Monday, November 17, 2008

Math is Hard. Motherhood is Harder.

I look back over the past 20+ years it's been since I've taken a math class and I have to chuckle. I was absolutely horrible in math. Horrible. And it didn't help that I hated it. I now have pity on the poor teachers that tried to teach me algebraic equations and Lord help us, anything involving geometry.

Sorry, Mr. Capistrant. Sorry, Mr. Zeeman. Okay, maybe not Zeeman, he was a jerk. Anyway...

And I have even more pity on the ones that tried to get me to shut-up talking to my friends long enough to, you know, actually learn something.

I liked to talk. A little. But I've overcome that. (snort!)

I think about just how hard I thought math was. How I dreaded it with everything in my being and yet, I had to pass it to graduate. And I did. I did it in spite of it's difficulty.

I now look at those math classes and think, "how did I ever put so much emphasis on how hard math was?". Don't get me wrong, I still hate math...exceedingly. And I still think it's hard.

But not near as hard as motherhood.

Funny enough though, I don't hate motherhood.

As a matter of fact, I love it. Even though it is the single most exhausting, heart wrenching, self sacrificing, frightening thing I have ever done in my life. It is also the single most miraculous, joyful, giving, exhilarating thing I have ever done in my life.

The last few days have been rather....trying around here. I haven't been able to get things done that I need to get done because I've been taking care of vomiting little ones. And then, if life wasn't interesting enough, I had to throw in a little vomiting for myself this past Saturday night.

All. Night. Long.

Throw that in with a little fever, body aches and chills all day Sunday and we can call it a weekend. Sigh.

To say that all of these "things" have been wearing on me in these last few weeks (days?) before the Corn Nut makes his/her appearance is an understatement. I have not/am not coping well with all of these "interruptions". As a matter of fact, I sort of blew a cork tonight over the, um, state of things in my home.

(This is the part where I whine a little)

All of the dishes that were used to prepare mac 'n' cheese, frozen pizza, etc.. while I was down and out in my miserable state, still sat, in the sink. Unwashed. Laundry piles abounded with only the cloth diapers I had washed Saturday afternoon (pre-vomit) still sitting in the dryer. Untouched. The kitchen floor, which I was assured would be thoroughly swept and mopped by Saturday evening, looked like some sort of petri dish experiment gone awry. Still does.

I was mad and I let it be known I was mad. As if things weren't bad enough, while reaching into my pantry for some chicken broth, an entire jar of pizza sauce fell from the top shelf onto the top of my foot.

It hurt. Bad. And I may have said one very un-Christian like word after it happened. Okay, I did. (Just trying to keep it real here and just so you know - my children heard nothing!) My foot immediately acquired a nice sized knot and the pain came on rather quickly.

That was when they showed up. The tears. The tears over the vomiting, the tears over the mess, the tears over the shooting pain. It didn't really matter what they were from, they were there and they weren't going to stop.

So, as I stirred the homemade chicken noodle soup, I cried. As I went into my bedroom to try and go through a few more things, I cried. I cried and cried. I felt good and sorry for myself for about an hour or so. I was so unappreciated. No one cared. Didn't they know I still didn't feel well?

It was after I wallowed for about an hour that it dawned on me. This. Is. Motherhood. This is the trenches. This is raising a family. This. Is. Life. And I asked myself the question...Is it worth it?

(Whining stops here and self evaluation takes over)

Oh, it's easy to say it's worth it when the house is clean. Or when the baby sleeps through the night at 6 weeks. Or when your child is strong and healthy. Or when your teenager is always obedient and never rebellious.

It's when the house is a mess, or the baby has colic, or your child is horribly ill or when you have a rebellious youngster, that you have to ask yourself the question again.... Is it worth it?

Is it worth vomiting children, unrelenting messes, mountains of laundry, nine month pregnant bellies with accompanying aching backs? Is it?

You bet.

It's also worth 16 month olds saying, "Momma" and running into your knees with unconditional hugs. 5 year olds who snuggle next to you giggling, while watching Kung Fu Panda. 8 year olds who offer to help wash dishes at the sight of your tears. 15 year olds who crawl into bed next to you while you're blogging just because she "wants to be close to you". And 17 year old strapping boys that announce to all of Facebook that he's a "Momma's boy and proud of it".

It's all perspective, people. It's my life. And I love it. Vomit and all.

No one ever told me motherhood was easy. But no one also ever told me it would be this hard sometimes. But it is.

Unlike math however, it's worth it.


Jill said...

Wow! You are so profound to be 8 1/2 months pregnant! When I was that far along all brain power had long since left. Thanks for the great reminder that it is indeed all worth it, and math isn't! Just kidding about math. Thanks Michelle!

Sarah R said...

I think I need to see this today. My teenaged daughter has been driving me bonkers as of late. She keeps stealing my hair pins and socks and her big ol feet stretched out my new church shoes (I'm an 8, she's a 10!) I was planning a great big pity party for myself. Guess I'll just give her a hug and love on her instead.

Michelle said...

Enjoy my profundity. It only comes in spurts! HA! And um, I wasn't kidding about the math. :)

Yeah for lovin' on the teenagers! I think they need it the most sometimes!

Christine said...

Bless your heart, dearie! This was so beautifully written.

Katie said...

Thank you. I needed that. I am definitely "in the trenches" as you say. It's been rough around here lately.