I get up in the morning and my day starts. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, every day has something in store for me. Even a “lazy day” has things that need to be done. That’s part of being a parent.
At least, that’s the way I look at it. I am here, on call, on duty, 24/7. That is my job. That is my life. It is all about and all for the kids. Personally, I don’t see how it could be any different. Other people seem to think otherwise.
Many times, my schedule has been commented on by others. I am told they don’t know how I keep it all straight. I have been called “Superwoman”. I’ve been told that I should have gone crazy (who says I’m not there already?) with all that I do. And all this is from other moms!
On Monday, I was asked if I could babysit an extra child yesterday. My answer was as long as the kid (9 years old) was willing to help with the clean up we have in progress (my brother is moving on Saturday and will FINALLY have room for the furniture he has stored at my place). I didn’t end up babysitting this girl, her mom decided to stay home from work, but she was willing to help.
I continued my conversation with the person who asked me to babysit (her regular sitter) after the decision was made. She asked if she herself could lend a hand any other day this week, either with the cleanup or the move. I gave her a rough outline of this week and explained why the cleanup had to be done yesterday.
This is not an unusual week for me and my (forever growing) family circle, but she thought it was pretty crazy.
Sunday: Picnic and playtime at the Halifax Commons with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and five kids
Monday: Coffee with my sister, groceries, work at school, major cleanup start, pick up boys at 2, dinner at my place with Mom and Dad
Tuesday: Coffee/breakfast at my place with my sister (while scouring apartment ads), work at school, laundry (including stuff from the cleanup), pick up boys at 2, playdate at my place, major cleanup part 2, babysit nephew for a couple hours ’til bro got off work
Wednesday (today): Work, pick up my boys + 2 more kids after school, kitchen cleanup (this has been neglected with the other cleanup), supper for 4 kids + me Thursday: All the Wednesday stuff all over again, except with 2 more kids
Friday: Work at school until 1, laundry, bake muffins for Saturday, pick up boys at 2, move my brother’s stuff all into the living room for easy moving, make sure all “dry” necessities are packed for Saturday
Saturday: Race day! (Starts at 9, have to leave around 7:30), brother’s moving day, school greening project, possible 2 kid sleepover
To me, this does not seem unmanageable. This just says I lead a parent’s life. This is actually an easy week…L doesn’t have soccer.
I do as much as I can every day and continually try to get ready for tomorrow. I have a calendar with large writing blocks on it to help me vusualize my day/week/month. I also use the scheduling/alarm features on my phone.
Even with all this (apparent) planning, I live day-to-day. I might know that next Monday is a soccer game, but I have no idea what housework I’ll get done that day or what I’ll end up making for supper. I’ll try to do as much as possible, but if the weather is nice, I’ll probably blow off some of it so the boys can play on the playground between getting out of school and starting homework/chores/supper. After all, the house isn’t going to get any messier while we’re playing outside and the mess that’s there certainly isn’t going anywhere.
The comments I receive may be due to the fact that I work (x2), keep house, take the kids to their sports/extracurricular activities, am on the PTA, and have extra kids over all the time. Granted, that is not all necessarily part of being a parent, but it is part of being a SINGLE parent. I am Mom and Dad and my kids are NOT going to suffer for the fact their father decided not to be around. I can’t share these responsibilities with anyone else so I just do it.
I work 2 part-time jobs because they are flexible enough to allow me time with my kids and I have to earn money. I keep house because, well, who wants a dirty house? I take the kids to their activities because they deserve to go. I’m on the PTA because I feel, as a parent and school board employee, I owe at least one evening a month to my school. Extra kids are always welcome in my home, period! Whether it’s to help other parents out (because I know how crazy that life is) or just to play, children are welcome in my home any time.
Sitting still would burn me out faster than ANY of the things I do for the kids. Believe it or not, my two days of work outside of the school is my break, but it is still something I do for my boys. I love all my kids, no matter how much they frustrate me. They keep me young, active, and going. I also don’t want imagine what not doing all this would do to my weight…..
No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!