Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Apparently I am the world's worst mom

What makes me say that? Three incidents from today:

1. This morning Ella asked me to draw her a giraffe. I obliged. She took one look at my crappy drawing, took the crayon away from me, and told me, "No color mama."

2. When I got her up from her nap, she told me she wanted Laura (her babysitter) instead. Because Laura is fun and doesn't draw her crappy giraffes.

3. Shortly after the second incident of inadequate mothering, she informed me my shoes stink.

I'm looking forward to hearing the many other ways my toddler thinks I suck as a mom.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Productivity with and without a toddler

We decided recently to get a mother's helper. No, I'm not talking about booze (for once)- we hired one of Ella's babysitters to come by one morning a week so I can actually get things done around the house and run errands without having to wrangle her in and out of the car seat. 

I thought before this morning there must be something inherently wrong with me because I can never seem to get anything done. Everything around the house seems to be in a perpetual state of being half-done. Some nights I contemplated the possibility of adult-onset ADD (not sure if such a thing even exists, but you know how crazy thoughts can get at 3am). 

Here's what I typically accomplish in a morning: 

-Brush my teeth
-Get Ella dressed
-Make 5989038589 trips to the potty
-Try to wash dishes while simultaneously reminding Ella to tell me if she needs to go to the potty, telling her repeatedly that we only color on paper, and having to stop at least once to get her down off the kitchen table
-Occasionally go to the grocery store, which involves telling her she can't take things down off the shelves, that we sit on our bottoms in the cart, and oftentimes a reminder that we leave clothes on in public

Here's what I accomplished today: 

-Meal planned/made a grocery list
-Ran all my errands (bank, drugstore, grocery store), which took a grand total of 45 minutes
-Organized all the papers in the study and organized everything in my desk
-Dusted the upstairs
-Cleaned the kitchen
-Went through my email
-Had time to go to the coffee shop, drink a latte, and read some of my book with zero interruptions

Besides getting things done, I feel about a thousand times more relaxed. That leads me to the more reflective part of this post. When hemming and hawing about whether to hire someone to come in to help, part of me felt like I was admitting defeat as a mom. Surely I should be able to deal with raising a child, housekeeping, and being pregnant without any help. After all, isn't that what most moms do? 

A conversation at the playground with an equally-flustered friend made me think that, no, motherhood is not supposed to be about doing it all on your own. Childbearing and child raising traditionally has been (and in many parts of the world still is) a more community effort. It's only recently that moms are expected to take a solo approach. And let me tell you, I don't think this approach is healthy or is working. Every mom of a young child that I know talks about how she feels overworked, overtired, lonely, and frustrated. Every single one has talked about needing to take more time for herself but not knowing how to make it work or how to do it without feeling insanely guilty or inadequate. 

What I really accomplished this morning was learning that doing something for myself is the best thing I can do for my family. When Ella wakes up from her nap, she'll have a mom who is refreshed and ready to read Curious George books repeatedly. Jim will have a wife who is happier and more relaxed- although I make no promises about not falling asleep on the couch tonight. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hello, third trimester, we meet again

As of today, I am officially in my third trimester, and I figured since I haven't done a pregnancy update in forever I might as well do one today. 

I haven't quite hit the huge as a house state yet but definitely have reached the point where it is getting harder to get up and about. Or maybe I'm just getting lazier. Sciatica has hit with a vengeance and I'm sure it's exacerbated by lugging around 20 lbs of toddler. Heartburn has re-emerged but so far not as bad as with Ella. Jim is being squished further and further to the edge of the bed and has to share not only with me but with my gigantic body pillow. 

All in all, though, I feel like I have more energy than I did when I was pregnant with Ella. Then again, I'm only chasing a toddler all day, not TAing/working/finishing up a Master's degree.  

I'm craving Indian food like nothing else. I probably could eat it every night of the week and be happy. Unfortunately I don't have the energy to cook Indian dishes every night. But tonight I had the brilliant idea of freezing some leftover bean masala so I can satisfy my craving without having to cook. Because honestly, by the time 4PM rolls around all motivation to cook is pretty much lost. Although that's not exclusively a pregnant thing. 

The fun hormonal freak outs over having a baby have returned. I seriously don't remember having them with Ella but Jim assures me that I would randomly flip out about how I was not ready to have a baby yet with her too. This pregnancy it's more of a freak out over how I'm not ready to have two kids yet and don't you know that this house doesn't clean itself and everything must be organized before this baby comes else the world is coming to an end. The nesting thing is new to me because I never felt the slightest inkling to nest with Ella but with Schrodinger I have an insatiable desire to scrub cabinets. 

And now, by popular demand (okay, by a demand), here is a bump picture for your viewing pleasure. 

Don't mind the box with beer brewing in the background. Or mini Hugh Hefner rifling through my drawers. She refused to wear anything but a bathrobe this morning.