Photo by Michele Mateus Photography
Usually by about Thursday night I start to fantasize about how relaxing Saturday morning is going to be. I imagine my husband and I sitting on the couch in our PJ’s drinking coffee and relating to one another about the busy week we just had, while the big kids play together, and we take turns amusing the toddler. Then maybe an early brunch followed by more talking and playing. You know, before the real weekend activities begin, soccer, errands, extended family, church, etc.
Then Saturday finally comes. By about 8:30am I usually start to look forward to Monday.
Today I’ve linked up with some other fabulous bloggers to write posts of 'A Day In the Life'. Read to the end of this post (I know you would anyway!) and you will see a link to all of their posts too. What's better than being invited to eavesdrop on the daily life of strangers or people you sorta know on-line? Absolutely nothing. Enjoy!
I chose a random Saturday and set out to record what I said out loud vs what I was actually thinking in my head. Of course, being a Mom of three children (7, 5 and 1), I wasn’t able to record everything. More like 25%. This post could be more accurately be titled: TidBits of A Day Inside My Head. Or What I Was Actually Able to Record While Still Keeping My Kids Alive.
One more thing, I feel like this post perhaps need a bit of a disclaimer. My disposition, IRL (In Real Life), has been described as calm, easy-to-be-with and cheerful. I share this with you so you can imagine the happy outward personality while you are reading the inner sarcasm that goes on in my brain. Also, the swearing, I'm not one to swear all that much IRL, and I avoid it in my blog as much as possible. However, this post is my inside voice...and my inside voice swears...it's like the swearing and the sarcasm are my coping mechanisms...ya know?
And so without further ado, I bring you...
A Day In The Life of A Stay-At-Home Mom: Outside Voice Vs Inside Voice
6:00 am "Whose turn to get the baby?"
(How can it be morning again? I will give anything to lie here for 5 more minutes and not get the baby. I’m pretty sure that whoever farts and snores all night should definitely be the one who gets the baby...no, that's not me!)
6:05 "Just get him and bring him in here."
(If we just get the child in here, there is a chance of me lying here in the semi dark for 10 more min. It will be cozy and cuddly)
6:10 "Ah, baby feet in my face. Fine. I’m up."
(WTF kid?!?! Can’t you just lie down like a normal human in the morning instead of drinking from our old water glasses and trying to eat the pills on the side table. Like really, no one likes a perky morning person. You will have no life partner. You’re too annoying in the morning)
7:00 "Oh you have to go to work now? That’s sad, we’ll miss you."
(Just great, hubby has a work emergency, where he will no doubt drink cup after cup of hot coffee. Waaaaa. I so wanted to drink hot coffee today. Oh wait, panicking now...Do not get trapped at home in PJ's with 3 kids again like last weekend when the landlord stopped by at 12pm to your disheveled PJ look!)
"I really need to have a shower before you go. Yes, it’s necessary."
(WTH? why is my hygiene always seen as optional? Why do I get the look like I’m so high maintenance? Ya, my 30 min extended weekend shower and dress and make up is just way too much to ask. You know, so I can at least feel like a normal person for an hour or two before the mom pony tail goes in and the shirt is covered in snot. I need to start with a fighting chance. For the love of God, give the lady a shower)
"Thanks Babe, I’ll be real quick."
(Well, I'll shave off 5 min anyway, so it's down to 25 min, because hot water is amazing and so is the sound barrier that is running water.)
8:00 "Morning everyone!"
(omg that laundry pile is still here. I really should’ve folding it last night in front of the TV like I planned.)
8:15 "Bye Hun, I love you. Say bye to Daddy."
(Poor guy, he does not look impressed to be going to work. He works so hard for us. I will miss him today. I will only curse his name for leaving me here with the kids when absolutely necessary, the rest of the time I will try my best to feel sorry for him, that he has to work again. Even though ALL THE HOT COFFEE. But he does work hard and deserves some time off, poor guy).
8:30 "Oh sure, I can cut your toast in 4."
(WTF, yesterday it was in half…must be nice ordering me around…why am I catering to this?…I should berate myself for this flimsy parenting for the next 1/2 hour. But I’m too tired. And it really won’t change my actions, so nah, maybe another time when I have more energy. 4 pieces it is!)
