I'm linking up again with Stasha of NorthWest Mommy for Monday Listicles. This week's topic was selected by MaNNaHaTTaMaMMa who harnessed her inner David Bowie and asks us to write about Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes.
Change is the only constant, so there's no shortage of material for this week's Monday Listicles list.
Being a mom opened my eyes to just how much things change. Life as an adult pre-kids meant that I could set my life up a particular way and settle into my new routine for pretty much as long as I liked. Ba-bye said life. Hello chaos! Just when we moms think we have something figured out, just when the skies start to look friendly, sha-blam. Trouble brews and we're reaching for our SuperMom capes once again.
Here is my list of just ten of the things I have tried desperately to control since becoming a mom... to no avail.
1. Sleep. Every time I write this word down I just want to laugh. The laughter is probably a survival mechanism that keeps me from crying uncontrollably. Of all the things I miss since motherhood, sleep tops the list. When we become mothers we give up consecutive hours of sleep - our children wake us at all hours with runny noses, needing assistance in the bathroom, and because Teddy is afraid of thunder. We also give up sleeping in. Some women crave chocolate. I crave sleeping until 9:00 - heck, I'd settle for 8:00!
2. My diet. Trying to maintain any kind of consistency when it comes to diet is like asking a three-year-old if he can hold it until you get home. Futile. Breakfast is usually pretty straightforward, mostly because we do pretty much the same thing every day: cereal, milk, fruit - done! Lunches, however are the bane of my existence. If we're lucky we hit two of the four food groups, and if we're really, really lucky they're a different two than what we ate the previous six lunches. Dinners... Oh, just don't even get me started on dinners. They happen. People are fed. Sometimes it's seriously delicious. Often, it's barely nutritious. I consider it a good day if nobody's starving. Mission accomplished!
3. My exercise routine. Any kind of routine really is impossible to maintain anymore. I think to myself, Okay I have Jack registered in preschool, some sport ball thingy, music and swimming. Excellent. Buns of steel, here I come! But then I realize as I fill the calendar with holidays, Jack's VIP days for which my presence and my baking skills are called upon, professional development days, volunteer days, doctors' appointments, dental appointments, and birthday parties... phew! I'll be lucky to get to the gym at all, never mind on a regular basis. Buns of some kind of soft wood - Buns of Pine? Perhaps I'll settle for that.
4. My social life. What social life, you say? It's not what it used to be, true. Lately, I am expanding my definition of the term just so that I can pretend to have one. Anything that requires I change out of my sweats and comb my hair before leaving the house now qualifies as a social engagement. The poor innocents at the library, grocery store and mailbox often have no idea what hit them. No, I don't have anything better to do than talk to you, dear, sweet librarian. Well... I do. There's always housework... but I just can't go back there. Please, don't make me go back there!
5. My personal appearance. If ever I do have occasion to wear something nice, I find myself struggling to put a coherent ensemble together. First of all, I have to locate something clean. My son's laundry is always done, but mine seems to gather in taller and taller towers of filth until the day I finally admit that I have absolutely nothing to wear. Unfortunately, this tends to happen about 5 minutes before I'm supposed to be dressed and ready for a night out with the hubster. Oops. Management has failed to keep up with demand once again.
6. The number of things I will do at one time. Do you remember how it used to be, when multitasking meant simply driving and remembering where you were going at the same time? As women, we are built to multitask, but when we become moms multitasking becomes something... other-worldly. Now we are driving and remembering the five different places we need to go in the next half hour as well as the seventeen things we need to pick up at each stop while also singing along with Raffi, answering a three-year-olds incessant 'why' questions, pulling the plastic of a tetra-pack straw and ripping open packages of gummies/crackers/raisins/cheese to toss into the back seat. It's a wonder the lot of us aren't stammering, twitching piles of goo at the end of any given day.
7. The TV remote. I can't remember the last time I watched an adult show between the hours of 7am and 7pm. And by the time 7pm rolls around, I'm too tired to watch anything remotely intellectually engaging. At best I am able to negotiate TV time with my child. That is, once he has watched one of his shows, I may be granted the priviledge of watching 5 minutes of one of mine. It's hardly worth it. Thus... while Dora/Diego sings a happy refrain, I blog.
8. The stuff that comes out of my mouth. "Jack, that's very inappropriate. I know I did, but that was wrong of me. Well... just don't say it as school." "If you keep that up, your face will freeze that way!" "Go ask your dad." "Because I said so!" I try. I really do, but sometimes in the heat of the moment or in the blurry fog created by trying to answer too many 'why' questions in rapid succession, the most ridiculous of things comes out. I have resigned myself to the fact that my son will look back on some of these things and laugh, promising to himself never to repeat them to his kids (pshaw - good luck, buddy). And if I'm wrong and instead of looking back with amusement he ends up tormented, well, there's always therapy.
9. The state of my house. Well, can you blame me? I have so little control over my life that when I do have a moment of 'me' time, the last thing I want to do is clean. Besides, it just gets dirty again. Immediately! Anyway, the only people that come over any more are other moms, and they totally get it. In fact, they probably appreciate that I didn't go to too much trouble. It makes them feel better about the state of their own homes. You're welcome ladies. Anything to help.
10. My child. Yes, it's true, I thought I'd have more control over my child. For example, I honestly believed, for four years now and I'm not sure I've given up hope yet, that I might be able to control my child's sleep patterns. Nyet! I also sometimes dream that he will listen to what I say the first time I say it AND actually do what it is that I've asked him to do. It's a beautiful dream.
Well, no matter. Change is inevitable and resisting it is futile, but there are some things I can control. I can laugh instead of crying, for example when I return from a relaxing massage to find that my son has written all over my favourite blouse with permanent marker or when my son's preschool teacher calls me to tell me that he just called Billy a "$&%#-head". And I can remember to be grateful for the good times. There's a lot to be grateful for.