Saturday, January 14, 2012

How We Do It


 A friend recently posted this image on Facebook with the simple caption "I KNOW A FEW SUPER MOMS" and tagged me so that the post would appear on my page. I could write an entire post on the overwhelming feeling of pride I felt to be given that description - but I won't. Instead, I'll just say again, from one Super Mom to another, thank you Felicia!

I'd like to dedicate this post to the other Super Moms out there who do it all - their way - and aren't always recognized for their dedication. You are super even without the cape, and you will always be someone's hero simply because they call you Mom.

XOXO - Jen

*****

We had a snow day on Thursday. Just a light dusting with some ice underneath, but it sang to the tune of a frigid temperature and wind chill that put us in single digits. 

If I haven't ever mentioned it, Granny babysits the kids Wednesday-Friday. She is our lifesaver and basically is the equivalent to a third parent in our family. The babysitting is free of charge us aside from the occasional takeout supper or jug of Tide, and she takes care of our terrors almost exactly the way that we do, aside from the frequent Play-Doh and painting sessions.

Extreme temperatures (hot and cold both) have a horrible effect on Granny's health, so it was decided that we would both take a personal day and stay home. I hate being forced to stay indoors where it's warm and cozy - what a huge let down...

By 7AM, Daddy and Mia were already out the door leaving Marlee, Miles, and I to entertain ourselves. With the house still clean from the previous day, I found myself with no substantial obligation to do anything except enjoy the day with my babies. Which, in case you were wondering, is precisely what I did.

"House is already clean when I wake up? Littles not only look adorable, but seem to have decided to break away from their typical routine of destruction and violence? I get the chance to not only enjoy my cute kids without yelling, but also had a few hours by myself while they slept? Miles seriously hasn't pooped his pants yet? No arguments over homework when Mia got home, and she didn't mind playing with her siblings? Supper planned and well underway before 6PM and not only is the entire family going to be home to eat together, its a meal that everyone asks for seconds on? Did I swap lives with June Cleaver for the day?"

Days like those are rare in my life, and this one was thoroughly enjoyed in all of its leisurely perfection.  I found myself wondering if this was a typical day in the life of a stay at home mom. Then I remembered the chaos that ensued every single day during Christmas break...

I'm assuming that stay at home moms also have days where they want nothing more than to escape from their children by locking themselves in the bathroom with a bottle of wine, only opening the door once the booze sets in and they no longer feel the need to sell the children on Ebay? Please, don't correct me if I'm wrong. I hate feeling guilty about needing time alone sometimes.

While the kids were napping, I watched I Don't Know How She Does It - all of it, without a single interruption! Yes! It wasn't the best movie I'd ever seen, but it was one of those movies you watch and think "Oh, good Lord, I am that woman..."

The story revolves around a working mom (Kate) making her best attempt to balance a job she loves (hedge-fund manager) and the family she loves (husband, Kindergartener, and toddler). "I don't know how she does it - with all of those kids...." Kate gets this big opportunity at work that could either make or break her career, but committing to the project and making it successful also means sacrificing time with her family. She wants to accomplish great things professionally, but knows that she's already accomplished something great at home. Enter internal struggle, some predictable humor, and a few tugs on the heart strings and scene end.

In one scene, after all of the frustrations and mishaps that have ensued, a friend asks the husband what his Kate's occupation is: "She's a juggler..." Simple words - cliche even - but so empowering to this mom who tries so hard to do it all.

Sometimes I'm successful, but other times I'm a failure. For every position I've accepted in my career, I've burnt at least a dozen cookies and for each romantic evening cancellation my husband's endured, I've gained approval to begin a new project at the office. To juggle, one ball is up in the air while another is in your hand. There are days when I want to give up (on both my career and the responsibility of family), but I don't, and then I start over again because I always want more.

My point is, nobody is Super Mom all of the time - whether you're clocking in & clocking out or you're a stay at homer whose shift never ends. We make mistakes, we feel insecure, and we fall short of our goal but we do it on our own terms. We try to do the best that we can - that's how we do it.