What constitutes being a good mom?
Lately I’ve been writing about the endless chores and having no time and lack of sleep. For some reason I feel the need to make it clear that I have no issues with doing the menial tasks presented every day, no matter how redundant and mundane they seem. It’s the redundancy and mundaneness that drives me crazy everyday. Taking it one day at a time is a breeze when I think about things that way, it takes a load off my shoulders. It’s only ONE load of laundry, FOUR to FIVE diapers a day, THREE meals a day. No problem. It’s when I’m idle for 5 minutes a day and I realize that I have done 4 loads of laundry a week, every week for 4 years; 4 loads x 52 weeks a year = 208 loads of laundry x 4 years = 832 loads of laundry. 832 times folding laundry and putting it away. And then I feel overwhelmed. I look at it as 832 loads of laundry to wash and fold for the next 4 years.
832 loads of laundry for 4 years.
360 newborn diaper changes in first month of my firstborn, followed by 5 diaper changes a day everyday for 30 months is roughly 49 billion diapers. Times two kids. My math is a little off give or take a billion.
Anyone can do laundry. Anyone can change a diaper or make a meal. I don’t struggle with doing simple tasks or raising my kids. I don’t need help with my laundry or my kids or cooking a meal or two. It’s my mindset that needs to change.
That isn’t to say that I wouldn’t graciously accept any help offered, I’m not a martyr.
I guess being a good mom is being a happy mom who has a happy family. Even if the laundry isn’t done. Even if they cut corners and eat (gasp) prepackaged foods.
The laundry will never be completely finished. There will always be dirty clothes. Instead of looking at it as another 832 loads for the next four years, I can picture how my kids will eventually be old enough to help with the laundry. I can picture going on vacations when they are older. Trying new restaurants. Running errands in a normal amount of time. No more carseats. No more packing strollers, boxes of diapers, sippy cups. Replacing my diaper bag with a real purse. I picture my kids in school and I will eventually be able to do something else with my time. When I think about everything this way, I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders.
Sometimes taking it one day at a time doesn’t work. I need to look at the future.
When I see how the mundane and redundant things I do everyday will fade away, I also feel some sadness. I won’t have a baby head to sniff and drool on top of. Yes, drool actually came out of my mouth uncontrollably when I sniffed her head yesterday. My toddler won’t tell me how ‘wittle’ spiders use teeny tiny brooms to clean up bugs around our house. She won’t explain how fire ants are named so because they spray fire out of their mouths and burn you. I won’t have to explain why boys can’t have babies in their bellies. My kids won’t jump on me to wake me up each morning and slobber me with kisses.
So when my kid made her 8th drawing of a rainbow or a flower this morning, I won’t look at it like, how many more rainbows or flowers will I have to endure? I’ll think, how many more rainbows or flowers will I be able to fawn over before she grows up and could care less about showing me something she accomplished?
I guess a part of parenthood is how your children make you grow up as well. To get past the ‘woe is me’ and take responsibility of my own actions and feelings and contemplating my feelings before just simply reacting to them. And that having kids doesn’t make me happy. That’s right. My kids aren’t responsible for my happiness. I have to be a happy person for myself, and my kids will hopefully become happy people because they see me happy. And in that sense, I have been failing as a parent.
So, what constitutes a good mom? A happy mom.
I could’ve answered that question in the beginning with that simple answer but I like droning on and on.
I drooled on that baby’s head. And that girl says ‘wittle’ instead of ‘little’.