9:00 start folding laundry (I should make coffee)
9:02 start folding laundry (I have a great blog post idea, Oprah show here I come, I’ll just jot down the title real quick)
9:04 start folding laundry (The kitchen table is filthy, I’ll give it a quick wipe)
9:06 start folding laundry (Holy hell, what’s that thing I’m supposed say to myself about laundry piles…”i’m grateful to have laundry to fold because it means I have clothes for my children.” Let me try that. Ok, whateves, not feeling it.)
9:08 start folding laundry "Just a minute." (What now?!?! Can’t you see I’m really hunkering down to fold the laundry?!?!)
9:10 start folding laundry (this is stupid, I’ll just do it tonight when I’m watching TV)
9:12 start writing the best blog post ever written "What are you yelling about? Don’t make me come in there and turn off the TV." (Shoot, why did I say that? Please don’t make me follow through and actually turn the TV off, then I’d be really screwed.)
11:30 "You're hungry?"
(Holy hell I have to feed them again?! After that non stop stream of snacks since breakfast? I have nothing to make for lunch. Why? Why do they eat so often?)
11:45 "Ok, I’ll make some lunch. Please go play with your brother so I can make something. You are not going to die from hunger."
(Actually I’m kinda hungry now. Wait, I’m starving! I might die from hunger. Did I even have breakfast? Besides the crusts of my kids toast? I will shove this left over half eaten fruit into my mouth now while I have the chance. God knows I won’t be able to eat lunch while feeding 3 wild children…who raised these beasts anyways? I should write about the shame that is my children's table manners. But who wants to read something so depressing. Ugh)
12:00 pm "Lunch is ready!" (Please just eat it, please just eat it, please just eat it)
12:30 "Time to get ready for soccer!"
(How hard is it to put on shorts, shirt and shin pads!?!? It’s the same thing every week. Every week!!!)
12:45 Put baby down for nap.
1:00 (Some sweet rare one-on-one time with my 5 year old while my daughter is at soccer and the baby sleeps. Looking forward to it.)
"What do you want to do? What do you mean nothing? I really want to hang out with you and play anything you like."
(Although…if you watched more TV, I could finish that blog post. After I check out Facebook, of course, that goes without saying. I mean I deserve a break. Look at all that laundry i folded…oh wait, whatever, I still deserve a break, husbands off “working” with his mountains of hot coffee)
"How about we play Connect Four? What? Make you a dinosaur costume?....ummmmmm"
(How many times do I have to tell you. I don’t sew. I don’t make costumes. I don’t do imaginary play. Really, I draw the line at child led play. I’m just not that mother. The boredom. Please, not the mind numbing boredom of child play.)
"Do you want to watch TV? You can pick any show because your sister isn’t here?" (I’m the worst. I better not write that post and instead write about how I know all about attachment parenting and cherishing your kids but I don’t actually do it very well. But man, he is so cute when he’s watching TV. Well at least we are cuddling. And I do enjoy that. No pretending here. Cuddling on the couch with a child whose mind is completing absorbed in mindless TV is bliss. Now just a little Facebook time. Oh look, an article on feeling bad about cuddling kids who watch too much TV, I must read that one right now. Phewf, that was exhausting. I’m just going to shut my eyes for a quick semi conscious mom nap)
2:30 Everyone is home. "Alright, we should get out and enjoy our day together!"
(omg, you are not hungry! omg, you are not tired!, stop fighting, stop fighting, stop fighting.)
"I’m heading downstairs, whose coming to the park? It’s a beautiful day!"
3:30 "Good job on the monkey bars! You are so strong!...Thank you for this rock. I love it. I'm going to keep it forever. No, I’m not going to chase you."
(I’m finally drinking coffee, there’s a reason I birthed you siblings. Go play with them.)
"Chase your sister and brother."
(Oh it’s so much better outside. Everyone is so much happier. Why do I try to have a restful lazy Sat mornings like years gone by? It never works out. Really we should just get up at 6am and head out the door by 9am. Nothing is gained by trying to cling to the idea of rest and rejuvenation on Sat. Will I ever learn?)
