The other day I was talking to my mother-in-law while Holden was napping twenty feet away and I realised it was LITERALLY (the real literally, not the hipster kind) the first time in four days that he had been farther than an arm’s reach from me.
The realisation was startling.
No wonder my house is a mess and I rarely have supper on the table right at 5:00, if ever! Try doing anything productive (let alone all the things) with a twenty pound squirming human squealing for you, strapped to you, sucking on you—and often all at once! It’s a lot to ask a single person! Just look at these exclamation marks!
Plus, times have changed since we were kids. My mother-in-law claims she could let her children roam the neighbourhood for hours growing up, and never see them until supper; if I did that I’d be arrested. Sure, if I had three or four hours per day with my kids happily, safely, freely entertained (at zero cost to me), my house could probably be spotless too. I might even have time to excersise, or at the very least nap. (Let’s not kid ourselves which of those two would be my priority.) It sounds pretty dreamy, truth be told.
And maybe the time will come when I will have that. I sure hope it will. But even in the 70’s you couldn’t leave a baby to wander in the backyard alone for hours on end (could you??), so I’m sure things weren’t completely carefree back then. The village can only do so much until it becomes absolutely imperative that the parent step in and parent. So until Holden is a little older, and a little more weaned, this is my life.
The only (good) solution is to embrace this season, this season of crumbs and frump. Someday I will have time again—time to wear a little makeup if I want; time to wax my armpits; time to sweep, mop, do dishes AND scrub the toilet in the same week—but until then, I have to be okay with looking this way. Feeling this way. Because my kids are alive, sort of happy, and well adjusted-ish.
That’s not all that will ever count, but it’s all that counts today.