This lady has her shit together. It's the middle of the night and her baby is awake (not screaming),her hair is done, she's happy (not exhausted), and she even had time to throw on a robe before tending to her little one. What am I missing? Am I doing something wrong? I sure as hell resemble nothing even kind of close to that in the middle of the night. No, I look like some haggard lady that just ran 14 miles and can't see straight. And never once have I felt like singing in the middle of the night. Sorry. I'm just not in the mood at that time of day to sing.
How deceiving can we be? We're all the same. We all have babies, they all cry and poop and keep us up all night. They all fight sleep and wake up 10 seconds after we lay them down, they all puke on us the second we get dressed into our nice work clothes and pull our favorite necklace off and throw beads all over the floor. But why do some of you really have your shit together???
It's deceiving. The commercial, the actress, that quiet little baby, and even your friend that just had her own baby. We are all faking it. Some of us fake it better than others. Don't get me wrong, I do have my days where it really feels like all my ducks are in a row: the baby is happy, the dogs are happy, a healthy home-cooked meal is on the table, dishes and laundry are caught up, the house is picked up, the lawn is mowed....damn, we're pretty good at this whole parenting thing. I like those days. But then there are days when the dogs are happy and the house is clean and the laundry and dishes are done, but that baby is so pissed off for no apparent reason and just brings down the illusion of a perfect home right in front of me. Those days are frustrating. I've cried on those days before, not because I am sad or regretful, but because I feel like I am losing my shit, and I'm just not about that.
Today kind of felt like one of those days. It started off with P diving head first off the couch onto the hardwood floors and me crying because I am such a horrible mother that I let that happen to her. Then, the dog took a huge crap in the middle of the kitchen floor, I ran out of clean bottles, my A/C just isn't working right and I am seriously sweating balls, and to top it off I never got to finish that hot cup of coffee I made myself this morning. I was really looking forward to that cup of coffee, too. P stayed up two hours past her bedtime and was bitching and complaining the whole time about it and dear Lord, I am sick of this. I am over today. I am so fed up with this overly tired and cranky baby. I turned all the lights off in the house. I turned off the TV. I aimed a fan towards the rocking chair to try to find some relief, grabbed that baby, shoved the pacifier in her mouth and played some Israel Kamakawiwo'ole on the good ol' YouTube on my phone and started rocking her slowly, back and forth, brushing back her (three) hairs and quietly shushing. That's when it happened. The clouds parted and there it was....The Pampers Moment.
There I was, peacefully rocking my baby girl to sleep with nothing but a cool breeze, smooth swaying motions, relaxing music and the faint light from the fish tank illuminating behind us. Her eyes closed and she was out within minutes. The world was quiet and we were the only two people in it. I didn't want to let go of this moment even though for the last two hours I wanted nothing more than for her to be asleep and in her crib. But this moment could last forever. Unfortunately, I could only stretch it out for about 40 minutes before my hands fell asleep and I had to go lay her down, but in that 40 minutes an entire days worth of crap was fixed. In that 40 minutes I realized that yes, some days will be a struggle, but you know what? I really do have my shit together. Maybe I don't always feel like I have my shit together, but at the end of the day I really do. Parenting isn't easy, and it certainly isn't filled with Pampers moments, but P went to bed tonight happy and healthy, and I still have enough energy left to lay on my couch and watch TV so I can get up tomorrow and do it all over again, and if that isn't the definition of having your shit together, then I don't know what is.