3:45 (Look at my beautiful children. They are so precious. I really don’t think there are any children in the whole world as beautiful as mine. Husband is back now and we have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy together. I am so grateful for this moment. I love my life!)
"Keep your hands to yourself please. No potty talk!"
(holy shit balls, what am I going to make for dinner?...I mean, I made dinner last night...so if they all think I’m making dinner again tonight they have another thing coming)
"What should we have for dinner hun?" (say order pizza, say order pizza, say order pizza)
"What, you had pizza at work again? I specifically asked you to stop doing that. Fine. Whatever. I’m just going to make something easy." (Like frozen pizza for the kids, you can find your own food, pizza-at-work-eating-traitor)
4:30 - 7:30pm Everyone who is a parent knows that these hours are full of whining, rage, starvation, bathing people who don’t want to be bathed and bribing children to sleep. So I didn’t actually have a chance to write anything down. But I’m thinking I could write a whole other blog post about 4:30 - 7:30. Or maybe a whole book. I will call it Holy Hell Is Time Going Backwards.
8:00 "Hey, Hun look, I made it on Todays Parents funniest facebook round up. That’s cool, it’s the first time I posted anything there."
(Oh right, husband hates reading... and Facebook. So basically as a blogger on Facebook I lead an entire life in which my husband knows nothing about. A significant piece of myself that he doesn’t see or understand. I’ll have to decide later if this makes us a cool modern couple who balance each other out while preserving a fun sense of mystery or if we’re merely a fractured couple with too much distance headed for two single beds. I’ll save this little nugget to ponder at 4 am after I wake up to pee (again) and can’t fall back asleep.)
9:30 "I’m going to bed. Goodnight, love you!"
(All I need is a good night sleep. Sunday is where it’s at. Church and family lunch and errands and togetherness…what could go wrong? It’ll be amazing and I’ll be refreshed for the week! I'm sure of it.)
Photos by Michele Mateus Photography
5 More A Day In The Life Of Posts for You
Now it’s time for some more Day in the Life Of posts from my Canadian blogging friends. Get ready for some wonderful inspiration on what these phenomenal women do every day:
Codi Lynn: http://www.creativewifeandjoyfulworker.com
"She's really let herself go."
It’s meant as an insult. It’s said in the workplace, the sports bar, the mommy play group and to your own reflection in the mirror. It's said by men and women about other women. Whenever a woman gains weight, or stops dressing in a particular way, or wearing make up, or styling her hair then "she has let herself go." Like she's not taking care of herself. She's sloppy and lazy. But what it really does is call out a woman for not living up to very particular standards of what she should look like: thin, well groomed and for gods sakes 'put together.' I mean, if she does not care enough about her looks, then she really can’t possibly have anything worthwhile to share with the world.
But hold the phone here one second...let me get this straight…letting yourself go would mean breaking free of all of that? The judgement, the standards, the pressure? Ummmmmmm, let me think on this REALLY hard here…
“Hell ya, I'm letting myself go!”
Whose with me?!?! I’m done with Let Herself Go as an insult. I’m ready for Let Herself Go as a celebration!
Let’s use our imaginations for just a couple of minutes (the minutes I have in between putting on under eye concealer and waxing my upper lip, cause right now I’m only halfway there) and dream of this:
Next time we hear "she's really let herself go” let’s think "oh yes, thank God, another one is free! she has let herself go! We should have a party for her and celebrate her new freedom!"
Maybe we could even actually throw a party for her? Imagine throwing a “Let Yourself Go” party for every woman who crosses that marker to freedom? Wowza. What fun would that be!?!?!
At the party we will say things like:
"Wow. Look at you! You've really let yourself go! Congratulations! How does it feel?"
"Do you know it took Susan 3 babies but she's finally let herself go! We are so proud of her!"
"I hear Dana is thinking about letting herself go. Wouldn’t that be amazing?"
And what exactly will we do at this party? Now that we have so much more time because we’re not shopping, grooming and cleaning out closets? Well, here’s what I want at my “Let Yourself Go Party:"
And really lets think about this. What’s the opposite of “letting yourself go?” Holding it together. Towing the line. Maintaining the status quo. Pffffft. I'll choose letting go over that any day.
