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A Cup of Juice

Mornings do not always go smoothly in our house. This morning, for example, my girls ate dry pancakes for breakfast. In the car. On the way to school. Because I overslept by ten minutes and then they overslept by a lot -- they were very sleepy today. ("Phoebe, it's time to get up!" I said, to which she replied, "I'm sleeping!")

Things are not always quite that bad, but neither are they as organized as one might wish. And I do everything that people suggest: I lay out the clothes the night before, I pack the backpacks, I make the lunches. But in the morning there are still water bottles to be filled (for me, Mallory, Phoebe on days she has Parents Morning Out, and the dog if she's fortunate enough to be remembered) and teeth to be brushed and shoes to be found and, sometimes, depending on the whimsy of my children, menus to be written ("Mommy, you have to write down everything we have for breakfast before I can choose what I want!" says my child who can't even read yet) and dolls to be dressed ("Put on the shiny one!" says my other child, still in her nightshirt, holding up a Polly Pocket princess and its rubbery, glittery "gown"). This week there is also medicine to be given (Mallory is taking antibiotics for a UTI; she so hates the taste that she actually threw the bottle in the trash on Friday night; luckily I found it before too much time had elapsed). I usually eat my breakfast standing up at the kitchen counter while dispensing toast and forks and drinks and napkins and toothbrushes to the kids; we stumble out the door, laden with lunchboxes and backpacks and Snow White dolls and My Little Ponys, just in the nick of time. So to sum up: Mornings, ugh. My fondest wish is to have a morning nanny.

In contrast. Every morning of my childhood, I went to the breakfast table to find a cup of orange juice at my place. Every single day. Even on weekends. Even when I was old enough to pour my own orange juice. Even when I went through a phase of not really liking orange juice that much. Who was I to confess that I didn't want the juice, when my mom went to the trouble to pour it for me every single day? (Not just for me, of course; we all got the juice.) I knew there would be juice at my place just as sure as I knew that there would be cereal on Mon-Wed-Fri, biscuits on Tues-Thurs, and clean sheets on the bed every Thursday night. I don't know how my mom did it, and I certainly don't know what I have to do to attain that level of order and consistency in my own house.

Of course I know, even when I'm feeling guilty about being a little too rushed and harried with my kids in the morning, that being disorganized doesn't necessarily make me a bad mom. I know that I don't have to be exactly like my own mother in order to be a good mother. But I also tend to believe that organization and consistency just may foster security and harmony, and it wouldn't hurt me to try a little bit harder.


MomofK9s said…
Krista-I think you are a great mom! The girls are so creative and funny and smart! Not to mention the cutest EVER! I consider myself a planner but not really organized. Everyone at work thinks I am so organized (how did I fool them?) but I am really not. Yes, I have files and containers with labels but I can't leave the house without forgetting my purse, or car keys or lunch or water for the dogs or something and I don't have any children! It is just me and 3 dogs and 2 outside cats plus 4 feral ones! I mean I should be better at this! You are fabulous!
J&H Noble said…
Don't beat yourself up Krista. Our moms were (and still are) amazing, but they are not us. We are amazing in our own ways, and the level of chaos on any given morning does not determine how good of a mom you are. So, keep your chin up and enjoy your juice!
aimee said…
I find myself wondering how mom did what she did too. How did she wash the sheets every Thurs? I mean, it isn't that hard, but then why can I not do? Sometimes it has been 2 weeks (or 3) and I am like, ahh! the sheets? How come there were never piles of clothes or towels just waiting to be folded on the couch or bed? How did she do it? How come we always had milk? Bread? She did this and worked!

So I feel your pain, sista. I think you are doing great to get out of the house because you also have to work.

What is my excuse?

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