Monday, October 17, 2011

Thinking for Two

I was in the shower this morning when I grabbed the shampoo, popped the top open, and turned the bottle upside down. As a stream of orange gel flowed into my palm, I had a sudden thought, "Wait. Did I already wash my hair?" I seriously couldn't remember. I decided better twice than not at all and I proceeded to lather up anyway. "How does that even happen?" I wondered as I shook my head at my own forgetfulness. I answered my own question in my mind, "Don't even act surprised. You do stuff like this all the time." 

I can only imagine where she gets it.
Ok, I'll be honest. I do stuff like that all the time. I drive away with my coffee cup on top of my car. I spend 10 minutes looking for my sunglasses and then realize they're on top of my head. I open the microwave and find the lunch that I heated up 3 hours ago and forgot to eat. I'm prone to those kinds of mental mishaps partly because I'm always rushing around anyway and because of the ever-so-common Frazzled Mom Syndrome, but I think there's also another reason. It's because I'm constantly thinking for two.

Thinking for two. It's like eating for two except that (1) thinking for two lasts much longer than nine months and (2) eating for two is fun and thinking for two is exhausting. When I got pregnant, I was prepared to eat for two. I was even kind of excited about it. "This one's for the baby," I would say as I grabbed a second cookie (and often a third). It's fun because it only lasts nine months and then you go back to eating for yourself and your baby eats for herself. Yeah, not so much with the thinking. It's by far the most exhausting part of motherhood (including midnight feedings), and I can only imagine how it's possible that there are so many mothers out there thinking for three or five or seven.

With two bodies to bathe and dress, two sets of teeth to brush, two mouths to feed, and two lives to manage, it seems like I never get a break from thinking about, planning for, and doing everything... twice. I keep track of her meals, naps, baths, and every other daily routine. When I say I need a break from Reese, that's the part I need to get away from most. Unfortunately, it's the part I rarely escape. "Hey, can you feed her some lunch?" I ask Matt sometimes on the weekends. "Sure," he answers, "What's she having?"

Okay, so I sometimes get a break from sitting there while she eats, but I almost never get a break from thinking about her lunch, knowing what time she should eat it, and deciding what she'll have. I also never get a break from remembering to keep the house clear of all possible hazards or from worrying about her when I'm not there or from hoping that I'm making the right choices for her. When I really think about how mentally demanding it is to be a mom, it's no wonder why I sometimes end up washing my hair twice.

Thinking for two is the same as being pregnant and reaching for an extra snack or ordering a larger portion. You give yourself a break because you're eating for two, right? So the next time you're looking for the car keys that are in your pocket or you accidentally leave the refrigerator door open or you're standing in the shower trying to remember if you already washed your hair, just remember that you're not dumb or crazy. Just laugh it off and give yourself a break and say, "Hey, what do you expect? I'm thinking for two."

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to tell you that I love reading your blog!
    My grandma is actually friends with your grandma and she shared your blog with me. I have an almost 13 month old son so I can really relate to your posts! You are a great writer!!