Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Try This

So I was imagining what it would be like to hire someone to do my job for the morning. I made a list:

1. Get the children dressed and don't forget to dress yourself. Moisturize so you won't look older than you are, even if you look as old as you are.
2. Feed everyone. Feed yourself. It must be nutritious, contain whole grain, and have some protein.
3. While you are fixing/eating breakfast, unstack the dishwasher, empty the dish drainer, clean whatever is left in the sink. Make a grocery list. Look in the cookbook for a few interesting child friendly recipes. Make sure to eat your breakfast. Drink your tea before it gets cold. Go to the bathroom. Don't let the children harm the furniture.
4. Take the preschooler to preschool. Be nice to the other mothers. Act friendly and open. Smile at everyone. Don't wonder whether you remembered to brush your hair.
5. Go to the hardware store with the baby. Get a roller to finish painting the cupboards. Get storage bins for summer clothes.
6. Go to the grocery store. Buy what's on your list. Think: healthy, protein, not too expensive. Pay attention to everything you buy and it's nutritional value. Keep talking to the baby. Make it fun for her. Race the car through the parking lot just to be a "fun" kind of mom.
7. Go home. Take the groceries in. Unpack the groceries. Change the baby's diaper. Give her a snack.
8. Take a walk. Walk quickly. Remember if you only exercise a few times a week, it better really count. Point everything out to the baby so she doesn't feel neglected. Think uplifting thoughts.
9. Play with the baby outside. Give her fresh air. Don't think about anything but her. Give her total, one-on-one your older brother is at school time.
10. Change her diaper. Look at the mail. Sort it. Recycle envelopes.
11. Pick up the preschooler. Make new friends. Let the kids play.
12. Take them home. Change the baby's diaper. Put the toddler on the potty. Wash every one's hands. Feed them a healthy, empowering kind of lunch. Eat yours while sitting down for at least three minutes.
13. Keep everyone happy. Speak gently. Enjoy every minute of it. Be grateful. Go to the bathroom.
14. Put each one on the potty. Wipe bums. Smile.

Now that ought to be worth at least $8 an hour, wouldn't you say?


  1. I've been obsessing about life insurance recently, because we're seriously underinsured. And I sat down to think about what kind of help Bad Cohen would actually need if I drove into a wall or my computer suddenly exploded and knocked off my head - you know, the usual kind of freak accidents.

    And I realized I needed to insure myself for a LOT more than him, because the replacement value of my time is much, much higher.

    Consider the cost of hiring someone to sit on the couc and watch sci-fi, occasionally grunting at the child, vs. the cost of someone who will get up at 5am with the kid, feed/clean/drive him, work all day, then come home and feed/clean/tuck in kid, clean house, pay bills, etc...

    Probably at least a mill. :o

  2. On a totally serious note: you're right. YOu need to insure yourself for A LOT of money, because what you do is not just irreplaceable (which it is, of course), it would cost a pretty penny to approximate. The hours alone would kill a normal person...and then, to be cheerful while doing it!
    Makes me think of the excellent novel I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT. If you haven't read it, you might like it.

  3. "and then, to be cheerful while doing it!"

    Cheerful? Oh crap, I'm supposed to be CHEERFUL about it? Nobody told me that.

    Don't tell my husband, he might knock me off just to be able to hire someone who would do it all cheerfully! ;)

  4. What I meant is: you ARE cheerful. Every time I talk to you, you ARE cheerful. You "make it look easy," though I know it's not.