Monday, June 21, 2010

A Cookie

I just read a mama blog in which she referred to the birth of her kid as "magical," and the first two weeks of her kid's life as "the best time."


This was not my experience. To me, birth is an explosion of liquids. And the first weeks after giving birth are purely survival.

I just got G to bed. It is 10 p.m. She was up at 6:30 a.m. Somebody, get me a cookie, fast.

"I just wish other mamas would have warned us how hard it would be," my mama neighbor said to me. This is a funny comment now that I am writing it, but my friend was totally serious. She is six months pregnant and was sitting with her two year old, talking about how she and her husband were figuring out how they were going to handle their lives with two kids, two careers, and a bazillion chores.

I didn't ask her if she would have done things differently had she known what mamahood entailed.

I love the real mamas who live in my building, all weighing careers with kids, and their own lives with their families' lives. And at the same time trying to maintain presentable bathrooms, and relationships with the ones who got them into this mess in the first place: their husbands.

The instinct to have kids must run really deep. Why do people do it over and over and over again throughout the ages? It's hard! And gross! And it totally screws up your schedule!

Is it for love? That kind of voracious, grind your teeth and hold your breath love that feels at times more like pain than love? Is it for hope? Belief in the future? Belief in mankind? What is it that compels us to keep breeding?

I would expound further, but it's midnight and I have to get up in six hours to my Moody Morning G.

Really, I deserve that cookie.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


A friend and I were talking about the Gore breakup recently. She was convinced that he had another woman. I said I thought it would be more fun if she had another man. "Mothers don't have time for affairs," my friend told me.

Growing up, I heard the phrase, "That's not my department," a lot. It was my parents' way of delegating tasks to each other. When the plumber needed to be called for a leaky faucet, my Dad would say, "That's not my department." When the plumber needed to be paid after his services, my Mom would say, "That's not my department."
My Mom's department was the bigger one, if way less lucrative, but the system 40 some years later has seemed to work.

In October of 2005, I won the Powerball Jackpot when I married the sweet TL. There are myriad reasons for his lovelines, not least of which (when you have a one year old) is that he will do whatever I ask him. So one day I asked him to clean the bathroom. Okay, fine, he said, and proceeded to prop up his computer on the sink right there next to the toothpaste and soap, type in and watch the Red Sox game while "cleaning" the bathroom. What is that phrase? If you want something done right, do it yourself?

It's a complaint of every mama I know: Life's daily tasks often seem to fall to the mama and there is nothing 50-50 about it. It doesn't matter if the mama works full-time as a lawyer, part time as a teacher or stays home with the kids and runs them from school to play dates to dance recitals to guitar lessons, mamas just do more.

"You girls have it so good," my neighbor's mother told her. And we do. The dads of today do a lot. TL cooks dinner, baths G and puts her to sleep after working all day. I think my own Dad, in watching his kids become parents appreciates now what my Mom did all those years during the day by herself. But my Mom thinks it's almost harder today. The roles are not so easily defined and so the tasks not obviously the mama's or the dad's. How do you know which department you are supposed to be running anyway?

I guess you just figure it out as you go along, hopefully. In the meantime, I think, (sigh) the bathroom is mine.