So the thing is, I totally support the idea of a full year of maternity leave. I really do! I think that Mom’s should stay at home with their babies. I am a huge Bernie Sanders fan, so I agree that the United States absolutely MUST keep pace with every other western nation and MUST guarantee maternity leave for our young mothers.
Really. I agree.
But the thing is…………
I retired in June. So I’m not a teacher any more. No more bright eyed children greeting me every morning with a hug and a smile. No more earnest young parents telling me how well I know their children. No more validation. No more laughter. No more feeling of worth…….
And my kids are way grown up! I mean, my baby is 23 years old! ALL three of them are better cooks than I am.
Nobody needs me anymore.
I woke up this morning, and my first thought was, “Hell, I have a sniffle.” It seemed completely logical that I should just curl back up under the covers and sleep the day away. I didn’t have an actual cold or anything. I mean, no deep cough, no fever, no chills.
But what the hell? I was sort of sniffly. And tired. And I wanted to sleep some more.
And……….(drum roll, please)……..NO ONE needed me to be up and about.
I got myself up, and dragged my sad old butt into the living room. Where I saw my two old dogs. And I suddenly remembered that Sadie is supposed to be dying. And Tucker had his spleen taken out. He was recently evaluated by a Chinese Medicine Specialist who suggested that I cook for him.
Woohooo! Someone needed me!
I pulled out the vet’s suggested food list. Huh. It looked a whole heckavah lot like the food list suggested by my workout group….. I made a big batch of oatmeal and pumpkin, and divided it into three bowls.
The dogs didn’t have an espresso, but other than that, we shared our breakfasts.
And later in the day, I got up off the couch and whipped up a batch of pumpkin-whole wheat dog biscuits. All natural. Yup.
Dinner tonight was soup. Chicken and meatball soup for the humans. Nice rich lamb soup with carrots and broccoli for the dogs.
I need my daughter to go back to work. As soon as possible. I need my granddaughter here! I need an actual human child to care for. I need a baby in my house to remind me that I still have some value, that I still need to get up in the morning, that I still have to show up in my life.
I need to make soup for a human. I need to feed that human and have that human look at me with a big smile and shining eyes.
In spite of my deep belief in a full year of maternity leave, I am kind of counting the minutes until my daughter goes back to teaching and I am the one in charge of taking care of our beautiful Ellie.
Am I a really bad Mom?