It's easy to list out and explain the typical exhaustions of any mommy.
... cooking for a toddler, then scraping it all into the trash two bites later
... running loads of laundry all day but avoiding the tedious folding/putting away for weeks at a time
... telling your child No when all you really want to do is hand him everything in the entire world that would spark even the littlest smile -- or at least stop the cries.
But when I think of being actually, physically and mentally worn out, I don't think of my life with Carter at all. Because taking care of him is a type of exhaustion I enjoy, kinda like exercise. It's tough work, but all in all, it's so satisfying. And, if I don't want to, I don't always have to tell him No or get all the laundry folded. That's the beauty of being home.
What really wears me out? What gets me flustered, uncomfortable, tired and grumpy?
Traveling. I hate it.
Since my husband and I are originally from different states, we've always traveled multiple times a year up and down the east coast to visit our families for holidays.
A huge part of growing up for me happened in my early twenties, when I sat in the car for seven to eleven hour stretches, thinking about the purpose of this hassle and then realizing the importance of seeing and just being around family. I went on to further realize the true meaning of these trips after I had my own baby and experienced the obsessive love a parent feels for her child. I hope Carter will travel, just to be with me, some day.
There are people who aspire to travel and see the world. Retirees use travel as a form of relaxation. Me? I don't get it. Give me my safe, clean house, a computer and a good book - that's a vacation.
Travel has its purpose for me, and that's why I do it. (If you could see the tears in my dad's eyes when I walk through his door, you'd do it, too.)
But man, do I dread all that comes with it.
What part of stuffing yourself into a car cluttered with drinks, gums, suitcases, napkins, CDs and DVD players blasting Yo Gabba Gabba is relaxing? Try as I may, whatever new, no-fail organization system I have plotted flies out the window and splats onto another car's windshield.
Then there are the parts where nothing you give the baby will stop the crying, and you have to pull over STAT before his head explodes. Those are the best parts.
And we actually make stops at gas stations and pay money to keep going with this madness?
Upon arrival to our destination, I guzzle water against my tremendous awayfromhomeness thirst; I plead with Carter to just give the pack n' play a try; I lay awake for hours because I'm not used to the bed. The next morning my makeup doesn't go on quite right. My hair's flat, my body aches. Did I mention I'm still thirsty? Schedules are off. No idea which bag has the wipes, and the confused look on the baby's face isn't because we're not home. He just pooped.
This summer we're flying to France for a week for my brother-in-law's wedding. I know the trip will be gorgeous, I've never been to Europe. One of my top priorities is to give my camera a workout like it's never seen.
We're leaving Carter with my mom; it will be the first time we've had this kind of entirely different country separation from him. I'm truly terrified. But not from being away from him or having him stay with my mom. Just like anyone, I appreciate little breaks from my job, and my mom probably takes better care of him than I do.
I'm scared something will happen to our plane, and it'll be the last time I ever see him. I'm having serious anxiety over this, and I'm getting teary eyed just thinking about it.
Why and how could a person who's hoped and prayed for her baby for so long launch herself thousands of feet into the air, over an ocean in a plane built and flown by complete strangers for six entire hours? (And then do it again a week later?) The gamble isn't sitting well with me. It feels - for lack of a better word - irresponsible (wow, now there's a mom word for you). Carter was sent through such great measures into my arms. What a risk, to ask him to live in a world without me, should something go wrong.
Here's to hoping he has an interest in YouTube videos and blog reading. Someone, please point him in the Bringing up Bumble direction to get his read on.
For travel. I am worn out.
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