I admire this lady tremendously. She’s strong, resilient, wise – but above all that generous. I like what she’s about. I recommend you check out more of her writing at Maija’s Mommy Moments.
Don’t Know How She Does It? Then You Might Not Want to Look too Closely
I haven’t seen Sarah Jessica Parker’s new movie “I Don’t Know How She Does It” and I’m not sure I will. I can just see me now, sitting in the movie theatre, watching my life on the screen (minus the make-up artists and the nanny watching my actual children) making mental checklists of all the things I should be doing instead of watching some poor woman work herself to death at the office and at home in hopes of just once feeling like she’s achieved it all.
The truth is I am that woman. I am a mother of 3+1, the wife of a shift worker who is rarely home and a professional far more than 9-5 every day. I definitely like to think that I have it all but even just by typing that I am pulling the wool over your eyes and my own.
Every morning I wake up well before the sun, make lunches, sort laundry, wake children, dress children, make myself presentable usually in a full suit and stilettos and somehow get us all out the door and to where we’re supposed to be. Hopefully at the time we’re actually supposed to be there.
Often people look at me and my life and ask “I Don’t Know How She Does It”? Most days, neither do I.
Take the first two hours of my day as an example. From the moment I wake up (hopefully before the children and NEVER having had enough sleep) to the moment I back out of the driveway with a mini-van full of children, backpacks, diaper bags, brief cases and all the paraphernalia one needs for after school activities, I’ve taken a variety of shortcuts simply to help make it through our morning routine.
What shortcuts you ask? Well here’s just a sampling:
1. I lie about being a morning person. I swear at one point in my life I was, but now I want to pitch the freaking Blackberry out the window every time it wakes me up as programmed at 6:30am. When people ask me how I get the kids out the door on my own most mornings AND manage to get to work at a reasonable hour I smile and lie through my teeth – to them and to myself.
2. The second my kids get out of bed I turn the TV on. Cartoons are our friends in the morning. The TV doesn’t go off until we leave the house. This may make me a bad parent in some of your eyes but in mine it makes me one who can actually put make-up on and ensure all my zippers and buttons are done up BEFORE leaving the house.
3. I buy frozen pancakes.
4. I HATE making school lunches and my children seem to HATE sandwiches or anything that would be easy to prepare. I am the parent who would pay an insane amount of money to have someone deliver my children lunch and snacks every day of the week. Most days I have leftovers for their lunches but I keep microwavable entrées in the freezer just in case. Sometimes you are left with no choice but to heat in the microwave and toss into the thermos.
5. I usually shower at night, but if I was too lazy the night before, in the morning a baby wipe will do the trick.
6. Granola bars and a juice box in the car DOES constitute breakfast so long as it is consumed prior to school drop-off.
7. I routinely forget to wash breakfast off my children’s faces before leaving the house which means I’m also the mom that routinely can be seen licking my thumb and wiping whatever is leftover on their chins.
8. I also routinely forget to brush my children’s teeth in the morning. There I said it. I can hear the “tisk-tisking” now.
9. I can often be found filling out forms and signing permission slips at red lights since I of course forgot to do it BEFORE leaving the house.
10. When I happen to find the list of words for that morning’s spelling test amongst the forms I was supposed to look at the night before, making my child recite the spelling of the words while eating a granola bar constitutes eating breakfast AND studying!
So the next time you see a woman pulling up in a minivan just before the school bell rings, looking fairly put together with actual make-up on, as she hands her children their backpacks and lunch boxes then kisses them on the top of the head and they run contentedly off to school – remember she’s probably not a morning person either and her children are likely running for the bathroom because their mother forgot to remind them to go before they left the house.
Trust me. I know.