I charged into motherhood like a bull in a china shop. I was bold and fierce - and cared little for the opinions of others. I'd poured over all the research and read all of the blogs. I knew exactly what kind of mother I would be - the perfect mother. And then my son was born. For the first time since nine months of pregnancy, I looked up and noticed all of the china on the floor; my shattered expectations tossed this way and that. My son just smirked and pointed at the metaphorical "you break it you bought it" sign and then proceeded to poop his pants.
That's not to say that my life didn't improve upon him being cast in it. It did. The last four months have been the most terrifically joyful months of my life. But he has shaken up things in ways that I could have never imagined. (Nor prepared for.)
I am a collector of projects - any and all. So much so that I fear that at the end of my life, I will be buried with half-finished knitting projects and modge podge. Not for the sentiment, but for lack of a better place to store the bounty of supplies I've accumulated. There are kitchen drawers full of paintbrushes and linen closets stuffed with yarn. Yarn is a linen, right?
The problem with do-it-yourself projects, arises when you cut out the 'do it' part. Upon finding a new project online, I often throw the car in drive and speed to the store to collect what I need. Once arriving home, my motivation level is usually at it's peak. This naturally lasts about half-way through whatever I am working on.
Since becoming a mother, this practice has only compounded: my desire to make has grown, and my free time has shrank. My ability to create has been eclipsed by a better project: the raising of a little boy. A project, that unlike my washi tape collection, won't be ignored.
Patrick Swayze nailed it when he said, "nobody puts baby in a corner." Because I've tried it. And frankly, baby wants to be in my arms: pulling my hair, and sticking his fingers in my yogurt. He wants to be in my lap making funny faces and spitting up on my last good pair of pants. He demands nearly all of my attention, nearly all of the time.
Being a stay at home mom is a do-it-yourself project that requires large levels of doing, with very little to show for it. There are no gold stickers for calming a fussy baby. There's no certificate to frame for being a proficient milk producer. And at the end of a hard days work, my house usually looks less like my pinterest, than when it started.
"What do you do all day?" my well-intentioned, kid-less friends often ask. (Because it's clearly not the dishes...) While a valid question, an answer is usually hard for me to produce.
The measure of a successful day in our house is subtle. So subtle that to the untrained eye it looks like a mess. It's a few more dirty diapers in the garbage, and handful of soiled onsies in the hamper. It's slightly worn pages and a few extra fingerprints on the windows. A good day is full of belly laughs and giggles and restful naps. Most of all, it's a happy baby, who knows that his momma loves him - and will set down her knitting to just enjoy the moment.