parenting, Uncategorized

Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

Meet Kayla: A 20 year something-year-old female. Momma to a sweet one year old boy named Cameron.  Kayla shares her tips on returning to work after Maternity leave. Be sure to visit her blog as she shares her passion for fitness, healthy lifestyles, saving money, marketing, fashion, make-up and of course being a Mommy to a tiny human.

Visit Kayla’s blog at

www.Mommyingainteasy.com

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In June 2017 I returned to work after having a baby and being off work for over a year. I remember dreadfully counting down the number of days we had left together before I had to go back to my 9-5 office job. The first 3 weeks were the toughest. I was exhausted, struggling with what to cook for dinner, battling the traffic to and from work and being away from my son for 10 hours a day.

Here are my tips for returning to work after maternity leave and what worked for me and our family.

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 1) Get organized the night before, for you and your baby.

Not only do I pick out my son’s clothes for daycare, I also pick out my own clothes, pack my gym bag (for the gym at lunch), meal prep my lunch and snacks, get the coffee ready and set a timer, shower and straighten my hair the night before.

2) Wake up early and even earlier in the winter

 I give myself a full hour in the morning to get ready and out the door on time. The Canadian winters can be harsh and unpredictable. Snowy winter days means you’ll have to sweep off the car and let it run for 15 minutes to warm up. I give myself and extra 10 minutes in the winter months to get boots, coats, hat, gloves etc. on and into the car.

3) Bring photos of you baby to work

I was so excited to print out photos of my sons first birthday and decorate my office with them, I would look at a photo of him smiling, covered in cake and it instantly brought a smile to my face

4) See the value and take pride in your work

As amazing as maternity leave was and how much I valued this time with my son, it is nice to know you are good at something aside from parenting. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is the best job in the world and I would not change it for anything. Getting back to the digital marketing and e-commerce world felt great.

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(pinterest)

6 months later, we’ve all adjusted and settled into our new normal. We look forward to the weekends, stat holidays and vacation days. Most importantly, we value and cherish the time we have together.

 

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Canada Day 2017

 

Ms. Kayla

www.mommyingainteasy.com

family, parenting, Uncategorized

The Art of Letting Go

So it happened.
I learned to let go.
My baby girl; my 1 and only started Kindergarten. IMG_3923
This was a major stepping stone for her and our family. Until Kindergarten, she had always been in the care of us her parents or grandparents. However, the time had come to learn The Art of Letting Go.
What?! She’s a baby! How could I let her go-send her away to strangers for hours without me there-watching? How could I trust she would be cared for? Yes, I’ll admit it took researching schools, touring schools, much discussions and prayer. However, when we walked into one particular school- we were home. The setting, the academics, the organization , the cleanliness, the current parents praises of the school , the teachers were engaged, the administration was helpful and the uniforms were cute 😉 We had found the school for our daughter.
I loved the school helped the Kindergarten class  become comfortable with going to school . Starting in the summer the school hosted:  Kindergarten play dates,  Popsicles with the Principal , Meet and Greet the teacher and become use to the classroom prior to the first day.

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Postcard From the teacher welcoming Baby Girl to her class

 
The Official 1st Day of Kindergarten,8/28/2017. It was time, time to practice The Art of Letting Go. Putting Faith into action and trusting the process. After all-letting go is trusting,right? I had to activate my faith and trust placing my daughter with educators to direct, care and teach. I had to trust we have raised her to this point to be able to function away from us. To know how to navigate her world without us being physically there. To know herself. This is what we want.  Sounds simple, but is it hard? Yes! and again Yes!  However, is it right?  Yes! and again Yes!

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Baby Girl’s 1st day went surprisingly well.  Her dad, Steve and I walked her to the classroom, helped her find her table, put away her supplies.

Then she asked…..

“Are you leaving?” What? Maybe I did not hear her. I bent down, my ear close to her mouth to listen closely.  “You guys can leave now”. Yep, I heard right. After prayers, pictures, hugs and kisses; we left. No tears from me or her. Steve had a few tears; or as he says ” my allergies are flaring”.

