Mother’s Day

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I take Mother’s Day very, very seriously.  Now, I am usually not a big Hallmark holiday type of gal.  I could care less about Sweetest Day or Valentine’s Day, not even an acknowledgement required (how lucky is my husband?).  St. Patty’s Day makes me hide in my house.  New Year’s is the same.  Christmas and Easter are fun, but tons of work and planning.  Thanksgiving is like my Superbowl, as it pertains solely to food, but I digress.

Mother’s Day is my high holiday.  A day where I get the day off.  A day of rest.  A day about ME.  The past few years, I have gotten totally gypped.  Mark has been out of town, a kid has been sick,  and other uncontrollable circumstances have prevented me from doing the one thing I have wanted to do.  NOTHING.  As I told my husband, this is not about me not wanting to be around my kids, this is more about not having anyone NEED anything from me.  A day where I am absolved of feeling guilty for doing what I want, not what my kids want.  A day to walk out of the house to go shopping, alone and without moving heaven and earth to get said few hours alone to myself.

So, I thought I’d give you a brief synposis of what I DID NOT do and what I DID do:

I DID NOT wipe anyone’s butt but my own.

I DID NOT prepare or plan anyone’s meals but my own.

I DID NOT break up any fights or put anyone in time out.

I DID NOT cut up any food for anyone.

I DID NOT put a kid in a shower or bath.

I DID NOT get out of bed to start some electronic this morning.

I DID NOT go outside to ride bikes or go fishing on this frigid spring day.

I DID NOT make any decisions about anything for anyone.

I DID NOT load anyone into a car and wait patiently while they buckled up and fought over the movie, nor did I yell when they put up their umbrella instead of properly restraining themselves.

I DID NOT comb anyone’s hair or brushed any teeth that did not belong to me.

I DID NOT clean up after lunch and breakfast, and then proceed to sweep up most of what was prepared off the floor and table.

I DID NOT wipe any noses.

I DID NOT stand outside in the bitter cold yelling “CARRRR!”

I DID NOT get told I was chubby today.

I DID NOT have to tell my preschoolers teacher that I am not pregnant, no matter what my 4 year old told them.

I DID NOT have to explain how corn becomes popcorn, or why the lines are solid or striped in the street, or why birds poop or who that lady is in the car next to us.

I DID NOT have to watch Backyardigans, Dora, How It’s Made, Benji or Cinderella at all today.   I did however watch Phineas and Ferb, because that show is hilarious.

However, I DID go shopping at my own pace.  I tried on clothes, compared prices, and DID NOT have to stop and explain why the mannequins do not have hands and/or feet nor did I have to tell them “no not this time honey” to every single $1 item in the checkout line.

I DID go to a Mexican restaurant and had a big-ass margarita and some awesome fajitas nachos without once having to cut up any pancakes or ask for more ranch for chicken nuggets.  I had an adult conversation without having to say once, “Wait for Mommy to finish….yes, that’s nice, no, I don’t know why that man has long hair or why that lady is wearing blue.”

I DID go to the bathroom BY MYSELF.  No company.  No comments on said results.  No asking, “What’s the yucky smell?”

I DID read my book.  In the middle of the day.  For no reason.

I DID straighten up my house UNINTERRUPTED.  I DID throw away some Easter candy and maybe a few artistic drawings without being accused of destroying their only food source and hating on their creativity.

I DID NOT yell one time today.

I love being a mom, even despite all the bitching you see on this blog.  My kids crack me up.  They light up my life and not for one second would I wish they weren’t here.  I got to snuggle with my son today for a while, mainly because I didn’t have anything else planned or on my mind, and I could just sit and enjoy the moment.  And I did.  I high fived my daughter for her awesome picture that she drew and I excitedly listened to their stories about their day with dad.  I did not ignore my children.  I did not make a big deal about wanting to be away from them.  Tomorrow I will start the day fresh and renewed and present.  But, today, today was all about giving myself a break – emotionally and physically.  It was awesome, and I can’t wait until next year to do it all over again.

