A Mother of a Mental Load

This inner-monologue is every mom, ever.

Inspired by true events…

6:00 am: Ahh, what a good night’s sleep! I was only woken up once! What’s today?… Tuesday. Preschool for the big one, Little Gym for the baby & ballet class. I need to squeeze in some work while they nap. Today is definitely manageable. (smiles to herself)

Time to get everyone fed, changed, dressed, brushed & out the door.

Shoot, her leotard is dirty. (Throws in first load of laundry & continues on with the morning routine, reaching into the fridge…)

Aw man, we’re low on milk. I think this will last us until about…(analyzes milk carton) lunchtime. Can I get to the grocery store before 2:00? Not a chance. I’d better just place a Safeway order for delivery – it will be here tomorrow…

TOMORROW. What is tomorrow’s schedule? What time can I be here to receive groceries?

What will I put in the baby’s bottle tonight? Half & half? The milk will definitely be gone before bedtime. Maybe I can water it down. I bet she won’t even notice.

HALF & HALF… COFFEE! I need some, now. (puts on pot of coffee)

Gah, we’re out of sugar… and toilet paper… and toothpaste – better add them to my grocery order.

TOOTHPASTE. The girls have a dentist appointment tomorrow! Shoot – I’ll have to move that grocery delivery.

APPOINTMENT. I need to make an appointment with our pediatrician to update our vaccination card before preschool registration.

PRESCHOOL! I still need to sign that permission slip and send in my order for spring pictures. I’ll take them with us this morning… now where in the world did I put them…?? Spring picture order….

SPRING! Oh my gosh it’s already spring. What day exactly? How many days do I have until we’re delinquent on our taxes?  The IRS probably already has a warrant for my arrest. I don’t even know what day it is. (looks at calendar) March, oh okay, whew, we’re only in….

MARCH! Oh my gosh we have three birthday parties this month and I have to get gifts, RSVP, update our family calendar… March…

Has the Easter Bunny done all of his preparation yet? What are we doing for Easter this year?

I need to make a reservation to see the Easter Bunny at the mall. That’s what all the other moms do. All of the OTHER moms have already registered their kids for summer camps, too… I bet all the good ones are already full. Ugh, I can’t keep up with these Moms!

SUMMER. I really need to figure out those vacation dates, book our flights, rent the car… hotel room… 

Okay, everyone looks halfway decent (except mom) Out the door; off to school & gym.  Oh no, I never drank the coffee… guess I’ll have it over ice – with lunch.

Dropping first child off at school: Oh My gosh that mom had her baby! That’s so exciting. I need to take them a meal. I’ll add the ingredients to my grocery order.

MEAL. what on Earth am I going to feed my family tonight? I guess they’ll have to settle for scrambled eggs & toast. Oh, but we hard-boiled all the eggs and colored them pink for Easter… Egg Salad it is.

At Little Gym with the baby: Gosh, I swear everyone I know is pregnant. Should I get pregnant again? Stop it. No. Regardless, I need to make a GYN appointment – awesome, my favorite. 

How in the world will I find a sitter at 2:30 on a Thursday so that I can go to the doctor?  Maybe if I do find one, she can stay long enough for me to go get my hair cut.  I haven’t had a haircut in at least a year.

Ugh, my husband probably thinks I’ve given up…. have I given up? 

I can’t give up. I should really try to get a workout in this week. Maybe some chin ups on that little gymnastics bar in the corner? Okay, be serious. I wonder if my husband can come home early tomorrow night so I can go to Soul Cycle.

Oh wait, is tomorrow the night he has that work dinner? Yep, then he’s out of town for three nights. Guess I’m on my own.  I should probably throw away all of my skinny jeans. (Fights back tears since she’s in public).

Driving home from Little Gym: (she lets herself cry just a little)  Whew, now I’ll have a full hour at home before preschool pickup. I’ll clean the house and feed the baby. A clean house will feel good.

CLEANING. It. Never. Ends. I should go through the toy bins and purge. I should go through my closet and purge. We have so much crap. How do people live in those tiny houses? We should become minimalists.

