Friends, meet Tiffany. She’s cool. She’s a photographer. She’s also a Navy wife who just arrived in beautiful Connecticut. Well, actually, she arrived just in time for the Endless Winter Of Snow And Despair, but somehow managed to stick it out until things improved and is now enjoying the absolutely PERFECT weather we New Englanders like to pretend we get 90% of the time. We’re very good at lying to ourselves.
Posts Tagged ‘life’
I did not have an excellent Mother’s Day. I’m not saying that to make my family feel bad or shame anyone. I’m saying that because there’s a pretty good chance YOU didn’t have an excellent Mother’s Day either and I want you to know you’re not alone. Those perfect, smiling, happy families on Instagram and Twitter probably didn’t have flawless Mother’s Days either. They might have had a very nice day. A spectacular day. But it was not perfect – perfect is the lie. Kids – even kids big enough to understand the concept of Mother’s Day – don’t stop being kids just because it’s the second Sunday in May. Not once has saying “But it’s Mother’s Day!!” to a tantruming child solved the problem. They do not suddenly stop being tired or hungry or frustrated and pull a bouquet of flowers out from behind their back and say “Oh dear mother, I had simply forgotten! Shall I fetch you a coffee or a glass of wine?” If that is your life, Mother’s Day or not, I hate you.
The problem as I see it is that Mother’s Day is supposed to be Special and things that are supposed to be Special just lead to disappointment. That is why women become bridezillas about their One Special Wedding Day and freak out that every single second doesn’t go according to plan. The pressure of that ONE DAY is just too much. Mother’s Day is the ONE DAY a year we are supposed to be indulged and pampered and appreciated above ALL the other days. Sleeping in and breakfast in bed and champagne brunch and a family picnic and a manicure and a relaxing nap and a romantic dinner date and a thoughtful gift and a homemade card and flowers and a bottle of wine. If you family really loves you, they will do all of that. Except no, they won’t. And even if you don’t really need them to…even if you try really really hard to keep your expectations super low…even if you say “I will be happy if all I get is a card the kids made at school”…it’s hard to stare into the face of social expectations and be OK with not having a perfect day.
I actually would have had a pretty good Sunday if it had just been a Sunday. I got to lie in bed for an extra hour. My husband picked up lunch for all of us. I got to buy and plant flowers with the kids. And we finished the day by having s’mores for dinner on the newly cleaned patio. But I also did laundry and dishes and changed diapers and made decisions (ugh, DECISIONS) and dealt with tantrums and took the kids with me to run errands and bought paper towels. I really didn’t want to have to buy paper towels on Mother’s Day.
Let me tell you what I really want for Mother’s Day. I want to be a dad on a regular Sunday. I’m making generalizations here for the sake of simplicity, but in my social circle moms are almost always the default parent; the one the kids go to first for everything no matter who is closer/more available at that moment. On Mother’s Day, I want to be the dad. The fun parent. I want to say “Everyone jump in the car, we’re getting ice cream!” and not worry about if it’s too close to dinner or if we need to stop at the grocery store later to pick up stuff for school lunch the next day. The fun parent pees alone. The fun parent has time to read a book or a magazine or the back of a cereal box without being interrupted. The fun parent doesn’t always have one ear open for children’s whines or screams or cries or problems or squabbles 24 hours a day. The fun parent says “We’re out of mustard” into the fridge and, magically, mustard appears 24 hours later.
And then MAYBE on Mother’s Day all of us default parents will get a card and a bouquet and a nap not because it’s our One Special Day but because the fun parent wants to do something to acknowledge being a mom is kind of a tough job.
But since I am not a monster, I did in fact enjoy many parts of my Mother’s Day. The big kids – Caroline especially – remembered it was Mother’s Day and reminded me constantly I was supposed to be having The Best Mother’s Day Ever. There were s’mores. And now whenever we sit on the front steps for the bus we can admire the flowers we planted, together.
She said the plants needed love to grow.
The kids had Monday and Tuesday off school, which DIRECTLY coincided with E’s trip out of town. I did not enjoy that. It was also ridiculously cold. February is not my favorite.
It was 41 degrees today. The kids and I all left the house without coats. But it’s going to be -11 tomorrow. At least there are no major snow storms in this week’s forecast? Maybe we’ll actually have a full week of school!! But knowing my luck, the second that happens will be the second Lincoln learns to crawl and I will never get a quiet moment again.
A few weeks ago, my daughter had a career day at school. When I asked her what she wanted to be, I was only half listening, since in my head I was trying to figure out what dress up we could repurpose as “Doctor” or “President” or “Nobel Peace Prize Winner”.
“A MOMMY!” she shouted.
