A seemingly innocent question, isn’t it? A question that, admittedly, I don’t come across regularly. And yet, although I’m not often asked this question, it seeps into my head from time to time… Making me feel like complete and utter garbage. What DO I do all day? I watch a child. I keep him from killing himself. I don’t prioritize household duties. I don’t accomplish much. Sometimes I barely accomplish the ‘keep child from killing himself’ part. If I do get anything done – it’s not enough. It’s never really enough.
Today was a day that I really wanted to take the time to record. Because today was mostly miserable. Today I tried to answer that question and it wore away at me, made me feel insufficient. Today was a hard day to exist in. Not the worst. But boy, did it have it’s moments.
8:00-8:15 K is brought into bed with me. He is snotty. I am tired. He mucks about, whining because he wants everything he can’t have as I prop myself up – half-heartedly attempting to engage. I eventually grow tiresome of whining and pop him on the ground to head off to breakfast. He screams. I walk away.
8:15-8:45 K makes it to the kitchen, gets plopped in his chair and is distracted by crackers while I put together breakfast. Cheerios get shovelled into his mouth as I feed the dogs and think about what I could feed myself. I’m so sick of instant oatmeal.
8:45-8:47 I go to the bathroom and take a good long look at myself. God, I am ugly. My skin is horrifying, dry and broken out. I look like shit.
8:47-9:15 I grab a cup of coffee that Kev has made, wipe K down and supervise him playing in the living room while I sit on the couch and post on/scroll through Instagram. When Kev is ready to go, I pack K up and drop Kev at the skytrain.
9:15-11:00 On the drive home, I fantasize about breakfast. Scrambled eggs, toasty hash browns, coffee… Yes. Commit to that. Arrive home, put K on the ground. He starts to scream. I put the oven on. K continues to scream. He wants to be ‘up’ and only ‘up’ and moving. I am a great person. But not one who can haul him around and make laps of my house for hours on end. His screaming gets louder. My blood starts boiling. His screaming gets louder. I am motionless in my kitchen, staring at the oven as my child thrashes and grabs at my legs. I can’t think. Breakfast is too hard. Too hard. I’m trying so hard not to scream. My brain is frantic and trying to maintain some sort of composure. Something has got to give. Sobbing will have to do. I stare at my oven and I sob. I eventually turn it off. Breakfast is too hard. I walk to the couch with my screaming child following me in a wild rage. I collapse onto my couch and I tap into the internal list of everything that I am insecure about. I sob into my hands as I berate myself with what a failure of a person I am. The list is endless.
11:00-11:30 I stop crying. Not because I’m finished crying. But because I’m feeling shittier the more time I ‘waste’ crying. I have to accomplish something today. Prove I’m not an utter failure. But getting out of the house seems daunting. I create simple steps in my head to get out the door. With a child attached to my hip, I gather all required items, change his diaper, dress him for a walk, leash the dogs, stock up on poop bags, dress myself, remember how disgusting I look, and finally pack everyone into the car. Gosh, he’s heavy. My arms ache.
11:30-11:47 Listen to a podcast in peace and quiet on the way to the dog park. Think of nothing.
11:47-1:30 Walk through dog park with two dogs and a child. The weather is nice. That’s a plus. I see a fleeting shadow of my bangs and I want to punch a tree. The SHADOW looks THAT bad!? Fuck bangs. Why did I EVER GET BANGS!? K walks for a period of time. It’s nice to have my arms free, sun shining and no pressing agenda. Deep breaths. Sigh*. I do love sun dancing over tree leaves. It’s pure magic. I wander after my one year old, watch for dogs taking dumps and try desperately to forget about my bangs (in hindsight – regret not taking a picture). We make it to the beach. Shoes off. K can’t get enough of the water. Soaks his clothes. Holds my hands and runs in and out of the waves. Could likely do this all day. I stress about countless things, why won’t my brain shut off. Please. Shut up. Just for a second. It hits me like waves as I try to be present and enjoy being outside and with a happy baby. Time to go. De-sand everyone, strip the baby down and send him walking in his diaper. We take forever to get back to the car. This kid’s snot is unstoppable.
1:30-1:46 Listen to different podcast en route back home. K falls asleep. He usually does. Give myself a pep talk and decide to retry breakfast.
