A quick introduction: I’m married, I have a full-time job, I work from home on days that I’m not frantically traveling across the country, and I have two kids, ages 2 and 5. From the outside, we are living the American Dream. We have a cat, a dog (AND they like each other), a house in suburbia, a boy, a girl (and they SOMETIMES like each other), and a well-functioning marriage (when I’m not hungry). From the outside, it looks like we have all of our shit together.
But that, my friend, is where you’re wrong.
We live in the day in age of social media, where we like to paint pretty pictures of the love we slather on our children. And while my kids are a large part of my life, they aren’t the only aspect of it.
My least favorite saying that one parent can say to a new parent is “enjoy every second of it!” It’s good natured advice, well-intentioned, but complete and utter bullshit.
Here’s an example. I travel. A lot. Sometimes, I have no idea where I am, or what time zone. I have a husband who is happily on this journey of parenthood with me. And, let’s just say that there is an alarming number of times (seven), that my son has pooped in the bath when I’m conveniently on a business trip. This NEVER occurs when I’m home. It ONLY occurs when my husband is flying solo. And is by no means an accident. Granted, my son is 2, but I swear has a vindictive streak about taking baths when it’s just my husband.
The reality is that parenting is hard. And from missed broken bones (true story), to missed hours of sleep (obviously, true story), we all make sacrifices. Sometimes, we make choices that give us a little bit of sanity back in a day full of insanity. Sometimes, we make sacrifices that give up some of that hard-earned sanity. But regardless of your situation, ‘having it all’ is a misnomer.
And so, without further ado, A Day in the Life of a Mom Who “Has It All” (Weekend Edition).
5:59 a.m.: House is clean.
6:00 a.m.: Husband wakes up to leave for Drill. Husband makes lots of noises in man cave (bathroom) for 20 minutes, effectively ruining “sleeping in.”
6:37 a.m.: Kids awaken with the energy of a rampaging elephant. Kids ensure that mom is awake with the energy of a rampaging elephant.
7:02 a.m.: Plan for gym ruined when Pink Eye appears. But who was I kidding anyway? Parents don’t go to the gym until their kids are old enough to watch themselves.
7:15 a.m.: Mom win, prescription for Pink Eye found, and administered (with doctor approval, sheesh).
7:59 a.m.: House no longer clean.
8:04 a.m.: Try to follow 5-year-old with sanitary wipes to ensure no spreading of Pink Eye.
8:07 a.m.: Try to convince 5-year-old that cleaning up with sanitary wipes is a “fun game.”
8:09 a.m.: Give that up as a bad idea, too.
8:12 a.m.: House exaggeratedly no longer clean as Taylor (daughter) is determined to spread Playdoh as far as the eye can see in a matter of actual minutes. I think I can actually see the Pink Eye infesting everything she touches.
8:15 a.m.: House ridiculously unclean as Taylor spills the third drink on computer, table, Playdoh, and brother.
8:30 a.m.: Leave to take the kids on a walk, because gosh darn it, we are going to exercise today.
8:35 a.m.: Do most of the walking. Kids have retreated to heavy stroller. Get unanticipated level of workout.
9:05 a.m.: Text husband to ask him what we were thinking when we had kids.
10:00 a.m.: Is it 4:30 p.m. yet?
10:05 a.m.: Take kids to car wash, clean out 10 months of toys from the back of my car. Threaten to throw them away the next time they end up there. (But never actually follow through on that threat.)
10:45 a.m.: Go to Michaels armed with hand sanitizer. Tell Taylor not to touch anything. But we really need all the stuff to create t-shirts for our Disney World trip, because how in the world will people know we’re a family without them?
10:46 a.m.: No, you can’t have that. No, you can’t have that. No, you can’t have that. No, you can’t have that. No, you can’t have that. No, you can’t have that. Fine, that’s on sale, you can have that.
11:15 a.m.: Return home to create said t-shirts.
12:00 p.m.: T-shirts complete, painted, and beautiful.
12:01 p.m.: T-shirts ruined when 5 and 2-year-old touch them to see what it feels like. And by touch them, I mean touch them with their face, and then rub them all over the place. Any guesses WHICH t-shirt was ruined? Mine, of course.
12:45 p.m.: Lunch out, because #badparent. Hand sanitizer in hand. Taylor strikes up a conversation with a stranger, and her second sentence was, “I have Pink Eye.”
12:46 p.m.: Get glared at by stranger for bringing her out in public.
12:47 p.m.: Text husband to see when he’s coming home, because Mother of God.
12:48-2:31 p.m.: My Little Pony coma.
4:29 p.m.: Husband has arrived.
4:30 p.m.: Leave house, headed for Target and pedicure sanctuary.
5:59 p.m.: Pedicure complete.
6:01 p.m.: Return home. 2-year-old immediately steps on toes and ruins said pedicure.
6:02 p.m.: Mom loses shit.
7:32 p.m.: Kids asleep.
7:33 p.m.: Mom looks on as kids sleep, thinking “they are just the best.”
Rinse, cycle, repeat.
Enjoy every second? Hardly. But I enjoy the enjoyable seconds and take stock in the rest, knowing that they’re all part of the big picture of parenthood.