A Head Start on the Day?

After a few false starts and intentional ignorings of my alarm, I rose before the children needed to with the intent to get a head start on the day.

The idea sounded great last night -you know, during that time I looked over the laundry, paper bills and tax forms, dishes, laundry, to-do list, messy tables, dishes, incomplete homework, laundry, cluttered floors, dirty toilets, almost-sleeping children, and more laundry and dishes- and told myself that I could go to sleep and address it all tomorrow.

20181001_090539
An old picture, but somehow still applicable.

I neglected to recall how tired I am when I first rise.

So, yawning, here I sit, cursing my mental state, for not recalling that I’d need a day to fully wake. I can see why people drink coffee. I think. I’m actually not experiencing much clarity of thought yet.

True, I shouldn’t need much ‘clarity of thought’ to just do dishes or sort laundry. The problem with that is that I’ve pretty much run out of tricks. I’ve tried bribes, calm reasoning, yelling, and reverse psychology; but I just can’t convince myself to do the housework.

No matter what, I know two things: there will never be an end, and there will be more after that.

So, yawning, here I -oh, I already said that. Sorry; tired mom brain.

What’s a dead-brained mother to do? The toilets? Maybe after breakfast, I suppose. If nothing else gets done during this Magic Quiet Hour, I at least got some writing in.

And (don’t tell) some chocolate.

levi-bare-290792-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Levi Bare on Unsplash

What Do You Do All Day?

What do you do all day?

When I was a young mom, a childhood friend asked me this. I understand that the question is among the Top Ten mothers hear, but it was the first time someone had literally asked me.

My friend had been working and going to school. She was genuinely curious about what filled my time each day since I did not have a job outside the home.

At the time, I really didn’t do much. I say that now because I …just barely sat down to eat lunch and it’s 2:30 p.m. I feel lucky that I showered this morning before everyone awoke.

alexander-dummer-150646-unsplash

So… what do I do all day?

Just for kicks, let’s break today’s schedule down so far:

Night before: stayed up late to do my online homework after staying up late helping my second son start work on complete his science fair project.

3:00 a.m. Woke the five-year-old up to go potty because he’s had two nighttime accidents.

5:00 a.m. Woke to tell my alarm that was way too early. Went back to sleep without recalling this conversation.

6:00 a.m. Got up and showered.

6:30 a.m. – 8:10 a.m. A haze of getting four children and a husband up, going, breakfasted, clothed, up again, going again, thanking the wonderful husband for making lunches, breakfasting again, reminding boys to brush teeth, finding shoes, thanking the wonderful husband for gluing pictures and a header onto a trifold board, getting them all out to the car, and finding my coat and keys.

8:30ish a.m. Arrived at school and helped two boys carry their extras into said school.

9:00 a.m. Left school to run errands.

12:30 p.m. Came back home from errands to post office, grocery store, pharmacy, library, and pharmacy again.

12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Fed Five whilst putting away groceries and distracting him with “Curious George” cartoons.

1:40 p.m. Ignored loud ‘napping’ noises upstairs as I finally made my lunch.

2:00 p.m. Updated monthly calendar on wall with appointments and dinner plans (for three days so far! Woot!).

2:15 p.m. Sat to eat my lunch and type a blog post.

In addition: told my oldest son who called that I am not going to pick him up early from school because he’s bored.

The rest of the day is just as busy; with karate lessons, cub scouts (for the boys and for me because I’m a den leader), dinner, computer time, homework, baths or showers, bedtime, and bed.

adult-angry-beautiful-366063

If you are still with me, then you can see that being a mother is busy. You probably also saw that it is mind-numbingly dull. I mean, I lived this schedule and my brain skipped as many lines as it could in reading over it.

Another, later time that I was asked The Question:

What do you do all day?

I came up with a metaphorIt’s like you’ve been assigned to keep a pot of water almost-boiling on the stove all day. You need to make sure the pot doesn’t actually boil, so you have to watch it and can’t really do anything else diverting.

I think raising a toddler is a lot like this, especially if he or she has dropped The Nap. You have to watch the toddler all the time to be certain he or she doesn’t start a fire, but any attempts to do other things lead to fires.

Now that I am older and have older (and more) children, the scenario of the pot is still true. On top of that, though; I also need to mop the floor around the stove, allow others to maintain their own pots without interfering too much, snap at them for fighting over shared space around the stove, and squeeze another pan on there for making dinner.

