I have two kids. Through the years, my friends with one child often ask, “How do you do it?” To be honest, I don’t know. I guess I just do what needs to be done. So, I often ask friends who have three or more kids the same question.
I was at my friend’s house the other night (I’ll call her Cara) for our book club. All of the women in our book club have two kids, except Cara. She was hosting and her third child, a 7-year-old boy (I will call him Sean) often puts her over the edge. But we all secretly enjoy seeing how Cara reacts to his oh-so-7-year-old-boyishness.
Jackie Tangent: Sean is the cutest thing, like a mini Enrique Iglesias. He has dance moves like Mick Jagger and the sweetest boy voice. By the way, the only reason I know this pop singer is because my kids beg me to listen to him on the radio. Now I can’t get the song, “I Like It” out of my head. Here’s a taste.
So anyway, smack in the middle of our book club, Sean runs into the living room, asking Cara in a continuous stream of 7-year-old consciousness, “Hi, guys!!” “Mommy, whatcha doin? Hi mom.” “What’s that?” Grabbing crackers and cheese from the coffee table, “Mmmmmmm those are good, can I have more?” The look on Cara’s face was priceless following every comment. “OK, Sean,” she says. “Ok, Sean, thank you.” We couldn’t get enough of him, but she had had enough. She rushed through his questions, knowing it was not long before bedtime and he was trying to get out of being where he was supposed to be, which was not in the living room enjoying wine and cheese. “You need to go to back downstairs with your brother and sister. I love you. Good night. OK, Sean. Goodbye now.”
Cara says Sean follows her everywhere and wakes her up at 6 a.m. every day. We were all giggling about her after-Sean-was-born tales, especially the one where she had to hide in the bathroom, pretending to take a shower so she could get a moment of peace. We have all been through the ringer with our own, but most of us sitting there did not have a third. Cara, like all mothers, deserves sacred mommy “alone” time. By the way, I’m happy with two. We are done. But if, by some miracle, we have a third, I will welcome the idea with open arms. After I pass out and eat an entire bag of chocolate truffles, I will welcome it with open arms.
Do you ever get a moment of mommy time?
Thanks so much, Micki. I’m so sorry about your loss, and look forward to staying connected with you. There was a loss in my husband’s family when he was young and it’s a pain that a mother never overcomes. Some say time helps you get through it. And the memories are in your heart forever. I admire you for writing about it. I look forward to reading your work.
Micki Peluso said:
I am now a grandma but I can relate, still writing humorous slice of life stories about my six kids!! We lost one and I could not speak of it so I wrote about it in a book, And the Whippoorwill Sang, going back over all the funny, crazy things they did. I loved having had six kids but my kids were are you–two or three is just fine lol. Times have changed. I love your writing and your site–good luck with it.
Cheryl!!!!! God bless America – I wish you had more mommy time too. You are hilarious. Jennifer Jason Leigh, you have your hands full. You have gone from Wonder Woman to Wonder Mom. “Able to leave the house with three kids, thanking God they are all sitting quietly in their car seats, as you reach for the lip gloss in your glove compartment and shamelessly enjoy a mommy moment to yourself at the long stop light…. then you drive aimlessly through town, searching for a local drive-thru dry cleaner, drive-thru pharmacy, drive-thru anything and praying for an open space with enough room to unleash them all safely in a single bound.” I feel your pain.This is how I felt shopping with TWO! (Make sure to read the chapter on “The horrors of shopping with kids” when my bk comes out this spring!)
Mommy time? What’s that? Having just given birth to my third girl (I also have a 2 & 4-year-old) I have kissed the concept of alone time goodbye. As most moms (and dads) can attest, even the most sacred of things -like showering or using the toilet- are now shared activities. We’ve gone from a one-on-one parenting scenario to a zone defense. I get hives thinking about taking all three out by myself. Once at Costco, my two oldest ran off in different directions and I was left standing with the cart and baby at a complete loss as to what to do while other parents looked at me with sympathy…and those without kids looked at me with distaste -as if I had just unleashed Thing 1 and Thing 2. Fortunately I was at Costco so I have enough chicken nuggets, diapers and toilet paper to have shared moments at home for weeks before I have to go back out in public again with all three kids. Fortunately, I have a husband who sees trips out with the kids as a sport, so even though I may never (or rarely) be ‘kid free’ I can enjoy time waPpptching just one of my kids, which seems more and more like ‘me time’ these days.