Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Manifesto of Sorts

We've just gotten back from an afternoon at the pool which has only made me more aware that pale will never be cool. Nevertheless, sunscreen and I are on a first-name basis and at 32, I've given up on the dream of being tan.

Now that we're back in the land of air-conditioning, I'm still sitting in a wet bathing suit in our living room. (Try not to picture this). I don't normally sit around in my bathing suit, especially not when it's wet, but if I take the time to actually go change into normal, dry clothes, the babe will inevitably wake up and this tiny little window of time I have to write a bit will very quickly become a thing of the past.

Sam's snoozing in the next room, still in his carseat where he fell asleep on the way home. In the interest of dragging his nap out, I did a little driving around which also included some Sonic and a 64 cent cherry-limeade, a visit to Krystal and two mini-burgers, some talk radio and a call from Matt. Most of that was unnecessary information, but I feel like over-sharing today.

However, what I really want to address here in this post is something other than my random bathing suit-wearing afternoon visits to fast food restaurants. Instead, I feel like talking about how I have no response when someone casually asks me "So, what's been going on lately?" I usually pause and then look away, probably down at Sam, and then waste a little time by coughing unnecessarily while trying to drum up an answer. I mean, SURELY, I've done something interesting in the past 7 days that warrants sharing. But, after a little socially awkward silence, I come up with nothing. It's starting to make me wonder if I have Alzheimers or if I just genuinely have nothing going on.

But, I DO have stuff going on. It's just not the kind of stuff you talk about at parties or write about in your memoir. For starters, my days are usually ordered around Sam's naptime and bedtime. Everything in the schedule fits around those two things, come hell or high water, only a little less dramatic. Not to say that I'm not flexible, but if one of those two sleep events gets thrown off, it means lots of fussing (by Sam) and less sleep (for me). Those things together mean that I feel more stress, which means I eat more chocolate, which means I gain more weight, which means I get cranky, etc. So, as you can see, it's a slippery slope.

In addition to ordering things around Sam's sleep schedule, the rest of my time is devoted to laundry, cooking, running errands, occasional personal grooming (i.e. showers) and entertaining an almost 8 month old. I get lots done and I don't sit down much, but the only way you can really tell is that at the end of the day Sam is still alive and Matt has clothes to wear to work for tomorrow.

Basically, I'm pooped at the end of every day, but with not a lot to show for it. After all that energy spent, there are no works of art to be displayed, or film documentaries to wrap up, no music composed. I don't have a book to publish or even a magazine article to send to an editor. No awards are received, no time cards are punched. My portfolio and my resume have not benefited from the things I have accomplished. All in all, what I do each day goes largely unseen and the day after today I will do it all over again.


But, despite the lack of tangible expressions of my spent energy and the lack of an answer to "what's new with you?", I'm glad (and even proud) to be doing this thing called being a stay-at-home mom. No one sees these things I'm doing and Sam won't even remember all these days and weeks and months we've spent together.

But, I will.

I am logging hour after hour of memories of my little boy's life that I can never do over and never get back. And, no one else gets the privilege of doing this for him but me.

So, maybe I'm becoming a little dull at parties and I don't ever have much to update anybody on. OH WELL. I wouldn't trade these quiet, uneventful days with Sam for all the published books and all the jet-setting jobs and all the high fives in the world.

Now that I've written my stay-at-home mom manifesto, it's time to put on dry clothes and maybe even do some more laundry.


  1. Hey! I totally hear ya. And the funny thing to me is...all that energy and time I spent with Jasper the first two years and he probably won't ever remember any of it, won't ever remember life before Baxter and man oh man, that was a lot of time and effort :)

  2. Dara Lynn,
    Thank you for sharing! I needed to read this today! I have been feeling this way a lot lately...and your words gave me the encouragement to remember why I assist with naps, wash, clean and cook all day!
    We are truly blessed Mommies!

  3. I've been thinking long and hard about this and I've finally come up with the answer to the question, "What have you been up to?" Now, this is not your answer. Yet. But it will be in a few months.

    My answer is I've been cutting up food into tiny, bite-size pieces. That's what I've been doing. That's what I do about 10 hours a day. And then I go to sleep.

  4. I loved this. And I'm encouraged.
    Can I link to this in my blog? Text me yes, no or maybe. :)
    Miss you.



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