Leaving the house with your kids in tow and without an extra pair of “adult” hands to help can stink. It isn’t always pretty. You ask yourself, while you are packing your brood into the car, “Is this the right decision? Should I have called Sally and told her my kids are sick and we can’t come? Should I have asked my mom to accompany me?”
And then it happens. You desperately want to know…
“Why did I leave the house?!”
This one is for you, mom of more than three children who thinks she can just pack “a” diaper and it will all be “cool”. Here’s to you mom of a toddler who is going through that phase where she comments on everything she sees. “That lady has a funny squishy belly!” Here’s to you, mom of teenagers who would rather do ANYTHING than be seen with you. You tried. And sometimes that’s all you can do.
Here is what I know goes through your head before you set out on your adventures:
This outing is going to be FABULOUS! They are going to learn so much at the museum. They are going to be so well behaved at the park. We are going to make memories! Who needs a second adult?! I’m Super Mom and I’m going to rock this playdate/pool party/grocery store/zoo!
How you imagine things will go
You know, the vision you see before you embark on such a fun outing. Smiling with your three beautiful blonde girls on the beach. I bet not a single little girl has complained about sand in her eye or swimsuit. Or had a sand crab get her toe. No one has stepped on a seashell and received an owie on their foot. Your oldest daughter is being so helpful and is not being mean at all to her younger sisters. They are not whining about how hot it is, how tired they are, that they are hungry or thirsty. You are making memories and it is going to last A LIFETIME!
How things actually go
And then we woke up. Because this is not how it is going to go. And for me, I fall into the trap of thinking that I can be under prepared because I’m such an expert mother by now. You know, three under 4… two of whom are the same age. I’ve got it DOWN. But here is what I have learned this summer.
Being prepared for the worst is a good thing. Truly it is. It does not mean that the worst is coming. What it does mean is that when your son decides to poop in his swimsuit at a splash park birthday party, you can change him into the second swimsuit you brought and you won’t have to leave the party early making all three kids cry.
It can also mean that when everyone is exhausted and prone to whininess on the way home from the outing, you will be the hero (okay, maybe only to yourself) and have cold bottles of water available. You will also swoop in with a delicious snack so that if they fall asleep in the car and the Nap Gods bless you with the ability to move them from the carseat into the their beds, they won’t wake up hungry.
No one likes to prepare, except for you Type A mommas out there – kudos to you! But if you are a fly by the seat mom like I am, it goes against your nature. Becoming a more prepared mother of preschoolers is my goal. So over the next few weeks I am challenging myself to help you mothers of younger children get out the door and back in two pieces. After all, one piece would be asking a lot of me! Stay tuned with me through August as I push myself to the limit and leave the house ALONE with the kids. A lot.
Tonight: Music class. Goal: Snacks and drinks to make the ride home less whiney.