Thursday, May 20, 2010
Making Work Work
I am like many, many other moms of this age: a stay-at-home-work-at-home-mom. It's what I want to do and love to do and most days do well. There are days and weeks however that the very fiber of my being is stretched and pulled so that my life and I resemble no one or thing that I know. Needless to say, this is one of those weeks. One of those endless weeks where nothing seems to gel, plans fall apart, work goes undone and my house, well I just try to close my eyes as I walk through all of the messy, messy messes.
I imagine in my mind that I have it all together, and some days I actually think it helps to live in this bit of dream world. But then it becomes painfully clear, when one more thing is stacked onto my carefully balanced tower and it topples, that no, I do not have it all together. In fact I'm barely holding myself and family and home together.
Here is my schedule today (and most days this week, month, year...):
7-7:30 a.m. Wake up or be woken up by one of three children. This week I have had little sleep during the night because littlest brother is sick with various viruses and infections. But he's on the mend.
7:30-8 a.m. Drag myself out of bed and get littlest a bottle, yes I still let him have a bottle at 19 months. It's pure survival around here. I make breakfast for the boys and say the same thing I say every morning. "I'll get you your juice in a minute, I'm trying to get your breakfasts ready first!"
8-8:30 a.m. Try to get myself a healthy breakfast and (thank you God) a cup of coffee. Then race upstairs to shower and get Finn (littlest) dressed. And oh yes, make Haden's lunch, late again...(he has to take his lunch every day because of multiple food allergies.)
8:30-8:50 a.m. Leave to get Haden to school on time, that's at 8:50ish, but our arrival time varies day by day depending on all of the above factors.
8:50 a.m. Breathe a sigh of relief as we drop of biggest brother at 1st grade. Today would have been middle's preschool, but Liam now has the same persistent cough and throat pain as littlest. Great. So he stays with me today. We drive to an estate sale I spied in the newspaper. Some really good stuff, but really unwilling seller...if you have a sale, don't you want to just get rid of your junk?!?...
10:00 a.m. Home for Sesame Street for middle and little and off to fold three baskets of laundry, as well as oldest's bedding from him throwing up last night due to uncontrollable coughing. Great, now they are all sick. I'm trying to deny it because that is pure misery, especially when I'm sick with the same energy sucking sickness.
11:45 a.m. Lunch, finally! We're all tired and starving even though we had snack. Oh yeah, we're sick, that's why we're so wiped out. My lunch after two littles lunch, and I glance at a magazine trying desperately to feel like an adult for a minute. Oh, I have multiple phone calls I haven't returned yet, either.
12:45 p.m. How did it get to be this late...I emptied and loaded the dishwasher again, cleaned up the boys lunch, ate mine and got us upstairs for nap. Of course littlest needed held the whole time. (Note: In the back of my mind all morning are the cool finds I have in the trunk of my van, waiting for my attention to mark and clean up for the sale I'm setting up for TOMORROW!! Trying to not panic.)
1 p.m. Ahh...littlest fell right asleep, his cough is better, but then he's on antibiotics, which I'm sneaking into his bottle because he won't take it outright. Middle is happily playing Legos and I'm going to attempt to nap.
2:30 p.m. Time to wake up littlest because we need to pick up big brother at 3 from school. (He can't ride the bus, though he'd love to, because the bus company won't administer Epi-Pens in case of emergency. Nice.) I don't need to wake up because I just laid in bed and thought of how yucky I felt (this version of sickness sucks) and how much I needed to get done.
3:00 p.m. We get Haden, drive the whole 3 minutes home and I instruct oldest to play and watch littlest like a hawk, or lose DS & Wii time. They then do races down our sloped driveway on push toys (all three)stopping just short of the road. Now I get to work marking about three items, boxing the rest I got done earlier in the week all while taking a quick inventory (with my eyes only) of what I can pack up in the morning. (In my head I get really excited for a minute because I have some super cool junk to take with me this weekend and for Farm Chicks next, so I take some pictures...yea me!!). I spray paint one section of my cart that needs it (when the boys are down the driveway) and then that's it for work. Everyone is cold and tired and hungry.
4:00 p.m. I have a snack and Finn has a snack and Haden plays Wii Lego Star Wars while his dedicated brother Liam watches.
5:00 p.m. Dinner time (Note: I'm spoiled, usually Mark, a teacher, is home by now and helps hold/help whoever needs it, usually me, but tonight he won't be home until 9). I manage to make pancakes while the boys "play together". I don't really know what they did.
6:00 p.m. Baths. Teeth brushed. Stories. Jammies. Night Time. Well, they all get to bed about 7 for my sanity, but Haden and Liam read for a while and Liam keeps coughing and now I can't get him awake to take some medicine. Poor guy.
9:00 p.m. Mark just got home, and I'm working again, but I love my work, the writing, the relationships with other junkers and creative women online, the everything about it. I love my family work life too, the boys, the cooking, the laughter.
I just don't feel like I'm doing any of the work I love very well right now. But as Scarlett O'Hara and my mom always say, "There's always tomorrow"...or something like that. And Mark brought home Diet Coke for me, so my sore throat will be coated with my magic elixer while I try this mix all over again tomorrow. Things are looking up.
PS...I'm going to have Mark just read this to tell him about my day. It'll just be easier on everyone.