I was exhausted last night. I did another marathon post-bedtime poop party with my daughter. I swear she poops at will and her will is AFTER I have put her to bed. She pulls the poop card to get out of bed and hang out. She sits on the potty for 30 minutes and somehow pulls poop out of her
ass little touchy literally and figuratively. It doesn’t matter if she has pooped twice already during the day. Come 8:30 pm, she waltzes in for her poop party. Did I mention she likes me to hold her hands to help “push the big poop out”. (I know, I am a sucker). So I sit, on the bathroom floor, holding my daughter’s hands while she talks to me, gets me to sing “There’s a Whole In My Bucket” and pushes out the poop.
Last night nearly killed me. I was tired, had a horrible headache and today is the first day back to work and school. As I sat there fuming, she bent over and kissed my forehead. In that moment, I pulled it together and reminded myself that despite the trials of parenthood, there are some amazing parts too.
I am writing myself a list of the things I will miss when my kids are all grown up, so that I don’t take these precious moments for granted. It is my intent to refer to this list when I am tempted to daydream about fast-forwarding to the part where they are grown up and out of the house.
Here’s a start:
- Falling asleep cuddled up with them
- Waking up to kisses on my nose
- Receiving hugs that nearly knock me over
- Spontaneous and surprise art projects
- Hearing the giggles from the other room when they are playing well together
- Hearing them running through the hall to come see me when they get home from school
- “I love you Mommy”
- “Mommy, will you snuggle me?”
- Watching their excitement at Christmas
- Seeing them accomplish a goal for the first time – waterskiing, a soccer goal, a somersault
- Seeing their eyes light up when something delights them
- Cute mispronunciation of words
- Eskimo kisses
- Butterfly kisses
Clearly, this list could go on forever. Just starting this list has put me back in my zen mommy place. It’s only breakfast, so who knows how long it will last, but I can always work on this list some more
if when they dump their cereal on the floor.
What will you miss?
I am sitting here ridiculously full from a meal out with friends and their kids. When I finished my meal off the guilt free menu, I moved on to my kids’ hamburger and chicken nuggets. Unbeknownst to me they had gotten a hold of the salt shaker, that didn’t stop me. I am now uncomfortable. This will explain the theme of my envy.
- I envy people who are smarter than me and don’t overeat.
- I envy those who don’t crave cheese, chocolate, butter and carbs all day long.
- I envy those who have the willpower to turn down sweets. (My husband just brought me a piece of candy that I should not eat. Hmmm… yum.)
- I envy people who wake up excited to workout.
- I really envy those who don’t need to workout
- I envy anyone who doesn’t have a stomach ache right now.
- I envy pregnant women with an excuse to eat and gain weight. (Don’t confuse me with the details that they have to lose the weight afterwards.)
Does anyone think I have a problem? If so, let’s discuss it over a slice of pizza.
I have bragged through vanity, recovered from gluttony and had a blast with greed, so it’s time to move on to seven things I neglect to do. First I have to say that lately I feel like listing seven things I don’t neglect to do would be much simpler! Does anybody else feel like life is chaos right now? I feel like I am barely treading water and slightly (or majorly) behind on everything!
- Wash my hair. I really am lazy and sometimes I get up in the morning and have so much to do that washing my hair feels like a waste of time. I always take a shower… eventually…
- Mail greeting cards. I have cards, I think of people on certain occasions, but I can’t get them to the post office! Similarly, I have baby gifts for two people that have been sitting on my counter for weeks!
- Floss. At least I am honest.
- Exercise. I was on a roll, now I just look like one.
- Share pictures. I have taken so many great pictures of friends and their kids, someday they will get to see them.
- Clean out my closet. Ugh.
- Breathe. So today, I cut out early from work (I am on business travel), bought a cupcake and inhaled it.
What are you neglecting to do? Is it because you’re busy or the task is not appealing?
Here are my seven worldly material desires (Santa, I hope you’re reading this):
- Palatial Pad: A house on the hill overlooking the lake and the city with a disappearing edge swimming pool
- Killer Car: BMW 650 convertible. I have always been practical and never owned a sports car or a convertible. Mommy needs a sweet ride!
- The Life: I’d like to be able to quit my job, keep my nanny and do the good work you don’t get paid for (and still get everything on this list, of course!)
- Travel: Most parts of the world fascinate me and I would like to see it all. I want to plan vacations to the destinations my kids are learning about in school. If they are learning US history, I want to take them to Washington, DC. And when they’re not learning about a specific place, I want to travel anyways.
- Diamonds: Earrings, a tennis bracelet, an upgrade on my wedding ring. I am a girl who likes the bling.
