Monday, April 22, 2013
the insanity of motherhood
Packing lunch. Who can remember who likes what? I can for the most part remember which child likes crunchy peanut butter and which prefers creamy. But at 6:45am it can be difficult to keep things straight. Remembering to pack a spoon for the yogurt. Chunks of cheese on the salad as opposed to grated. On and on. I estimate at the end of this school year, I'll have packed over 4000 school lunches. Maybe I'll be presented with a watch.
Calendars, events, mood swings, the daughter gets through adolescence right before you look ahead to menopause......
Their needs and so called needs. The humorous things referred to as [first world probs] like skinny jeans that fit properly and finding a clean water bottle. "Can we go to the mall?" asks one. "I hate the mall!" exclaims the other. "Please pick up my library book that's in." "Please copy 75 sheets of music." "Please get me mascara. Black/brown. Not water-proof. Smudge resistant though." Do you know how many types of mascara Maybelline alone produces? "I need deodorant." "The dog needs food." "I'm going on a field trip and need $27.50 plus lunch money."
I'm not complaining, as these requests are all part of the job description. It's what I signed up for when I decided to have children. But I think it all contributes to the losing of one's sanity.
As does their ever changing vocabulary. Take the word "hella" for instance. This is a fairly new one. And I'm not sure if it's a curse word or not. It seems to be used as an adjective. So, when I hear it, I'm confused as to whether I should reprimand my children, as I would if they said, "I'm mad as hell."
Then there's the music. When did my daughter possibly have time to memorize the lyrics of every song on the radio? She can go from Taylor Swift to Bruno Mars to Mumford to Rihanna. The other night, she sang/rapped the song Heartless while her brother chimed in every so often on bass and back up. And it was surprisingly decent. Which makes me thankful she hasn't asked to try out for American Idol.
Once you have a child, whether the child is an infant or nearly grown, or I imagine, completely grown, you have another person that inhabits your thoughts. Someone you're responsible for, someone you must provide for. Even though I share this duty with my husband, my children are still always occupying part of my thought process. Every decision, nearly every meal planned, every trip even to the grocery store or movie theater involves thinking of them and their perspective. How they fit into the picture. And it can make a person a little crazy.
Because it's a struggle for one's mind to be in two places at once. If I only had myself to think of, the mistakes wouldn't be such a big deal. Over-commitment? Much easier to overcome. Too tired to function? Not a hassle if alone. Just crawl under the covers. But if I need to pick up or drop off or provide a meal? Well, the old brain has to fire up and tell the body what to do. And after many years of this, the factory gets run down. Which is another way of saying, one loses it a bit. The blood vessels running from the heart to the brain to everywhere else, start to deteriorate, like rust on the conveyor belt. And the finished product isn't quite as sleek and shiny. But, there is still a product. Which is all that really matters, I suppose.
I appreciate the Sallinger quote though, in that he said mothers are only slightly insane, not completely. I've still got a bit of sanity, a little reasoning, an ability to function clearly. That's encouraging, right?