There’s a woman out there who’s doing it all. Cleaning toilets, dusting banister railings, Swiffering floors, doing dishes. There’s a woman who’s making quality time for her husband, talking about politics, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus-“ type issues, maybe shaving his face as an act of devotion, and making time to look hot for those special nights. That same woman is feeding and burping an infant, changing pissy diapers, sucking semi-solid boogers out of her nose, holding her close, singing her songs, trying to make sense of her 4-month old blabberings of what she thinks is a language that everyone should be able to understand.
There’s a woman who’s up at 5:00 a.m., rushing to be the first person at work so she stands out among the “do-the-absolute-minimum-and-get-paid-for-it” employees, doing a kick-ass job writing Marketing copy and thinking up what could be the next best website since Pinterest. Mind you, this is all while providing donuts and breakfast tacos, and kissing her boss’ behind like there’s no tomorrow. And in this woman’s life, there’s still time for cardio, yoga, showers, bowel movements and the mother of all things holy—REM sleep.
By God, I wish this woman was me.
Truth be told, I couldn’t in my right mind get all of these things accomplished and still maintain some level of sanity. Being Mrs. Superwoman is simply not in my DNA. To be a black, married, and a working mother of a 4-month old who’s got to handle bills, job that’s demanding as all hell, a husband, a house, and whatever else…is to be tired ALL the time. But I gather up all the strength and love my body can muster to finish what I start and to make sense of things.
Luckily, I’ve gotten help along the way. I’m really glad, and outright grateful that I’ve had some important resources to help me keep total disasters at bay. BabyCenter is a BIG one:
The site provides a week-by-week guide of what to expect from your baby when you feel completely clueless about mothering (or fathering!).
And if you’re married or in a serious relationship, you can get some helpful tips to keep your love life interesting from Black and Married with Kids, no matter what your background is:
Tips on how to maintain financial, emotional, and physical health are covered in these resources. I think that anyone who’s had experience with so called, family life, could benefit from the day-to-day blogs, articles, and social media status updates as they attempt to arm you from the one thing that might catch you off guard. In my case, they’ve been a Godsend.
For the better part of a year, people have warned me against getting swallowed up by others’ needs, and to take some time often to take care of myself. I can’t say it always happens, but I try. I subscribe to Essence Magazine for tips and tricks on how to keep it all together—on the inside, and out. The Essence website mirrors many of the articles found in the magazine.
In the beginning of all this, I couldn’t wrap my head around why anyone would actually want to take on this crazy, upside-down type of life. I mean, who in their right mind would want to be up at 3 a.m. just to be back up at 5 to go to work? And the crying! Why can’t babies just sleep through the night like normal people? And why can’t a simple trip to Target not involve prepping a bag of bottles, diapers, a change of clothes, Binkies….? Oh, and let’s not forget about the demands of marriage—making time for actual adult conversation and the like.
But I get it. When I had my daughter, something magically clicked in my brain that caused me to actually want to embrace these things. The milk bottles? They’ll keep my baby full and happy. The diapers? Who wants to sit in their own shit? And the change of clothes? Hey, if I were drooling on myself, I’d want my mom to have an extra shirt handy too.
Although I may not get to accomplish everything like Mrs. Superwoman, I’m absolutely over the moon when I get to see my husband and baby smile. How wonderful it is to see the little one take a deep, solid breath of pure oxygen after I manage to clear her nasal passages? And what about that extra-long chest-to-chest hug from the hubby when I take the time to cook him a chicken parm dinner, set with garlic bread and a nice salad…with olives. And although rare, I get the warm and fuzzies when my boss commends me for a job well done.
Mrs. Superwoman does all this and more for a reason. And although I doubt I’ll ever reach heroine status, the smiles I get, the love that surrounds me keeps me going. Sleep is still the holy grail though. By God, I do miss dreaming.