A day in the life of the average harried Mom.

My desktop is a mirror of my life. In addition, I have 2 google chrome windows open with 15+ tabs in each window. What's that? "Multi-tasking isn't effective?" So I've heard.

As Moms, we're pretty much expected to be living leggings, no?

Leggings expand as necessary... and hold everything together.

We expand as necessary and for the most part... give the appearance of holding everything together, too.

Here's a confession: I rarely hold everything together. (Ask my husband.)

::

5:30 a.m. - Alarm goes off. I think, "Is my phone ringing? Didn't I just go to bed?" I get out of bed, walk to phone (turn off alarm) get dressed for workout. (My clothes are laid out from the night before.)

Two things: If the phone is close to me, I skip the workout. (Hit snooze. And... scene.)

If I don't lay out the clothes, I skip the workout.

6:40 a.m.  - Workout done and logged in my accountability group. (Love the ladies in my group. New group starting Monday -- see here.)  I have 10-20 minutes to do my "Miracle Morning". (Silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise (already done), reading my daily devotional, writing) before the ladies rise and "shine."

THIS IS MY TIME. I get up at 5:30 a.m. for me.

I NEED MY TIME.

I hurry up, when I'm finished visualizing my peaceful life and thanking God for my blessings, I order some quick things off of Amazon to send to my MIL who is coming to visit next week.


6:50 a.m.  - The girls' alarm goes off. Vivi is coughing. They start arguing. Vivi takes 7 minutes to put ONE sock on even though her school uniform, from top to bottom, has been lying on the floor next to her bed since last night, waiting for her to put it on.

These socks are not a surprise. You chose them last night.

(Breathe deeply. You can't yell after you just had meditation time.)

6:55 a.m.  - Vivi is now crying because she can't get her shoes untied and because she remembered that Lila said something mean to her the night before. (Um, I believe the statute of limitations has run out on this one, Viv.)

Lila is completely ignoring her and currently wetting down her with a copious amount of water. (Wetting down her hair is a big thing right now.)

6:57 a.m. - Lila is completely dressed, hair done and artfully flattened, too. Her shirt is tucked into her pants and they're pulled up entirely too high. "I like them like this."

She and my Mother apparently share the same waist.

7:00 a.m. - I've yelled at Vivi, she's still crying. "VIVI. Make it snappy." I'm in the kitchen making breakfast (eggs and strawberries + vitamins + probiotics and an allergy pill for Vivi), making lunches (a fruit, a protein and a carb) and making the pre-karate snacks. (More on that later.)

7:08 a.m. - The girls have started eating their breakfasts. Lila's is done in 30 seconds, a delightful trait she's inherited from her Daddy. In addition, she, like him, will eat anything. She's a delight in the kitchen.

Vivi is still eating half a strawberry. "Hurry up, Vivi."

I make Craig's coffee.

"Vivi, please. HURRY UP." Her strawberries are now placed in a circle design on her plate.

7:18 a.m. - Lila's finished eating. Plate in the sink. Glass in the sink. She's skipping to the bathroom to brush her teeth with air. She honestly, might as well brush her teeth with air because they're just as dirty when she's finished as when she starts.

Vivi is still working on the other half of the strawberry.

"VIVI. NOW. PLEASE."

(Dogs are barking because they want in. Ferg is mad at me because she's currently slightly obese and I'm changing up her diet  -- no more food in a bowl all day long, allowing her to graze. Instead, she gets fed twice a day and I swear, is rolling her eyes at me.)

7:23 a.m. - Lila is sitting on the floor in her room. She's grabbed the spray bottle (more water, lest a hair break free), brush, comb and hair things and is reading the "Children's devotional for kids" that we reach each morning out loud. No one is listening to her. So, she starts over. Again. And again.

7:25 a.m. - Vivi is wandering somewhere. Craig is telling her to blow her nose. He's put the girls' lunches in their backpacks. I finish Lila's hair. Vivi asks me if I can put her hair in a heart braid.

I don't even know what that means.

No. I can't.

How's a bun?

Perfect.

7:30 a.m. - They're standing up, we button final buttons, clean toothpaste off of faces and smooch them and Craig takes them to school. Lila grabs her soccer ball because we need one more thing to lug.

7:33 a.m.   - The garage door closes and I listen to the silence and cry silent, happy tears.

