After almost five years, I still chafe over certain aspects of motherhood. At times, I become embarrass that I’m a stay-at-home mom with a college degree, but with three little ones five and under, I think it’s understandable (though I’ impressed with all you working moms). Besides it was more embarrassing to say, “Hi, I’m Fae; I graduated cum laude and work at Home Depot as a cashier.” Sometimes I get annoyed with The Husband sleeping in, but I usually have a lot of fun with the boys in the morning. Usually. Besides I rock on a few hours asleep (though I’m learning some interesting things about sleep deprivation). Then there’s the house cleaning. Now that I have children, I feel the need to have a cleaner house because they do eat off the floor . . . with their mouths. But the boys mess t up more and faster than any adults.
But I chafe over schedules the most. I HATE schedules. It’s the right-brain, B-personality of me that loves moving at the seat of my pants, doing things as needed, when I want. Schedules chafe me like uniforms, cubicles, and plaid.
Without schedules, hardly anything gets done, and I become a screaming, raving, stressed-out lunatic. Tooth brushing is a hit or miss (for the boys). Toys are strewed across the floor of our tiny house. We run late. I run out of time to go on errands. I develop a tic. Ok, I don’t, but I might.
The funny thing is I have to relearn this lesson over and over. As babies, I set each boy on a schedule. Not the rigid feed-every-four-hours my mom had, but a lucid schedule set by the baby. If the baby choose to eat the second meal in two hours, I knew it would be an every-two-hour-feeding day, allowing the baby to stretch it out. I made sure there were two naps. The timing of the morning nap wasn’t (and still isn’t) negotiable. Everything else is. While I had a schedule, it often varied from day to day.
But as the babies turned to toddlers turned to children, the only schedule I kept as the law of God was the holy sleep schedule. And to a lesser extent and with the help of snacks, the eating schedule.
Then it dawned on me that if I wanted a somewhat clean house, I needed to set a chore schedule. It all became easier to manage. (Well, before Aidan. I’m still trying to get my feet under me with a baby.) So it took me several months and several episodes of Supernanny to finally admit that from 7 to 7:30 should be breakfast and 7:30 to 8 should be clean up and some play. Things became easier, and stuff got done. I admitted the A part of my personality relished this.
Some days it works. Some days it doesn’t. Especially days where they decided to take out every towel and blanket out of the linen closet as I feed Aidan right before we are supposed to leave.
Then I develop a tic.