I can hear the rain crackling against the glass of the office window as the cars sploosh by. My son, comfy warm in his PJs, is working his way across the carpet in his pre-crawling quest for his sister's blue beach ball. He turns and grins at me, a heart-stopping, full-of-charm-too-great-for-his-tender-years sort of smile, all proud of himself that he managed to snag a white plastic Fisher-Price fence and is now gumming it ferociously. It's cold today. A tow truck sits at the curb of the dealership across the street, engine grumbling like a mother hen waiting for a 2-ton chick to get off her back.
PJs McGee decides he's done with the fence and wants actual food RIGHT NOW, so as he smacks and slurps his way through his afternoon snack I attempt to keep typing with only one hand. Not an easy task, especially when McGee decides he wants to eat my hoodie drawstrings instead. Today is the kind of day that I would wish to be able to spend all day in my sweatpants, drinking tea or hot chocolate and watching old movies. Thanks to the wonders of being laid off, I can spend all day in my sweatpants, but I'm lucky if I get to eat a meal, much less drink tea or watch a movie.
It's Quiet Time right now, which is mommy-code for "I don't care if you sleep or not, but you're going to spend the next 2 hours up in your room so that I can regain my sanity". Thankfully, my high-energy 2-year old (ZaZa) usually sleeps for most of the time, which makes for a much more enjoyable afternoon for all involved.
When I was still working, I used to sit at my desk and think about all the things I could accomplish if I were at home, and would make lists on pieces of scrap paper and post-it notes of tasks to accomplish once I got home. But getting home usually meant a snack and crashing on the couch to requests of "mommy read?" as a sleek board book was pushed at my nose, and those lists were forgotten in the stewpot of hugs, "how'd your day go?" summaries, and dinnertime preparations. I always thought that work was my excuse for never getting those lists finished, but now that I'm home all day I beat myself up that none of those tasks have been completed. And then I remember that "Mommy" is a much harder job, and who really gives a flying fart in space if there's a huge pile of clothes at the foot of my bed, as long as they're mounded up all nice and high so that nobody trips over a stray sweatshirt and does a faceplant? There will always be a to-do list, but there will not always be a 6-month old who wants to cuddle, or a 2-year old with a stuffy nose who wants to pretend she's a cat, a dog, and a cow all at once.
It's hard to not feel guilty for not being the perfect housewife and SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), because when I wasn't able to it was easy to imagine that I could be. Reality is a swift kick in the Whatsies, you know? Most days I pretend that the undone lists don't bother me, and fail miserably. I know in my head that there are far more important things, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that being in a completely clean house makes me happy and at ease.
So here I sit in my sweatpants and soggy-stringed hoodie, having forgotten to eat lunch because McGee woke up
as soon as ZaZa went to bed. I haven't showered yet today, there are dishes on the counter, and I have to leave for a haircut appointment in 15 minutes. I will most likely scarf down a banana because it's quick and healthier than a zebra cake. It's still cold, and still raining. The house is still messy, and I'm still hungry. ZaZa's still sleeping, and I'm still thinking about all the things I could be getting done if I didn't have 2 kids to care for all day long. But then I think about how barren life would be if I didn't have my precious little ones, and I'm okay with the crumbs on the carpet and the unfolded laundry (but only because I know that I will eventually get to clean it without ignoring my babies or husband).
Rain, rain, go away, Mama wants her new haircut to not frizz today.