tales from a stay-at-home mom of four boys

The physics of parenting

I’ve often thought I was losing my mind. I’d pick something up, bring it into a room or put it somewhere, then I’d go back a few minutes later and would have no idea where it was. I thought it was a sign of getting old or part of “mommy brain”; me being forgetful. Today I realized that it isn’t any of that at all. Instead, I’ve come to realize that it is in fact, my kids working against me.

It seriously takes me an hour to get my kids out the door for an outing (see The Worst Part of My Day). My dad didn’t believe me until he came over the other day with my mom to help me finish getting the boys ready to get out the door for a tee ball game. He couldn’t believe the struggle. Today, as I again trying to get out the door for a tee ball game with my mother’s help, when I realized part of the problem. It isn’t just my four year old’s constant defiance or my two year old’s copycat tendencies in which he copies his older brother’s bad behavior, or even the babies constant need to be held whenever I’m attempting to get stuff done; my biggest problem is my children work in cahoots against me in a counter productive manner. In other words, for every action I take, my children take an equal and opposite action against what I’ve just done. That means the object I just carried into a room and very purposefully placed somewhere to get us a step closer to being ready, they then go and take from that place, while the other distracts me, and place it somewhere where I will not find it until a much later time. Every time I clean something or put something away, they will then mess up that clean area or pull out the object I just put away. Just last night I placed a fresh glass of water on the table, turned around to grab the boys’ plates with dinner already on them, and by the time I turned back around, they had their hands in my glass and half the water spilt across the table. It is a never ending and exhausting cycle.

So maybe there is such a thing as “mommy brain”, but it isn’t what we think. It isn’t some mental phenomenon that occurs the moment a woman becomes a mom. Maybe we don’t really get forgetful with age. Maybe the real reason we lose our minds has less to do with us and more to do with them. Maybe it is just that after all the years of our children working against us and making sure that every action they take is counterproductive to every action we take, our spirit becomes crushed and our minds give up, and we resign ourselves to just be lost. I know I’ve definitely felt that way this tee ball season, I just hope mornings before camp go more smoothly.


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