Posted by Duff

This morning’s existential question: What is it all for? 

You’ve probably had one of those nightmares where, no matter what you do, you can’t complete a task. In mine, I can’t seem to get dressed and leave the house for work.  And until The Dervish was a preschooler, a dream it remained.

But these days Dawdler McDawdleson clings to sleep like a lifeboat while Atticus is every bit the morning person. He and I are ready to leave the house before The Dervish’s feet hit the floor.

I am a human prune of panic, and I yell more than I would like, shepherding my older child through stations: Oatmeal. Clothes. Tooth/Hairbrushing. Shoesandsocks.

I am back from a second maternity leave, and I need to prove that my expanded family will not keep me from doing my job.  That every minute I was  missed for my contributions, my employer’s stress was valid. That I am not expendable.

Why the frenetic struggle?  Why must The Dervish see a cranky mother every week day? Why am I doing this to us?

1. For the Money. And more specifically, to keep a roof over tiny noggins and the air temperature under that roof regulated.

2. For the Satisfaction. Though when you’ve got a euphoric four-month old beaming at you and napping consistently during the day, the current satisfaction comes down to checking items off a list that doesn’t include ‘change poopie diapers’. For some reason, however, my mortgage company doesn’t care how cute my kids are.  So I revisit #1 to get back on track.

3. To maintain my foothold in the workforce. Because one day,  both kiddos will be in school, and I’ll be a generation behind in the latest programs and tools that make my job essential to my employer. See #1.

It always goes back to money, doesn’t it? Unless there is fulfillment. More about that another time.

But since 1-3 aren’t always enough, here are some other reasons I use (that you can use if you’re tired of yelling at your own Dawdler every morning).

Why am I doing this?

4. To drink a slow and solitary cup of coffee.

5. So I can pee by myself as many times as I want between 9am and 5pm.

6. So I can eat my lunch the first time I heat it up.

7. So I have an excuse to do my hair and wear makeup and the occasional cute shoe.

8. For the uninterrupted adult conversation.

9. So I can listen to inappropriate radio or good music during my commute.

10. Because, as much as I sometimes think I want it, I know I wasn’t meant to be a full-time stay at home mom.

Let’s face it:  I’m not crafty, I’m not naturally silly, and I’m not good at stimulating young minds for more than two days at a time.

Somewhere in that list of ten is the truth. But, see #1. That’s the one that gets me out the door these days.