My husband and I had my mom’s roof replaced last week. I was contemplating the man from the roofing company who had “project manager” after his name. The tasks he did were varied and extensive, from writing up the contract to picking up supplies to bringing in the dumpster to actually working on the roof.
I went out to my mom’s house every morning during the roof tear-off, damage repair and install, to make decisions as issues came up, open her house for access to electricity and move her car, all the while running through my mind the other tasks I needed to complete each day.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, writer, coffee drinker, appointment maker, chauffer, bill payer, housekeeper, and chief cook and bottle washer, I’m not just a stay-at-home mom, I’m a project manager. It’s a 24x7 position that I’m not always happy to be in as it can be quite an overwhelming prospect to be depended on by so many people.
It seems everyone needs a piece of me and they always need it at the same time. I could be relaxing in my room for hours in the evening and not one person comes looking for me. But once one of them does, the fire alarm goes off and they all need me at once.
My youngest will have a school issue, my oldest will be in need of school supplies and want me to take her somewhere to find them and my husband will suddenly remember something he needed to tell me that is of the utmost importance. I stop them, line them up, and have them take turns laying out their concerns/needs. I feel like they are my subjects waiting for an audience with the queen.
The highlight of my week was when my daughter made the decision to return her pet rats to the breeder (yes, there are breeders of rats); two less creature who needed my attention. She found she didn’t have enough time for them now that she’s in college. I’m proud of her for being grown up enough to admit to herself they were more than she could handle.
But now every time I enter the computer room where they were housed, there is their empty spot to remind me of my failings as project manager. Though they were my daughter’s pet rats and her responsibility, a good project manager would have seen the sense in talking her into delaying the adoption until she could see she wouldn’t have time for them. I got wrapped up in their cuteness, sure I would have time to help her with them.
Just this week I took my mother to urgent care (she’s fine) and sat with her for the eight hours it took because that’s how it is with urgent care. I have taken my youngest to the orthodontist, JoAnn fabrics (twice), Goodwill (she’s building another costume), to a practice drive test, and Fred Meyer. I have fielded reminders for appointments for my husband and youngest daughter. I have interviewed a person for our church newsletter, made phone calls trying to make the newsletter cohesive, taken pictures of a new committee at the church and answered countless emails. And remember all the time I’ve been spending going back and forth to my mom’s.
I’ve also managed to get dinner on the table, blog every day, get my daughter to the bus on time and do the laundry. Have I mentioned it was only Wednesday?
I’m sure other moms can relate. We are not just wives and mothers, we have earned the right to add Project Manager after our names.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is busy managing other people’s lives. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Lifestyles section.