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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It’s a Wonderful Life

I came home from work this evening to see my kids running up to me with joy. They both took a springing leap into my outstretched arms as I knelt down to say hello. They were so excited about their days they started clamoring together. I got a few snippets of “and then we went outside and saw…” and a bit of “Janey played a princess, and I was…,” before I laughingly told them to slow down and go one at a time. As I stood to listen to their stories, a wonderful smell wafted from the kitchen. I walk in to see my husband cooking away at a bubbling, sizzling stovetop. He looks up and smiles and says, “How was your day? I got off early, picked up the kids and thought I’d start dinner and surprise you.”

Beautiful, lovely childrent

Beautiful, lovely children

Later that night, I sit next to the tub, playing along with a riveting adventure between Ariel and Nemo, while the kids giggled and splashed away. Then, after they were dried and nestled in their beds, I laid in bed with them, read them each a bedtime story as they sleepily yawned and asked for another one. I shushed them with a chuckle and turned out their lights, kissed them lightly, and snuggled them down in their covers. I shut the door to begin my evening with my husband, which included a few TV shows and casual conversations about our day.

General merriment and comraderie

General merriment and comraderie

AND SCENE. You didn’t really think that was my day did you? If so, you haven’t scrolled down to read much else I’ve wrote yet. The above little fantasy world is what my idiotic brain thought marriage and having kids would be like. Yes, I knew kids were hard, marriage was work, but really, I thought, how hard could it be?

Fast forward to my real life. I have two children, a full time job with no sick days, only precious few “Paid Time Off” days that are rapidly dwindling to single digits and it’s only the beginning of April, and a husband that we are lucky to see every weekend, because the only job he could find that didn’t pay minimum wage and involve a spatula was located on the east coast. 500 milez away.

What kind of idealistic weirdo was I to think I could live this charmed life? Besides, who lives this way anyways? Give me any parent and I’ll show you someone who would sell their souls to be given one lousy day where they get to do whatever they want. Where no one needs something from them, where no one hides from her brother under their shirt and then proceeds to tell said parent they have a big fat bootie. Where their kindergartener doesn’t act like the five minutes of homework he’s been given to do over spring break isn’t the equivalent of ripping his limbs off. Where no matter what they cook, they hear “THIS IS GROSS!” Even if it is the food they loved last week and were screaming for even though they knew you had ran out of it and hadn’t had time to get to the grocery store for more.

My life is actually quite charmed and I am very lucky, but screw that it’s a wonderful life bullshit and let’s get real. I’m in a mood. I’ve just spent two straight days with my children. Not the above mentioned joyful loving children – my actual children. And to make matters worse, both were in some stage of sickness since Saturday, which ups the normally whiny and bitchy quotient by 100. Ever get waken up by a sneeze? One that’s aimed directly at your face and showered on you at point blank range? I have. Ever get waken up by hearing, “QUIT WATCHING MY KINDLE, YOU HAVE YOUR OWN!” Moment of silence… then, “MOM! GRACE IS BREATHING ON ME AND WON’T MOVE!” This is then followed by a scream that gets louder as it screeches down the hallway to find you to tell you all about her brother just punched her? Check.

These have been my “vacation days” for the past three years. The first year Mark went back to work after his yearlong lay off, Gracie was 13 months and Will was 3, and I ran out of PTO by June. I took the rest of my days off unpaid and luckily didn’t get fired for taking a whopping 27 days off that year. The next year was better; I gained more time off for being there longer, had slightly less sickness and made it until October before I ran out of PTO days. Christmas shopping? HA! Done online, by a husband 500 miles away, or amidst the crazies on the weekend, squeezed in between parties and bake offs and general holiday “merriment.”

I know I am whining and people in third world countries are saying, “bitch please,” but really, we all know they aren’t reading this anyways, unless Oprah has given them a computer and internet access, so I can whine away to my first world parents who feel me.

I just never pictured life where a shower would be optional. I never thought my kids would want three freakin meals EVERY SINGLE DAY, prepared by me every time. Seriously, when I was growing up, food just magically appeared, and I was pissed because Mom called dinner every single night just as The Monkees was starting. To add to that annoyance, there was no pause button. You either watched it at 6 or you didn’t see it AT ALL. But I digress. This magical food every single night appeared in serving dishes (my kids think serving dishes are pots with potholders under them and a cooking stone topped with bagel pizza bites) and included, no kidding, a meat, a starch and a veggie, and oftentimes rolls or biscuits. Every. Single. Night. Like magic.

So I grew up thinking when I had kids, this magic fairy would show up at my house and cook, clean, and do the hard part of parenting. Stupid fairy never showed. Well unless my mom or mother-in-law shows up, then my house breathes a sigh of relief from being cleaned and the stove gets woken up by someone actually using it. But then, when they do show up, all I am free to do is attempt to sift through that paper mountain of filing that hasn’t been touched in 5 years or play find-the-throw up/poop/pee-smell. Or if I’m really lucky, I can sit down and watch TV…Backyardigans, Cat in the Hat (If I ever meet Martin Short, I am ripping his larynx out…Yes, your mother does MIND if you do!), or the original Benji…from 1974, with my kids. Or maybe I can go outside and watch them ride their bikes and yell in a panic every 5 seconds at the top of my lungs CAAARRRR!!!! Or maybe I can go downstairs and eat some fake food in the playroom and get bossed around about how I’m eating it wrong and not making appropriate yummy noises. Or maybe we can play legos, where within 5 minutes I am like, “Where is that freakin red piece the size of an atom?!”

