Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Mayo on the Sandwich

I took my mother to church on Palm Sunday. And this is not an exaggeration, but I must have told at least 50 people that the Babe was at church with her father, which was met with looks that ranged from disappointment to disbelief. The one notable exception came from a woman who declared with a sigh of understanding, you are the sandwich--between baby and mama. I smiled and led my mother to a seat.

But I am not the sandwich. I am the mayo (or mustard if you are counting calories).

I have read all about the struggles endured by women in my generation, those caught in the middle of being caregivers for older parents while raising children. My own mother faced this same situation some 30+ years ago when my paternal grandparents got ill as I was entering middle school. It was a lot to manage, but we were old enough to help out, which is exactly what I did through my junior year of high school. The Babe is almost a toddler.

For all the cute jokes about how the Babe began walking to make way for the next little one (ha), methinks she realized that she needed to become independent sooner in order to keep me from going insane. She seems to instinctively know that Mommy is all over the place (spread thin like mayo or mustard), despite how helpful as her father tries to be...

I get all kinds of advice from well-meaning folks who suggest that my load would magically lighten if I simply: told others what to do; hired folks to take on certain tasks; adjusted my expectations; etc. All of that sounds great in theory. It would be nice if I could issue edicts that went unquestioned and were fulfilled according to my standards. But that would be akin to assuming that appointments could be made with just a simple phone call or that plastic could get clean without any greasy residue--impossible unless I do it.

This too shall pass and before I know it, the Kid will be old enough to read and appreciate this. Hopefully, she will remember that I did my best...and that the spread does more than just keep the sandwich from being too dry.

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