Mom Busters

So yesterday was a.... uh... day.

First let me say, that it started the night before with puking kids, a baby who screamed so loud he woke up everybody just so he could play. Yep, he just wanted to play. As soon as we picked him up he thought he was hilarious. All he did was laugh!!! And then there was more puking.

Not from the happy baby. From a different kid entirely.

So, we got through the night and then we started the day.

And let me just tell you... sometimes it's hard to be a mom!!!

Sometimes, Ok, all the time, it's really hard to be a mom.

And not just because of the obvious reasons, like you're RESPONSIBLE for children, children that will one day become thinking, voting, rationalizing adults.

What if you screw that up???

Or because you're actually responsible for the feeding and care and health and safety of living beings!!! The college diet of Ramen and beer doesn't translate into family life. Least of all because you do not want to be that mom that shows up to the doctors office with four children inflicted with scurvy.

And the whole, "We're pirates" excuse so does not work more than once.

Believe me.

But sometimes motherhood is just hard because there are a LOT of hours between breakfast and bedtime.

I mean. A. Lot.

We all love our kids. That's a given. They are the lights of our lives. Our pride and joy. The reason we work, stopped cussing, gave up on listening to the music we like in the car, forgot what it was like to be daily showered, started eating healthy, started talking to our own parents again....

You get the picture.

We love them.

Still, some days....


Yesterday was that day for me. 

I got no work done. None.

And I'm on a deadline. So it's kind of important that I start getting some work done.

But it didn't happen yesterday. And today is looking iffy.

And finally, after we put the extra long day to rest(Because right at bedtime it started storming like crazy and don't even get me started on that nightmare.... Literally, nightmare, because that's what a good storm does to my children. It gives them nightmares.) I couldn't even keep my eyes open to get to that oh, so important work.

I just collapsed.

At 10:30. On a Friday night.

Do you see where I'm going here with this kids-change-our-lives thing???

But it was Ok. The kids made it through the night. They lived happily, healthily and somewhat safely. And we arrived at today. A new day.

And I'm only a terrible parent half the time. Yesterday I even gave up the idea of getting any writing done early on. I looked around, realized it was so not happening and gave an exasperated shrug.

I could have said a casual shrug.

But that wouldn't have been accurate and I'm going for honesty here. I was exasperated. I won't pretend like I wasn't.

But I got over it.

Because as full time as this job I have is. Motherhood is fuller time. The fullest time. The time that never, ever, ever ends.


So much so that even though Zach and I are both practically thirty with four kids of our own, we BOTH got texts last night from our own mothers about the weather. Zach's mom just casually reminded him he better be paying attention to the news. And mine threw in the whole, "You might have to go to the basement tonight."

Motherhood never ends.

Never ever.

Zach and his brother spent a few hours bottling beer yesterday. Aaron is huge into making his own beer and he actually does really well at it. Most of the time he's trying to pull Zach into his hobby too. So they made this Fourth of July beer a while back and yesterday it needed to be bottled.

While they were doing this, Aaron starts telling Zach how busy he is. How he never has any free time. How his schedule is packed.

And Zach, father of four, is wondering how that is even possible. (Aaron is the ultimate bachelor. He has a great job, no kids, no girlfriend.)

So Aaron explains and Zach's like, all of that.... ALL of that IS free time! That's all you have!!

It's the age old questions, "What do people without kids do???" And probably, if you don't have kids you're thinking I am a gigantic snob.

And probably you are right.

But even I can't remember what Zach and I did without kids. Such is the all-consuming power little ones have over our lives.

Being a mother of four, I get stopped a lot. In public, at dance, at school, in the drive-thru when I'm trying to shout out my order and the cashier on the other end can't hear me because of the utter chaos happening behind me.

And there are things that are asked. Repetitive interactions that are made. The same cliches are said to me over and over and over. And usually I meet them with a polite smile and/or humorous observation.

But whatever I say to you in return is usually a LIE. Or at least a polite way of skating over the reality of the situation.

And why?? Why would I deceive perfect strangers???

Because I don't want to scare the bejeezus out of you and send you to the OB to tie your tubes before you're ready.

Usually I respect you enough to NOT give you the entire, revealing truth.


But not today.

Today I'm getting it all out there. Spouting the whole, horrifying, complete truth. So get ready ladies. This is motherhood.

