Being a Mom is Hard Work
Being a mom means you have to be flexible. I had plans for today – drop kids off at school, go to volunteer gig , attend weekly luncheon with my friend, run home for a quick email check, then back to school to pick the kids up. My Mondays are usually packed.
But this morning, kid #3 woke up with icky, red eyes. If I had sent him to school, I would bet almost anything they would have sent him right back home. Pink eye is frowned upon, even if it’s only the suspicion of pink eye. Sometimes, being a mom means having to make executive decisions.
Rather than chance it, we re-grouped. Here’s how the day went instead.
- Call the doctor to see if we can get an appointment this morning. They’re not open yet, so leave a message to have them call me back.
- Call the school where I volunteer to let them know I can’t make it today.
- Email school to let them know my kid will not be there.
- Feed and entertain said child to keep him from rubbing his eyes.
- Answer doctor’s phone call & schedule appointment.
- Quick potty break because … you know … mom’s gotta go.
- Rush to get out the door because now we’re late for the doctor’s.
- Wait and wait at the doctor’s office. Of course, we rushed to get out the door, so neither of us has anything to occupy the waiting time except for my phone. Child gets the phone; mom stares at baby formula brochures in the waiting area.
- Go into the exam room and wait some more.
- Doctor arrives, takes a look and let’s us know that it’s NOT pink eye (yay!) but it is likely some sort of viral infection (boo!) based on other symptoms.
- Check out of the doctor’s & head home.
- Check medicine cabinet to see if we have over-the-counter eye drops I was sure we had. We don’t.
- Leave kid with husband (thank goodness he’s home) and run to drugstore to buy eye drops.
- Come home, get drops in kid’s eyes (much easier said than done), make coffee & settle in to get some writing done while kid is watching TV (don’t judge).
- Manage to write 2 sentences before kid announces that he’s hungry. Hold him off to write one more sentence and respond to a quick email before he informs me that he’s starving and can’t go on any longer without lunch.
- Make kid lunch, then try to get a little more work done. Get distracted watching funny animal videos my sister posted to Facebook.
- Give up and make myself lunch.
- Sit down to eat while kids watches more TV.
- Go back to my computer only to hear my kid announce, every 5 seconds, that I need to watch him as he wields his Power Ranger sword like a real Power Ranger. If I glance down, he screams, “Mom, you’re not watching! Watch me, and KEEP watching!”
- Watch him be a Power Ranger for, like, a gajillion times because he didn’t do it just right.
- Realize I’m not really going to get anything done & give up to do something with this kid of mine. Try to do something enjoyable but realize I now have a headache.
- Sit down to watch a movie with my awesome kid (I know – more TV, but I’m desperate!). Catch myself dozing, but realize he doesn’t care because he’s happy I’m sitting with him.
- Finally send him off to play with his siblings, who are home from school, and spend a little time with Daddy.
- Sit down to write this post.
When you’re a mom, it’s the little things that occupy your time throughout the day. I think that’s why so many people just don’t get it. I realize I’m not having critical meetings about pressing world issues or solving crisis after crisis at the office. But watching a budding Power Ranger takes focus and time and energy, and saying just the right thing to encourage his Power Ranger-ness without actually encouraging it takes finesse and tact and diplomacy.
Being a mom takes high level skill in addition to a lot of love and devotion. It’s hard work to raise good humans, and I don’t think enough people appreciate that publicly. To give your attention to someone or something so fully that the illusion of multi-tasking is impossible could challenge even the most attentive among us. And there is no better task master than a child who craves that attention.
So here it is … I appreciate all you moms out there who are doing all you can to love, nurture and care for your kids in the best ways you know how. I’m exhausted from being a mom today, but my kid needed me, and I’m glad I could be here doing what I do, as imperfectly as I do it. In his eyes, I encompass his whole world and I can’t think of anything more important than that.
Are you a mom who can relate to any of this? Leave me a comment – I’d love to hear your story!