I couldn’t bring myself to mom today.
Yes, momming – to mom – is a verb. Or it should be, anyway. It is different than mothering. I mostly managed to mother today, more or less, though I won’t claim to have done it well. I snuggled, I loved, I didn’t yell much. I mothered. But I just could not mom.
Momming is the act of doing the thousand other things my boys and everyone else needs me to do in order for us to more or less fit in with the general expectations of our more or less middle class life and compatriots. Momming is laundry and dishes and signing up for summer camp and going to the park and reading bedtime stories and feeding everyone something more than packaged snacks and cold leftover pizza all day. Today? Today I royally sucked at these things.
To be fair, generally I have to practice the advanced level of momming, single-momming, and this is like the black belt of home and life management skills. On the list of things to do there was also taking out the garbage, feeding the cat, moving some furniture, paying bills, gentle roughhousing, supervising baths and keeping everyone mostly clothed, an entirely one-woman operation of epic proportions. Normally, though, I do all of these things relatively okay. Sometimes I even excel, on those days when everything falls into place and my kids seem to have the right balance of activity, creativity and intellectual stimulation, where the homemade dinner is eaten by everyone and even the cat chooses not to puke in the middle of the living room. Today? Nope, not even close. I could barely even get to the front door because of the growing pile of recycling bags haphazardly aligned in some sort of Whole Foods-ian obstacle course. Did I take out even one bag of carefully crushed cardboard today? Did I even unlock the front door today? Nope and nope.
I wasn’t sick. My allergies weren’t bad. I didn’t have PMS, and I didn’t have the blues. I got enough sleep, and snuggled in bed with the boys past 7AM. No one was crying in the middle of the night, no crazy nightmares were had. There was plenty of coffee and motivating morning pastries. It was a gorgeous day outside and everyone was in good spirits. But today, no way Jose. I just couldn’t.
The thing about single-momming is that there is never a day off, not even one. Every single day there are two tiny, beautiful, demanding midgets in my house who each have an entire list of generally reasonable demands. You know those days when you wake up and you just can’t go to work? Where you call in sick with a “stomach virus” and take a mental health day? The midgets do not accept stomach virus excuses, even real ones. They still want to go to the park and eat more than saltines for all three meals. Believe it or not, they actually do get tired of cartoons after the 22nd episode in a day. Every day I have to bring my mom game. But today, nope. Totally on strike.
Today there was too much screen time and chicken wings for breakfast. Today there was cat vomit under the table that I willfully ignored, and little boys with naked bums running around like savages. Today absolutely nothing on the list got done, and my children’s collective IQ probably went down a point or two. Today I put one down for a nap, handed the tablet to the other and took a nap, too.
Tomorrow, I think I will be able to step up to bat for Team Mom again. A day on the bench did me some good. It is spring and Barcelona and there is sun and beach and life out there waiting for us. Tomorrow, we’ll go find it. Today, hell no. Today I just could not mom.