Thursday, August 2, 2018

Tomorrow I Shall Be Perfect...


                                  
Yesterday I said “tomorrow”. 

Tomorrow I will be a better parent…a perfect parent.  I will engage more. I will take a day trip with my kids. I will do a craft.  I will read them a book. I will take them on a walk. I will feed them a vegetable.  I will do all this tomorrow…because today has passed and I have done none of those things.

It’s August and the summer is coming to a close. I can feel the lump of anxiety in my throat as I think back and wonder if I’ve done enough to make summer memories for my children. It’s the same feeling I get on Sunday nights when I look at my schedule for the coming week and wonder where the weekend has gone.  August is the Sunday of Summer. 

Everywhere I look I see pictures of families having storybook summer adventures.  Kids in coordinating outfits eating ice cream on the beach.  The kind of “eating ice cream” photograph that shows the kid getting a little messy but not too messy.  Just messy enough to show that they’re having THE BEST SUMMER EVER!

Meanwhile, my kids are on their ipads because I let them stay up too late last night and they are now unable to do anything besides whine and complain.  I allow this lapse in screen time rules because I have a lot of stuff to do around the house.  This is probably horrible parenting. This will not happen tomorrow.  Because tomorrow I shall be perfect.

So, I lay in bed and think about all the memories I’m going to make with my kids the next day.  I will make up for my lackluster parenting today.  I will wow them with fun and excitement. I will relieve my guilty conscience by being perfect. New day, fresh start, I can do this. Summer isn’t over…yet.

I’m panicking about my missed opportunities for parental perfection to the point where I can’t even sleep because I’m too busy beating myself up. But…like…why? I have to stop and think: why do I feel all this pressure? Why do I have to be perfect?

Maybe it’s all the articles and blog posts out there reminding me how quickly time passes. “Parents! ACT NOW! Your kids are growing up and soon they won’t even remember you exist! YOU MUST ENJOY EVERY SECOND!!”

I shouldn’t read these anymore because, hi, I’m an adult and I get how time works. I do enjoy my children…most of the time. Stop reminding me of what I’m going to lose if I don’t spend every waking second making memories.

And yet…

I want to cry just thinking about that.  About how I “only have this moment with my children once”. Do I want my children to grow up without ALL THE MOMENTS?!?! I have to make these moments.  I have to be perfect. Tommorrow.

My rational side kicks in and reminds me that I just took my kids on a two-week vacation to a beautiful lake. Doesn’t that count for something? So what if it’s 11am and I haven’t done anything with them today besides make them clean their rooms to earn Playstation time?

But then my guilt ridden “the internet told me I’m a bad mother” side reminds me that I have to enjoy EVERY moment. It doesn’t matter what we did last week. What have we done today?  I have to be present and accountable 24/7 or my kids are going to be robbing lemonade stands by the time they’re 10. 

I definitely don’t want that to happen.  So tomorrow I shall be perfect.

Here’s the thing, though: Not every moment can be magical and filled with lifelong memories.  You know that “dust if you must” poem? Ok, I get it.  But if I don’t dust then my child with severe allergies will not be able to breathe.  That’s not a sugar-coated childhood memory.  And, yes, I know the laundry will still be there tomorrow. But we can’t go out and make super nifty memories if we’re all naked. 

Maybe the answer is moderation.  Maybe we can make the memories when the opportunity is there but maybe we can also sit around in our pjs and have a lazy non-memory filled day if we need it.

Tomorrow I will probably not be perfect in spite of all my intentions. 

Maybe tomorrow I’ll simply be enough instead.  And my kids will most likely survive.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Vacationing has changed...

It’s summer! Sweet, beautiful summer. Hello, gorgeous! 

Summer means it’s time to kick back and enjoy some down time. It’s also prime vacation season which used to mean I would grab a book, a towel and a bathing suit and hit the road. Lake, beach, pool...whatever the occasion that would pretty much cover it for my twenty something year old self. 

Wasn’t I cute and clueless? Oh, girl how your life is about to change...

After having kids of course you still vacation but the post kid vacation bears strikingly little resemblance to the pre kid vacation. When the post kid vacation looks in the mirror it doesn’t even recognize itself (then it pours a glass of wine, eats a pint of rocky road and SWEARS one day it’ll get back to its former shape).