As we left her with a quick glance back; it was definitely a surreal moment for sure-yet one I felt at peace with. (Full disclosure, yes I checked my cell phone every 2 minutes to make sure I did not miss a call from the school and would not let Steve leave to far from the school, just in case I had to make it back quickly).

I know this is the beginning as I let go of her hand and let her walk into independence. Grade School will fly by and all I will have are memories of my baby girl with the pigtails and missing teeth saying ” I love you to the Moon and Back”. IMG_3918
8/28/2017 will forever be ingrained in my mind and heart. A moment I begin the Art of Letting Go. 

As I reflect on this week- which went well; I thought about parenting. As parents our goals should always include letting go. While its true- I’m the mom who has a small part that wants to attach myself to baby girl and never let go. In reality, in my heart I want Baby Girl to discover who God has designed her to be, to witness her walk into the promise He has ordained for her.

Kindergarten is the 1st stepping stone for Baby Girl; one that will be a distant memory for her one day. However, I want this first stepping stone to lay a foundation for the years to come.

I want to let go in Faith and Trust she will

  • Always Know Who She Is
  • Always Follow God’s Will
  • Be Kind
  • Know When to Speak and When to Listen
  • And Always know even while I’m letting go in my heart I’m holding on – Always

 

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By: Mary Echols, RN , BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/Registered Nurse

Do you have any 1st Day of School advice or thoughts

Comment Below

Contact Mary by e-mail: theamazingadventuresofpregnancy@yahoo.com

parenting, pregnancy, Uncategorized

To Breastfeed or Not to Breastfeed? That is the Question

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1st thru August 7th.

In honor of the closing of World Breastfeeding Week which was between the dates of 8/1/2017- 8/7/2017. I wanted to write a post that focused on breastfeeding.

You may be wondering what does this even mean? What is World Breastfeeding Week?

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picture source :worldbreastfeedingweek.org

Does it mean all moms will band together to breastfeed as group in harmony? Will all moms who don’t breastfeed be judged and be required to breastfeed?

Nope, nothing like that. World Breastfeeding week is focused on awareness to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. The theme this year was : “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together. Everyone working together to promote and encourage breastfeeding for everyone 

If you are pregnant, I’m almost 100% certain you have thought about how you plan to feed your baby so he/she has the nutrients they need to thrive.

To Breastfeed or Formula Feed is the Question?

Some mothers are unable to breastfeed, they do not want to or for any reason at all- sometimes it just does not happen. I follow the healthy mom/ healthy baby motto of doing things; and believe a fed and healthy baby is best; whichever way that is achieved.  There are times when you are pregnant, in the postpartum period or even parenting day to day and the best made plans go awry; and that’s okay.  It does not mean you have failed, please do not feel guilt; this is just an opportunity for you to choose another way to make it work.

You have to choose what works best for you and your baby-it is a personal choice and know that you are making the right choice for you and your little one. The main goal is every mother is happy and healthy and every baby is healthy and happy ; that there is no judgment towards any mother and her preferred choice.

With that being said in the spirit of World Breastfeeding Week, I want to talk about the “Liquid Gold” and how mom and baby can benefit from Breastfeeding.

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The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologist (ACOG) states you should  exclusively Breastfeeding your baby for 6 months.

Are you thinking?…….

What does my baby get from Breastfeeding?

According to ACOG,2016; Breastfeeding is best for your baby for the following reasons listed below:

It’s Miraculous

Breast milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, protein, and minerals needed for a baby’s growth and development.  The amazing part of breastfeeding is as your baby grows, your breast milk changes to adapt to the baby’s changing nutritional needs.


Digestion:

Breast milk is easier on their little tummies. Babies are able to digest Breast milk easier than formula.

