Monday, October 16, 2017

Let's Talk About that Mental Load

I'm tired, y'all.

Today at marriage counseling - we go for maintenance not some big issue - I told the mister that I'd love to go on dates but I don't want to have to plan them.

Why? Because I am the unofficial project manager of our home.

It's the unpaid part time job I do on top of my actual job. Like take today, for instance.

P. continues to hate not only practice but the very idea that practice is a part of learning. I guess she wants to be a child dance prodigy and a child cello prodigy and a child math prodigy. (Sorry, kiddo!)

What that means is I have to build her practice into my to-do list. And that doesn't mean just carving out time.

First I have to remind her to practice, then I have to oversee her practice, and through it all I have to convince her that most people are not amazing at 8 years old. Like, hello, needing to practice does not mean you are bad and should feel bad.

Also on my to-do list: figuring out why so few people have RSVP'ed to the Bo's birthday party. Turns out, quite a lot of people did not receive their invitations. Why? Who knows why! But I guess it's time to follow up with the folks whose info I know.

Why am I worrying about it? Because he's four so it's still my job to make sure he has a nice birthday. Which also meant driving around town picking up ball pit balls from locals who were willing to give them to me.

I also, you know, worked. And made time to play an abbreviated session of dolls. Yes, I put it on my to-do list.

Oops, forgot the check for the PTO party!

Tomorrow I will need to make P. practice again and resend specific invitations and get P. to dance and teach her dance class and finish the choreography for another class. I need to make sure Bo wears his swimsuit to school and has his towel and extra undies packed - then I have to be sure I do laundry so the swim stuff is available for swim class a few days later.

And also, you know, work.

After that there will be more dance and more teaching and there's a playdate for which P. has requested supplies and their swim lesson and more practice and figuring out just how many more ball pit balls we're going to need and driving here and driving there and scheduling playdates and making sure they have black and orange clothes for the school party and doctor appointments and Bo's sight words and the dentist and hey, what are we doing this weekend anyway?

Oops, forgot the check for dance!

This isn't really an issue where I'm a parent who doesn't have an engaged partner. The mister does the lunches (because I hate making the $%^&* lunches) and takes them to parties and has no problem overseeing playdates and such. The one area where I wouldn't mind help is weekend planning but I'll take what I can get.

Fact is I'm the at-home parent and so that means I'm the one placed to deal with the homework and the practice and the playdates and the appointments and the extra-curriculars. I plan, I execute, I plan, I execute, I plan, I execute, ad infinitum.

And also, you know, work.


Friday, August 11, 2017

I Guess if THAT Happens I'll Just Name Him John

I'd totally forgotten about this, but once upon a time, back when she was probably younger than the Bo, P. decided to tell me what her future will be like.

She was going to be a mother.

Mama to three girls, in fact: Elsa, the eldest. Pearl, the middle child. And Lily, the littlest.

How sweet (and specific) is that?

Then she said, "I wonder what my husband will be like."

So you think you'll get married? was the next obvious question. Not everyone does, I explained.

Well, of course I'll get married, she said...

"Otherwise who would watch the babies while I was at work?"

"Makes sense," I said.

Then I asked her what would happen if she had a boy instead of the sweet three girls she was imagining. After all, I admitted, it happened to me. P. stared at me, confused by the question or maybe caught off guard by my admission.

I explained that I'd always assumed I'd have two girls, close in age, but you never do know exactly what you're going to get. One baby or none. Happy accidents or not at all what you planned for. Not everyone gets to be a mother in the traditional way or in the way they hoped for.

I asked again: "So if you have a boy?" 

She thought about it for a bit and answered, "I guess if THAT happens I'll just name him John."

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