What's A-Parent

If One More Person Says 'It Must Be Nice To Waltz Into Work At 9 A.M.,' I'm Going To Lose It

"If walking 2.5 miles and not actually making it anywhere at all ain't exactly what this stage of life looks like, I don't know what is."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

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 to 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. 

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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. 

Courtesy of Liz Petrone

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 at 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 two phone calls and 384 red lights. 

All before 9:00 a.m.

Courtesy of Liz Petrone

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 miles and not actually making it anywhere at all ain't exactly what this stage of life looks like, I don't know what is.

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. I am lucky to have four healthy kids and not need to spend extra hours taking care of special needs or going to extra doctor's appointments or managing an IEP with the schools. I am lucky to live in a culture where women can and do work freely outside of the home. I am lucky to be healthy enough myself to mostly manage all this. 

No, I tell you this because if one more person says to me, "Wow, it sure must be nice to be able to waltz into work at 9:00 a.m.," I am going LOSE IT. 

Courtesy of Liz Petrone

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. 

Unless it looks like judgment. Ain't nobody got time for that ish. Some of us have work to do.

This story originally appeared on Liz Petrone's Facebook page. Liz is a writer, blogger, teller of stories, believer in truth, and mama to four. She shares her stories on lizpetrone.com and all over the Internet, and recently finished a sloppy first draft of her first book. She can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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