who run the world

I'm on vacation, bitches!

That's right. I pee when I have to pee!

I went to the GYM this morning!

My sisters, mom and I all have MASSAGES booked this afternoon, and then we're going to take NAPS, and then we're going to DINNER and a MOVIE! (Girls Trip, natch.)

oooooooooh
my
gooooooooood
yeeeessssssss


But at what cost, you ask?

As I prepared to leave my family for the weekend, I realized, again, that everything is unfair and my job is sometimes horse shit.

Who run the world? MOMS. 

MOMS run the world

I seriously would not be surprised to learn that gravity is just something that a grandma in Louisville has been handling, quietly, just in the back of her mind, while she makes biscuits for 400 people for the church jamboree next weekend.

The day before I went on vacation, I stocked the fridge, bought a couple of little new toys for the boys that they could not open until the weekend, as an act of mercy for my husband. 

I also did seven loads of laundry, cleaned out the fridge, wrote out our emergency contact information, filled out the enrollment paperwork for the kids' new school that is due next week, printed the forms for Chicken's summer camp next week, and made copies of the boys' health insurance cards.

I also packed a weekend backpack with clothes, diapers, snacks, water bottles, a first aid kit, some emergency cash, the library card, sunscreen, and another emergency contact sheet.

Then I had a glass of wine. 

I was, after all, almost on vaaacaaaaay!

All I had to do at that point was pack, clean the bathroom, and write out the stuff for the sitter.

At 8:30 I started the letter to the babysitter, a wonderful person who has known our kids since Buster was born. She knows them, knows our basic routine, and this isn't the first time she's spent a long chunk of time caring for them. 

In other words, she knows what's up. So I thought writing the letter would take no more than 10 minutes - jot down a quick schedule, hit the highlights (binkies in the top drawer, diapers in the bottom drawer, lock them in if you don't want to chase them down the street or fish them out of the river. You know, basic.)

But as I typed I started to think of helpful tips to add here and there. 

I typed "go to library," and realized that without some inside information, a pleasant outing to a chapel of knowledge could easily turn into a cautionary after-school special: "No Exit: I'll Never Let Go: Paper Screams: The Chicken and Buster Story."

So I added: 

"It's easiest to get them to leave the library if you talk about leaving before you arrive. Before you even walk into the library, explain exactly what will happen when you say it's time to go, and then the transition is usually a lot easier."

And that got me thinking. 

How much of what I do as a parent is indescribably complicated? How much of our work is unspoken, yet exhausting? 

It's like we never stopped being pregnant. When I grew a baby inside my body, where the work happened in a place where people couldn't see my effort, where I rarely broke a sweat, where nobody marveled at my strength, because the effort occurred on a cellular level, and where in fact people were often confused as to why I was so tired. 

"I'm exhausted," I said at work.

"Um, you're sitting on a chair," a coworker quipped. Hilariously.

"AND I AM BUILDING A HUMAN. FROM SCRATCH," I replied. 

Because I was pregnant, she backed away slowly and nodded and fawned over me and brought me her leftovers from the taco stand. 

I accepted her offerings and blessed her with my mercy. But I did not forget.

Now that I'm a parent of children who live outside my body and are sometimes annoying, I am no longer the recipient of the "Blessed Mother Mary" treatment. 

At best, non-parent strangers treat me like a "good mom" which means my unflagging and cheerful work will be both constant and unremarkable; at worst, they treat me like I'm a "hot mess" and my kids are obviously doomed. 

If I express feelings of exhaustion, those feelings are met with skepticism and silence.

"I'm exhausted," I might say.

"But you are sitting on a bench at the park," they might think. 

Me:




I have decided there is only one solution for the widespread cultural blindness to the constant and necessary and unacknowledged work that moms do.

Dear Pixar,

Please make an animated short film about everything that happens inside a mother's mind while she is sitting on a bench at the park. K thx.

Love,

(List of Every Mom Who Has Ever Taken Her Kid To The Park And Felt Alone Or Unappreciated)

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