In the spirit of the season I’m going to share  with you the ways vacationing has changed since kids have entered the picture. If you have kids you’ll probably have a few to add yourself and if you don’t have kids...well...consider it free birth control! 

So here we go! 

Top five vacationy things that have changed post kids:

Number 1: Everything. 

All of it. I could probably stop the list right there but I promised you four more. So onward we go...

Number 2: The amount of stuff you pack. 

This one seems obvious because you added people so naturally you need to add more stuff but hear me out...

You might figure that your packing is going to double when you’re packing for another person. Especially a kid. They’re, like, SO small! How much room can their stuff take up? 

Answer: OMG A LOT!

Little kids need all their seats and strollers and other gear. Big kids need every toy you have in your house, especially the ones they haven’t touched in 8 months and suddenly CAN’T LEAVE BEHIND! 

Trust me. For every additional kid sized human you add to your trip plan for 74x more stuff per person than you previously brought. 

Number 3: The variety of sunscreen you need to bring borders on obscene. 

Seriously. Sunscreen is sunscreen, right? WRONG! 

Back in the day I’d bring, like, two tubes of different SPF sunscreen (one for when I wanted to burn and one for when I wanted to burn a little less). 

Now? Spray sunscreen, stick sunscreen for the face (cause “DON’T SPRAY MY FACE!”), cream sunscreen for when I wanna know what it would be like to wrestle a greased up octopus (dude, I swear they grow additional arms to fight you off while you try to rub it in). You need every SPF over 50 and specialized ones based on age and body part. Face is different than legs for some reason because...who knows why, just take my money. 

Number 4: The food. Oooooooh the food...

Did you know that an average sized toddler who usually only needs 5 goldfish and an 8th of a grape to get him from breakfast to lunch will suddenly grow four extra stomachs once you take them on vacation?

 The amount of snacks they need to get through an average day is astronomical. Put “S#*^load of goldfish, popsicles and cookies” on your shopping list. Then underline and highlight it. 


Never mind the amount of absolute crap they will consume. There is no "too early for sugar" rule anymore.

I never knew “breakfast dessert” was a thing until we were on vacation and my then 5 year old finished his cereal and asked my mother for dessert. And she gave it to him. Cause “It’s vacation!” 

Ummmmm...what? Well, ok then, all control that I had over your diet just went out the window. 


Meh. I'll fix it when we get home.



Number 5: The relaxing. 

Vacation is typically considered a time to “take a load off” or “escape from reality”. But not so much when you bring your loads of reality with you. 

I love my kids. Loooooove them! And I enjoy that they enjoy their time. But bringing them on vacation is like a doctor packing up his patients and letting them tag along on his trip to the Hamptons. It’s work. 

Every year we go to the lake for a couple weeks in July. And every year I pack a beach chair. And every year it’s a lonely, lonely little chair. But it gets to leave the basement for those weeks. So it’s kind of a vacation for the chair. How nice for the chair! 

Honestly though, if you pack kids you don’t have to pack anything that facilitates sitting. Look at all the space in the car I just saved you...now you have room for more toys! You’re welcome. 

Happy summering! 







Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Official Worst Christmas Songs Ever

CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!

There, now that I have your attention...we're two days away from Christmas!

Besides me just sitting around waiting for everything I've busted my ass to accomplish over the past month backfire and explode in my face...which it inevitably will, by the way, because there's always some last minute shit that didn't get done and someone's gonna be bull about it and blame me...anyway, besides that I've also been listening to a lot of Christmas music.  And know what I've discovered?  There are a lot of really shitty holiday songs! Like, bad. Really bad. 

And I'm not just talking bad as in they put Jingle Bells to reggae music or bad because they let Rod Stewart sing something (honestly, don't you just feel like he's molesting you with his voice?)

I'm talking bad as in just plain disturbing and wrong.  So here is my list of a few Christmas songs I'd like to see not exist:

1. Baby It's Cold Outside:

I'm starting out with the obvious. I've talked about this creep show of a song before because, after all, it is my favorite Christmas song about date rape. AND THEY LET ROD STEWART SING IT! After I hear his version I immediately have to go take a hot shower and try to erase the memory of that experience.

