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Oh, right! Happy New Year!

My husband does not have your regular nine-to-five job. He doesn’t even have an eight-to-six job. When you work in Logic Man’s field, you can’t really count on regular hours, uh, regularly. I got very used to that before having kids, and then had to do some serious adjustments after Ethan was born. When the little ones came, I was petrified of being alone with all three kids. I grew envious of Jack’s time away at work. He could ESCAPE. I would ask friends to come over and help me out at bedtime when Jack was working late. It wasn’t until he got caught working late on a project and couldn’t pull away — when Henry and Miranda were around maybe two or three month’s old, that I had to manage bedtime for all three kids solo.

And I did it. I got through that evening, and I’ve been through countless others. When work pulled Jack out of town for two and a half weeks last winter, I managed (with the weekday help of my very own supernanny) the first week on my own before my dad, and then my mom, came to visit and help out.

I can do it. We can’t do much, due to napping and the not-always-easy-to-get-up-and-go-ness of having multiples plus a five-year-old. Today would be the perfect example of feeling home-bound. Oh, yeah, right! It’s New Year’s Day! We should go out and celebrate… but where? Not too many friends’ houses can accommodate two very inquisitive toddlers, and I’m not quite up yet to the challenge of throwing a party on New Year’s Day. Plus there’s that added bit that Jack is gone all day for work. Every New Year’s Day he has to get up at the crack of dawn, and he doesn’t come home until well past the kids’ bedtime. While we can’t count on regular work hours or whether or not he will be with us on weekends, we at least always know we don’t have him on New Year’s and July Fourth. And two and a half weeks at the end of January/beginning of February.

Usually on non-holiday homebound days like this I’ll pull it together enough to take the kids to the grocery store. I know, so glamorous, but… baby steps, right? Occasionally Christine and I will rearrange her hours so she can come in on a weekend day and watch the little ones so Ethan and I can go out. Once I actually packed the kids up in the car and drove down to Manhattan Beach for the Pumpkin Race. That was exhausting, but I was glad I did it. That was was definitely more like a toddler step!

Thankfully, I don’t get sick much. Who has the time? When Ethan walked downstairs this morning declaring that he has a coughy throat and would require soup and medicine today, I immediately mixed myself a packet of Emergen-C, because getting sick — especially this time of year — would suck… royally. I remember this past June, on a Sunday morning during a particularly busy time of the summer for work for Jack, I woke up in the throes of what I later determined must have been a migraine. I hadn’t had one for three years. I didn’t put two and two together to take a migraine pill. I woke up with a raging headache, nausea, a five-year-old trying to pry my eyes open because he could hear his little brother crying and wanted to go cheer him up, and a husband who had left at dawn for the second day in a row, not to return until well after dark. There was no way I’d be able to pull him back home to help me, so I tried to power through it.

Twenty minutes later, after I had painfully carried Miranda and Henry down the stairs, changed their diapers, and gotten them in their high chairs with breakfast, I realized that it was not going to be a good day. I hastily whipped the high chairs around to face the laptop on the kitchen counter, slapped on a Baby Signing Time video, and rushed to the bathroom.

“Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommmmmayyy? What are you doing, Mommy?”

You’d think when a five-year-old is pestering you to see if you are okay WHILE you are tossing your cookies you could see the humor in the situation, but instead I snapped, “ETHAN! I am TRYING to throw up, here! PLEASE give me a minute.”

“Okay, Mommy.” He shrunk away, and of course, I felt that much crappier.

I hauled myself to the couch in the playroom, after glancing over to make sure the little ones were fine, and collapsed. Waves of nausea crashed over the pain in my head and all I kept thinking was, how am I going to make it through this day with these kids? I spent the next ten minutes convincing myself I could do it, and then realized that I am not superhuman.

I texted Christine. You know, my supernanny. I’ll be there in thirty minutes, she texted back. We are, I remind myself almost daily, so lucky to have her in our lives.

I often wonder how it is that other Moms do it. How do they juggle all the lessons, the playdates, the nap schedules. What am I lacking that they have? Do I just not have it together enough? Ethan’s piano lessons are, luckily, held at home. I want to sign him up for a sport soon — how do I work that out around his siblings’ nap schedules and such? When I am not guaranteed a second parent at home at any given time, scheduling activities can be tough, and when Christine is here, I feel obligated to be working. I suspect that once Henry and Miranda start preschool in the fall things will be a little easier, but the weekends will still be tough.

I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. They feel so contrived, and I always end up disappointing myself. Instead, I need to make a life resolution. A Mommy resolution to be a bit braver about taking the three kids out by myself more often. And a Mommy resolution to not beat myself up when I do not.


  1. Jane C says:

    I think you are a “superMOM” to do what you are doing! They (all) are lucky to have you.

  2. Emily Cotler says:

    I have no idea how other moms do it. I feel all I do is load the dishwasher, empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, fold a load of laundry x3, sweep, put away groceries, lather, rinse, repeat… I think all moms feel something somewhere gets shafted. I do not think it’s possible to “have it all” — either you are supermom, fantastic wife/partner, fulfilled woman with her own career, or a homemaker Martha would approve of. Pick two. That’s all you get. Everything else suffers.

  3. lailani says:

    I leave the house a lot with my poodle. But I also have the choice to leave him at home, all alone.
    Motherhood is amazing.