January 3, 2008

Covert Parenting

Now, I'm sure we've all seen this commercial. If not, you can now:

Haven't all 'mommies' and maybe even some 'daddies' had this feeling? 'Thankless Job' is only one of the many descriptions that can be applied to being a parent. I've, personally, had many days where my husband comes home from work and looked around like nothing is changed. The laundry baskets are all empty, as all of the clothes have been washed, dried, and put away. The beds have all been stripped, their sheets washed and then put back said beds. In a family of five, those two chores alone can take most of your day.

And then there's the whole 'keeping the kids alive' thing. That, too, takes up a big chunk of one's day. But, if that pair of shoes or those toys are in the same place when he left, I'm sure he gets the feeling that nothing was really done. I can't blame him, really. But, I don't feel like I should necessarily have to explain myself either! Depending on my mood, I'll either just start spouting off the list of things I have actually done that day or I'll just remain silent, not explain myself, and then get mad at him for what he may or may not be thinking.

Oh yeah....we're SO MARRIED!!!

Essentially, this brings us back to the whole 'being a mommy can be a thankless job' thing. In many ways, we are all invisible. Just like the lady in the Suave commercial.

Hearing my husband stampede down our tile hallway this morning like a herd of cattle made me realize that being invisible also has its perks. I've sort of developed the habit of walking quietly down our hallway. I've had enough years of babies sleeping to know that you don't tempt fate. Every minute that the baby sleeps is precious to the tired mommy. When a child should be about to fall asleep and they hear their mother outside their door, that often leads to crying. Also, there are certain advantages to silently observing your older children in their natural habitat. It's nice to get a glimpse of them playing without their knowledge. It's good to know firsthand whether or not 11YO is playing mind games to make 4YO cry, or if she's just being dramatic. Also, nothing disrupts children entertaining themselves like the sudden realization that their mother is nearby. You know, the one who can do stuff for them. That's a pretty hot commodity in our house.

Even my beanpole of an 11YO can sound like a herd of cattle once she has her shoes on in the morning. She usually the first one up in the morning to shower and dress. Until she leaves, our mornings are often filled with the 'clomp clomp clomp' of her tennis shoes on the tile floor as she runs up and down the hall. And because I'm a mom, it only bothers me due to the fact that it might be bothering someone else. I am annoyed at the mere possibilty of anyone else in my family being annoyed.

Does that even make any sense?

Probably not. But I'm sure the fact that I've been known to hold my bladder rather than to creep down the hallway at the wrong time and risk being spotted by a child isn't all that reasonable either.

'StealthMommy' must not be seen or heard.

For now, that works for me. It's nice to fade into the scenery for a bit. Like I said, being invisible has its perks.


wildtomato said...

Heh, when the boy stews over something and that he hasn't verbalized to me, I'll tell him to "use his grown up words" instead of keeping it all inside. He loves that.

SJSFalter+ said...

I feel completely invisible today and a little mute. Its just one of those days.

I do agree it has its benefits but today not so much.

I can completely relate to the irritation of noise from another family member, I am so worried that the little one will wake up and yet he sleeps just fine. Neither S or J notice the noise they make while doing just about everything.

REENblack said...

Great post, and I for sure can relate! It is really sad that so many of us feel like this all the time, yet so few speak out and admit it!

I hope you are able to take care of YOU sometimes too!!! Very important to thank yourself if no one else is doing it!!!