Motherhood has been kicking my butt lately, all the while making sure I remember that this is the hardest job I've ever had. With me working part time, sometimes it's hard for me to separate out what exactly is kicking my butt, but this week is Spring Break so Jack is my number one focus and I now have evidence that it is MOTHERHOOD and not any mere paid job/career/occupation that wins the award of 'most challenging role'!
One of several examples I could share:
Today started at 4:21 a.m. Did I mention I am on Spring Break? Normally my days start at 6 when I have work...
After an effort to get Jack back to sleep, I end up bringing him into our bed to which he delightedly cried "Dada!! Dada!" Jack and I spent the last few days in SC (the one hour time difference is the partial culprit here) so he was especially excited to see his dad again this morning.
Jake was less excited to see him and after a hug and an effort to get him to snuggle up and go back to sleep, he left to finish out his remaining sleep in the guest bedroom. At least when your job is paid it entitles you to sleep!
Jack and I officially got up around 5:30. Diaper #1 is changed. I made everyone breakfast, fed Jack, did the dishes, and then finished unpacking while Jack played. Around 7:00 Jack starts to get fussy (what is wrong with this picture) and so we read some books. He is down for a nap at 8:00! Diaper #2 has been changed: lovely blueberry poop.
This is a brief interlude as he is awake by 8:39. We play. At 9:o8, I check the Parenting Center's schedule and see they have 'Story and Art Time" at 10. This isn't something I can normally go to with Jack, so I say let's go for it! Nevermind we only have a bike, no car. Nevermind I know it takes at least 30 minutes to get there. Nevermind the wind is whipping devilishly outside. Nevermind I KNOW now that nothing goes as planned!
Diaper #3. Jack's clothes changed. I pack the essentials, including the "paper back swap" books Jake has asked me to take to the post office. All the while, Jack is excitedly saying "Bikes!" "Hats!". We load up. Jack's helmet is in two parts in my hands (!?). I get it back together and on his head. We are off.
The ride there does go smoothly. Jack and I practice saying "Stop!" at the stop signs. I sing the ABCs, he responds "A,C,D".
We arrive at the Parenting Center at 10:08. There are many babies and parents! Jack has zero interest in the craft time. He sits for no more than a second and then he is off to the trucks. "Trucks!" "Baaalll!" "Baby!" "Baaalll!" He has a blast playing inside. We go outside and Jack has fun climbing into the toy cars and trucks and running around with a ball. I see him approach another "driver". Jack reaches in to touch the wheel. The little 2 yr old doesn't like the intrusion. He grabs Jack's hand aggressively and shoves it in his MOUTH!
I quickly shut this down but the damage has been done. Jack has his first bite. He is crying big tears. The other mother is embarrassed (as I would be) and so I try to downplay the incident while also trying to take stake of the wound. (The skin has not been broken). Jack pitifully asks for a ball. We go off and play, but I keep an eye out for the biter.
Diaper #4 and I decide it's time to head home. Getting Jack's helmet back on takes multiple attempts and more tears. At last we are on the bike and headed home!
8 blocks later, my wheels start spinning. I look around for help bc let me assure you I have no idea what to do or what is wrong with my bike. There are two 20-something year olds that don't look like your typical knights in shining armor, but I can't be choosy. "Do you know anything about bikes?" I ask. They come over. I unhook Jack. They flip my bike over and get the chain back on. Catastrophe averted. I am very grateful!
Back on the road. We have to cross busy streets to get to the post office. We make it there. "Wow that baby is Healthy! He's bigger than the momma," I hear. I choose to take that as a compliment.
I debate. Take helmet off, but then have to get it back on? I decide to keep Jack's helmet on. We walk in the post office. There are only 3 people ahead of us in line - thank goodness as this post office is known for long lines and waits. Jack says "Hat?!" "Hat?!" and points to his head. I point out another man wearing a hat to try to distract Jack. 5 mins. 10 mins. 15 mins. Jack plays peek a boo with the woman behind us. He is getting very heavy. Finally our turn. Packages mailed.
Back on the bike. The wind is whipping dirt in our faces. Not too much further! The chain falls off again. This time no one is around. I climb off and unload the bike. I try holding Jack by one hand and try to get the chain on with the other. This isn't working. 4 cars go by - no one stops. Finally a car parks on the road and I ask for help. The guy graciously flips my bike over and gets the chain back on. I reload and we set off on the final stretch.
FINALLY HOME! I check the time: 12:38. I am WIPED. Diaper #5, lunch, and nap are next. Hopefully Jack is as tired as me and will take a good one bc I need a rest!
Moral of the story: Show some love to the mothers out there - it's not as easy as it looks!! And also, thank both your parents - they probably had lots of days like this!
Note: I said it was the hardest job, but not a thankless job! I couldn't love Jack any more no matter what time he gets up, how many times he poops right after I change his diaper, or how hard it is for him to learn what no means. He is the sweetest little bear and 1 hr into his nap I already miss him :)