Gin & Zin

Interview with Mikia, on running errands with 3 kids

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Welcome to our guest mamas page. Here we share interviews from Mamas in our village.

Mama Interview: Meet Mikia, Single Mom of 3 under 6

Describe yourself~

I am an adventurous single mom of three energetic boys, ages 6, 5 and 2. By day, I escape the chaos of my home to tend to my day job as a lawyer. At all other times, I’m the a Lego guy hostage negotiator, magic fairy dust on boo-boo sprinkler, garbage disposal repairman, firewood splitter, fishing knot tier, dirt bike mechanic, and gourmet chef in our cozy mountain home. My three little men worship me or barely tolerate me depending on their moods, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

What is your biggest strength as a mom?

My biggest strength as a mom has been my fierce (sometimes too fierce) independence. For better or worse, my boys will learn what a strong woman looks like (even if sometimes that means hiding in the closet just to have a moment of relative quiet). 

What do you do when you are without kids?

I love getting out of the house to go on spontaneous adventures with my crew – dirt bike riding, camping, hiking, fishing, or building tree houses and zip lines in the backyard. Every now and then, though, a rare night alone finds me catching up with friends and singing American Pie at full volume. Because I can. 

Describe running errands with your crew:

When my oldest son was a baby, it seemed like it took painstaking preparation and insane amount of attention to detail to ever leave the house as a twosome. Diapers? Wipes? Extra clothes? A blanket? Is it too cold to take him out? Do we need sunscreen? Breastfeeding in public is a nightmare, I’m too modest for this. Do we have any bottles pumped? Do I need to keep them on ice? Three ice packs. Check. Two hours, a lot of tearing through drawers of unused baby “must-haves,” and an interrupted baby nap later, we’d be out the door to go to the drive through pharmacy or to accomplish some other benign task.

I added a second little bundle of joy only 14 months later and suddenly survival was all about keeping my hands free to manage the running, tantrum-throwing toddler while protecting the newborn’s soft skull. Modesty? Out the window. We breastfed on pallets in the back of Costco and I gave zero shits about the judging eyes of strangers as my terrible toddler ripped bargain size boxes of generic Cheerios off the shelves. But still this was a process. Will this be more of a double jogger or a tandem stroller type of trip? Did the toddler eat enough breakfast? Should I pack grapes? What if he tries shoving them in the baby’s mouth… again…? Forget it, we’ll grab McDonald’s on the way to the park. He does better with chicken nuggets anyway.

Fast forward a few years, a third baby and a divorce later. I’ve often said that I could climb Mt. Everest if I only had to take two kids with me. But now we are a well-oiled machine. Plus we cut a lot of corners. Like MAJOR corners. And there is an unhealthy amount of bribery. I envy the families who carefully and cost-consciously bounce between grocery stores. That is not my life.

To describe a typical grocery shopping day is inaccurate and overly generous. We squeeze errands in a few hours on weeknights when children can be bribed with toys and junk food for dinner, or Saturdays after baseball games when they’re too tired to object and, with more junk food bribery, I cross my fingers that I might actually remember laundry detergent this time.

My narration goes something like this…

Kiddos, guess what? We’re going to… WALMART! Yes you might get a toy. If you’re good. And there’s no screaming in the car. Or the store. Is Cole asleep? NO DON’T WAKE HIM UP HE CAN NAP IN THE CART! Ha, ok, too late. I know his screaming hurts your ears, can you please just give him the monster truck so he will stop screaming bloody murder. Yes I’ll buy you another one. No that won’t be your only toy. Ok, everyone hold a hand. Sorry, mommy only has two hands. You want to hold my hand too? Ok why don’t you hold on to my shirt while we cross the street, you can hold my hand next time. Ok, here we go. Awesome! Christmas decorations on sale! In July. No, we don’t need any of those today. Yes, Santa will still come to our house if we don’t start decorating yet. I promise. Sit down baby, you’re gonna fall out of the cart. You want to walk now? Ok. No, we’ll walk to the toys after we grab food and diapers. Buddy, I know you don’t need to wear diapers anymore, they’re for the baby. No we’re not done yet, but you’re being so good. Thank you for your excellent cooperation. Awesome. Milk is on sale! Maybe we should buy four gallons? Will that last us a week? I don’t know why the corn is yellow buddy. Ok, we’ll google it when we get back in the car. I don’t think you need a talking toilet seat kiddo, those are for babies who don’t know how to use the potty yet. Ok, ok calm down we’ll get it for the baby. Ok, almost done, you guys have been awesome, do you want a toy? Find a toy for less than fifteen dollars. That’s a one and a five. No, that toy is too expensive. Ask Santa for it. Pick a toy buddy, it’s time for us to go. Calm down I’m not going to leave without you HAVE I EVER LEFT WITHOUT YOU?! Ok I think we’re done. Yes ma’am, thank you, they’re great kids. Yes they’re all mine. I definitely do have my hands full. Thank you. Ok everyone, hold a hand or hold on to the cart, we’re going to the car. Shit. I forgot laundry detergent.

Thank you, Mikia, can’t wait to hear more from you~

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