Sitting down to the computer, I noticed that my coffee cup was empty. It’s a cold, snowy morning and I definitely want another cup of coffee. I take my cup to the kitchen for a refill, pour the coffee and go for the sugar. The sugar jar is empty, so I go refill the sugar. I go for the milk, emptying the last out of the jug. I rinse out the jug and put it in the recycling container when I realize that it’s recycling day and needs to be taken to the curb. I go to verify that it is in fact recycling day with James and he asks if the Christmas tree needs water. I check and indeed it does need water. So back to the kitchen I go to get a pitcher full of water for the tree. After finishing that task, I realize that the recycling still hasn’t gone out, so to the garage to get that done. Back inside to my coffee, I have the realization that I will be crazy psycho mommy if I don’t eat breakfast before partaking in a second cup of coffee. I go to the fridge and pull out the leftover pancakes to put in the toaster. Only, the griddle is still out from yesterday and is blocking the toaster. So I put that away and drop my pancakes into the toaster and get a plate from the cabinet only to notice that the compost container is full and needs to be dumped out back. I put my shoes and wool sweater back on and take out the compost. It’s really snowing outside. Back inside, I realize that I need to get back on the computer to work on a few gifts before the kids wake up. Sit down and realize that I forgot my coffee. Go get coffee, come back to the computer sipping now cold coffee. Sigh… now back to the kitchen to put cold coffee in the microwave for a quick warm up and retrieve those pancakes that I forgot about.
I can so relate to the mom in this article on MSNBC, down to the homeschooling at home and the marathon errand day. My usual Tuesday can include leading a breastfeeding meeting, stopping at a park to picnic for lunch to keep tantrums and crying to a minimum, to a local spring to collect 10 or more gallons of drinking water, to a quick stop at a random store (usually the book store or craft store for school supplies,) to our food co-op to work sorting produce and pick up our groceries, to Trader Joe’s to pick up other odds and ends before hitting rush hour traffic to get back home to tote everyone and everything up the stairs and make dinner.
Every so often, I do contemplate returning to the work force in order to help make the ends meet, but I quickly realize that: 1. I want to be the one raising our kids, 2. I LOVE the work of being a mom and can’t imagine any other job I’d rather be doing, 3. I wouldn’t make enough to cover the financial costs of childcare. I looked into this a bit a few years ago and kept the daycare price sheet as a reminder (from Primrose School, prices effective 12/2005 per 5-day WEEK, which do not include registration fees, supply fees, or activity fees):
Infant (6 wks. – 12 mo.) $230
Young Toddler (12-24 mo.) $210
Early Preschooler (24-36 mo.) $190
Preschool (3 year-olds) $175
Pre-Kindergarten (4 year-olds) $145
Kindergarten (5 year-olds) $145
Before & After Elementary Care $85
So for my three kids, we would pay $375 per week! No doubt these rates have increased since 2005 either, so that’s a low estimate for my crew. That doesn’t even begin to cover the the other costs: gas, clothing, enrolling Alex in public school, the extra doctor bills since they’d catch everything going around, the reduced family time, etc.
James went on his hiking/camping trip last weekend and had a few mishaps, mainly his car not starting when they went into town to get a few dry things on Saturday. They were in a Walmart parking lot and despite trying to jump the car, it would not go and some random computer error light came on. He had it towed to a local dealership and rented a minivan and continued on with his trip. He drove the rental home on Sunday only to find out on Monday that his car only needed a new battery. Yay the fix is cheap, but grrr about the rental car bill, the towing bill, and all that gas.
So today, James took the day off of work to return the rental and pick up his car down in Kentucky and he took the boys with him. I had a full day planned in the midst of a busy week, so to say I was grateful for a lighter load today would be an understatement. The boys left around 8 this morning, which left plenty of time for me to gather my things for our day and pack them into the car.
I leisurely made my way to the car and actually made it to my LLL meeting early for a change. It was lovely being able to chat without having to compete with piano playing, dragon talk, or little boys jumping chairs. Izzy took to taking a nap in the car afterwards, so I had a quiet lunch in the car and knit a round or two. When she woke up, we had a girly day at the mall, window shopping for a new quilt. Everyone complimented her sweet curls and lovely eyes and cooed over her, which we both ate up. We continued with our errands and picked up our produce and did some light grocery shopping before heading homeward with one last stop at the polls to vote. I threw some crab cakes into the oven for the two of us to share for dinner and then we’ll split a basket or two of laundry to fold together. As nice as it all was, I miss my boys and look forward to their homecoming in another hour.