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Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Motherhood



A typical winter morning in the Belliston household goes something like this:


“Do you have a coat? Do you have gloves? How about a hat? Did you remember a hat, because it’s cold out there and you’re going to want a hat? You do? Good. Did you pack your lunch? Okay. How about breakfast then?—and remember, chocolate-chip cookies don’t count! Wait, wait, wait.


(I grab the nearest child rushing by.)


You have to wear long pants to school. Do you have any idea how freezing it is out there? This is Michigan for cryin’ out loud! You can’t wear shorts in January!”


(Child runs to change and comes back.)


“Okay, how about the hair?” I say, inspecting. I’m not sure why I bother with this one because the second the hat goes on, all properly-styled hairdos are finished, demolished, obliterated. Don’t believe me? Walk into any elementary school in the Northern US during any winter month and you’ll see millions of kids who had previously been called ‘adorable’ now look like they’ve stuck a finger in a wall socket. Darn hats! But I still ask. And I comb, because somewhere in the back of my mind, I think teachers can actually decipher between kids who had their hair brushed pre-wall sockets versus those who didn’t.


(If there are any teachers out there, would you please let me know if you can tell or not? I could be wasting valuable time every morning on this one item alone!)


“What about your teeth?” I continue to fret. “Did you remember to brush your teeth?”

Anyway, this is how our house runs pretty much any morning that requires us to go into public. And winters are horrible, just horrible, for all the extra things it makes me add to the list.

5 kids=10 gloves (matching preferably)=50 fingers I’m required to keep warm. 

And that doesn’t even include my own. 

So this morning went pretty well. I don’t think either of my elementary kids remembered their boots, but I told myself not to worry about it because there’s just a skiff of snow out there and they have those darn hats to keep them warm. They’ll be just fine.



Just a skiff of snow, but the garbages got out



As I’m driving them to school feeling like an okay mother because we’re only running 3 minutes late and their charter school doesn’t count 3 minutes late as being tardy, I suddenly glance down. This is what I see:


  1. I don’t have on a coat. I couldn’t find mine in the rush to get out the door. Instead I’m wearing a jacket that barely keeps me warm in the Spring.

  2. I don’t have gloves either because they’re in the coat pockets.

  3. I’m not wearing a hat and let’s face it, there’s no way I’m ever wearing a hat. But sadly, this is not because I have brushed my hair. I haven’t even though I’ve been awake for three hours. Or my teeth, I realize. I haven’t done that either yet. Gross. Plus, I haven’t put my contacts in which means I’m wearing my old glasses that literally have been super-glued together at the nose.

But it gets worse.

  1. Under my Spring jacket, I’m wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Shorts! And not even regular, respectable shorts. No. I’m wearing gray sweat shorts. And I haven’t shaved my legs in a few days. TMI, I know. But it’s true.

  2. And shoes? I grabbed the closest pair to the door which means I’m sporting my teen daughter’s bright blue, fuzzy, BYU flip-flops. And as if that isn’t hideous enough, I’m wearing socks with them, because let’s face it folks, it’s cold out there! I’d hate to freeze.

  3. And to top it all off, care to guess what I’ve had for breakfast? A half-eaten, broken cookie. That’s it.



“Do as I say, not as I do.”


Anyone else have these issues or is it just me? Please tell me it’s not just me.


In case you didn’t believe me


PS, if my neighbor Kim is reading this, I apologize if you happened to glance out your window around 9:00 this morning. Troy forgot to get all the garbage cans out and as consequence, I was still wearing this hideous little get-up when I took the rest of them out. In my defense, we still have leftover Christmas wrapping and boxes and it wasn’t worth risking a shower first and missing the garbage man. So I’m really, really, really sorry. I’m also really hoping/praying nobody else saw me. Kim’s nice enough to laugh instead of call the cops. Or worse…my mom.


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