I recently made a list of everything that needs to be done each day. I threw in weekly chores, continuous projects, etc. Looking back at this list…I do a shit ton of stuff each day. And I work. And I spend most of Little Bird’s waking hours playing with her or teaching her.
At a Christmas Tea Party thrown by our good friends, someone said to me “I just don’t know how I’m going to be able to do all of it” about the idea of eventually being a working mom.
The fact is, I don’t know how the hell I do it all. I think you reach a point where you just say “I’ve gotta do it” and you get your butt out of bed at 5 AM and smile and hug and make breakfast and start your day. Then you don’t stop until it’s finished.
I always marveled at all the things my mother gets done each day. I joke about how she is a super human. The fact is though, I think she is driven, passionate, and in love with her family, and that is how she does it. I think this because those things are the reasons I think I can do what I do each day.
Also, I have started to really explore different parenting ideas. Montessori is one that I have really enjoyed learning about. I don’t like all of their ideas, but some of them, such as helping your child learn to be a needed member of the family team and giving them “work” to do have really helped in the daily grind.
The best thing I can do to keep my attitude positive and give value to daily chores is teach Little Bird how to tidy up and clean as I go throughout the day. I show her how to put her dishes in the dishwasher and let her “help”. She practices wiping off the chairs while I wipe off the table. She helps me put her dirty clothes in her hamper.
We make a lot of activities a game. I smile with her and laugh and wait patiently. It looks like we have a world of fun. But the real truth is that it is incredibly exhausting. Pretending to enjoy dishes and cooking when you are so damn sick of housework you could spit is really grinding, but it’s hard to get Little Bird to be interested if I don’t act like it’s the best thing ever.
Now I am really enjoying being home over the break. Having all day to keep up with chores and Little Bird is really nice. I’ve had time to do Mommy and Me yoga at home, wrap presents, do some extra errands, and take daily walks with the dog and daughter.
Work makes things more complicated. I feel like I am on a time crunch to get things done and maximize my time with Little Bird. However, having the break during the day where someone else cleans up after her toys for a while and I can have time to focus on my gift of teaching is rejuvenating.
There has been the whole “working mom” vs. “stay at home mom” debate for years. The fact is, being a mom is hard, regardless of how you do it. I don’t think you would find many mothers who would tell you that they had plenty of hours in the day to do all they needed to. But, it is impossible to describe the fulfillment you get out of working so hard each day. Every day matters. Every thing you do is for a purpose.
That’s the most incredible thing about being a parent to me. It gives me a purpose for everything I do. You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get from volunteering or donating – think of getting that feeling every night when you see your worn out and content little offspring peacefully drifting to sleep. And you know that today mattered. All that shit you got done to provide a good, clean, safe home for her – it mattered. And you feel a little superhuman.