Womb and Bored

Womb and Bored

Monday, October 19, 2015

That's Pinteresting...

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.

I love it because I can be a total voyeur.  There's no pressure to be witty or beautiful.  And if someone doesn't like my post, it's okay, because it wasn't mine to begin with.  That's kinda nice.

I also love that in my "Oh, shit!" moments, I have a place I can go to aid in my complete and utter love of procrastination.

However, I hate that it has turned our world into a fucking Stepford society.

Case in point, when is the last time you attended a child's birthday party where there wasn't something inspired (plagiarized) from Pinterest?  I mean, really...think about it.  From the over-the-top invites to the 3-dimensional cake to the overly ambitions favors, all of these things were likely pilfered straight from the the virtual one-upping bulletin board.

And while the intentions are amazing, the execution has taken away the need for any creative thought and/or genuine intentions.  What the fuck happened to store bought invitations, hot dogs from the skating rink, and cookie cake with red icing?  These things have been replaced with themed bullshit and lots and lots of craft glue.  And why?  You really think your kids give a shit about the amazing snack stand you created at midnight in coordinating hand-blown glass bowls?  No.  It's not for them.  Admit it.  It's for us.  It's so when we post pictures on social media, people think we've got our shit together.

There are some things craft glue just can't fix.

Most recently I went with one of my girlfriends to a winery.  While there, every single female had the same plaid shirt with the same puffer vest with the same jeans and the same boots.  It was so fucking boring.  And, where do you think this inspiration came from?  Pinterest.  I've seen it 1,000 times myself.  It's fucked up.  It's like we can't even dress ourselves.  All the sudden, we need someone else's ideas for putting a shirt and pants together...I mean, how did we ever survive without this?  It's amazing more people weren't arrested for public indecency in the early 2000s...before we had a website that told us what to wear.

I know I sound bitter.  I totally am.

I spend most of my time trying to keep my head above water and simply survive, and meanwhile, other people have time to mold rice-crispy treats into statues of David while creating birthday cakes that actually talk.

I fear that Pinterest is creating the long for a reality that distracts from what's important.  Life shouldn't be all about what is esthetically beautiful, but rather what happens behind the scenes.  The chances...the failures...these are the things we ultimately learn from.  Not the step-by-step manual to building your own garden gnome out of real humans.

Fuck.  Yes.  I saw that amazing tutorial on the waterfall braid.  However, my daughter won't even sit still for fucking pigtails.  That's why they're crooked.  And I don't give a fuck.  Because, ultimately, she just wanted to watch Umizoomi before school, and she didn't give a crap about her hair, and that's okay.  If you are going to judge who I am as a parent based on my child's hair...you may as well slap a "Mommy-Dearest" sticker on my dirt-encrusted mini-van.

Did you know that the average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month pinning?  It's true.  98 minutes per month pinning other people's shit onto their own shit so they can feel disappointed that someone else's reality is only a fantasy.  Because truth be told, you can't possibly have enough time to carry out the work behind those 98 minutes of pinning.  You can't.  And if you do, well, you need to find something to do.  Like get a job.  Or find a hobby.  Of your own.  Not from someone else's pin-board.

I'm not trying to throw shade or hate on you if you're one of those people who see Pinterest as life's bible.  I get it.  There's some cool shit out there.  What I'm saying is...it doesn't have to be that way.  We put way too much pressure on ourselves to be Martha Stewart in Everyday Living and not enough pressure to be Martha Stewart in prison.  Seriously.  Do you think Martha grew more from her crafts or from her mistakes?

I love the internet, but sometimes I wish it didn't exist.  Because I know there's a lot of other moms like me who would feel better about showing up to a birthday party with a child with one shoe on if the birthday party didn't look like it was being thrown by one of the Real Housewives.

I miss the world of store bought invitations.  When I get one, I ultimately like the mom a lot better because she's relatable.

I miss the world of roller-skating parties, because without them, I feel the need to clean my house.

I miss cookie cake.

I wish you all could have seen me preparing for my last party.  I was up making cake balls at 11:00 pm.  I was literally melting the chocolate and crafting the balls (yes...I giggled as I typed that), and all of the sudden I looked around and thought...who the fuck am I trying to be?  And...WHY?  So, after I licked the bowl, I threw away my creations.  Because, let's be real, I more of a Zebra Cake kinda girl.