Having been a stay at home mother for the duration of these child-rearing years, I have a question for the parents who work on top of all that:

What do you do all day, and how the heck do you do it??

rawpixel-660721-unsplash

Writing Gaps

A short time ago, the plumber needed to make a house call. Given that our domicile is only five years old, we’ve had (in my opinion) an inordinately large number of maintenance appointments. -And, none of the children has flushed worse than wet wipes (knock on wood).

lubomirkin-143245-unsplash

Up until this visit, I’d had the house really clean if the plumber was coming. I knew that he would be able to see our least-cleaned areas: the master bedroom (the bathroom’s attached), and THE BASEMENT (where the plumbing-type stuff sleeps). But, we hadn’t had time to tidy up as usual for this occasion, because the problem was no hot water and that meant there were dishes all over and stinky children and I hadn’t showered so was in my excusable exercise clothes and everyone was running all over and I was a bit stressed about the whole situation.

The poor guy walked into the house after the children fought over opening the door, and undoubtedly saw all this. “I’m sorry, we …” I began.

I mentally heard myself finishing that sentence with the usual excuses. “-didn’t have time to clean.” “-haven’t washed since the hot water went out. Thank goodness you’re here!” and “-are fasting from personal hygiene for Lent.”

Instead, I said, “I’m sorry, we live here.”

(No, not, “I’m sorry we live here.” There was a pause.)

steve-johnson-589198-unsplash

And so, I offer the same excuse for frequency of writing. I always have a goal of publishing posts in a somewhat-orderly fashion. At my main site, this is a daily routine until I hit a year. Over here, however, I was going to save them for when I felt snarky enough to pop something off.

Unfortunately, visitors, I forgot about a teensy little event called Summer Break.

Despite my bestish efforts, attempts to write anything with the children awake has been disastrous. They do that whole bother me every five two one minutes thing. I snap at the cute interrupter, only to feel like the worst, psychologically-damaging parent for telling them my writing is more important than them sharing the plot of Captain Underpants with me (again), so I apologize and listen to their story, then I pull a few children apart from MMA-type events ….and it’s bedtime.

I may have just summarized the life of a stay at home parent.

So, I’m sorry for not writing about motherhood. I’ve been mothering.

I’ll squeeze in a few late-night postings here and there, but you just might have to wait till Free Daycare (aka school) begins again ’round September. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

unsplash-logoChris Leggat
unsplash-logoLubomirkin
unsplash-logoSteve Johnson

At-Home Gym

livin4wheel-204999-unsplash

“There’s something wrong with your hair,” my oldest says, making a face. Trying to elaborate, he adds, “It just looks terrible.”

These are the sort of compliments that hit a mother right in the self esteem. They come at the right moment, too: just when I’ve talked myself into some gym clothes and in front of the television. I also assured me that frumpy was suitably modest around the boys, that my sweat stains formed artistic patterns, and that I could erase everyone’s memories once able to shower.

My oldest looks back over at me. “It’s just …eurgh!”

What kind of sound is that?! I stop mid-crunch and bring a hand up to feel what offended him. I hit mostly sweat, and some stringy pieces that might be my thinning hair. Perhaps he’s simply not a fan of the whatever-pulls-hair-out-of-the-way ponytail, I reason.

jacob-morrison-109047-unsplash

I don’t have time, however, for the cute braids and non-sweat look the YouTube instructor is sporting. can’t plank with hair in my face; can’t crunch with a lump of hair on the back of my head. If my son can’t handle Sweaty Troll Mom then that’s his problem.

“Thanks, Sam,*” I say, pretending the booming dubstep music has impaired my hearing. I continue pretending to keep up with the sadistic woman on screen.

I’m not one of those people who likes to exercise in front of others. I don’t like doing much of anything in front of others. Given that I can’t even urinate without an audience of fingers beneath the door, I often find just such unwanted attention during my YouTube Aerobics Time.

Sometimes I think to wake up earlier, but then remember that I screwed that plan up when I stayed up late.

Then I consider dropping them in The Pit at the gym, but recall that two of the four have aged out. I guess the daycare workers assume they’re old enough to watch themselves; the boys assume that they can punch each other unsupervised.

Other days I hang out in my gym clothes until my darling husband comes home …and then watch him crash on the couch. Don’t worry; he revives once dinner’s on the table.

*Sigh* What’s a girl to do?

Troll hair it is.

mohamed-nohassi-531501-unsplash

 

unsplash-logoLivin4wheel
unsplash-logoJacob Morrison
unsplash-logoMohamed Nohassi

 

*I always change the names of my kids