Seriously, let's celebrate the season of over imbibing and making bad decisions by trapping this poor woman in a snow storm with the pushiest asshole ever.

Baby: "Say, what's in this drink?"

It's Rufies,woman. Get the F out of there.

2. Santa Baby:

Ah! The story of the greedy selfish tramp with the pouty sex kitten voice.  Yeah, she deserves a yacht and she's not afraid to do what she has to do to get it.  Santa is married, you little ho ho ho. If I were Mrs. Clause I'd kick your ass for talking to my husband like that!

You'll get the same thing you got last year...herpes.  Hope you enjoy it.

3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus:

Um...HELLO!! You don't think that would totally freak a kid out? And any song that involves the word "tickle" should just be outlawed to begin with anyway. I'm surprised there's not a verse where the kid tears his eyes out because he can't un-see any of that.

That song should be renamed "I saw mommy having an affair and it has forever ruined my ability to be in a committed, caring relationship".

4. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas:

WTF! Don't give my kid ideas. Your parents hate you. So do I. Ask for a doll like everyone else you little freak.

Also, your voice is one of the most annoying sounds of the season. There's probably something wrong with your nasal passage. You should get that checked out. Tell your parents you want an ENT appointment for Christmas instead.

5. There's Something Stuck Up in the Chimney:

This is the one where Santa is dead up the little girl's chimney.  Like, what thought process went into the creation of this song?

Songwriter 1: "We need to come up with a new Christmas song. Wanna do one where Santa's dead?"

Songwriter 2: "Ohmigod! That's, like, the BEST idea I've ever heard. We should totally do that. And we should probably get a cute little girl to sing it too."

Songwriter 1: "Jesus! We're gonna win a grammy!"

And then Santa's rotting corpse starts to stink up the house and the adorable little girl singing just doesn't know what it is! And to top it all off she's up all night waiting for Santa but she never gets her presents because, ya know, they bumped him off. What a fantastic premise for a holiday tune!

Are you people serious? THIS is an f'ing CHRISTMAS theme? Way to kill my merry and jolly along with Old St. Nick.

Perhaps you tool bags should have thought of all of the parents driving around with their kids when this song comes on the radio.

"What's up her chimney?"

"Ummmm...soot.  It's not dead Santa AT ALL. Don't even worry about it. MERRY CHRISTMAS HONEY!"

So there ya have it, my list. I could add more (like Annie Lenox's bone chillingly, scary as hell version of "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" for example) but I'd be here all day. Feel free to add to this list if I missed any of your most hated seasonal tunes!

Wishing you all happy holidays, merry Christmas and the ability to block Rod Stewart's voice out of your head should you be so unfortunate as to hear it!



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What Not to Wear


You guys, I’m angry. 

Angry enough to finally sit down and actually write something after taking a little (5 months is considered little, right?) break.

I’ve been super busy lately but today pissed off trumps busy.  So here we go…

I’ve recently read two separate but equally stupid articles written about…you guessed it…mistakes made by moms. And more specifically, mom fashion faux pas (ßOooh! I spelled that correctly on the first try! I’m amazed by myself right now…but I digress).

The first horrendous article I read was all like “Oh hey, moms? Don’t drop your kids off to school in your pajamas ok?  Cause, like, other parents and teachers totally shouldn’t have to look at you dressed like that.”

The second crap-tastic post was all like “Moms, here are the things you should NOT be wearing…ever.  Why? Because some random person out here in internet-land-ville told you not to.”

Now, I am an adult so I’d like to say to both of these writers with all due respect and utmost maturity:

FUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUU!!!!!! (With SO MANY exclamation points.)

Is this serious?  Is this actually happening? Did mothers who write blogs run out of other ways to bash each other? Isn’t that breastfeeding issue still a thing? Can’t we focus on being guilty about that for a little bit longer before we move on?

Do you really, I mean reeeeeeallly, care how people look when they pull their car up in front of school and their kids hop out and then they pull away? The whole interaction takes about 15 seconds.  If someone’s clothing is that offensive to you in that short amount of time then maybe the problem is…oh, I don’t know…WITH  YOU!