And I went to bed.

And, that's when I promised to never compare my reality to someone else's fantasy.

And, you know what, that was 98 minutes I had to concentrate on the things that really matter.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Go the F to Sleep...

If you're a parent, I don't have to tell you what I go through each night when that 8:00 time-frame rolls around.  You already know.

Part of sex education should be a field trip to a family's house where young children reside during the bedtime routine.  Let me tell you...all those young kids would be keeping it in their pants.

No one realizes how hard it is to get kids to sleep.  Our parents don't even realize, because back then it wasn't completely out of the question to rub a little booze on our pacifiers.  Now, if we did that, DFS would be knocking on the door before we ever even got the bottle cap unscrewed.  Fucking childproof bottle.    

The smarmiest of lawyers can't compete with the manipulation and negotiation of a 4-year-old at bedtime.  In fact, I'm surprised The Firm hasn't come to recruit my little varmints.  Because even though the routine is the same.  Every fucking night, there's a new guerrilla tactic for bedtime avoidance.

Being a teacher has taught me the love and appreciation of reading.  However, somehow, that love exits the second I ask my kids to pull out a book and it is anything by Dr. Suess.  Don't get me wrong, the man was a lyrical genius and the original Eminem, however, his books have a lot of words I can't pronounce, and if not pronounced correctly, the words don't rhyme, and if the words don't rhyme, my children get pissed, and I'm forced to go back and read it again, and those fucking books are so long.  They are so long.  And my kids are getting old enough to know when I skip pages.  And then they accuse me of skipping pages, and then they say I ruined the story and I have to read another book.  Which is even longer.  And I know you're sitting there thinking I should have better management, however, I just want to be done, and I want them to go the F to sleep, so I will do WHATEVER it takes.  

And then there is the brushing of teeth.  None of them can tolerate the same flavored toothpaste.  So, there are multiple tubes of toothpaste laying around, and once I remember which toothbrush/toothpaste belongs to which child (yes, I always fuck this up), there's the water temperature debate.  One likes it lukewarm, one likes it cold.  It's fucking bizarre.  So, they have to take turns.  Is it a big deal?  No.  But does it eat into my alone time?  Yes.  

So, it's time to go to bed.  And all of the sudden they are ready to talk about their day.  Earlier when I asked how preschool was they were glued to Jake and the Neverland Pirates, but now, they are the Stephan Fucking King of storytelling going into every ebb and flow of the day from breakfast until dinner.  I do care, however, not as much as I did two hours ago.

So, it's hugs, kisses, high-fives, knuckles, blow-it-up, elbows...

And I'm crossing the threshold to my room..  And...

The dehydration kicks in.  "Mom, I'm so thirsty."  I mean, this has happened so many times I actually took them in to the doctor sure they had diabetes.  Nope.  Turns out they're just assholes.  Thirsty assholes.  Thirsty assholes who won't drink the bathroom water because it tastes funny.  So, my fat ass has to waddle down the stairs to get fresh new water.  I don't even get fresh new water for myself.  I take my Xanax with whatever filth is in the cup from the night before the night before that.  But, Erin Fucking Brockovich, who was supposed to be in bed 30 minutes ago, only has a hankering for the finest combination of Hydrogen and Oxygen.

Then...finally...it's quiet.  For about 5 minutes.  Until the nightmares.  And they are always the stupidest nightmares.  Like, can't you all make up nightmares about snakes or spiders?  Instead, it's the Cavity King.  Or the Giant.  Or Donald Trump.

I know I'm not alone.  I know other kids suck just as bad as mine at going to sleep.  I think it's time we live in the real world and admit that Goodnight Moon doesn't send every child into a blissful state of REM.

And I'm sure there are tons of things that I could do better, more consistently, and efficiently.  However, this non-routine has become part of our own routine.

And I know one day I will miss reading those long-ass books.

And I will long for the long-ass trips down the stairs.

And I will wish I could hear the tale of the Cavity King.

However, in the present, I'm wishing we could bring the whiskey back.  

And that I paid more attention to word-study so I could read those damn Seuss books.  

