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Juggling Our Many Hats
by Patti Hermes

parenting moms How many hats do you wear? Besides Mom, wife, referee, family administrator, chauffeur, gourmet chef, housekeeper, handyman some of you are adding in such things has home schooler, small business owner, PTO President, Foster/Adoptive parent i etc. Does it seem that the more you do, the more you CAN do? Does your To-Do list get longer instead of shorter as you cross things off?

Lots of moms feel so overwhelmed after the birth of their first child that they are literally paralyzed. The have no clue how to take care of themselves and their baby at the same time. But most new moms get lots of help in the beginning, if they're lucky. And then it all just disappears one day, leaving the parents dazed and confused. Because, frankly, it takes longer than two weeks to establish the new family routine.

But eventually you adjust to being a parent, and before you know it, baby #2 arrives. But it's not so bad the second time around. The routine comes a little quicker, a little easier. The laundry gets done (but not always put away), dinner magically appears on the table every night (with the occasional pizza night), and you even manage to pick up the debris left by small children and squeeze in a shower (well, at least most days). As the two children get older, and no longer require your attention every waking moment, it starts to occur to you that this parenting thing isn't so hard after all.

And along comes another baby to shake things up a bit, but only a bit. Because by now you've added a few more tricks to your repertoire. Baby books are finally getting organized, family celebrations are getting more elaborate, planned with ease far ahead of time. Maybe you've found the time to volunteer more for your church or community, or your child's teacher now depends on you to organize room parties.

And yet you feel that you should be doing more. Because your neighbor, a mother of six, has just been promoted to Regional Manager, all while finishing a Master's Degree, sitting on the Boards of at least three charitable organizations and publishing her latest book. So how does the slacker mom who can barely manage a daily shower turn into supermom, able to organize a room party and update her own website between dinner and bedtime?

I've been told I'm not the most organized person, until there seems to be an impossible list of chores with an equally impossible deadline, and it all miraculously falls into place without breaking a sweat. But not without help. And that, my friend, is the supermom's secret. While bigger families have more mouths to feed, more laundry and more messes to clean up, they also have more bodies to delegate the many chores that make up family life. Even toddlers can help out, though we rarely discover that the first time around.

Why the big secret? Because taking all the credit is just compensation for taking all the blame, which we cannot delegate no matter how hard we try. So with that in mind, you may now feel the urge to take on a major home improvement project just as soon as the baby weans. Just remember, it's not a competition. We're ALL supermoms!

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Patti Hermes is a freelance writer and columnist, specializing in family and parenting subjects and works for children, as well as essays and a blog, Writes For Chocolate. She works at home where she referees two spirited little boys and occasionally their father. Originally from Massachusetts, she and her husband of eighteen years are now raising their happy family in the Midwest. Visit Her Blog.


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