Breast milk has all the antibodies needed to protect infants from infections, allergies and illness.  As ACOG stated; the longer your baby breastfeeds, the greater the health benefits.


Protection:

Breastfed infants have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Wellness for life:

Breast milk can help reduce the risk of many of the short-term and long-term health problems that preterm babies face.

Are you thinking?

So Breastfeeding helps baby- Does it help me?

Snapback!

Yes , breastfeeding can help you reach your pre pregnancy weight.
Breastfeeding may make it easier to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy. IMG_3337

When you breastfeed, a hormone is released called oxytocin which causes the uterus to contract; this helps the uterus return to its normal size Breastfeeding triggers the release of a hormone called oxytocin that causes the uterus to contract. This helps the uterus return to its normal size more quickly and may decrease the amount of bleeding you have after giving birth.

Wellness for life:

Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Yes, there are many benefits with Breastfeeding.

It is amazing if you are able to breastfeed your baby exclusively for 6 months or any length of time. Its also amazing if you are formula feeding your baby.  The main goal is your baby is healthy , fed, happy and healthy.

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By: Mary Echols, RN , BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/Registered Nurse

I  would love to hear your breastfeeding stories

Comment Below

Contact Mary by e-mail: theamazingadventuresofpregnancy@yahoo.com

 

 

Sources: 

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/08/07/world-breastfeeding-week-supporting-mothers-to-reach-the-six-month_c1609728

https://m.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Breastfeeding-Your-Baby?IsMobileSet=true

Pictures: pixaby.com edited with PicArt

 

 

 

 

family, pregnancy, Uncategorized

A Different Kind Of Perfect

As a mother of 5 children, I look back and realize I never had a plan on how many children I wanted. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I thought about child bearing as most people with common sense do.

Kids are expensive.
How will we pay for college?
I’m too old to have kids.
What about work?
Our house isn’t big enough.

And the list can go on and on. If I had thought about all those things and planned ahead, my life would not be as adventurous, as noisy, as joyful or as loving as it is now. I could not imagine my life without having my 4 boys and my baby girl.

It’s true when people say the hardest transition is going from one child to two. It’s like you’ve become used to the daily routine but the second child is thrown in the mix, and life has somehow become chaotic multiple times over. When I learned I was having another son, I will admit I was a little disappointed. You always hear how perfect having a boy and girl is–and who doesn’t want perfection? I should have already learned perfection doesn’t exist when I entered my home. Toys, baby things–who know there could be so MANY baby items?! I found out I was pregnant again shortly after my second son. I was that 1% that breastfeeding was not an effective method of birth control. I’m not going to lie when I say I was stunned and a little scared. And then I found out the baby was a boy. I did cry during the ultrasound. And then he came along and couldn’t be more loving. After finding the 4th baby was yet another boy, I told my husband, he failed his wedding contract to give me a little girl. I had decided that we weren’t meant to have a girl. Boys were in the stars; which was fine because I was not a girly girl. Make up? Dresses? High heels? Jewelry? What were these things and how are they used?! My favorite outfit were scrubs.

Our family, our boys were fun, loving and loud. Quite often dinner somehow never happened, laundry was abundant and there was always an errand that was always put on hold. My home wasn’t perfect and did not look perfect. But who am I kidding?! I looked like a hot mess. But did I? Because most days, I didn’t even look in the mirror. I realized this when my coworker politely asked me if my skirt was inside out and horrified I quickly went to the bathroom and redressed in the light. I don’t even know when I last showered. I gave up on going to the bathroom by myself.

I would go to parties and watch my boys be boys-loud, rough, running around, beating each other with whatever they could find but laughing the whole time. I would then watch the girls sitting quietly, coloring and playing with dolls. I thought, how nice, I bet that house is quiet.

