It didn’t take me long to laugh about this, but yesterday I literally almost had a complete come-apart from mowing the lawn.
I’m pretty sure my neighbor was outside when Sadie bonked her head on the playhouse and I shouted in a panic at my mom on the phone “I just have to go because I can’t do 5,000 things and I think I might actually lose my mind. BYE!” as Sadie is hollering a blood-curdling cry in the background and I clicked off the phone. At that moment I’m positive she debated getting in the car and driving straight to Kansas to save me and my children.
Not surprisingly, mowing the grass is a super hot topic among military moms because figuring out how to do it when our spouses are gone is not an easy task.
Jamie is only gone for five weeks this time around, and he offered to find somebody that we could pay to mow the grass while he’s away. I didn’t want to do that because we aren’t made of money and I hate spending money on things that I could do myself. He thought I was a little crazy, but I was happy to save the $175ish and get some exercise during nap time. That was my plan: to knock out mowing during nap time. Well, the best laid plans of military spouses go awry. Duh.
So two weeks ago my mom was visiting, and I asked her if she could entertain the girls while I went out to do a “quick mow”. I used to love mowing, so I was excited to get out and enjoy the fresh air while getting some quiet time. I had never used our new lawn mower before, which is also our first self-propelled mower. I figured it would be an easy and, dare I say, enjoyable hour outside on a pretty morning.
Well well well. 90 minutes later I come crawling inside because mowing the yard almost killed me. We have a lot of levels and steady hills, and I could barely push the mower up the hill. I couldn’t believe that a self-propelled mower was so hard. Mom was like “Did you have the self-propelled feature on?” And it hit me that maybe that part wasn’t automatic? Jamie facetimed an hour later, and I ran out to the garage to ask him. Sure enough, I had pulled down the top bar to turn it on but hadn’t pull up the bottom bar to turn on the self-propelled feature. Dear Jesus.
Well, you got a heck of a workout, babe!
Har har har.
I was so frustrated that I refused to go out and bag the grass. My mom sees I’m worn out and frustrated, so she offers to go outside and rake the grass. NO. No. I don’t want anyone outside spending any more time on this freaking yard today. I want to spend time together and hang out.
I am not stubborn at all, I swear.
So she leaves the next day and I never raked up the grass. Then it rained for seven days.
Then yesterday I got out to mow the grass.
I dropped Hadley off at preschool and canceled going to a MOPS event (even though you guys know I hate canceling!), and ran home to put Sadie down for a nap so that I could get outside for an hour and mow. I know how to use the self-propelled feature! This will be so easy! I turned on Young House Love‘s podcast and got to work.
Welp, half way through the mow the mower shuts off. I had just put more gas in it five minutes prior, so I knew that wasn’t it. I facetimed my MIL since they have the same mower, and she suggested I clean out the bottom.
Sure enough, all of that grass I had refused to rake up nine days prior was now soaking wet and clogging the mower. I am such a dummy.
I cleaned all of that out, but it still wouldn’t work. Well, now Sadie is awake from her frustratingly-short nap.
So we go outside to continue looking at the situation, and this is where my poor mom called and got to hear what a maniac I was.
I set Sadie up with playing with the playhouse beside me and I cleaned the heck out of the mower with our hose.
Still not working.
At this point Sadie bonks her head, so I hang up with mom and comfort my baby (who is totally fine).
So now I have a half-mowed grass, a load of clippings all over the yard, and a baby. HOW IN THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO HANDLE ALL OF THIS?
I called my mom back, and she suggested I wear Sadie on my back. Good idea. So I threw Sadie on my front in the Ergo (because I can’t get her on my back by myself), and raked up the yard. It actually wasn’t as time-consuming as I anticipated. So now all that’s left is to fix the mower and finish mowing.
At this point I went inside, let Sadie play with the contents of my bathroom vanity drawers, and I sat on the floor of my running shower and just decompressed. I was so irritated because now I figured I’d have to either hire someone to fix the mower or hire someone to mow and let Jamie fix it when he got back. My sweet mom was also offering to pay for someone to do all of this herself. I love her. It’s not that we don’t have the money; Again, I just hate spending money when I could do the job myself.
But maybe I needed to spend the money for the sake of my sanity? I was beginning to think so.
Around 2 p.m. (hours later), I went to try the mower one more time, and sure enough, it worked. It was flooded, just like my mom and MIL had suggested it might be. But now I have to go get Hadley from school.
So now my plan was to put the girls down between 7-8 p.m. and I would run out to finish mowing (about 25 minutes worth). But by 5:30 we had nothing going on and I was frustrated that I couldn’t just finish right then.
SO YOU KNOW WHAT I DID? For a small strip in the backyard, I locked (aka zipped) both girls onto the trampoline and cranked out five minutes of mowing. I was basically mowing around the trampoline, so they were safe and happily playing. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
But I had no clue how I would do the front (which would likely take at least 15 minutes). I was determined to get it done though, so I thought and thought and thought. I finally decided to get out the double stroller, strap them both in, put it under a tree by our front porch in locked mode, and then quickly mow with them in my view. So I did. I gave them toys and they played and watched me.
And I went inside and almost did a cartwheel. I was freaking proud.
What almost killed me taught me so much about thinking outside of the box, overcoming hard things, as well as how to take care of a lawn mower.
Both girls crashed by 7:30 pm. and I followed quickly behind them. I went to bed happy, feeling accomplished.
And because everything always goes from my brain to my fingertips, I sat down and cranked this out so that Jamie can read all about it when we can talk again and so that I have a reminder that I can do hard things. We can all do hard things!