Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Don't Know How She Does It

Have you seen the movie "I Don't Know How She Does It"?

If you haven't, you should.

This goes for busy working moms, stay at home moms, dads, boyfriends, even teenage kids. At least watch the trailer.

Lexi and I watched it this weekend.

It was one of the best movies I've seen in a very long time.

It also hit a little close to home.

Yes, moms really do make lists.

All the time.

In our heads, on paper, on our smartphones, on the back of a napkin.

But the movie is about more than just making lists. In the movie, people constantly say to Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays a working mom trying her best to balance a thriving career, two young kids, and a husband, "I don't know how you do it."

I can't even tell you how many times people say that to me.

"I don't know how you take care of four kids." Um, well, I don't really have a choice, and a couple of them are old enough they kind of take care of themselves (take bath time, for example.. it's been years since I had to help Lexi and Jake with a shower, although I do often have to remind Jake to shower). Really, the big kids just need food and transportation, and maybe some occasional homework help. Oh, and money. Other than that, there's not much work involved - and they even help with their little sisters, making my job not that bad. That's how I do that - we work as a team and take care of each other.

"I don't know how you manage a job and being a mom." Honestly, even on the days I hate my job the very most, it's actually kind of a nice break from being a mom. Yes, I'd really love to not have to work. But the fact of the matter is, I do. We need the little bit of extra income I earn to pay for things like groceries (very important, especially if you're an almost 11 year old boy!) and registration fees (it costs money to do all the "extra" stuff my kids want to do).  In a perfect world, I'd work from home. I'm working on making that happen. In the meantime, I am grateful that I'm able to work part-time. I'm not sure I could do 40+ hours a week and raise a family. Cutting back on work (at least the work that I get paid for) was probably the best decision I ever made. Yet, even with just 20 hours a week, there are still somedays that I wonder how we all get out of the house on time, and fully clothed (ok, that's a lie...sometimes Morgan decides she doesn't want to wear pants, but that's her choice.. and I usually remember to grab pants, just in case).

"I don't know how to find time to scrapbook/blog." For me, those things are relaxing. I don't watch a lot of tv, but when the kids go to bed, I update my blogs and work on scrapbooks. It's therapy. And it's just part of my daily routine. I'm working on adding some other things, like exercise into my daily routine too, but honestly, writing a quick blog so I don't forget the funny thing Lizzy said that day, is a lot more fun, especially at 10:00 pm.

"I don't know how you do it - your husband works long hours." Only in the summer. And again, it's just what we do. Brad's job requires long hours during the summer. It has always been that way, and it always will be. I grew up a farm kid, so maybe I'm used to the dad being gone a lot when it's nice out. It's no big deal. Yes, I'd love it if Brad were home to go on every camping trip with us, grill burgers for us, and go to the swimming pool with us. But that's just not how it is. The kids and I won't let his busy work schedule keep us from having fun. If we did that, we'd never do anything in the summer. We make our plans, assuming he won't be there, and if the contractor breaks down, or it rains, we are pleasantly surprised.

Am I doing everything right?

Absolutely not.

I'd be kidding myself (and lying to you) if I said I was the perfect mom.

But you know what?

My kids are happy, healthy, and so much fun to be around.

So I must be doing something right.

But don't ask me how I do it.

I just do it.

That's all.

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