Indy Momma

As you may have figured out here, I am not a morning person. I’m particularly awful at getting out the door early, my definition of early being any time before 10 AM or so. (What can I say? I’m a spoiled homeschooling mom.) So how do I do it? With the able assistance of my pit crew. Mine don’t have matching fireproof jumpers, but they’re every bit as accomplished as Dale Earnhardt Junior’s gang.

For your reading pleasure–a behind-the-scenes look at the Owlhaven pit crew:

Event: Thursday Morning Doctor’s Appointment
Time: 10 minutes till blast-off time to go
Setting: Before breakfast. One year old’s hair looks like she stuck her finger in a light socket. Three year old is trailing around in a striped shirt and her favorite floral skirt, and mom, though dressed, still needs at least an attempt at makeup and hair. Mom sounds the starting gun and her team springs into action with well-oiled precision.

–18 year old makes toast and pours mom the elixer of life (er, coffee) into a handy dandy travel mug
–15 year old combs baby’s hair
–14 year old locates 3 pairs of shoes, one for each family member going on this outing.
–11 year old stocks mom’s purse with bottle and diaper and locates missing coats.
–7 and 8 year olds stand back and try to stay out of the way.
–Mom helps 3 year old get on a better outfit, sends her to 14 year old for shoes, then races off to bathroom to give herself the spa treatment spend 3 minutes slapping on makeup. Returns to the kitchen looking ravishing slightly more awake, and quickly does 4 ponies in baby’s hair.
–18 year old writes things on grocery list
–15 year old locates bibs
–14 year old puts on 3 yr old’s coat and buckles her into van.
–11 year old grabs 1 year old, coats her and buckles her into van.
–14 yr old puts bibs on girls and hand them toast
–Mom locates keys, purse and coat, commands cajoles begs instructs 7 and 8 year olds to do their math, blows kisses haphazardly around, and gets in van.
–18 year old runs out with grocery list.
–All wave as mom drives off, only 5 minutes behind schedule. She’ll easily be able to make up that much time with her driving. (Kidding, kidding! We were exactly 5 minutes late.) All in all another successful performance by the pit crew.

After writing this, I wondered for a moment if I lean too much on my big kids. But then I realized that’s part of being in a family. When my older ones were little, I was on pit crew non-stop , providing bottles and bandaids and bug spray. Now that they are growing up, it’s their turn to be part of the support staff. When they head off into the world after high school, the balance will shift again. They’ll be driving and I’ll be back on pit crew, doling out hugs and gas money and clean laundry when they stop in. I am so grateful in this crazy race called life we have each other to lean on.


  1. Awesome crew.

    When we have to go somewhere early, I make my kids sleep in their clothes. I'm sorry, but I do.

    They get up, use the toilet, and we walk out the door. That's it.

    Our school starts at 10 am. . .

  2. Wow! Go Owlhaven pit crew:)

  3. what would we do without our older kids? people think it's hard to have a big family? not when we all work together like that!

  4. I think that's great. I LOVED the times when I felt needed by my family, like we were all a team. I still do. You feel that kinship all the time, but to feel it in action, to act out that love by getting each other through the next minute, is just really special.

  5. Great pit crew!

    We have mornings like that sometimes too. I also struggle with how much I should ask the older kids to do. I did a post on it not too long ago.

    They have never complained about helping with the smaller kids. I think we have a nice balance. It sounds like you do too :).

  6. That was cute!

  7. Pat on the back to the pit crew. 🙂

  8. That is awesome! What precision!!! I think it is great that your kids help out! It will help them develop into loving caring and remarkable adults!

  9. that is awesame

  10. I have 4 children 4 and under. Getting out of the house is truely the most stressful event of the day. Even if we do not have a set time that we have to be out the door.

    What a well suited team you have! 🙂

  11. Monika's comment on getting the kids to sleep in their clothes – priceless.

    I have one four yr old, and I still find getting out of the house before 10am a challenge. (I have him in afternoon preschool so I don't have to deal with early mornings yet. I am a night person – hence I am writing this at 1:16 am.)

    I love how big families operate. Your kids get the opportunity to grow up as responsible, contributing individuals. If I am not careful, cause I am heading in this direction, my son will be equipped to maybe tie his own shoes. With one kid you can tend to do way too much for them. I try to consciously be aware of that and try to teach him responsibility and independence. Yeah – but I am not always that good at it.

    I am new here – just heard your name around and clicked on you from HolyMama. Like your site – I will be back!

  12. It is so amamzing, and reassuring to me, that the older kids can and do enjoy helping out like this. I am working on getting my older 2 to help out more with the younger ones. My 10 year old son is great at it, and now we are working on our 8 year old daughter (we have a 4 year old and a 1 year old too)!

  13. I love the idea of it taking the whole family to make things work. The mom cannot do it all!

    You are doing a beautiful job teaching your children serving with love. I have no doubt that your children will have no problem finding their place in this world, especially since they are being so well-equipped well beyond the education of most children in today's society!

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  15. Mary,
    Thanks for visiting me! Whew! I got tired before you even got out the door on this one! My hat's off to you and your crew!

  16. I remember being one of the pit crew in my homw 😀 Sounds great, right now I rejoice at each little thing my boys learn to do on their own (buckle seat belts, put on shoes)

  17. I love this post. You have a great team and your kids have learned some of the most important lessons in life, how to help other people. Kudos to you.

  18. What a great team! We just had 2 girls in our family and my mom mostly did things herself. I think she felt it was easier, but I feel like we missed out. Kudos to you for making a big family work!