Motherhood has gifted me with multiple personalities. I like to refer to them as the “Overachiever” and the “Loafer”. The Overachiever reads a lot and explains in great detail science and physics and goes out of her way to plan fun craft projects and asks Lucy every day when she picks her up from school to recite her full name (first, middle, last)her home address and her alphabet. Overachiever makes up songs to remember important numbers and she warns her about stranger danger and explains to her how compound interest is calculated and how all of her clothes are manufactured. Loafer Mom spends a lot of her time on her phone – tweeting imprudent things (#profoundBecca) and texting pictures of her latest tattoo to friends across the country. Loafer Mom gives her candy to be quiet and pays little attention to things like bedtime when she thinks ignoring it might allow her to sleep in a little bit the next morning. Loafer Mom is unconcerned that her hair is seldom brushed and that she only gets vitamins on weekdays when her Dad remembers to hand them out. Loafer Mom loves wine.
I like to think that overachiever has a higher percentage of participation in this whole child rearing thing but I don’t know… I get the sense that overachiever tries really hard but often falls short. Overachiever works all day and has excellent intentions while boarding the train in the afternoons to go home and participate in some interactive play and to make a wholesomely well balanced family dinner, but at some point right around the time that she is trying to wrangle a tired and cranky Lucy into her jacket after school, right around the time that Lucy starts to whine about not wanting to sit in her car seat and not liking any of the music that is on the radio – right about at that time Loafer Mom (devil in the ear Loafer Mom) starts whispering about how it’s all going to be okay, that she can just drive home, put on some sweat pants and enjoy some wine while she turns on an episode of Olivia. Loafer Mom knows how to make everything all right. Sure – overachiever might try to ignore this, go home and suggest story time but it really only takes one small breakdown or one suggestion to play the insufferable “Mommy and Baby” game again for the Loafer to finally say ‘enough is enough’ and to go lock herself in the bathroom to find out what’s trending on Digg while slipping into a pair of yoga pants and her favorite sweat shirt.
I used to think that if I was a stay at home Mom that Overachiever would completely take over, being laid off a couple years ago quickly taught me that without work to keep her strong Loafer Mom rapidly took power. Loafer Mom discovered that it was okay to have wine with lunch. She learned that showering everyday was totally unnecessary when devoid of meddlesome coworkers. She learned that huggies diapers would hold more pee than you would think.
Monday night both Mom’s emerged nearly simultaneously – it was a warm spring day and Overachiever decided to take a trip to the park, she was in full bloom and running around and pushing Lucy on the swings until she was told to be sleeping beauty and to go lay on the bench. At this point tired and thirsty Loafer Mom sauntered to the bench, laid down and started texting on her phone, she ignored Lucy in hopes that she would self engage and leave her alone. This tactic didn’t work and Lucy rushed her and tried hard to physically lift her head from the bench. Loafer Mom dug her claws in and as Lucy struggled she got her finger stuck in one of the holes of this hard metal bench. Overachiever was back in a flash and tried desperately to calm her down and work her finger out – she called her husband (ever the Overachieving Dad) and had him bring olive oil while she stroked Lucy’s hair and found funny you tube clips for her to watch. Her finger was traumatically disengaged just short of calling the fire department. However – half way home, Lucy in her arms Loafer Mom came back, blaming Overachieving Mom for being in the park in the first place and rushed the rest of the way home to put on yoga pants and start and episode of Dora while pouring herself a glass of Chardonnay.