Nothing Like A Sum Of Its Parts: One Hot Mess (Vol. 2)

I hate feeding my children.

In my imagination, where there are peaceful, still-warm meals in which everyone is actually seated, I love feeding my children. But in real life, I hate it.

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He dropped his cupcake. I stayed up late last night making the stupid things from scratch, so that my son could bring them into preschool for his (un)birthday celebration. All that groggy work and the stupid things fell in on themselves. Ugly, ugly cupcakes. Still, his was a devastating loss.

Our meals are disjointed and loud and stressful. They are full of: “Face the table.” “Sit on your bottom.” “Start eating, please.” “Don’t bang your fork on the table.” “Just try it; you’ve always liked it before!” “Sit on your bottom. No, actually on your bottom.” “Stop dropping your cup on the floor.” “Turn around and face the table.” “Stop it with the fork!” “Sit on your bottom.” “Eat! Your! Food!

They also include a million-and-one parental hops up from the table to retrieve any number of food and cutlery items. Plus a hovering parent or two, feeding children bites of food because apparently preschoolers are unable to do something so taxing as lift a fork to their mouth.

Also, it’s not uncommon for mealtimes at our house to include vomit.

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No, it’s not vomit. I wouldn’t do that to you. This is the banana my son told me he’d eaten so that he could get his cupcake.

Hate it.

Do you know what else I hate? Dishes. And diapering. And bathtime. And changing pee-pee sheets. And cutting food into small bites. And wrestling wiggly little limbs into pajamas.

When broken down into bits, I hate just about everything involved in caring for my children and my home. So it would make sense, wouldn’t it, for me to hate being a stay-at-home-mom?

But I don’t. Not at all.

It’s a peculiar thing, isn’t it? I have found that parenthood is nothing like a sum of its parts. My daily tasks are unpleasant, yet I love what I do.

I really, truly, love what I do. Even when I hate it.

There is something there – love, I suppose – that makes such a contradiction possible. Whatever it is, I’m grateful for it. I am happier now than I have ever been in my life – here in the midst of the diapering and the clothing and the cleaning and the bathing. And the feeding – even the feeding.

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Another meal, another mess.

Be sure to stop over to Blythe’s to check out more hot messes!

6 thoughts on “Nothing Like A Sum Of Its Parts: One Hot Mess (Vol. 2)

  1. Ahhhhh, I so feel you in this department! Our meal-time conversations are much the same! Drives me nuts 🙂 But, I love the contradiction you wrote about because I love being a stay at home mom, too!

  2. Love this. LOVE. I can so totally relate. One of my dearest friends who also has four young kids same ages as mine said to me, “Sometimes dinner time feels like hell.” And she meant it. And I got it. The thing that keeps me going is realizing how much someday we will all truly, truly enjoy sitting around the table together – real laughter and camaraderie and not me micromanaging every bite while simultaneously thinking about how much I now truly get the phrase “no use crying over spilled milk.” Since it gets spilled at least 1x/day, every day, right now…

    • Thank you! And thanks for planting that little idea re: someday enjoying sitting around the table together. It’s lovely, and I had not thought of it. I suppose I’m having a hard time seeing past the here and now when it comes to meals, at least. I’m going to think of this next time things get hairy. Thanks!

    • I know, right? It’s embarrassing how awful my table manners have become since having children. I no longer even think about being polite — I just shovel in my food as fast as I can, because I know I may only have seconds to eat. It’s not exactly conducive to enjoying your food! Thanks for the compliment!

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