I’ve complained about this before, I know. I don’t know why I’m expecting it to suddenly get easier, for whole chunks of time to materialize from nowhere, an extra two or three hours smoothed into every day. Preferably into the kinks caused by those fast flowing hours between seven am and ten am, or the quieter and tougher but equally slippery minutes that leap across one anther as eight pm becomes midnight.
Not too long ago, I happened to be chatting with a few other bloggers who I love and admire when I made some half-joke about having my laptop set up in the middle of the kitchen, writing and editing and emailing with half my mind…. while the other half says,“Hold on kids, I’ll be with you in one second…”
I’m sure I expected laughter and concurrence. And there was laughter, polite laughter, and a decidedly polite and respectable pause in the conversation which I’m sure was to alleviate the guilt they suspected was about to fall my way. They agreed that this had, once, been their habit. However, since they’d managed some boundaries, some separation between their work from and their families- mostly by getting themselves some office space and some designated work time- they were more organized and everyone was happier.
Ugh. Excuse me while I mourn the mother I think I could have been, once upon a time.
I spend less and less time wondering how things might have been, picturing what would have been going on had Tony still been alive. I guess it’s just that the wonderment is now doused, as opposed to tinged, with shades of regret and remorse. Tainted with grieving for what could have been, for what my children should had. For how much ‘better’ I would be doing all this kid wrangling right now, ‘if only…’
Occasionally, when I’m being honest, and not quite as hard on myself as I usually am; I know that I’m either selling myself short in reverence to the job I’m doing raising my kids in the After- that is, the right now; or I’m over estimating how good at this at this I used to be.
The Sliding Doors Lori, the one living that alternate reality… in my head, she’s got it so much more together than she ever had it in Real Life. She’s much more secure and even tempered and confident than the Real Life Me will ever be.
I comfort myself with the knowledge (excuse?) that even when I was parenting as part of a twosome, things would still be disorganized and ramshackle. My kids would still scream at one another, and I am them. I would still sleep in, and we would still run late.
And would be just fine… mainly because there would be another person there, someone else to pick up my slack when I stumbled.
This way, it’s just tripping and falling, all bloody knees and humiliation, into the snares and potholes of parenting, with my children watching on.