crunchy numbers

i grabbed this article from a friend's Facebook this morning and was inspired to do a trial sample detailing in "hard" numbers of just "what do mom's do all day????"  i felt that by providing actual numbers, it would drive home the true meaning of "constant" that is often brushed off the way humans will more easily brush of the death of hundreds than they would a death of a single person.  the sample provided is from 8:30am-9:45am this morning.

Talking/Praise - 17
Love - 15
Teaching - 12
Reprimanding - 11
Calls/Screams/Cries/Whines - 10
Cleaning - 6
Cook/Feed - 5
Persuading - 4
Helping - 3
Washing hands - 2
Diffusing - 0

Teaching: teaching new words, new objects, correcting pronunciation, explaining new concepts

Talking/Praise: conversing, feigning interest, being encouraging, praising for good actions/manners

Love: showing affection through snuggles, hugs and kisses, making silly faces/noises, or moments of happiness

Reprimanding: "dont' pull the wipes out of the box!" "no screaming in the house!" "share your toys" etc

Cleaning: dishes, sweeping, cleaning up table, picking up toys/clothes, laundry

Persuading/Bargaining:  to change a diaper, to go to the bathroom, to eat food

It was a very interesting experiment!  I didn't overdue anything because I was interested, myself, in the real numbers.  I must also note: this was a very good morning!  I wasn't tired, I had energy, and the kids were quite well-behaved.  I was surprised at the amount of love that was scored.  The LOVE and the TALKING/PRAISE were the highest scores and I am glad to see them as positive categories.  It is truly amazing to know that in only an hour there were 15 instances of affection!  Can you imagine showing a friend or family member 15 instances of affection in that short a time span?  And on the flip side, if that friend or family member called for you, screamed, cried or whined 10 times in that SAME hour?! LOL!

These categories were not thought-out and written prior to the experiment, but added to the list as they occurred.  (Diffusing was written down because it almost happened and it is usually something that is actually quite frequent)  It was very interesting to realize how many things are thrown into the juggling act.  It is a fairly simple list that does not even include things like clothing kicking spaz children.  It does not include trying to get ready and running in and out of your room like a crazy person to make sure nobody has crawled into the bathroom to play with toilets/potties.  It does not include packing a diaper bag while someone melts down in a corner, pleading like they are on death row to stay home instead.  It does not include holding one (20lb) child in one arm (whining in discomfort) while squatting and using one finger as a shoehorn to put the other child's shoes on (the older child (30lbs) is also pushing you off balance and looking elsewhere instead of at their feet, making matters worse).

Many of the categories continue on as "constants" throughout the entire day (except nap time of course).  Yes, we are doing many of the same mundane things as normal people, but the literally constant
feigning interest and being encouraging over really basic things
is basically what really runs us down and depletes us of our patience.  this experiment was one lousy hour on a GOOD day!  even on an entirely good day, that would mean for a total of 12 hours (830am-10pm, minus 2 hours if nap occurs) your day would be

Talking/Praise - 17 204
Love - 15 180
Teaching - 12 144
Reprimanding - 11 132
Calls/Screams/Cries/Whines - 10 120
Cleaning - 6 72
Cook/Feed - 5 60
Persuading - 4 48
Helping - 3 36
Washing hands - 2 24
Diffusing - 0 hahahahha these days, probably right up there with love!

You are forcing yourself to sound totally amazed and interested in what your child says or praising them for saying Please/ThankYou 204 times a day?  EVERY SINGLE DAY.  EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Even though this is a positive category, you can imagine how draining it must be to pretend to be amazed that there is a digger across the street?  that they pulled up their own underwear?  that they gave you a hi-5?  that they sang twinkle twinkle?  

Can you imagine having to persuade/bargain with someone 48 times a day every day?  To eat their food?  To shit on a toilet instead of in their pants?  to not stick their hand in the VCR (yes we still have VHS...) 

Can you imagine the emotional effects of having to listen to someone whine/cry/scream 120 times a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY?  and may i repeat: THIS IS ON A GOOD DAY!

This is the reason why parents are so adamant about their kids taking naps.  Because they need a break from the noise of their kids' voices and a break from having to hear their own!  And in the case of not having time to call friends, sometimes parents just want to revel in the peace that silence brings.

this should be relabelled for this blog as

This is what the writer and parents mean when we say parenting is a 24/7 job.  Yes, we sometimes stay at home in our pyjamas for hours, but just one hour is composed of a never-ending line of multi-tasking mayhem, where we are often doing any 3 of the listed categories at one time.  And on the flip-side of pyjamas and comfy loungewear, trust me, it becomes depressing once it becomes normalized and you feel like a total bag of ass since you don't want to get sludge and food and dirty handprints all over your decent or feel-good-nice clothes.  I find myself putting on lipstick and wearing a silk shirt on the few opportunities I get to walk into town to buy toothpaste or other such lame things to make up for it.  Comfy clothes do not do a whole lot for one's self-esteem, especially for those used to dressing up for work or for weekly social gatherings.

It is funny that on one hand, you can be falsely labeled as someone who doesn't do ANYTHING and yet when you take 4 minutes to run in a store to pick up a prescription instead of 20 minutes dragging two kids (and 4 listed categories) along, you are then viewed as the scum of the earth.  And yet, even in the face of such heartless ignorance, you have to wrestle with your old self not to beat the shit out of people because your new self  tells you that as a good parent you shouldn't be beating the shit out of people who just don't get it.


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