This morning I woke four sleepy humans. Some I gently patted, some I prodded, and one I pulled the covers off and tried to roll onto the floor when the pat and the prod fell short. I’m not proud of that last one.
I made five beds, one twice because someone snuck into it and tried to go back into sleep. It *may* have been me.
I took a shower and made myself look sort of human and flushed three toilets and fished one very wet pull-up out from under my bed.
I made two very strong cups of coffee.
I dressed one child and myself and told another that her “outfit” would probably get me arrested should I let her leave the house in it.
I reminded them all to brush their teeth. Four times. None did it. We’re working on this.
I yelled “stop screaming! You’ll wake the neighbors!” loud enough to wake the neighbors. Many, many times.
I drove to school once to drop the bigs off and back again a little later to drop off the stuff the bigs forgot.
I stood on the bus stop and waited for two more buses while trying in vain to fish the littles out of a neighbor’s tree.
I watched them drive away with a wave and a throat lump and I walked back to my empty house.
I cleaned their breakfast out of my car and my kitchen and my hair.
I dismantled pillow forts and unhooked Paw Patrol underwear from table lamps and threw in a load of laundry and reapplied the lip gloss I’d left on four cheeks in goodbye kisses.
I fed and watered the dog and wiped down the counter and turned off the TV and the coffee maker and a hundred lights and locked up and fielded 12 text messages and 2 phone calls and 384 red lights.
The kicker? She did all these things before 9 a.m. Petrone explains that although her morning routine isn’t exactly simple, she realizes it’s part of having children. “By the time I sit in my chair at work and fire up my computer, my Fitbit says I have walked 2.5 miles. All just to get us ready and out of the house. And if walking 2.5 mikes and not actually making it anywhere at all ain’t exactly what this stage of life looks like I don’t what is.”
She also points out that despite running around like a chicken with its head cut off, she’s grateful for the chaos. “I don’t tell you this to look for sympathy. Not at all. I am lucky to have a job that affords me flexibility. I am lucky to have a job.”
Petrone signs off by raising her glass to not just moms who bring home the bacon, but all mothers: “To the working mamas, I feel you. I feel you so hard right now. But more than that, to ALL the mamas, I’m raising my cup of (now cold) coffee. You keep on doing you, sister, whatever that looks like.”