- Wardrobe: Goodbye Old Navy and Target, hello custom fit, designer threads. Jimmy Choo’s and Louis Vuitton bags fall in here too.
- Vacation homes: Yes, that is plural. A house on our favorite lake, a house in the snow, a beach house in Hawaii.
I know this is about greed, but as I finish this list, I am not as excited as I thought I would be. Sure, I would love all the things on the list above, but it seems to me that these only sound nice if I have nailed the important stuff:
- Healthy family and friends
- Happy, confident children
- A loving, supportive husband
- Great friends
- Balance – less stress, more smiles
The thing is I do have the above most of the time (well, I am working on balance), so I am not sure I can ask for more. With it being Thanksgiving week, I am so thankful for my blessings that the material stuff doesn’t seem as important.
What do you want more than anything? It is ok to say the purse or the shoes. Because let me tell you, if I win the lotto, I will have no trouble spending it.
As I mentioned last night, I am going to do seven posts about my seven deadly sins. Last night I covered vanity. In honor of the tens of thousands of calories I plan to consume today, I am covering the second sin: gluttony. Here are my seven guilty pleasures – narrowing it down to seven will be tough!
- Any cocktail with rum, but not Malibu rum – too sweet!
- Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
- Pizza and beer
And what makes me the most gluttonous? That I would gladly attempt to eat and drink all of the above on the same day!
I feel compelled to dedicate this post to several friends. You know who you are and here’s why:
- Most people think of Napa for its wine, but we know it’s just a beautiful food fest with wine on the side.
- CRACK CAKE! This cake is more addictive than any drug I have ever heard of.
- We won’t drink the whole bottle tonight… (famous last words about wine)
- Hmmmm – the universal sound of gluttony.
- She has hidden candy bars in her couch! Really!
I know I have written about the seven deadly sins before, but the challenge that Ronnie over at The Candy Shoppe embarked on intrigued me, so I decided to jump on the band wagon and give you seven days of information about me that you didn’t ask for and might even fear knowing…
Here’s the schedule, and by schedule, I mean the topics I will cover over seven days. But those seven days won’t necessarily be consecutive, because what if one of my kids starts a riot or I win the lotto? I would need to interrupt this exercise in over-exposure to tell you about such things. Or I might take a day off to recover from eating Turkey…
Day 1 – Vanity: Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 – Gluttony: Seven guilty pleasures. (Yes, I timed gluttony to coincide with Thanksgiving!)
Day 3 – Avarice (Greed): Seven worldly material desires.
Day 4 – Sloth: Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 – Envy: Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 6 - Wrath: Seven things that piss you off.
Day 7 – Lust: Seven love secrets
Let’s get started – Vanity, seven great things about me:
- I am a great devils advocate. I can always look at both sides of a situation. My husband jokes I have an extra dose of empathy, so it is easy for me to put myself in someone else’s shoes.
- My feet – I really do think my feet are my the cutest part of my body.
- My cooking – no really! The few things I do make are phenomenal - Grand Marnier French Toast, Quiche, Pumpkin Pancakes, Moroccan Chicken – all super yummy!
- Song lyrics – I have an uncanny ability to recall song lyrics from the 90′s – Beastie Boys, Bust-a-move – try me!
- Self-deprecation – I am absolutely not afraid to laugh at myself. As exemplified in number four.
- Power of persuasion – Being persuasive is a core competency of my profession, but it also serves me in other parts of my life. Except for my kids, I can’t even persuade them to walk straight!
- My husband – I was running out of ideas and I asked my husband what is great about me and he responded “me”. He thinks he is something great about me… He also said I am a great wife and mother, but he seemed most heartfelt about himself.
What’s great about you?
You know what I am talking about, the too perfect and know-it-all moms…
I know what you’re going to say: “But Paige, you preach that every mother should be valued and not judged”. Correction – real people should be valued, but I choose to mock stereotypes all I want! And as for why I have decided to call them “over-balanced” ? Well everybody knows that too much of a good thing will make you sick! So to make the rest of us real mom’s feel better here we go…
- Too-Perfect-Mom: Nothing ever falls out of her car when she drops the kids off at school. She attends every event and brings homemade baked goods for all occasions. She’s never late and never looks like she just rolled out of bed. You have never seen her raise her voice to her angelic children and when you describe your chaotic day, she just gives you a sympathetic smile. She is NOT in the running for Mother of the Year! (But you could be if you submit…)
- Fashionista Mom: Always perfectly coiffed, trendy and never stained. Whether it’s early morning drop-off or coming from the gym, she never looks frumpy or disheveled. We all have our good days, but she’s never had a bad one.
- Know-It-All-Mom: She is an authority on everything. She tells you what you’re doing wrong as a parent (and possibly everything else) and how to correct it.