Let yourself go. Whatever that means for you. Go! Go towards what makes you feel whole, brings you peace and brings you joy.
Next time you overhear “she’s really let herself go” can you celebrate for her? I know I will.
**Here you can see I've chosen to "let myself go" in order to spend more time cleaning my kitchen and spending quality time with my children**
How much TV do my kids watch? Are you ready for this? I hope you’re sitting down. The answer is: I don’t know, I don’t care and I don’t count! That’s right. I’m willy nilly with the screen time folks. Willy. Nilly. The TV goes on whenever I need it. Like when the kids are up really early (which is everyday), when I’m tired, when they are tired, when they are sick, when I’m sick, when I’m busy, when I need a break, when I need to shut my eyes, when they won’t stop fighting, when I feel like strangling someone, when it’s been raining for days, when it’s too hot, when I can’t answer anymore questions, when I’m on the phone, when I need to cook (ok, microwave), when I need to read a pointless article on Facebook, so you get it. It’s on a lot. A. Lot.
When my first child was born, like any decent human being, I was determined that MY children wouldn’t watch TV. And of course, like many parenting resolutions, that completely changed when my second child was born. I had to take care of the baby now, and so, the toddler got to watch TV. Maybe in another time and culture there would be another human in the house to do the job of the TV, but where I lived at that moment I had TV as my helper. I mean, I guess I could’ve of stayed up at night and searched Pinterest for homemade activity ideas like sensory boxes, busy books and yogurt paint (just threw up in my mouth a little bit, excuse me). But selfishly, I chose instead, to speak two words to my husband ("pass remote"), shove some much needed calories into my mouth, and try to sleep in between the cluster feeds and the night wakings. So you know, I had to shelf all my grand ideas of enriching my daughters life and producing the next revolutionary world changing feminist leader that I had always wanted. Instead I would have to settle for a toddler who watched mind numbing cartoons about The Man in the Yellow Hat and Bubble Guppies that float in water but never look wet. Mind numbing and mind bending. Double ouch.
So everyday my daughter would watch too much TV and I would beat myself up and vow to be better tomorrow. Then tomorrow would come and inevitably I'd be stuck with a nursing infant, a bored toddler and I'd be begging the Man in the Yellow Hat to please take me back. "I’m so sorry for what I said last night. I was just so tired. I didn’t mean it, I love your cheery disposition and the way you demonstrate unconditional love to a monkey who destroys everything you own and then provides you with a life lesson. So precious. Please come back!"
AND THEN when the toddler doesn't want to watch TV I would bribe her with grab and go snacks, many of which had questionable nutritional value. Yes, I bribed my child with unhealthy food to watch TV. The shame burned deep my friends, to the core of my mommy consciousness I was ashamed. I would not admit this to anyone, not even my husband.
To punish myself further I would seek out research about how bad too much TV was for kids. How does one determine too much TV you might ask? Well the almighty 2 hour a day recommend time limit of course. Any more than 2 hours a day and the consequences were staggering. It would delay language and reading ability, cause seizures, lead to obesity and cause high blood pressure. Even worse, your child would lose interest in social interaction and eventually become an anti social serial killer. Ok, maybe not that last one, but that’s how it felt. I even read an article about how more than 2 hours of TV a day increased the chance of premature death. Really, Man in the Yellow Hat, till death do us part?!?! Talk about the ultimate guilt trip for a mother.
But then I started to notice something really really strange, none of those bad things were happening to my daughter. She was still bright and delightful and ready to play outside and smile and hug her family. Huh, that’s weird, surely she should be starting to show some of the side affects of too much TV by now? Hmmmmm….I better watch this. I would say to myself “ok just one more week of 'too much TV' and that’s it!” That week would pass, I still felt barely human, and the TV was still on too much. But what the hell was this? My daughter was still not showing the tell tale signs of too much TV? She is happy AND healthy. I must be doing it wrong. How could this be?
