Parenting is not for sissies. Even on my bravest days, I feel inadequate for the job. So much to do, so little of me to go around.
It’s time for technology to step up and give parents a break. I’m not asking for a robot to cook breakfast and fold laundry. My needs are much simpler.
How about seven small inventions to make my job easier?
- Crayons that color only in coloring books
- Toilet paper that doesn’t unroll until legitimately needed
- Cereal boxes that don’t tip over
- Faucets that recognize fingerprints and turn on or off as programmed
- Toilet lids that lower and lock when anyone untrained trots into sight
- Diapers that never leak
- Toys that climb back in the toy box after being abandoned for ten minutes
Yes, he’s seventeen months old.
How’d you guess?
You don’t have to look hard to find us, because we have boldly staked claims in our corner of the internet. We are stay-at-home moms who write about the life-changing task of motherhood.
We all have something to say and a sympathetic audience, so why not say it? Mothering can consume us, and it’s such a relief to reach out and connect with others in similar shoes. Ah, what comfort—we are not alone. And if we are able to help someone weather a rough patch or solve a problem with our words, so much the better.
But writing about motherhood contains an internal and inescapable irony. I see it in my own words about campfire memories and wildflower bouquets, when I write about spending time with my family, about seeing my children before they are grown and gone.
How did I write those words? I sat down at the computer and said “just wait, sweetie” and pecked at the keyboard and served hot dogs for supper.
To write about motherhood I must abandon the duties of which I write. I ignore the sticky floor and the stickier kitchen counter so I can pen missives about having proper priorities. I put off cleaning the outgrown clothes out of drawers so I can write about that day the snake crawled under my refrigerator.
This abandonment is not exclusive to writing: Sewing, scrapbooking, and cake decorating can demand equal commitment and time. But writing trips me up the most.
I wrestle with this contradiction, my responsibilities on one hand, the words on the other, and me caught in the middle. Or is it my children caught in the middle?
I hope not. I pray not.
Because that would be the greatest irony: to neglect my children so that I can write about motherhood.