*This post is unedited. It was written in the fury of tears and emotions that washed over me when I walked back into the house after the kids got on the bus.*
It’s too much. I can’t breathe and I’m drowing, and you might be drowning too, but we won’t tell each other that. Because it’s unpretty.
To “mom” (as a verb) whether you work full time, part time, from home, or home is your sole work. It’s too damn much, especially if you want to give even a quarter of a damn about what happens in your life or your kids’ lives.
In a day, we’re expected to:
- Pray about everyone in the world and our children in future generations, and their future spouses if we remember. God help us if we forget or they might end up with an abusive drug addict who pisses all their money and lives away.
We should do this holy supplication first thing in the morning, lest we forget later in the day and the whole of humanity is doomed because we were too busy catching up on Facebook and not “Faithbook. “
- We should also exercise first thing in the morning, to avoid the amnesia mentioned previously, and to kick our metabolisms into high gear, thereby avoiding the middle age spread that’s coming for us, if it hasn’t already. Or, to work off the baby weight we meant to start on six years ago. Also, everyone knows that a fit body means a fit and focused mind, and as we stare at the day ahead of us we can’t imagine getting it all done with a soggy, flabby mind, so off to the gym or the living room or the open road it is. We can’t neglect this. Or else.
But, maybe don’t do this before praying, because, well, humanity. Or maybe it’s best to do this before so you’re focused for the Lord? Take that up in prayer time. Whenever you get around to it.
- We must gently raise the kids from slumber, if they haven’t already come down during our holy time or mid-squat to ask us what we’re doing. Remember to tell them to get dressed all the way to their shoes before they come downstairs to avoid chasing the bus down in sock feet. Go ahead and trust me on this. No one feels empowered after waving sneakers over their head as a means to get the busdriver’s attention
- Feed them. Make breakfast and pack their lunches. Pack their lunches because you can cram more food in their lunchboxes than they’d get on the lunch trays, and since your kids come home literally starving to actual death everyday, it’s best to head off the meltdowns with a little preparation at 7:00AM. If you’re fancy, you’ll remember to throw food in the crockpot and turn it on just before or just after the bus. Before is best. It’s always best to do all of these things first thing so you don’t forget. Of course, turning on the crockpot at either time at this point in the day usually requires that you remembered to take out meat to thaw sometime the day before, or when woken in a panic in the middle of the night. It’s best to take out the meat as soon as you remember, so you don’t forget.
*Extra points for lunches where you remember to write a cute, funny, or loving note to stuff in their backpacks so they remember mid-day that you love them and don’t feel hopeless and abandoned in the nuclear jungle that is elementary school.*
- Pay any bills that need to be paid while they’re at school, tend to the animals and the house. The HOUSE. A calm, happy family cannot function one iota in a household that is not, itself, calm and happy. Clean that shit, sister. Do it right away, maybe after you’ve addressed the crockpot, so you don’t run out of time and leave your children to come home from school to a wasteland that matches the depravity of their minds after a screaming bus ride home. We must have an oasis prepared. You should clean pretty much first thing.
- If you didn’t work out and/or pray right upon waking, squeeze it in now between errands. We all know that we’ll choose one or the other and feel guilty about selecting it over the other for the rest of the day or week, so it’s best to just put a dartboard up, toss a dart with your eyes closed toward “God” or “Booty” and ramain steadfast in this “decision” for the rest of the day.
- Schedule/attend appointments accordingly. Plan to pick up and return children to school, question what you were thinking scheduling a dentist appointment for 10:00 am on a Friday when all you need is a minute to breathe, but it turns out the only time you actually have to breathe is when you’re in the car and yelling at the person in front of you for driving 5mph below the speed limit (or the actual speed limit) thereby mucking with your perfectly choreographed day that included assumption of being able to drive 5mph over the speed limit everywhere. And green lights. My bad for assuming I’d have a SINGLE GREEN LIGHT TODAY.
- Remember when you’re two towns away picking up an ADHD medication prescription that can’t be sent straight to the pharmacy because this country is in the middle of a drug crisis always that you didn’t, in fact, turn on the crock pot and everyone will starve and blame you. Or they’ll blow something up later in life and it will be because you tossed cold deli meat on their plate after a long day and called it dinner. How dare you.
- Worry about bullies. Always. When you think you’ve got a few minutes to just let your mind wander to what clothes you might buy when the squats pay off, or what you might do with the windfall you’re praying for, remember the bullies and work with all your mind power to stop them, especially if they’re coming after your kids. Fret about this any moment you get, especially since you forgot to pray this morning and your children left your house without a hedge of protection around them. It’s too late now—the bullies are after them.