And that my kids, though I love them, would just go the fuck to sleep, so that I could get back to reading all of the articles about all of the ways I'm fucking up the bedtime routine whilst drinking just enough wine to not feel guilty about it.

I love my kids.

But I hate bedtime.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I forgot the teddy bear...

Today, I was walking into daycare with my three children and I looked down to see my two oldest carrying teddy bears.  All the sudden I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach... Holy shit, it's teddy bear day, and I forgot my baby's teddy bear.  I did my walk of shame to the classroom feeling much like I used to in middle school...disorganized, unprepared, and incredibly awkward.  I made sure that my child would have something to cuddle with.  The teacher reassured me...  But, somehow I still couldn't shake the feeling that I was the worst mother ever.

That's when I got a text from my best friend, also a mother of three, and it read...

"Hey, lost all my make up.  If you think about it, can you toss in a little bit of mascara or something for me.  I look great this morning."

True story.

Can I tell you what a relief it was to read those words?

The idea that I'm not the only mess out there was incredibly refreshing and exactly what I needed to hear.

Because, truth is, I'm a beautiful disaster.  I can rock the shit out of a face of make-up and  I look put together, but yesterday, when I was leaving my house for work, I actually stuck to my doorknob.  There was some unidentified substance covering it, and my hand literally had to be pried.

I'm sure it was peanut butter, or jelly, or snot.  Whatever it was, it was disgusting.  So, I tweeted a picture of it and showed it to all my followers.

Okay...I didn't tweet it.  I don't tweet, and I definitely don't have followers.  But, what if I did tweet it?    Maybe it would be the reassurance some other mom needed.  Because, frankly, we are all kinda a beautiful mess.  But people choose the stories they choose to tell.  And, I think we need to be more honest about those stories.

What if we lived in a world where moms were honest.  Where our tweets and status updates weren't about the snow angels we created during our Christmas in July extravaganza complete with hot cocoa straight from Swiss Miss's tit?

What if they sounded more like this...

Today, I didn't shower.  Tomorrow isn't looking so good either.  I might change my underwear.

Today, I was hungover, and I let my child play Wii for two straight hours.  Suck it, world!

I can't adult today.  No way can I adult.

I don't want to join your fucking book club.  If I get a minute to read, it will be pure fucking smut, and you aren't invited.

I think it's great you breastfed.  I didn't.  My child lived.

I drove around the neighborhood...5 times...just to avoid going home because I just wasn't ready to be mom.

Would these status updates have the same impact on other moms as the "I lost my makeup" text?

I love my kids.  I do.   There is nothing I want more than to feel like I'm doing an excellent job.  But, sometimes I fall short.  We all do.  But I am conscientious about what story I tell to the world.  I am like this for two reasons:

1.  I want my good times to be good times because they're good times, and not because they paint a pretty picture of my life.

2.  I don't ever want a mom to question herself.  I think all moms who are trying their best are pretty kick ass.

I think we need to be better about being honest with each other.  Yes, I forgot the teddy bear, but you bet your sweet ass, I gave that baby as much love as I possibly could as soon as I saw her.  Was it tweet worthy?  Probably not.  But what is really?  When is the last time your status was updated with something truthful...with something that made others understand that being ordinary is sometimes extraordinary?

Moms...I challenge you.  Tweet about your disasters.  Tweet about your misses.  Tweet about your forgotten teddy bears.  I assure you, it will up your audience.

Monday, September 7, 2015

It's the journey...

If there is one thing I miss about not having kids, (besides being able to fat around on the couch after a night of intense drinking and shenanigans), it's the ability to leave the house.

It doesn't matter where we are going or what we are doing, when it's time to leave the house, it takes for-fucking-ever.

I'm not a timely person anyway.  In fact, I'm always late as it is.  So, you can imagine what it's like now when I'm dealing with the herding of the most brainless cats on the planet.  It's more like drunk brainless cats.  It's more like drunk brainless cats with no legs.  Yes, I think that's it.

You ALL know what I'm talking about.

There are things that will inevitably happen when you are trying to leave.  It doesn't matter if it's a place of their choosing or yours.  This shit will happen...true story.

You will lose one.