1:46-2:39 Immediately put oven on when back home. Place K in highchair, wipe his nose for the 100th time and give him unhealthy crackers to buy myself some time. Turn coffee maker back on. Quickly throw together breakfast and bring it outside to eat. The kid eats some, spits out lots and throws the rest to the dogs. Dogs drive me crazy. Lock dogs in the house. K screams at my breakfast. Communicates very eloquently that I am an ass for not offering him mine plate. Which is the exact same. I’m frustrated. Coax water down his throat, change his diaper and send him for a nap. Stress about what I should do/need to do/have to do… Reading a book frivolously flits across my mind. I almost cry. To sit, to read, to put my phone away… Maybe I’ll even have wine.
2:39-3:17 I pour a glass of wine, I grab a book and sit on the deck. I finish the book. I’ve read better. The ending sucked.
3:17-4:14 I clean up around the house. I wipe counters, clean pans, put away food, I load the dishwasher, I take out recycling, bring in the recycle bins, sweep the deck, put away K’s toys, put pillows back on couches, clean up camera equipment, and tidy up the bathroom. I question why I bother doing this. It’s never enough. The house is never fully clean. K is asleep, I don’t want to clean. I want to stop, drop and do absolutely nothing. Why am I cleaning?
4:14-4:58 I get distracted because cleaning is the actual worst. I scroll through Instagram. Frig, I want linen sheets so badly. Send my mother link to linen duvet. Birthday wish list. Decide to photograph a linen dress I’m selling. If the zits were less zesty today – this would be more fun. But the light is nice… So I’ll take it. Frolic around my backyard in the linen dress taking pictures of myself in the most obnoxious fashion. What my tenants must think of me…
4:58-6:00 The gremlin shrieks to make his wakefulness known. Change his diaper and proceed to place him into overalls. Well, now I know what my tenants must think of me. They think I’m a murderer. Because surely no child who is well cared for would make such a noise. Nope. No murder here. Not today at least. Just pants. Satan pants apparently. Wrestle the monster into said pants and back away slowly. He is seething. I am irritated. We make an excellent team. I offer to pick him up. That was a mistake. I walk into the kitchen and he rolls/tantrums/roars his way after me. I realize we will both go insane if this keeps up so I let my eyes dart around to the most promising of distractions. A rubbermaid. Thank goodness. We both watch as the rubbermaid gets filled with water. We wander around the home as it fills, gathering ‘toys’ that will entertain a child (you guessed it, adult things). Water level is suffice. Place child on ground. Child roars in disapproval. Mother roars inwardly. Mother grabs Rubbermaid and hauls it out onto the deck. Grabs child. Strips child. Plops child into water. Sighs. K coos, splashes, chuckles and screams. I do what any self-respecting mother would do – grab my camera – the light is ridiculous. K smacks the water, drinks from the adult cup (supposed to be strictly used for toy purposes), and then pees with gusto. Thankfully, in that order. He is pleased as punch. I watch. I breathe. I shield my sensitive skin from the sun. I play with my camera. I yell at the dogs to stop licking K’s snot (while secretly rewarding them for licking K’s snot). I don’t even notice that it’s 6:00… And Kev’s home.
6:00-Present I walk away without a second glance. Dad is on duty. Peace. I walk towards peace. Uninterrupted, heavenly peace. What will I do!? I’m itching to go thrifting… But maybe… Maybe I think about today. Maybe I mull over this question. This is what I did today. Was it enough? Would it be a worthy answer? How about instead of me trying to answer this stupid question – we throw it out all together? Maybe we try ‘How is your day going?’ or ‘what did you get up to today?’. Hell, maybe we go so far as to acknowledge that Moms are people to and ask them ‘what TV shows are you into right now?’ or ‘What is some place you’d love to travel?’. I can assure you that none of those questions will make a Mother want to punch you in the throat (well, I guess it depends on what she did all day).
So maybe I dust off the blog. Maybe I document this stupid day. How miserable I felt. How mediocre I felt. How at times, ‘ok’ I felt. This truly un-special day. This is motherhood. Sorry, this is MY motherhood. Motherhood – where I find so much insecurity in the menial tasks. Motherhood – where I cry so I don’t scream at my child. Motherhood – where zits and bangs from hell cripple me and smite my confidence. Motherhood – where it’s not terrible forever, but right now, it’s pretty damn terrible. Motherhood – where uninterrupted wine in the afternoon is a spiritual experience.