What DO I do?
I prepare. I plan. I cook. I pour. I grab utensils. I feed. I nurse. I explore and adapt new and healthy recipes. I clean up. I wash dishes.
I teach. I entertain. I play. I listen. I speak. I read. I sign. I observe. I read out loud. I repeat. I encourage. I explain. I question. I ask questions I already know the answers to.
I do laundry. I fold clothes. I put clothes away. I retain single socks hoping their missing mate will one day reappear.
I dress baby. I dress toddler. I watch toddler put the outfit on the floor and pick out her own clothes instead. I comb hair. I sometimes attempt to comb hair but then give up. (It is clean, and I am not perfect.)
Sometimes I shower.
I grab all the hats, mittens, coats and boots I can haul around in one diaper bag.
Or, I pack all the swimsuits, towels, goggles, noodles, flip-flops and pool toys I can attach anywhere on my body along with my two kids.
I grocery shop. I look for good deals. I clip coupons. I sigh every time the cashier rings us out.
I change diapers. I potty train. I wipe little butts. I wipe noses. I suck out boogies (with an aspirator, of course!) I clean up big messes.
I chauffeur. I bribe. I plead. I barter. I pack snacks. Lots of snacks. I drive a messy car.
I have become an amateur-expert guide at the Zoo, the museums, the YMCA, the libraries, and most of the local parks.
I schedule play-dates. I make doctors’ and dentists’ appointments. I take them to said appointments and then report back to all the powers-that-be (The Grandmas) within a reasonable amount of time.
I clean our home. I brush/feed/walk and clean up after our dog.
I pick up or clean up endless streams of 5-second toy/food/poop explosions.
I drink lots of coffee. And tea. And hot chocolate. And sometimes wine.
I allow frustration to get the better of me. I cry. I sometimes raise my voice. I regret. I worry. I fear. I wonder. I doubt. I speculate. I compare. (I admit it.)
But I also smile. A lot. I laugh out loud, many times a day. I dance. I act silly. I run around. I get dizzy. I sing. I get creative. I make strange noises or pretend to fall down simply to get a laugh. I carry. I hold. I hug. I kiss. I make memories.
I love my job.
And here’s what I don’t do:
I don’t sleep much anymore. And I don’t get much time to myself. And we don’t go on luxurious vacations, not right now.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
(An important sidebar: I should mention here how much respect I have for those parents who do all of what I mentioned above either a) on top of a 40-hour work week, or b) by yourself. My hat goes off to you. Seriously.)
I am a mother. I am a mama. I am a (middle of the night) “Mawww-aahhhhhhm??”
I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am also a grand-daughter, a niece, a cousin, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law.
I am a friend. I am a neighbor. I am a former roommate. I am a former classmate. I am a former co-worker.
In short: I am a full-time mom, and a part-time, well … a part-time “everything else.”