Thursday, March 12, 2009

These days

Hey, you know what a stay-at-home-mother of a free-range toddler accomplishes during the day? Not a damn thing. Know what a stay-at-home-mother of a free-range toddler who has cut back to one nap a day accomplishes? Exactly half of not a damn thing.

It's been a long week, and I've concluded I'm a slow learner. Because this toddler-induced-havoc is no easier for me now than it was seven years ago.

Call it Chaos Equilibrium. My house is a mess. But it's probably less messy than it would be if I tried to actually clean it up. So in the interest of losing as little ground as possible, not to mention my toddler's safety, I've just thrown in the towel. I know this will pass. But until it does, I'm going to feel like a massive failure.

Here's a (very) abbreviated list of all the things I don't do anymore. It's awesome.

  • Unload the dishwasher. I can't open the dishwasher, because Caleb loves nothing more than to crawl inside and pull out, say, knives. Or (if the dishes therein are dirty) he makes a snack from day-old sour cream and dessicated chicken. The corollary here, of course, is that I can't load the dishwasher either. Which means that dirty dishes pile up on the counter all day long, mocking my worthlessness every time I enter the kitchen. I swear I can actually hear the dishes laughing at me. (Or perhaps that's because I'm delusional. Whatever.)

  • Nourish myself. I'll go to the ends of the earth to make sure my kids get whole grains and fresh fruits and/or vegetables at every meal. Meanwhile, my lunch yesterday consisted of a handful of potato chips eaten while I stood at the kitchen counter. I've also grown fond of (ahem) Shamrock Shakes from the drive-thru. But it's all I can do to feed the kids before Caleb is in the refrigerator eating rotting cilantro or raw pork. If I took time to make something for myself he'd probably have power tools out and be embarking on some home renovation.

  • Give a rat's ass about my appearance. This fact was helpfully driven home yesterday as I tried to avoid eye contact with the other moms at preschool pick-up. Now, I did shower yesterday. And I think I brushed my teeth, but don't quote me on that. I do know for an actual fact that I forgot deoderant. I laugh in the face of make-up. And if my clothing doesn't sport at least one stain and 7% spandex, I'm overdressed.

  • Go to the bathroom without a little boy looking up my crotch. Or unrolling the toilet paper all over the floor. Neither one fazes me anymore.

  • Fold laundry. Vacuum. Clean windows. Ad nauseum. I can't even be bothered to explain the apocalyptic things that transpire when I dare pay attention to anything that isn't a 23-pound squawking, walking, pooping ball of joy. (One word: Staplegate.)

  • Write a decent blog post. Apparently. Self-explanatory.

  • Do "arts and crafts" or "educational activities" or other things that good parents do with their children. *snorts with laughter* (I think I should get bonus points for stacking blocks with Caleb for, like, 45 minutes yesterday, though.) (He didn't even notice that my eyes were glazed over and I was drooling.)

So, yes. Chaos Equilibrium. Feeling like an epic failure. The thing is, nobody around here really cares besides me. This should probably be a comfort. But, you know? It's really not. I guess it's time to pull up my yoga pants, straighten my ratty t-shirt, and get on with the important business of accomplishing nothing. Because that's my job, and it's time to come to grips with it.


  1. Wow...for once I can actually say, "I've been there and it'll get better". Usually, someone else is saying that to me - LOL!! I felt the same way when I was a SAHM Mom with my first and I definitely felt that way when I was a working Mom and my 2nd child (now almost 3) was starting to get into everything! Hang in there!!

  2. Yeah...that would be SAHM NOT SAHM Mom....LOL!

  3. Wow, this is nearly *impossible* for me to understand. By the way, I like the point system. I showered, dressed AND put on deoderant before the wee one woke up this morning. Pretty much, I'm done for the day. I don't want to set the bar too high for tomorrow.

    We had plonker point for the NFL pool...what do you suggest now?

  4. This is my life. I too, wish I could simply accept and embrace it... R. has dropped all naps (2 years earlier than his brother dropped his, btw!) so we're reeling and trying to come up with a routine that works for us all. Actually... we're just reeling!



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