Then a revolutionary idea hit! Maybe these researchers don’t know everything? Not about my kids anyway. After all, scientists used to say the world was flat and smoking was harmless, so let's keep that in mind when we're trying to live up to all these recommendations, shall we? I wonder, do these scientists even have kids? And do they live in a city where it rains 80% of the time and housing affordability means your family is squeezed into small home you can just barely afford? Well maybe they do, but they also get to go to work everyday and be scientists! They’re all smug at work in their fancy lab coats while their spouse is probably at home trying to nap while their kids watch Dora in a continuous loop. “Oh no Honey, they didn’t watch any more than 2 hours I promise! See Sally looked up when you came in, and she still responds to her own name, so obviously I spent all day doing child led play. How was work dear? Any revealing findings from your study 'Kids Strapped in the Car While Mommy Drives Around Drinking a Latte will Never Finish High School?' That one sounded so promising!"
So here I was with my thriving child despite the mind rotting TV. I made a pivotal decision. I decided to stop measuring how much tv she watches and instead to look at her life as a whole and measure that. I devised a checklist of my child’s baseline for being healthy and happy and as long as I can check off this list then I know she is ok. (Disclaimer: All checklists will be different for different kids depending on who they are. For example, eye contact might be relevant for this child but not for a another child.)
This was the checklist for my daughter and I would review it once a week:
Does my daughter:
To this day I do not measure the hours of screen time in our house. There are seasons in parenting where it feels like the TV is always on and there are seasons when it’s barely on. Surprisingly my kids don’t seem to love TV all that much. It usually goes on at my suggestion! And if I suggest another activity, most of the time they are happy to oblige. Maybe I just got lucky that they haven’t turned into obese anti social blobs or maybe there is more to the story than the conclusion that more than 2 hours of TV a day will lead to premature death (or whatever). Maybe there are more factors at work here. Let’s look at the big picture.
If I ever do start to resent TV. I always focus on adding in and not taking away. I don’t try to cut down on TV but instead try to add in more of something else. For example, add in more play dates or park outings or reading or whatever it is I want to see more of. It's never about cutting out something. Cause that’s like restrictive dieting, totally sucks and never stays off.
This is how we usually watch TV. Photo by: Michele Mateus Photography.
I was 6 months deep into complete sleep deprivation, after the birth of my 3rd child, when I received an Evite for a friends baby shower. In that moment I was really only a shell of the person I used to be. I was running on automatic mommy robot mode, and so I admit, that my reaction was less than ideal. Dread and panic. Not because I didn’t want to celebrate my friend, but because I didn’t want to have to pretend for 2 whole hours that motherhood was AMAZING and that I LOVED it and that getting away from the kids in the afternoon (and being dressed) was NO BIG DEAL.
Is there any social situation more awkward than a Burnt Out Mom of 3 (BOM3) attending the baby shower of a bright eyed Brand New Mom To Be (BNMTB)? I can’t think of one, but I’m pretty much a hermit that drags around an infant by the breast, so I could be wrong. I don’t get out much. But the whole experience of being a BOM3 and attending the BNMTB baby shower really shook me up.
It’s like this; hey ladies, I have a great idea! How about we help our friends PREPARE for motherhood by throwing them an afternoon kid-free party where we dress up pretty and nibble on snacks while balancing drinks precariously on our knees? Oh and how about we bring gifts, like frilly outfits and peepee teepees, so that when the baby gets here she’s all ready to care for an infant. We will be giddy and happy and talk about how much she will LOVE motherhood. We will pretend that an afternoon spent with girlfriends is nothing. No, no, finding childcare? It’s a breeze! Oh arranging the breastfeeding and nap schedule to coordinate with a 1 o’clock party?…piece of cake! This outfit I’m wearing? I have a closet full of cute clothes that fit me perfectly post baby so really the hard part was choosing which one to wear!
Ok, so I’m a little cranky, but really how is this supposed to help our dear friends step into Motherhood? It doesn’t. Not at all. One could even argue it does a disservice for the BNMTB by maintaining the picture perfect ideal of motherhood that society serves up to us everyday.
But on this particular occasion I was too tired for critical thinking. I decided to pull myself together and just show up for my friend. I prepared myself to uphold the Sisterhood of Silence which says motherhood is effortless and natural and excessively wonderful. I tried to squash the fantasy of offering Lucifer as a baby name suggestion should I be asked. Nope, I was going to Hold. It. Together.
