I love the show Everybody Loves Raymond. It makes me think that if I lived across the street from my in-laws, that’s how life would be. I’m certain that I would not be as patient with my mother in law as Debra is with Marie because my mother in law is Marie to the 25th power. My father in law is more laid back than Frank and my husband is now an only child. I said that to say, one of my favorite episodes is when the twins are in preschool and their teacher wants to hold them back from going to kindergarten. After a parent/teacher conference the Barone’s are in bed asleep later that night – well Debra is and Ray pinches her awake. He’s upset that she’s not concerned about the boys not moving forward to Kindergarten and they begin to have their normal back and forth. She gives him a little dig, “Maybe if you were home more often, Michael would know how to cut paper!” His response, “You’re home all day, what do you do?” He realized as soon as he said what he said he completely made a ‘grave mistake.’ He hurriedly said “I’M SORRY!” That’s right you’re sorry, she reiterated. NEVER, I repeat – NEVER ask a stay at home mom what she does all day! I thought that things were busy before starting homeschool, but the busyness has increased ten fold. I have a shift working husband, a young child and a high school senior. I cook almost daily or at least enough for two days at a time. When I’m exhausted I use the crockpot and when my husband says: “Let’s just order something or pick up something,” I could dance all the way to the restaurant. My home is almost 3000 square feet and you can imagine what it takes to keep it clean. The constant dusting and mopping because the floors are the wood looking tile that shows everything. I sweep twice a day and we are not going to discuss laundry. What do I do all day? Work and think about all the shit I have to do the next day and the day after that. Guess what I did today? I sat in the recliner, scrolled social media, read, listened to music, watched my children play fight, watched my husband sleep across the room from me in the other recliner until he said he was going to lay across the bed. Also known as…absolutely nothing. I’m not cooking because there are ample amounts of leftovers and a steak that has marinated for 5 days in the fridge that can be split between 3 people. Hit broil on the oven, place steak in cast iron skillet and cook until level of doneness is achieved. (These are the meals they get after or while I’m working my tail off.)
Being a mother is busy, it’s messy, it’s sadness, it’s happiness, it’s elation and all sorts of other emotions. Add in the fact that you are a woman and oftentimes a wife along with it and BOOM, it’s a series of emotions and explosions. You never know if you are giving enough time to you or them and somewhere; someone or something suffers. This year is going to be a series of explosions and emotions because my baby girl, my first born, the one that taught me to be a mother and gave me the “on the job training” is graduating! Over the years she and I have been mother and daughter, besties, laughing buddies, make up sharers, teacher and student. Now, I have to make sure she has the best opportunity that is out there for her post high school education. We have to work on college essays, SAT – which she was supposed to take in March and well PANDEMIC, applications for colleges and scholarships as well as keeping her grades at an A average for her to graduate with honors. The last part, I would be proud of her even if she didn’t. She is supposed to have a 4.0 or higher to graduate with honors…she has a 3.91. You know what Mama Bear did, she figured out exactly what grades she needed to make with her current GPA and presented it to her daughter. I explicitly told her that there wasn’t any pressure, because it isn’t. If she wants to be an honor graduate that is her decision. She has to make the decision to work hard and not get “senioritis” and to continue to work as hard as she has the last three years. We’ve paid for college already, (she goes to private school) she has to do her part in making sure she secures a scholarship, which I know she is more than capable of doing. She’s a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, she is a member of several clubs at her school, and a talented artist. She believes in social justice which is a big part of her school’s motto. I think with the protest during the past months, we’ve had conversations with our children prematurely or because they started the conversations themselves. Between the state of our country and the uncertainty with this pandemic I am grateful that she has chosen to go to college in our city which has one of the best Engineering programs in the country. My hope is that come graduation, she can have a normal graduation that doesn’t require social distancing and limited amounts of people because we have a BIG extended family.
What is it I do? So much, that at the end of the day I am so tired and exhausted that I can’t shut my mind off which leads to inability to actually sleep! Some days I completely shutdown as soon as my head hits the pillow. However, there are at least 2/7 days where I’m up writing things down or reading just to shut everything else out. Hey, I’m a WOMAN and that is my super power which allows me to do what I do. My husband has never asked me that question since I have been a stay at home mom. I think he knows better, especially at this point in our lives when everything is in a state of constantly moving and when my feet hit the floor in the morning I morph into an octopus.