There is no doubt, if you have more than one child you are trying to wrangle into the car, you will lose one.  And, most of the time it's not the one you want to lose.  You'll be forced to go back into the house and look for the lost child.  You will finally find said child, you will get back to the car, buckle that child in and realize you are now missing another child.  It's like whack-a-mole for assholes.

There will be an occurrence of IBS.

It doesn't matter if your child shits like clockwork, the second he/she gets into the carseat, he/she will be prairie-dogging it, and will need unbuckled to run back in to take care of it.  That child will go in for three seconds and come back out only to tell you that he didn't really have to go, but he thought he did.  So...the next time, you won't let him go, and it will bite you in the ass.  Well, technically his ass.

There will be at least one lost shoe.

Seriously.  Do the shoes go hang out with my socks and earrings?  Because no matter what happens, there is always one missing.  Like, how the fuck does that happen?  Did my child walk around with one shoe on for a while?  Where could this thing be, and how did I not notice Shoeless Joe Jackson hobbling around?  How long did he hobble around?  Did someone break in and steal it?  If so, couldn't they have taken the child and left the shoe?

You will have to check the straightener/curling iron/iron.

While this isn't directly your child's fault.  It kinda is.  Because before those children, you were sharp as a fucking tack, and now your braincells are hovering in the single digits, and what is left has been sopped up by vodka.  Those brain-sucking drunk cats you are herding are clearly responsible for your extra trip up the stairs.  

There will be a fight over something stupid.

There just will.  Like who gets the seat by the window.  It's a fucking car.  There are windows everywhere.  Or who will get buckled in first.  Or who gets which bag of goldfish crackers.  Even if you made bags for each of the kids, one of them will have more, or their bag will be bigger, or they will have a broken goldfish.  Those little orange bastards make it almost impossible for children to get along.

And, inevitably, you will have forgotten whatever you were supposed to bring.

I wish that the above list was an exaggeration of real events...however, unfortunately I think I'm probably forgetting some things.  Perhaps they've been blocked from my memory on purpose as God's mercy for raising these two-legged creatures.

By the time I get in my car, I am so incredibly exhausted.  And I know I will show up somewhere and someone, possibly someone without kids or someone who forgot what it's like to have them, will ask me what took me so long or why I look so worn out.  I want to videotape the 30 minutes prior to leaving and force them to sit through it (with unequal bags of broken goldfish) so they can truly understand that it's not about the destination, but rather the long, fucked up journey I had to take to get to said destination.  And then they will celebrate me.  And give me a crown.  Or at least a beer.

Going anywhere is a chore.  

It's no wonder I have become such a homebody.

So, the next time you hear someone say they just love being home with their family.  Or you see the Facebook post reading, "Home Sweet Home", and you think how lucky that family is to have their shit in a pile.  Just think.   That amazing picture perfect family was probably scared to leave the one-shoed child they lost in the bathroom.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sometimes My Kids are...


It's true.

Individually, they are incredibly kind, lovely, happy, cooperative.  But when they get together, it's all kinds of ugly.

Tonight, one of my four-year-olds cried incessantly because he wanted to make sure he had a toy that his brother did not.  Like, not a specific toy.  He wanted to make sure he had something, anything, that his brother did not have.  What an asshole.

My daughter cried for 20 minutes because she wanted the straw out of her brother's cup.  She had her own straw.  It was the exact same.  But, she wanted the straw that was specific to the cup that her brother was holding.  She kicked, screamed, yelled, and howled about the fucking straw.  What an asshole.

I know, deep down, I am responsible for the sibling rivalry.  And, even if I'm not, the assholes I am raising will find a way to blame me.

However...this really makes me wonder...why is it that kids tend to fall apart the second you bring another child into this world?

Attention?  Not in my case, I  ignore them all equally.

Stress?  I mean, what do these kids have to be stressed about?  They don't even wipe their own asses.

I have to think it has to do with the idea of identity.  They want to be individuals, to be their own people, and they don't know how to communicate that without being, well, assholes.

So, I've been trying to read up on what to do.  I'm not really a problem-solver, but I do love a good research project.  The advice out there, though well-intentioned, makes me believe that I'm going to be living a life of vodka in my cereal.