One week before Eric was scheduled for the big snip–a vasectomy; I found out I was pregnant! Dear Lord, I’m about to have 5 boys! I’ve already read all the blogs about “moms of boys” how having boys were a special blessing. Yes, if that blessing was watching your kids be daredevils and jumping off things that make your heart stop and wrestling and playing so hard that they say it hurts. But you’re laughing and it hurts?! At my ultrasound, I found out the baby was a girl. I didn’t believe it. My family and friends were ecstatic. When I delivered, the first thing I did was look between her legs. YES! A girl!

Gianna has added a whole new dimension to our family. She is the ultimate girl but who also wants to wrestle with her brothers. She still runs around, climbs, jumps and is the loudest in the family! She bosses her brothers around, they in turn tease her but they watch out for her and attend to her needs. Eric is wrapped around her little finger and with a kiss she can get him to do most anything. For me, as a mother who has a girl, there is a relationship that is different than the boys. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them all the same. But a girl makes you a little more gentle, a little more patient, and a little more self aware of being a woman. You teach her how girls should be treated. You teach her to accept her body type because you accept your extra lumps and bumps. She learns that being cute or pretty is not enough. Girls are also smart, funny and strong. Girls can conquer the world. My daughter will know that she can be a wonderfully powerful force and nothing can stop her in this life.

 

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Kristine Walton ,RN, BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @

kd_2426@Hotmail.com

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labor and delivery, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Amazing Pregnancy Lessons for #2 from a Mom of 5

My first pregnancy was perfect. My labor experience came straight out of a text book.  My delivery was a breeze.  Because I did what I was supposed to and everything came out fine, I thought, “Ehhh, I can let go a little bit.”

 

My first indulgence was drinking my beloved Coca Cola. Now I didn’t go hog wild, I drank 1 20oz bottle a day.  My child is now 10 years old and he is probably the most hyper of my kids.  So my immediate take away Lesson #1. When the nurse and doctor recommend not eating or drinking something during pregnancy, listen. There’s a reason why there are diet and food restrictions. They tell you to limit caffeine. Now I know why.

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I also didn’t eat as healthy. I ate more junk food.  I did gain the recommended weight gain of 25-30 lbs but the difference came in my baby’s birth weight.  My first baby weighed 8lbs 5oz and my second baby weighed 7lbs.  A significant difference.  Lesson #2. The foods and drinks you put in your body affect your baby’s development and health.

 

I found it harder to take naps with a toddler at home and still working 12 hour shifts. I found myself being tired more easily and probably a little bit more irritable–or so my husband says.

Lesson #3. Learn to take naps.  If you have a toddler, take a nap when they nap.  The chores can wait.  Remember, you’re making a baby and that takes energy.

 

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One day, my water broke. I was confused. I wasn’t have contractions, how can my water break? I called my doctor (her number was again posted on my fridge).  She told me to go to labor and delivery and be evaluated.  It was determined my water indeed broke and I won a stay in the hospital. I asked if I could go home until I started having contractions.  I was told,”No, your water broke and we need to monitor you.” Lesson #3.  Once your water breaks, you will probably be admitted to monitor the progress of your labor.  If labor does not progress after 24 hours, the chances of an infection increases.  Your baby was kept safe inside your uterus protected by the amniotic fluid and your mucous plug.  Once those walls of safety are gone, bacteria can more easily enter and cause an infection.  I started walking once again, hoping to start my labor.  When I had a cervical check, I anticipated 6-7 cm, the nurse told me I was an outstanding 3 cm!? WHAT?! I told my husband, we’re going to be here forever!

 

I started walking, again. I started feeling those twinges but nothing that told me I was anywhere close to delivering. This time, I was able to eat dinner alongside my husband.  Unlike him, I wasn’t overly thrilled.  My nurse came back and monitored my baby with a Doppler.  Lesson #4. If you are having a low risk pregnancy, your baby can probably be monitored with a Doppler that checks on the baby’s heart beat to make sure it is not too slow or too fast.  You don’t necessarily have to hooked up to those huge monitors and be confined to bed.

