have learned that most people feel about their decisions within the family as they feel about their politics and/or religion. There is surprisingly little grey area to work with.  I see now that women who make decisions to breastfeed (for example) feel as if they need to guard and defend that choice, likewise women who either choose not to breastfeed or can’t breastfeed. (For me, I just felt lucky that my body worked in that way, since the actual birth process went to shit in a shit-basket . . .)

I understand now that early motherhood is the most vulnerable time for a woman.  Everything seems so tenuous—even things that seemed so settled before children.  Old friends fade quickly into the background, you are confined (or feel confined) to home for weeks and weeks, you get maybe 1.2 hours of sleep a night for months on end, you feel your marriage changing, you never feel sure that the decisions you are making are the right ones, your body feels as if someone popped a giant fucking balloon and you are the end result . . . And on top of all of that, you are utterly alone in it all.  In this most vulnerable state you enter into the world of “other mothers,” who, unbeknownst to you, are feeling mostly the same way.  But the really terrifying thing to me in all of this is that NO ONE wants to tell each other the truth about this. I once said to my mother something like, “How is it possible that people have continued to procreate for hundreds of thousands of years?!  Didn’t anyone tell them how much it SUCKS?”  (I was having a rough day.)  My Mom, bless her heart, sighed and said, “Oh, honey!  But your kids are so sweet!”  She was missing the point—I wasn’t talking about my kids specifically, I was speaking in general.  I don’t give a shit how cute kids are or even if they are mine; being a mother has been like taking every aspect of my life and sticking it into a giant machine of suck.  I went through such a difficult time the first few months with Rowan, and after Luca, I struggled for the whole first year.  “Who was I before kids, who am I now?  How do they fit together?  Who do I present to the newer people in my life?  What can I share, what should I withhold?  Can I be vulnerable around strangers?  Can I ask for help?  Do I take that advice?  Why is my kid’s poop green?”  And then, added to that was the judgment from others (spoken and unspoken), the days that passed without a word spoken to another adult for hours at a time, and the fact that no one was telling the fucking truth.

Now, though, I see the glory in being a mother.  I’m more patient with the righteous for the most part—well, as long as they actually have (or at one time had) children, and I am able to step back and observe without judgment and without wanting to move to an island in a remote part of Shutthefuckupa.  I see a new mother and know to be gentle, loving, and supportive. My relationships with friends that don’t have kids has improved since I realized that they actually don’t think that my kid’s poop shooting  across the room and hitting the wall is awesome, so I leave that out.  I relish the women who have entered this new life of mine and hold them as close as I can without freaking them out. And I look at my children and think, oh yes, this is the best thing I will ever do in my life.

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8 Comments

Filed under All of them., Children.

8 responses to “Time keeps on tickin’….

  1. Jamie Ferris

    Love this. Describes much of my day as well. Some crazy ADD version of multi-tasking.

    I always appreciate how well you say things honestly. You won’t freak me out lady…

  2. Jenn

    Loved this. I feel as though our generation is the first to speak openly about what having children really means.
    I am officially a devoted follower of your blog.

  3. olivermcbubbins

    Man you are hilarious! I am disturbed by how much I relate to this. When I stop to think (or read) about what parenting actually is, I feel dizzy. Understandably, Nancy is pregnant with #2. Why are we such gluttons for punishment?

    Anyway, your post made me think of this: http://matthewtrent.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/stay-at-home-rad/

    Sorry to post a thing to my blog, but some of the similarities are funny. Except you engage your children and are not depressed about not working.

  4. Erica

    Oh, wow. YES. The description of your day is amazing. I am working more now, so I add that to the lack of truth-telling that goes on–how GUILTY I feel for working, but how much I need it, blah blah…

    Hangin’ in, and hoping to connect with those who understand. Right? xo

  5. maureen

    I miss you sooooo much! Thank you for still being there through this blog.Can I get some of that medication? seriously.

  6. Kira

    When I was nanny of three at TW, which is the only thing I have to compare being a mom of two to, I decided I would just become a spinster instead of a mom. Or a permanent auntie. I LOVE those kids, but good Lord. I don’t know how people do it. There’s something to be said for handing the children off to their parents at the end of the day. I missed talking to adults too. I think the kids probably thought I was crazy because I talked A LOT to them and pretended they were old enough to understand (within reason). And I think the only way some people get through it must be to just smile and pretend every bit of it is peachy. Unfortunately, I’ve now been away from nannying multiple children for too long, and I actually want kids again. Dammit. Watching Oliver by himself really isn’t helping either, because he’s sweet and easy.

    When the ratio of kid/adult is over one, that’s when it gets bad. I could handle (or at least live through) one kid that exploded poop up his back and inexplicably onto his upper arm. But when poop exploded and there were other kids beating each other or diving off things headfirst or also bursting poop everywhere, I started going mildly insane. So I applaud you. And maybe you should just send one or two of them up here to snap me back to my senses. And you are hilarious. You’re so funny I even had a dream last night (after I read your blog) where I forgot my backpack after walking to my biology final, and on the way back to get it YOU were there! At a picnic table on the side of the road. And I was like oh yay! And you were so funny that I stayed there talking to you and was like 45 minutes late to my final. And then it was a basketball final instead of biology, which was weird, and I got a 95. Anyway. This comment is getting out of hand.

    Thanks for using your precious “free” moments to write this glorious blog so I could read it. Hopefully you’re able to convince the kids there’s hot lava surrounding wherever you’re typing long enough to write another one 🙂

  7. Mamma Brown

    Sarah, you write about motherhood as if you were inside my head. You should publish. –Laura Doddy Brown

  8. sarah

    now I’ve read it, and funny how we all think of bon-bons! Oh Katherine is asking me for “girl time”, and jack needs to be fed- better get my arse off the computer. (it’s amazing how many times that girl can say mom, mommy or hey mom within the time span of one minute!)

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