Here's a snippet of said advice:

1.  Children closer in age tend to compete more.

Great!  Let me jump in my handy-dandy time machine and get rid of one.  Which one should I choose?  The one who is throwing a full-on temper tantrum because his free fucking cookie from the grocery store doesn't have a blue M&M on it, or the one singing, "Mine has a blue M&M"?  No, really, which one?

Which leads to the next piece of advice that's out there...

2.  Don't play favorites.

Really?  Because of course I have a favorite.  My favorite is the one not acting like an asshole.  Which tends to change from minute to minute.

3.  Anticipate Problems.

Yes.  I can TOTALLY predict when one of my heathens is going to go apeshit over something small and insignificant.  Children are so predictable.  Like that time, my four-year-old laid down on the ground of the dollar store because his brother got a more expensive toy.  It's the fucking dollar store.  Everything costs the fucking same...a dollar.  I totally saw that one coming.  How do you anticipate that shit?

4.  Don't make comparisons.

Come on.  It is hard not to compare.  And most of the time, I'm not comparing my children to each other, because, really, they all fall on the same side of the nut tree.  But, when you are in a store, and you see the kids sitting nicely in the cart while your ankle-biters are trying to shove each other out.  It's hard not to compare.

5.  Encourage good behavior.

Is there really a parent out there encouraging bad behavior?  I mean, seriously, is there a mom out there saying, "Come on, Jack, hit Sally again because you're jealous that she got to sit in the carseat on the right and you were forced to sit in the carseat on the left which happens to be the same carseat, just on the left fucking side."  No.  Nobody does that.

I'm sure there is other advice out there regarding the care and keeping of assholes.  However, all of it seems to point in the same direction.  And that is, we, as parents, are screwed.  Until these kiddos develop rational thought processes, and some never do, we will be stuck playing referee.  In the meantime, here are my five pieces of advice.

1.  Cherish their fighting, one day you will miss hearing it.

2.  Take time with them individually...they're much nicer that way.
3.  Do compare them, but find kids that are worse than yours.  
4.  Remember that most people only post their highlight reel on Facebook, their kids are assholes too.
5.  Always take the side of the one you think will let you live with him/her one day.

It's true, they're assholes.  But, aren't we lucky to be the ones they feel safe enough to fall apart with?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I'm No Expert...

I'm no expert.  Like all moms, I fuck up.  

But what I lack in experience, I make up for in creativity.  I think the world of Facebook has us believing that if you don't have a baby attached to your nipple while having him swaddled in his co-sleeper covered in essential oils while you work, than you are doing it wrong.  It wasn't until I started posting about my way of doing motherhood, not the highlight reel, that I realized that other moms are  just like me.  Normal.

Not long ago, I was watching drama unfold on an an acquaintance of an acquaintance's Facebook page.  It was amazing drama.  The kind of drama you think only happens in a bus full of drag queens on the way to a wig sale, and it was unfolding right there in my feed.  However, my children were in my presence and they wanted to be entertained by me.  I had options.  I could put the phone down, after all, I am a mother and it is my job to parent.  I could screen shot for later enjoyment.  Or...I could fake an incredible bout of Irritable Bowel Syndrome so that I could lock myself in the bathroom and stay abreast of the drama-train derailing right before my very eyes. While there are some moms reading this hoping I took the high road.  Have no fear...I took the road less traveled, straight to the voting booth.  And as I sat there upon my throne, I wondered how many moms sat exactly where I was sitting...well, not exactly where I was sitting, but in their own homes in their own bathrooms faking gastric distress just to get a moment of peace and quiet.  It wasn't truly about Facebook or drama, it was about me taking time for me. 

If I were my past self (pre-motherhood) reading the story that my current self (mom of three) just wrote,  about the fabrication of Montezuma's Revenge just to be by myself, I'm sure I would be appalled.  I was such a good mom before I ever became a mom.  But, now, as my current self reads the story of my past self (past, as in last week), I am proud of myself.  Because I did what I needed to do to be a better mom.  After my imaginary butt-wipe and the flush of the clear water, I was ready to be mom.  And just as if I had done the real act, I felt relief.  

Moms...don't be afraid to fake a trip to the bathroom.  Or to get something in your eye.  Or to take a little extra time to switch over the laundry.  Sometimes that's what we need to be ready to tackle the most amazing, yet exhausting, job in the world.