It’s all about the Polar Vortex. Something I’ve learned about in bits and pieces because I am trapped in what I’ll call the Mommy Vortex and so there are few moments that allow for uninterrupted investigation.
In my brief education about the Polar Vortex my understanding is that the frigid air of the arctic that the remains in an unrelenting counterclockwise motion in that region sometimes shifts and spills into our warmer little nooks to share with us frozen temps. Motherhood is little different. The Mommy Vortex is an unrelenting motion (I dare to say there’s nothing methodical about it’s movement ... everything is moving in all directions — at the same time — in The Wilder Vortex) of all things child. When I leave the Mommy Vortex (as I do more than some moms and, yet, I know less than others) it takes a bit of adjusting. I often let the madness of the vortex carry with me into the Real World and find myself without thought talking about CIO and Triple Paste with some non-mommy type person to their looks of perplexed longing for conversation to return to ... ummm ... whatever it is I usually talk about. Lipgloss? War in the Middle East? The Polar Vortex? Self tanning?
Need some practical comparisons of the Real World versus the Mommy Vortex?
Real World: It’s like noon.
Mommy Vortex: It’s wake time. Nap time. Snack time. Pick up time. It’s like 15 minutes before bedtime.
Real World: Ewww, there’s something brown on the floor.
Mommy Vortex: Hey kid. Is that poop or chocolate on the floor? Don’t eat! Even if it’s chocolate DO NOT EAT IT!
Real World: I’m just running in to grab some milk and eggs real quick.
Mommy Vortex: I’m just running in to grab some whole organic milk and almond milk and juice and those cage free eggs so he doesn’t grow a third eye. And some of that yogurt he likes that will maybe help with the runny diapers. And some diapers. And those organic yet processed looking chicken nuggets he likes. And Triple Paste! What are we eating for dinner? IDK. I have an Amy’s enchilada in the freezer.
Real World: Look my cute phone with this cute thin little phone cover.
Mommy Vortex: I just found out Lifeproof and Otter Box are making a new industrial cover. Yes! And it’s so ugly but whatever. This old one just prevents the screen cracking from bullets or like a car running over it. This new one is Wilder proof!
Real World: I weigh xxx.
Mommy Vortex: I weigh like 50 pounds less than I did when the baby was born. But, I’m still like 8 pounds away from what I weighed before I had kids. But, I’m at least 20 pounds less than I was before I had the third baby.
Real World: Let’s have sex.
Mommy Vortex: Let’s have sex after I pack the lunches for tomorrow and pump milk and you can empty the diaper pail. And can we turn that monitor off the sound machine is distracting don’t you think? Wait! The sound machine isn’t on?! How could you put him down without the sound machine ON?! No, I didn’t turn it off! He must’ve done it! Our kid is so smart. Maybe we should put him in a more challenging school. Can we afford that? What were you saying? I don’t remember either.
Disclaimer: I have one two year old so my vortex is far less intense than all you moms with the nerve to have two or three kids (once you have more than three I’m just in awe of you and believe your vortex is more like being in a hurricane).
Maybe all of us are in a hurricane, really, in parenthood. Like a force of nature, nothing can really prepare you for this Mommy thing. The prep work is important and I believe even two years later I learned very valuable lessons from books I pored over (Babywise is a MUST, Baby Whisperer, Healthy Sleep Habits) and blogs I read.
Once you’re in the midst of parenthoood I think it’s important to remember the madness is part of the beauty. Growing up our lives were full of joy and little organization. I think sometimes I should really get serious about more structure. I have always been structured on Wilder’s sleep and eating. As he’s gotten older that’s been another thing in life that can be more fluid than it once was.
Life moves so very quickly in the Mommy Vortex and it is a vacuum of time. Entire days pass and I would find it time for the husband to arrive home and I’d done little more than brush my teeth and keep the kid alive and fed. Other days I would find time to be far more productive and felt so very accomplished. What I’ve come to realize now is that there are no ‘wasted’ days as long as I try to be present in each of them. These days when my child looks to me for everything will pass quickly and soon these dependent little creatures will need little from us. Taking care of an entire human being is a full time job (and making sure YOU at least stay alive and eat a few times a day).
The vortex may be full of flying poop and projectile puke, it’s also full of sweet sweet kisses and moments of hilarity unrivaled by our favorite comedians and pure joy that only those in the vortex can understand. So, how do you survive the vortex? You can’t. Just submit and know that one day you’ll be that old lady at Steinmart with the knowing smile helping an exhausted mom extract a $60 Cars carryon luggage thing from a determined toddler. (Whoever you were, lady, thanks.)
The day I entered the Mommy Vortex