Thursday, January 27, 2011

Awkward Motherhood

I often repeat the saying, men become men with kids, but women become moms.

Being a mom is so far removed from any other experience of your life that nothing can prepare you for the new role. It's an all-consuming obsession. Every thought you have and every ounce of energy is given to this kid who doesn't know or care that you exist. Every task you do in a day has to be redone a dozen times before the day ends. It's an unrequited love, an obsequious devotion, and a Sisyphean endeavor. And I'm totally stinking it up.

There aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done let alone spend time enjoying the kid I'm raising. And yet, the mush-minded 6-month-old is really the only person I'm fit to associate with. My conversations regularly turn to the topic of diapering. I go to work with baby food on my clothes. I pick my lingerie based on how easy it will be to nurse in. I'm terrible company for anyone more sophisticated than Lydia.

And you may say, "Well you just need more Mommy friends." And to that I respond with a question: how many new moms does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three—one to spend all her energy researching lightbulb brands and green alternatives, then decide it's easier just to sit in the dark; one to wander around the store shopping for hours only to come home and realize she forgot to buy the lightbulb; and one to actually buy the bulb, change it, then break down in tears over how much better the other moms are doing.

Ugh. I'm exhausted just typing this.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Going dancing with my husband.

I love dancing! I'm terrible at dancing, but I love it. I didn't grow up dancing and didn't do much of it before I met Peter. Peter wasn't a big dancer before me either.

Like most guys, Peter could go a lifetime without dancing. He never sits up and thinks, I really want to dance today. But as long as we've been together, he's always taken me dancing.

I appreciate that. I love when he lets go of his perfectionism and enjoys the moment. I love holding him as we stumble around the dance floor.

I'm thankful for dancing with my husband.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Awkward Gratitude

Sometimes saying thanks is easy.

Thanks for holding my drink while I tie my shoe; thanks for changing the baby's diaper while I'm in the shower; thanks for depositing the check in the bank.

Sometimes thanks are more awkward.

Thanks for driving my lunch across town when I left it at home; thanks for cleaning the bed when I was sick and threw up on it; thanks for fighting the bank to get them to reverse a fee I didn't notice but should have.

That's the kind of gratitude that costs you; it requires you to admit you actually needed someone—they gave you something you couldn't get on your own. Those are the times when you know you owe someone and you know you probably won't be able to pay them back sufficiently.

All you can hope to do is tell them that you appreciate what they did.

I'm not grateful enough. I need to express thankfulness when it's easy and when it's hard. So here's a few easy things I'm grateful for to start off with.

- Cheap drinks—$1 drinks from McDonalds & Sonic Happy Hour
- Friends who hang out with me even though I have a kid in tow
- Digital cameras—take as many pics as you want; delete the awful ones before anyone sees them

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How Did This Happen?

I was a unique child. I don't just say that because my mother told me I was special. I say that because I've not yet heard any friends or acquaintances relate experiences similar to mine. An avid reader (maybe obsessive is a better description) I constantly ran out of content to consume. I read while doing everything—riding to school, watching television, eating dinner—and from an early age I began reading the parenting literature lying around our house. I actually learned about sex by reading an article in a magazine about how to talk to your kids about sex!

Because of this, I always felt slightly removed from my peer group. I was at the same time, seeing the world from the midst of adolescence and seeing it from the outside. I knew while I was having mood swings and struggling to assert my independence that that's what was going on. And furthermore, I knew exactly what the experts' opinions were on my opinions and feelings and how they suggested I should be treated or disciplined.

As someone who was socially awkward from birth, this did not help matters any. I had no patience for my peers. I had no interest in their silliness and affairs. Of course my heart longed for drama and romance, but I saw myself above the pettiness of that age. And I thought, if I can only make it through high school, the world will be mine. As an adult, I'll finally find a place were I belong.

But that didn't happen.

So here's the awkward irony of my life. I—someone who has hated teenagers, movies about teenagers, and books about teenagers since I was a teenager myself—have come to discover I feel more like an adolescent than I did in high school. Then I was 13 going on 30; now I'm 30 going on 13.

No time to dwell, however. I hear my daughter has woken up from her nap and it's time to feed her. The hardest part of traversing adolescence as an adult is that you don't have the time to wallow in introspection. This blog will be my indulgent outlet. Maybe I'll see if anyone else can relate. . .

. . . Oh! And I'll be talking about how Awesome my daughter is. Here's a pic