Tuesday, October 7, 2014
I Am Not Meant For This!
After I put my youngest on the bus, I surveyed the disaster that my children left in their wake, got down on my knees and cried out “I am not meant for this sh$t!” Then my dog put his stinky muzzle in my face, licked the lone tear, and hacked something on my cheek.
Hopefully, it was the lack of sleep that made me question the 10 years I have spent doing exactly this shit. See, the night before my husband and I were sleeping in our usual positions – on opposite edges of the mattress with our five year old sprawled perpendicular between us – when our son wakes us with the declaration, “I peed myself.” We dutifully sent him off to change and wash his hands while we inched further away from the middle lest the pee touch us whispering blame: Did you make sure he peed before bed? Did you let him have something to drink before bed? You have to actually watch him pee because he lies. Maybe you shouldn't have given him that fourth juice box. The boy returned, crawled into my arms and fell back asleep cradled over the edge of the bed. Me, watching the clock until it was time to go downstairs and make breakfast and lunches, dreading the choices: cereal is processed and has too much sugar; oatmeal but not the instant because that too is processed and has too much sugar; or eggs but only the free range ones from a local farm otherwise the chickens most likely were caged up cannibals injected with antibiotics and hormones. And, for lunch: do I use whole wheat bread or does that have too much gluten? Am I allowed to use peanut butter or is the kid sitting next to my daughter going to go into anaphylactic shock? How about hazelnut, is that actually a nut?
Sleep deprivation aside, if I am not meant to do this shit, what am I meant to do? And, why is it that I can’t seem to manage to do the same shit that women were doing for centuries before me? What is my excuse?
Logically, I can blame my mother. Maybe she, in the post-feminist world, didn't feel it necessary to prepare me for this shit so logically when I am faced with the conundrums: how do I make this from scratch; how do I iron that; how do I sew this; how do I clean that? The answer is: I don’t f'ing know. And neither does she! So maybe that means I blame her mother or her mother’s mother. Maybe for generations women have been whispering into their baby girls' ears: “You are not meant for this shit.”
Now what? Who’s going to do this shit? Are we turning into a generation of stay at home moms that send their two year olds to school because we don’t know what to do with them; send the laundry and the mending out; hire cleaning ladies; cook all our meals with a box, 2 cups of water and a microwave? And, if we absolve ourselves from all activities that were once meant for women, do we then absolve our husbands – are they no longer obligated to fix our cars; mow our lawns; pay our bills? And, if so, what are we all going to do – sit around watching Netflix? Piddling around with novels while really just reading articles posted to Facebook?
Maybe we just have too much shit to do. Do our kids really have to wear something cute and unique every single day? Does that cute outfit then have to immediately be stain-treated, washed, and folded neatly in the drawer with 20 other cute and unique outfits? Do they have to be in every sport offered per season plus piano lessons, art classes, and Sunday school? Do we have to seek out BFFs for them and make sure to jam-pack free time with playdates so they never feel unpopular at school?
Or, maybe, I really am just tired. Maybe I’ll change the pee sheets, take a nap, take a shower, bake those homemade sugar-free, gluten-free, peanut-free muffins I found on Pinterest and feel like supermom by the time the kindergarten bus rolls in... (Or, search for the recipe, get distracted by an article about the Kardashian's until my son's school bus is sitting out front honking at me.).