Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Generation Gap or Gasp?

Lately, as I've bemoaned my "mommy-only" existence through statues on FB, I've been bombarded by comments from my extended family members:

"Oh, boo hoo... imagine how your grandmother did it way back when with 12 children and no car!"
"Maybe you should call Grammie and ask how she did it!"

Well, while I didn't call the almost-90-year-old darling, those comments did make me reign in my status horns and rethink what I was saying on there.

For the past 11 months I've been a stay at home mom to a 4 year old and a now 11 month old. My days have consisted of little sleep, lots of wiped rear ends, tonnes of messes, lots of futile cleaning missions, and sadly... a mommy-only existence. Somewhere in there, I took minor pauses to finish two Masters of Education courses (by the seat of my pants, mostly) and make monthly visits to the chiropractor to try to correct my poor misaligned body due to carrying large babies in my belly (oh... thanks to hubby's genetic contribution for that!). Other than the aforementioned "breaks", I was in full-on mommy-mode 24/7. I grocery shopped, Christmas shopped, bunny-hopped (not really, but it rhymes), cooked and cleaned, went to skating, hockey games and must-do family functions with two kids in tow. It wasn't easy, nor always enjoyable. All the while, hubby was seriously M.I.A. due to work and renovations at our house. (Note to self: never schedule renovations when on mat leave again!)

So, basically, I was/am frustrated, cranky, wallowing in self-pity, eating from drive thrus during the day while the kiddies napped in the back seat (ah, peace! chomp chomp).

So, how did my grandmother do it? How did hubby's mother do it with four children (bing! bang! boom!, one right after the other) and no driver's license, a prisoner in her own home in a very rural area?

Hubby and I discussed this the other day. We have no idea how they did it. Somewhere between their generations and our's the idea of "mommy" has changed, we think. Hubby suggested that back then maybe they just "didn't give a shit"? They let the kids make messes, cry, scream, fight and simply did without the playtime with mom or the skating and swimming lessons. I, personally, think, at least in my grandmother's case, that after about 4 children they just somehow start to look after and take care of one another. Maybe?

So, will my children be better off than hubby, or my mother, or me? Am I going about this all wrong? Should I simply keep pumping out children (Hold'er! Can't even believe I thought of that) and hope they fend for themselves or should I not give a shit?

I dunno... my house is still in a permanent state of disorder, I'm in desperate need of a vacation, but I think I'm doing something right... my kiddies are pretty happy... I think.

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Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post! ~Dawn