Friday, February 1, 2013

I'm not supermom

I was thinking today about how I need to do quite a few errands over the next two days.  And that if I go to one grocery store today it will make the weekend much easier.  I wanted to go this morning but Wyatt had a cranky day yesterday and I needed to see how today was going to play out before I took him out in public.   And the afternoon is nap time.  Nap time is sacred and you don't mess with it. 

So that leaves me with tonight.  However going tonight involves taking all four kids as Jon is at ski club until 9 or later.  I mentally stuttered at that though.  Then I debated finagling my weekend to make all the errands, visiting my grandparents, completing volunteer work I need to do and having a visitor work while still allowing me to enjoy some of the time with all of us home together.  It simply won't.  Unless I give up sleep that is.

Why does taking all of my kids to the store scare me so much?"  Okay, yes I have four kids.  Yes the oldest is almost 7 and the youngest is 6 months.  Yes they are an active group.  But why does that mean I can't take them to the store by myself?  I do it all some of the time.  It isn't easy, but it works. 

Yet when I am out with all four of them I get comments such as "Are they all yours?"  "Wow, I don't know how you do it!"  "I have one and I can't imagine having any more."  "I am done at two, I don't know how you handle them all."   After my trips, when talking to others, I get comments like "You should have called me to come help or watch them."  "You are brave."  "You are insane." 

I think the world is conditioning me to think I can't handle my kids in public.   Everyone is shocked when I do something with all of them.  Even I second guess myself on where I will take them when I am alone with them. 

Yes if I go alone it gets done quicker.  And definitely with much less noise and chaos.  Some days taking them with me is a recipe for disaster since we all have bad days. 

But how am I going to teach my kids to act in public if I don't take them in public?  How am I going to teach them to get along with each other if I constantly separate them to make my life easier?

This isn't to say I want to do every errand every day with all four kids.  By myself.  There are some things that bringing children too simply isn't appropriate (banks, doctor for me, dentist for me, hospitals, stores with lots of breakable items in a small area).  Especially at their young ages.  And it certainly doesn't mean that I need to take all four to a super crowded museum just to prove that I can.  That doesn't make sense.

But the only way for them to learn is to go places.  And make mistakes.  (I just hope that one of those mistakes isn't knocking down a display of spaghetti sauce).

It shouldn't be a big deal that I, as a parent  of four kids, decides not to seclude myself in the house on days where the co-parent is not home.  It doesn't make sense. 

So tonight I am taking them all to the grocery store.  And I will not paint myself as brave or insane.  I'm not supermom.  I am simply a mommy of four who needs groceries.

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