One of the things I am learning this week is just how hard it is to get things of a work nature done while also caring for a toddler. Amalah has written about this several times, and a couple of other motherly-type writers I follow have done so too, but I always sort of brushed it aside. My kid is independent! My kid loves to play in his room by himself for extended periods of time! My kid takes a two-hour nap every day and never rolls out of bed before 8:30 AM! My kid… requires a constant stream of conversation, praise, jokes, explanations, and nebulous responses!Awesome. Except, not. I seem to have overestimated the amount of free time I have in a day, probably because I’ve never had the stereotypical mommy problem of never being able to do anything that isn't baby-related. I’ve always had plenty of time for cleaning or showering or lounging around reading the tabloids, so why wouldn’t I have time to work?
Well. Well, well, well. It turns out that half-assedly thumbing through People and putting a medical journal’s article on retroillumination of the liver through an editorial wringer do not require the same level of concentration! It turns out, too, that searching pretty intensively for decent jobs and wiping down the counters are not the same in terms of distractibility and focus! And it turns out that I am, in fact, one of those easily stressed mommies who say things like, “Connor Ashley, Mommy is trying REALLY HARD to finish updating her resumé and if you cannot GO PLAY for THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES then perhaps you should consider A NAP, like, NOW.”
And then Connor, of course, says, “Okay, I will go play,” and then he wanders into his room and starts shouting out his usual running commentary. “I am playing now! I found my guys! The purple guy is HAWKEYE! They have to find a car and get it out of the mud! Mater will help! I can’t find my tow cable! Mommy, let’s look for it!” And then I slam my face into the keyboard, because I am a neglectful mother who is stunting her son’s verbal development and self-esteem with all of the muttered sarcasm. (“That’s just great, but I don’t actually need to know that right now, JESUS.”)
So now I am wasting even more time by whining about it on the Internet. I don’t know what we’re going to do once I have real work to do, as opposed to the random hour’s worth of editing and resumé-mailing. It feels silly (and very, very expensive) to put Connor in daycare when hello! Your perfectly good mother is home all day! On the other hand, there is this entire day, which I would like to avoid reenacting on other days. Blah. Blah, I say.
(I SAID BLAH, SIR!)