Last week I saw a news program, Dateline, and it was called Mother’s Little Helper. A story about women at home with the kids who “became” alcoholic. Yep, I had a glass of wine on the table. Uh-oh. Mind you, they had bottles hidden everywhere and drank wine out of coffee travel mugs. One woman had quit for a while after rehab and then relapsed, even showing up for the interview session inebriated. Now, what the news program didn’t address was the one question I had. Did these women have a drinking problem before they had kids, or were they social drinkers/non drinkers before? Did they drink too much before they had kids, or did the stress/isolation/lack of coping skills drive them to drink more. And where were the husbands in all of this? Usually the last to figure it out.
Talking to a friend with two young kids, she’d rather have time for a yoga class, but alas there are only so many hours in a day and someone else’s needs always come first. The glass of wine and an hour of mindless TV is easier to get to. Can’t quite commit to getting up and being at the gym by 5am.
I’ve noticed through my conversations with other mothers at home that they tend to push themselves to the brink. Another woman I know runs a business from home, another is producing a movie and we’re all attending to the kids, doing all the household chores, errands, and arranging all social events. And the day doesn’t end at 5pm. Maybe it’s my Gemini nature that always leads me to multitask every waking moment. I used to read the paper and watch TV. I start the laundry, cook and do email. Most of the time, it’s not an issue, but now I have a child, I have learned the hard way (over and over and over) that I can’t do it all with any efficiency. I can’t feed the baby with one hand and make phonecalls and do email. Though I try to. I’m constantly trying to squeeze in one more activity or task before I go out.
That ability is certainly not unique to me, and in many ways, it’s a good thing. Yet one day, the phone rang and at the time, I had a lemon and a bottle in my hands. Then the next thing I knew I doubted my sanity cause I couldn’t find his newly prepared bottle. Having a mother with dementia doesn’t make this a humorous situation. I was close to tears. Finally, after retracing my steps, I opened up the vegetable crisper. Yep, you guessed it – the bottle of formula. I laughed. Mother’s little helper. Yep, I could see how that happens.