My mom is my best friend.
Growing up we talked about everything, and still do for the most part. But we didn’t just talk; she taught me life skills. She taught me how to do laundry, cook, bake, clean house, implement a house hold budget and balance a check book. She encouraged me to babysit as a teen and earn my own money until I was old enough to get a “real” job, and she made sure that everything I learned through her was something I could use as an adult.
And now I am an adult. And have been for awhile. A grown woman in her thirties. Not thirty; IN my thirties. I’m a wife and mother. And on a daily basis I’m also a chauffeur, chef, nanny, nurse and teacher. Some days I’m also a mechanic and a plumber.
But the one thing my mom never told me, the one life skill she never prepared me for, was about reaching my thirties and how fucking tired I would be. I’m exhausted. Some mornings when my alarm goes off at six all I can do is yell incoherently. Another. Damn. Day.
It’s the same thing day in and day out.
That first pee of the morning with your eyes closed.
Waking kid number one that has to be at the bus stop by 6:25 a.m.
Making his breakfast.
Sucking down my first cup of coffee.
Mumbling goodbye and have a good day to him and my husband as they leave. One for work, the other for school.
And then I have thirty whole minutes to myself before it’s time to wake up kid number two.
Thirty minutes to drink coffee and surf the internet. Thirty minutes to scroll through Facebook. Thirty minutes to poop and play Candy Crush in peace. Yeah, you heard me.
That thirty minutes literally lasts like five. At least it seems to anyway. And then it’s a repeat of wake up kid, breakfast, etc. accompanied by let the dog out and feed him, too.
But then, then, I have the day to myself.
One more cup of coffee and I’m ready to go. Some mornings I feel like I could actually tackle the world. And I do. Others my energy level is zero.
Why? Why did mom never tell me how tired I would be?
Why are we so tired?
Is it because moms do the work of ten people but we are only one?
Is it because maybe the repetition of the same daily mundane tasks is driving us up the fucking wall?
Is it because we ask ourselves didn’t I just feed you this morning? Why are you hungry again? Why must you eat so damn often?
Is it because we wash the same damn towels and socks and underwear over and over and over?
Is it because the daily commute to the elementary school has never changed? And the only excitement is when someone tail gates you in the pickup line and you think: this is it. This is the day I get to beat that bitches ass.
Maybe it’s because we hear ourselves repeating the same phrases again and again. Wash your hands. Blow your nose. Wipe your mouth; on your napkin not your shirt! Pick up your shoes. CLOSE THE DOOR. Turn off the light. Chew with your mouth closed. Stop farting on your brother. Do your homework. Quit whining. Quit crying! Brush your teeth. If you’re going to punch each other no face shots, I don’t have money for dental work. (maybe that’s just my house)
Is it because stay at home moms are severely lacking in daily adult conversation and stimulation?
And when you leave the work force to raise children and then return years later, you are not the same person.
You will excuse yourself from a meeting to go “potty”.
You will tell your coworkers to “use their words”.
You will inform your boss you need a “time out”.
And you will take one.
I called my mom last week and told her I was mad at her. I told her I was pissed that she never told me just how tired I would be later in life. I told her I was bitchy and bitter and her grandchildren sometimes call me the wicked witch behind my back according to my husband. I said, “when are these children going to grow up and move out??”, and then I wailed that I would be lonely when they do.
And through it all she listened. And then she laughed and said, ” here’s the secret to surviving your thirties. Go take a nap.”
And so I did.