It is 9 a.m. and I am already tired. My husband texts and asks how the day is going, I shoot him a photo of the living room and kitchen in a disaster state as a reply. He texts back, "So, like normal?"
I reheat a cold cup of coffee from this morning and think about how I don't want to clean the kitchen. I wonder where I would even start. But my mom's voice rings in my ears. "When you don't know where to start, go left to right." And so at the left I begin.
But I don't spend my time as wisely as I should and I have an inkling of guilt for leaving. I need a break. I am heavy from the day. The week. The months of wondering about this or that. I drive with the music loud, hoping it will drown out my thoughts. I never used to be someone who drove to clear my head. But today, I am.
I wonder about all the mothers out there. I wonder how they have the self-control to not treat themselves to dark chocolate m&m's during nap time. Because in that moment of Nap Utopia, I do not care about the extra baby weight I want to lose. I want to eat all the m&m's more than I want a flat stomach. Besides, I don't think a flat stomach is possible after two babies.
That makes me feel better.
I wonder about other mothers who have the correct answers to the toddler throwing his trains at the window, the newborn's hatred of tummy time, and my inability to remember good posture as I sit on the floor, the couch, the toy bin.
My disregard for this is not helping the hunch in my shoulders that has come from the burdens of wondering each day.
I think I must be the only mother who's home always smells faintly of spit up, gets easily bored when playing with their toddler, and tears up mid-day for no other reason than This Wonder Is All So Overwhelming.
From the internet these days I know all of the above is not true.
But I can't help but think it.
I text a friend and tell her the poop rolled out of my son's diaper and onto the carpet as I was changing it. As I was working quickly to catch it, my hand most definitely grabbed a large part of it. She texts me back and she tells me her toddler just puked on her face, neck and chest.
She wins this one.
We text some more and one of her texts says, "I was so tired, I had no idea what to do."
This reminds me of what I have forgotten this day, but I already know. We are all in this together. We're all doing it one misstep at a time. We are all a little fried. We are all a little distracted. We are all a little tired. Motherhood ebbs and flows but you can never actually turn it off.
This is motherhood we're talking about. Its wonder blares loudly even in the quiet.
And so to the point of all this: I see you there, wondering if you're doing it right - unable to focus in the moment or wind down at night.
The good news is, if you care enough to wonder, I can assure you, you are doing it right.
We are all in this together. So often, we wonder where to start, where to end, what to turn on and what to turn off. We don't feel good enough and the mom-guilt is heavy because of it.
But we are doing it. We are all our babies need. So take a deep breath, text a friend for a little solidarity and encouragement, and remember, we are all in this together - if you care enough to wonder, you are doing it right.