I ran across a fellow mommy blogger yesterday at my neighborhood’s July 4th bike parade. She mentioned that she never has time to write despite her valiant attempt to carve out solitude.
Why? Because she’s wrangling THREE KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF SIX from sun-up to sun-down.
“Never mind blogging,” I said. “How the hell do you find time to shower?”
Anytime I meet any woman with kids PLURAL, I want to bow before them, hand them a beer and possibly a joint. As a woman at home with a kid SINGULAR, I spend a lot of time immersed in the natural habitats of stay-at-home moms: parks, libraries, children’s gyms, public pools, science museums, Target and Chick-fil-A, to name a few. In these environments I’ve observed many women with kids PLURAL performing their motherly duties on a scale of EFFORTLESS to EXHAUSTING.
As a mother of ONE I applaud these Herculean beings for carrying the lion’s share of child-rearing. Whenever I ask these lean mean mommy machines how they feel about the age gap between their kids, I always get the same response no matter how close or far apart their children are in age.
A few examples:
Mother No. 1 – two kids, ages 2 and 4: “We wouldn’t have it any other way. They entertain one another. It actually makes my job easier.”
Mother No. 2 – three kids, ages 5, 4 and 3: “We wanted to knock ’em all out at once. I haven’t slept in five years, but it’s all good.”
Mother No. 3 – two kids, ages 7 and 3: “Four years is the perfect gap. Our oldest was out of diapers by the time his sister was born. He was SO helpful. He even got up in the night to feed her.”
Mother No. 4 – one kid, age 16: “One was enough. I don’t bite off more than I can chew.”
Unless medical reasons played a part in family planning, no mother I’ve ever met says she waited too long or too short to have more kids. I find this oddly reassuring.
Both Joe and I are the eldest of three siblings born to ambitious, saintly mothers at a time when mothers didn’t chronicle the poop habits of their children on the internet or drive themselves mad preparing all-organic, non-GMO meals or expertly crafting decorations and popular flower girl dresses for birthday parties then photographing backdrops these creations for Pinterest so that other moms might drive themselves equally mad making napkin rings that look like woodland fairies.
But I digress.
The point of this post is simply to state that I’m in awe of mothers with more than one kid. Hats off to you all.
If I ever join your club, you’ll smell my stink from across a room. I’ll be the mom who forgot to put on deodorant, eating Cheerios out of my kid’s hair. My face will be greasy. My clothes will not match. I’ll have not written a blog post in a year and I probably won’t care because I’ll be too busy fantasizing about going to bed. So I can sleep. For four hours.
I know. I know. Not all moms of kids PLURAL are running ragged and eating “nerve pills” to get through the day. Some of you have it totally and heroically under control. To you deities, I say BRAVO. When the time comes for me to bring a second bundle of joy into this world, I beg you to take me under your maternal wing. Tell me your secrets. Spill your sins. Assure me that you’re no worse for the wear, that your house still gets vacuumed and your dog still gets walked. Tell me you still have time to yourself that doesn’t involve the work place or a gynecologist’s office.
Tell me you feel mentally balanced 100 percent of the time.
Or just tell me the truth: that some days you pour a little whiskey in your coffee, plop the kids in front of SpongeBob, hand out Happy Meals and hope for the best.
PS. The photo was taken in April when Joe’s best friend from high school came over to visit with his four-year-old daughter.