When I first came up with the idea of Mommy Writes, my immediate reaction was, “What could I possibly write about? My life is simple. Baby needs attention. Give baby attention. What more could I possibly add to this?”
Before Wyatt changed my world, I was blessed with nephews that gave me lots of practice raising boys. Then, my husband and I gained custody of my step-daughters. It gave me a trial run for raising children, and it tested the toughest aspects of step-motherhood while living with teenagers. Now, having a child of my own is the real deal; the truest form of all adventures.
One day last week, I decided to record everything I did that day. I awoke to my phone with the caller requesting an interview. After I hung up the phone, I checked my bank account and paid our phone bills. Then, my son awoke one hour earlier than usual. Couple that with an extra hour of Go-Find-the-Stuffed-Animals-in-the-Middle-of-the-Night game, and he was destined for a day full of whines, screams, and tantrums. I prayed to God for an easy day amidst the first of many tantrums while changing his diaper; and that it was not poo I had just scraped under my nails while wiping his butt.
Yep. It was poo.
I tried to get my child to walk with me to the bathroom which resulted in a collapsed marionette doll whose head bounced solid on the floor. Lifting the wailing child to my hip, I threw the dirty diaper in the trash. Then, I attempted to wash my own hands while preventing the marionette from falling face forward into the sink so that he could splash around in the running water.
Afterwards, I walked to the kitchen and noticed the high chair was not wiped clean from the previous night’s festivities. Releasing a deep sigh, I wiped down the chair while Wyatt twirled my hair and chattered incoherently about his night. I imagined that he was telling me about his dreams of blue dogs on talking trains traveling around an island surrounded by singing fish while they headed off to school; to which I responded in turn. After sitting Wyatt down in his chair, I poured Cheerios on his tray and put a waffle in the toaster while placing a breakfast sandwich in the microwave for me. Then, I filled his sippy cup with milk and probiotics.
The toaster popped, the microwave dinged, and my son cried for me to hold his sippy cup while he drank. Standing motionless, I waited for him to get his fill before putting the cup back on the counter so he would not douse his cheerios with the entire cup full of milk. After cutting the waffle into bite size pieces, I grabbed the breakfast sandwich, sippy cup, and my glass of milk and dragged Wyatt’s high chair to the table. All of this had to occur before I could consume anything for myself! There are days I forget to eat until well into the late afternoon hours, because I am overwhelmed with the needs of my family first.
For the rest of the day, I continued to attend to my son’s needs amidst periodic outbursts, consoled a teenager, lent a listening ear to an adult daughter, helped my husband pack his lunch, paid more bills, field various phone calls for doctor appointments, scheduled a contractor for repairs on the house and gave him a tour of what needed to be repaired, met with my son’s Head Start home visitor (and her supervisor), put a load of laundry in the wash, yelled at my sister, played with my nephew, stepped in cat puke, and (I don’t know how I managed this) put in some writing time!
My daughters were attuned to my chaotic day. The eldest asked to cook dinner and the youngest brought me ice cream afterwards. Having older children can be a blessing when you are raising a toddler. At the end of the day, all I wanted to do was shut down. I put in a Criminal Minds DVD, grabbed a glass of wine (Who am I kidding? I don’t drink wine. It was pop!), settled into my favorite spot on the couch, and watched television until I fell asleep.
There is so much that I could be writing about!
Simply put, we all know that mothers run a hectic and chaotic schedule that meets the demands of their children and spouses first. I had not realized how crazy busy I am until I wrote down the tiniest of details. Having a visual of what I do from day to day gave me confidence in my ability to pursue my dreams while caring for my family. Knowing what to write about is the treasure. Being able to write among the chaos of my family’s needs is the map to the precious jewels that I must navigate every single day. It is one journey I am willing and determined to make.