I realize that there are plenty of parents who go directly to work after drop off or who just like to be dressed and ready for the day early in the morning.  And that is awesome, they are amazing.  But there are other parents whose lifestyle does not require them to be showered and pretty at 7 am.  They come home and clean, or they take care of other kids, or they go to the gym, or they who the F cares…

I have never ever read a progress report that says “Jimmy is doing awesome in school, however, mom could really use to run a brush through her hair in the morning”.

Is the kid there, dressed, fed and ready to go? Then high five, sister! Nailed it!

I can just picture the author of this ridiculous article sitting around with her little douche patrol friends going “Oh my GAWD! Did you see what Mrs. So and So was wearing this morning?  I almost couldn’t finish my mocha double soy flax seed half calf latte because I was so DISGUSTED by it!”

There are a lot of serious issues in this world: homelessness, war, famine, Ebola, gender inequality, world friggin’ peace.  How about you focus your small minded judgmental energy on something just a touch more important than flannel plaid sleepwear?

Oh, and YOU! You Miss don’t wear maxi dresses.  Or capris.  Or shorts. Or crocs…ok, fine, I agree with crocs.  I personally don’t like them but if YOU do then go ahead and rock on with your awkward shoe choices…I will not tell you no!

The biggest issue I take with this particular article is that it focused on what MOMS should not be wearing.  Personally I feel there are several fashion choices that are just not appealing on anyone and my option does not change based on whether you’ve birthed a human or not.  Why you gotta hate on moms?

Moms take care of other people.  That’s what we do.  But we don’t have to lose our personal tastes and styles in the process.  We wear what makes us comfortable or happy.  And we don’t give any shits what you THINK we should look like.  Some days I wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt cause I felt like being comfy.  And some days I put on jeans and a cute shirt because I feel like looking a little dressier.  Know who makes that decision?  ME!

“Oh you so CAN NOT chase after children if you’re wearing a maxi dress”.  Um…yes you can.  Wanna know how I know?  Cause I’ve done it.  Maybe YOU can’t chase after children if you’re wearing a maxi dress but that’s not my problem. 

Unless E! is paying you to tell people to stop tight rolling their jeans then I don’t know who you think you are writing a what not to wear post.  And also, is tight rolling back yet?  Cause I feel like if you just stick with one style long enough eventually it’ll come back around…and then look how fashion forward you’ve been for the past 20 years!

Anyway…

Do not tell me how to dress.  Do not tell me what not to wear.  Do not tell me to put on a specific type of clothing.  My choices don’t have to be your choices.  Go ahead and make fun of me behind my back.  I make fun of PLENTY of people behind their backs…I call my sister and we have a good laugh and then I return to being a normal non-douchey human being.  And I don’t write about you on the internet unless you really deserve it...like right now for instance.  You deserved this.

P.S.  God protect anyone who ever, in any way, comes at my yoga pants.  Cause I’ll burn this whole city to the ground, so help me!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Said No Mom Ever...


Summer!

Yesterday was the last day of school so now everyone around here is officially on summer vacation.  When you’re a kid summer vacation is, like, the highlight of your life.  You can’t imagine that anything ever in the whole entire universe can match the feeling of walking out of school on that last day with MONTHS of summer in front of you. 

When you’re a parent, however, you’re feelings towards summer vacation change a little.  I’m definitely looking forward to spending time with my kids and having fun in the sun but there are some things that just aren’t as cool about summertime when you’re the mom. 

You may hear moms and dads this summer saying things like “Nice job jumping that wave!” or “I can’t believe you learned how to swim without floaties!” But know what you won’t hear them say?  You won’t hear them say any of the following:

1.       “Finally! Summer! This means everyone will be home all the time and the house will stay clean for half as long as it used to!”

 

2.       “Summer means more play dates and more kids around the house…I CANNOT WAIT till my grocery bill skyrockets due to that fact!”

 

3.       “Putting sunscreen on the kids is the highlight of my day.”

 

4.       “No…wait…I was wrong.  Pulling the kids away from whatever fun thing they’re doing to REAPPLY sunscreen is the highlight of my day.”

 

5.       “I just can’t get enough of that chlorine smell in your hair sweetie!”

