At a recent girls’ night with my friends, one of my friends called her closest friend at the table “her person”. For those of you who are not avid watchers of Grey’s Anatomy, she was referring to the relationship between Meredith Grey and Christina Yang. They were each other’s “go to” person for…everything.
This got me thinking about my person and how I don’t have one. I have people. Now, I don’t mean “people” like they mean in Hollywood—“Have your people call my people and we will set something up!” I don’t have staff (although, really, I could use some). I have these amazing people in my life, however, that I could not possibly live without. I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately. I think the recipe for “balance” is different for every mother but I know, for me, without my people I would topple right over.
My husband: Beyond his role as my favorite person in my life, my husband is in charge of a pretty important part of the day for my family. He is responsible for getting my three girls out of the house with their daily luggage (i.e. backpacks, lunch, flutes, various projects, signed permission slips, hats/mittens, appropriate footwear, Elmo, etc.) and then to their daily destination. While that may not sound too difficult, it is when you consider the nightmare that is the Starbucks line (which he must stand in, with children, prior to school drop off for scheduling reasons) and the horror that is the school drop off lane. He also must occasionally deal with a three-year-old who does not want to separate at daycare, a nine-year-old who never seems to remember her flute until they are IN the drop off line, an eleven-year-old who will use this exclusive “Dad time” to fill him in on everything at a fast clip, and he graciously also brings my five-year-old niece to school. She’s cute but she’s…busy. Allowing me to leave for work confident that everyone will get to where they need to be every day is a huge help. My awesome husband also cleans my hair out of the shower drain and removes any dead animals we may find on our property. Just those two tasks alone make him invaluable in my life.
My parents: My father is the most amazing man on the planet and is there for me whenever and with whatever I need. My mother does everything. Everything. She helps me in every way possible. All I have to do is ask. Sometimes I don’t even need to ask—she just knows. At least once a week she is presenting me with something I needed but didn’t ask for—everything from a massive package of toilet paper (“I think you’re running low”) to “I made an appointment to have your piano tuned because I know you don’t have time to deal with that”. Plus, she loves to take me out for a meal, she makes sure that I take care of myself too (always a mom, right?), and she makes my children happy when I cannot. I could write books about my mom and still not adequately state how much I need her in my life.
My sister: My sister and I have a tacit understanding—if I need a babysitter I’d better be prepared to BE a babysitter at some point soon. She lives around the corner and always has eggs when I do not. She rarely runs out of anything and almost never minds when I steal something from her house and don’t replace it. She and I are very different in many ways but she’s the only one who really KNOWS what it’s like to be us so sometimes she’s the only one I can talk to. Women with sisters know what I’m talking about with that one. My children love her because she’s much more fun than I am and she’s always willing to hang out with them. Also, she’s the only one I can talk to entirely in movie quotes. Sometimes you just need to relate your day to a movie and my sister is always right there with me with the quotes.
My stay-at-home mom friends: The SAHM-WM debate goes no where with me. I always say, this world needs both. I am so lucky to have so many amazing stay-at-home mom friends in my life. I need these wonderful women to ride the bus on the school field trips and make sure my girls are happy and safe. I need them to volunteer to help in school and spy on…I mean check on my girls in the classroom environment. I need them to spot them a couple dollars while volunteering at events like the school plant sale since I sometimes forget to send in money. They pick up my kids from school when my normal pick up plans fall apart. They bring my kids to school on delayed openings or when my normal drop-off plans fall apart. One of these wonderful women stepped up when I needed daycare for my baby. I love these ladies and I need them.
My working mom friends: My working mom friends help me understand that I’m not the only working mother around, even when I feel that way. We support each other through our crazy lives. They remind me of the reasons why I work when I’m defeated. We help each other out whenever we can because we get it…we are all exhausted and overscheduled. I’m never worried about the condition of my house (or myself) when a working mom comes over—she gets it. I adore all of my friends but I definitely have a different type of bond with those who work. It’s like soldiers in battle—we understand each other’s lives and we’ve got each other’s backs. No matter what.
I’ve often heard, “how do you do it all?” I never really have a good answer to that question especially since I DON’T do it all. I have my people and for them I am thankful.