Friday, February 28, 2014
I think about motherhood pretty much all day, every day, because that's what I do all day, every day. Yesterday, I was considering the fact that children really are sociopaths. They are the most important person in their universe, the only person in their universe, really.
In church, you learn that you should be like a little child, but this makes no sense- children are the greediest, meanest, least sensitive, little megalomaniacs out there.
My day sounds like this:
except times 4 and all day long.
One of my children made their bed yesterday without being asked and I was shocked. SHOCKED. This particular child has only ever made their bed without multiple requests, threats, taking away of marbles (we use marbles as a sort of point system, which they can earn and then "spend" on privileges like frozen yogurt and stuff), and being locked in their room until it is made. It made me realize that my kids rarely do anything positive on their own. They are programmed to be little chaos machines and fight tooth and nail when you try to get them to do anything non-destructive.
So, why did I have four kids?
It doesn't make sense. I hate staying home all day. I get resentful over the fact that I really can't work because paying for child care for 4 kids is pretty much equal to what I make. I still could go, because I'd be getting out of the house and building my career, but it's a lot of work to balance all that child care and carpooling and who is going to make Lillian practice the piano? As Liz Lemon says, "Murphy Brown LIED to us!" For me personally, I can't have it all. So, I grudgingly accept that this is the bed I made and now I'm sleeping in it, but I hate it.
So, I've come up with some theories about why I had so many kids.
1. There are 7 kids in my family and I LOVE having so many siblings. I loved it growing up, and I love it now that I'm an adult. I miss my brothers and sisters dearly and wish wish wish I lived closer to them. I wanted to recreate that for my kids, and I hope that they grow up and are friends like us. And I need at least one of them to take care of me when I'm old.
2. They do satisfy a biological need. There is something deep down inside of me that gets immense pleasure from my children. Deep inside. Watching them sleep, you forget every crappy thing they did during the day, and the fact that you called your mother when you were on the verge of losing it and cried "I SWEAR THEY'RE DOING IT ON PURPOSE," and the fact that you swore you were done after that last kid and you whisper, "I want more kids."
2.1 I read in Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies that baby smiles are evolutionarily engineered to get us to fall in love with our babies, and I tell you- it works.
3. I can't discount the social pressure of being Mormon. Formally, there is nothing specifically taught about how many children you should have, just that you should have some because families are important. Very important. But, culturally, big families are the norm. I do not regret marrying young and having Lillian at a young age, but that really wouldn't have happened if I wasn't Mormon where everyone marries young and has babies at a young age. If I wasn't Mormon, I can't say for sure that I'd have 4 kids.
4. For all their sociopathic tendencies, they really are hilarious. They say funny stuff and their emotions are so real and pure. There is no feeling like seeing them scream with pure joy when they unwrap that perfect gift on Christmas morning.
So for all the times when I despise staying at home, I remind myself that this too shall pass, and one day, I'll be surrounded by my warm, caring, happy, well-adjusted, loving children and grandchildren. Right? RIGHT?