So. I have a toddler. A friend asked me today what it feels like to have a 1 year old, and at the time I wasn't quite sure what to answer, but now that I've had all afternoon to reflect, it feels...strangely anti-climactic.
I was pretty emotional last Wednesday, but not any more than usual. Since having a child, it's as though the pregnancy hormones have never quite left my body, and I can get weepy just at the image of my son stopping halfway across the living room to laugh at himself, for who knows what reason. Everything makes me cry. Especially being in church.
It's hard to explain, but, while I feel like I have far exceeded my own expectations of myself as a mother, I have been a big fat FAIL at being a better wife, homemaker, and caretaker of my family. I do not vacuum enough. I have not mopped the kitchen floor in way too long. I have dropped my 1st 6-months of mommyhood habit of doing a load of laundry each night (including folding and putting away) and now have two or three piles of unfolded laundry in the bonus room upstairs. I still have not unpacked the big suitcase from our beach trip a MONTH ago and just last night put the beach bags back in the closet upstairs.
I have paid bills late because I forgot about them, kept a constant pile of random stuff on the side table downstairs, and completely neglected my herbs this summer. My dog is not current on her heartworm medicine or flea and tick, and hasn't had a bath in over a month. (She did jump in the pool yesterday...that counts, right?) I can't find anything in my house or office because I don't have any kind of organizational system anymore...I am barely treading water when it comes to housework.
The worst is that I constantly nag my husband about every little thing. And I tend to do it quite passive agressively, like this exchange: "I'm going upstairs, can you let Sidney out?" "Well, no, I was going to go up first and take my contacts out." I paused and answered, "oh, that's right, I'm the mom so it's my responsibility." I'm mean to him. And that's just not right. I know he forgets to take his stuff upstairs sometimes and opens the packaging to any new electronic "toy" like a 12 year old at Christmas, leaving the box and instructions just lying on the table or floor. But he also cuts the grass every week and cooks just as much as I do. And I need to give him more credit.
So, given these realizations, instead of making New Year's Resolutions, I'm treating my son's birthday like a new year: things I want to be better at as a mom. Part of being a mom is taking on the extra task of caring for another family member without letting the rest of my life go to pot, and I need to be reminded of the women of the sixties and seventies and eighties, the original working moms who did it all. That doesn't mean I'm not going to stand up for myself when I need my husband's help, but lets face it: he does a lot more than men did back then, and a lot more than the weight I see some men pull. I need to learn to live my life without complaining.
And I'm going to try to start tonight, right after my Fantasy Football draft.