What has happened to my life? I used to be a moderately sane person. Debatable, but still. Sanity is a luxury few mothers can afford, apparently. The lack of sanity is why I assume mothers pinch and scrape and coupon cut or only buy clothes on sale- and then turn around and spend what could amount to a monthly car payment on coffee. Because coffee offers me the daily possibility of a brief window of semi-sanity. And really, the most insane things we do are all in an effort to find the sanity we lost to begin with.
Here are examples of child-induced sanity loss:
- You have laundry baskets in varying stages of the laundering process, and there are clothes on the floor. You can't for the life of you remember if the underwear on the floor by the baskets of questionable cleanliness were once folded neatly on the couch and your 1 year old pulled them off and wore them like a hat, or if they were discarded by your four year old at the end of the day and need to be washed. You notice that there aren't anymore clean underwear in the basket, so this particular pair of underwear suddenly has a great deal of value- so you sniff the underwear hoping it is clean enough for another wear. It defies rational thought, but that is motherhood.
- Sometimes you get sick. And you don't feel like doing anything so you put your 1 yr old for a nap and let the TV watch the kids. And then your four year old walks in with a grin on his face and a bag of tortilla chips in his hand. You know full well it is 9am and he hasn't had breakfast. But you wave him along and say, "sure, fine"...for all you care in that moment he could wash it down with a Coke and a side of trans fat and MSG. Sometimes all the rules go out the window.
- There is a midmorning snow event but the weather is looking better and your son was supposed to have a preschool class where you conveniently get to socialize with other moms as well. You have to motivate your kiddo to get in the car, bundle your baby, and head out, lunches packed and hope rising within you with each mile you drive. Then you get to the location and realize no cars are there- it hasn't been plowed...your expectations blind you for a solid 30 seconds to the reality that the preschool class has been cancelled...this is just some cruel joke...we had the wrong time? And then it hits you, and you nearly cry. And your son does cry. So you pull into a parking lot and call or text all the friends you know that might be willing to have a last minute playdate. Needy, sanity loss.
-You know you are going crazy. You are yelling at your kids about things that are not even worth disciplining- in fact, other parents might be complimenting their 5 year old for what she just did and you are raising your voice at her for no good reason. So you apologize and hug her and take a step back to examine your craziness. And you still can't find the reason. You find a friend you haven't spent time with in awhile and you ask...or did you just tell?- your husband if you can go out for awhile. And you take whatever face he makes (confused perhaps) as confirmation that you are free. And then you drive away and listen to whatever the heck is on the radio- it happens to be "We didn't Start the Fire" and you (insanely) try to sing it to your husband later and he laughs at your mispronunciation of "Studebaker". Then after you sort of turn back into your sane self by meeting with your friend (for coffee of course, and dinner) you go to Babies R Us because you need to get two new carseats and you should probably do it without kids. And sanity once again leaves you as you grab two giant carseats in boxes and try to stack them and push them across 50 ft of tiled floor to the register but give up because it is just so ridiculous and you are moving an inch a minute. You drive home at 9:30pm with a giant box for a co-pilot, but at least it isn't arguing with its brother box in the back seat.
-You have to go to the bathroom at Aldi and of course have kids in tow. Bathroom is always a process, but this time there is an additional obstacle: no toilet paper. So you have to go ask someone to get some for you. Then he hands you a four pack or something and you head back in to start the process over. Somewhere along the line you knock the toilet paper in the toilet, probably because your mind had wandered to that beach you went to in Belize once. And you can't even blame it on a kid this time. It's all you. And you fish it out and throw it away and think to yourself if the responsible thing to do is buy another roll to replace the one you ruined. But you don't. You just sigh and leave.
-You are at church and you get a tap on your shoulder during the service. Your mostly potty trained son has chosen this moment to abandon his training, and do you have some clothes for him? you do not. So you go in the bathroom with him and stick a size 5 diaper on him from the nursery diaper stash. Then you look around frantically for anything even remotely suitable for putting on his legs- partly because it feels a bit inappropriate to send a half naked boy back to church class, and partly because it is a cold winter day. You literally take your scarf off and try to wrap it around him like a skirt, then wonder if a disposable diaper changing pad might work instead. If only you had a stapler. Finally, in a moment of genius you remember that your 5 year old who is in the same class is wearing a long dress with...purple pants underneath!!! You open the door, summon your bewildered daughter to the bathroom and ask her to please give her pants to her brother. Problem solved. Purple is definitely his color.
-Your son won't listen. You have asked him in a million nice ways to put on his clothes. You have given him ample warnings. So you move on to threats of taking away his toys. And still he doesn't listen. So you finally grab two of his trucks and literally chuck them into the snow. Which doesn't actually help him to listen because he is now hysterical about his toys. But you are angry and on a roll so you just keep throwing more things out the door. Insanity.
Its not a pretty sight, this motherhood insanity. And I thought maybe it would be better when they get older but from what I've heard it is just a different kind of crazy.