Being a stay-at-home mother of three young children, ages five, three and three months, anything that involves leaving the house means at least an hour of preparation and even so, the result often has us looking and sounding like a traveling circus. Or a band of howler monkeys. It depends on the day.
Once the children are buckled safely into the car, I dread getting them out again. Going to the grocery store with all three of them can be a disaster–picture the baby fussing, the five-year-old begging for candy and the three-year-old trying to climb out of the cart, as I rush around store, trying to remember what was on the list that I left on the kitchen counter as I rushed out of the house. I came up with the brilliant idea, once- that grocery stores should have play areas where you could drop off your children to play or color while you shop. I’d even pay for that service. Then someone told me that a grocery store near her house does that. We need more of those! I would walk really slowly as I shopped, savoring every child-free step. Imagine, I might even make it home with everything I needed.
Another thing this world needs more of is drive-thrus: post offices, sandwich shops, drugstores…you name it. I’d rather sit in line for a drive-thru just about anywhere than run in with all three kids. How often have I fed and clothed all of the children, had both girls go potty, changed a last minute poopy diaper, packed the diaper bag and prepared travel snacks for the kids only to realize I never ate anything myself? Often. Very often. We need good sandwich stores that have drive-up windows. I’d buy something everyday! I say this as someone who hasn’t eaten fast food in a long time. If it’s a place that puts sprouts on sandwiches, I’ll probably like it. Or smoothies made with real fruit. I could use one right now. Because, I mean, who really needs to eat real food–and sitting down, to boot? I actually prefer scarfing down my kids’ leftovers as I stand at the counter nursing the baby. Ha!
My third request is this: a driving lane that can only be used for people who have a crying baby in their car. As a mother, one of the most stressful times for me is when my baby is crying and I can’t get to him –and when I can’t get to him, his whimpering quickly turns to blood-curdling, heart-wrenching screams. This only happens in the car. I don’t enjoy having to wait for the excrutiatingly slow pedestrian to lope across the crosswalk, road construction, or the occasional jerk cutting me off, but with my baby crying in the backseat I am screaming profanities in my head at these people, “Get off of the road! Get out of my way! I need to get home and get this kid out of this car!”
So these are a few things that would make my life as a mother of three easier and more pleasant. What would make your life as a parent a little easier every day?