7:35 a.m. - I clean the kitchen and put away the lunch stuff. I make my own lunch and go outside and water all of my plants with two fancy orange juice jugs I've had for at least 2 years. (Is this up-cycling? I'm cool, right?)

During this time I'm listening to voice messages from my friends on my speakerphone because none of us have time to talk on the phone so we voice text on Facebook messenger and listen when we can.

7:45 a.m. - Craig is back from school pick up. We ask one another, every.single.morning, "How did you sleep?" This is pretty much the first time we've had a second to say anything to one another.

He goes upstairs and showers.

I pack my lunch.

I make my shake.

I put stuff away.

I make sure that the money for my CSA delivery of veggies is ready, along with the box. I put my lunch in the fridge, along with the karate snacks that I'll need to take to the school at 2:30 p.m.

I make sure the karate bag complete with two outfits and shoes to change in to, is placed by the door so I don't forget it.

8:03 a.m. - Craig's out of the shower and I'm in.

No, we don't shower together during the week. Weekends?

That's our business. #marriage #grownfolks.

8:15 a.m. - I'm out of the shower, sweaty hair still in a bun. I do my face routine (rodan+fields), plus my  makeup (I'm in love with my current products). I'm also chatting with Craig while he irons his clothes and gets ready.

(He irons every morning. I never iron. If it needs to be ironed, I don't buy it.)

I pet the dog who is patiently and loyally next to me at all times, even though "Operation Get Ferg Fit" is in full-effect. Bless her heart.

8:30 a.m. - Craig goes downstairs to pack his lunch, I remain upstairs and listen to NPR news or podcasts. (Yep. Podcasts. I rock so hard.)

"You can listen to your trash now."

Love him. Do you really think the "Finding Richard Simmons" podcast is trash? I think not.

I'm getting dressed and realize I've not done my hair.

Pet the dog again. She's just so sweet.

8:45 a.m.  - Hair pulled from bun and classified as unacceptable. Hair goes back into "top knot."

8:50 a.m. - Say goodbye to Craig (he's usually leaving for work around this time, too.) Ferg doesn't care that I'm leaving, Millie, dog #2, walks me to the door. Foster dog is in her crate. (Of course we have time to foster a dog. "Welcome to our chaos, little dog!")

Since it's karate day, I'm carrying the following:

  • purse
  • lunch bag
  • two phones (US and MX)
  • Huge Yeti cup
  • computer bag
  • karate bag with uniforms + flip flops
  • girls' pre-karate snacks.
Confession: I'm also carrying my kindle in the hopes that maybe I'll have 4 minutes to read a book I started. As if.


8:52 a.m. - In the car. Connect my U.S. phone to my bluetooth and call my baby sister in Missouri. (No, I'm not from Missouri. I'm from Ohio.)  Love her and miss her.

9:01 a.m. - Arrive at work. End call with sister. I hate being a late. Even a minute.

9:02 a.m. - Unpack computer and my carpal-tunnel preventative gel mousepad (I'm 62 -- but it really does help), mouse, backup external drive and other eternal drive.

Fill up cup with requisite daily green tea.

Sit. Start working.

9:05 a.m. - It begins: marketing stuff. Social media, ads, follow up, planning, writing, blogging, eventing, question answering, meeting, reporting. Director-o-marketing stuff.

11:00 a.m. - Realize that I haven't had as much water as I should, so fill up huge Yeti cup with 30 oz of water and add 1 drop of orange essential oil. (My current "thing.")

11:09 - Confirm that I'm hungry, but tell myself to just "Drink the water." Gah.

12:01 p.m. - Eat "gourmet" lunch at desk while briefly checking news sources trying to contain political rage. Lunch is either yogurt / oatmeal / fruit / shredded coconut flakes / drizzle of honey or salad (or veggies) with turkey (or chicken) and my favorite balsamic & olive oil with garlic dressing. (Dress is about 2/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 - 1/3 cup balsalmic, 2-3 smashed garlic cloves... and there you go. Throw in a mason jar, leave on your counter / in pantry for a week.)

Note: I'm super into beets right now. They're good for me AND for bears.

12:14 p.m. - Food is gone. In a RACE to finish work before I leave the office to go do school pickup. The girls are finished at 2:30 p.m. and go to karate, at the school, at 3 p.m. I bring them their pre-karate snack and clothes.

1:59 p.m. - Look up at the clock on my computer and freak out that I have to leave and still have so much more to do.

