It’s barely 6 pm on a Friday night and I’m done for the night. One of my kids has been sick with a tummy ache and nausea. The other one can’t be happier because he gets all the toys and gets to have the iPad without anyone timing him. Yes, this is one of those mom posts where I tell you how many days it’s been since I’ve showered. Also, I’m adding vomit to the mix, so…fun! Have you ever wondered how gross it is to announce all this stuff? I mean even if you do have vomit, and booger on you at all times, and you don’t shower for days, why would you want people to know?
I mean I would want people to think that fresh breeze coming out of me is actually fresh breeze of clean water, soap, and sunshine. Not of some fancy STRONG deodorant that I bought to hide the fact that I just don’t have time to shower after every accident, and tummy trouble.
Anyway, moving on…as I was sitting by myself having my third cup of coffee. A mother is never truly by herself. Yet, she’s always by herself. Let’s explore that for a sec, shall we? Because like I said my day is over, and we have time to explore all sorts of nonsense. Where IS everyone? When people need us there are herds, and I mean HERDS surrounding us. Yet, here I sit alone, with my thoughts, which oh my God don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for, however, where do all of those people disappear to when the children are sick or I need a shower?
I truly understand not wanting to sit with someone who is so tired she’s not able to speak in full sentences and obviously looks like she smells, and is starting to smell like she looks. But that situation didn’t happen alone.
I sound like I handled the entire 3 days of sick children alone.
I absolutely did not. I did get called on a whole lot more by the kids, because that’s what kids do. I did wake up at night a whole lot more, because well…that’s what moms do. Now I’m here alone because when it was time to be alone in the evening to go out for a cup of coffee with friends…
No one said, “hey mommy you can’t leave the house because you are the mom and you MUST stay in”. He just said, “hey I’ll be back in a few hours.” Us moms just don’t have that luxury.
In theory we do. Practically we don’t, because we can’t. If we say it out loud our partners get upset because they think it’s a jab on them. Honestly, it kind of is, it kind of isn’t.
Bottom line is, we just can’t.
I know it’s been written about before. I want to in any case want to break it down how I want to be spending my evening. And why it wouldn’t be possible for me to leave as easily as it is for my husband.
It goes something like this: he gets off the phone and says, “I’m meeting with so and so for coffee I’ll be back in a couple of hours. You’ll be okay?” Of course I’ll be okay. One kid is asleep. The other is off somewhere playing. I obviously don’t have any plans. You heard the rant about vomit, and not having showered right? Yeah, so he’s off. And I’m on my third cup of coffee with legos all over my room and a kid’s head on my lap. If a friend called me, first of all my first reaction would be, “no way my kids are sick there’s no way I can leave.” If I even thought about leaving, even entertained the idea this close to bedtime and dinner there would be so many things that would need to be taken care of. I know, I’d shower, that’s understood, and that’s not what I meant. “Don’t forget this one’s meds, Adam doesn’t like to sleep with the red pillow on his bed these days take that off before bed time. But leave it there until then because that’s his favorite one. Oh and I told Dawud he can play for 5 minutes after he puts on his pjs so you have to let Adam play for 5 minutes too. Also, don’t feed them too close to bedtime because then there are more chances of them throwing up again. That’s just a thing that happens. Just go with it, don’t ask questions. Dawud is going to ask for his Captain America pjs, those are in the laundry. Settle him on Spider Man. So…you’ll be okay, right?”
I usually tire myself out just by hearing myself in my head. And if by some miracle I make it out, more often than not I get a phone call asking me where the Spider-Man pjs are.
And then I get a text, “how long you gonna be? No rush. Just checking.” That’s when mom guilt kicks in. No ones making me *guilty* per se’. No one means to. It happens to us moms. Husbands, partners don’t realize how easy it is for us to think that we know our kids want us to be there all the time. We translate that want into need. It’s slightly harder for our partners because of our children’s want for us that we translate as need. And everything gets muddled into us feeling guilty, kids feeling entitled to mothers at all times, mothers feeling trapped and our partners feeling…well…mostly…confused I imagine.
I’m not letting partners off the hook. They could do more. We could do more too. Explain, better. They could do more. Pick up the slack more. Together we could try to raise less entitled children who would in a few years need us less and we can all be free. Basically what I’m saying is, I don’t have a clue. I’m just complaining. After all that’s what we’re all best at, right?