Wow!! I just want to say that being a mother is like no other job in the world! It has many joys, don’t get me wrong, but it is also exasperating! Honestly, there is always SOMETHING. And when you think you have it all figured out, it changes!
As the parent of a 9-year-0ld and an 11-year-old, I can’t even begin to convey all of the things I deal with week to week. First, I never know what emotional state my daughter will be in when she gets off of the bus….she is kicking mad one minute, then so silly she is annoying the next, and then she is crying because she is so sad the next because of whatever happened at school! Or it could be my son, so angry at me because he has to get braces. He understands that he needs braces, yet he still asks me “why?” and hides from me when it is time to go to his appointment. Then comes fighting the tangles in my daughter’s hair. I constantly remind my kids to hang up their coats, put away their shoes, take their dishes to the dishwasher, go take showers, etc. These are such simple tasks, but I find myself repeating myself over and over. (I’m hoping some day for some responsibility.)
Another thing I do is the planning of all of our menus. I do my weekly grocery shopping trip with great planning for healthy breakfasts, packed lunches, and dinners. I encourage them eat certain things that I think are reasonable for a healthy diet, but listening to the moans and groans tends to be a daily chore of mine as well. And it seems that there is always a form from school that need to be filled out, or a check to be written for something. I try to keep track of any appointments, the mail, homework, and I’m committed to quality time with each child. Yet another thing on my list is that chore of cleaning out the closets and drawers in their rooms as they have grown to the next size. Making sure everyone has clothes that fit and that they like to wear doesn’t magically happen. Then if that isn’t enough, there is always some type of surprise. Two weekends ago my son cut his foot in the woods after repeatedly being told to keep his shoes on….ugh! Trying to clean the dirt out of a crying child’s foot so it won’t get infected isn’t my idea of a picnic. Then this past weekend I’m woken by my daughter at midnight because she has vomited all over her bed. She continues to vomit until early Sunday morning. That is followed by lots of extra laundry, bleaching of surfaces, canceling of meetings at work, and caring for a sick child. All of this tends to wear a person down!
But I know that I am no good to anyone if I don’t take care of myself. So, this is what works for me. Not only do I eat a healthy diet, but I go to spinning class 3 times per week at 5:30 am, when the rest of my family are still sleeping. I have read that exercise is as effective as an anti-depressant, and I believe it. I work part-time 2 or 3 days per week during the hours that my kids are at school. It feels so good to do something productive and interact with other adults. On my days off, I keep up with the housework, but I also set aside an hour to do something creative like scrapbook special events, talk to a friend, do a yoga tape, or write a blog. All of these things lift my spirit. I also keep my kids on task so that every night at 8pm I have them settled in their beds reading something of their choice, so that my husband and I can have about an hour to watch whatever show we choose in our comfy basement. Lastly, I am very diligent about getting a good night’s sleep, so that I’m ready for whatever the next day brings.