Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Nicole Locke - Get Me Out of this Car!

I’m a stay-at-home mom. Doesn’t that sound divine? To be fair, I know I have it easy. My husband makes the majority of the income, so I’m able to do the other stuff.

The other stuff is enormous. Huge. It’s so big, my husband has to help, too (the garage does not clean itself). I work as well. I do this writing thing, and it has deadlines, and some days it’s incredibly hard.

Add in this moving thing I did in December, and well…. My ship is sinking. In fact, I’m typing this at 10pm because it can’t wait until tomorrow, or the next because I have deadlines looming, and my 7yo daughter has this concert, oh wait, two concerts, and my 14yo son is in need of clothes because I’ve shrunk everything (or is he getting bigger--again!).

In truth, maybe if I had this home schedule all along it’d be easier because I wouldn’t know any different. But I’m in culture shock. London school life was so different.

There, I walked my daughter the half a mile to school every day. That got in my exercise and times-tables quiz time. All moms brought their kids to the gate, we visited, and then got on with our days.
My son had been getting himself to school and to his after-school activities by age 12. Other than making sure he did his homework, I didn’t have to worry about him at all.

In America, my son starts school at 8:45am. The bus can’t get him there on time unless he leaves much earlier. Since we are new, I’m not putting that burden on him. So I schlep him out of the house at 8:20. Unfortunately, my daughter has to come with us. Really unfortunately, her school doesn’t start until 9:30. So she’s stuck in the car an extra 45 minutes (we do her homework and run errands).

I’m not even going to mention that my son gets out of school at 3:15pm, and my daughter at 4:10. Or that some days he can’t get himself home. Like Tuesdays, when I have to pick him up, and drive him to the library for volunteer time. Then drive to pick daughter from school, only to return to the library (while she eats in car) to pick up son. Continue driving to another school so my daughter can have orchestra practice and where my son can take a bus home. She and I don’t return home until 7:30pm when we eat dinner (maybe…if I prepared it earlier).

I can’t start work until 10am and on good days I write until 2pm. And I don’t want to think about my house, that I’m living in a suitcase still or the fact our container full of clothes hasn’t arrived yet (though the moving company has had it since December 6th). It’ll be Spring and I’ll still be wearing my winter wools….

Am I crazy. Is this driving all around schedule normal for parents in America? How have you been doing it all this time? And why is the image of stay-at-home moms all about eating bonbons? It’s not that way in the UK. Here, I feel I have to justify my day with people I meet. Do you?

Whew. I’m glad I can share this. I truly do want to know how you do it, and if I’m missing a trick. Please tell me there’s a magical time bending necklace I didn’t know about….
Nicole :-)
Nicole Locke is the author of Harlequin Lovers and Legends series. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.


dstoutholcomb said...

Yes, American women spent a lifetime in the car schlepping kids to and fro school, sports, activities, and anything in-between. And yes, the American SAHM must justify why she stays home. Why? I have no idea. It just is. And, I'm one of those SAHMs justifying staying home after the kids are getting older.

Here's a fun quote for you: “A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.” -Peter De Vries


Nicole Locke said...

Hello Denise!

That's a great quote, not what I want to hear, but funny nonetheless! Is it bad that I feel some relief that I'm not alone in the daily schlepping?

In truth, I've been discovering benefits lately. Like lectures on doing homework are being heard...captive audience and all that...