Here’s the reality of being a working mom

Here’s to the reality of being a working mom:

Just got five kids off to school. My helpful husband is out of town, so I’m all on my own here.

This is the rundown; it might sound familiar:

Woke up the troops after multiple alarms sound. Convinced them that, yes, indeed it was a school day, and no, I wasn’t kidding.

Kids fed. Cereal. Toast. Eggs. Tea. All the things you see behind me. Located and washed additional spoons because there are never enough of those things.

Forms signed. Agendas signed. Money for stuff put in envelopes, and only some of it was quarters. Go me.

Endlessly discussed tsunamis, Hillary Clinton, the intricacies of cat behavior, how one learns to be a mime, and what one needs in the ideal backpack.

Mediated several arguments over hairbrushes, shoes, and whose turn it was in the bathroom.

Lunches packed and in backpacks. Cold packs found for those who needed them, so no one dies of salmonella. Didn’t have to resort to ice in baggies. #win

Lost socks found. Flannel shirt located. Talked the kid who didn’t have the “right shorts” down off the ledge.

After-school activities reviewed. Reminders to drive safely given.

Kids walked to the bus. Watched the boy stand on one foot and timed him as requested. Gave hugs to the sad shorts girl.

And now it’s time to go to work.

The mess you see behind me will be waiting there after a full day. I will be cleaning it as I make dinner and simultaneously deal with after-school snacks and homework while trying to get kids ready to go all the places.

Perhaps you will be too.

Here’s to the moms who’ve already done all the things before 8:30 a.m. Who, like me, are rushing to their jobs because, despite how we feel, the day is just beginning.

And here’s to the at-home moms of littles who want to thwart your efforts to deal with this same mess even though you are home.

 We’re in the trenches here, my friends, so sometimes it looks like a bomb has gone off.I know this too shall pass; someday, we’ll be sitting in our tidy kitchens or leaving a silent house.

And from what I hear, we’ll miss this.

We’ll miss these signs of love and life behind us. The crumbs and laundry and cereal bowls and stray socks.

So today I choose to cherish the mess. To leave the stress behind and know that it isn’t possible to do it all. To know that we are not meant to have super clean homes and awesome jobs and perfectly behaved children all at the same time.

That we will have glimmers of each of these things some of the time. And that is good enough. Because above all, we have so much love. That mess behind me has love written all over it.

Because look what I found when they left today: This note. This proof of love. Be still my heart, these kids are the reason for the mess, and they are the reason for the joy. And when they get tall, they might also get thankful.

So. Much. Love.

We’ve got this, my friends. Even if the state of our countertops makes it looks like we don’t.

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