The bedtime routine takes 55 minutes. Grocery shopping ends with a few eye-rolls from Mom and other shoppers. Showering always includes an audience, and the show takes approximately 3 minutes.
One thing I wasn’t prepared for when it comes to my life as Mom is how mundane, or boring some days [heck, 4 out of 7 days a week] can be.I’ve been thinking for a few weeks now how I could write this post without sounding bitter. Or negative. I know there are many who would give anything to be in my position as a stay-at-home-mom of three. Truth is, some days I would give anything to be in your place. The grass is always greener as they say.
True, if you follow me on Instagram or SnapChat it might look like we are always out and about. What I can tell you is we alternate between active, busy days, and days where Mom just needs to veg or get things done around the house, so that means lots of trains and movies! By mundane, I’m talking the endless trips up and down the stairs to change diapers, the time spent making a meal then having someone request yogurt, and yes, those long trips to CVS Pharmacy or Kroger to get ONE thing, and it takes about an hour to complete the task. Oh and don’t get me started on the trips to the doctor….
Motherhood is hard. It’s beautiful and a blessing and those extra snuggles or requests for multiple hugs and kisses before bedtime is truly priceless. But being asked the same question 238 times a day can be tasking. While little voices sounds oh-so-sweet, having a voice in your ear 18 hours a day is tough. Noise pollution as my Mom likes to call it. The simplest tasks like grocery shopping, trying on a new dress, or heck, washing the kitchen floor takes lots of planning, scheming, and assistance from family or sitters.
There might not be rhyme or reason as to where I’m headed with this post other than to share what’s made ME happy in the mundane moments of motherhood. Because I know I’m not the only one who wonders when she’ll fit in that shower or get a moment of peace in a 24-hour window with little ones. So here it goes!
Realizing this is a stage of life, it’s where I’m at, and I need to choose to be positive and happy in my place. I really am the only one who can choose whether or not I’m happy. Or present. Two things I’m working on doing day in and day out. We’ve been watching the movie Moana, and in toddler terms, “watching,” means we’ve seen the beginning more times than I can count, and only watched the entire movie from start to finish once despite the 476 times I’ve pressed play. But when the song, “where you are,” is sung by Moana and her parents, I can’t help but reflect on where I am in my own life. Happiness is truly where my family is despite my own wishes and wants to get away some days. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you the chorus has made me cry more than once!
Speaking of getting away…. We’ve decided our money is well spent on a sitter for a few hours a week. For my relief! While I know everyone isn’t the same financial situation or comfortable with leaving their children other than family, guys, this has been a sanity saver for me. Yes, it’s a little pricey having to pay someone to watch our 3 kids. But my mood, happiness, and overall WANT to be Mom when I get home has increased after that 4-hour window away. And you know what? I’ve noticed the kids are happier to see me too! I used to spend that time away working and writing, but now I’m using that time to grocery shop [yes, I like to do that!], run other miscellaneous errands, organize the house, meet a friend for a walk, get a pedicure, the list goes on and on!
Surrounding myself with those who get it. You guys know I love my playdates! In fact, we’ve made it a point to add anywhere from 1-3 to our Serbinski routine each week. Yesterday a friend had a few moms and kids over in the AM and I snuck over for 30 minutes of gabbing while the boys finished their last morning at “school.” I can tell you that those 30 minutes set the tone for the rest of my day— in a good way! Sure things come up, kids get sick, Mom gets sick, but I don’t know what I’d do without being able to phone or text friends [with and without kids] to get me through my mid-afternoon slump! Anyone else feel like 2-5pm is the LONGEST part of their day?! Call me up! Let’s play!
Recognizing the mundane moments I really do like! This point might make me sound like Susie Homemaker. If you are offended by me bringing up Ms. Susie then you shouldn’t read on… but if you sometimes feel like your own housekeeper then this point is for you! Are you a laundry person? Dish-washing fan? Lord of the vacuum? Well if I had to choose, I just love doing laundry. And prepping produce. Oh and cooking. But you? You might like dusting. Or shopping for kids clothes, your own clothes, home goods [eeeek! I’m not a good shopper]. Or decorating. We all have our strengths when it comes to being a home-maker, so cut yourself some slack if you see a little dust on the mantle!
Remembering what made me happy BEFORE kids. This one is key. And if you guessed cooking made me the happiest before kids I’d call you a psychic. I guess that’s why I put as much time and effort into this blog as I do. Sure I love getting a good workout in. Or having an interrupted coffee with a girlfriend or my Mom. But cooking? Don’t come between me and my Friday night pizza. You’ll regret it!
I was inspired to write this post with a visit from my Mom and Grandmother yesterday. The two spent over an hour helping me plant flours for summer. When I thanked them and told my 89-year-old Grandmother, “I do NOT like gardening! Thank you for doing that!” She squeezed my hand and said, “but you like so many other things. Just do more of them!” 89-years-old, battling Alzheimer’s Disease, and she still knows the right thing to say.
Tell me: How do you get through the longest days and shortest years of motherhood?!