A day in the life (of a single WAHM)
I think my mother thinks I'm strange. Then again, the feeling is recipricol. Why does she think I'm strange? Well, take this morning for example. She walked into my house to find me on the floor struggling to put a pillow case on one of those 5 foot long pillows. I had it pinned down with my knees like an alligator wrestler, my hair was dangling in my face,my teeth bared with the end of the pillow case gripped tight in my jaw. It was not a pretty sight. But after 10 minutes or so, I had defeated that sucker and tossed it on my daughters bed with a smug smile of triumph! I spent the last hour cleaning up her room beacuse last night she threw up all over what seems to be every stuffed animal and sheet and pillow on her bed. Miraculously, as kids seem to do, she made a 100% recovery and is now shoving her face with peanut butter crackers. I am tired from being up at 6 am with the baby , but I managed to get in an hour of computer and invoice work for one of my home businesses. I also responded to 4 e-mail orders and packed up a few orders. Not bad for one saturday morning.
Then my mother unpacks her handbag onto my counter. A small water bottle and a sandwich she made at home. She's staying for exactly 2 hours. And it isn't like I don't have food. I actually have a working refrigerator full of choices , a stove, a microwave and a toaster oven. A real 21st century kitchen but she wants a picnic, I guess. Smeared on the counter is what looks like fingerpainted peanut butter circles so I quickly attempt to clean it up. That is my pet peeve nowadays- a clean house. Never was a thought before I had kids but now I guess I am a neat freak. or maybe just a semi-neat, this- is- walkable, smells- ok, we- can- live- like -this- freak.
The baby is crying now, my daughter is running toward me with one of my high-heeled boots on and the other foot bare, telling me the toilet is "overfloating". Perhaps if she and my son didn't put half a box of wet wipes in, this wouldn't happen daily. The next thing, I'm plunging the toliet with the baby in one hand and my son and daughter are taking all the cushions off the couches to jump on them. They're screaming like banshees which makes the little guy scream too . Grabbing a bottle, I sit down to relax and feed the baby. My mother is no where in sight. When I finally find her, she is scooping the litter boxes for me. "You really need to do this more often", She tells me. I know she's right but it just seems that when I head into the laundry room, where they are, I always have huge piles of laundry in my arms.The laundry never ends.
Handing the baby to Mom, I say I need about an hour of downtime to relax in the den and do some Yoga and then some computer work. (this is the reason she is here...to give me a little "me " time ). First though, I have to replace all the pillows on the couches. Under them I find crushed pretzels. Pretzels break like safety glass in a car....into about 3500 pieces so I run the vacuum over the rugs and since I have it out, take another 20 minutes and do the whole house. A quick stop in the bathroom before my work-out leads to another delay. I pick up wet towels , scrape globs of toothpaste off the sink, get on my hands and knees and pick up what looks like chunks of my makeup that my daughter must have gotten into and add a quick lavender mist to the air to freshen it up since it smells like God only knows what.
Ok, finally my time for me! I head into the den, closing the french doors and start my practice. Big inhale. Relax. Big inhale. AAAAHHHH. SOO good and blissful to relax in the poses. I am so blessed. Then I make the mistake of glancing out the french doors into the dining room. And there is my beautiful 4 year old, grinning ear to ear, in the same triangle pose as me, mimicking my every move. It's distracting and adorable and hysterical at the same time. I give her a kiss and send her down the hall to find Mom and the boys. They are sitting on my son's bed surrounded by every single childrens book we own. That is about 132. Big breath. Relax.
Back in the den, I am almost calm on the floor in bridge pose. During Yoga, you are supposed to focus on one spot to calm the mind. I decide to focus on the spot on the ceiling. Actually, it's more like a scratch from the Christmas tree and it's bothering me more by the minute. Five minutes ago, I didn't know it was there and life was fine and now I have made a mental note that I have to repaint the celing , perhaps tonight.
When I'm done with my exercise, it's onto the computer to work on my website, enter some orders, check e-mails, pay some bills , etc. All the time I am doing this, the music from the other room is blasting out classic Disney songs like the "Bippidy Boppedy Boo" , but since my desk is out of sight from the door, the kids are content to dance like crazy without the benefit of Mommy clapping and woo-hooing like a crazed football fan.
As 2pm approaches, my mother warns me that she has to get home to start dinner for her and Dad. He has called 3 times already . They are the old-fashioned couple who's lives revolve around food and meal preperation. She tells me "We're making lamb tonight and chicken tomorrow because Stop-n- Shop had them on sale this week. Friday we'll barbeque steaks". Me, I just open the fridge and whatever is there, we eat. I can't seem to plan ahead and often am so forgetful and busy that in the morning, I'll open the microwave to heat up breakfast and find 2 potatoes that I inadvertantly forgot to put out with last night's dinner. Call me crazy, but I literally ate my whole dinner and did not even remember about the potatoes.
Mom leaves and I play with the kids for a while until dinner. Since I have no more potatoes, I opt for macaroni with meat sauce. The older 2 are arguing over who will set the table( a nightly arguement) and the baby needs a nap but has gotton used to me laying with him, which I can't do at the moment. I bounce him on one hip as the phone rings and I take an order from a customer ; "Is this a bad time?" she had asked hearing all the commotion in the backgound. "NO, perfect time", I reply with a smile . I do usually try to take orders in the quiet of the office but since most of my customers have become friends, they understand what my life is about.
I am here with the 3 kids and no husband and I run 2 businesses from home. I go to both schools for events often. I chauffer to friend's houses, I take them to swimming and gymnastics. I grocery shop. I do laundry (and even put it away at times). I am the nurse, the game player, the story teller, the book reader, the dance partner, the cook, the cleaner , the gardener, the vacation planner, the homework helper, the gift buyer and wrapper, the Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the cat feeder (and sometimes litter box scooper), the bed maker, the bath giver, the boo-boo kisser and most often, referred to simply as "Mommy" (one of my all time favorite words). And most of all, I am happy.
After dinner, there's a few more business calls to return. Then there's one big cuddle session with all 3 kids, 3 individual cuddle sessions, 4 or 5 bedtime stories , a song or 2, teethbrushing, snacks, teethbrushing again, and a important stuffed animal re-arranging and tucking in . Next I will attempt to take a hot bath and read a book. I'm in the middle of about 6 books...I have one in each room and whenever I get the chance I pick one up and read 1/2 a paragraph. Admittedley, this might not be the most organized way, but eventually I will get them all done. When summer comes and we are at the beach, I may get to read a whole page.
I still have bout 121 things on my list to do, but they'll have to wait. When I finally lay my head on the pillow each night and take a deep peaceful breath, a warm glow comes over me as I feel so thankful to God for my life, my health and my amazing beautiful children . I can find no words to explain how much I love and cherish them. And I wouldn't change a thing about my life (well, maybe I'd hire a maid..)
Posted by Debra Ferrie