We all know vacations are a lot of work for parents. We did it all. Packing, organizing, schlepping, baby wearing, comforting, mediating, planning and plan-b’ing, but you know what I did most of all? I breastfed my baby all over Disney World. I mean it too. Holly got feedings and extra-feedings…
In fact, I find that most Mondays I return to work more exhausted than when I left on Friday. Sure, part of it is that we are trying to cram too much fun into each weekend, but another part of it is simply that “relaxing” activities of my carefree, childless days now require significantly more energy and work in order to be successful (or survive).
And so, with each moment that I long to live again or live for a little longer, I also yearn to experience what will be … all that has yet to come. And, while I may hold on to every last for as long as I possibly can, I am also embracing every new first.
I quickly lose sight of the fact that she is only 4 and a half. I’ll be the first to admit that I have become complacent. I leave her to her own devices at times. Especially when I am trying to run a house by myself. She is also painfully independent (see aforementioned slamming of bedroom door). I trust her not to put peas up her nose or to eat crayons. I am far too trusting.
Maybe I am a traditionalist at heart, but I still believe every woman has to do what is in her heart … what is right with her soul. And that is pretty damn progressive.
But, then I found myself fallen from a treadmill at 9:45 at night with bruised and battered legs. “Jerry, HELP!”
I listen to them cry, or whine, or pout over our nightly dinner, and mostly, I ignore it. Sometimes, I become frustrated (after all, I did not really want to cook after working all day only to hear them complain about it). I keep telling myself that with consistency, increasing maturity, and growing palettes, this will all get better over time. But, in the meantime, is it really supposed to be torture for everyone?!? I have often wondered if I am handling my picky eaters well…
Sometimes during a stressful day, week or quarter we (moms) doubt why we work. There are a lot of easy answers (the personal fulfillment, money, human interaction, and more), yet, while home on an extended maternity leave I have discovered another reason why being a working mom is a good thing.
So, this parenting thing. It’s a learning process for sure. For her and for me. I have to step up the teaching. And not take it personally when she points out my missteps. Because I’ll continue to make them.
I am going to spare you the running list of tasks that I performed or the lengths that I went to in order to achieve Super Mom status, but just know that I honestly did it all. Everything. I was a machine, literally. There was no time to be human. I was killing myself going through the motions, taking care of everyone and everything. And, sometimes, it felt awesome. I was unstoppable. I equated controlling the chaos with greatness. Therefore, I was a great mom.