Stay-at-home-mom? Hmmm... (A post especially for the mommas)
So, I got up this morning. Let’s just pause there and single clap for every tired mom that got out of bed today.
Today was going to be
an unusually another busy day. It was going to require maps, multiple lunch sacks, ice packs, a myriad of book and diaper bags, and extension cords among other items. More on this later if you're wondering...
immediately quickly sluggishly came downstairs and declared to the "Arthur" crowd (every parent without cable knows that this means it was sometime around 7am) that we needed to be task-oriented and focused to get prepared for our day. I would be working up at Gaither Studios and we all had to get to our assigned places.
I called them by name and asked if they were hungry.
"Wah wah wah wah TREAT wah wah wah." They all came. Even the one that doesn't talk yet. And this is how the morning went down.
Step 1: Put butter in pan (while McBabies realize that no treat is involved quite yet and wander back to PBS, train sets, clutter, dirty laundry, choking and other electrical potential hazards left out.) If you saw my FB post yesterday, you'll see that I mentioned that we go through at least 8 sticks of (freaking expensive organic) butter a week. Butter in pan is not a strange routine to me. I could do it in my sleep. Actually, I kinda do every day.
Step 2: Slice up homemade (freaking expensive organic) sourdough bread for toast while butter melts. Get frozen (freaking expensive organic) blueberries out that we recently, in a moment of romanticized possible reality, handpicked with 3 under-5-yrs-old McBabies in tow. Feed to McBaby #3 so she will be happy in a high chair instead of choking on the trains she's chewing on. My deepest apologies to my sweet brother who is loaning his childhood trains to us until his children are old enough to use them. I pray they still
connect and roll exist at that point.
Step 3: Crack 6 (freaking expensive organic) eggs in the pan being mindful to separate the yolks out on 2 since McBaby #1 only likes white, McBaby #3 only eats yellows so far. McBaby #middle eats what I give him. I eat whatever they don't eat off of my plate and theirs while doing the rest of these steps. Toast bread.
Step 4: Grab some plates, silverware, and waters. McBaby #1 wants her pink cup with lots of ice - just like me. McBaby #2 wants his red cup with the handle - no ice like McHusband. McBaby #3 - oh yeah, phew, not choking on blueberries, still has one green sippy cup that doesn't leak and hasn't been lost to the Bermuda Triangle like the rest of the (freaking expensive non-BPA) sippies.
Step 5: Deliver food to said McBabies. Sing our mealtime prayers. Breathe a word of thanks to Jesus for this moment and little elbows on the table.
Step 6: Start my school management system on the counter. McBaby #1 station - she will be headed to Location A for her homeschool co-op. She needs 3 items in her backpack today. She's wearing a dress (must have sleeves) and so she needs shorts under them. For obvious reasons. Run upstairs and find the shorts and throw them at her head while she watches "Arthur." McBaby #2 station - he will be headed to location B for the first half of the day for preschool. He needs his backpack, 2 changes of clothes
justincase because, apparently, we suck at potty-training. He needs his folder and - I remember - a form. Can't find form so I make my own real quickly remembering various other papers I think I was supposed to turn in by now. We'll deal with it later. McBaby #3 station - she will be headed to location C. Pack diaper bag - crap, out of diapers. Pack some of McBaby #2's old ones that are waaay too big for her. Get her doll and blanket that makes her sleep like magic. I'm a witch doctor at making good sleepers. Say a prayer and thank Jesus for this blessing. Be reminded that McBaby #2 will join McBaby #3 at Location B thanks to friend who will drop him off... and who also saved the day because THE BABYSITTER CANCELLED YESTERDAY!!! Pack his little stuffed animal, pillow, and (don't judge me) pacifier. I swear it's only used for sleeping.
