Saturday, 18 May 2013

A day in the life of a mad mum of 7

People often ask me what it is like to be mum to 7 children and I generally answer that it's not as hectic as you'd think, quite calm really, you just have to be organised. I look at my schedule today and think that last statement has never been so true.
My Family - taken about 4 yrs ago
DH has gone to work, as he often does on a Saturday. Not complaining - the extra money really helps and I usually enjoy a bit of a lie in then do the grocery shop, some housework and often team up with a friend whose partner works shifts for a cheeky girls only lunch.
He woke me crashing around the bedroom knocking the bed, stumbling ove
r the piles of laundry on our bedroom floor.
So I got up to have a cuppa with him and then got distracted by the half-loaded dishwasher. (I'll be having words with the teenager who neglected that chore later!)
I then spotted that the tumble dryer and the washing machine were full- as always- so unloaded the tumble dryer into piles. I have a system whereby what is meant to happen is that the kids put their own clothes away every day.
(I don't iron at this stage - I iron as they want to wear stuff. Nine times out of ten thanks to the tumble dryer and modern fabrics the clothes don't actually ever need ironing.)
What generally actually happens is I add clothes to an ever growing pile until I can't see out of the kitchen window and I go all banshee-like at everyone.
I unloaded the washing machine into the tumble dryer, nipped outside in my PJs to put the un-tumbledryable stuff on the line and came back into the kitchen just in time to wave bye to DH.
It's 7am.
Cyprus. Just over a week ago I was
there enjoying the sun!
Time for a cuppa in bed, catch up on the social networks, texts and emails I received during the night and a quick facetime call to mum who is according to the slightly creepy "find your friends" app, at home but not answering, possibly because she is preparing the house for my step-sis who is arriving in sunny Cyprus today. Lucky her. My tan is fading already.
So onto blogging - here we are.
Meanwhile the immersion heater is sucking up pound coins warming the water for kids baths. (we have no central heating - long story but it involves a crap boiler, the price of heating oil and eBay - don't ask)
Here I go into PA mode. The children's diary for today.
DS#2 has a Saturday job as a gardener. He will need to be roused in time to cycle to work. Unfortunately his start time varies and he doesn't always share this with me so I'll take a guess and wake him at 8.30am by hammering on his caravan door. Yes. He lives outside in the garden  in a caravan. He has electricity, wifi, warmth, quiet and his own fridge vs a shared room and an early start every morning when his 4 year old brother wakes at 6am demanding milk/brioche/someone to play X-box with him. I'm considering moving in myself when he goes to uni.
DD#2 is off to the cinema with her beloved Godmother. It's a regular treat involving shopping, sweeties, a burger-bar lunch and a bus ride. All I have to do is make her look presentable in time to be picked up. Hence the immersion heater.
DD#1 never came home last night. Not as bad as it sounds. She goes most Fridays to visit her friend at the end of our street. Friend goes to a different school but they have been bessies for years and invariably she stays for an Indian takeaway, a sleepover and then spends Saturday with the family. They go shopping and ice skating. She may reappear at some point today for clean underwear. Or not.
DS#4 has been invited to a First Communion celebration by a friend who used to sing in the same choir and go to school with him before moving away recently. I am quite looking forward to a bit of quiet time in church followed by lunch! A good friend of mine is going with her son so I'm sure we will find time for a gossip chat over the sausage rolls.
DS#3 is on babysitting duty - otherwise known as playing X-box with grumpy toddler and feeding him brioche at regular intervals.
Later I have to pick up DS#1 who has his own flat in the next town but is broke (long-distance GF=most of wages on train fares) so coming over for dinner.
must remember to make pizza!
It won't be a quiet family supper though as it's the Eurovision Song Contest tonight (Go Bonnie!) and after a drunken conversation with friends last week I seem to have volunteered to host a bit of a Eurovision get-together at mine! Bad vodka! Bad!
Luckily I decided mid-week after seeing the weather forecast to ditch the planned BBQ and suggested we all chip in for a Chinese takeaway instead so apart from some frantic tidying, chilling of wine and tipping of nibbles into bowls later there should be no other preparation required.
Tomorrow is a quieter day - Church (including three to deliver early for choir, with robes, black shoes smart hair etc) followed by church working party which I'm not attending but said I'd provide some of the planned lunch for so early morning pizza making required.
 Then I need to tart myself up for a lunch party at an old work colleague's home. He is always beautifully turned out and his house is amazing -he has beautiful mirrored furniture which looks fab but magnifies every lump and bump. I will be carefully considering my outfit and sucking my gut in.
This is followed by a swimming party for DS#3 and DD#2.  Because of their age I have to go in the water with them. Again - will be carefully considering my outfit and sucking my gut in and not floating too close to my lovely extremely slim and attractive friend who is also going into the water with her daughter. Worried Greenpeace may be called. (Keep her wet!)
I'm sure amongst all this I will have forgotten something. But generally I'm pretty good at thinking on my feet and rearranging arrangements. I started this parenting lark almost 19 years ago and I have yet to lose a child "Home Alone" style so as far as I'm concerned the organised chaos approach works!

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