When I travel for work, it’s a bit of an ordeal for my family. I am not in one of those perfectly even co-parenting situations where I can walk out the door completely confident that Daddy-o will get children to correct activities or that pre-school snacks will be packed.
It’s hard to have a clear understanding of the inner workings of a household if your job requires that you work long hours. That is the case with Daddy-o. One time I was away and he was packing up school lunches. He asked the kindergarten kid what sandwich she’d like to have for lunch at school. The kid had to remind him that she only goes to school in the mornings so has lunch at home every day. Yes, he forgot which kids go to school when.
This cute story might explain why I only feel comfortable leaving for a business trip if all my ducks are in line on the home front. Leaving my list of instructions helps our busy family stay organized in my absence. And every little bit of help matters – things can be pretty rough going when you are solo-parenting my crew. If I can do any prep before hand that is going to make life easier for Daddy-o, I’m down with that. And it also soothes the closet control freak that lives inside of me.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Nashville to attend the Blissdom Conference. The day before I left, I went through my to-do list:
All car pools organized. Check.
School lunches packed and in the basement fridge. Check.
Birthday party gift ready to go. Check.
Skating bags packed for lessons. Check.
Fridge stocked with easy dinners and endless supply of milk. Check.
Teachers all notified about my absence so they are forgiving if agendas not signed and hair not neatly combed. Check.
Cold and fever medicine handy just in case. Check
At around 11:00pm the night before flying out, I started getting my own things in order for the trip. That’s when I noticed that my passport had expired five days earlier.
After a relatively sleepless night and some serious dosh spent at the passport office, all worked out and I was off to Nashville. Clearly when a mama is so busy keeping her peeps organized, she is at risk of dropping the ball when it comes to her own life. Letting my passport expire is a fine example of letting my full plate get the better of me.
Going away for business is a big job for any parent. For the Mama of Many, it gets elevated to the status of enormous. Maybe the trick is to simply walk out the door and let them scramble. They may scramble, but there would likely be a better chance of arriving to the airport with all required travel documentation.
The day that you announce your pregnancy to the world is a special one. Pregnancy news is generally welcomed with excitement and squeals of delight.
Sadly, by about the third or fourth announcement, the squeals of delight seem to diminish somewhat. As for the Mama of Many, she stands by, watching fewer and fewer people seem genuinely thrilled with her pregnancy news. When the time came to make my sixth pregnancy announcement, there was a total of three people I felt excited to tell. There were a few I was downright afraid to tell, and for the rest, I just waited for the questions and comments:
“Was it an accident?”
“OMG, you’re NOT!”
“You need to buy a TV!”
“Are you CRAZY??”
When I was sixteen weeks into my sixth pregnancy, I announced it by simply posting a Facebook status update that said “Julie Cole is…..making this world a more beautiful place, one baby at a time”. I was torn between posting that and “Does this fetus make me look fat?”
I don’t let a few inappropriate reactions ruffle my feathers. I’m always excited about my baby news and that’s the important thing.
Some mamas have come up with some pretty creative ways to announce their pregnancies. You hear of pregnancy tests being wrapped up and given as presents to daddy or elaborate hints being dropped to would-be grandparents. One friend recently had a surprise fourth pregnancy. She thought it would be nice to give her husband a beautiful bottle of wine when she shared the news with him. Needless to say, hubs immediately cracked it open and proceeded to inhale the entire bottle. He may have gone to the basement for a little cry as well.
I loved when my friend John announced his wife’s pregnancy. He had a photo of his own face scanned onto the face of the baby in the ultrasound picture. When he told us their pregnancy news, he pulled out the ultrasound image and there was his goofy face looking up at us. It was ridiculously funny.
Dragging a big sibling into the news sharing is always a good way to go. My cousin and her husband recently announced their second was on the way by taking their toddler around visiting family and friends, wearing a t-shirt with the news. Once they arrived, they’d just sit and wait to see how long it was before someone noticed. On some occasions they had to be very patient.
What has been your experience sharing pregnancy news? Did you do something creative? Were the reactions what you hoped for or expected?