Saturday, December 03, 2011

I May Have Under-Trained.

This week was EXHAUSTING. Proof: three nights in a row, I went to bed before 8:30 p.m.

How can life be so exhausting when both your children are in school at least part of the time? Back when my girls were babies and the only time I sat down all day was to nurse, I think I expected that by the time they were in kindergarten and second grade, life would sort of be a breeze. If I was really lucky I could finagle hanging onto this stay-at-home mom gig, and during the three hours they'd both be in school, I would restore myself so sufficiently that the rest of the time would feel like a walk in the park. (Ha! Sometimes it literally is a walk in the park! But I digress.)

Just another instance of having no clue whatsoever, before it happens to you.

I love my life--a LOT. I don't want it to change. (Well, the money thing, that could change. Not being able to pay your bills is one of the things that is surprisingly exhausting.) It's a really fun life, something I was reminded of yesterday as I hosted a kids' playgroup/mom's coffee at my house and got to socialize with some of my very favorite people in the world (I've got some really smart, funny, interesting mom friends, I tell you). In between feeding small children and checking on playroom crashing noises and keeping the toddler away from the markers, we had a really nice time chatting and drinking coffee. But this week my life really wiped me out. My last scheduled obligation yesterday, a playdate at our house with my 7-year-old daughter's best school friend, ended at 7:30 last night....after which I walked immediately to my bed and went to sleep. At 8 p.m. And slept straight till five this morning. That's nine hours of sleep, people. I don't think I've gotten nine of hours of sleep since I was pregnant with daughter number one. For those keeping track at home, that's NEARLY A DECADE AGO.

As I got up this morning and brewed myself some extra-strong coffee, I realized that at-home mothering now is just a different kind of marathon. It's no longer the nursing and spoon-feeding every morsel and diapering and trying to get the baby to nap and dragging everybody out the door for playgroup with a giant diaper bag and a carseat over one arm--ha! remember those days, fellow moms? or are you still living them? I confess a burst of nostalgia. No, now the marathon involves volunteering at the elementary school and arranging playdates and being responsible for more external obligations and events--not just the daily household minutia of naps and feedings. For many of us it involves juggling some sort of work, whether it be part-time or at-home or whatever--with the timing of the school bus and the errands and homework supervision.

I've always said motherhood is a marathon. And for some people, I suppose that phrase must imply something horrible, torturous, insane. But remember? I'm a runner. I always wanted to run a marathon. This is mine. It's tiring. But it's worth every step. And my daughters are up now, so here we go again.

Go Team Mom! You can do it. We all can.

1 comment:

Donna said...

We had *no idea* before becoming parents, did we? (We just thought we did!)