According to Albert Einstein, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Based on this definition for being insane, and thanks to motherhood, I’ve lost my ever-loving mind.
Every day I tell my kids to brush their teeth before leaving for school, and every day I have to send them back into the house, from the car, to brush their teeth. Every day I pick up the living room thinking that this time it will stay clean for longer than an hour. I’m insane.
I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “Say ‘please,’” and “Stop picking your nose,” or “Did you flush?” It’s got to be in the hundreds of thousands. And each time I think, They MUST have this down by now. I realize now that train of thought is due to my insanity, brought on by motherhood. I’m calling it, “Motherhood-Induced Insanity.”
It’s nobody’s fault. Kids are kids and need repetition to learn and form good habits. I don’t blame my sweet five-year-old for not knowing that the folks in the booth behind us don’t want to hear a description of how crazy her bowl movement was after eating the My Little Pony rainbow cupcake at Leah’s birthday party. It’s just another opportunity for me to remind all my children, yet again, that we don’t talk about bodily functions at the dinner table. Especially while at a restaurant. Especially in our “loud voice.”
It’s not my almost-three-year-old’s fault (even after explaining how disgusting it is 843 times) that he continues to eat his boogers. It’s a part of my mom job description that I’m to train and teach my children how to not be gross. My eight-year-old, however, gets a little less grace in this area. He’s had years of hearing me repeat myself. “You MUST wear socks with your shoes.” “Do you have socks on?” “Where are your socks?” “Go put on socks!!!” How does he still not know?
A New Definition
These are the insane things that are slowly eating my brain, one chunk of precious sanity at a time. I wonder, can you get those parts back? Do the cells lost to repetition regenerate as the kids grow older or are they lost forever? It’s worth the loss, right? Raising kids is hard work but if we really and truly do reap what we sow, then, in the end, those cells went to a good cause.
Maybe we need a better definition of Motherhood-Induced Insanity (MII). Something like:
“Doing the same thing over and over, knowing that, at some point, the echo of your voice will stick and the skills, habits, and truths you are working to instill in the minds and hearts of your kids, will become a part of who they are, rather than the annoying sound of a broken record.”
I like that better.
Let’s raise a mug of that lukewarm coffee we make ourselves every morning (because, insane, we think we’ll actually finish it while it’s still hot), to all the moms with M.I.I. Cheers to you and what’s left of your wits. We can all enjoy crazy together.