Friday, September 25, 2015

By the Numbers: Motherhood

I have a strange fetish with keeping track of motherhood in unusual ways. When I'm at small gatherings with other women I know, for example, I'm constantly amused by adding up our collective number of children. I have one good friend with 10, so if she's part of the bunch it can be an astronomically high total. What can I say, I'm a nerd.

Yesterday evening, as I was coming home from the last school open house this year (or back-to-school night, meet-the-teacher, whatever the various titles), it occurred to me to count how many of those I had been to, and how many I had left. That was a new way of measuring the pace of motherhood for me. So today, for the end of the week, I'm going to list all the silly ways I've devised to mentally record my progress through this crazy game of life.

BIRTHDAY CAKES: To date, including for my husband and the kids, I've baked 78 during my marriage. Plus one batch of birthday doughnuts, and one fake mashed potato 'cake'.

SCHOOL OPEN HOUSES: Shall I include both the general ones (where you take your kid to find their classroom, schedule, etc. before school opens) and the curriculum-specific ones (where you sit in your child's seat and hear about the teacher's plans for the year)? I'm not sure I can remember both categories accurately, but I'll make a good guess. I think I've scrambled for street parking, fought through the thronged hallways full of parents, and picked up stacks of flyers I won't likely look at again 55 times.

YEARS IN DIAPERS: Those are past! There were 11 of them, consecutively, between my four kids.

YEARS DRIVING SEMINARY: These are just beginning, but presuming they continue through each of my kids, they will also add up to 11. In case you don't know what 'seminary' entails, it's an early-morning (6 am) religious class that our high-schoolers attend before school each day. My job is to get them there on time, while my husband generally takes care of our carpooling responsibilities in terms of after-class travel to school.

YEARS UNTIL EMPTY NEST: 15 down, an optimistic 10 to go. If modern adolescence stretches out further, as a few books I've checked out recently insist it probably will, then maybe more like 15 still left. But either way, I'm at least halfway! I'm pleased beyond punch.

I don't know if this was interesting to anyone else, but these little mental games help remind me that the often invisible and cumulative work I do adds up to real benefits, and gives me a little bit of confidence that I can make it the rest of the way.

How many birthday cakes have you baked?

No comments:

Post a Comment