Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Random Motherhood Musings

Okay, so I got over the I Must Stay Home With My Children thing when they both hit elementary school full time. My kids are 20 months apart, and I had a miscarriage inbetween, so I was basically pregnant for three years.

Don't get me wrong, I chose to be a stay at home mom. Of course, my choice of Musical Theatre major in college assured that the only jobs I could get involved phone sales and fast food, and like even full time you think those would pay for anything except daycare so how would that help, so staying home was a good option for me.

I had two in diapers for about a year. That really didn't weigh on me as much as two who couldn't dress themselves or feed themselves or pick up after themselves or sleep longer than three hours at a time and oh my Lord I'm not even going to think about the laundry. Of course, now that they're teen and almost teen the laundry hasn't really changed.

Teens, they are as disgusting as babies- just take my word for it.

What was I saying? Oh, yeah, the job thing. I did go back to work, food service, Monday-Friday lunch shift when they were both finally thank you God in school all day. It gave us some extra income, but the most important part? Got me out of the freaking house and I got to talk to people who had no clue who Barney was. Honestly, I'd begun to feel like that lady in the VISA commercial- "Did Daddy-waddy come home from worky-jerky?" When dh got home, I'd jump him, and not for tea and crumpets. I just wanted to talk. And talk. And talk.

My poor husband has honed the yes-dear-I'm-listening-while-paying-no-attention-whatsoever into an art. He has perfected the nod, the thoughtful "Hmmm..." and the "What do you know about that" while never once losing track of his place in his book. Most of the time, I knew he wasn't listening and I didn't care. I just wanted to talk to someone who wouldn't spit up in response. And as much as I adored my kids and loved being a cookie baking, craft making supermommy, I wanted a break.

Work outside the home did something for me that motherhood, in all it's lace-trimmed soft-focused glory can't do. It gave me feedback. I'll admit it right now, I need the positive strokes. Not just from employers, though I certainly got into being the one who always got the merit raise and the good review. And being the co-worker that was generally liked. I also got into being the clerk that all the customers loved. I mean it, people. My customers would fight to be in my line. MY burritos were just better, okay? Now that I work for Hallmark, my reward is if the WalMartians figure out from the big nametag that says HALLMARK that I don't work for WalMart before I have to tell them.

You do get rewards for being a mommy, but sometimes you have to hunt for them. When my daughter was 3, her preschool gave a Christmas program. LAME cannot even begin to describe it, yet there we all were, snapping so many pictures the school didn't need to turn the lights on. I watched my little girl dancing in a godawful badly made elf costume, and I was so proud I burst into tears. LOOK at her!! That's MY BABY up there dancing and shouting, er, singing.

And when my son was 10 months old and the people in the church nursery fought over who got to hold him because, hello? Sweetheart of the Crawlers has graced us with his smiley, drooley presence. I would float out of there on a cloud, feeling sorry for the schmucks who had to drop off lesser babies. Poor things.

There have been other such moments in their 14 and 12 years, respectively, Mother's Day cards with the D backwards and lumpy oatmeal brought to me in bed with a fake flower on the tray from the dollar store. All good. But once in a great while, you get a bigger reward than all the raises and bonuses and customer 'tell us how we've done' cards.

A few days ago, my 12 year old son said, "Thanks, Mom."

Out of the blue, for no discernable reason. "Your welcome. Thanks for what?"

"Oh, just cause you're always up before we are, making sure that we have our breakfast and lunch money and homework and stuff. You just make sure we're taken care of."

I managed to hang on until the kids were out the door before I flooded the house. Dh came downstairs while I was bawling like a demented cow, and asked what was wrong. Through hiccups and sobs I managed to stutter, "I love our kids." He took one look at me, picked up his briefcase, checked to see if he had his glasses, and left for work while nodding and saying, "Hmmm...what do you know about that?"


Anonymous Sharon said...

ROFL! I love this post. Im sure it speaks to the mother in all of us.

The adult interaction is a big one. When my kids were babies and toddlers, I craved adult conversation. AND and and I loved it on the few occassions my husband and I could go out to eat alone, and I didn't have to cut up anyone's food. On one our first ventures post children, I jokingly asked him if he wanted me to cut up his steak for him.

Oh and when I potty trained my last child, I counted and figured out that I had changed diapers every single day for 9 years 3 months and some odd days. Thats a lot of diapers!!

6:34 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Oh yes, the cutting of the food. Did you have to eat in shifts like we did? One parent eats while the other takes care of the kid, because you'll never have hot food again if you don't.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

Reminds me of those febrile fantasies one has - you know, the ones where in another world you would be presiding over a linen-and-silver dining room clad in a fetching black tea-gown - while you are dealing out peanut butter sandwiches like a Vegas croupier.
And then, one day they say, "Mum, you were always there, home; if we got sick or hurt or bullied,there was no empty house, no latch key, there was always refuge, security."
Thank you, Robyn.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Missie said...

Once again, your half of our brain is in sync with my half. I was just ruminating on posting something very similar to this, but as usual, work got in my way of writing. Poopy work.

When it all is said and done, those of us who are moms are going to be judged on how we raised our kids. Sounds to me like you don't have much to worry about in that arena, sister.

7:05 AM  
Blogger mhutchinson said...

How insightful and lovely. It is all worth it, isn't it?

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Awww!! I can really relate to this post. Although mine still have trouble dressing themselves. (Aside--what is UP with these pre-teen boys wearing girl jeans?? Hello, fashion problem!).

The nice thing is, I'm still in charge of what they wear. I cannot WAIT to put girly hair bows in my baby girl. That is, when she gets hair.

My favorite moment is when they randomly say, "I love you, Mommy" and plant a big ol' smackeroo on your cheek. Sigh.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Camy Tang said...

Robyn, you totally crack me up! I was hooting even though I don't even have kids (although I've been a youth worker at church for like 10 years so I can relate to the teen phase).


12:25 AM  
Blogger quirkychild said... Mom loves it when we say thank you...

I know what you're talking about though, even not actually having any kids myself, but living with three younger brothers I've witnessed the horrors they can be. And I'm sure I was too.

Musical Theatre! Sweet! I wish my Mom had a cool degree like that...

8:44 PM  

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