1. Because I know having two beautiful, healthy children to care for is the biggest privilege I've ever been given and for that fact alone I should never, no way, no how, allow myself to feel the intense rage that wells up in me at least once a day many days between the hours of 3:30 and bedtime.
2. Because I also know that I should be on my knees thanking God every day for being able to kiss my 4 year old's squishy cheeks instead of cursing under my breath wondering what led a college educated woman into a life where I spend a not insignificant amount of time on my knees chasing run away macaroni elbows and cheese stick wrappers when I'm not earnestly trying to get formerly white socks white again.
3. Because I am now, in fact, earnest about stain removal.
4. Because I never get to come home and have my kids jump in to my arms and yell, "I missed you Mommy!" My kids don't miss me. I'm right in front of them.
5. Because I would have to work 80 hours a week to earn enough money to cover the cost of having someone really attentive and smart and kind care for my children. And knowing that if I had that job, and found this great woman, I would hate her.
6. Because people who work outside the house have a reason to look nice and keep themselves well groomed. They can wear silk shirts and feel all sexy about it. If I wear a silk shirt I have to spend the day in constant motion knowing that if I slow down one of my children will use me as a napkin.
7. Because as cosmic payback for having lived exclusively on frozen yogurt and popcorn for years, God has delivered to me two boys who will only eat white food. No matter how much butter and cheese I bathe them in, a vegetable will not be swallowed. This would be fine since they're healthy, except that raising children hasn't made me a less competitive person so I still read everything written about the importance of balanced nutrition and curse myself every day that I am not doing it right and other mothers are and how did I fall so far behind the curve on this? Usually while nursing my 4th espresso.
8. Because in order to keep up the relentless joyful energy I feel my children need to see reflected in my face I have become a caffeine addict.
9. Because although I take no credit for how verbal my kids are from my having talked to them incessantly since the day they were born, I can easily get thrust into an "it's all my fault" shame spiral for any of the following infractions: my boys leaving the house wearing shirts with paint on them, their hair looking like it's been brushed with a Cuisinart, any request they make that doesn't include "please" and "thank-you," and as already stated, their rejection of all non-white food, particularly when out with other families where kids are slamming down sushi and wheat grass shots.
10. Because dirty dishes seem to spawn more dirty dishes when left alone in the sink.
11. Because as I drive the boys from school to swimming and to soccer in my role as LA Cabbie, thinking about the talk I have to have with my husband about how we, (meaning me), are going to fill the terrifying voids left by breaks in school, I fantasize about how if I worked outside the home I would have such unqualified financial independence that we wouldn't need to engage in any dreaded talks about where and how to spend money.
12. Because when I was single and commuted between two one room apartments on either coast for 10 years, an urban stone gathering no moss if you will, I know I felt desperately lonely and unmoored and prayed for the life I have today, but after this recent three week vacation I started thinking it wasn't all that bad. Sure I spent a lot of time staring at the wall, but at least I could get on a telephone without triggering an endless barrage of questions from two boys who only minutes before offered up only one word answers on the drive home from school.
13. Because my boys and I recently watched the movie "E.T." and I was reminded of these few lines of dialogue (I'm paraphrasing), Kid 1: "How do you win in life?" Kid 2: "Money helps." And it stung a little.
14. Because I still think that if I was exceptionally talented and smart I could have it all. I could be the kind of mother I need to be, who's there to run math facts, catch my son's throw-up (just last night, in fact) and be a super-attentive wife who loves and supports my husband and eagerly communicates about all the little details of daily life, free of worry, and who also has a powerful job where I get paid really well to make as much of a difference outside the home as I do inside the home. What truly sucks is thinking that if I just managed my time more efficiently, worked harder, prayed harder, and ate less of the kids' grilled cheese crusts, all of this would be possible.