Friday, October 11, 2013

You can't have it all...every day.

I keep reading articles, blog posts, Facebook rants & other nonsense that repeats this point ad nauseam: Ladies, when you become a mom, you can't have it all.


I can have whatever I damn well please, thankyouverymuch.

If I choose to have more kids, a demanding/rewarding/exhausting career and a reading list that would take the better part of a decade to tackle, then I will find a way to have all frickin' three.

I work for an amazing company (and dear God, please don't let them ever find this blog!), in a role that challenges me, makes me dance for joy & cry in frustration, sometimes all in the same hour. I have two amazing kids, who love to waller me every time I sit down, sing me songs with the most hilariously convoluted lyrics and, in my daughter's case, change her mind 70 times about every.single.decision. Plus TheYankee, who tolerates me & frustrates me, in varying measures.

My personal life & professional life fall somewhere between mind-numbing exhaustion and indescribable joy and where they fall in that range can change from minute to minute. I love my kids for showing me a love I didn't know possible, for helping me be more present in the little moments & teaching me to enjoy all the joy life holds. I love my career for helping me craft my adult identity, introducing wonderfully irreverent people into my daily routine & for giving me an awesome paycheck.

I love them both & I'm not sorry for it. Though, truth be told, I don't feel loving thoughts every minute...some days I resent getting out of my warm bed when a 30+lb bed bug is calling "Snuggle me, Mommy!" and other days I grumble at the monotony of coming home to the evening routine when offers of drinks & blowing off steam with coworkers sounds like the perfect prescription.

And, maybe, you're thinking that I just proven the very point of "moms can't have it all", but I disagree. I would bet that single guys sometimes resent their jobs for keeping them from the golf course/garage/gym or models occasionally resent the rest of womankind that can eat three slices of cheesecake & not have to worry about a lost job. Everybody can have all the things that you want, though it may not be in the exact timing or balance that you want.

Some days I wish it was a weekend on a weekday or visa-versa. Some days I want to channel my daughter and throw a fit because I didn't get what I wanted at that very second, but when I take a deep breath, put on my big girl panties & evaluate my life, I realize: I have it all.

(Except Chris Hemsworth. Come on internets, don't fail me on this one!)

And with that, I've decided what I will not to have? Bitter people telling me what my life cannot be. I'm too busy having it all & enjoying it all to listen to that sh*t.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Like I never even missed a beat...

...I won't be getting a side gig as a drummer anytime soon. 

Yes, I'm still alive. Yes, my kids & TheYankee are alive too. The ShittyInLaws weren't so lucky. (I'm kidding.)

Yes, I'm still crunchy to the core. Actually more so now, thanks to clean eating. Don't worry, I didn't do anything crazy, like give up whiskey. I just stopped drinking mixers. (Not even kidding.) Am I a walking oxymoron or what?

I changed jobs (Halle-freakin-lujah!) & now have more time for the kids to waller me on a daily basis. I love it, minus the (not) infrequent elbows to the breasts. (If I see that somebody found this belong through the latter portion of that last sentence I will probably wet myself from laughing.) 

Other than that, it is pretty much the same old smart*ss routine around here. What have ya'll been up to? Besides missing me, of course. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Where's the line?

I read a status on TheFacebook yesterday that cut right through my depression haze and ignited my mommy fire, which I'm taking as a good sign. You know, as much as burning rage can be a good thing. The status was written by a mommy acquaintance and went something along the lines of "I am that mom that wants to get in [son's] face and yell at him to not let the other kids win!"

I'll pause while your brain absorbs that.

Yea, you read that right: She wants to scream at her child for showing compassion over a desire to win. (In case you are wondering, her child isn't even in kindergarten yet.) So, not only is winning more important to her, but she is willing to embarrass or inflict emotional hurt on her child to ensure that is his priority also. Please, tell me that I am missing something here.

I know how obsessed our society is with winning. I'll even admit that I can get caught up in it. I've been known to stomp around for hours after FSU breaks my heart loses a football game. Hell, I once pushed myself through a major injury in order to compete, only to end up needing surgery to repair the damage done. I understand competition & the need to win, but have we gone so far that we are now projecting that need onto our kids before they even learn long division?

I wish this mom's status was an isolated case of an overzealous competitive spirit, but I don't think that is the case. I see how school-aged boys act. There is no such things as a friendly video game or playing sports just for the enjoyment of it. Everything has a winner and quite a few losers sulking because they fell short. I can't help but feel that society crossed a line without even realizing that there was a line. In doing that, everybody became a loser because we lost sight that the entire point of sports is enjoyment.

I understand that competition will always exist, especially in boys, and I don't think that is a bad thing. Competition can be a great thing, if we let it develop naturally and take the time to teach our kids that winning isn't everything. Or keep doing what you've been doing, but I can tell you that there is at least one mom out there creating a new sport called "Slap-The-Fanatical-Parent" and I have every intention of setting the high score.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The black hole.