But seriously. I should have the rugs deep cleaned and vacuum behind the couch today. I really need to call the electrician to fix the light in the hallway and get a quote to restore the stone on the bathroom floor. I wonder how much that will cost. Maybe I should work a few extra hours this week.

Sigh… I need an adult vacation. (Cries again when she realizes that means leaving her kids for a few days)

School pickup. Fix lunch. Clean up lunch. Get kids down for naps. Work for 20 minutes. Kids wake up.

I will muster the energy to get everybody ready for ballet- and out of the door again – somehow. Why is changing a toddler’s cloths so difficult. Can’t she stand up straight for 30 seconds. My back is going to break. I need a massage.  I shouldn’t spend the money.

Speaking of spending money: should I spend the kids’ education fund on organic produce, or save for college & risk that we all get cancer? It’s a gamble.  Maybe I’ll just order organic produce.

PRODUCE! Strawberries! Add those to my order. Thank goodness for Safeway delivery. What did Moms do before Amazon and Blue Apron? Oh yeah, they left us in the car when they went into the grocery store for milk & strawberries. If I did that now, I’d get arrested. That is, if the IRS doesn’t get me first. I hate people.

We’re late. We’re chronically late.

At ballet: I can’t forget to register for the spring recital. I wonder what size costume to order…she’s sort of between sizes right now. In fact, she’s outgrown all of her cloths. I need to take her shopping. When we get home I should go through her closet. 

When we get home I also need to send a family email, letting them know about the recital and the baby’s baptism.  Where is that baptismal gown? Did I ever have it dry cleaned after our last baby was baptized?

I need to pick up the dry cleaning.

Did I send the pastor everything he asked me for?  Oh, no, I still have to come up with a life verse.  Add it to my list… also brunch reservations…a photographer…

Loads everyone BACK into the car and drives home in a daze while kids talk/yell in the backseat.

At home: Is it bedtime yet? Nope, only 4:30. Good Heaven WHEN is my husband coming home?

I should be reading them books. I don’t have the energy. Maybe just one hour of Mickey Mouse is okay.  Mickey is educational.

Two hours of Mickey Mouse later:  (feeling guilty for not reading to the kids, but at least the house is somewhat clean). I need to feed the kids. Again. Why do they  need to eat so much?! What kind of “healthy” stuff can I scrape together tonight?

Please don’t throw that broccoli on the floor! I JUST cleaned that floor… It’s no use. Why do I bother?  Oh sure just smear it down your shirt, now I’ll have to wash… 

The laundry! (runs to the laundry room & smells 10 hour-old damp load. Throws it in the dryer) I hope I remember to grab that stuff before bed – I probably won’t.

Baths. Diapers. Pajamas. Bedtime stories. Songs. Lights Out. Rebelling Kids. Finally, peace & quiet.

Damn – tomorrow is garbage day. (collects the trash & hauls the bins to the curb) Eew, these diapers smell disgusting… DIAPERS… add those to the delivery.

Ugh, I can’t get the bins out of the garage. Why did I park the car so close to the wall?

CAR. The car needs to go in for service.  I hope they have a loaner car for me that’s big enough for 2 car seats.  Never mind. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.

Man, I’m exausted.  What did I even accomplish today?  Nothing. Litterally, nothing that doesn’t have to be done again in twelve hours, or two days from now, or again next week.

Thank goodness I get to go to the office tomorrow. Sweet Dreams. See y’all at 6.

xxx,

MamaFulch

Proverbs 31: 25-30     Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” …

 

 

Your Body on a Cross-Country Flight – WITH KIDS

I get restless staying in the same place for too long.  I need to explore, eat great food, hear new languages & lounge on exotic beaches. I need to travel.

We made a conscience decision to have kids before pets because, well, when was the last time you saw a “no babies, please” sign in a shop window or a hotel brochure?

Never.

It’s generally acceptable to take tiny humans into civilized establishments. And so, I had big expectations for the trajectory of my travel career – even during mommyhood.

