I hear these five words a great deal. Thrown at me by people I don’t know, people I know, and then overheard whilst out and about. Although, I honestly thought that by now (‘now’ being mum to 4 1/2 year old triplets and an almost 8 year old) the occurrences would die down. Apparently not, as I am hearing it with a vengeance!
I will put a stop to it all right now – I am not superwoman. I do not possess magical or heroic powers other than the ones that come factory approved when motherhood kicks in. I don’t know how to do, be or have it all, as I don’t think I quite get it all done every day/week/month/year. I think I make it up as I go along. I try to do as much as I can, sometimes it ends well, other times it ends in tears – either mine or one of the kids.
What I do know is that it is a constant balancing act, and involves a great deal of thinking, hoping and luck. Some days I get all the green lights and we get there on time. Other days I get none and we still manage to scrape in on time. Other days everything is out of sync, I feel as though I am forgetting something, and it taunts me all day. Then I remember that I have forgotten to return library books, or mail something, or return a text message/email. And then the day passes with all the makings of a bad one – dropped toast, broken cups, spilled sugar/milk/liquid, squished lunches still in their lunch boxes, – you get it.
I have ‘systems’ or routines of how to get some things done. A basic framework of aligning what needs to be done to getting it done. And that is not always smooth sailing when my eyes are falling out of my head with fatigue from night shift or even just the fatigue of a day. I mess up. I drop eggs, forget I have left the milk out, and I poorly manage grocery shopping time. I swear (mostly in my head, but out loud a bit too), but I try. I try so incredibly hard to be not only a good mum, but an efficient one. I even hope that my kids will read these blog posts in the future and see how their mum *tried* to keep things organised.
Sundays is bake day. Come hail or shine. Sundays we bake for the school lunch boxes (used to be kindy but now they are all at school!). Muffins, sometimes banana bread, mini quiches, biscuits and muesli bars. Now that all four kids are at school I have to do a mid-week muffin bake as there is not enough for Thursday/Friday seeing as I only do 12 on Sunday. I have thought about freezing some, but I know what my kids are like. They see the freezer as fair game – and often gnaw on frozen muffins as a treat. Crazy I know. So, odds are, if I baked a heap of muffins in advance, they would slowly be eaten and it would defeat the purpose!
Each day otherwise, is taken as it comes. No day is really any different – other than school days. Mornings are busy and I find myself wishing for a helper some days when the girls hair won’t sit properly and stay in a pony tail (has nothing to do with my crap hairdressing skills) or the boys refuse to put their shoes on until the very last minute. Every day I can guarantee you that I will hear “Let it Go” at least once, have ‘happy birthday’ sung to me (because, according to Caitlyn every day should be your birthday so you can have cake), and have to work out where the Nether is again. I also have to frequently referee Lego ‘Build offs’ and generic sibling squabbling. I don’t know the best way to do all of this, I just know the way I do it.
I have no secrets, no powers and no answers. I don’t know it all. I know stuff all. Especially about motherhood. I really just wing it. I think in years to come I might get an inkling about what I am actually supposed to do. Maybe, maybe not. I have my views on what I need to try and do in regards to parenting – rules and guidelines that I know not everyone else agrees with. Things like TV on at dinner time – I can’t stand it and we don’t have the TV on. Bed time – the kids go to bed at 7pm, with Hayden at 730pm. The triplets tend to talk a bit, but stay on their beds and then go to sleep. Hayden is a bit cheeky and will try and steal extra reading time. But I am pretty firm on the bed time thing – they need sleep to be rested. I know I sound like a broken record to them – and I am sure they will say the same thing to their kids, if they have any, and then shudder and think “gosh I sound just like mum”. And team work – we are a family, we need to work together, do chores together and love each other.
I get some of it right – they have manners and are generally well behaved and respectful. On the other hand – my house homes dust bunnies and possibly the nations missing socks. I have piles of things ‘to do’ or ‘to fix’ or to donate or something. I am pretty crap at cleaning. Really crap actually. I look at the mop and bucket and think about it. I just don’t get there. I am also pretty crap at fixing things. I generally leave it for Jason or throw it in the bin. I just don’t see how people think that I am superwoman. Some days I am walking around in the clothes I slept in (which I would have done for convenience!) and running on only one cup of tea. Danger zone right there. I am intolerant to small talk – I feel awkward and out of place. I have complete conversations with myself in my head about how much milk I have at home, or what we are having for tea. I am constantly assessing and re-assessing what is done, needs to be done or what could happen. I have to plan washing. I can’t just wake up and see what the day will bring – I have to know what the day will bring – in terms of planning for it and ensuring the kids are clean/fed/clothed/have what they need.
I incessantly worry about just about anything, and in fact I worry about worrying. I always cook for about 10 people instead of 6. I would much rather live in pajamas and have breakfast foods for every meal – ‘Brinner’ would be a winner! I don’t know about many TV shows, certainly not anything current, and until recently, I didn’t know that Patrick died in Offspring (and as I watched it I was horrified and howled like a baby). I feel as though I could write a book on the effects of sleep deprivation, and often think I should (then I add it to my ‘to-do’ list and it sits and collects dust). I write my kids notes and leave them in their lunch boxes. I draw on their bananas. I worry that they are not making friends, or having a good day. I worry. Then I tell them a million times over to be kind to each other and to others, to stop picking their nose, and to listen. Then I stop because I don’t want to seem like a nagging mum, and I just look at them, and am amazed by how beautiful they are, how ok they are, and how big they are.
For the most part, I rush through each day wondering if I have missed anything, and trying madly to ensure everything gets done. That my kids are safe and loved, that my employers are happy enough with my work that they will continue to pay me, and that my house maintains some level of habitable living. So many things. Some days I feel as though I am running a military school, others leave me feeling as though I am the subject of a dictatorship. All I know is that like many others, I do what I can, as best as I can, and madly hope that it is enough.