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It was getting close to 12 hours since my water broke. My nurse said if my labor doesn’t start soon, I would have to be induced.  She suggested using a breast pump.  Yes! The same breast pump you use for pumping milk.  She said the nipple stimulation can start your contractions.  I used the breast pump for 10-15 minutes each side.  Afterwards, I felt my contraction!

Lesson #5. Again, listen to your nurse.  She knows what she’s doing.  I was checked again and still 3 cm dilated.  It is now 3am!!  I predicted I would be in labor for another 6-7 hours.  Sad face emoji.

 

As my contractions continued, they became stronger. So strong I wondered how I did this medication free with my first one.  I was confined to being balled up in my bed.  I was on the brink of giving into the relief of pain medication when my nurse came back at 5am to check me again.  She came back up proclaiming, “Oh my! You’re already 10 cm! I need to call your doctor!” The doctor on call came in and told me my doctor was on her way.  I said, “I feel like I have to push.” The nurse said, don’t push yet.  Excuse me?!  How can I not push when I feel this huge urge to push?!  I was told to breathe.  So I breathed.  It did help.  If you’re breathing, you literally can not push. Try it. Lesson #6. If they say you’re not ready to push yet for whatever reason, breath.  HeHeHe. Puff puff puff. Whatever is easier for you.

 

My baby came a little after 5am. Eric was able to cut the umbilical cord this time.  Again that feeling of overwhelming love.  Again, Eric held his second son throughout the night. 

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When our first son came to visit the next day, there was a gift for him from his baby brother. Lesson #7. It is a cute idea to give a gift for your first child from his sibling.  It lets your first child know, they will not be left out with a new arrival.  Let them help in a capacity that is appropriate for their age.

 

Breast feeding was painful. What was I doing wrong? I endured the pain.  Pain that made my toes curl with each feed.  I started bleeding. I wanted to give up.  Then I called the lactation consultant.  She told me to come in so she could see what I was doing.  She cringed when she saw me.  I put my baby to breast and felt the familiar pain.  The lactation consultant, without breaking the latch, adjusted my arms and miraculously the pain instantly disappeared. I looked amazed because she explained what was wrong.  I could have cried because I didn’t have to give up and it was so easy when I had help. Lesson #8.  Get help with breastfeeding.  That’s why there are nurses and lactation consultants–they there to help.  Know community resources available for breast feeding help and/or support.

 

 

 

Though my second pregnancy experience was not perfect and there were a few hiccups along the way, I learned to accept help. I learned how to manage 2 young boys, maybe not perfectly. They were beautiful, lovable boys.  They were my sons.  I was enjoying my life and I didn’t even know my third one was coming soon.

 

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Kristine Walton, RN, BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kkd_2426@Hotmail.com

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Uncategorized

“Bad Moms” Unite

I just watched the movie, “Bad Moms” and found myself totally nodding my head, laughing and telling myself, “I know! That is so right.” And I know many other moms could relate, to one of the characters, if not more than one.   I’m even more positive you could see your mom friends in the characters. Who doesn’t have a mom friend with multiple kids who always looks tired and never goes out? Or the single looking for love  mom? Or the seemingly perfect mom who appears to have everything together?

                                                                                                                          

But that’s the whole point right? Being a mom is not perfect. We can try, but everything we try so hard to do is never enough. Either we do everything for our kids; make them breakfast, do their homework, take them to all their extracurricular activities, make them the perfect nutritious organic lunch and they become entitled kids who expect the world to give them what they want instead of working for it.  Or we are the disengaged parents; missing their games, not caring about their school or social lives and they become disengaged kids who apparently don’t care about anything.  We need to give ourselves a break.

 

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Scissors + a Little Guy

Many moms are also working moms and I’m going to take a leap in faith and also assume we also maintain our household. We have to find time between our kids’ school and activities and our job to go grocery shopping, clean our house, laundry and meal preparation. Then our partner wants time to have “relations?!