- Then, worry that your child might be a bully. Fret that in their hunger and lack of prayer over them they’ve gone to the dark side and are making the lives of their former friends miserable. Wait for the phone call, the newspaper article, the Today Show interview to confirm that you’re a terrible parent who should have seen this coming. If only you’d made them finish their organic carrots and hummus, you absolute monster.
- It’s well after noon. Did you eat today? Ha! You can’t take care of your family unless you’ve put the O2 mask on yourself, lady! Haven’t you read that book and seen the interviews and perused the blogs on self-care? You’re not doing it?! How will literally anyone survive if you’re not eating or exercising or meditating or volunteering or praying—STOP FORGETTING TO PRAY—or reading to enrich your mind and fight against the potato ricer to the brain that is parenting? When was your last pap smear? Don’t you KNOW how irresponsible it is not to take care of yourself?
How dare you.
- You kissed your husband/wife goodbye this morning, right? Yes. You did. Are you making enough eye contact and having enough sex to guarantee you’ll be happy in your seventies? Do the kids see you hug enough? How’s date night going? Do you have one regularly scheduled? You sent them to work with their lunch, right? Because you have a giant family and budget is not a fancy word and it’s real and you can’t just be having everyone run around buying fast food all week. They’ll die and you’ll be poor.
Don’t do that to your family.
The body of this post came out a little “funnier” than I meant it to, because I can see from a distance what a shit show we all live in. But, for #13, I am giving you my to-the-minute stream of consciousness. It’s all one paragraph: stream.
- The guys are coming to close the pool today, bible study is this morning, my husband takes a red-eye home tonight but I won’t see him until maybe after the bus leaves tomorrow morning, my kitchen has looked better, I yelled at Aiden this morning because his attitude sucked and then had to make it up by giving him no less than eleven hundred kisses before the bus came, because if the bullies come for him today he can’t think he’s all alone in this world because his mom yelled at him right before school. Also there’s a teenager in the house who needs nine times more attention than I have to give her and I fill in the rest with prayer, if I remember. AND OH MY GOD FRIENDS. I’m trying so hard to make friends and it’s just like dating, which I was never good at, either, and I can’t possibly raise these children alone. I can’t. Shit, I’ve gotta go to Hadley to pick up that Adderall prescription so I have time to drive it to another town to fill it and have time to pick it up tonight so, unlike today, the teen doesn’t have to go to school without it BECAUSE I FORGOT ALL WEEK and if she fails today it’s my fault. I did hang some curtains in the formal living room last night so it looks nicer—that’s good. And we watched some America’s Funniest Videos before bed, which was nice even though it was past their bedtime—until this morning (see: yelling). Oh Jesus, I’m writing a book. When’s the last time I wrote? Saturday. It’s been over a year since I’ve released a novel. This certainly means it’s the end. Oh my God—I forgot to eat breakfast. I have 45 minutes to eat, skim out the pool one last time, write the check for the pool guys since I’m sure they’re going to come when I’m gone. I should probably stop crying, too, since I’ve been doing that since 5 minutes before starting to write this post. This post, coming to you through blurry, teary vision. SHIT tomorrow is Friday. The kids haven’t read every day this week and I’ve gone over their spelling words with them ZERO TIMES. We’ve reviewed zero Bible verses this week. Don’t forget the teen’s home game tomorrow (cheer). Don’t forget the home game. Go, since you missed the last two and that hurts her feelings even though you were out of town for both AND she’d never admit it. There’s fundraising to do for PTO, too. Do you plan to participate? You’re an elected official in the town, Love. Get your act together and focus on whether to keep the golf course open, or to close it, and prepare for half the town to hate you either way because this is what you signed up for. Also, consider demanding that everyone just be fucking kind, because this is all too hard. IT’S TOO MUCH. Shit, when are the soccer games this weekend? Are the uniforms cleaned? Aiden’s isn’t. Where’s Quinn’s? The birthday party for Sunday: just order all the food, no one will care because they actually won’t because you’re friends with awesome people. Oh—the cat next to me is reminding me that he, too, hasn’t eaten breakfast. You won’t have time to workout or shower before you leave the house this morning. Which is ok since you’re IN the workout clothes already, so it looks like you at least INTEND to take care of yourself this morning. Temporarily ignore the dream you had about an underactive thyroid last night. You forgot to send that tote bag in with Paige to give to her friend to give to her mom. Set a reminder to do that for tomorrow. It’s Thursday. Thursday is holy because it’s the one night without activities. You get to breathe tonight.
After you remember to love on the kids, clean, and pray, of course.