Disclaimer: I already lamented the following details to Jim, and he was supportive and suggestive of ways to remedy the situation(s). I just wanted to say that in advance so that he doesn't come out looking like the proverbial "bad guy" in this post. I don't want anyone to think badly of my fantastic husband!
Friday afternoon, I was supposed to be heading to Kroger to pick up hamburgers and all the fixings for dinner. Instead, I ended up hanging out on the sidewalk with some neighbor mommies, watching our little ones pick dandelions. It was a postcard-like moment, and I can tell you that, in the moment, I thought "I'm so glad I don't have to miss this."
Then, one of the neighbor daddies came over to ask me if Jim played cornhole. (You guys know what cornhole is, right?) He does. Actually, we both do. Anyway, apparently, a whole bunch of the families in our subdivision get together on the weekends to have bonfires and play cornhole. How fun, right?
Right. Fun, if you can actually, you know, enjoy the fire and play cornhole. Which you can't, if you are "entertaining" (read: chasing after, trying to bribe, keeping occupied) your toddler. Which is what I was doing Friday night.
Seth was being great. Really. He wasn't getting into anything, just getting in the way of the game. I think he knew it was past his bedtime, and he was relishing being awake and being outside (his favorite thing EVER). But after about 15 minutes of my apologizing to the beanbag-tossers as Seth stood in the middle of the gaming area yelling "go! go!" and throwing his arms up in the air, touchdown style, I knew he needed to go home. And, well, despite my mediocre parenting (ahem, *cough, cough* Sara and Kendra, you'll get that), I'm just not comfortable sending Seth home alone to put himself to bed. So, we both (both being Seth and I, not Jim and I) needed to leave the party.
And I was bummed.
It was, truly, the first time in the 16 months since Seth joined our family that I felt limited by my role as a mother. Jim and I were so proud of ourselves for incorporating Seth into our life, versus letting his addition dictate it. But this practice was a LOT easier when he was an infant. A toddler...well, it's just harder, if not, in certain instances, impossible to do.
So, I went home with Seth, bathed him, rocked him, prayed over him, and placed him in bed.
And then I sat in the living room and contemplated how far of a range our baby monitor had. Because I was really jealous that Jim got to stay and play while I had to come home and be domestic.
And there you have it.
Really. That's it.
The second half of this post is NOT about the grand revelation I had that night about my calling as a mom, or the graciousness I started to feel towards the dads who, you know, worked hard all week and just wanted to unwind with a cold drink and some friendly competition. Nope. No revelation. No grace. Just a little pity party for the mommy who wanted to just be a girl at a bonfire, too. Of course, it didn't help, at the time, that I knew Jim was also going to be gone for 6 hours on Sunday playing golf, while I was, you know, being domestic.
But, guess what? Today, I'm over it. (At least until next weekend. ;) I'm kidding.)
But seriously, I'm over it. I woke up Saturday with some perspective. After all, I'm the one going to Florida for vacation while Jim gets to go to work. I'm the one who gets to stand out on the sidewalk in the middle of the day and get dandelion fuzz blown on me. I'm the one who gets to hear the first "please" after weeks of coaching. I'm the one who gets to hold one son on my chest while another kicks him from within my womb. (And although that one hurts me and confuses Seth, you have to admit, it's pretty darn cool!)
So I guess the mommy doesn't get the short end of the stick after all.
And truth be told, I'm not really all that great at cornhole anyways.