Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Finding the Joy in Motherhood When The Joy Takes a Vacation


Morning Readers,

This weekend, I received a disturbing memo. It read thusly:

Dear Paige,

I've decided to take the weekend off. Possibly the whole next week off. Then again, you're familiar with how calling into work one day can turn into a reassessment of whether one should be employed at all. I might not come back. Might start a band. I hope you'll get along ok without me.

Sincerely,

The Joy of Motherhood

Shocked and a bit appalled my old friend didn't even have the decency to mention any eligible band names before he bailed, I stared at the laptop and filled five minutes void by feeling completely abandoned. I also felt uncomfortable because five minutes is a long time to sit in a chair with no cushion. (Note to self: When receiving news of complete failure at one's profession, try to seek out nearest La-Z-Boy recliner.)

How had it happened? Four years in, wasn't I supposed to be running through fields of wildflowers, arms linked with the children, all of them donning lederhosen made of paisley drapes?  Four years after college, someone had given me a degree. Four years after giving birth, someone had poured milk down the heat vent.

Nope, the joy had bailed. Instead, I'd spent two days screaming my head off and trying to figure out why the hell anyone would want to dip their spoon in the toilet before they ate off it. I'd been spit at twice. The baby, in what I took to be some sort of 80's hommage, had kicked me harder than Johnny from The Karate Kid while I was changing his diaper.

Really, when I thought about it, it'd been days since some type of high point had occurred. I couldn't sell the kids, but could I realize an old dream of mine and become a tightrope walker for Barnum and Bailey? Frantically, I messaged my old companion.

Subject: Desperate
Dear Joy of Motherhood,

Please come back.

Paige

Re: Desperate

Dear Paige,

I'm still on vacation, but if you look hard enough, you'll find me.

Regards,

Joy

Re: Desperate

Dear Joy,

This isn't the f***ing Neverending Story.

P.S. Sorry for the language.

Paige

Truth is, Joy and I do this dance pretty often. He has a horrible habit of leaving for days at a time, sometimes to the point I think he's decided to put down permanent roots elsewhere. No one tells you about that guy. He's allusive and doesn't deal in wildflowers or singing Kumbaya. He doesn't make a habit of hiding at the bottom of laundry piles or in dregs of the garbage disposal, where you accidentally dropped one of the good spoons.

But.

When everything's quiet, your gin glass is full, and the kids are in bed, a picture on the table catches your eye. It's you rendered in the crudest of snapped-in-half crayon drawings. So you nod and whisper, "Welcome back."

Until Next Time, Readers!




14 comments:

  1. You are so right, for me it's when my kiddo stops and looks me in my eyes and says, "I love you mama." Plus he gives me some funny moments to talk about with my husband. I enjoy visiting your blog during naptime!

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    1. The "I love you, Momma." gets extra points. Those days do kind of want to make me sing from the mountaintops. Thank you for spending most valuable naptime on my humble blog. I'm seriously honored...:)

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  2. Oh man, I seriously neeeeeeded to read this today, thank you!!I have not actually succeeded in finding it again today, but I am hopeful that the day's end will bring some trace of it back. Here's hoping!

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    1. Oh man, it's gone for days upon days sometimes, but it always comes back. Your posts have picked me up on many of my "Joy vacation" days. Keep up the great work!

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  3. There is no joy at this point. The joy will occur when your oldest daughter gets pregnant, goes through labor, and then goes through exactly what you are experiencing.

    Trust me. I am wiser and older than you. Menopause is much worse.

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    1. I trust you. The day I get grandbabies, help take care of them all day, and then get to hand them back over for a full night's sleep? Awesomeness.

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  4. There needs to be a band The Joy of Motherhood. I can't be in it, as I do not sing in public, but I'd be a roadie.

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    1. Hahaha.. I'd have to be a roadie too. No one wants to hear this lady belt it out.

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  5. "Hi, so you are Holly's, my workmate, niece?"
    "That's me."
    "What do you do for a living?"
    "I'm bookkeeper for a circus."
    "Really? How did you get a job like that?"
    "Oh, I already worked there. I was the girl who got shot out of a cannon."
    "You're kidding, right?"
    "No, honest, our act's finale was me getting shot out of a cannon."
    "Did that hurt?"
    "No, not if you did it right, and the net held up."
    "Why did you quit doing that?"
    "I got pregnant ... and they made me quit.

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    1. Well, apparently we now know where the circus draws its line. LOL I pretty much love that story. And yes, some days I'd rather be shot out of a cannon than clean up another mess, but I'm gonna keep plodding along...:)

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  6. After the day I had yesterday, this was exactly what I needed to read! It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way from time to time!

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    1. You are not alone, mam! It feels like it sometimes, but you're doing good work. On your worst days, just know that I and others like me are staring at marker on the walls and wondering, "Were those washable I bought last week?"

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  7. Preach, Paige. Preach. When I first pulled up this post and saw the luggage, I was all, "That lucky devil done up and went on vacay!" Despite the instant pang of jealousy, I stuck around and read. I'm so glad I did. You may get tired of hearing me say this, but, boy, you are my people. Is it bad that I often get a resurgence of energy at 7:58 p.m....only because I know I'll be putting the kids to bed at 8? Is it bad of me that I consider 8pm the best time of the day? This shit is hard, Paige. It's hard f*ing work. But we are doing the best we can.

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    1. Hahahahahaha... A vacation. You. Are. The. Sweetest. I'm working towards a teeny, tiny vacay in June, but that is a loooong way off. I too get the new energy after bedtime. Strange how that happens, huh? It's nature's way of saying, "Now that you've tucked them in bed, go drink wine and read or watch TV or silently stare into space." We're doing a great job...;) Hang tough, lady!

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