22: The Circus Show of Motherhood

22: The Circus Show of Motherhood

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide

The Circus Show of Motherhood

Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.

~Sophia Loren

“There! Dinner is served. Everyone be quiet, eat, and be satisfied.” I placed the spaghetti in front of everyone and sank into my chair with a big sigh. It was Thursday, and like every Thursday, I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and just irritated with everyone and everything. These long workweeks with two little kids at home drained me like nothing else.

“Mom?” asked my older daughter, looking at me with her little button nose scrunched up in mock horror.

“What?” I practically screamed. Couldn’t they just eat without demanding something?

“Why is the spaghetti, like, mushy?” she asked.

No, not again, I thought in desperation. I glanced at my husband, and he just gave a slight nod in agreement with my daughter. Why couldn’t I even cook something as simple as spaghetti? Then I remembered why. Because while I was trying to get dinner cooked and on the table, the baby kept crying at my feet; my older daughter wanted milk, then her necklace tied around her neck, then she was fighting with her sister; the dog was bugging me to go out and then be let back in; and I was trying to finish up the dishes I hadn’t finished from the night before and squeeze in a load of laundry so it wouldn’t be a ridiculous pile by the weekend. Once again, I was distracted by so many other things besides the task at hand, which was supposed to be cooking us all an easy spaghetti dinner.

I picked up a forkful of my own spaghetti. I tried to hide the horror on my face as I realized how overcooked the noodles were. There was no way we could eat them.

I hung my head in defeat once again. Sometimes, I just wanted to cry. Throughout my journey in motherhood, I have concluded that my multitasking abilities are an absolute failure at times. This spaghetti dinner was just another example. How did everyone else on Facebook make it look so easy? Sometimes I feel most mothers are graceful trapeze artists, while I am the goofy clown juggling too many balls in the air at my three-ring circus show of motherhood.

I have succeeded not once, not twice, but three times in flooding not only my kitchen but my basement while washing dishes because I got distracted doing something else. Laundry has become my worst enemy. It wins the battle every week. I can wash clothes and fold them, but I just can’t get them put away. I am the most unfocused chef ever. This was not my first failed meal. A few spaghetti meals back, I undercooked the noodles to the point that they crunched when we ate them.

And I don’t even know how to balance the “wife” with the “mother” anymore. Romance is a distant memory. My only goal in this multitasking circus of motherhood is to survive, because not burning down my house or losing a kid would be an accomplishment.

“It’s okay, honey,” my husband said as he patted me on the back. “I’ll see if we have a frozen pizza or something.”

I nodded. I knew we would laugh at this later, but for now it was just another frustrating moment of failure.

“Mommy?” I looked down at my older daughter as I got up to carry the awful spaghetti to the sink.

She wrapped her arms around me and looked up at me with her big brown eyes. I couldn’t help but smile. Then she said the words that make every mother’s day better: “I love you, Mommy, and I still think you’re the greatest mommy ever!”

~Angela Williams Glenn

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