BY JENNIFER RAWLINGS
It’s a good thing that motherhood isn’t boiled down to one day but stretches over decades. I need a couple decades of full time parenting just to get it “almost right”.
I make tons of mistakes as a mom and my kids are quick to point out every last one of them.
My kids have suffered through bad “home hair cuts”, skirt hems held together with scotch tape because I don’t know how to sew and of course: the inevitable “jumping to conclusions” and blaming the wrong child for a mild catastrophe at home.
I have been too lenient, too strict, too passive, too persistent, too flip-floppy and always too tired.
Nothing remains constant in motherhood. When my daughter was born the pediatricians insisted that newborn babies needed to be swaddled and made to sleep on their stomachs. For the next two kids I was told to put them to sleep on their sides. By the time my youngest was born, doctors were fanatical that babies must sleep on their backs and that swaddling was bad. If the American Association of Pediatricians can’t make up their mind, how on earth are we mothers supposed to know what to do. Swaddle, don’t swaddle; bottles, no bottles; stomach, back, side, immunizations, dairy, soy wheat, gluten free, pre-school, public school, private school, punishment and reward. No wonder we are tired all the time. We are on information overload.
I get up at 5:45 a.m. every morning to get my kids to school. All five of them go to different schools. I don’t have one second to spare, so for the last many, many years I have been driving my kids to school in my PJ’s.: Coffee in hand, cell phone, in my robe, slippers on, and my hair in a clip.
The last child I drop off in the morning is Noah, and it’s always a battle. He is constantly running late and I nag him to: “ hurry up, hurry up, we’re gonna be late” (I don’t know why I say “we”. ”He” is the one going to school and he is the one that will be late).
This past Friday was no exception to morning nag. I was hounding Noah to hurry, reminding him that school was starting and explaining that I had a lot to do and needed to get home and get to work.
We left the house, I spilled coffee on my robe as I speed over potholes, and then Noah grabbed my arm and said: “Mom, what’s that noise?”
“I don’t know.” I was exasperated. “Get out and look!”
Noah circled the car and then calmly reported to me that I had a flat tire.
“Well, can I drive on it? “ I asked, “ We are gonna be late and I AM IN MY ROBE!”
Noah shook his head and pointed to the tire store a block ahead.
I got out of the car and took the walk of shame up to the counter where a portly man laughed out loud at my wardrobe.
The jovial man put my car on the lift and not only did I have a nail in one tire but two other tires needed replaced.
I spent an hour and half and $381.96 at the tire store.
Noah was late for school…again.
And I learned two more lessons: DO NOT DRIVE YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL IN YOUR PAJAMA’S….and tires are expensive.