Are You Kidding Me?!

Are You Kidding Me?!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Marytr Mom

I swore I'd never be a martyr mom.

When the gorgeous purple streak faded from my hair and my feet looked like they belonged to a hobbit, I brushed it off. "It's only a streak." "It's just a pedicure."

When I started cancelling appointments for myself but keeping the ones for my children, I explained it away. "The kids need haircuts. I can throw my hair up in a ponytail." "The kids have to go to the dentist. My teeth are fine."

When the slow decline of my hygiene become undeniable, I hung on for dear life. "He had soccer, I didn't have time to shower." "He had karate, I didn't have time to shower." "The house was a mess, I didn't have time to shower." Geez, woman! Clean yourself!

Okay, so I've had the occasional martyr moment, not getting a haircut for 3 months 7 months but making sure my kids went every few weeks. Buying the boys new socks, sneakers, and pajamas while I jammed my feet into smelly, dingy Sketchers.

But, after two weeks of being sick, and losing my voice completely, I still hadn't seen a doctor. I decided I should go and, three days later, when it was convenient for everyone else (my husband took the kids out), I went.

"How long have you had a sore throat?" the doctor asked.

"Two weeks," I squeaked.

So my "cold" turned out to be a double ear infection, bronchitis, and sinus infection.

"You shouldn't have waited," he said.

"I have kids..."


I said it. Can't take it back. I can yell (when I get my voice back) that I am NOT a martyr mom but really all I can say after what happened last week is:


I'm a full-on Martyr Mom.

How about you? Are you a martyr mom? 
(Or dad...?)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Losing My Voice and Gaining Perspective

So now that spring is finally truly here with the sunshine and warm weather, I got sick. Whatever. Head cold. It will be over in a few days. No big. 

That didn't happen. Here's what did.

Sparing you the gory details, I've had this bloody thing for over a week and now have lost my voice. Saturday was kinda cool. I was walking around with sick voice. You can't duplicate that so I figured I'd take advantage of it, you know, doing Darth Vader impressions and recording "Redrum. Redrum!" on my phone. It was wicked fun. Which tells you a little about my life.

But yesterday...I woke up and couldn't speak.

Oh, yeah. It's all fun and games until someone loses a voice.

As I was scribbling away on a notepad for my husband and kids, I realized how quickly I speak. My hand simply couldn't keep up with my thoughts. It was infuriating. I started flailing around and, of course, nobody could figure out what I was trying to mime. I'm very bad at charades. I quit talking, writing, and miming.

Then I noticed something.

The house, my house with my husband and two little boys was quiet. I know my husband asked them to keep it down so I could rest, but, seriously. Quietness was invading my house like a noxious gas. It was weird. Creepy, even. I hate when my kids get hyper and loud. Those two small kids can sound like a herd of stampeding buffalo. It's bad. Oh, the noise, noise, noise, noise!

But I realized how much my own voice (raised over the din) adds to the noise here. This is something that probably, in retrospect, should have been obvious to me but, alas, here I am writing about my epiphany.

My house (without my constant "settle down", "calm down", "keep it down") was a quieter place. I am a contributor to the noise that I hate. Also, my mind races and I pretty much say what's on my mind.

To summarize, I lost my voice and realized I need to slow down and be quiet.

Try not talking for an hour. Just one hour. (Maybe 20 minutes.) What happens? Are you frustrated? Relaxed? What about the other members of your house? Are they quieter or louder without your direction?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Dilemma

There are two schools of thought regarding Mother's Day:

  • I am spending every second of this day with my children.  
  • I wouldn't go near my kids today if you paid me!

A) It's Mother's Day. That's me! I'm a mother. And I want to celebrate motherhood by being with my kids-- playing games with them, talking to them, going out to eat with them, and hugging them. A lot. After all, my children are the reason I get to celebrate this day in the first place.

B) This is my day. I am going to soak in a bubble bath, pick up the book I've been meaning to read for two months, drink a glass of wine on the porch, and relax. After all, it's a day meant for me so someone else can take care of the kids and house today.

For some, this is a simple decision. For others, we bounce between the two options.

Notice the "we"? Because I'm one of those moms who want a little from column A and a bit from column B.

I want to be around my kids. I want to play cards or Candy Land with them. I want to play win at Wii. I want to look at old photos and see how much they've grown. I want my annual handmade crayon cards with hearts and flowers and smiley faces all over them.

I also want to be a little spoiled. I'd love to get a massage or a pedicure. Some sushi and a nice glass of Pinot Grigio would be wonderful, too. Sitting outside, alone, listening to the birds chirp and just relaxing, is a beautiful way to spend the day.

Here's what I did. I dipped my little toe into column B by having my husband take care of the crappy things like cleaning toilets, making lunches, sweeping crumbs, wiping noses, and telling two hyper, screaming boys to calm the hell down! All this while I slept in late, read a good book, sipped some Sam Adams Summer Ale, and took a long shower during which I actually shaved my legs and used that incredible strawberry sorbet scrub that's been staring at me from my bathroom counter since December.

And then I embraced a bit of column A. I hugged and kissed my kids. I told them stories they'd heard before about when they were little. I teared up quite a bit. I felt my heart grow like the Grinch's when I opened the cards they drew for me. I played games with them and read to them and spent some time outside enjoying the day with my them. I wrote them letters telling them how stinking awesome they are.  

That was a good mix for me. A very happy Mother's Day.

Where are you? Firmly in column A? Column B? Somewhere in the AB area? What did you do for Mother's Day?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Magic Mess in Two Days Flat

One of my kids lives like a pig. Except that I think pigs are actually pretty clean and so that's not nice to the piggies. His room is disgusting. Thing is, it always has been. And I've always been "helping" him clean it. Then, two days later, I'm all "La-la-la!" (because I really do sing while I'm walking around my house) and I walk by his room. Then I back up and stare and my jaw drops all dramatically. Frickin' seriously?! What happened?

I wait and plot and hide, ready for the ambush. He gets home from school and I attack. What the heck happened to your room? How could that happen in two days? I couldn't make a mess like that if I tried! And so on. He is not rude about this (like me) and simply looks perplexed. Sometimes he looks like is-this-going-to-cost-me-Minecraft-time? But that's it. He doesn't care. At all. 

Meanwhile, my little neatnik son is freaking that there's a layer, a layer, of dust on all his furniture. And his floor has *gasp* LINT on it. Lint and FUZZ! Aah! What kind of mum am I anyway, he'd like to know. No, he wouldn't. He's a good boy. I'd like to know it. Why am I spending all my time on one child who doesn't give a rat's tail what his room looks like while ignoring the child who would simply like his bookshelf dusted thank you very much. 

My 7-yr-old keeps his room immaculate. He likes it that way. He needs his environment to be in order. And clean. But I'm so tired from helping my 9-yr-old clean his mess that I only half-heartedly help my little one who asked ever so politely (sometimes "with a cherry on top") for some dusting and vacuuming. 

So, to my 9-yr-old who can magically conjure up a pile of trash, dirty clothes, snotty tissues, books, and Lego pieces in less than an hour, then dump them on every available surface of his room--NO help for YOU!

NO help for YOU!

Have you ever reached the point where you simply refuse to clean 
(or help clean) your kid's room?