If you asked me “What kind of mom are you?” I’d have to reply: “All of the above.”
I’m a mom in the middle.
In the middle of holding on and helping a middle schooler transition to HIGHSCHOOL and letting go of 2 college sons as they transition to adulthood. I work from home, but sometimes travel for work. I’m kind of a stay at home mom. I cook, clean, manage our household and clean toilets. A lot.
I’m also the primary caregiver for my husband, who’s battling cancer like a boss. Some days that doesn’t require much on my part, others, it’s everything.
People ask how I “do it all.” The answer is: I don’t.
I pick and choose. There is a whole lot of prioritizing that goes on in my head. Some days I prioritize meals. It’s homemade granola for breakfast and creamy chicken and long grain rice soup for dinner. Other days it’s fast food or pizza. My people are sick of pizza.
My crockpot is my friend, and my guilt reducer. She cooks dinner while I’m traveling to speak, or am writing on a deadline. My dishwasher and washing machine and dryer help me keep the house from being overrun by dirty dishes and laundry. Admittedly, I sometimes have to run them a few times before anyone empties them. Like now. The same load has been in the washer since Thursday. It’s been washed 3 times. Those clothes should be really clean by now. (Or I’ll run it again. Just sayin.)
When it comes to bathroom cleaning, I can’t remember the last time my shower wasn’t a multi tasking experience. I’ve been so distracted with cleaning the shower, that I forget to shave my second leg. I’m hoping it’s an asymmetrical shaving look that will catch on. So far, not so much. I really wish someone would invent a self cleaning toilet. Inside and out. If you know what I mean.
I work hard to find ways to spend time with each of my people. Sometimes it’s lunch out, a movie, a game or just plain plunking my mom butt in the college boys computer room and imposing on their screen time with talking. About: anything, or nothing.
Other times I just need to be alone, so I leave them all to fend for themselves and hide at target, the bookstore or a favorite lunch spot for a couple hours. I admit checking in on them. I also admit to feeling kind of free when I accidentally forget my phone.
Cancer is mostly background noise on our life. But, some days it’s the loudest noise. We’re talking: sonic boom. It makes itself to be the priority. Cancer likes attention and will cause emergencies to get it. It works. I’m a sucker for keeping my favorite human alive and well. Sometimes we go weeks without its noisy annoyance and sometimes we go weeks without a break. Sometimes my husband is busily doing his thing, working etc, and sometimes the number of follow up and treatment appointments is maddening and all encompassing. Those are days I’m thankful for pizza delivery apps. Whether my people are sick of pizza or not. Food counts. Even if it’s delivered and they don’t like it. Guilt absolved.
Writing, praying, speaking, reading, knitting,escaping to movies and lunches with, or without friends and netflixing pointless shows are my coping methods. They keep me keeping on. They remind me of the world beyond my life in the middle. They keep me sane. Ish,
Things I don’t do:
- My in laws are in an assisted living center and I constantly feel like I should visit or help more. But the reality is; I just can’t. Caring for their son and grandsons and making sure I’m caring for myself so I can keep that all up, is the best I can do.
- I don’t live as green as I’d like. Paper plates and bowls are my friends. The extra minutes they save in cleaning are better used elsewhere. I do however recycle my Amazon boxes. Trust me, this is saying something. Amazon subscribe and save keeps us in toilet paper and staples. It’s a gift from heaven. Like when the Ravens fed Elijah. Kind of.
- I don’t attend direct marketing/sales parties or events. I sometimes order. But I save my time with friends for something other than sales pitches.
- I don’t get my hair colored. It’s too expensive. And tskes too long. I do it myself. Which gets interesting and colorful. I do get my nails done. It saves more time than it takes.
- I don’t always know what’s going on at my middle schoolers school, or volunteer. I’d rather spend time with my kid. Or sleep.
- Some days I don’t do anything I should. Not laundry. Not dishes. Not cooking or cleaning or people care. I go awol. Sometimes in my Jammie’s in my comfy chair without even leaving the house. I recommend it.
- I don’t shop. (Target and bookstores don’t count, that’s survival and therapy all rolled into one.) I order everything possible online. Btw? It’s interesting what you can order online. From medical supplies to pet supplies. Amazon has it all.(they should comp me for this. Don’t you think?
- I don’t balance anything. Balance involves equalizing weight distribution. That. Doesn’t work in my life. Some days it’s all cleaning, some days it’s all goofing, others it’s all writing or, all caregiving. What most need to get done. Does. The rest. Waits.
- I don’t always have a good , or even decent attitude. Some days I’m an “I don’t give a care-giver” which is awful. But true. Some days I’m tired, hurting or sick, or hormonal. But, I still have to do what I have to do. Unless of course, I don’t.
- Some days I don’t. I don’t adult. I don’t change out of my pajamas. I don’t answer the phone. I just: don’t.(I kind of enjoy those days.)
What’s walking a mile in my shoes like? Sometimes it’s high heels, shearling slippers , carpool uggs and hospital running the halls flats all in the same day.
Moms in the middle, require a lot of shoe changes. Form follows function and our function changes every 23 minutes.
So dear reader- what kind of mom are you? Are you in the middle? Between what? Work and home? Divorce complications? Caregiving for your parents, loved ones, special needs child&other children? Straddling age gaps in kids? Volunteering and work?
What do you “not “do?
What must you do to maintain and remain sane? Ish.
What shoes do you wear most often to help u navigate this middle place?
Comment away/ you are not alone!
Dear lord, I’m in the middle, of a lot. Momma drama, life, cancer, writing, parenting, you know my list. Please help me to be wise in prioritizing and in letting some things go. Draw me close to you lord, I know you’re not surprised by any of this, and an help me through all of it. I love you. Even here, in the messy middle, amen.