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The Mills Of Mommyhood Grind Exceedingly Fine.

Mommyhood seems to move through two speeds
simultaneously – too fast, and interminably slow. On the one
hand, your kids seem to grow up so quickly – they’re
the same for months on end, until suddenly you really look at them
and you realize they’re a completely different person. Just
as you get used to the fact that you’ve got a baby, your baby
is a toddler and you wonder where your baby went. Blink, and time
has flown.

On the other hand, daily motherhood creeps by at a snail’s
pace, and I have to confess that this is wearing me down right now.
Yesterday was not a particularly bad day; no major meltdowns from
Maddie, no extra finicky-ness from Cora. No one needed a trip to
the doctor or popped a tooth or threw up or any of those happenings
that make you consider (briefly) committing a crime and turning
yourself in so you would have a nice quiet cell to yourself. But
still, by the time we got out the door and to the park I was nearly
in tears and looking speculatively around for someone to mug. Just
a little.

I know I’ve got a lot going on right
now – fresh job uncertainty for Brian, selling a house here,
buying a house in Texas, Christmas, packing up a home while raising
two young children, having to leave a successful practice here and
start a new one from scratch in Texas – but that’s only
part of what’s getting me down. It just seems like everything
about daily life is so hard, and at the same time
there’s a futility, an almost pointlessness, as I play the
same record in the same worn groove. Every. Single. Day.

Mornings seem to be the worst, and by mornings I mean everything up
to lunch time. Nearly every day there’s a battle of wills to
get Maddie dressed, with Cora throwing in the unpredictable tempest
to keep things interesting. Then it seems to take an hour to get
ready for the park: Cora’s dressed and finally entertaining
herself. Maddie is (reluctantly) dressed and involved in private
play. Next comes preparing snacks, rolling back the rug, setting up
the stroller, packing the stroller with Elmo and Maddie’s toy
stroller and all the other small necessities. Then comes setting up
all our outdoor gear in reverse order, and when I’m finished
I have a stack of things to be put on that’s up to my chest.
By this point, Maddie’s engrossed in whatever game
she’s made up and begins saying she doesn’t want to go
to the park, which is followed by our daily back-and-forth of
“if you don’t get ready now we aren’t
going”, which as you all know is never instantaneous with a

Once Maddie agrees to go, I have to slither her into her parka,
fold her into the stroller, snap her in so she can’t change
her mind and jump out, wrestle on her shoes and socks (by this time
Cora’s getting impatient and starting to whimper for
attention), and zip her into her stroller blanket. Hat and gloves
are left off for the last minute so Maddie doesn’t melt while
I finish getting ready.

So. Now I pull on my shoes and gear up: Bjorn, Cora, pacifier clip,
Bjorn cold-weather blanket, my hat, Cora’s hat, my coat, then
scarf. Finally I wrestle on Maddie’s mittens, zip up her hat,
pull my mittens on, and we head out. Lower the approximately sixty
pounds of stroller/toddler/baby/gear I’ve got down the
stairs, then walk the mile to the park.

By which point it’s about 11:30.

See what I mean? I’m bored with my life just typing this, yet
even as I say that I wonder, how can something be boring and such
work at the same time? I look down the corridor of months to come,
see nothing but the same stretching day after day after day, and
feel, well, ground down. Exceedingly fine.

I know that at some point my girls will probably read these
entries, and I worry that they’ll feel guilty, or that I
didn’t love them during this time. My hope is that they
won’t take this personally; it’s not them that I
don’t like, it’s simply my day-to-dayness right now. I
guess I never realized how much working outside the home a couple
nights a week really saved my sanity with Maddie.

This too shall pass, I know. For every day where I feel this worn
down, there are dozens more filled with joy and discovery and plain
fun with my girls. I love them and wouldn’t trade my time
with them at all.

But when you start looking forward to the time you load the washing
machine as “alone time”, you know it's bad.


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