Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Monday, June 11, 2007

"When do you get a break?"

That question wasn't asked of me but of another homeschooling mom. "I've thought about it, but when do you get a break?"
I don't know about you other moms, but "motherhood" is one of those things that never ends. Time away from the kids happens, but time off is a joke.
Use of the toilet is a committee endeavor. Especially if you have someone who hasn't learned how to use it yet.
I've had two professional haircuts in almost six years. Madeleine has had two in the past six months. Okay, they were just trims, but it wasn't me in the bathroom with some haircutting scissors.
When the little people are asleep, you're still on-call. Even at night. To get them out of the crib when they awake, escort them to the potty, minister to them if they wake up in pain, feed them if they're hungry... regardless of the hour.
When we're outside and I'm hanging laundry, I still have an ear cocked for flying sand, or tumbles from the slide or bike, or bonks from the steps. Same goes for when I'm inside washing dishes.
Even when we're not home and the kids are technically in the care of someone else, we as mothers still have a part of our conciousness occupied with their well-being. "Did Grandma remember sunscreen? Is she cutting up the hot dogs right? Does she remember it's The Boy's day to choose the story? If Rachel falls and scrapes her knee again, will she find the Neosporin and bandages? What if Madeleine gives Rachel nursemaid's elbow again?"
I mean, when Dale broke the house, the waitress came up to me and knew my name. Never a good sign. My first thought was, "Which child, which hospital, and how many stitches?"

I could go on about the question missing one of the essential elements of good parenting: the idea of self-sacrifice. The necessity of putting someone else's well-being (the child's) before your own wants. "I want to get my master's in French/study knitting or pottery/join a book club. I'll never be able to do that with all these kids around! So I'll stick 'em in day care/send them to school. There!"
But that's another post. PS to all you single working moms--You are desperately trying to pay for food and utilities. You are sacrificing your wants for your child's needs.

So that question of "When do you get a break?" seems just silly to me. When you're a mom, the answer is, "Never."

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At 6:57 PM, Blogger Amy said...

What is "nursemaid's elbow", exactly?

At 7:29 PM, Blogger The Mom With Brownies (The story of us) said...


At 5:39 AM, Blogger Heather said...

"Nursemaid's elbow" is the more common term for subluxation of the elbow. It happens to little ones when one pulls their arm. Some examples of when it's happened to us:
1. Trying to get an arm through a too-small sleeve
2. Swinging her by both arms into the sprinkler
3. Pulling her back from a parking lot
4. Pulling her out of the bathroom when she didn't want to go

The first time it happened we ran to the emergency room thinking her arm was broken. The rest of them happened during the day so we headed to the pediatrician, save the one time I popped it back in the way the doc showed me.

At 7:11 AM, Anonymous maria said...

Heather, some of us have children in day care or public schools not because we CHOOSE to, but because we HAVE to in order to work to financially support our children. Maria

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Daisy said...


I do work, to make the ends stay tied, and I don't think Heather was trying to make a statement on mothers who do work outside the home. Besides, I can be doing everything I need to be at work, and at least half of my mind is still on my children, just as I'm sure yours is.


This is especially apt for me right now. Since the Husband is at his Annual Training, Echo is with Grandma. For eleven days. I haven't called yet, because the sound of my voice might start her crying, as it has before. But this is definitely NOT a vacation, and wouldn't be even if Little One were there too. We definitely take on a baseline of worry as a mother, probably from the moment of conception.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I mention single moms specifically in the post.
I don't know how your exact numbers break down (how much your husband makes, how much your house payment is, how much debt you have, etc.). So I'm not condemning you personally. Besides, yours is an exceptional case, especially for the past 6-7 years.
I'm questioning the values of those who work to keep their cars less than two years old, their extra TVs with satellite (I read that's a per-TV expense), their cell phones with all the bells and whistles, their kids in designer clothes, their weekly manicures, their kids' violin AND soccer AND oil painting AND karate lessons, etc.

We live in a little house on the "wrong" side of 696. We could probably have moved if I'd gone back to work. We decided it was more important for me to be at home than the rest of it.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger The Mom With Brownies (The story of us) said...

So much to little space.

I'll just say it here...

to save Heather the headache. :-)

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch. People are so defensive. Remember ladies...repect others, even if you don't agree with them.

At 5:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now my little one's 6 i run a Catholic Women's book Club & various other things. i go to the gym too!

At 5:12 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Mrs. Parkes--Your youngest may be 6, but you have lots of others you can oblige to help you get your world in order. At least they can pick up after themselves. :)


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