With that, each of my children completed their first round-trip flight before hitting the two-month mark.  And since then, they’ve flown (on average) once every 8 weeks – sometimes more. I should have flying with kids down to a science….

So, on the heels of our recent summer vacation, I feel inspired to discourage all the parents out there. This is: your body on a cross-country flight – WITH KIDS…  😉

Airport Bound: Optimistic. You’ve downloaded all of their favorite shows, packed crowd-pleasing snacks, books and ‘new toys they’ve never seen before’.  It’s only 6 hours…. Maybe they’ll sleep the whole time… You grab a second cup of coffee, just in case.

Hour 0: You get the jitters.  It could be the caffein, or it could be because you’ve taken your toddler to the airplane bathroom – twice – and the plane hasn’t even left the gate. As other passengers board, they look into your row, then down at their seat assignment. If they’re sitting far, far away, they give an encouraging smile. If they’re doomed to sit nearby, they go pale. So do you.

Hour 1: Calm comes over you. Wheels up. iPads on. The baby is nursing, and therefore, quiet. Yep, It’s going to be okay. Only 5 hours and 12 minutes until arrival (not that you’re counting), and you packed hours worth of toys, games, shows & snacks. You’ve got this!!

Hour 2: Panic. You don’t got this! Any other day you’d have to pry your toddler away from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but today, she wants nothing to do with TV – or civility.  She starts body luging off of her seat, whining as her tiny form crumples to the floor.  Nothing in her backpack is amusing. Meanwhile, the baby has awoken from her 20 minute milk-coma. Your arm is still asleep and you have to pee sooo bad – really regretting that second cup of coffee right now.  Four more hours…

Hour 3: Hot Flashes & Cold sweats.  You’ve hit survival mode. You managed to use the bathroom while holding the baby and trying not to let your toddler sit on the wet floor (you failed). And now, you’re looking for ways to keep your circus contained to a 6’x2’ cell (ahem, I mean row) for three more hours. Beads of sweat form. Your mind goes blank. Four people in three seats for six hours – you’re not sure how this is legal.

Hour 4: You’ve lost all sense of time. You check the time and are excited to see that touchdown is in an hour and a half – you’re feeling like a rockstar mom & your heart flutters. When you look again, you realize that your AppleWatch changed time zones over Nebraska, and you actually have upwards of 2 hours to go. All hope is lost. You return to pacing the aisle while one child sprints ahead of you (throwing elbows) and the baby screams & flails about in your arms. Is time moving backward?

Hour 5: Hope Returns. You’ve broken the 2 hour barrier (for real this time) – a glimmer of hope, immediately eradicated by claustrophobia.  This airplane is the hottest, stickiest place you’ve been since you spent a summer in Florida without AC.  Hair sticks to the back of your neck as little hands paw at your face and chest, vying for attention. The guy in front of you opens hours-old curry… you choke back vomit.

Hour 6: Disbelief.  You are in disbelief that you’ve survived until the final hour, and that neither kid has taken a measurable nap. Emotions run high, mayhem is looming.  You develop an anxious knee bounce (at least the baby seems to like it) and hold your breath, waiting for the captain to mumble “Ladies & Gentleman, we’ve begun our initial descent”.  Will the moment ever come?

Landing:  Euphoria. You imagine this is what it feels like to finish an Iron Man race – endorphins flood your body. You scramble to collect your things and your offspring, only to realize that your daughter’s eyes have just closed. A tear rolls down your cheek. Sadness? Elation? You’re not sure.

At Baggage Claim: Exhausted & Starving. Your AppleWatch says you burned more calories ‘sitting’ on a plane all day than you do by completing your 10,000 steps. All you’ve eaten is 80 calories worth of airplane pretzels – oh, and two cups of coffee. You vow to stay home for the rest of your life.

1 Month Post-Flight: You experience travel amnesia and decide that a family trip to the Bahamas is just what the doctor ordered.

Happy Travels!

xxx,

MamaFulch

Proverbs 14:29:   Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.