North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

September 25, 2013

Danielle Cater: This mom gig is harder than it looks

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Have you ever arrived at work on a Monday morning and thought, “Why do I even try?” That’s exactly how I felt this past Monday when my morning was less than desirable.

It was an average day. Everyone in the house was running a little late, and so the hectic time began. By 7:25 a.m. we should all be merrily in the car headed to the school house. Well, this morning at 7:25 I was popping frozen waffles into the microwave and throwing backpacks and lunch boxes on the table for pick up.

The girls didn’t have shoes on, their hair was a mess and you can guess that they hadn’t touched their toothbrushes yet. My amazing husband was helping where he could, but a momma has a schedule and the husband usually just gets thrown in where he can help. He helped rush the girls out the door while I was dragging a brush through tangled hair and he loaded all of the bags, nap mats, lunch boxes and dozen cupcakes into the car.

Yes, you read that right: For once in my life, I was going to go above and beyond. Since we had extra cupcakes left over from our spend-the-night party this weekend, I thought it would be nice to bring cupcakes for the first graders’ snack time. It’s also homecoming week, so I figured that would be all the more reason to have a happy snack.

Once in the car, I realized that there are only a dozen cupcakes left, and there are 20 students in Raygan’s first grade class. Being quick on my feet, I explain that we are going to send the cupcakes to Anna’s kindergarten class and later in the week we would make a whole new batch for Raygan’s class. She accepted that answer, but quickly followed up with another question. “Momma, what are we suppose to eat for breakfast?”

What? We are half way to school and I know I fixed something for their breakfast. I mean, I’m doing this mom job so great this morning; there is no way I forgot breakfast.

Oh, that’s right, I did prepare something for their breakfast. There are still two chocolate chip waffles in the microwave waiting to be devoured by two hungry little school girls. Oops, OK, so I’m not getting any awards for nutrition today, but I will get some accolades for the simple fact that I remembered it was homecoming week. And since Monday of homecoming week is red and blue day, I have made sure that they are dressed in red and blue and I even brought paint to paint up their faces to show all of their school spirit.

Side note: Moment of honesty here, I didn’t have any face paint at the house so I just grabbed three permanent markers to write stuff on their faces. But don’t I get points for first of all remembering, and secondly actually bringing the markers with us?

When we arrive at the school I rush to the back seat to write huge letters all over their cheeks and chins — TCS! GO TORCHES!!!

Ah, there we go, those two girls look like they are filled with school spirit and I’m feeling like this mom thing really isn’t as hard as we make it sound sometimes.

Even running late, we made it to class on time, have two lunches, snacks, face painted, hair brushed, clothes on—this is going to be a great day.

We give kisses to the girls and while walking off, Chuck begins to laugh. “Why are you laughing?” I ask my chuckling husband. “Because, they are the only kids with anything red or blue on today.”

WHAT? I look around the parking lot to see pink and yellow and brown, but no one is wearing blue and red. What has happened to school spirit? What happened to the Tabernacle Christian School that I use to attend?

Oh wait a minute—is homecoming this week? What if I got the dates wrong? Oh no, oh no, oh no, I am now officially the most horrible mother in the world and someone should probably come and take my children away and sign me into a crazy home. Seriously, did I really write all over my daughters’ faces on a random Monday and send them to school thinking they were going to be able to fit in with all of the normal kids in their classes?

These are the days you just want to crawl back in the bed, pull the covers up over your head and ask someone to wake you when the day is over. I mean, the one time I actually remembered to do something for the kids’ school and then I butcher it like that. Well, there you have it folks, mommas are human too.

We make mistakes and when trying to have a good homecoming week, we may mark all over your face with a permanent marker and ruin your whole day. But it’s not from a lack of trying and it’s not from a lack of love. I guess I’ll just go home tonight and remove the waffles from the microwave before I begin to cook a supper that I’m sure the girls will complain about.

Being a mom isn’t always glorious, but it sure is worth it when we can tell stories like these in years to come.