Monday, July 21, 2008

Can I use the Bathroom Alone?

I found myself asking this question of my children last night. It reminded me of an essay I wrote for a college English class I took about 4 years ago. I dug it up and thought I'd share it with you.



Jack of All Trades, Better Known as Mom

I like to think of myself as a person - someone with their own rights and a little privacy. Unfortunately for me, life does not turn out the way most of us plan. For example, I haven’t
gone to the bathroom alone in 6 years. Little interruptions to my plans have steered me away from being just a person and have guided me to what I am now, which is a Jack of All Trades.

My first unplanned event was my son. For nine months I was a baby-maker. Apparently a very good one, as I made a very strong, healthy, and heavy baby who weighed in at 18 pounds by 2 ½ months of age. For the next nine months, I was a combo feeding machine (in the literal sense, as in breasts)/radio/maid. I fed my child non-stop, learned how to sing every song in the Barney Library by heart and on command, and did more laundry than I thought possible for such a small person to accumulate in such a short time.

As my baby grew, so did my repertoire of jobs. I became a doctor and a nurse, diagnosing ailments I didn’t know existed and treating them with remedies only a mother’s mother could teach you. During my son’s toddler years I way a toy repairman, yielding my screwdriver whenever necessary to replace the batteries in poor worn out Pooh’s back so he could sing and dance once again.

Divorced and remarried several years later (more interruptions), I earned the coveted title of tutor. I had married myself into school age children who these days get as much homework in a single night at elementary school as I remember getting in a whole week of secondary school. Not only that, but they teach this “New Math” stuff these days that is a far cry from learning the correlation between the 20’s family and the 30’s family. Not only was I a tutor, but I needed one as well.

These days I struggle to keep up with the nagging titles I take on everyday. I am still a maid, although I don’t turn down beds. I have become a chef, which I learned is a short-order cook who has had enough and now plans meals well in advance, take it or leave it. Five days a week (and some weekends) I am a chauffer, carting my kids to school, birthday parties, and the like. Still a doctor and nurse I have been puked on, peed on, bleed on, and pooped on for the past 6 years, and one of my kids is almost to high school.

Would I trade in these professions to live a single day as a regular, privacy loving person? Sure. Would it be nice to not have to say “Mommy is pooping!” to get the bathroom to myself occasionally? Yes, it would. But where would I be without my family? What would I have in life without having learned it from them? There are who I am. I feel more blessed than anything that instead of having to say, “I’m a person” I can say, “I’m a Mom”, and be truly happy for it.

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