Parent for reals

Parent for reals

Then once the bedtime routine is over and silence finally descends on the house, I have dishes, cat litter, and laundry among other things giving me dirty looks. Sometimes I do it, begrudgingly and half-assed, all while promising myself I’ll deep clean “later.” Sometimes I say Fuck IT and sit down to read a book or catch up on actual enjoyable adult TV, only to be interrupted by a 14 year old cat who steps on my face like, “What the fuck woman? Remember me? The one who can tell all your drunk college stories AND your most recent sexcapades? Yeah, well, it’s time for some kitty loving. And don’t mind my snotty nose, I’ll just wipe it all over your shirt.”

Planning her assault

Planning her assault

So then at this point – it’s 11:00. Time to give up, fall asleep in my contacts and makeup, only to hit the snooze to start it all over again at 5:30 the next day and tick the days off until my husband can join me for our fun-filled, family-time weekends, which include dragging our asses out of bed at 7 (if we are lucky) and making those two days not only productive and efficient, but also the best freakin 2 days our kids’ lives, all to alleviate some of that mommy and daddy guilt that plagues us during the week.

Thanks. I feel better. Feel my pain people! Help me to know I’m not alone.

PS – Now I’ll go watch my kids sleep like angels and fall in love with them all over again…or at least enough to start fresh tomorrow… or tackle the midnight fever or vomiting episode.

 

All I want for Christmas is……yoooouuuu.

Every year, I am asked what I want for Christmas.  I hate this question.  Here’s why.

I don’t have specific things I want.  Nothing that neatly fits into a $25 to $50 category that everyone is aiming for.  And, please, I beg you, don’t try to buy me clothes.  It usually ends up like this…

This my friends is AUTHENTIC Abercrombie & Fitch.  I swear...

This my friends is AUTHENTIC Abercrombie & Fitch. I swear…

And sure, I’d like a new kitchen, carpet, furniture and redone bathroom, but I don’t think that’s quite what you’re asking.  So, I thought this year, I’d tell you what I really want…

My REAL Christmas List

  • A housekeeper.  I am not super picky with this one, but it is my No. 1 want.  Someone to clean my house every week.  Someone I can trust because I don’t want to be there when they are, because then I would feel guilty that I was just laying around not helping.  I’m not asking for Alice from the Brady Bunch, just someone to polish the turd that is my house.  (Don’t tell Mark, he hates when I say that, but really, see the above home improvement wish list.)
  • A cook.  Maybe this is No. 1, because if there’s one thing I hate more than cleaning, it’s cooking.  I want to open up the fridge and viola! delicious, healthy meals and snacks.  A Mrs. Jones to my Christian Grey if you will.  No more nachos and Fruit Loops for me.  REAL FOOD.
  • I would like my hair to do this…
Why does the style go away with the cape??

Why does the style go away with the cape??

when I do it.  Or I would like to pay my beloved hair stylist to come do my hair every morning.  Yes, it’s short, but that doesn’t mean it looks the way she does it after an appointment.  Seriously, how hard can 2” of hair be to style?  Apparently, very.  Plus, she also has the same intense love of smut that I do, and how fun would those conversations be every morning?!

  • I would like to do this…
Heaven
Heaven

every year.  Sigh… Outer Banks is Mark and me’s perfect vaca.  Big house, pre-approved family and friends (no stranger mingling), absolutely no plans and nothing to do but swim in the pool, go out to eat, and lay on the beach.

  • I would like someone to help me organize this…
Don't call hoarders, please...

Don’t call hoarders, please…

Honestly, we look like hoarders, but really it’s just artwork we have to wait to hide in the trash until after the kids go to sleep, because the look on their faces when they accidentally find it in the trash is too much to bear.  It’s also bills we don’t want to pay, magazines we don’t have time to read, and receipts, tons and tons of receipts.  Because if we throw them away, we will totally need proof that we ate that double cheeseburger from McD’s.  Really?  Isn’t the proof on my ass already?

  • Speaking of ass proof, I would love a personal trainer.  Jillian Michaels coming to my house every day to kick my butt out of bed, saying mean things to me and making me lose the food baby I so lovingly cradle in ALL pictures for some reason.
  • And while we are dreaming, maybe just one day, one itty bitty day, to do whatever the hell I want.  No one needing anything, no chores, no laundry, just me, my Kindle and/or Netflix and Hulu.  Heaven.  I wish all that spare time in my childless 20’s wasn’t so wasted on …. God, what did I do back then with all that freakin time?  I know I thought I was busy, but for the life of me, I can’t tell you what the heck I was doing…

So that’s my real Christmas list.  But that melon baller would be just as awesome too.  How else do you make cookies?