Thanks to my husband and my family for understanding that I needed this day. Not because I am a bad mom, but because I do the best I can with what I’ve got and, frankly, I’m exhausted.   I’d just like one day a year to not have to worry about anyone but myself.   I hope you all had a day as wonderful as mine.   God bless all the mothers out there.  God bless our partners for putting up with us.  And God bless the kids who let us try this parenting gig out on them, I’ll pay your therapy bills one day I promise.

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Thanks Mom

I wrote this a while ago, but thought in honor of Mother’s Day, I’d reshare.

An Open Letter to My  Mom

Revised

Mom,

I owe you quite a bit.  This mothering gig seemed easy through the eyes of a kid.  How hard could it be really?  I am only now truly beginning to understand the magnitude of what you did.  The following is a list of things that I am truly thankful for, and it’s a working list, because there are things you did for which I am not yet aware because I am still new to this mothering thing, being only six years in…

  • Thank you for letting me poke at you every single Saturday morning to wake you up.  Even though you worked full time and Saturday was your one day to sleep in, you let me tell you it was time to get up.  And then, not only did you get up, but you promptly made us breakfast.
  • Thank you for letting my sexy swimmer boyfriend in the front door.  I am not sure I will do the same for Gracie’s boyfriend, because I know what is on their minds and what they are going to try to pull with me in the same house.  Also, thanks for letting me leave with him in his big white jalopy car too.  Again, I am not sure I will let Gracie out of the house after the age of 15.
  • Thank you for the complete and balanced dinners.  Every. Single. Night.  After working a full day, without sitting down, you started cooking and had dinner on the table by 6 p.m.  Never did we have a PB&J dinner, or mac n cheese five days in a row, you cooked actual food and served vegetables at EVERY dinner.
  • Thanks for working a full time job and then coming home to raise us.  You never relaxed, you cooked dinner, packed lunches and kept a clean house for all of my childhood.  It was amazing.  I honestly don’t know how you did it.  My house is a disaster at all times, lunches are packed in a rush in the morning, and dinners, well, see above.
  • Thanks for not killing me for how I treated my sister.  I know now she wasn’t that bad, just kinda annoying in a little sister kind of way, and that I should have been way nicer to her.  Thanks for telling me that one day she’ll be my best friend while I looked at you like you were crazy.  You were right.
  • Thanks threatening to rip out a belly button ring if I ever came home with one.  That was one mistake I was too scared to make.
  • Thanks for never letting me play with fireworks.  While I thought you were totally uncool at the time, I feel the same way now.  My poor kids.
  • Thanks for the weekends at the cottage, where food was always a given, and I was allowed to hang with cousins and my grandparents every single weekend of the summer.
  • Thanks for all the wonderful cards and cute thoughtful gifts for every Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day, Easter and so on.  Every single holiday sneaks up on me, and I am still having trouble giving all the credit to a fat guy in a red suit.

This list is a work in progress.  There are so many things I am thankful for that I do not know yet, and those that I am aware of, but have yet to remember in my sleep-deprived overloaded brain.

I love you mom and thank you every day for turning us into respectable adults (I use the term respectable and adults very loosely).

Love,

Jen (and Lisa too, since she lets me sign her hand-crafted cards on occasion).

Bee Movie

Who killed a bee tonight LIKE A BOSS?  This girl!  Because, my “Edward” isn’t home until Saturday and this bee was all, “Oh I live here now.  Honeybee don’t give a fuck!”  And I was like “Will get my shoe and my cone sweeper!  Grace, get the door!”

Killing is dramatic, I may have showed him the way out via a cone sweeper.  All left happy.  I swear this bee was stoned.  He really didn’t seem to give a fuck where he was.

Let’s just say there was A LOT of screaming and yelling for a while, and the neighbor walking her dog got quite an eyeful as a 33 year old in a “He’s my Edward” T-shirt and yoga pants falls out the front door, screeching while holding a running cone sweeper.  (Because if you turn off the suck, the bee will come out…duh.), with 2 kids screaming behind her like the bee’s family is after them and about to put a horse’s head on their beds.

