Holidays are always less exciting than their build up.
Today, on my second Mother’s Day, I am watching my son sleep. It’s been ages since I’ve had nothing else to do – generally there’s dishes or laundry or teevee to watch – but today we are in someone else’s house in someone else’s country so my only real obligation is to be here and be present. Today, with two under two and a coffee that’s different than the coffee in New York, relaxing is not as easy as it should be.
I’ve never been good at change. First days of anything have always stressed me out. I never want to walk into a room where I don’t know anyone. Today, on my second Mother’s Day in a country where it’s not Mother’s Day, I’m not sure I’ve gotten any better at it.
Having two children is hard – we knew it was going to be hard – but for me, the most difficult part has been the identity crisis. I didn’t know I was going to lose parts of myself that I thought I loved, or gain parts I didn’t know I was capable of. (Mothers are capable of a lot.)
I didn’t know what it meant, logistically, to be a mom. And I didn’t know how difficult that would be.
I didn’t know that getting up in the middle of the night to tend to a crying baby would mean that I couldn’t edit papers effectively the next day. I didn’t know that feeding a baby meant that I wouldn’t make it to the gym. When people talk about the life change associated with being a mom, they don’t tell you the nitty gritty. They don’t tell you that you will no longer have the capacity (much less the time) to be the you that you think you are.
It takes a long time to get the laundry done and the dinners cooked. Diaper changes take at least five minutes a piece and cleaning meatballs out of a sofa is pretty time consuming too.
Mommying is much more time consuming and energy draining than I ever imagined. Luckily I have beautiful children who make me laugh and for whom I am the solver of problems. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the complete loss of self that I’ve experienced as a new mother of two under two. And I would be more upset that no one besides me (and my partner) cares that today is Mother’s Day in America.