Domestic Bliss Report

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

Friday, August 10, 2007

Motherhood is hard.

It really is. No breaks, even when we get away. We're listening for the cell to ring or the cry from the next room. That doesn't make it not worth it; it just makes it challenging.

Being at home with the kids is hard, too. Some days it feels like I run from one "fire" to the next--figuratively, at least so far. From wiping at the potty to pouring beverages to one's injury to refereeing squabbles to cleaning up another's mess, all between chores and around toys. More than once a sink of hot dishwater has gone cold while I nurse a boo-boo, read a story, load the dryer, and sit down because I forgot about it.

What helps? The support I've stumbled upon in the past six years or so. There's my parish moms' club, for starters. Just last night one mom asked another about how she chose the Catholic school she did for her children, and another offered a remedy for a teething infant.
Then there was the now-defunct playgroup at our elementary school. It was walking distance away from home and all of the kids there were under 5. We discussed all of those issues that come up with new mothers, we got to talk, the kids got to play. Cease in funding killed it, but Madeleine was getting too old for it anyway. It got me through some rough days and put me in touch with the right people for Dale's speech way back when.
The last but certainly not least is the homeschool group. We get our kids out, share ideas for activities, share curriculum and parenting ideas and time budgeting.
And of course this blog, where I ask for advice about training pants and teaching reading and let you know about two-year-olds losing teeth and quartering oranges. It's a two-way street, this blog.

The advice of some wise men come to mind with this mothering thing. Red Green says, "We're all in this together." My own father said, "It won't be easy, but it will never be boring."
I think my favorite moment from recent television was on Desperate Housewives, where Lynnette just loses it. After fantasizing about ending it all with a handgun like the show's narrator, she runs off to the school football field. Her friends find her there in tears. They all share their mothering doubts and insecurities, their fears from past, present, and future. "Why didn't any of you tell me this?" she laments.

I'll admit now. Some days, I get no chores done at all. No dishes, laundry, sweeping or vacuuming. I call my husband and he brings home pizza for dinner. I read to them the minimum and they watched a lot of TV. I kept them alive and fed, and when it's over they're safely asleep in their own beds.
And that is enough.

UPDATE: It was gently pointed out to me that this seems quite negative. Let me say that yes, motherhood is the hardest job I've ever had. It is also the most rewarding, by far and away, and there is nothing I would rather be doing. I love my children and all of their quirks and idiosyncracies. Watching them turn from "baby puddles" to thinking, reading, interactive human beings is so taxing because it's so rewarding. There is nothing more difficult or more important.

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At 4:59 PM, Blogger Melanie B said...

Thanks for writing this. It's good to have reassurance when you've had the kind of day when nothing gets done except the baby is fed and safely in bed that you aren't alone. I've been having lots of those days recently and it's nice that some of my favorite mom bloggers are evidently in the same boat. It's not that misery loves company; but that I don't feel like the world's worst mother because all I can manage is the minimum.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Melanie, that's EXACTLY why I put it up. Being a stay-at-home mom can be so isolating; especially now in your situation with Dom actually going to work.

We're all in this together. :)


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