Baby Mode Has Been Good To Me
I am too tired to clean my kitchen.
It's only 7pm. If I were more industrious, or more organized, or more motivated, or more better, I'm sure I could do it. But I can't. Does that make me a terrible housewifely person?
I know, with certainty, that I will go to bed tonight with a dirty kitchen, because I can't get myself to care enough to either clean it or make anyone else clean it.
I do, however, find that I have enough energy to turn my wrist just so, such that the red wine flows directly into my glass, which is already 1/4 full.
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It occurred to me today that I need to catch up with my kids. For 11.5 years now, I've been in baby mode, and I've taken full advantage of the slack afforded to mothers with babies. I've watched my friends with kids who are all out of diapers and headed into school, or well into school, and I've always thought: "Well, I'm sure I'll be as together as they are when I'm not in baby mode anymore." Baby mode means you get a pass on a few things, like leaving the house looking decent, bringing cupcakes to the preschool party, and soliciting friends for your oldest kids' team fundraiser. Baby mode means the house doesn't need to be too organized, it's OK to dive through laundry baskets to look for socks, and you are excused for not returning phone calls in a timely manner. Baby mode gets you through, as well it should.
But my "baby" is three and a half. She's nearly potty trained (good to go on #1, making me pull my hair out with #2), so I don't travel with a diaper bag anymore. She doesn't take naps, so no excuse for lazy afternoons anymore. She doesn't use a stroller anymore, so no excuse for not running quickly to point A or point B with my huge, cumbersome double stroller. She is extremely physically capable, there are very few things she cannot do on her own.
I don't actually have a baby anymore.
At some point, I have to stop taking the Baby Mode Pass, and join the rest of the mothers struggling to get those cupcakes to class and those socks put away in the sock drawers. Someday soon, there will be no excuse for letting the kitchen stay messy overnight or letting the phone go unanswered.
I figure, I get some extension on Baby Mode for having so many offspring, but even that will start to wear thin soon.
So, I guess it's time for me to rejoin the ranks of Regular Mothers, who are doing the lion's share of the work, raising all those children who are not babies. As a wise friend of mine once said, re-entry is a bitch. Give me time, people. I'll get there as soon as I can.
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