A working mother’s New Year’s resolutions
When I thought about what my resolution would be this year besides losing weight — which has been my resolution every year since 1996 — I came up blank. Considering I’m pretty much perfect (my stomach looking like a 15-pound ball of melted wax not withstanding) this would make sense. But then I realized that I have a child, a wonderful, good-natured 19-month-old son named Sam. One who could probably benefit from me making resolutions about being a working mom (one of his first words was “coffee,” thanks to the omnipresent mug in my hand and comatose manner until I have him press the button on the Keurig). So I thought about them and what I could do better in 2014. Turns out, could is different than can.
1. Go to the gym. I know I prefaced this post saying it would be about Sam and how I could make his life better in the new year, but let’s get back to me for a second. The gym. I never thought I would long for the ability to go the gym as much as I do now that I will never get to go. People always say how your life will change when you have a kid. Which is true! But what they should do is just hold you squarely by the shoulders and say, “You will never get to go the gym or movies ever again.”
The movies I can kind of live without but it would be awesome to get an hour — just an hour! — to watch Sally Jessy Raphael while on the elliptical. (She is still on the air, right? It’s really been a while.) But when you have a job and a kid, all of your energy goes to those two things — sorry husband, sorry dog, sorry weak abdominal muscles. When I’m at my job, I work through lunch so I can get out at a decent time so that I can spend one hour with my kid before he goes to bed. When I’m with my kid in the morning, I spend every spare second with him before I have to go to work. Basically, gym time means cutting into work or baby time, and that isn’t time I can give up.
2. Not look at my phone so much when I’m with my kid. This should be easy — just do what all the parenting blogs say and put your phone away when you are with your kid! But, I’m sorry, that is incredibly difficult. Since I’ve cut down on my hours at work (see above about putting adorable kid to sleep so he actually knows my face), I feel guilty if I’m not accessible via e-mail while my childless co-workers toil away at their desks. So then I check it when I’m with him while he paws at my leg and begs to see Elmo, which is an app I stupidly put on my phone in which you can kind of FaceTime with Elmo. It blows his mind. If I could go back to last year this time, my resolution would be “Do not put Elmo Calls on your cellphone.”
3. Write more. In the time I’ve been writing this, I’ve had to go get the kiddo from his nanny share, and now he is standing here pawing at the kesSEr #WRSELKhdWaslk gESTR25-93qp SDKfn Aret agdS dO. Sorry, that should say keyboard. (I’ve now had to give him my phone so he could play Elmo Calls so I have five minutes to write this.) But yes, write more! I will! Hopefully on this blog! Hopefully, hopefully. Big dreams people. Big dreams.
4. Not let my son look at apps on my phone. Ha! Hahahahahahahahaha. If I Googled “educational apps” and only put those on my iPhone, that is totally fine, right? Please tell me it is fine.
5. Have Sam start learning a different language. When I was pregnant, I had huge ideas about this kid. Huge! I know I said I was perfect when I started this post, but here is yet another flaw that I will share with you: I don’t know a language other than English. This bums me out. I mean, I tried. But it didn’t happen. From what I’ve read (don’t quote me on this as I am no expert and hell if I’m Googling it — Elmo is running out of things to say) there is a special part of your brain that closes up as you get older that makes learning new languages harder. You gotta tap into that brain space at an early age. (How I haven’t been tapped to run Scientific American by now, I have no idea.) I really expected Sam would be speaking a second language by now but that is not going to happen. I’ve taught him how to say “thank you” in English when I hand him things and that pretty much makes me feel I’m beating the Chinese at this point.
6. Figure out how old Sam actually is. It seems so simple: just add up the months he’s been on this Earth. But, I’m sorry, everyone else on this planet just gives their age in years, not months. Why do toddlers have to be different? Why can’t I just say, “Oh, a year and some change” without everyone looking at me like I’m a bad mother? I want to scream, “I work! I’m a mother! I have a dog that hasn’t been outside to pee in 19 hours! I’m exhausted! I feel badly about my abs! Don’t make me add shit up in my head over 12!” That being said, I just checked in with my husband and he confirmed my suspicions that Sam is 19 months. Whew.
7. Respond to e-vites. Surprisingly, I still get invited to things. I don’t know why as I look terrible and all I do is talk about my kid (in English). But ye olde emails still pop up and I still get invited out. And I do this thing where I stare at the invite and really think my husband and I will be able to go. So I don’t respond in the negative or the positive. I’m frozen in place. As I hold out this weird hope that someone (who, I do not know, as this has never happened) will swoop in on the day of said fun event and say, “Hey! Do you want to go to that party? Don’t worry about the fact you can’t afford a babysitter — I’ll watch him.” And then I’ll be like, “Oh no! But we can’t! I said we couldn’t go!” And then our theoretical magical night out will be ruined. So I don’t respond. And that is annoying for everyone, especially the e-vite people who constantly send me “You REALLY need to RSVP to this event, lady” emails and I’m like, “I know, e-vite people, but I’m still holding out hope! Don’t make me say no when there is a slim possibility we can actually go. Don’t make me ruin my dreams!”
8. Spend some time not talking to email robots. See above.
9. Not put Mountain Dew in his bottle. Just kidding, everyone! I don’t put Mountain Dew in his bottle. I’m far from a parenting expert but if you are putting Mountain Dew in your kid’s bottle, you really shouldn’t. And if you aren’t, maybe you don’t need to feel badly about your lack of resolutions? My son doesn’t speak two languages at 19 months and maybe I let him look at apps on my cellphone, and maybe I’m a good 10 pounds overweight, but his teeth aren’t rotting out of his head. So let’s call it a draw, shall we?