One of my first jobs was selling hot dogs at a football stadium. I was in awe at the utter size of the venue, being that it seated 64,000 people and most of them were cute college guys (ok, I was 15…give me a break). I’m sure that incentive is a powerful one, as all of the others who worked with me were also teenage girls.
We couldn’t stop grinning during the five minute training (“Here are the hot dogs…here is the soda…try not to make too much of a mess…”) and didn’t bother to hide our gazing at the college-age stadium workers as they passed our window.
Then came the game-time rush. Swarms of blue-clad fans with painted faces–and sometimes chests, which made me blush (hey, I was 15)–descended upon our dainty and unsuspecting little group. It took a few minutes, but we finally got into a rhythm: Put hot dogs on machine. Take off the hot ones and put on buns. Wrap with foil. Put under heat lamp. Sweat under my hairnet. Swampy hot gloves. Hurry, hurry! The line is getting longer!
Before we knew it, it was the third quarter and the crowd was gone. The roar of fans and the pounding of feet overhead to “We will, we will rock you!” was deafening. My last thought as we finished cleaning up was I can’t imagine a busier job! I’m never doing this again!
Fast forward fifteen years to three very active kids and a minivan. Go figure. Motherhood is THE busiest of busy jobs. And it doesn’t even pay minimum wage.
My kids are 6, 4, and 18 months. My life is a constant construction zone. Everything and everyone in our family is constantly changing and demanding attention. The kids love my enchiladas, except when they don’t. The baby just tried to ride his baby car down the stairs backwards. The painter ruined our new custom wood floor–great, we get to refinish it AGAIN. Mommy, I need a piece of green cardboard for my class tomorrow and I don’t care if it’s my bedtime! Mommy, will you put new batteries in my Innotab? I know you just replaced them yesterday. I have an owie! I need a Band-Aid right now or I’m going to DIE!
Do you ever want to just record your day to see how many demands you get all day long? How comic would that be? No wonder we are stressed as mothers.
Hot dogs! Hurry, the line’s getting longer!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I am a mother, and therefore I cannot control everything.
Well, let’s be honest here. I have to relearn that lesson every day.
We have a lot of demands placed on us as mothers. The most important demand being our children, of course. Just having children is a huge responsibility for which we are all profoundly grateful, at least when they are finally asleep in bed! But society, the media, our religion, family, and parenting books and websites are constantly shooting advice at us from every direction. Feed your kids this! Don’t let them watch that! Make them wear this! Help them learn that! Do this, do that, don’t do this, stay away from that…
Don’t you ever get tired? Do you ever want to just turn it all off?
Life with a family is crazy enough without inviting in even more stress. How do we sort it all out: take the pieces we want and throw away the rest like the gooey bones of a Costco rotisserie chicken?
Hot dogs! Wrap ’em up, quick!
Yes, I do know what is in hot dogs. And yes, my family does still eat them occasionally. (Gasp!) When I put my husband in charge of dinner, hot dogs are usually on the menu. I take a deep breath and try to forget.
This blog is one mom’s journey to find that out. How can I simplify my life? How can I be a better mom? How do I find a balance between housecleaning and motherhood and career? What is the secret? What can I control, and what should I let go? Each blog post will focus on a different aspect of motherhood: balance, control issues, good days and bad days, personal interests, organization vs. going with the flow, etc.
The best blogs have the best readers. Please let me know what you would like to discuss here and what you are interested in. I would love to hear your comments.