you know you’re a mom of many when…

I have been a mom of one for less than a full day.

No, I’m not a new mom.

Two girls are at theatre camp all day. One is away at summer camp. So it’s just me and my sidekick, my youngest.

Being a very long time since it’s just been me plus one, I now understand why everyone asks ‘how I do it’ with four. My canned answer: They didn’t come all at once.

And this is true.

But my quiet mind didn’t disappear all at once either.

There’d be a reason why moms of one or two look cross-eyed at us mamas of more. It’s not quiet in here…(I’m pointing to my head).

Yes, I’ve become much more organized. Yes, I’ve become far more controlling, and also a lot less controlling. Depends on the topic. Yes, I’ve let go of shining the taps before you come for coffee.

All these in pursuit of a happier mental state as a mom of many.

You know you’re a mom of many when…

  1. You know how to wield a fussing toddler while videotaping three older children doing their ‘performance’ for you.
  2. You can manage one large shopping cart with the toddler and three mini-shopping carts following you in the grocery store.
  3. You can cook a meal, talk on the phone, direct the kids in household chores and/or navigate their squabbles, and breastfeed a baby, simultaneously.
  4. You think in checklists: Have you had a drink of water? Do we have snacks and water? Is there an activity for the drive? Have you put on sunscreen and bug spray? Do you have your coat? Have you gone pee?
  5. You know one day you should qualify for a psychology PhD with all the conflict management and hostage negotiation training that four-way bickering and arguing can create.
  6. You’re repeatedly asked “Are these all yours?” To which you reply, “No, I picked one up on aisle two, another in dairy…”
  7. You can go into your storage room, aka kids’ clothing storage room, and envision your very own consignment store. And you know you’ll come out wealthy…
  8. Mothers of just one child think you are over-organized and over-controlling. Having said that, mothers of many identify new mothers by the number of times they ask their child, “What would you like sweetheart?”
  9. Others say, “Those are all yours? Good for you. I wouldn’t have the patience!” And you respond, “Me neither”. But most importantly, you know you’re a mom of many because….
  10. You repeatedly hear, “Oh my, you must be busy!”

Thankfully, you’re also doused in hugs and kisses like a toddler in sunscreen at the beach!

September 2014 259  September 2014 263

PS Now that I’ve had a singleton for less than two days, I am reminded a sibling sidekick is helpful. All parenting is a lot of work, so carpe diem and seize the hugs!