I just made a stir fry that puts the world’s worst cook to shame. And I cook well. Yesterday, I burnt my son’s rice, threw it away, put on another batch and forgot to add water. I threw my phone into the kitchen garbage and spent half an hour calling myself, hearing it ring, unable to find it, crawling around the floor as if it could be was under the floorboards. I put a pack of spaghetti in the fridge. I’ve forgotten to take a shower, until it’s so late, I can barely move.
You see, I, a full-time mom, got a part-time job.
After four years of doing little else but tending to my one bundle of joy, I had it all figured out. The day-to-day part at least. Somewhere in year three: enter feelings of uselessness, boredom, resentment, lack of intellectual stimulation. See, no matter how rewarding it is to be a stay-at-home mom, I was always something else before that. I talked to people with a vocabulary of over 50 words, I created, I learned, I got paid. I longed to regain that part of myself. And then I did.
I’m not that far along, but the difference in me is tremendous. I don’t complain about waking up at the crack of dawn, after all, it’s the only time to shower. I miss my son, I can’t wait to go pick him up from school to go collect acorns and snail shells. I don’t get angry when he whines, because he rarely does, bouncing off my positive energy. Kids do that. I read bedtime stories with the dramatic capabilities of a Broadway star. The house is a mess, the fridge holds the bare essentials (milk and wine), and my personal hygiene is that of a single mother with newborn triplets. But I catch myself smiling. I hear myself breathing. I see myself finding time for things I didn’t have time for before, worn down by my lethargy.
I don’t go to an office, I work from home, but I bought a pair of black dress pants. Just because, maybe, I’ll need to wear something without holes or I’ll need to go somewhere where jeans and sweats are frowned upon. Or maybe I’ll put them on and sit on my kitchen floor writing, keeping an eye on the oven cooking my baby’s school lunch for the next three days.
This being a woman thing, is a complicated matter. But while writing this, I successfully followed the boiling instructions on a pack of noodles: boil for 4 minutes.
I’ve got this.