In today's Salt Lake Tribune, syndicated advice columnist Carolyn Hax answered a letter from a reader who was upset that her friends with children didn't have time to hang out, call or e-mail once they became mothers.
Carolyn Hax answered "When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of check-out line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.
It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15. It's constant vigiliance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.
It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time."
Bravo to Carolyn Hax for a succint answer for every mother when they are asked "What did you do all day?". However, Ms. Hax failed to mention the most pleasurable part of my day, that is those moments I eagerly and greedily spend watching my miracle baby just be. I love to watch him sleep, I love to trace the swirl of new hair on his head, to smell the freshness of Baby Magic on his skin, to count his tiny toes and let him wrap his fat fingers around my own. I watch him with wonder and amazement, I try to drink in and enjoy every moment of his infancy. Sometimes this really is all I accomplish in a day and that, in my opinion, is a day well spent.