mothers’ day approaches.
i know this, because we’re going to visit our moms and give them fun presents and make them dinner. my sister and i will have our annual bake-off which she ALWAYS wins because she’s a good baker and because my stuff turns out weird. in different ways weird every time. creatively bad, i’ll call it. right at this very moment, a mushy blondie batch is cooling on my counter. totally unbaked and soupy in the middle and kind of burned on the outer edge.
but i swear that the quality of my cookie bar does not reflect how much i love you, mom.
and i also know this because robb got me a pile of awesome vegan chocolate treats, ordered on the internet and delivered to our front porch….where an asshole squirrel broke into the package and ate the milky way (equivalent) and attempted to break into the reese’s pb cup (equivalents).
i rescued the box and brought it into the kitchen to examine the damage from the marauding. at first i was very afraid of reaching in and getting rabies but my desire for chocolate peanut butter eventually won over my terror of mouth foam and i enjoyed them tremendously. i’m very brave.
and as it’s almost mothers’ day, i’ve been thinking about being a mom my own self and what it means and how my version of it is going so far. and last weekend a rad new friend made an observation about me that i’ve made of other women before. something like “how do you do it all? you’re juggling so much. how is it possible?” and somewhere in the subtext (at least when i deliver this pointed question at people) is you’re making the rest of us look bad. what are you up to??
and it does look like that. on paper. i’m working full-time, taking care of my wee ones, breast feeding the wee-est of them, co-managing a current house and a renovation project for what will come of this current house, assistant directing a play, and still somehow look fabulous throughout all of it. (i threw that last bit in. i wore a maternity dress to look swanky at the play last week. that’s how i roll. round things roll.)
but i sometimes only see my kids for an hour a day.
that can’t mean i’m super momming very well at all. yes, they’re well taken care of by daycare and by robb and by babysitters and such, but don’t they need some quality time with me? is the money i make or the fun i have working or hobbying really worth them having to live without me? and what about how desperately i miss them and what all i’m missing of this brief and precious part of their lives?
and so, i feel guilty. i worry. would henry be potty trained fully by now if i dedicated more time to him and being home? does he really know his ABC’s or is he faking it? has he had any long-term damage from drinking bath water? have we swaddled anna too much and now her arms will forever be down by her sides like lord of the dance?!
i don’t know. but i do know i feel guilt and worry all the time. i think that’s the definition of being a mom though, right? however you’re doing it, it’s alongside a big steaming cup of guilt. i try to chase it away and be reasonable, but it always creeps back up.
when i’m able to break it down and be more objective than emotional i will say that henry has done great with the structure of the daycare and seems to thrive on its routine. they’re both well loved and provided for there. and the play was a saving grace for me when i was on maternity leave. it provided a diversion and some creativity in the long, sleepless winter. also, because i work as much as i do, we are able to do cool things like build them a great house that they can grow up in near a park where they will probably one day get kidnapped.
oh, geez. you see that? argh. the guilt just chases me around.
i say all that to say that i’m doing the best i can and that no matter how good it APPEARS to be, or actually IS, i’m always wondering if its enough and if its the right mix. i’m trying to make decisions with my kids’ best interest in mind but also trying to maintain a small part of my creativity and ambition and uniqueness and trying to plan for the future while baking in the present and….it’s a lot.
but, as i keep reminding my new mom friends….my kids are eating and pooping and gaining weight.
so we’re good.