 

Being a nurse working 12 hours a day or sometimes even doing midnight shifts; I’ve never been a perfect mom and frankly, I’ve never had the energy to try to appear perfect. I think the hardest time for me as a mom was when I was pregnant with the last baby. I had 2 in school and 2 at home.  My husband and I were always able to be at home and avoid the need for daycare.  But Eric was done with school and started teaching. We were now both working full time and needing day care.  Being a nurse, though hard, can allow flexibility in your schedule.  I started working every weekend during the day and Monday doing the midnight shift.  So now I’m up all day Monday with 2 boys, working from 7pm to 7am and rushing home Tuesday to have to be up all day.  I found myself being a bad mom.  I would leave bowls of snacks on the table and by the couch so I could catch 30 minutes of shut eye on the couch.  I let PBS be my babysitter.  I let the boys co-sleep on the couch with me during their nap time.  I let my older boys eat school lunch every day. I did not have the healthiest diet during this pregnancy. 

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The older brothers “playing” with their younger brother

I know my 2 boys were up to no good when I would open my eyes to see the youngest staring at me and frantically whisper, “hurry! She’s awake!” Or I would find a trail of candy wrappers that were not there before I dozed off for a few winks.  But at that time, I was being the best mom I could be.  I don’t know or don’t care if other moms talked about me when I picked my other boys up from school, looking disheveled and beyond the world tired. I was waiting to tell someone I haven’t slept for 32 hours! They might have been too scared to approach me or maybe didn’t want their kids around me? Who knew? But I could totally relate to the mom with 4 kids in the movie, Kiki.  So knowing, we’ve all been bad moms at some point in our parenting career, I have a few tips to help you become badder moms.  Or is it more bad?

 

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Take a nap! I cherish my days off with all the kids in school and I can sleep! At first I felt guilty because I could be doing so many other things around the house. But the first time I napped and really slept, where you wake up and you’re confused at first and don’t know where you’re at.   I was like, wow! This is really nice. And I can stay like this for a few more moments without anyone demanding my attention, or having to make something, fix something, wash something or whatever something.

Say “no” to your kids. I know you’ve read this in more parenting blogs, magazines then you       care to read again. But saying no to them is more than making them more resilient, getting them ready for the real world but it saves your sanity. You start saying no when they’re young so it doesn’t hit them hard when they’re in elementary school and they’re shocked and start having seizures. My kids start off asking me, “I know you’re going to say no…” And when I say yes, I’m the best mom ever! Saying no also will save you a ton of money. How many times while going shopping (your) you’re kids ask for things and you end up spending more money than you planned. I bet saying no to all these extras will save you hundreds of dollars a month depending on how many kids you have.

3. You don’t always have to share your food. I always used to share my food when my kids asked, “Can I have some?” I felt like I was feeding baby birds when my kids would stand around me with their open waiting mouths ready for their next tasty morsel. Because that’s what a mom does, but I would look down and there was nothing left for me. Then I would get mad. C’mon. I know I’m not the only mom who got mad when that food you’ve been waiting for, is devoured by your greedy offspring. Guess what? It’s ok to be greedy sometimes too. I’ve learned to say, “this is mine.” When my guilt is overwhelming, I hide my treat and wait longingly for my kids’ bedtime. Then I retrieve my guilty pleasure and enjoy.

4. Don’t sign your kids up for every activity that comes their way. Not going to the story telling at the library will not destroy them.   Now my oldest has discovered his passion for basketball and he’s pretty good. So I allowed him to play in an extra league during school. When you’re child finds his/her passion then allow that passion to flourish. Plus, there’s scholarships for college in about any hobby. Forward thinking: I have 5 to put through college. Otherwise, while they are young, let them be kids. Let them be bored. Let them entertain themselves. Let them find their imagination. Let them go outside.

 

5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes. Allow yourself your own time because you are more than just a mom. On the other hand, Don’t make other moms feel bad; we don’t know their story.

