and where exactly is the payoff, again?

It’s possible for a smart Mama who has interests of her own and a brain of her own to feel like a slave.

Today we got up, cleaned up, loaded the kids and went to church. Wrangle kids – Nels hates the nursery staff, Sophie wiggles in the pew. Finally, somehow, Ralph and I are seated next to one another and able to hear an entire sermon together (yay!). From church directly to the grocery store (I had to formulate the list as we drove and while our kids were vying for my attention a-mile-a-minute). Then home where I unpack and put away groceries than simultaenously do the dishes and cook a meal (pizza with fresh mozzerella, carrot and celery sticks, Annie’s Goddess Dressing), then clean up as my husband gets ready for his five-hour movie project. Husband leaves. Kids need to be wrangled, cleaned up, and put down for a nap. Sophie and I have a lie-down and I get a 10-minute snooze before waking to go downstairs, pull some laundry, and continue sewing on Ralph’s pants (which are quite laborious) before Nels wakes up. Get kids cleaned up, dressed, call friend, head to fair. Wrangle two naughty children who want to go EVERYWHERE and on EVERY PONY RIDE / BOUNCY CASTLE in sight. Grab two plates of barbecue to take home. Pack kids in van, then home. Wash dishes yet again, clean kitchen, beg kids to not make messes or fight, shuck corn, roast garbanzo beans, butter bread, cook peas, pour milk, set table. Husband is late. Comes in and apologizes, whips kids into shape for dinner. Thank you.

Midway through dinner I feel devastated, tired. Sad. I didn’t get to half the projects I wanted to do this weekend. Ralph’s pants aren’t done. The kids need their toys and clothes to have a go-through. I haven’t had a date with my husband in a couple weeks. It feels like all I do is think about food, plan meals, buy food, carry food, put food away, take food out, wash, chop, scrub, slice, and assemble food. Wash dishes, put away dishes. Set the table. Set the table. Set the table. Three meals a day. Put food out. Thank God the kids actually eat it and they and my husband compliment it. Then – feel guilty when Ralph clears the table. You think I’m done with food? No. The fridge is full of food. Food to eat, to pack for Ralph’s lunches, to throw out. Fridge needs to be cleaned. Garbage taken out. Compost. Recycling. Kids want a bedtime snack. Ralph leaves the lunches I assemble in the fridge and forgets them.

The kids somehow are not eating so much as sucking energy out of my body. I replenish by vegging out in the bed, watching crap on DVD, and drinking cold beer and turning off my brain. My brain is no more.

I miss you, brain.

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