Yesterday my hubs went back to work after taking paternity leave and it was my first day going back to doing everything - kids, food, school, work, and baby. Oddly enough it was a wonderful day and I was actually able to take the girls swimming AND get in a workout...How did I work out? On a recumbent bike at the gym with a baby over my shoulder! I like that phrase 'by any means' because it aptly describes the life of a mom. I know that in a negative sense it could cause you to think that one doesn't care about the process but just the goal. In my case, it's not that - it's that so much of what I do, if I were to wait until everything was perfect, I would never get anything done. I get the kids fed by any means, I get my overdue sweat on by any means. I run my business online or in person sometimes...by any means...I guess so much of what it takes to do the 'mompreneur' thing and raising a family in this complicated day and age requires you do just get it done by any means. That's why I'm such a proponent of telecommuting and flexible work schedules because at the end of the day, my responsibilities don't start at 8 and end at 5 or 6. That's life and well, work should reflect that as well. People will often say, when they have 3 or more kids 'I wouldn't have it any other way.' It's a little cliche IMO, I mean it's definitely true, but you look at life and what you want from it, you definitely have to prioritize, and then you have to figure out what sort of life can get you what you want from it. Being a mom is so challenging but somehow, you just figure it out.
Here's another example, so baby was in a deep sleep, we had to restock the fridge, so after swimming we went to Costco. It was one of those rambling Costco days where you go around making sure you've seen everything so you don't forget what you need. Right towards the end, when I still had one thing I needed, baby woke up in his car seat and unleashed a HUGE POOP and started crying. I was thinking I could put him in my baby carrier I was wearing, but then I thought....if I move him in the slightest, the poop could start leaking out everywhere. I took a looksy and yes I could already see some right inside the hem of his diaper cover. And I thought I wouldn't make it all the way to the bathroom (Costco, if you are reading this, you NEED bathrooms throughout the store!!!) So I thought - OK, get in your diaper bag (hate to pat myself on the back but um, the Division of Labor tote....??? Frikkin amazing!
) get out a plastic baggie, get the wipes at the ready, get the next diaper ready. I had it all ready - should I take him to the bathroom? He was crying, I was NOT about to pick him up. Could I change him in his car seat? What if it ended up leaking out if I took off his diaper in the car seat? I unbottoned his diaper cover and then thought....oh, that's a bad idea, what if he starts to pee? I had some clothes I bought for my sister in the cart, it would all be ruined! But he was crying more and more and there was no way I was going to be able to get to the bathroom with my two other girls and also carry his car seat out with the diaper bag etc to the bathroom, abandon the cart, and then go back to it....Maybe this is why crazy moms like me and others take carts INTO the bathroom!!!!
Anyways, so I had already started so I had to finish it - I had to change that diaper. And man, miraculously, the liquidy green poop got cleaned up by about 10 diaper wipes and into a plastic bag, the dirty diaper rolled up without any leakage onto his clothes or the car seat, and I put on a new diaper without him peeing on everything...this was in the middle of the Costco near the gardening stuff. This is an example....changing the diaper...by any means. (BTW you might like my previous post where I rant about newborn poops LOL
It's just a part of life I guess. We had dinner with a great aunt over the weekend and she has had help for her kids and her home, she's a very successful real estate agent. At dinner, she asked me 'do you have any help?' It's a common question, help with the kids or cooking etc? I said, just my husband who by the way has stepped up a TON and that is the only way I would recommend you scale up from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 especially. She asked 'how do you cook?' She doesn't even know that I work too. I wasn't about to bring that up. But even with three kids, she marveled at how I could do it without any hired help. I guess my answer is by any means. Some things at home are let go, some things are on the backburner, but there is just something about being alive and raising children and surviving - you just have to figure out a way and it seems there is always a way when you put your mind to it.
A salute to parents out there everywhere who just figure out a way every day.