This is how we do it

People ask me kind of often how I do it.  The job, the kids, the 4 different soccer teams and doctor visits and lunches and suppers and occasional shift in my church nursery and all that stuff. 

Usually I just say, Not very well, have you SEEN my house? 

Sometimes it's ok.  Like, right now my bedroom is not terrible.  The bed's made (ok, I just got up and did that really quickly, but it's done), and there's nothing on the floor except a stack of laundry that I need to deal with.  So, passable.  Sort of a little cute, even. 

But when I got up this morning (late, again) at 6:45 to make the lunches I spaced on making last night, there were still dishes in the sink and on the kitchen table.  And, here's what my living room looked like:

Living room 010

I made Willow cry when I brushed her hair because I was doing it too fast.  Alex started to leave without his lunch and instead of reminding him nicely, I said, What are you doing right now that is making me want to kill you?

He looked at me.  Um?  I am? Going?  To school?

WITHOUT WHAT? I hissed at him.

Ooooooh, my LUNCH!

OKAY.  BYE.  I love you, Alex.  Have a good day. 

I think most child advocates would frown on that exchange, even though Lex and I both know I'm not really going to do anything other than snarl at him.

This morning was also the third time this week that I have driven my children to school in my pajamas, Ugg boots, and trenchcoat; hair uncombed, sunglasses on over puffy eyes, coffee cup in hand.  Note that I only have two work from home days a week, so the one office day I did that was awesome.    

We are late to soccer practice a lot.  We don't sell as many boxes of nuts as the other Girl Scouts (we do okay on the cookies, but that's a gimme).  We sell ZERO magazine subscriptions for anything.  I stockpile frozen gluten and dairy free Trader Joe's pancakes like the end is neigh and that is the food that will save us.  Here, lately, breakfast=pancakes hot from the toaster.  The dentist has to call six times to remind us to reschedule that appointment to get Sophie's cavity filled.  Sometimes the kids sleep in their clothes.  Sometimes they stay up until 10 on a school night.  SG does a lot of things for me that I should do.  Things like putting air in the tires of my van, picking up the living room, shopping at Costco.  The kids' very expensive computer is so grungy I am afraid to touch it.  Same goes triple for their bathroom.  Quadruple for mine.     

My oversight of the kids homework goes something like this:

Me: Did you do your homework?

Kid: Yes.  Yes I so totally did. 

Me:  Okay.  You may be useless and wreak havoc now.

Teacher, two months into school, to me:  Hi.  I'm your kid's teacher.  So, there's this thing we do, maybe you've heard of it before?  Called HOMEWORK?  Sound familiar? 

Me to kid:  Do your homework.  Really.  I mean it.

Kid:  I always do it.  I just don't always turn it in.

Me:  See that dent in the wall?  Right at my forehead level?  YOUR FAULT, DUDE.   

Oh, alright.  I'm overstating a little bit.  Just a little, though.  The homework really has been a problem, but I am doing a better job of being sure it's not.  Taking away rides to the skate park is working.  Letters home from the teacher don't hurt any, either.  And, in my defense, here are some things we DO do:

  • floss
  • eat mostly decent food
  • read lots of books
  • talk to each other
  • have fun (when we aren't all bickercity)
  • laugh a lot
  • eat supper together
  • have spontaneous dance parties and talent shows
  • sing in the car
  • make homemade Valentines
  • play rockband (I nail the vocals on Roxanne every time) 

Yes, I'd like to have a cleaner, nicer house.  And I would very much like to be more organized and on time and able to get through even a fraction of my daily ToDo Lists.  But, I can only work with what I've got, and the vital stuff seems to get done somehow.  How do I do it?  Who knows?  I guess I do it a minute at a time while trying to let go of 99% of my expectations. 

3 thoughts on “This is how we do it

  1. viellefemme

    We are all busy tying knots and hanging on these days. The scenarios wherein we feel inadequate, out numbered and out gunned are just different. I will say this, however, having grown up with a mother who, and I am not making this up, would say to me before the empty coke bottle hit the table/floor/wherever, “Rinse that out and put it in the pantry!”, your kids will have a much better memory of their childhood. If that matters at all, and I, for one, think it does. And, someday,, they might be gone and take their litter with them.

  2. Raechelle

    You make me feel so normal!

    I just had this conversation with the 12 year old girl child two days ago. Me, very calm, almost scary calm: “If you don’t start turning out the lights when you leave a room, I am going to freakin’ lose it and yell at you until you do. Okay?” Her: “I forget!” Me: “Well, start remembering. I love you.”

    And the homework thing! I totally get it now! I ask daily, and daily, she says “Nope. Don’t have any.” Then I check The Source, a wonderful tool here that lets us look at our kids grades and attendance. She has Ds in Homework. After showing her this, she says, “Oh. Maybe I’m not turning it in?” Ya think? I told her I’ll quit asking about it once I see As in Homework.


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