Rushed Packing and Lazy Parenting

So what I should be doing right now is packing. My husband and I are one of those couples who always try our best to start packing up early, so that we can chill and not stress before we fly. The reality is that we stay up all night the night before without fail, and still end up furiously rushing to get out the door without leaving anything behind. We’re sweating, we’re yelling, we’re throwing things, it’s ugly. When you’re packing for 6 people and a dog, there’s always something in need of a place to go, and there never seems to be a place to put it.  We usually travel with 10 bags, 5 carry-on’s, and pack up 10 boxes that stay in international storage. The house looks like a war zone and I’m lucky I can even find the kids in the mess.

Can you find the baby in there?

Can you find the baby in there?

To add insult to injury, we’re also expected to parent during this time. I recently read an article about a mom, quite like myself, who was on her last legs at this point in the year. She was limping across the end of year finish line, much like I am right now. I can barely remember to make the kids lunches, and that’s if I don’t sleep through my alarm in the first place. I can only do so much. I have become a lazy parent.

Like today. It’s the last Saturday we have until we leave. We were up until 5am packing up the kids clothes, toys, the kitchen, and the million living room doodads we’ve acquired in our travels. Instead of sleeping in to energize for another long night of packing, it’s 9am and we’re sitting at the kids school because they decided that of all days, today was the perfect day for their annual “Fancy Fair,” an all day party and talent show of sorts, with one performance after another, seemingly in perpetuity. As if my presence wasn’t enough, I also had to bake 3 batches of peanut butter cookies for this all day fete. Someone has apparently mistaken me for one of those organized, has it all together moms, which I am not.

Baking cookies at 4am is no bueno

Baking cookies at 4am is no bueno

Having 3 children in school ensures that our presence is required all day long, to our delight of course. So instead of using the time to pack and organize, we’re watching one child perform at 10am, the other at 11:30am, and the last at 4:30pm. I would probably be a bad mom if I said that was a complete waste of a day, so I won’t say that. I’ll move on. My kiddies looked adorable during their one minute performances, and people apparently loved the cookies (which were forgotten at home by the way, further evidence that I shouldn’t be asked to parent on a Saturday morning in May, while moving).

This is apparently how the other parents get through the day. At 10am.

This is apparently how the other parents get through the day. These pictures were taken at 10am folks.

Waiting for daddy to get the cookies that mommy forgot

Waiting for daddy to get the cookies that mommy forgot

Shouldn’t we be exempt from these obligatory parenting duties when there’s so much else to do. Is there no rule on that for those of us packing up and crossing oceans each year? There should be. I think when May hits teachers should forgive that homework isn’t always checked, and sometimes forgotten all together, the money required for the field trip will be sent in eventually, and the random French forms requiring parental signatures may never be found. Packing and moving are stressful and having young children in school is stressful. Baking cookies at 4am and standing around all day with drunk parents and their kids is not what I need to be doing.

My dream is to have the house packed by Monday, with all boxes to storage and all bags weighing just under 23 kilos, so that we can all be in bed nice and early on Tuesday, and awake refreshed and ready for a relaxing trip home with 4 perfectly behaved children. A girl can dream, right?

It's all for the kiddies, right? Look at those smiles!

It’s all for the kiddies, right? Look at those smiles!

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