2:14 p.m. - FORCE myself to pack everything up. Computer, mouse pad, both external drives, mouse and plug put in bag.  Put daily tea cup in mini-office kitchen. Grab lunch, purse, computer bag and sweater and GO.

2:28 p.m. - Arrive at the school. The school pickup line is stupid-long. I bypass the line to find a parking space. The unilateral parking line is for proficient-parallel parkers, of which I am not. So, I park at the very front... in a parking spot I created.

I'm sure everyone loves that.

Grab keys, Mexican phone, girls' karate snack (second lunch) and karate bag. I quietly thank GOD that I remembered the karate bag and that I didn't have to go all the way home to get the clothes.

2:33 p.m. - Enter the school. One of Vivi's teachers sees me and says, "Um... we had another 'incident' today..." I say, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" They say, "Yes... so..." and then I listen and shake my head. I ask if there was blood.

Vivi runs up to me to tell me what happened / show me her injury.

Lila casually and cooly sees me, as she's sitting at the picnic table with her amigas. I usually get a wave. Or a super-endearing, "What did you bring for snack?"

I kiss her head and dream about when she was 2 and didn't know what sassiness was.

I dole out the overnight oats + peanut butter + fruit. They smile. We sit. We chat. I talk with their cute-pie friends.

I smile.

I love that I can do this. I love that I get these stolen minutes to just sit with them and see them in their environment.

I give them their bag, they go put their karate uniforms on. I talk to my awesome mom-friends (and sometimes Dad-friends.)

2:43 p.m. - Vivi returns, ahead of Lila, crying AGAIN. This time Lila lost her karate belt. Lila SCREAMS from across the school campus, "I DIDN'T TOUCH HER KARATE BELT."

"Yes, she did. SHE DID."

I calmly, yet sternly, so as to remain in control in front of my co-madres, "COME HERE. BOTH OF YOU."

"Lila, do you have her belt?"

Lila: "Yes. Here."

Me: "Lila, Vivienne. BE KIND to one another. You are sisters. You are ALL that you have. Lila, you look out for Vivi. Vivi, you look out for Lila. Now, hug.

HUG.

Vivienne. PUT your ARMS around her.

They hug.

2:48 p.m. - I grab the karate bag, the lunch bag, Lila's backpack, Lila's lunch bag, Vivienne's backpack, Vivienne's lunch bag and the futbol (soccer ball) that Lila brought to school and I go and throw it all in my trunk alongside my lunch bag, my computer bag and my lunch. I head to the grocery store with the list from the chalkboard in the kitchen that I took a picture of the night before.

2:52 p.m. - I'm in the grocery store parking lot. Listening to more messages on my facebook messenger from my friends so that I have... that... connection.

I check my accountability group and check in with my awesome accountability group members. (LOVE them.)

I'm also checking my work email. Staying connected. Making calls.

3:15 p.m. - I'm in the grocery store picking up bananas, which is ironic. For a family that is truly bananas, we're always out of them. I'm also picking up the veggies that we don't get in our weekly CSA bundle.

3:35 p.m. - I cannot believe how much I am enjoying grocery shopping. I find myself just staring at the various olive oils because I can. Because no one is bothering me. No one is crying. No one is saying my name. I don't even CARE that I can't find a new pizza cutter in the kitchen section. I mean, it's Cabo. What do I expect? This isn't Italy.

3:40 p.m. - I call Craig. We confirm who is going to pick up the kids from karate in 20 minutes:  him or me. He's pretty helpful, that Craig. This is his busy season and he's part of all of this with me.

Today, he's going to pick up the ladies since we don't have our weekly work event that is from 4:30 - 6:30. I'm secretly bummed because it now means that after I get home from the grocery store I have to carry in, all by myself, the following: 2 backpacks, 3 lunch bags a karate bag, my purse, my computer bag, Lila's soccer ball and 5 bags of groceries in reusable bags*.

*Please give me additional points for actually remembering the reusable bags. Please do not delete said points since the bags actually advertise a different store than the one I visited. There are different paths to the same goal, no?

3:48 p.m. - I'm home. Carrying.so.much.crap.into.the.house. I sit in the garage for a few minutes listening to more messages and sending some.

I hide in the car sometimes... I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.

In I go. I put away ONLY the cold stuff because I mean, those kids can help put away the other stuff.

I go upstairs, sit in the chair in my room, in my slightly uncomfortable shoes (#fashion) and check my phone, scroll through facebook and check my work email.