I somehow managed to arrive looking calm and competent. Not long after I arrive, we are, of course, sitting in the obligatory gift circle around the giddy BNMTB. The teeny frilly outfit makes it’s way around the circle to me. Did anyone notice grimace that passed my face before the wide smile? Are my Oooohs and Ahhhhs passing for sincere while my inside voice screams "are you kidding me? This outfit will fit for 2 minutes and that white ruffle will be annihilated on your first poo-nami! What you really need is a good baby thermometer, washcloths and a marriage counselor. But ANYHOOOO!"
No, no reign it BOM3...I try again with the tiny stack of onsies. I manage not to hurl them aggressively to the next person like a game of survivor hot potato. All I can think about is how there are bottomless laundry baskets full of these all over my house. I mean why the hell would I want to touch this? Oh no, Hold. It. Together. Deep breaths. The good news is that there is wine here and I’m actually childless right now. Except I keep panicking that I’ve left the baby in the car until I remember he is home with Daddy. What’s with that? But I digress.
The thing is that I do want to be supportive and excited for my friend, but I’m just too weary (and maybe a little jaded) to gloss over the real experience of parenting. I mean I kinda get the whole baby shower thing and I don’t want to be the kind of friend to tell war stories of doom and gloom either. It isn’t all terrible. I’m pretty sure last weekend there was 10 whole minutes where everyone was playing nicely while my husband and I sat on the same couch drinking hot coffee, and we looked at each other and said “This, this is what we dreamed of.” It was a snippet in a crazy week but it was beautiful. So I guess what I want to give the BNMTB is a more balanced idea of what motherhood is. I want to celebrate with her and at the same time let her know that it might be really hard.
I see that BNMTB and I remember myself in just the same spot 6 years ago. My own expectations were so high that the reality of motherhood shocked me, made me feel like a failure, and I thought I was all alone. No one I knew at the time admitted to anything less than motherhood bliss. (I thank God a few years later I found woman friends who tell it like it is! I love to hear their stories of epic tantrums and packaged foods and endless tv and think that maybe my own kids might just pull through this.)
But seriously when I was the BNMTB I thought I was going to glide through motherhood and it would be the best years of my life! I imagined endless time to care and nurture my little family by gardening and making delicious food, playing and laughing all day long in my beautifully tidy home. Who knows maybe I’d even take up running? Yes, running, I thought, I would look amazing running along the sea wall pushing my BOB. It didn’t seem to matter that I didn't do any of these things currently (or live near the sea) because somehow the miracle of motherhood and maternity-leave would open up so much space in my life that I would be able to do all of it. And be f-ing awesome.
It was such a blow when it didn’t quite pan out like that. I think it would have helped if someone had whispered “call me if things get hard when baby is comes”. I would’ve been like “haha, no thanks weirdo, I’ll be great!” but I would’ve remembered later when I was in bed leaking with a crying baby and eating frozen pizza for the 3rd day in a row. "I think I’d better call that friend now. Maybe she could bring me a vegetable and help me get the dishwasher unloaded."
I remember at my own BNMTB baby shower one lone person brought me a practical gift: a box of things for baby from the pharmacy (like a thermometer, nail clippers, bandaids, etc) which I thought at the time was super lame. What a delusional dreamer I was! Turns out it was the best and most thoughtful gift of all. When my baby had her first fever and I went to my box to get that thermometer I thanked God for my thoughtful friend. We need more of this. And real stories. With a rounds of “you will succeed and fail at motherhood all the time” “believe it or not, you are the best mom for your baby” and "I'm here for you."
I think I’m going to become the Mom who shows up with a box of important pharmacy items and maybe some important phone numbers too like 811 and Le Leche League and Post Partum Support. And most importantly my number laminated that says "call ANYTIME, chances are I’m up anyway." The BNMTB might think it a lame gift but when the shit hits the fan (by way of the frilly outfit) she’ll remember that box and she’ll know she’s not alone.
But then again, maybe if the BNMTB is not quite as naive as I was, perhaps she's already suspicious. Especially if she’s married and already gone through "the wedding" which totally prepared her for marriage.
