Mother of the Year

Friday, January 20, 2012 

One of Bianca’s favorite songs is LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem…the one with the lyrics “Everyday I’m shuffling.” (Shufflin’ is probably more true to the actual lyrics.)

Now the fact that my three-year-old is familiar with lyrics from an LMFAO song puts me in that highly-etseemed category I refer to as “Mother of the Year.”

These are the moments when I’m pretty sure if someone from social services saw my parenting skills, they would be concerned. And now that I have three small children under my care, there seem to be three-times the mother of the year moments.

In my defense, Bianca learned the “Everyday I’m Shufflin’” lyrics while watching a car commercial where three furry hamsters are driving down the road. (Not that it’s much better because it means my daughter’s parked in front of the TV entirely too much.)

But my point is, and I do have one, most days I feel like I’m shufflin’. It’s like a constant juggling act between my responsibilities to my kids, my obligations to my work and my chores around my house.

For example, this morning I got up and got Bianca up, fed and ready for school. As soon as I dropped her off I rushed back home to feed the babies and get them settled-in on their playmates. Then I completely switched gears and tried to finish an article due today, but Chuck stopped me so I could help him with some of his paperwork. I was so caught-up in typing for him that I almost forgot to pick Bianca up from preschool. “How can it already be 11:00?” I thought as I raced out the door. Meanwhile, I hadn’t showered, done anything to clean up the bomb that had exploded in my house, and I don’t think I’d eaten breakfast. It’s pretty sad when you can’t remember if you ate breakfast or not.

The afternoon played the same, like I’d hit rewind on my morning. I picked Bianca up from daycare at 3:30 and on the way home prepped her about the 4:00 phone interview I had.

“Now mommy will put on cartoons and fix you a snack and then I need you to be a good girl while I’m on the phone,” I said.

“Okay, mommy,” she said from the backseat. “I’ll take care of my babies while you’re on the phone.” (This from the mouth of my three-year-old.)

We rushed in the door. I strapped the babies into their swing and bouncy seat, fixed Bianca a snack, put on PBS (at least her television will be educational, I thought), and told Bianca to be good.

For a brief moment, things are going smooth as I sit in the next room and carry-on and adult conversation for work. I start to hear a baby wimper a little, but I’m not too concerned because I know they’re in their seats. But I begin to wrap-up my interview. Then I hear the cry escalade. I get off the phone and walk into the living room to find Brylee bent in half with her head hanging over the front of her bouncy seat. Major Mother of the Year moment!

I assess the situation and see that Brylee’s fine, but Bianca’s nowhere to be found. When I find her in her room, the first words out of her mouth are, “I didn’t do nothing!”

Her answer tells me two things: one, she could have tried to pull Brylee out of her bouncy seat, and two, what did I expect?

(Later in the day I watched Brylee try to sit-up in her bouncy seat and do a nose-dive over the edge to the floor. So I apologized to Bianca for ever doubting her and I made a mental note that Brylee’s finally out-grown the bouncy seat.)

I know I didn’t do anything wrong. My girls were within earshot, and I was able to get to them within seconds.

But these Mother of the Year moments, the days when I’m Shufflin’ remind me that the more balls I try to juggle – the more likely I am to drop one, if not all, of my balls.

At these moments of complete chaos, pandemonium and stress I need to drop everything and focus all of my attention on the three most important balls I have – Bianca, Brooklynn and Brylee.

And while being a work-from-home mom is full of these challenging moments, I’m blessed that I have the opportunity to sit my work aside in order to be with my girls.