I'm being swallowed by a black hole. I think the black hole is currently residing on my couch, but it's hard to say. No, not the inexplicably large pile of unfolded laundry, but thanks for reminding me of yet another domestic failure. The depression sort of black hole. The sneaky quicksand that steals my energy, wrecks my perspective and leaves me thinking "The kids can eat goldfish, fruit snacks & string cheese for dinner. Again." It took me over an hour to get my butt off the couch to write this post, which I can all but guarantee will be sh*tty, unfunny & rambling, but at least I am doing something. I'll pause while you muster up some weak applause.

Sigh. The most obnoxious part of this depression, if there is such a thing, is that I saw this storm cloud coming from a country mile away. I even had the hubris to think that I would be fine & could sail right through it after a day or two. I guess that joke's on me. Ya know, if self-deprecating & pathetic jokes are your thing. 

I'm soldiering on, trying to answer work calls without bursting into tears and playing, what I'm fairly certain is, the slowest game of keep away ever. I smile at my kids (even when I'm crying), try not to snot all over TheYankees' shoulder and fake normal text conversations with my judgy friends. Then, when I've used every last ounce of energy doing a horrendous job pretending to be fine, I pick up my phone, open twitter and tell the truth.

That being a good mom right now is the hardest thing. That just getting myself through the evening is brutal, much less attending to the never-ending needs of two kids who deserve better than a snack food dinner served by a sobbing mom. But that is the best I can do.

So, I promise myself that when I finally kick this sh*tty black hole out of my head and my house, that I'll enjoy every minute until bedtime and maybe even a few extra, just to see their smiles. That I will cook awesome meals and clean up all the messes. That I'll use my days off for more than skipped showers and zoning out. That I'll climb into bed to do more than give in to exhaustion. That I'll be me again. 

But right now, I've got tears that are desperate to escape and no energy left to fight 'em.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's getting personal.

My weekend started out in the usual weekend fashion: with a huge list of things to do (read: a list of things I had been avoiding all week) and a birthday party for one of Monkey's classmates. As it turns out, my darling Monkey was not in a partying mood or at least not in the mood to attend a party in someone else's honor. He may or may not have refused to play with any other kids, refused to wait his turn at every game, refused to sing happy birthday to the birthday boy and instead sang happy birthday to himself, had a full-on meltdown when I tried to encourage him to play with another little boy, disrupted the opening of gifts and snagged food & drinks from at least 3 people. I may or may not have been completely mortified and ready to leave the party after 20 minutes, but I persevered as long as possible (read: 40 minutes).

When things got really rough, I sought out birthday boy's mom to make a face-saving quick apology & exit. She happened to be talking to another mom, that I have since taken to thinking of "InappropriateQuestionMom". I waited for an opening and politely acknowledged that my kid was acting like a banshee 3 year old and that it was time for us to leave. Birthday boy's mom (who happened to know that I have been having some concerns about Monkey's social development) kindly said that they all have those sort of days and not to worry about it. I told her I appreciated her saying that, that I was hoping that Monkey would want to interact a bit more, etc. and then InappropriateQuestionMom opened her d*mn mouth and asked the worst possible questions that you can ask a complete stranger in that given situation: "Have you gotten a diagnosis yet?"

In retrospect, I have thought up at least a dozen responses that would have been better than the way I responded. I think I have it narrowed down to "Yes, the diagnosis is that YOU are an idiot!" or "The diagnosis is that he is three years old and the treatment is to avoid b*tches like you." Sadly, I did not respond with snark, wit or even outrage. I cried like a sissy little girl. How's that for MommaBear tough? (I better get my sh*t together before he gets out of preschool or I am really going to be a mess.) This stupid, inconsiderate woman who has seen my child once (on a bad day, no less) managed to rip a hole in me, letting my anxiety & emotion boil over. Mommy Fail. 

The things is, I really don't care that this twit thinks it was her place to insinuate that my son has something that warrants a diagnosis. I don't care that I shed tears in front of people that are nearly strangers. (OK, maybe I do care about that, but only a little.) What I care about is that IF my darling Monkey does have a developmental delay or any other challenge to overcome, that this is what he will have to deal with. Rude, nosy and judgmental people that will assume that because he is boisterous, independent or just having a rough day, that there must be something wrong with him. That I should rush him off to a doctor for a diagnosis, therapy and/or drugs to "fix" him.

Maybe I'm over-reacting. Maybe my mommy anxiety is getting the better of me. Maybe (definitely) I'm emotional, but I don't think that anything is gained by inferring to a complete stranger that something is "wrong" with her kid, no matter what your intentions are. I'll freely admit that judgement is a part of motherhood, but so is teaching your children tolerance and inclusion. How are you going to teach your children to see everyone as equal when you spend your time judging children for acting like, *gasp*, children?

I doubt I'm the first mom to encounter an idiot like InappropriateQuestionMom and I probably won't be the last, but I hope the next idiot is prepared because tears won't be the only thing flying. That is, if we get invited to any more birthday parties. (Sorry about that, Monkey.)