Before I had my daughter, I had a lot of daydreams about what we would do over the years. Places I wanted to take her, things I wanted to show her. In her first year of life, we did a lot together. We went shopping, hiking, to the beach and to museums. Then before she was even a year old, I found out I was pregnant again.
Call it surprise, accident or unplanned. Call it whatever you want, it was a shock. Then, I found out I was having twins. Don’t twins only happen to people who use IVF, evidently not. Once the shock wore off, if it really ever did, I got down to the business of planning. I was going to need two of everything and I hoped for girls, it would make life easier. I still had all of my daughter’s stuff. Skunked again. Twin bouncing baby terrors of boyness. Life revolved around getting through day and that life has never changed.
Don’t get me wrong. I love them to death. It’s amazing the difference in how boys love their Mommas versus girls. My boys wanted to be kissed and cuddled all day long and will fight over me. My daughter, not so much. She’s a lot like me and when she wants a kiss or cuddle she’ll come get one, otherwise it’s best to just leave her be. Now, as my daughter gets ready to start elementary school, I find myself reminiscing about the mother I wanted to be versus the one I am.
The mom I wanted to be, looked a lot like June Cleaver. Her house was always neat and the kids were always tidy. She had time to cook from scratch all three meals during the day. The laundry basket was never overflowing and his suits were always pressed, ready to go. I imagined having girly nights with my daughter, taking the boys out to dinner and having a fresh baked treat for them everyday when they came home from school. Always dressed up nice when my husband comes home from work. Maybe I set the bar too high, maybe I was trying to make up for the childhood I wanted and didn’t have. Who knows? What I do know, is that most days I feel like a failure and that my kids are just surviving and not thriving.
The mom I am, is frazzled, more days then not. I live in sweat pants and stained tee shirts, more days than not. The laundry always overflows before it gets done. The last time we had a fresh baked anything, had to have been a birthday. The only time I cook breakfast is on a weekend when my D is home to play warden, otherwise its burnt eggs while I break up this fight. The house is always a wreck or in some state of half cleaned and the kids usually look like whatever they just ate. I’m not a dirty person, most people would say I have OCD, or at least I did until I had kids.
Eventually, even I will tire of chasing a 3 year old who is completely against having his mouth wiped or I get distracted by the fight that has broken out in the other room. D’s shirts get ironed as he needs them and most dinners usually consist of chicken nuggets and/or macaroni and cheese. If he ever came home to me in a dress and wearing pearls, I think he would have a heart attack and drop dead on the spot.
D helps out a lot when he is home. By giving baths, doing dishes and running errands for me when I don’t feel like schlepping all the children. Sometimes, its just not worth it to spend 15 minutes getting everyone in the car to go around the corner to the Walmart to get one thing.
I know that I will never be June Cleaver. Domestic goddess, I am not. I feel like my kids deserve a June Cleaver as their mom instead of the mess they got stuck with by an accident of birth. Although, I am pretty sure that June Cleaver would never serve her kids pizza bites and eggs for breakfast and my kids thought that was pretty awesome.