I close my eyes.

Next, I either do a bit of work or change my clothes.

4:08 p.m. - The girls walk in. They're either REALLY HAPPY or suicidally sullen. Today, Lila is happy and Vivi is sobbing.

I ignore it.

It'll stop, right?

4:15 p.m. - The crying hasn't stopped. Lila has hopped in the shower (karate in Cabo heat? Ew.) - Vivi is still crying; wearing nothing but karate pants and a sports bra.

4:17 p.m. - I have no idea what Vivi is saying.

4:18 p.m. - My patience is GONE. I'm hungry. Vivi. Stop. Enough.

4:19 p.m. - We start talking. "All of my friends are mad at me."

Me: "Why?"

Her: "Because we were playing in the playhouse and I didn't let them out of the house."

Me: "You wouldn't let them leave the playhouse at school? As in, you were blockading the door?"

Her: "Uh-huh. They didn't use their words to say that they wanted to leave the house."

Me: "Um..."

A conversation about free will and tagging in with your friends - to make sure they're ok ensued.

4:30 p.m. - Homework is now in full effect. Vivi has to read her Spanish homework and do math. Lila has Spanish and English.

Vivi is reading "ll" as in, "cuello, amarillo..."

Lila is writing verbs.

4:38 p.m. - I'm putting away our CSA produce delivery and trying to figure out just what to do with the food. I'm actually facebook messaging them, taking pics of various foreign produce items and asking them, "Hi! Que es esto?" (What is this?)

4:45 p.m. - Homework helping is still happening. Lila, for the first time ever, is writing her "b's" and "d's" properly.

I'm ready to do a cartwheel. And or have a glass of champagne.

4:48 p.m. - I tell Craig I have NO ideas for dinner. NONE. I get on the google  and find a dinner idea.

5:00 p.m. - The girls are done with homework - I tell them they can go play.

I take pictures of a stroller we need to get back to Ohio for a friend. We do a little texting.

5:03 p.m. - I call my big sister; we've got family stuff going on. So nice to hear her voice.

5:05 p.m. - I continue talking to my sister and make a new take on stuffed peppers. I wing it. NO idea how it's going to taste, but whatever.

5:30 p.m. - Girls are starving. Vivi has asked for an appetizer. (Whose kid is this?) I forego the peppers and give them the stuffed pepper innards with cheese.) No family dinner tonight - the peppers aren't done and I'm still on the phone.

Can't win 'em all.

5:37 p.m. - While I'm on the phone, I put their food in front of them and they eat it. They are pumped because I... gasp... TURN ON THE TV DURING THE WEEK! (This is a no-no in our house.) They don't say anything. They just smile. Like I gave them crack.

Craig? He's giving the foster dog a bath.

5:45 p.m. - My sister's phone dies. I clean up the kitchen and am waiting for the cheese to melt and for the peppers to be finished. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was drinking a glass of red wine.

6:04 p.m. - Craig and I take our plates outside and tell the girls that we're going on a date... on the back patio... to eat dinner. They don't care. They're watching TV. ("Why is she letting us do this?") Totally drunk on TV.

My husband and I sit amongst our team of dogs (our two, plus the foster), and we TALK. We're talking about the summer, our plans, his impending 40th birthday...

...we breathe.

(I am so thankful for these moments of still that we find.)

7:04 p.m. - Girls' teeth are brushed and they're both in Lila's top bunk... reading a book. When I walk in and see Lila's arm around Vivi and helping her with her reading it all...makes...sense.

The chaos and the madness and the craziness... it's ours.

It's full.
Our life is heaping.
It's overflowing.
It's busting at the seams with fullness and love, yet the leggings of our life? They can handle it all.
My daily To Do List is no different from any other parents. We plan, we forget, we make mistakes, we anticipate, we go, go and GO. We schedule and show up. We drive and we errand. We just keep going... we just do it because it needs to be done.

::

My Mom never slowed down.

It frustrated me, too.

"Mom, just sit. And be."

"No, I've got to keep on moving."

I understand. I understand it now.

And I also understand the importance of that symbiotic relationship between chaos and stillness. I've got the go, go, go... and I've got the quiet and the calm.

Sigh.

So I think that means? Maybe? I've got it all?

As I sit in my pandemonium, I know there's no place I'd rather be.

Let's do this again tomorrow.

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