As a little girl, I always loved to line up my dolls at the foot of my bed and pretend like they were my children. I looked forward to the time when I would truly be a “grown up” and have real-life children to take care of. Through the passing of time, I continued to long for the day when I’d be a mommy to a houseful of children who would be all be on the honor roll, fluently speak five different languages, eat only healthy foods, and play every instrument in the band.
Fast forward a few years and here I am. I’ve got the houseful of kids, but it’s certainly not what I’d planned! In this blog post, I’m going to let you take a peek into my life as the stay-at-home mom of five young’uns.
Five a.m. finds me wide awake and in the kitchen preparing my husband Mike’s lunch. Before you give me the award for best wife of the year, understand that I don’t usually make Mike lunch. Generally, he has to tough it but today I was still awake since our baby, three-year-old Bea, had a nightmare. So, I’m standing in the kitchen, slapping bologna on slices of bread. Bea is still crying, clinging to my leg, while Mike searches for the misplaced car keys. “Wanna have one more kid?” Mike asks as he jiggles the keys he just found in my face. I don’t even answer that question; instead, I just hand him his sandwiches with a scowl.
As soon as he is gone, I scoop Bea up in my arms and we head back to bed. I snuggle down beside her, trying to figure how many minutes I might get to sleep before my alarm clock goes off.
Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t my alarm clock that woke me up. Instead, it was the sound of my nine-year-old daughter Delila screaming “Mom! Where is my shirt?” A quickly glance at my phone revealed that my kids had not only missed the bus but we had only two minutes to make the seven mile trip to their school. Someone had managed to reset my alarm clock – a favorite prank of my twin boys.
As I rush to get everyone dressed and in the minivan, I do a quick head-count as they push and shove into their seats.
Clarissa is my oldest at eleven followed by Delila. When it was just the girls, I seriously thought that my plans for raising perfect kids were going to work. Then along came the boys.
From the start, it felt like Clayton and Brandon were going to kick their way out of me long before they were born. They entered this world with the energy of a pack of wild hyenas and never calmed down. I can’t decide if it’s simply because they’re boys or if it’s a twin thing.
The boys were supposed to be the end, but Bea surprised us with her arrival. By the time she was born, I had given up all hope of ever having perfect kids. As long as I could keep them all five alive, I felt like I was doing good.
I get the kids to school a half-hour late. The entire ride was spent with kids shoving, pushing, and yelling. Bea spent most of her time crying. I start home before I realize that Clayton has left his backpack in the backseat. When I walk into the school office to deliver it, I noticed people giving me some strange glances. I guess it isn’t every day that you see a mom walk into the school wearing a pair of penguin house-slippers and uncombed hair with a screaming toddler at their side. I feel like such a failure!
When I get home, Bea continues to scream until I give her some cereal. Then she screams because it is in the wrong bowl. Then she screams because I didn’t put in enough milk.
Even though Mike has a good job, I try to supplement our income by selling products online. As soon as I pick up my laptop to start working, Bea crawls up in my lap and begins to simultaneously hit buttons. When I try to stop her, she starts screaming once again. I finally succeed in getting her involved in a television show, only to realize that our internet isn’t working.
Bea fights sleep all day but I finally manage to get her down by noon. After dealing with a cranky, exhausted toddler all morning, I feel like I need a nap as well. I have just closed my eyes when the internet repairman arrives. Although I’m thrilled to have the internet on the road to repair, the sound of the doorbell wakes up Bea. Forget the idea of a break!
By the time the other kids get home from school, I’m completely exhausted. Bea has spent all day fussy and she’s now running a temperature.
Clarissa is heartbroken because she wasn’t invited to a party. Delilah has got a test for school tomorrow but forgot her book at school. In the midst of all the girl-drama, I manage to look out the window in time to see the twins trying to fly a kite made out of black garbage bags into the electric line!
By the time Mike gets home from work, he is greeted by a pan of burnt spaghetti. I’m trying to clean up the rug where Bea just puked, while keeping the twins in time-out.
After giving me a sad smile, Mike takes the boys into town to pick up some pizza. I guess black spaghetti isn’t too appealing.
I have got to be the worst mother in the world!
By nine o’clock, the kids are finally all in bed. I’m so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open. I go to gather homework and toss it into each kid’s appropriate backpack. Hopefully I won’t send Clayton with Clarissa’s homework again!
As I’m sorting through the pile of papers on the table, I find one of Delila’s papers titled “When I Grow Up.”
“When I grow up,” I start to read her paper to myself, “I want to become a doctor. I want to be able to help children in other countries who don’t have money enough to get good care. I want to bandage their hurts, put casts on their broken bones, and help them to heal. I want to give them hope. When I grow up, I want to help other people.”
Reading that paper melts my heart. Despite the fact that I don’t have things together and am so busy, despite the fact that I’m not a mom who can balance everything, I’ve been given some fantastic kids. I’m raising children who care about others and who want to make the world a better place. And, when I remember that, the burnt spaghetti doesn’t matter, my exhaustion doesn’t matter, the frustration doesn’t matter…all that matters is that my kids are turning into fantastic adults. I’m so glad that I chose to grow up and become a mom, because this is the best job in the world!