I have been a stay-at-home-mom for 6 years now. I wipe tushies and noses and hands. I do laundry, then some more laundry, then do all the laundry again. I take kids to ballet and swim and doctor’s appointments and baby signs and birthday parties. I cut coupons and make lists and menu plans and 12 trips to the grocery store and then still end up serving tacos and spaghetti two nights a week.
I wear a lot of yoga pants.
“Oh,” I said. “A mommy,” I said. “But wouldn’t you like to be something else AND a mommy?? You don’t have to be JUST a mommy.”
I flinched when I said it. The words floated out of my mouth and hung right in front of my face where I thought about how it was a stupid thing to say. I know better.
Being a mom isn’t just keeping children alive – although some days that is all I seem to manage. We can’t just feed and clothe them, we have to raise them up and impart everything we know into their empty heads. We are turning small squishy lumps of need into tiny humans who then turn into actual real humans and grow up to be, well, everything. We teach patience because one day they’ll need it while discovering the gene that cures cancer. We teach kindness because one day they might build hospitals for villages in need. We teach the alphabet so they can write the great American novel. We clean up a zillion finger paint messes so they can become great artists. Someone right now is wiping the butt of a future president.
I want Caroline to know that she has the option to be whatever she wants when she grows up, especially right now when she’s capable of dreaming about future careers without worrying about their practicality. I remember telling my mother I was going to be a ballerina marine biologist and her saying “That is a great idea”. I want her to find a passion and explore it and love it and then change her mind. I want her to change her mind a million and one times before she actually finds a career. I want her to reach for the stars…or the bottom of the sea…or the top of a mountain…or wherever it is that super successful and happy people reach. Because as cliche as it sounds, I only want her to be happy.
I don’t want anyone to ever tell my daughter she HAS to be a mother or that she can ONLY be a mother, but if she wants to be a mother – even if she wants to be JUST a mommy – then I would be very, very proud of her.
When she came home from career day, I asked her what her friends dressed up as. “Logan was a motorcycle guy!” she explained, “And all the girls were princesses!”
So maybe Mommy is a bold choice for a 4 year old after all.
And hey, I must make being a mommy look like a lot of fun if it’s something she’s looking forward to. Although it might just be because she wants to be the boss.
This classification system the result of many years of expert study. I have a Masters Degree in Yoga Pants.
Tier One: Fancy
These yoga pants are real pants. You can wear them to school pick up and Target without hesitation and may briefly consider wearing them to work/church/date night too. They are still black and have no holes or bleach stains. They fit without giving you a terrible muffin top and are not see through. When you wear these pants you are saying: “I appreciate both comfort and fashion. I may be a busy moden woman but I still make time to take care of myself!”
Tier Two: Acceptable
Your Tier Two yoga pants are probably from Old Navy. They still fit but might have fuzzies from where your thighs rub together or a small hole in the cuff. These are the pants you are mostly likely to wear if you were to actually do yoga. You wear them for running errands but only after thinking “Maybe I should put on some jeans” (you do not put on jeans). When you wear these pants you are saying: “I was just running in to this store for a second on my way to spin class because we were all out the organic mac and cheese cups.”
Tier Three: Poor
These yoga pants are reserved for at home days. They might technically be pajamas but no one can prove that. They are the pants you wore yesterday and are still wearing today. You only wear them with long shirts because they fall down a lot – not because you lost weight from all that yoga but because the elastic is all stretched out. They aren’t really black anymore. When you wear these pants you are saying: “I totally forgot we had ballet class this morning. I was just going to clean the bathroom.”
Tier Four: Cannot Even
All your other pants are in the actual wash. Not the laundry – you pulled these out of the laundry – but soaking wet in the washing machine. Yes, you do know there’s a hole in the crotch and spaghetti sauce on the leg and they’re dragging on the ground. THANKS for point that out. But your kid told you ten minutes ago that tomorrow is 100 day at school so you have to go find 100 f**king beads or something because otherwise he’s going to insist on bringing 100 Legos and God knows those things aren’t cheap and no way are you letting him lose that one little grey piece he absolutely CANNOT finnish Batman’s spaceship without because then you will NEVER hear the END OF IT so how about you just let me worry about my pants until I can get home and open a bottle of wine??? When you wear these pants you are saying: “I HAVE GIVEN UP ON EVERYTHING DON’T TALK TO ME.”
Other Guidelines: Pants can be demoted but not promoted, although you can mend holes on seams to give Tier Two pants a fighting chance.
There is a subclass for maternity yoga pants, which begin at Tier One but are automatically moved to Tier Three at 2 weeks post partum.
You cannot own too many pairs of yoga pants.