Photo by Michele Mateus Photography
Every now and then I get the rare pleasure of walking my 6 year old daughter to school, just us, no baby strapped to my chest and no 4 yr old, who is either dawdling or bolting (is there nothing in between!?!). But on this crisp sunny morning it was just us girls and my daughter voluntarily grabs my hand. Now this is particularly sweet because I know that at 6 yrs old there aren’t too many days left of this and I just never know when it’s gonna be the last time. So we walk and I appreciate the feel of her hand in mine and the cold clear air on our faces. Out of the quiet my daughter says,
“Mom, someone at school said girls can’t marry girls and that girls can only marry boys. Is that true?"
Now I know I’m feeling all zen and everything, but it's still early, and I’m just realizing that I never drank that coffee I made myself during the morning hurricane of shoes and cereal and toothbrushes. But ok, I got this.
“No, that's not true, girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys. It used to be that only a girl and a boy could get married, but people worked really hard to change the laws because no one should decide who you can marry. Only you should get choose who you want to marry.” Not too bad for 8:30am and no coffee.
"Oh, I think I'll marry a girl then"
"Or maybe a girl and a boy” Did I mention the walk is uphill? A really steep hill. We pretty much live on the side of a freakin mountain.
"Well, the law does say you can only marry one person. But you have lots and lots of time to decide who you want to marry or even if you want to get married at all"
Alright, I’m in a groove, but I gotta wrap this up because we’re at school now and the morning bell is about to ring. But let’s quickly review my first-rate parenting skills. She now knows she can marry a girl or a boy (and I even remembered to add in you can stay single!). She knows that laws can be unjust but people can fight to change them because nobody tells us how to live (Stick It To The Man 101). Clearly all my Women’s Studies classes and life lessons have equipped me to answer these questions with ease and eloquence. School hasn’t even started and I’ve already taught my daughter the most valuable lesson of her day. Really, mother of the year? Why yes thank you, I accept.
I’m suddenly jolted out of my daydream by my daughters incredulous voice. Her face twisted up in a disdainful tween like scowl.
"But Mom, the girls that marry girls will just have just have sooooooooo many babies and nooooooooo money"
Internal face palm. What the…How the…Who the…What the what?!?!
“Ahhhh, that's the bell, ummmm, lots of women have jobs, and ummmmmm stuff”
I can only see her back as she walks into school. Here’s the award back. It was so nice to hold it, if just for a few seconds.
10. Making frozen veg in the microwave requires reading the directions at least 8 times (what?! At least it's vegetables?)
9. Entertaining the baby means scattering Cheerios on your dirty kitchen floor, like feeding chickens (What?! I had to distract so I could read the directions on the frozen veg)
8. When baby discovers an empty beer bottle in the recycling you are thankful for his resourcefulness in finding new toys (what's the worst case?…a few drops of beer soothes those raging gums?)
7. You spend the day at home trapped in this thought loop: "how did I get in this room?" "What am I here for?" "Did I leave the baby gate open!?!" No. "How did I get in this room?"
6. It takes a good 10 seconds for you to register that your child is speaking to you
5. You see an image on TV of an empty jail cell with a single bunk and wonder "what could I do to get in there?"
4. You spy an old Christmas chocolate (it's March) under some rotten fruit in the fruit bowl and it's devoured at lightening speed.
3. Your middle of the night lullabies, while still gentle in tone, contain more F-bombs than an episode of Jerry Springer.
2. The text from your husband saying he will be home 5 min late sends you into a rage so fierce that your revenge plan resembles something you saw once on Criminal Minds.
1. You decide driving is too dangerous in your condition, besides finding pants is also too hard
All characters and events in this list are entirely fictional, any resemblance to my entire day is completely coincidental
This is me in my pj's, bouncing an overtired baby, while reading a sleep book and typing out my sleep plan. Because when I read and write about it I get to enjoy the illusion of having complete control of the situation. At least for those precious 15 min.
Karen Barré is an accomplished mom of 3 that can make snacks ALL day long and still find the time to make light-sabers out of paper and duct tape. As long as the conditions are perfect. And everyone slept the night. And we have groceries in the house. Or paper. Okay, I did it once, it was a highlight.