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#3 dressed in a skirt by his older brothers

 

 

Remember, moms are not perfect. It’s ok to have “bad mom” moments. It’s those moments that make us human, and those moments that are cherished the most. I cannot remember the perfect lunch I made for my kids. Not because I’ve never made a perfect lunch, but because lunches don’t matter. I do remember my boys drawing on themselves, cutting their hair, and dressing their baby brother in a skirt. I hope more moms will cherish their bad mom moments too.

 

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Kristine Walton, RN, BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kkd_2426@Hotmail.com

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Do you have any Bad Mom moments?

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family, Uncategorized

Wednesday’s with the Waltons

“Introducing the Walton’s.  The Walton’s will be sharing their adventures of 2 quirky no-nonsense parents and 5 adorable children; one who is a real princess. Stop by on Wednesday to read about their adventures on parenting, pregnancy and raising 5 children”

*Disclaimer- as a mother of 1- I may disagree with some of her statements image

 

Being a full time working mother of 5 children, I have very little empathy for parents who complain about their hectic, chaotic lives with 1 or 2 children. Please, come to my house with 4 active boys and a girl who truly believes she is a princess.

Enter the Walton house where 5 lovely, rambunctious children will greet you at the door with their laughter, if you’re lucky, or their screams of madness if you come on a bad day. But picture our day at 6am when the kids are waking up, slowly and begrudgingly.  The princess somehow found her way to my bed and is stretched out the long way across my bed looking like a cat in a window bathing in sunlight.

In my own bathroom, I have to maneuver around kids and husband. Am I irritated? Yes. Yes I am.  But let me point out that the boys have a bathroom of their own.  I don’t want 10 toothbrushes, 3 tubes of toothpaste with no tops and toothpaste residue on my counter, sinks and mirror! Can I scream on the inside?  The princess is running away from me trying to hide her comb because “combs are mean.”  She starts crying because, “This is torture! I’m just a kid!” and her daddy is the hero because he patiently holds her hand through this process and all I can do is roll my eyes and allow another internal scream.

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I’m getting lunches, helping kids find matching socks in our version of Mount Rushmore of Lost Socks. I have a glimmer of hope that the other matching pair will be found somehow, somewhere.  I swear my kids who normally can’t sit still are moving like snails stuck in molasses.  And it’s only 6:25am.  My husband now has the kids for school. And I can relax and go to work.

Homework, dinner and bedtime can be a night that never ends. The kids have chores after dinner and no matter how long they have had this job, every night they act like it’s brand new to them.  One turns the vacuum on but then stands there for 10 minutes hoping we’re not paying attention and then turns the vacuum off.  Yes, son, you need to move the vacuum around to pick up the food that has fallen on the floor.  Another son, moves things around on the dining table and when asked if the table is wiped says, “yes.”  Why is there still food on the table?  The reply, “no there isn’t.” Son, I’m looking right at it!  ALL this has to be wiped clean.

Taking a shower is a battle of wills, which I refuse to let them win. Being the first one to take a shower is like asking them to pull out their fingernails.  Why? Why is it a punishment to be the first one to take a shower?!  At 8pm, I excitedly tell them “Bedtime!” I’ve even danced a jig while saying it.  But the night doesn’t end like a fairy tale.  I can still hear laughter, talking and the pitter patter of feet running upstairs.  A friendly, “Go to sleep, you have school tomorrow,” comes out my mouth.  Then a more stern, “GO TO BED!”  After an hour, I have to strain and hold my tongue with all the power I can muster not to scream, colorful expletive words young children should not hear.   And the day starts over at 6am the next day like a modern day Groundhog’s Day.

So parents of 1 or 2 children, this is a typical day for me, a full time working mother of 5 children. If I don’t say or offer to help out or show you empathy like you thought I might, it’s because I have 5, FIVE children ages 5 to 12 years.  Let me say it again.  FIVE.

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Contact Kristine Walton @ kd_2426@hotmail.com

Kristine Walton: Wife /Registered Nurse/Mother of 5