Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Hat's Off to Some Other Moms

So, yes.
More on this idea of public beta. Either publish my rough draft, or never publish at all.
That's what it's come down to with me.
Because, as I am re- prioritizing, I'm finding out the *spending* time with my loved ones, rather than blogging perfectly *about* the time with my loved ones, is more important.
Part of what that looks like, is dictating blog posts as I drive down the road. And then, hitting publish without checking for grammar, punctuation, or spelling.
(Edited to add: I hit publish when I'm NOT driving)
Also, most of the time, without checking whether what I said was correctly captured. So if you encounter up your gibberish here, or word or two that just don't fit, blame it on a technology glitch and not me. ;0) (Okay, this time I checked. And I'm going to leave that there to show you what I mean. That was supposed to say "if you encounter PURE gibberish"!!!)
And here is where I take my hat off to working moms.
I cannot tell you how many times, when someone finds out I have eight children and homeschool, their response is "I don't know how you do it "
I usually respond with something along the lines of "one minute at a time" or something like that.
Now, my last few days have looked nothing like a 9-to-5 job:
Sunday, I supervised while my daughter baked three dozen cinnamon rolls to sell. Then I hung out at the end of the driveway while she sold them, making sure she gave the correct change and told her customers thank you. That was several hours.
Then my husband and I went to get wood. I stacked a truck load of firewood, while my man cut a few huge logs with his chainsaw.
Monday, we met with several others from our playgroup, and swam together at the pool for a while. I am just now realizing that can sound like a relaxing time to chat with other moms. But I had seven children with me, and none of them can swim. That's not a complaint that all, I enjoyed myself very much. But I didn't sit on the bench and watch the children play :0)
After swimming, we hurried home and just had time to get out of the wet clothes into dry ones before we drove half an hour away to my daughter's very first ever gymnastics lesson, that she bought with her cinnamon roll money. (She's been baking and selling cinnamon rolls at the end of our driveway for weeks now, because she has a dream of being a gymnast. With eight children we can't pay for every extracurricular that everyone wants, so we encourage them to find a way to do it themselves. Baking was her idea. So far she has saved enough for four months of lessons, and plans to keep going.) I very much enjoyed watching her very first class, and was so pleased with the way she threw herself right and, even though she is terribly shy. I had to divide my time though, because the other children were bored with watching after a very few minutes. There was a playground where she was taking her lessons, but because of insurance reasons and rules, the children couldn't go to the playground unless I was with them. So I spent the hour scurrying back and forth.
The minute gymnastics class was over, we drove home as fast as is legal, pulled out paper plates, and snarfed down the meal that I had put in the crockpot faster than any meal we have ever eaten as a family before. My highschooler had a chorus concert that I was determined we would not miss. We didn't miss it, thankfully.
Today we woke up and gave five of the fastest showers my children have pulled off, and headed to the dentist for five consecutive appointments. We brought along several toys to entertain the ones who were not getting their teeth cleaned as well as the ones who were too small to go into the dentist chair at all. My Knight in Shining Armor showed up near the end and picked up the children who were finished and took them to McDonald's. I stayed with the few who still weren't done. Then we all met at McDonald's for a little breather. (Can I just salvage a little bit of my pride and dignity here, and make sure you understand what a rare treat McDonald's is for our family? As in, we go maybe twice a year?)
Come home, exhaustedly pile out of the van, hire a child to clean it up, sneak upstairs to take a nap with hubby for 10 minutes, and head out again to take one to the chiropractor.
Tonight I'm pulling a lazy trick. We're having spaghetti for supper.
Like I said, my last few days have looked nothing like your average 9-to-5 workday. But I have been away from home for the majority of the day these days. And as I look around the atrocious mess that we are now living in, I shake my head and wonder
HOW on earth do working moms do it?
Tomorrow, we are STAYING HOME.
And cleaning house.
And I am going to thoroughly enjoy it.
I'm sure we will have another spurt of busy days soon. And I'm sure I'll clean up afterward. But I've just got to say, you ladies that do this all the time, you amaze me.
Just like you say, you could never have eight children, or you could never homeschool your children. I could never do what you do.
But we're all moms, and it's hard work whichever way you do it. And it's beautiful whichever way you do it.


  1. With a support network. With determination that whatever happens that I will not sacrifice fill-in-blank with my child. With a supportive spouse, and with a personality that can happily sit on the couch and rest even when the house is filthy. And many jobs will give you paid leave to do things like dentists appointments.

    Yesterday I was having problems at work and felt like I needed to satay, but my husband had to go to work at 6pm. I called his parents, and with less than 2 hours notice they came and picked up Bamm-Bamm. I was thinking, "How to people do it who don't have family close by?" I guess we all figure it out whichever way we can!

  2. I just want to say thank you for recognizing that it is WORK to take kids swimming! Especially when they can't swim. Just the act of getting ready to go is work, and then the constant head counting to make sure they are all above water...sometimes when someone hears I took the girls to the pool I think they envision me lounging on a pool chair with my feet propped up. It is quite the opposite! But, well worth it for how much they enjoy it.