In the train station of life, I am the conductor of the Hot Mess Express. My kids are the cowboy bandits Rowdy McGee, Ruckus Brown, & Ryder “Big Stink” Calhoun — the fastest Nerf-gun slingers in the South. Their goal? To rob me blind of sanity and Goldfish crackers. The train leaves the station at “Oh, Shit, We’re Late” thirty and pulls in around “Sorry, We Hit Traffic (But Not Really)” o’clock*. Needless to say, my ability to conduct chaos is
ASTOUNDING not the greatest.
Since becoming a SAHM, I’ve found that my resourcefulness as far as managing the clock goes is…. well. Lacking. When I had a 9-5 job, I had to be efficient at all times. If I wasn’t on the road at Time A, there was no way that I’d be at work for Time B. And if I couldn’t get out of the office at Time C, then I was going to be fifteen to twenty minutes late for pickup at Time D, which cost me $5 a MINUTE. Y’all, I’m frugal as hell. I’m not paying anybody, but anybody, to watch my kids for five bucks a minute. So get outta my way, slow-moving eighteen wheeler on the freeway! Momma’s burning gas and rubber to save $75 and you’re impeding my progress.
I don’t really know what happened when I left my job to stay home. I’d been momming for eight years, so I knew that being at home — ALONE — with the ankle biters would be no easy task. I knew that I wouldn’t be sitting with my feet propped up, lovingly stroking their heads, reading a bajillion Dr. Seuss books, sipping on luke-warm cocoa. I’m a lot of things, but gullible ain’t one of them. So all I can think is that maybe, just maybe, I thought I’d have more time on my hands being at home all day vs. going to work and then struggling to get all the things done.
Sigh. Could there have been a time when I was really that stupid? Me thinks so.
And summertime — sheesh. Summertime is the worst time-sucker of all. I’ve been telling myself for weeks now to invest in room-darkening curtains. I’m a cheap ass, but really… I feel like those would be a sound investment. Because eight o’clock rolls around and my kids see half a glimmer of a fourth of a sunbeam and they’re all, “PARTY TIL MORNING” and I’m all, “OH HELLLL NAW”. No kidding, I’ve been trying to write this very post for three days. THREE DAYS, Y’ALL. Rowdy, Ruckus, & Ryder are about to find themselves hogtied if they don’t cut out the hoopin’, hollerin’, and general shenanigans**.
When we do manage to get out the door on time (read: minimally ten minutes late), my kids are clean, dressed, pressed, and look like little gentlemen. I try to come out looking somewhat presentable, but sometimes my appearance is that of a frontierswoman who fought a bobcat — and lost. I think my most favorite “getting ready” activities are hollering, “PUT ON YOUR PANTS” from my bathroom and explaining to my husband the million reasons I’m not ready but the children are. Like, are you kidding me, dear?! Don’t call me darlin’, darlin’; I’ll be ready once the children stop urinating on the floor.
You’re probably wondering why I’m still not on the stick after 8.75 years and three children. And I wish I could tell you. What I can tell you is that if you looked at the alarm app on my phone, you’d think I was in the business of timing heists. I’ve got an alarm for EVERYTHING. Departure times, arrival times, bath times, eating times, times we could ideally leave, and more realistic alarms for when we’ll actually be getting in the car, and an additional timer for when we’re all in the car but we haven’t actually left the driveway just yet. Think I’m joking? Think again. Those little alarms are the only things that get my ass in gear — who cares if they also give me anxiety?!
One day I’ll have it all together. hahahahahahaha
No, I won’t. I can’t even finish that paragraph without lying my backside off.
One day, I’ll try to focus on being less anxious to get out of the house before noon and just roll in the reality of this: I do have children. BOY children. And I know there are mommas out there who are also boy moms. I know there are moms out there who also have 3+ children. I know those women manage to get out the door dressed, unscathed, and on time. I’m not even going to be bitter about it, because that’s just not my life right now. And that’s okay. Because those women likely have other issues that I’m not dealing with, and if life has taught me anything, it’s the grass ain’t necessarily greener on the other side of the fence — and if it is greener, it’s probably fake.
So to you moms out there who struggle with promptness like I do***, raise up a glass of sasparilla, whiskey, milk… whatever you’re drinking and tell yourself this: just don’t forget to turn off your straightener.
*Obviously, these times vary because time management is an unfamiliar concept as a mother of bandits.
** Not really. But only because I have no idea what hog-tying entails.
***Before anyone jumps on the, “If you can’t be on time you’re just rude” comment — don’t. If I do nothing else, I consider other people’s feelings as well as their (valuable) time. This is something written in jest, but also something that I genuinely struggle with. So make nice, or move on. kthanks!
A SAHM’s take on her three-ring-circus and the three Converse wearing monkeys who live there.