What an evening.

How sexy am I?

How sexy am I?

A View Through a Peephole

253395_532719740107150_224326385_nI have a pretty intense desire to be liked.  This has waned as I’ve gotten older, and I am not quite so devastated if someone does not take a keen interest in me.  That’s fine.  What really bothers me is when people form opinions of me that aren’t true.  You can honestly  dislike me because I’m a crazy liberal, have bad taste in music and books, and am fairly lazy.   I also try to be funny at all times, which can grate on people’s nerves.  I also complain a lot, am a bit of a gossip, swear like a sailor, quote bad old movies and don’t find Big Bang Theory funny at all (I’ve tried, I just don’t get it).  These are all things that I will legitimately own as my personality traits.  Take or leave em, that’s me, and after 33 years on this planet, I like me, so if you don’t like it you can suck it.

What bothers me is when people form judgments or opinions of who I am based on a very small sampling of my personality and life, and being an introvert, a snippet is usually only what  most people see.

See me snap at my daughter in a store because to you she’s being “just being a kid?”  Well this kid just told me she HATED me because I didn’t let her watch a movie on the way to the store, only because she asked when we pulled into the parking lot of the store.  Said daughter then proceeded to throw a screaming fit in the car, which put her in a coughing fit on the verge of throwing up and made us 10 minutes later than we needed to be, all just to run in to pick up one freakin jug of milk.

See me sitting on a park bench maybe sneaking a peek at my phone every once in a while my kids run gleefully in the playground?  Chances are, I am checking the time, not Pinterest (or maybe I am, what of it?), and have just spent the entire week living and breathing my kids and could use a breather.  Practices, lunches, doctor’s appointments, dinners, homework, building forts, blowing up various toys, replacing batteries in night lights at midnight, hearing their highs and lows of the day, disciplining, celebrating and so on.  Every. Single. Moment.  I am not married to my phone, it’s just I am too tired to run and play when my kids are perfectly content to play without me.

The problem with my parenting is that because I am introverted, I tend not to show the emotion, joy, happiness, and love I feel for my kids in public.  I am content to let them have the spotlight, sit back and cheer quietly, and quietly survey the area for child molesters.  My best parenting moments come when no one is watching.  I am calmer because there isn’t an adult judging my every action, wondering if I am coddling my boy or giving into my princess too much, or making everything a teaching moment.  When we are alone, we just have fun and we talk about life, about the good, the bad and the days where I wish I could lock them (or me) in a cage (just kidding, it would be a comfortable cage).  No one sees the crazy dance parties or my dead-on performance of Ursula from Little Mermaid (For some reason, I relish only the villain parts).   No one sees me struggling through a how to defend yourself from other stupid, mean kids discussion with my 6 year old, who’s just finding out there are actually people out there who don’t completely adore him.  No one sees me sit and do a puzzle with my G or playing Barbies, or my personal favorite, My Little Ponies, like a boss.

I know people judge because my daughter is always sick.  Yes, she’s in daycare, and yes, that’s a big part of why she’s sick, but am I solely to blame because I work?  No, the daycare is not dirty or neglected.  It’s as clean as it can get with 18 snotty, sneezy and wipey 4 year olds together every day for 8-9 hours a day.  Her caregivers love and care for her oftentimes better than I could.  And they are all freakin saints when it comes to potty training.   So, when my kids get sick, please don’t blame being in daycare OR the fact that I didn’t breastfeed them long enough.  Does everything have to be my fault?

I just get mad when people only see 5 seconds of my life and think they would do it differently.  Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t, but hey, what can I say?  At least I am here, in the trenches of raising kids, digging as I go.  I am present all day every day, even in the moments I get to be away from them AT WORK.  I mess up, I lose my temper, I let things go that I shouldn’t, I feed them crap food, let them watch too much TV, but I am HERE.  Cut a girl some slack will ya?

Wow, that got angry.  Just a vent piece.  Mark’s been gone for two weeks and comes home tomorrow.  Let’s just say I need a break.  I’ll feel better by Sunday.