- Age Defying Mom – She has given birth to four kids and looks like she is 18. Perfectly toned, perky boobs, no wrinkles and she eats pizza and cupcakes at every party. The only consolation is imagining she has a plastic surgeon on speed dial, but alas, you’re sure she just has good genes.
- Overly-Talented-Mom: She’s athletic, a fabulous cook, crafty and decorated her model home. She sews all of her children’s darling clothes and made a breathtaking mission out of dried pasta and baking soda for her child’s school project. Everything she does is flawless and fabulous. I have a friend like this, but she’s crazy, so I still love her.
In revolt of over-balance, I present you with Paige:
- I am mildly athletic, if you count that I don’t usually trip when I walk.
- When I cook dinner, my husband tells me to focus on the main course and he’ll handle the rest
- The only thing I’ve made with my glue gun is a mess
- I forgot my daughter’s snack day at preschool… EVERY TIME FOR THE WHOLE YEAR! (sorry Miss Jill!)
- My best clothes are Target sales rack and my nanny has had to intervene when I tried to leave the house in a pathetic state
- I have a small fortune worth of half-empty water bottles floating around my car
- When I am on my “A” game, I close my windows before I yell
- The only thing I consider myself an expert on is being a crazy, off-balance mommy
Are you over-balanced? If so, what’s the secret? Prozac and wine??
If you’re off-balanced, like me? What’s your shining moment? I can hear what you’re thinking, that’s a funny one, you should enter my Mom of the Year Contest.
Why do I have to keep reminding myself that I am a 33-year-old mother of two?? Why does it only take a couple of cocktails for me to think I still have the energy and liver of a college girl? When will I learn the finer points of responsible drinking?
I spent yesterday recovering from an adult costume party on Saturday night. It was a fun evening. I didn’t lose my shoes, throw-up or embarrass myself, but I still had to recover yesterday. My synapses are still not firing correctly so I will try my best to sound intelligent coherent as I share some lessons learned:
- I made a pact that I would not do shots. I should have stuck to that pact
- Little shorts under my costume was my wisest move all night
- There’s a reason they’re called Kamikazes
- It is best not to meet new people when drinking, first impressions are tough if you can’t see clearly
- Water is more effective when you drink it, not simply carry it around
- Cameras should be banned after 10:00 pm
- Safety pins can be the difference between cute and dramatically inappropriate costumes
- Although you don’t feel the pain when someone steps on your foot with their high-heel at the moment, you will the next day
- Sparkly eye makeup causes eye-twitching the next day
- When attending a costume party, know that if a guy dressed as a sheriff has a patrol car, he might be legit
When was the last time you were reminded of your age?
Yesterday, my witty friend Sarah shared with us 10 reasons why the grass is not greener being a Stay At Home Mom. For those who know Sarah, she is a great mom and certainly has the skills and abilities to go back to work, but she has made a commitment to her family and she’s happy with her decision… most of the time.
So now it’s my turn. Here’s my top 10 on why moms (or dads – I think you are under-represented) should not flock to the office.
- Is this your mommy? When I am out with my children, people come up and act as if my children are with a stranger. “Are you her mom?” This is why my children and I wear nametags, it helps us and those around us.
- The inevitable party follow-up question? Unlike Sarah, when I tell people I have a full-time job, they naturally ask, “Well who cares for your children?”. So I am compelled to explain – “I leave them with a pack of wolves. But I am a responsible mother, so I only leave them with female wolves, they’re more nurturing”.
- Nobody thinks you can help Because I do not care for my children, the kids, and others, assume I have no domestic or child-rearing abilities. Okay, okay, I have very few domestic abilities, but I do know how to care for my children. I can wash a disposable diaper just like a pro.
- Keeping up with the SAHM’s I have never made my own baby food, sewn a Halloween costume or chaired a school fundraiser. (I am not sure I would do those things if I were a SAHM).
- Playdates Playdates are tougher for kids with working parents. Typically playdates start because two mothers who become friends get their kids together. Mothers of the other kids have a hard time be-friending my 21-year-old gorgeous nanny. (I can’t blame them, she wears heels to drive carpool – she intimidates me too.)
- Life plus work deadlines We still have to do homework with the kids, wash soccer uniforms, bake (I mean buy) sweets for bake sales, but then I also have to manage my team at work (aka my day-time parenting job), write presentations and go on business trips. Time is my most precious resource.
- Being MIA Weeks go by where I don’t see a girlfriend, because once work is done, then I need to focus on my kids. Girl time or alone time with my husband gets pushed down the priority list. By the time I have an opening on my calendar, my friends are tired from all the fun they had without me.
