Parenting Little Kids is like a trip to Panera

So we've been home a lot these past two weeks. Everyone has taken a turn getting sick and even though it's miserable to be sick, it's also shed some light on what is actually possible in my life with a 5 year old, 3 year old and 3 month old.

And I've come to realize something. At this season of time: YOU PICK TWO. Just like Panera gives you two items in an entree, any given day gives you two tasks to accomplish.

Each day it seems, between feeding the baby every three hours, feeding the family three times, and leaving room for all the surprises that are sure to surface, there is margin for just two more tasks:
-Fun Mom: This option includes a mom that makes play dough, helps build lego helicopters, puts her snow pants on, makes hopscotch out of masking tape on the carpet and bakes muffins with her children.
-Scratch Cook: Come dinnertime, this option ensures that there will be more than frozen pizza or fish sticks on the table. If not chosen, those items are completely acceptable.
-Play date Pal: A play date is good for everyone. But you can't do anything house-related when you're at another friend's house.
-Housekeeping: This option ensures the house looks generally tidy at the end of the day. Maybe even vacuumed...
-Laundry Lady: Washed, dried, put in the general right place (may still live in laundry baskets...) your husband will be glad he has clean socks and underwear again.
-Shower for the Mama: In the case that a mom is not actually able to rise before her children, this shower has to happen at another point during the day, and a shower takes time.
-Grocery Getter/Target Trip: This option has to happen at some point during the week. If it is not factored in there likely will be waffles for dinner with a side of fruit cocktail and canned corn.

So there it is. In this season of life, I can accomplish two of those tasks in any given day. And then it's up to me to assess my day accordingly. If I went grocery shopping and made a good meal in a day, then the fact that the house has gone to pot and the laundry is still strewn all around the house is okay. Maybe tomorrow will be their day.

I recently started reading Jen Hatmaker's For the Love on the recommendation of every living soul on planet earth. I'm not super far into it, but if I could xerox chapter one and hand it out on the street corner, I would. Next time you're in Target, take it off the shelf, stand by your cart and read that first chapter. And then you'll likely place the book in your cart to purchase making this perfectly legal. But man that first chapter is something special. All about how ridiculous our expectations are for being a woman and running a household with ridiculously high standards.

It got me thinking along these lines and then I decided my own measure would be the Panera Plan. I will evaluate myself on the two tasks I picked for the day and give myself all the grace in the world for the other tasks that were not picked and therefore exposing the reality that I cannot do it all. But I can pick two.


Nancy Holte said...

The fact that you even included "fun mom" tells me a lot about what a great mother you are. I think your plan looks perfectly reasonable.

Lacy said...

Yes! I love your options, and two is a very acceptable number for sure. I'm lucky if I get one. 😊 I am a little ways into For the Love as well and it's so great!

Unknown said...

I love this, so, so much. I only have one girl so far, but she's a handful. She lived on my chest her first four months, and then it got gradually harder from there, haha! Most of the time I do everything with either a screaming 16-MO clinging to my knees OR holding her. My arm muscles have never been better ;) But there are so many sources out there, making us moms (and women in general) feel like we have to do it ALL. I struggled a lot with that during the first few months of motherhood. I kind of love you for telling what families are like in real life, not on Pinterest! Today I'll pick shower for mama (because I can't get up without my girl waking as well), Housekeeping (aka managing to do the dishes) and probably delegate scratch cook to my hubs tonight ;) Thank you for this lovely post!