Is there pleasure in taking care of everyone and making sure that everything still gets done, your emails are answered, you go in to work so that everyone can get into the building? Sure. It helps boost my ego. I can do it all and then I can complain that I'm doing it all so that everyone will feel bad for me. I know that many people think of motherhood as a selfless act, but let's be honest. Most mothers get a cheap thrill out of it. It's a part of them that I'm sure is something that most of us wouldn't admit in public, but we like telling everyone how run down we are, how tired we are, how selfless we really are. And of course we actually are, but there's the joy in letting others know.
I have always had a serious disdain for people who complain at work, shrug off work, or grumble when things are asked to get done. Or when peers make the choice to work hard, take on the biggest projects, and then whine about it all.
I read in the Wall Street Journal the other day that most people exaggerate how much they work. When I thought about this, it's true. So many people will say to you, I worked 60 hours this week, I'm exhausted. If you checked the actual amount of time they worked, it might hit 40 hours. So why do people lie? They aren't lying to their employers, they are lying to their friends or family. They aren't sneaking out of the house. It seems like a purposeless lie. I know exactly why they lie about it. It's a competition. Who works the hardest, who is the most tired, who needs a vacation the most. This is what drives the American workforce. It isn't right or healthy and damages many a relationship. It's so selfish under the facade that they are completely selfless.
Mothers do the same. Who has to take care of more kids, who has been up the longest, who has done the most laundry, etc. This causes us to reflect on what we've done at home and somehow think we are inferior. We only have one or two children, we got a good night's sleep, and there hasn't been that much laundry this week. If motherhood was such an awful endeavor, no one would choose to do this. We would all stick to our overcompensated jobs and swear it off. So there must be a joy. A joy apart from the 'tired' competition. And tired it is. If we could all stop complaining in order to win the race, we would see the light. We would see what a wonderful gift we've been given.
It must be understood that in no way am I inferring I do not do the same. I often find myself rattling off the list of things that have destroyed my plan for the day to Bobby. Or telling others how exhausting it is and motherhood is the hardest thing I've ever done. And while that's true, why do I feel the need to give an exhaustive list to everyone so that they know what they now owe me? I like the cheap thrill of being the best; being the best at the worst chores of the day.
Instead of giving this laundry list of things I've done and dealt with, perhaps I should accept that's a part of life and not a large part. Those are just mundane chores and actions. Instead, I should revel in my children, my husband, my life. It's important to remind myself of this each and every day. Otherwise, twenty years will pass and I'll wonder why I never took a moment to just enjoy and wonder why everyone thought it was so difficult for me. I will realize that I spent the majority of the first half of my life complaining. Just complaining. Children complain, adults turn their sorrows into something better than just a whine. They help their children find what defines them, they pour their soul into something meaningful, they search for something deeper than the daily complaint.
My favorite read of all time is Atlas Shrugged. Some people may hate me for that considering it's a capitalist manifesto; however there is a much more basic undertone to the entire book. The ability of one's self, recognizing that each person has an ego, feels the need to create something, and doesn't ever whine about their choices and doesn't let others destroy that for them. It's all about the choices we make in life and embracing them. Living them out to the fullest extent. Just as I made a choice to learn and love numbers I also made the choice to be a mother. And what a wonderful choice it was!
Maybe this was a pointless ramble or perhaps it's the truth.