You know those moms? The ones who are wearing the cute outfits at Target. The ones who have clearly had time to not only shower but also do their hair and put on make-up. The ones who are so organized that they came with a list AND coupons. Who remembered the reusable bags. The ones whose children are sitting quietly in the cart eating an organic snack from a BPA-free, reusable container.
I find myself staring at those moms. I try not to. For one, my mom taught me it’s rude to stare. For another, I’m a lesbian and I’m always a little worried those moms will think I’m hitting on them. The truth is that I’m trying really hard to not corner them in the shampoo aisle and beg them to tell me their secrets. HOW DO THEY DO IT???
After I had a breakdown over a year ago, I finally set up routines, boundaries, baby-sitters. I made time for exercising, meditating, breathing, reading, and doing whatever else recharged my batteries. Little by little, though, as I began to seem “normal” again, as I went back to work, and basically resumed my pre-breakdown life, all of those things that helped me got pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.
Let’s face it: small children are not low-maintenance or accommodating. Their needs are expressed loudly and often and I meet them as much as I can. My type-A-ness does not allow me to do other than my best, while worrying that I suck, when I’m mommying or working. So, when it is all of a sudden 8pm and I’ve just finished putting the kids to bed and I haven’t exercised, read, breathed, or even peed without an audience that day, I tend to give up. I flop on the couch, watch the Property Brothers, and fall asleep. Then I get up the next morning and do it all over again. I’m aware that it was this very pattern (along with some truly lovely post-partum hormones) that caused me to have the breakdown in the first place, but I feel helpless to change it. How do I do these self-care things when I need to wipe little tushes, avert doggie haircuts given by a 3 year old, or make sure that the 5 year old hasn’t lost her patience with her sister and tossed her out on the porch?
So, if you catch me staring at you at Target, I’m not hitting on you. I promise. Just tell me how you do it. Point me in the direction of your stylist, or your full-time nanny, or your dealer.