This is what you say to me. And this is me answering with the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

When you say, "Wow, you're hands are full!"
I think. No kidding. And I mean that literally. There is not a time in my life when my hands are not full of something. In public, there's a 1200 lb. diaper bag weighing down my shoulder at all times, causing an ugly and I'm-really-scared permanent indent in my shoulder. There is always at least one kid in my arms, sometimes two. Sometimes three. I should have the biceps of a body builder, but these are mom-muscles and therefore defy logic and reason and refuse to become defined. If I had to I could lift an entire car off one of my children in an emergency situation, but heaven forbid those same muscles actually look nice sitting on my arm. At home, I walk around with arms full of who knows what. Sometimes I pick up something downstairs and set it on the counter to take upstairs, but it sits there for DAYS. Because every time I go upstairs my arms are already full. Of kids. Of laundry. Of shoes. Don't get me started on the shoes. Of everything and anything. When you tell me my hands are full. I say, Obviously.

When you say, "What do you do all day?"
I think nothing. Nothing. I can't even comprehend that statement. I can't even put an answer together. Form words. Make thoughts. Process what it is that we do in just one day. There's simply.... too much. Baths, three meals, all the snack times, the dishes, the laundry, the quality time, the alone time- which trust me is just as much work for a parent than not, the learning, the teaching, the cuddling, the fighting, the making-up, the projects, the errands, the activities, the endless conversations. Trust me when I say, even though kids are masters of being "bored." A parent hasn't felt bored since they brought the first baby home from the hospital. "Bored" ceased being part of our vocabulary years and years ago.

When you say, "Do you just sleep when the baby sleeps?"
I think, sure I do. In the middle of the night, when I can't keep my eyes open anymore and finally, FINALLY everyone is asleep! That is the oldest wives tale ever. In the history of old wives tales. I don't even care that I'm not using that reference correctly. That's how strongly I feel about this question. Just sleep when the baby sleeps. Sure, and live in filth with a sink piled full of dishes, a laundry room brimming over with dirty clothes and bills that go unpaid. Sure, I'll go comatose for thirty minutes until the other little ones set the house on fire or paint all the walls with sharpie. Sounds like a good, solid plan. Maybe tomorrow.

When you say, "It must be nice not to work."
 I think, yep, it's awesome. Because I don't consider raising children work at all. At a real job you go to work at a set time in the morning and you come home at a set time. You get a lunch break. Maybe several breaks. You have co-workers to talk to with a grown up vocabulary and in adult conversations. Someone else to ply you with coffee. You're required to take a shower and look presentable so you do. When you leave the office and go home, you are AWAY from the office and you are at home. You get paid holidays and vacations and you get SICK DAYS. You get to have birthday parties in which you are not responsible for making the cake. And, AND you're rewarded tangibly, physically, quarterly for all your hard work. I'm just going to say, very simply, that's not what it's like when you're a stay-at-home mom.

Not at all.

When you say, "I could never do what you do."
I think. SHHHHH. SSSHHHHHHH. Don't say that. Shush your mouth. You do not want to lay that gauntlet down at Fate's feet. You don't think you can do what I do, then keep that little nugget to yourself. Never, ever say that out loud.  I'm afraid of what will happen to you.

When you say, "Are ALL these yours?"
 I think, they don't have to be. Do you want one???? JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!! I think, of course they're all mine. They're stair-steps. They all look like each other. They all look like ME. They are all screaming MOMMY!!! Don't I look like I'm trying to be a contender for reality TV??? It's not the craziest thing in the world to have parented four little blessings. Who else is going to take care of me in my old age? Who else am I going to spend my retirement on sending to college? What else would I do with my time if it weren't for raising these little nuggets?

I'm creating a legacy here.

What are you doing???

Just kidding. I'm not really resentful of people without kids. In fact, I'm more like, GOOD FOR YOU. Live it up. Someone has to know what three in the morning feels like. And I don't mean in the puking/crying/nightmare kid kind of way. I mean, the you just shut the bar down, had the best time of your life, party like it's 1999 kind of way. Someone has to travel. Go to all those exotic places I just pinterest about. Somebody has to know what's like to peacefully sleep in, to go to the movies whenever they want, to run errands easily and quickly, to make spur of the moment plans and eat cookies for dinner just because you don't feel like making anything else.


Because it sure isn't me.

And really, that's Ok with me. It really, really is. I love my kids. And this family. And this crazy chaos we call life.

In the grand scheme of things, if my day gets interrupted because my children need me than that's Ok. They are the most important thing. I can be interruptable for them.

Doesn't make it easy.

But it's not supposed to be easy.

Good things are worth working for. And hard work makes the best kinds of things.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go break up a cat-fight, change a diaper and teach a 2 year old that it is not Ok to use the refrigerator for rock-climbing practice.    


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