 

6.       “YAY! A pile of wet towels!”

 

7.       “Go ahead and eat that popsicle in the house.  In fact, feel free to sit on the couch or just walk around in general.  I’ll gladly clean up the sticky trail you leave behind!”

 

8.       ““I looooooove packing up kids so we can travel.  We’re going away next month…which is perfect because it’ll take me about that long to get all their toys and clothes organized. “

 

9.       “Sand is so easy to get off.”

 

10.   “I’m really looking forward to the biceps I’ll develop this summer from carrying bags, coolers, sand toys, umbrellas, chairs and screaming kids back and forth from the beach to the car!”

 

11.   “It’s vacation and everyone knows vacations are about sleeping in.  My kids will totally get that and be on board with the extra snoozing!”

 

12.   “Know what I love? Taking wet bathing suits up and down so my kids can pee a million times a day.  Love it.”

 

13.   “Summer camp costs how much? Well that seems completely reasonable!”

 

 

14.   “I can’t wait to watch everyone else sit down and relax by the pool while I chase my kids around making sure they don’t die!”

 

15.   “You’re bored and need me to play with you?  I had NO idea.  Say it again…”


16.  "It's so nice you kids can spend so much time together and not fight at all! I just so enjoy the peace and quiet around here!"

 

Happy Summer Vacation!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yo Ma, Calm Down!


I never pictured motherhood to look like this.  I look around and I assess my days and my kids and myself and, honestly, I never pictured it like this. 

Let me clarify “this” for you:

I never expected it to be 8:15 am and to be holding down one kid trying to get peanut butter out of his freshly showered hair while the other kid repeatedly tries to hand me a shoe saying “Can you untie this?  Can you untie this? Can you untie this?” while I repeatedly say “Not right now.  Not right now.  Not right now.” And the peanut butter kid is screaming and the shoe kid is annoying the shit out of me because he just won’t give up and the dog needs to go out and the dishes need to be done and I need to shower because the last time I showered was…well it wasn’t today…and I’m trying my best to keep it together but all I end up screaming because it’s supposed to be “walk to school day” but I know there is NO WAY we will make it if we walk to school.  And on the way to school we pass all the happy, put-together families who were able to get up and out and walk to school.  And when we get there the friendly teacher says that if we walked to school we get to go sign some piece of paper and get our pat on the back…but we didn’t.  We didn’t walk to school.  And after I drop shoe boy off I have to go back into my car and listen to peanut butter boy who is now crying because he wanted to get out of the car at the school and I wouldn’t let him.  And again…I just want to scream.

Here’s the part where I really want to write “Does anyone else ever have one of THOSE mornings?” But in reality, I can’t even write that with a straight face because that’s a pretty typical morning around here.

Every day is crazy. Everyone yells in my house.  All the time. 

And I know we’re not supposed to. I know that as the parent I’m supposed to stay cool and collected but I basically find this task impossible.  I don’t have it in me.  And before you preach…I’ve tried.  Seriously.  I’ve stood there in the middle of my two screaming kids and tried to speak to them in a peaceful tone without raising my voice. 

In order to gauge the effectiveness of this technique please picture trying to hear a butterfly flap its itty bitty delicate wings in the middle of a busy downtown city street.  Can’t be done.  Me basically whispering in the middle of an all-out “He touched my Legos!” type brawl also cannot be done.  I may as well stand there and pick my nose…actually I may get a better reaction if I stood there and picked my nose.

Note to self: Try nose picking technique.

Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible to stay calm as a parent.  I’ve seen it done.  I know it exists. 

I have a friend who I’ve known for a year now and through many playground interactions, play dates, school functions etc.  I have never once heard her raise her voice.  Ever.  She’s always the mom who can rationalize anything to the kids and do it with poise and grace and I honestly don't have any idea how she does it. 

She’s over there all:



 

And then there’s me over here all:


 


But, like, I really want to be the normal mom.  I don't want to be the mom with the clenched teeth who is trying to convey with her eyes on the playground just how much trouble her kids are going to be in when she gets them to the car.  I don't want to be the mom who tries deperately to get her kids to stop fighting about where in the car they want to sit (because EVERY SEAT IS THE EXACT SAME DAMN SEAT) but ends up losing her shit in the end.  But I always end up doing the shit losing thing.

