Hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms…they all have one thing in common: power outages. The potential of not having any electricity is its very own shitstorm. There’s all this mental and actual prep involved. The unknown is paired with an insane penetration of doom from your local TV meteorologist. You tend to lose your mind. As you endure the experience of losing power while trying to take care of yourself, your partner, and at least one mini human, at least a thousand thoughts run through your head. Here, 15 of ’em.
1. Okay, but will my breastmilk survive this?
No way did I spend countless hours pumping and trying (very hard) to build up a stash, only to have it be potentially spoiled from a power outage. No. Hell no. I find absolutely no shame in running to neighbors with generators to see if their freezers have room for my liquid gold.
2. Wait, but do I still need to pump? Because how am I doing that with no power?
When my L.O. is fussy and not taking the boob, it can be easier to just stick a bottle in his mouth and let him go to town. Normally, I’d just express my engorged breasts with the power of the pump, but without the electricity to do that, what the fuck should I do? Don’t even think about telling me to hand pump, because even though without power I technically “have time for that,” I do not have time for that shit!
3. My gym is going to be closed! Nooooo.
OK, I guess I’ll be bending down to clean up messes, building forts, and climbing through obstacle courses with the 5-year-old. I mean, at least there go some of the calories I’ve ingested from the half bottle of wine I’m bound to consume within the first hour or so of the outage. Also, it’s an extremely legitimate excuse to not have to work out, right?
4. OMG, the in-laws want to hang out now?
Impending storm: Category 4. In-laws coming over for the night to “brave the storm” together: Category 5. Need I say more?
5. Starbucks is also going to be closed, right?
It’s not really fair to take away my lifeblood for a day. Not to mention, this is actually the only 20 minutes I get to be myself over the course of the day. If I can’t have my coffee, and I can’t have my freedom, am I putting the lives of those around me in danger? (By the way, hubby def owes me an extra 20 minutes of alone time in the form of sleep for this!)
6. Objects in the dark are closer than they appear.
Even though I have eyes in the back of my head, they don’t really work in the pitch black. So if the power goes out, the idea of having to find these kids is terrifying. I have a 50/50 chance of stepping on friggin’ LEGOs, Polly Pockets, damn Shopkins sprawled all over my living room floor when the sun is shining into the house, so I figure my odds in the dark are far worse.
7. Where are the kids, anyway?
Normally, if the kids are quiet, I like to imagine they’re doing something productive and educational, like doing anything that doesn’t involve KIDZ BOP. In the dark, fuck that. If I can’t hear my kids, and if I can’t see my kids, then they’re definitely plotting to burn the house down with the candles.
8. I can’t wait ’til the lights come back on…and I can get a read on the full magnitude of all the shit I’m going to have to clean up tomorrow.
I’m thinking lots of food on the floor, in between couch cushions, poop in the corner (since our poor dog Lexie was so scared by the storm and we couldn’t take her out), and all of the toys everrrrrywhere.
9. Charged-up batteries come second to breathing.
No power means no juice for the coveted digital devices. This in itself has the potential to cause a full-blown war in the house. While normal humans are out buying 10 gallons of water for their family’s survival, I’m at Best Buy stocking up on portable chargers. I mean, what the actual fuck am I going to do without Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Paw Patrol on-demand?
10. I’m definitely going to go over my data.
Every month, I get the dreaded text from Verizon telling me that I should consider upping my data plan because I’ve already used 75% of it…in the first two weeks. Oops. Well, no power = no wifi = all day data! Good thing I’m on a family plan with my husband who is obsessed with watching Facebook videos. Overage charges, here we come!
11. Great, is my child going to smell like curdled cottage cheese for days now?
I pride myself on how delicious my baby smells and how clean he always is. Spit-up? Yea, no. Off to change your shirt we go! Explosive poop? Yeah, that happens, too. He goes through more outfit changes than Madonna on tour in the ’80s. So, the thought of not being able to wash his onesie from the morning he threw up some cottage cheese gives me the heebeegeebies. Ugh.
12. I basically have no choice but to feed my kids garbage.
I wouldn’t say I’m a crunchy mom, no. But I am one who takes pride in the foods my kids ingest. Without the microwave or electric stove, we’re now all surviving on pre-packaged, GMO-packed, high fructose corn syrup-ed up, gluten-full foods. Will I even recognize my children after this?!!?
13. No water = no bathtime for the now-stinky kiddo.
The powers that be told us to fill up our bathtub with water “just in case” we needed help flushing the toilet. They said to save the water for emergencies only and bathing your child doesn’t constitute an emergency (especially since the water is cold now). So, now, the kids don’t get their nighttime bath. And you know how I feel about cleanliness. Fuck.
14. Oh shit, no nightlight means the 4-year-old is definitely throwing a temper tantrum in T-minus…great, here we go.
Not only is she an unbathed stinker, she’s convinced there are monsters under her bed, and without a nightlight, she’s never going to sleep. So, that means that none of us are ever, ever going to sleep.
15. If power outage sex is a thing, my husband totally knows about it.
I finally got her to sleep by convincing her that the glowing blue light on the portable charger is a bonafide monster deterrent. The baby fell asleep on my boob. (Hoorah! No need to pump.) The in-laws are snoring their heads off, and my husband’s iPhone is (finally) dead. But now, he thinks it’s the perfect opportunity to do some S&M—you know, because we have to be silent—and I’m like OMG, I’m way too tired* for this shit.
*For the record: Did it anyway, totally enjoyed it. Maybe losing the electricity isn’t so bad?