Friday, February 1, 2013

Mothering, Mussolini-Style


The Demas family had a bad morning getting out of the house the other day. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say I had a rough start. 

We were off to a family get-together and the stars were not aligning for a swift exit. Usually, my stellar time management skills make up for the added tasks that a baby implies. Bad circumstances along with poor strategic planning made this trip different. 

First, Claire would only go to mama. George and I usually attack getting ready by handing off our daughter to one another, like a baton in a relay race. On this day, Claire had other things in mind. As did the weather, which decided to change seasons overnight. Locating and ironing clothes for both Claire and me with said daughter on my hip is not in my repertoire. While working one-handed, I was reminded of a sick challenge devised for a competition reality show like Survivor (except that I had no chance of winning a million dollars for my efforts). 

What's more, I was shuttling between the bedroom and the kitchen to make the dish we needed to bring (nothing like waiting 'til the last minute).  In general, chopping, mixing, and stirring while a child hangs on my apron strings wears me out. Add a deadline to get out the door, and I feel I'm going to boil over like the pot on the stove. 

I know what you're thinking: "Couldn't the free-handed husband cook and/or clothe the child?" To this query, my martyr self replies, "No. He would have ruined it".

I was actually pulling off most of the shitshow. It’s part of an illness, actually -- trying to push myself beyond my own limits to see what I am capable of doing. I end up feeling sickly proud of myself. The flip-side of the coin is that I feel exhausted and resentful as well -- bad for me and bad for the people around me. I remind myself of Mussolini, keeping the trains running on time while losing track of humanity altogether. 

Benito Mussolini


Babies have a way of finding your Achilles heel, though. My obsession with productivity can make me forget what’s really important -- being in the moment, enjoying my child and husband, respecting my own needs and those of the people around me. 

Sorry, Mr. Mussolini, we will just have to be late next time.

28 comments:

  1. I am so the same way and have to remind myself this time and again only to make the same mistake over and over. When will I learn. Totally relate to this and trust I felt your pain reading this one.

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    1. We are all so human! It takes a lifetime to get it right!

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  2. There's only so much a person can do! Know your limits, do what you can, and when your spouse starts to complain, tell him that if he's not happy with the way things are going, to either get off his butt and help out, or shut up about it. I'm betting he'll shut up about it! lol Hang in there!

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    1. My husband does help. We just get in each other's way sometimes. It's always fine in the end...

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  3. Rachel, I LOVE this post for a million reasons. It had me saying "awww...sweet and lovely warm fuzzies" at the end while also laughing out loud (read it to my husband even) over the part about how your husband would have "ruined it." (mine would have, too)

    Also, wanted to share a tip...it's TOTALLY fine to go out wrinkled. Seriously. It really is.

    Oh and it's so true that when you're in a hurry the kids want mommy only. Every.Time.I.Need.To.Leave. My son says "no Dah, MOMMYYYYY." What am I going to do but give this boy his mommy? You are AWESOME.
    <3

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  4. We all are superwoman from time to time, but in the end we probably do end up supergrumpy too. You're right. It is definitely better to enjoy the moments and the blessings. :)

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    1. ha, ha! So true. At least I'm supergrumpy!

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  5. I am the same way! I always tell my husband he can't do things because he won't do it right lol.

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    1. Yeah, my advice, get over yourself and get some help woman! I know I need to do this!

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  6. It IS exhausting to cook with a baby hanging on you!! It sounds like you pulled it of much better than I could have. In or house, I'm usually the one who ruins the meals...

    Jamie

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  7. It think it's known as "Sod's Law"! Never mind it happens to the best of us! Hope you made it for the family get together and that it made it all worth while!

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  8. Hahaha...we are SO alike! It's such a good feeling when we look and go "yep, I accomplished that! I am a rockstar." On the other hand slowly turning it into some demise!
    LOL.

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    www.raising-reagan.com

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  9. It is hard to anything with a baby on your hip...still worth having a baby on your hip! hope you had a good time. we are at the point in our lives we now say to the kids, bye. we're going to a party. be good. your time will come....

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    1. I barely remember in the past and can't even imagine a time in the future when it will be this way.

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  10. Thanks so much for linking up with the Meet & Greet Blog Hop!

    I hope you had a relaxing weekend :)

    Laurie

    http://createdbylaurie.blogspot.com/

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  11. At least you were (or are) aware of what you were doing. That's a step in the right direction! My husband occasionally calls me a dictator... oh well, things get done, the children are happy (most of the time!) and we always get out the door in time (because my target is 15-minutes earlier than necessary). Have a great week!

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    1. I'm so with you on the 15 minute target. That's me too.

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  12. I do the same thing ~ push myself beyond my limit to see what I can do. Then I regret if for two days after because I'm too exhausted to move lol.

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

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  13. OMG, I totally get it. You and me need to slow down and learn to delegate with authority!!

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  14. I have tried delegating but end up ing stuff myself as its just easier!! Great post!! Ps ironing is your first mistake!!

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    1. ha, ha! I HATE wrinkled clothes! Such a pet-peeve of mine!! What's a girl to do...

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  15. Haha- I do the same thing. I try so hard to push myself. Case in point- I am training for a 5K and instead of building up to it, I did it all at once. I can't move!!! I totally get it!

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    1. Oh, dear. On the one hand, I want to say, "CONGRATULATIONS!" On the other, "feel better!!!"

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