Making it Work

There are moments when I realize that my kids are living the lives of kids in a dual-working-parent household, and their willingness to go with the flow makes me so utterly grateful.

Camping and other weekend trips are fun, but reality soon sets back in. Since weekends and evenings are the only free time Andy and I have, those mundane daily chores like grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, mowing the lawn, etc. all get pushed to the narrow space we have after work, mealtime and bedtime for the kids.

Last night, I tried something a little different and loaded Graham into the car right after dinner (a dinner comprised of frozen pizza and chicken patty sandwiches, no less) to do our grocery shopping (to avoid future frozen pizza and chicken patty sandwich nights). In order to abbreviate the time it would take to corral a 4-year-old through the grocery store, I told Graham he’d have to sit in the cart for the first half of the shopping trip. If, however, he chose to stay in the cart the whole time, I’d let him have a treat at the end.


Pushing through the store, Graham and I chatted about games he plays at recess, discussed sugar content in cereals, and thought up funny [read: gross] new names for my recipes. We were at our last stop in the store, picking out yogurt flavors and whining over the removal of aspartame in Yoplait Light (okay, that was just me), that I looked at my tall, gangly preschooler in the baby seat of the cart and became overwhelmed with emotion.

I used to wonder how Andy and I would make it work – having kids while we both work outside the home. I realize now that it’s the kids that make it possible. Sounds like a Catch-22, I get it. It just struck me last night that it’s not just Andy and I doing our parts to make a happy home, the boys pitch in to make that possible too. I wasn’t able to sit down for a minute between dishes and the boys’ bathtimes, I was pushing a cart around the grocery store. But, likewise, Graham wasn’t watching his nightly episode of Curious George after dinner either. Instead, we were making jokes and catching up on the day together.

That trip was both a sacrifice of routine and a gift of time together.

I gave Graham a big sappy hug, right there in the middle of the cultured dairy section, and thanked him for being such a great little boy and making his mommy so happy.


  1. Those wonderful ” payoff” moments come at unexpected times and in unexpected places. I bet you remember your grocery trip with Graham for a long time.

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