- I Am Not in the Running for Anything there’s no way to win mother of the year and since I try to balance being a mom as much as I can, I am not up for employee of the year either. I might win Juggling Lunatic of the Year though, as long as they don’t deduct points for what I drop.
Yes, I owe you two more, but I have a work deadline, no clean underwear and the kids need help with homework, so let me sum up 9 and 10 with my favorite comment of all time:
“Do you think your son is having a hard time because you travel so much?” Well no, but I think he would have a hard time if I didn’t get time away!
While being a working mom is tough, so is being a stay at home mom. We each have amazing days and horrible days. We each struggle with balance, we each want to do our best. The best thing we can do as mothers (and fathers) is support each other, regardless if we get a paycheck for our hard work or not.
As I have lamented the last few weeks about my job, I have also started to fantasize about being a stay at home mom (SAHM). To provide balance (or to stop my whining) my friend Sarah graciously put together the following for me (and I post it with her permission – little does she know the only payment she’ll receive is a glass of wine).
10 Reasons the Grass is not Greener in the Stay at Home Mom Pasture
Help I’m sick!! When I call in sick, nobody covers for me. No matter how sick I am, kids still need to get to school; lunches still need to be made. There is no daycare to drop them off at, no nanny to speak of, just me doing the same thing I do everyday with the exception of barfing ever 20 minutes.
The inevitable party question. “What do you do?” “I’m a stay at home mom”. Responses range anywhere from the cliché “wow isn’t that great” to blank stares of confusion. Insult to injury is when the response is followed by the droll discussion of things like how expensive diapers are and The Wiggles, as if those must be the only things I am interested in. My favorite follow-up to date is still “Do you do anything else??” NOPE! Just stay home and stare at the baby.
Only Mom Can Help. When you spend your day assisting in every menial task for your children from helping brush their teeth to tying shoes 3 or 4 times, your children develop a “only mom can help me” complex. My children will walk right past their dad sitting in the kitchen, through the entryway, up a flight of stairs, and into my bedroom to ask ME to open a fruit snack package for them…?
Fun Overkill. Yes it is possible to have too much fun. My husband and I are on completely opposite “fun” schedules. By the time my husband gets home I have been on mom duty for 9+ hours. I have played 25 hands of Go Fish, read 10 books, put together 3 puzzles and even pretended to be the fairy princess locked in the tower. (ok the princess was my idea and I actually locked myself in my room to make a quick 10 minute phone call.) However, understandably, my husband wants to spend time not only with the kids, but as a family. I want a chance to be a grown-up and a wife, my husband wants time to be a dad. “Let’s play soccer” “Come on mom!”……..I’m coming.
Divorce! The D word. Hate to think about it, but it happens. My fear as a SAHM is that if this does happen I will be an average aged, average looking, minivan driving no name with a 9 year gap in my resume. I picture my first job interview going something like this “no Mrs. SAHM we stopped running DOS 2.0 about 7 years ago.”
Quantity Does Not Equal Quality. Some people assume that because I spend MORE time with my kids it is better. That is NOT the case. More time just equals more time to screw them up. There were days when I thought my kids would be better off at day interacting with other children rather than at home with me watching me pay bills and vacuum.
Tomorrow. The curse word of the SAHM. Only you know the expectation that you set for yourself. Therefore what doesn’t happen today can always happen tomorrow, and no one is the wiser. Instructions are easy..when tomorrow comes…repeat.
Blizzards/ Tornados & Other Natural Disasters. Being in your home with any number of children 24 hours a day and trying to keep the house clean is impossible. It is like shoveling snow in a blizzard. I don’t even try anymore.
Fashionista. NOT! I used to be a decent dresser. Really. As I grew tired of washing Cheetos hand prints and baby poop/spit-up off nice clothes, I retired my nice things and adopted the SAHM “uniform”: Workout clothes and tennis shoes that rarely actually make it inside a gym. You know you have lost your inner fashionista when you put on a pair of jeans and a necklace and your kids ask you “why are you so fancy mommy?”
I Am Out the Running for Mother of the Year. No awards to polish around here. No plaques to cover my walls, no raises. You can work your fanny off at your “job” as a SAHM but no one is there to pat your back. I would like to say that your child’s smile is payment enough but let’s be honest, when’s the last time a smile bought you a purse? And a promotion?? The only time my husband uses the word promotion is when he wants sex, and by “promotion” he means another baby.
There are days I start to think, gosh it would be nice to have a job, one where I got to talk to people about politics or books without pictures, or dare I say an R rated movie. Then I realize that the grass in not greener, it’s just a different shade.
Thanks Sarah for the perspective! I’ll share the color of my pasture as a working mom tomorrow.