I am starting to pack for our family’s first flight back home to St. Louis together since we moved to New England in May. Yippee! We are going back for my baby sister’s wedding…and all four of us are IN the wedding…so there are all kinds of important things (like our wedding outfits and accessories) that it would be really, really terrible if I forgot to pack. There’s no just “running home to grab,” say, an irreplaceable bridesmaid dress. Talk about pressure.
As with every trip we take, I will pack everything for myself and the kids, making special note of what we will need to entertain everyone on the plane ride…including books, toys, snacks, pull-ups, wet wipes, and the empty cup to fill with newly purchased milk once we are past airport security. My dear husband (God love him) will throw some clothes in a bag the morning that we leave, and he’ll be good to go. Packing is so easy for him. Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to be a man and just be able to “assume” that everything that could possibly be needed for an extended trip away from home will just magically appear in the kids’ bags. Sigh.
As I’ve been making this packing list, I couldn’t help but think of all the other ongoing lists that are constantly running through a mom’s mind. I’m quite sure that my husband has never thought of most of these things…nor does he have any idea that I spend MY time thinking about them.
Even when I was a working mom putting in twelve hours at the office, I still always kept a running “mental” list about things like:
- How much milk is in the house, and when I need to buy more
- How many diapers/ pull-ups are in the house
- How much toilet paper, toothpaste, and pretty much every other toiletry we use is in the house (Kyle does buy his own hair gel and shaving gel)
- What papers need to be signed and sent back to Anna’s school, along with any other school-related actions that need to be taken
- What we’re getting the kids for Christmas
- What we’re getting everyone else for Christmas
- When we need to buy the kids new clothes, shoes, coats, or pretty much anything else
- How and when the kids’ birthdays will be celebrated, and what we’re getting them
- When someone else will need a birthday card/present
- What preparations need to be made for Halloween, Easter, or any other holiday
- When laundry needs to be washed, dried, folded, and put away again and again and again and again (sometimes I think that Kyle really believes that the laundry does itself)…
The lists just don’t stop, do they? Am I the only mom who does this, or are you with me on this one?
In my wonderful husband’s defense, he is currently our sole provider, he handles ALL the family’s finances, and he is the primary roller-of-the-trash-cans to the curb. He also does the majority of the yard work, is an absolute equal parenting partner when he is at home, and does most of the cooking around here. He is a super achieving husband as far as I’m concerned, so I’m not trying to call him a slacker in any way.
It’s more that I’m just amazed sometimes by all of the “stuff” that we Moms have to keep in our minds, in order to keep our households running smoothly. I think that most of the time, we manage to make it all work so well that it looks almost effortless to everyone around us. But it’s not. It’s a lot of work. I know it and you know it. I think we all deserve a giant pat on the back. Consider yourself patted.
Kate is a contributing writer for Mommy Moment. Kate is the proud mom of Anna and Kellen, two preschoolers who are starting to pick up all of her best habits: a passion for reading and exploring new places, an intense interest in organizing, and a total disregard for sleep. See what she has been up to over at www.adventuresinparenting.me