Let me start this by saying that I love my kids. I love them more than anything else in this world. However, motherhood itself? Let’s just say that there are days when I wish I could write up my resignation and leave it on the kitchen table. Those days are the worst.
These days start off the same as any other. I wake my kids with by stroking their faces and rubbing their backs. They roll over and smile at me and usually sit up and give me my morning hug (something my six year old can’t start her day without doing). We all head down the steps and into the kitchen to get breakfast. Then, it begins.
The next question, which is the same as every other day of the week is asked of them, “What do you want for breakfast?” That is usually followed by at least one of them sharing the cereal they want. However, it seems that at least one of the three has to say “I don’t know.” Wait, not just say that, but rather, whine it. I normally respond by listing off the items we have including the varieties of cereal, waffles and pancakes. Most of the time, that helps them and they select from the list. There are those times when they still are not sure. I don’t stand there waiting for a response at that time. I tell them to just think about it and let me know when they have decided and then I will be happy to get that for them.
While they are eating breakfast, I being making lunches for school. I grab the same things that they normally love (and have asked me to pack for them) and suddenly I hear “I don’t want THAT for lunch!!!” I ask them what they will have in it’s place, explaining that if is the fruit, they need a replacement fruit. That usually leads to whining and telling me that they don’t know. Once again, I tell them to just let me know and I’ll finish packing lunch, but that if they don’t tell me before it is time to leave, they will go without.
“I don’t want that in lunch today, but I don’t know what I want!”
By this time, the one child who can’t decide what he or she wants to eat is now whining telling me that they are starving for breakfast. I respond to them reminding them that I already gave them choices. They tell me that they don’t want those things and I tell them that they will have to choose or go to school hungry. This leads to more whining….and sometimes tears. I have to suck it up, hold back the urge to yell and remind them that they have to eat a good breakfast so that they can focus and learn at school. After repeating the same list (at least 2 or 3 times), we finally decide on something. Whew! Oh wait……now we still have to figure out what to pack for lunch!! UGH!
Back to lunch decisions we go and after himming and hawwing around, we finally find something. YES! The lunchboxes go into the backpacks with all of the signed papers and now it is time to head up the steps to get dressed. As we reach the top of the steps I tell the kids to get dressed, make their beds and then meet me in the bathroom so I can help them get their hair combed and so that they can brush their teeth. I will then usually head off to start a load of laundry or make my own bed. After few minutes, I hear my son in his room playing with his Legos. I go in and remind him to get dressed and walk out again.
I am taking care of more things while they are working on getting ready when I hear giggling and video games. Up the steps I go again to find that they have made progress – shirts are on – but they are playing video games in their underwear. I start to get a little upset and raise my voice reminding them that they need to get dressed for school.
At this point, I know that they are not focused, so I stand in the hallway outside of their rooms while they continue to get dressed. They come out and say they are ready to go and I ask them if they plan on wearing socks. Socks. Really? You know you wear socks every. single. day. I look up and again, my son has one sock on and has started to play with his army men. My voice raises, yet again and I tell him to get his socks and shoes on. He starts to whine back and I remind him that he is not new here and to do what he does every day of the week.
“You are not new here. You know what you do before school every day of the week.”
We finally manage to get dressed (even socks and shoes). We even make it into the bathroom to get teeth brushed and hair combed. I then remind them to make their beds (part of their daily chores). Enter another sigh……. they get distracted again and are playing. At this point, Mom’s patience is running thin and they can tell it by the sound of my voice. After some tears and discussion about the rules of living under our roof, the beds are made – finally. Are they perfect? No. Do I care? Absolutely not. The point is that they made them as well as I can expect young children to make a bed.
The rest of the morning goes pretty well. The timer goes off telling them it is time to get on the coats and head to catch the bus. They all leave giving me hugs and smiles as they walk out the door. It is 8:02 and I am exhausted. I’ve repeated myself more times than I care to count. Some days, I’ve had to yell at them (and I truly hate those days). But now, they are off to school and it is my time.
I jump in and get busy working either on the website or doing things around the house. I always squeeze in some time for myself be it reading, watching TV or just relaxing by the fire. It is very important for my well being to make sure I do something for me, every single day of the week. Without that, I lose a part of Tracie and see only the wife and mom versions of myself.
“I take time for me, so I can be the best version of myself for my family.”
At 4:20 they come bursting through the door. One is usually whining about something the other did on the bus or walk home. We start the repeat of what do you want for a snack. I remind them to put their backpacks, coats and shoes where they belong and not in the middle of the floor. The fighting continues, followed by the crying and the whining. Oh how I hate the whining.
This continues off and on until dinner time, when we get an entirely new set of whiners gracing us with their presence at the table. These are the “Ewww!!! What’s that!!???” and “How much of that do I have to eat?” and “I don’t like that!!” whiners. I am sure that these same little beings live in other homes too! After more sighs, we finally get them to try the new food and wouldn’t you know, more times than not, they actually like it! (Well, except for my son, the world’s pickiest eater, he likes NOTHING).
Once dinner is done, the next round of whining begins. This time is usually my oldest, complaining that she has to take a shower. I swear, if she would get into the shower when I tell her to, she would be done in less time than she spends complaining that she has to take a shower. The younger two jump into their baths ready to play.
Once the baths are done, we start books and homework. If there is none, then it is playtime. Games, books, cards or even just them playing on the floor rounds out the evening. I know better than to relax as it is not yet done. The final scene comes at 7:45…..bedtime. Most of the time this happens without incident. Most of the time.
There are the nights when the blanket is missing or we forgot the teddy bear. It is quite often me listening to the sound of my own voice “Brush your teeth and go potty.” Sadly, I say that more times than I care to admit. After the fifth time, my voice gets louder — or my husband’s gets louder.
Finally. Finally they are in bed. They drift off to sleep. In those moments of checking them before turning in for the night, God hits the “reset” button in my brain. I look at them sleeping and forget the whining and fighting earlier in the day. In those moments, I feel nothing but love for my kids. I can’t wait to see them in the morning……where I get to relive the day all over again. And you know what, despite it all, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Thank heavens for the daily reset button.”