I work full time as a mother to two boys who are closing in on three years old and one year old. As you can imagine, I’m busy… like, really busy. I’m always rushing to everything and still end up late. Like most working moms, I have to find efficiency where I can because there are only 24 hours in a day and I have to sleep at some point.
Such efficiencies include practicing what I like to call “Just in time dishes and cooking”, where I literally clean – in the most liberal use of the word – a 2’ x 1’ counter space and the exact dishes I require to prepare dinner for our family. That works well assuming I even have space to begin with on the counter or in the kitchen sink. To make space, I play a game of dirty-dish Tetris where I strategically clear space by piling dishes one atop the other in what eventually resembles some sort of sick reenactment of the beloved game, Jenga. We use clean dishes directly from the dish washer cycle just so it’s one less thing we have to eventually put away in a cabinet. We use paper plates on the nights I don’t give a fuck about scalding our wooden dining table. Like the Salmon of Capistrano, we have a laundry migratory pattern that is cyclically related to location of laundry in the home. It starts in a small pile in the bathroom or boys’ bedroom, then migrates to the larger bedroom pile as my husband and I either (a) become annoyed with it in the bathroom, (b) our teething infant tries to eat dirty underwear, (c) we need something to mop up toddler pee or my post-partum-hair-loss-rat that lives on the bathroom floor, or (d) any or all of the above; the catalyst to leave our bedroom includes either reaching the requisite height – tall enough for my toddler to use it as a step stool to climb on my dresser – or at any point we use a dirty onesie as a spooge towel and become concerned that our infant son will try and eat it; it then moves down the steps of our townhome, picks up dirty kitchen towels on its way, and eventually converges to the second set of steps that lead to the basement laundry room. Of course the size of the laundry pile is so extensive at this point that it can be described as structurally load-bearing.
We run the wash cycle on the same clothes on average about three times since each time we forget about it and opening the washer after a few days smells like something truly unholy. Our dryer functions as an extra closet from which we draw clothes as needed. Clean laundry is typically dumped on our guest bed where it sits in laundry purgatory for days, weeks, or months and is only ousted when we have a guest staying over, and even then we try to convince the guest to sleep on the couch instead. If and when we fold anything, the amount of cat hair deposited on it is directly proportional to how long it sat on the guest bed. The circle of life continues. But, I digress from the original point I had.
To summarize, we do what we can in this fight for survival.
So, I was dismayed when I was having trouble with my grocery delivery service, AGAIN. I love them – great customer service and all, but they did the unthinkable. They cancelled Monday delivery to my area, which throws my whole meal-planning-grocery-shopping-wine-drinking-while-mommy-is-cooking-oops-did-I-drink-too-much-to-breastfeed-delivery schedule and domestic ecosystem off its rocker. I’m already coming apart at the seams and all my sanity needs is a trip to the grocery store with a toddler and infant like I need a bullet in my head. We live in a delicate equilibrium in our home, and like most moms, it revolves around the meal-planning schedule. There should be a detailed process flow chart that depicts the dependent variables, complexity, and thought involved in the working-mom meal plan. Example: defrost whole chicken Sunday, roast chicken Sunday night, left over chicken used for enchiladas on Monday, eat left-over enchiladas on Tuesday, take enchiladas for lunch on Wednesday, etc.. I have a toddler that wants strawberries in his lunch so I need that shit in time for lunches. I can only give him and my husband last week’s dumpster berries for a day before I have a mutiny on my hands. As my husband told me one time, “Those dumpster berries look like they have a terminal illness. Please throw them a benefit or gala or something. Just don’t put them in my lunch.” So, when the representative suggested that I simply “change my delivery day to Thursday”, I had to respond in kind. My response is below:
“Thanks for the response. Relay has the best customer service of any organization I’ve ever experienced and I recognize I can be a pain in the ass as a customer.
To answer your question, the whole issue for me is meal planning – it takes time to do (at least an hour if you include populating my shopping cart on Relay). I have two boys (two year old and five months), and I work full time in a job with rigid/inflexible hours that requires me to be onsite Monday through Friday. In fact, the reason I have time to write you today is I’m home with a sick kiddo. I’m generally exhausted Monday through Friday and the energy I have once at home goes toward playing with the kids, ensuring they don’t accidentally kill themselves, and making dinner before herding my tribe of weirdos to bed. I have zero time during the week to make a meal plan. I know it must sound silly to not have an hour to myself during week to do something as simple as make a meal plan, but what can I say, my kids have ensured I haven’t gone to the bathroom by myself in two and a half years – so, the struggle is real. I only have time on the weekend to get my act together – which I generally do on Saturday morning. So the rub is I populate the cart on Saturday morning but need the groceries by Monday.
Sorry to give you all the minutiae of my life. I really don’t want to go back to the dreaded Peapod or Safeway dumpster produce or Washington Grocer’s lack of selection and Most. Annoying. Website. Ever. I also don’t want to step foot into a Wegmans on the weekend with children – that’s the stuff nightmares are made of…
So, if and when Relay changes its mind about Monday, please let me know as I will be eternally grateful.
Thanks for Listening,
Relay – please please please give Monday delivery back to my area. I will be eternally grateful.