Years ago when I was a teenager and visiting my dad, I was reading to him from the TV Guide listings. As I came to the movie ‘night, Mother, starring Sissy Spacek, my dad stopped me and said, “Wait, was that “night mother” as in “Goodnight, Mother,” or “NIGHT MOTHER!” (i.e. a horror movie)? We both cracked up.
Some mornings with Oscar are wonderful. Morning, Baby! I swing him up out of his crib, cuddle with him and nurse him in bed for awhile, watch as he body slams Darin a few times, and then take him downstairs where he plays happily in his playpen while I make coffee and turn on the computer.
I usually love mornings, which is really, really funny coming from me (I can hear the peals of laughter coming out of my family right now). I used to love mornings for one and only one activity: sleeping in. Now, I love them for a different reason. Mornings are a time when I feel a little bit fresh, a little bit like I can manage the dysfunctional corporation that is my life like a seasoned CEO. In the mornings I am focused enough to get some writing done, and Oscar is usually content to play quietly with his toys for awhile.
Some mornings are not like that.
Some mornings I am so tired the thought of standing makes me a little bit nauseous. Some mornings I am so far behind in my work that I can’t bear to turn on my computer. Some mornings Oscar acts like a little child in a horror movie. You know the one where they smile sweetly and then eat your soul?
It occurs to me that I can’t do anything with the time, energy, and focus that it needs in order to be done well.
I can’t mother Oscar the way he deserves to be mothered. I don’t provide him with stimulating activities and well-balanced organic meals.
I can’t be a teacher and scholar who researches, writes, and thinks at the cutting edge of my field.
I can’t be a creative writer who has the time to sink into writing a novel long enough to hear my character’s voices and convey the setting in rich detail.
I can’t blog regularly enough to be a good blogger.
I can’t keep my house clean and organized, and it’s beginning to look like an episode of Hoarders.
I have no social life.
One mother I know organizes full-moon hikes, book club meetings, barbecues, and neighborhood play dates every month. Her house is immaculate.
Another mother I know travels with her kids to Costa Rica to volunteer on sustainable farms. She speaks at the community center and shows slides of her Peace Corps work. She writes articles for national magazines.
Clearly, I suck. At everything.
I have to go now, Oscar is stuffing cereal into the printer.
Cheerios and Silent Disapproval…