Step 7: Move down the line to the next spot on the counter. Thankfully, I have one counter that is 10 feet long. It's what sold me on this house. Anyhoo... project Lunch/Food Management. McBaby #1 needs one lunch pack of a (freaking expensive organic) peanut butter and (freaking expensive organic LOCAL) honey sandwich. She likes them cut into squares. She also asks for a hard-boiled egg because "[I] haven't been packing [her] enough food". She gets (freaking expensive organic) veggie sticks and a sliced (freaking expensive organic) apple. Pack (a). She also takes 2 snacks to school - must be in a different container. She gets another apple (bc she always likes to eat 2 a day... doctor stays away for a year this way) and some blueberries. Pack (b). McBaby #2 eats at preschool. He also gets PB & H, but really prefers it cut into triangles. Someone in the class has a nut allergy, so I must label his lunch pack. He gets veggie sticks, hard-boiled egg, and apple slices too. Pack (c). McBaby #3 will be having a combo of pumped milk - get freezer bags of breast milk and an ice pack for Pack (d) and food. Cook some carrots and shred some chicken for babysitter. Pack (e).
Step 8: Sarah station. Get my water bottle, sunglasses, pump, wash pumping bottles, and get an extension cord because lots and lots and lots of old people take tours at Gaithers' and I can't be just anywhere there exposed pumping so I bring the cord to at least slip into a stall. Grab a book I borrowed from a friend to return. Realize I should wear clothes, shower, put in contacts to see music - where the h*%% is my contact solution??? - and take a snack. Thankfully "Arthur" has about 5 more minutes.
Step 9: Add my purse to the pile.
Step 10: Find shoes for everyone. Any shoes. Flip flops, winter boots, doesn't matter. Just find something people. No shirt, no shoes, no service. (What? No one cares about pants anymore? Off subject.) Get your shoes people. Well, at least carry them to the car yourself.
Step 11: Everyone gets in car. Promised them a "treat" of choosing special music. Realize that the car radio has been on lock mode and won't work right now since getting a AAA jumpstart 2 days ago for leaving the dome light on. For the sixth time this year. No worries, AAA only made me wait 2 hours in my motionless car with my children strapped in carseats. #Dantecanaddchapter8tohisinferno Think about what new treat could be. Keep building anticipation while stalling and thinking of something and digging through purses, bags, and leftover food around me. Everyone gets gum for treat. Not baby, I'm not that crazy. Drive McBaby #1 through lots of traffic to A. 8 minutes early; success. Smooch, hug, bye. Thank Jesus for this girl, this moment. Drive McBaby #2 to B. 20 minutes early. Just enough time to get in drop-off line and nurse McBaby #3 in car while waiting. Finish up, re-hook. Me and baby. ;) Drop off McBaby #2. Smooch, hug, bye. Thanks Jesus for this boy, this moment. Drive McBaby #3 to location C. Trade-off. Smooch, hug, slip out. Thank Jesus for this baby, this moment.
Step 12: Head to work. Turnaround after realizing I forgot to leave carseats for McHusband to do pick-up.
Step 13: Re-head to work. Thank Jesus for some quiet moments in the car. Just me, the open road, the quiet sound of my pump that I'm using with my non-driving hand to make today possible.
Step 14: Get to work and sing my heart out. Leave it all on the floor. Thank Jesus for the beautiful music that Praise Gathering puts out that moves me, inspires me. Keep my phone near me for any needs that arise with McBabies. Thank Jesus for my village that allows me to leave my nest and fly in a different way than I fly on the other days.
So am I a stay-at-home-mom? Well, I'm a mom. I'm not at home all the time though. I have the gift and privilege of raising amazing, healthy children. And, yes, I'm with them pretty much daily. We are rarely home. We swim at the Y, we meet friends for lunch, we homeschool which really means we school around the country. We travel, visit the zoo, museums, grandparents. The world is their school and playground - and mine too. It is important to our family that we are all using our gifts in various ways and that we are in community. Today, I was in community with fellow worship leaders and that's what made the race this morning worth it. The fact that the McBabies are handled with love, care, and guidance by so many in our "village" makes it a gift to them too.
All of this is what works for us. I'm on my knees to pray for it to continue to work. I'm on my knees thanking God that it does. I'm on my knees for my family and friends who are mothers to find what this is for them too. I'm on my knees for you to know God, to know your family, and to know yourself and how it is all wired to work together to honor everyone involved.
Oh yeah, Step 15: Put bbq (freaking expensive organic) chicken in crock pot. It did get over-cooked a bit, but, hey, we all made it today. :) Thank you Jesus.