There is snot on my shoulder and Disney Junior in the background, both of these things are a constant these days. The baby is teething or has a cold or allergies, I’m not certain but I’m not racing to the pediatrician the way I would have with her brother. I’m just not as worried this time around, same goes for the TV which I used to stress about but now I don’t pay it much attention. If Elsa and Ana give me 10 minutes of silence, I’m taking it.
The other night I simultaneously made brownies for book club, fed Grace dinner and cooked dinner for John and I. It was chaotic and hectic but I turned on the music and blasted Taylor Swift and suddenly the chaos didn’t seem so bad. I was smiling and singing and stirring and chopping and there was nowhere else I would rather be.
Comfort is my way of life these days. I live in leggings and slouchy tees and shoes that are flat. Make-up is for nights out or maybe if I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror on the way to Shop Rite and I have 5 minutes to throw on some powder and mascara. It’s not glamorous.
I wake up exhausted and I go to bed exhausted. I stay up too late hoping just to get a few moments of quiet. Sometimes I wonder if I’m good enough at this mothering job, if I’m getting it right, if I’m doing everything I should be. Sometimes I think I could spend more time reading with them or more time playing or more time doing all the things I see on Pinterest. But the laundry gets done and the dishes are clean and I spend more time making meals and cleaning up from meals than I care to admit.
I spend a lot of time in my car. Driving to school pick-up where I carry Grace up the steep narrow stair way to the kindergarten room and back down, while holding little hands and backpacks and listening to the shouts of little voices. And it’s back in the car and on to soccer or baseball or swim lessons or the park. Where I push Grace in the stroller while Jack runs and plays with his friends. I feed the baby too many organic cookies to get through practice and feel like I should have prepared some sort of healthy snack but there aren’t enough hours. Then back in the car for homework and dinner. Then bed time, times two which takes so much longer than I thought was possible.
At some point I eat and shower and eventually pour a glass of wine and curl up on the couch with the dog.
I don’t put on heels or go to an office or get promotions. And it’s messy and exhausting and sometimes I wonder, what if I had done it another way. I used to think about that often, if I should have gone back to the world of business casual and meetings that should have been emails. But these days I don’t miss it, at all. Not the shoes or the clothes or the paycheck or the feeling that what I did was valuable because I went somewhere from 9-5. No, I don’t miss it, I’m just grateful for this time with them.