Recently, a really good friend called me around 7:30pm and was giggling because she was hiding from her family. She was hiding out in her bathroom with the dessert for the evening, pudding, and her glass of wine. Within minutes of answering her call she responded to one of her littles, "put your own spray whipcream on. You can do it." I had to laugh because I could never leave spray whip dispersal up to my children. That is just asking for a hilarious clean up moments later. But maybe it was worth it at that moment.
Maybe 10 minutes into the conversation her husband came knocking on the door. "what'cha doing?" She explained she was on the phone and within seconds he had unlocked the door laughing, stole her glass of wine, and ran off. She laughed. It was all in good fun. My friend was laughing over the whole thing too.
But my question, What puts us mamas in our bathrooms with pudding and wine? What makes us want to escape for just a moment. In good humor sometimes and sometimes in tears. If you say that you have never wanted to escape, then I wonder if you are being truthful. Because it happens to all of us. And I LOVE that I have a handful of really good friends who call me or I can call when those moments arise so we can laugh at the situation at hand, vent, or just be validated.
Ed has a business trip in the near future and it is one where the wives are encouraged to attend. And in the past we have had both grandmas come, at the same time to help with the kids. And that was the plan this year. But life happens and Ed's mom has other Super wife duties to attend to. So I have been thinking and rethinking the circumstances. Do I stay home and have an enjoyable week with my mom and my kiddos. Do I let my mom handle it herself. I know she can do it. But she might not enjoy it as much. I could call on friends to help out with the kids to take a little of the care off my mom. We actually have my brother swooping in with his Super Uncle cape on.
But my point, as I was thinking out all this I wondered what the heck was my issue when Ed is late some evenings or travels for three days/nights. I have this mama thing down. I do it daily. I know the routines. I know who to call when I can't walk Charley to school. I know where the urgent care building is. The boys know the consequences to different behaviors.
I have friends who do the mama thing for a week at a time without their husbands. I have friends who do the mama thing all week long because their husbands work 8am-9pm. I have friends who have husbands who are fighting for our country and aren't home for a whole year.
My occasional situations that put me wearing my Super Mama cape are my reality but when thinking it out I pondered what is my issue during these times. Why do I get so overwhelmed.
And that's when I realized...
If my mom arrives to take care of my kids for four nights she is arriving fresh. She is arriving ready to love up her grandchildren.
If my mom arrives she goes into high adrenaline mode and her super grandma cape waves unfaltering in the wind from the chaos as my littles run and circle around her.
I realized that it isn't the logistics that get us mothers overwhelmed. Nope.
It isn't the care of the littles.
It isn't the taking on extra household duties like shoveling the snow that falls or taking out the garbage.
Nope, it is more the mental game.
The idea that relief isn't swooping in.
It is the communicating and the mind games that come along with dealing with preschoolers and toddlers and grade schoolers.
It is the lack of good sleep because when you are on your own the noises in the night are that much more peculiar and the worries of all that could happen seem to settle heavier on your shoulders.
It is the mental game you play when you think of your husband out to a four course meal or laying on his hotel room bed watching a movie at 6:45 pm. While we eat spaghetti or hotdogs for the third night in a row.
It is waking in the night for each of your children's different needs, all on your own.
It is the mental game. That's what it is.
It's the mental game that puts us in the bathroom with a cup of pudding and a glass of wine, even when our husbands are downstairs serving up pudding and pouring us a loving glass of wine.
And that's okay.
It's the fact that we mama's have support systems that celebrate each other's victories, laugh about our outrageous daily dealings with little ones that need medicine forced down their throat, timeouts for throwing their brothers Lego ships that they crash to the floor on purpose, or the diarrhea mess that exploded all over the bathroom floor because their little didn't quite make it.
It is the mental game that makes this thing called motherhood exciting, exhilerating, exhausting, and also the most rewarding job we will do in our lives.
So cheers to all the girlfriends who admit to bathroom glasses of wine or whatever it is that you fancy. It's normal. It's okay. And it's all part of the fun.