On many a given morning, since the birth of our daughter, I’m in the kitchen trying to make breakfast, simultaneously managing lunch making and both children’s immediate needs. Sometimes I’m succeeding. And sometimes I’m overwhelmed as the baby is in the high chair lets me know very loudly she’s in need of something else. Right Now. And where’s my husband? He’s upstairs “freshening up”.
The disparity lies between how much help he thinks I need and how much help I’d like to be offered. My thought this morning, as Fiona cried at me from the high chair and I hoped I hadn’t missed an ingredient in the waffle batter this time, was that he either thinks I really do have it under control or he really likes his free time much more than he thinks I like mine.
I suspect that it’s one of those “the new puppy was your idea so you get to walk him” situations. It shouldn’t affect his life’s routines. She’s cute and all but I had the big idea to go and have another baby when he was about to turn 50 so I get all the fun upkeep. He’ll be the other guy. Like a Grandpappy, because isn’t he getting his AARP card in the mail any day now anyway?
As a baby, he was so afraid of her. I think she was at the least 6 months before he would take her for a chunk of time alone. It would play out like this. He would panic then she felt his panic and then she cried at him. He got to say ‘I told you so, I can’t take the baby because I’ll break her’ and so, I never had a break. It was a long long winter.
I love that women can be so darn concerned for each other. We are the best possible codependents. Ready to chip in and ease the pressure for others because we know the suffering. Never thought I’d say it but the husband is not codependent enough. Not enough jumping to make sure I’m OK or need help or if he can take the baby for this day or that day. I have to ask. And we all know how difficult that is. Makes me feel a little like a loser to ask. Super Mom’s don’t ask for help.
So he gets to freshen up while I make breakfast with the children screaming and me feeling like I’ve got hornets angrily buzzing in my head. I’m about to re-school myself now. Welcome to Motherhood 101. My baby, my rules. Everyone either starts getting more “helpful” or Mommy’s going on strike. No more hot breakfasts. No more clean clothes. Wanna book read to you, get it done before 8 pm when Mommy’s off the clock. Hot breakfasts are now a weekend event only. Toast your own bagel pal.
Let me step in and bust myself here too by saying, remember lesson #153, what you do for your bosses, children, and husbands, they’ll expect. Creating expectations and not gently reminding everyone I’m not a super-mom earlier was my bad.
I’ll be smiling as I lighten my load and take my own chosen break from chores. I’m calling the babysitter now and booking that massage for Tuesday. Because I had forgotten the number one Mom rule; Mom is always driving. Nod and smile at them in the back seat and continue on with your planned route. As long as everyone is still alive, Mom’s allowed to be happy too.