Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Maxed Out

The title refers to my capacity for having more children, not to my credit card, which I paid off and then shredded in August, thank you very much.

I adore my little girl. I leave work early, am dreadfully rude in my haste to catch buses and metros to get me home as quickly as possible--because every second counts, right? And when I’m home, my little wee one and I read and paint and dance and play, cook and sing, walk and slide. It’s not a question of love.

It’s like this: yesterday I spent the morning doing Pesakh shopping at Ikea with two friends who each have two children. Girls about my daughter’s age, and boys they still breastfeed. Who is the mother who lost a child during checkout? Who is the mother, who, upon having the child found for her, realized that she had also lost the child’s coat? And later, while lunching at Pita Plus, who was the mother who misjudged her daughter’s appetite and food preferences?

Why, moi, of course. The mother of one.

It’s not that I have more going on than they do, so I can’t say I was more distracted. My more fertile friends also balance work outside the home and childcare. And one of them has a husband who travels during the week, so she does the bulk of it alone. The other is remodeling the bathroom using contractors, and, well, need I say more?

Okay, I HAD just returned from a weekend with my parents in Texas, hanging with my daddy as he recovered from surgery (thank G-d) the colon cancer doesn’t’ seem to have spread). But it wasn’t like I was DOING anything. Since my parents went vegan to enhance their chances of remaining cancer-free (both of them are cancer survivors), I didn’t even have to worry about food and kashrut. I caught up on reading and chatting with my Dad, who was still very weak from surgery and hung out on the sofa.

And my girl? She played outside with her cousins, ages 2, 4 and 7, from the time the dew dried off the grass until the sun was about to set. All she needed from me was food, drink, potty/diaper stuff, and the occasional kiss to the booboo.

Hey, wait a minute…

(And anyway, that doesn’t explain Ikea).


lsw said...

refuah shleima to your dad! IKEA is inexplicable. It's not you.

Tzipporah said...

I'm with you. No more kids.

I love my little guy, but I'm an introvert. Without a little quiet "me" time, I'm a mean mommy. And with a chronically ill husband (and a full-time job), that's precious little already.

Maya said...

Tzipporah, it sounds as if you've got an awful lot on your plate. My thoughts are with you!

I am in awe of people who can go out in public with a toddler AND an infant and act like completely rational and normal human beings (like my friend LSW here). said...


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The Queen of Laundry said...

My Grandma (a sister of 1 and an amazing working mother of 6) used to say:
1. "the best gift for a child is a sibling".
From my experience as a mother of two very close in age, not only she was right, but it's also me who gained some time off for myself - they just keep each other busy! They really do!!
2. "I just can't understand how it is that parenthood - the most difficult, responsible and demanding profession - doesn't require any official training or license".
But it doesn't, right?
Give yourself a break - it has nothing to do with Ikea. Just BEING a mother is a lot of work and a lot on your mind. All the more so if you're a working mother and taking care of your parents as well.
So if you can make it there - I say: give yourself and your baby a gift.