So I yell…and then I feel guilty for yelling…so I say I’m going to stop yelling…and that lasts about 37 seconds…

It’s like my kids will only stop doing whatever they’re doing when I get to the point where they fear my head might ACTUALLY explode and then I might make them clean it up.  And there’s nothing they hate more than cleaning up. 

Why you gotta make Mama go all kinds of bat shit, kids?

 

So what’s the point of this post? I’m not sure.  But I just wanted to know if I’m alone in the wild yelling department.  Am I the only one who tries to stay calm but ends up looking like a crazed zombie anyway?  And not those slow moving bastards either, I’m talking about the fast-as-hell, better move your ass or Mama’s gonna eat ya, type of zombie.  Because psychotic moms need love too …

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

You Oughta Know


Dear Kids,

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend and I just want to say that I love being your mom. I know sometimes it must feel like I’m a crazy lunatic who never knows which end is up.  That’s actually true a lot of the time.  This parenting gig is hard and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that you don’t know about and wouldn’t understand.  It’s mom stuff.  I do a lot of mom stuff without you ever realizing it.  Someday maybe you’ll be a parent and then maybe you’ll get it.  But until then I’ve made a list of some of the stuff I’m talking about.  I hope someday you’ll read it and realize that I’m not always the type of mom I want to be but I’m always the type of mom I can manage to be.  And that must be enough because, after all, it’s gotten us this far.

So in honor of Mother’s Day I give you…

Things You Oughta Know:

-I see so much of myself in you…and it scares the absolute shit out of me.

-I will always love you.  I don’t always like you that much, though.

-I don’t get offended when you say I’m the worst mom ever or that you hate me because I know you’re just mad and don’t really mean that.

-I DO get offended when you won’t give me a bite of your mac and cheese because DUDE! I gave you life!

-I re-kiss you and re-tuck you in every night before I go to bed to make sure you’re comfortable, your blankets are straight and you’re not too hot or cold.

-When I see grass stains on your clothes while I’m doing laundry I think “Wow, they must have really had fun this day!” and it makes me happy.

-When the little shithead girls at the park said you couldn’t come in the clubhouse because you were annoying them I gave them a dirty look and said “He doesn’t want to play with you anyway” and then took you out for donuts.

-I know I say I drink a lot of wine because of you…but yeah, that’s actually true.

-Sometimes you catch me staring at you and you say “What?” and look at me like I’m crazy. But it’s just because I’m having a moment where I just want to grab you and squeeze the life out of you due to extreme love...so intense staring is the less violent way to express those feelings.

-I whisper things about how awesome you are in your ear while you sleep.

-I never want you feel an ounce of pain.  And when you are in pain I wish I could take it all away.

-Except for when I say “Stop doing that, you’re gonna get hurt” and you don’t listen to me and eventually get hurt.  You earned that pain.

-I like it when you figure things out on your own but I also secretly like it when you need me.

-I would never rather wash dishes or do laundry than play with you but sometimes I have to or we’ll all be naked and eating off the floor.

-I feel guilty every time I throw away a picture you drew or a flower you picked for me.  But, I mean, I do it anyway cause where the hell am I supposed to keep all that shit…

-I will always hate the first person who breaks your heart.  Even if they go on to cure cancer or solve world hunger.  Still dead to me.

-I enjoy my time spent away from you and I don’t feel at all badly about that fact.

-I get annoyed when you relentlessly ask me to play soccer with you but I’m also petrified of the day when you stop asking me to play soccer with you.

-I smell your hair every time I kiss your head.

-Sometimes I love the sound of your voice as you babble away and talk nonsense to me.

-Sometimes I’m so annoyed by you talking to me because I’m in the middle of doing something or need to concentrate and OH MY GOD STOP TALKING!!

-I get really aggravated because you always have to poop at the most inopportune times, like when we’re in Target or out for a walk or in every restaurant we’ve ever been in…ever.

-I’m not a perfect mother.  But it’s ok because you’re not a perfect child.  And I think we’re both doing just fine.

And most importantly…

-I love you more than I can ever in a million years put into words.  So just trust me, it’s a lot.