By Jo Ford and Lauren Williams
Every mother has a story to tell, and Lauren Williams’ isn’t much different than yours or mine or someone else’s…except that her day probably encompasses all of our days combined. She is mum to five friendly, happy little people aged between 18 months and 13 years who are each individual and delightful. Life in the Williams’ household can, at times, be described as chaotic, and it certainly is never short of live entertainment. So what does a typical day look like for this Dromana mum?
7.00 AM – I wake up to three alarms and a small foot nestled under my chin. I kick my husband under the doona; he keeps pressing the snooze button rather than getting out of bed. My 18mth old, sandwiched between us, stirs and I realise an extra five minutes of sleep is out of the question. I tell myself every night I’ll go to bed earlier but there is just not enough time and most nights I see the clock strike twelve. Often I’m still sitting on top of a pile of washing that I wish the ‘folding fairies’ would see to.
My husband and I have four girls and one son. My son is the eldest and has started Year 7 this year so he catches the bus and I drive the two older girls to school. (I know if I’m not ready by the time my son leaves at 8.15 am I’m going to be late! This happens more than I’d like to admit but I am trying..… ) I jump in the shower with my 18mth old shadow. Any ‘alone’ time in the bathroom is a distant memory.
8.07 AM – Once my husband has given me a quick kiss goodbye I recite the following, often a bit too loudly! “Has everyone had breakfast, packed their lunch, washed their faces, brushed their teeth, packed everything in their bags and made their beds?” I live in hope that one day I will not have to ask any of these things and magically they will all be ready on time, looking pristine in their uniforms. One day.
8:35 AM – Finally, I manage to get all of the girls in the car. I reverse the car out of the driveway.
8:36 AM – My four-year-old informs me that she isn’t actually wearing any shoes. Back inside I go, looking for where she took her shoes off the day before (would be so much easier if she put her shoes away!) I find the shoes, lock the door and head back to the car. Despite the fact that she has been happily wearing these particular shoes for weeks, today is a different story. “I don’t like those ones; I only wear blue!” I haven’t got time for this but I am in luck as I spy a stash of her shoes under the drivers’ seat (note to self… must clean the car).
8.55 AM – I breathe a sigh of relief and quietly smile as I know my clock is 10 minutes fast. Yippee. I’m on time and the girls can go straight to class without going past the office to get a late pass. My ten-year-old and seven-year-old give me a kiss and run into school; they’re also happy that they’re not late.
8:58 AM – I now drive to kinder where I leave my blue shoe wearing four-year-old and I go walking with a couple of other kinder mums. I always have to have a snack bag ready for my 18-month-old because she can’t seem to go the whole walk without deciding she’s starving. No snack for her means no walk for me!
9:10 AM – We’re at kinder 20 minutes early which is a handy extra 20 minutes to have in case I need to put the final touches on getting The girls dressed. If dressing is complete we have a quick play at the park before going in.
12:30 PM – Kinder is finished we go back home for lunch. If my18-month-old has not already fallen asleep in the car, it is her nap time.
1:00 PM – Back home and I start to ‘tidy up’ the house which is no mean feat. I wonder why I bother because it all ends up back on the floor anyway. There is always a dish to wash, a top to clean or a floor to vacuum. The list of jobs with seven people in the house is endless; way too many to list. In the blink of an eye nearly three hours pass.
3.15 PM – My son walks through the door. After a quick chat, I put the girls back into the car and head up to school to pick up their big sisters at the 2-minute drive-through zone. Then we go home to prepare dinner before I have to go out again to my son’s basketball game (that I somehow ended up being coach of because I wasn’t busy enough!)
Each day is a slightly different version of this. Guitar lessons, piano lessons, tennis, theatre classes, and being on the kinder fundraising committee keep us constantly moving. Life certainly is full on and being a mum to five children is messy, crazy, tiring and at times physically draining. However, I love every second of it. It is pretty awesome to look at your children and realise you are doing a decent job and that they are part of a loving family. I actually always wanted to be the mother of six … I just have to convince my husband!