Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It Takes a Village to Raise a Mom

They say it takes a village to raise a child.  That is most definitely true.  It also takes a village to raise a mom, because this whole motherhood thing is hard work.  Really hard work.  In fact the all knowing Ms. Oprah Winfrey called it "the toughest job in the world." 

And so I have always found some of the best secret sauce to motherhood is surrounding myself with a whole bunch of other awesome women.  They help me learn tricks to save time, money, and most importantly my sanity.  Of course, you need fellow moms with kids of similar ages to your own.  This is the group that reminds me about Little League sign ups and helps me keep me calm when a parenting crisis-du-jour is about to overwhelm. 

Just as important are women at every other stage.  It is crucial I know moms with kids a little older than my own. Why should I try and figure all this mothering stuff out myself, when they have already been there, done that, and lived to tell about it.  These moms have helped me with everything from lunch packing advice (do all the sandwiches on Sunday night they'll keep) to diaper changing (cover up those baby boys before you get sprayed in the face).

Then, I need to know a few moms with kids younger than mine.  I would love to say it is because I can pass along all my knowledge to the next generation of moms, but truth is I am just hoping they will let me snuggle their babies.  What I wouldn't give for a little snuggle with newborn?   

Of course, I like to know a few empty nesters, too.  It is like those moms are cheering from the finish line, "You can do it!  We made mistakes, but look how good our kids turned out. You will be just as lucky, too."

Finally, and possibly most important, I need girl friends whose path has not yet and may not take them into the world of motherhood.  If I spend all my time in a parent-only world, I would forget the other wonderful paths life's journey can take, ones that may not include a minivan.  As much as I love it, it is nice to climb down from the hill called motherhood and view the world from another peak for a little while.

And so this week, I have had the joy of spending time with every one of these groups of women, though I didn't get that baby snuggle for which I have been wishing.  It was the wisdom of a great friend, Sheila, whose kids are a bit older, that really rang true this week.

Sheila has warned me the day would come when I would be running around crazy for the kids.  No matter how hard I tried to keep the activities contained it will sneak up on me one day.  Just like that I would be THE MOM.  All caps, as in it consumes up all your time.  

Well, as usual, Sheila's advice was right.  Last week, I did everything from the banal science camp carpool to the creepy live crickets transport to feed the class frog to the food run for 20 hungry Girl Scouts and so much more.  Every day was booked day and evenings.  How did that happen?  And Sheila, how do I keep up this pace until they are all old enough to drive themselves? 

That is life in the stroller lane.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Moral to the Story - Never Unpack the Shoes

Historically, I have not been a very superstitious person.  As of recent, I have become one.  I am bad as a Major League Baseball player who doesn't wash his socks all season thinking that's the reason for his good hitting.  For me?  I'm simply planning to never unpack my shoes.  I'm just going to leave them in Atlas Moving Box in the middle of our bedroom until we renovate or I get the courage to again tempt the gods of fate - whichever comes first.  Every time I go to unpack them, crisis unfolds.

You may ask, why the shoes?  Just throw them in the closet.  Right?  Wrong!!!  Our 1959 Wonder House doesn't have a closet, per se, in the master bedroom, just peek-a-boo cupboards.  Since day one, where to put my shoes, has posed a question.  And several times, I have gone to solve it, and each time the very night before I planned to unpack those darn shoes crisis unfolded and unfolded big.

Strike One.  That was the evening I came home to find the flood in the only fully working bathroom in the house.  For those who have may not read every single nugget of Stroller Lane, we have only one fully operational bathroom and that one flooded within a week of us moving in.  It is a very precious commodity if we want to keep ourselves from doing anything more than dining alfresco.

Strike Two.  The dishwasher (which is about the only new appliance in the house) broke at the three week mark.  The repair man fixed it on a Friday.  He didn't fix it correctly.  We were doing dishes by hand all weekend.  Due to our very old plumbing, the repair work broke two more things and there was more flooding and the repair work took another couple of days.  By then, the dirty dishes were piled higher than the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Strike Three.  Due to no fault of us or our home, the High Voltage transformer in our back yard exploded and nearly lit all of the nearby homes on fire.  The fire department and PG&E spent a good portion of the evening at our home.  Then PG&E spent a good portion of the next two weeks in our backyard, but we are proud owner of a brand new and much safer transformer that providers power to several area homes.

And Your Out.  A dentist told me in 1999 that I would "someday soon" need a root canal on one of my back teeth, it turns out that I needed it now!!!  And "now" for the first time in my life I didn't have a dentist.  Crap!!!!  I found a really good dentist (Great).  He referred me to a VERY CRAPPY endodontist to do the actual root canal.  For all my nursing school friends, this guy gave me a post-procedure gram-negative anaerobic infection - the really bad stuff - I never saw him change his gloves - the jerk.  And worst of all, I had the infection on our 15th wedding anniversary, total and complete bummer.  I made Scott's favorite dinner and then went to bed at 8:15pm and was very, very sick for 10 days. 

So as I said, I am not unpacking those darn shoes.  In my past attempts there has been flood, fire, and disease. If I try again, there may be famine.  On an upside, I have started calling architects, so maybe we can just solve this another way and renovate and build an actual closet.

That is life in the Stroller Lane.