was a mom for a week, and I did not die
By Michelle Butler
February 27, 2009 | I was a mom for
a week. Not just with one child. And I might add not
my own, thank you very much.
I had five kids, instantly, ranging
from a independent 4-year-old to a 19-year-old who is
engaged, so I'm going to claim that I had six kids,
since her fiancé was always there.
My mom went to visit family back
east this last week, and although my dad, my 19-year-old
sister and 17-year-old brother were around, let's just
face it -- they needed me, desperately.
I'm the oldest and I've watched my
siblings since I was 12 (I'm now 22), but this time
was different. This time, I almost didn't make it.
I'm married and so I spent the nights
of course at my own home, but each morning, by 8 a.m.
I was at my parents' house, and I didn't usually leave
until the younger kids were in bed, which was usually
8 p.m. or later.
By the end of the first day, Wednesday,
I was so worn out, and I still had a whole week to go.
Here's just a small picture of how
that day went. I got there at 8, fed the two children
at home, got them off to school, picked up one brother
from school, picked up a sister from school, watched
her basketball game, wrestled to get haircuts for two
siblings, went grocery shopping, cleaned house, and
was an hour late with dinner. Whew… and then it started
all over again.
I did this for eight days straight,
and my days varied between going dress shopping for
a wedding, helping one brother get ready for a dance,
sending children off to scouts, piano lessons, and swimming
Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly
enjoyed the opportunity to spend more time with my family,
but I had just come from a year and a half of being
married and since the only thing dependent on me is
my gerbils, I've been rather stingy with my time. My
husband and I enjoy our evenings watching movies and
hanging with friends.
This week, each night I came home,
the house was dark and very neglected. During the week,
our fridge broke down, and had to be replaced. My poor
husband had to deal with it, and that night, the kitchen
was a nightmare.
Another thing that was difficult
to handle was the amount of food that my "new"
family consumed. I struggled going from making dinner
for two to making dinner for nine (my husband usually
ate with us) and often didn't have enough food to begin
with. Don't worry that I made cornbread with cornmeal
that had expired two years ago. That dinner ended up
in the garbage.
And the grocery shopping! In one
day, that household consumed three, THREE gallons of
milk!!! I had to go to the grocery store every other
day, since we were constantly running out of food.
But by the end of the week, all were
happy and still alive, almost. I only almost killed
my four-year-old brother, twice. The first was at his
swimming lessons. We got there early, and he jumped
in the pool, but was staying on the stairs. A neighbor
lady sat next to me and we started chatting. Before
I knew it, the lifeguard was in the pool, pulling out
my responsibility, who apparently can't touch the bottom
of the pool. Who knew! The second time, I had run a
bath for him, and when I came up to check on him, he
was standing up, his whole lower body bright red. Although
I had almost boiled him to death, he was only worried
that he had gotten sunburn.
When my mom came home last night,
I was overjoyed. Yes I love my family, but I was burned
out. We all made it through the week, but barely. I
said I was a mom for a week, not a super mom. I'll leave
that up to the real mom.