Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yesterday E and I had a nap together. After a blissful hour or so, I heard a little voice from the crib say "Mama." I looked over to see her sitting up and smiling at me. Then I brought her onto the bed and we had a lovely little conversation. It went something like this:

E (pointing to the flowers on the dresser): "Flah-vahs!"
M: "Yeah, look at the pretty flowers!"
E (pointing to her blanket): "Ba-ba!"
M: "Nice blanket!"
E (pointing to her toes): "Toes!"
M: "Are those your toes?"
E: "Yah!"
M: "Look at this! You have flowers on your pants!"
E: "Woah."

It's moments like this that I just wish I could videotape every second of E's life so that I won't miss a single thing.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Mama Wants...

I don't get to do what I want very often.

Now, before you start feeling sorry for me, let me elaborate. It's not that I never have the opportunity. Yes, being a mom is - insert favourite cliche here** - but it doesn't account for my inability to decide what it is I want to do and follow through. I believe that it's actually a flaw in my internal wiring. At least I think I believe that, or maybe I just like to say that to relieve myself of accountability in the matter.

Let me give you an example. A weekend is coming up. I know that J will be taking E in the morning so that I can do whatever I want. Is that pressure or what? I immediately start fantasizing/brainstorming about all of the options. This eventually deteriorates into a mental checklist of all of the things I should be doing that have been put on the back burner (laundry, cleaning, organizing, childproofing, personal hygiene), and the realization that anything I want to do can hardly be enjoyed with all of these uncompleted tasks nipping at my heels.

So what happens? The same thing that used to happen the night before a final that I was not prepared for (and I have ample experience with this scenario). I shut down. I lay in bed and feel guilty about not a) doing anything productive and b) not doing what I want to be doing. Then I get up and waste time on the computer, and instead of getting off at my stop I just ride the guilt trip a little longer, feeling bad about not using my time wisely.

Also, I can't seem to separate what I want from what I think everyone else wants. If I do what I want and spend some alone time, J doesn't get what he wants because he wants to spend time together, and E doesn't get what she wants because she always wants her mama around. We don't get much time together as a family, so is it really fair to be cutting into that time if I'm not going to use it for something "worthy", like going to the gym or cleaning the toilet?

It's a losing battle and, just like me, it's getting old. To quote Mary J. Blige (because what good writer doesn't?): No More Drama. Today I'm tired. I have been watching the laundry pile up for days and I just don't want to do it. I have been working overtime with E because J has been studying/going out to celebrate/going to Atlantic City with the boys, and I want a break. So when Jeff got home from his trip (with flowers), I asked him to do my bidding for the next 24 hours as my Mother's Day present. I sent him out with the girl and the laundry and a grocery list. And not only did he oblige, but I believe his exact words were "I would love to do that for you." (This is a perfect example of when it is acceptable to lie to your spouse.) I'm using the time to blog, to eat chocolate, and maybe even do something productive. But I'm doing what I want. And that's it. Should I feel bad for dumping all of the responsibility on Jeff and sending him away?

No. Because the bottom line is that J wants me to be happy. And right now I'm happy. End of story.

**Let me help you: "a full-time job", "the hardest job in the world", "physically and emotionally exhausting"...

Yeah. What he said.

"Act like you, talk like you, dress like you, laugh, walk, run like you every minute of every day 'cause somebody probably likes you a lot exactly the way that you are...more importantly, you'll like yourself a lot better being exactly who you're supposed to be all of the time."
~ Brian DeWagner, husband of my friend June

This is part of a post Brian wrote on his blog, addressed to his daughter. How awesome is that? Pretty awesome. And instead of getting all verbose and sucking the focus away from this brilliant quote, I'm just going to stop writing here and let you read it again. Go ahead. Enjoy.