Over the weekend, I was 3 glasses deep into a bottle of wine (ok, it was the whole bottle); when my husbands best friend Steve and I got into a pretty heated argument. (There may or may not have been angry shouting, hands waving and lots of expletives) It wasn’t one of my finest moments, and definitely not the first or last argument we will have. Moreover, I honestly shouldnt have let him get under my skin (I always let him get under my skin), I was already in a bad mood to begin with, but see… it did get under my skin. Deaply. And it was ugly. Nonetheless, even today, three days later, I am seething and spitting fire over it.
The issue here however; takes a little more explaining. Steve has been divorced from his wife for almost three years. Most of the time he is still bitter, and has decided that because of the situation with his ex, it is best to now compare and judge all women based on her actions. Leaving me in his direct fire.
His ex was a stay at home mother for sixteen years, however her way of doing the whole “staying home and taking care of the family”, for the most part, was less than stellar. This has lead him to the opinion that ALL WOMEN should work a full time job, and contribute to their household. That the money shouldn’t just fall to the man, completely negating the fact that women staying home, does not equal sleeping all day and doing nothing. Nonetheless, I am not here to bash anyone. Everyone here has a right to their opinion, I just needed you to understand where I am going with this.
I stay at home. However, I can care less what other mothers/fathers do. You can work, stay home, do both, what ever. And no matter the choice, it is the right one FOR YOU, so therefore it is none of anyones damn business to say otherwise.
That being said, this weekend I was told if I wanted a truck, (because we were talking about cars–It always turns to cars or motorcycles–) then I should go to work and EARN it. That my husband works, so he should be able to buy what he wants, because he works hard for it. I should be grateful for the things my husband CHOOSES to purchase for me with his money. Apparently, staying home, I earn nothing. I’m just the help? Lazy? There is no joint anything? An underpaid hooker so to speak.
He reminded me that at one point I had a great job, and I quit it. That because of this, my husband is forced to work harder. As if these were not things I already knew, and had weighing on me
Furthermore, he claimed that going back to work now, wouldn’t be a big deal. Most of the kids are older now, so I can have them help watch the younger ones; abolishing the need to pay for daycare. This is not the job of the teens. It is MY job and as parents, it is OUR responsibility to take care of them, or pay someone else to do so. Going out to dinner, or even the bar for a couple hours on a Saturday night, is not the same as watching the siblings for ten hours a day five days a week. However to him, that is neither here nor there.
It had been these type of remarks that left me trembling with anger. However, it is not because of the way he so cluelessly said it. OR the fact that a few years ago, he was okay with the whole stay at home thing… its the fact that unless you stay home, you will never get it.
I don’t stay home because I am lazy or want a free ride despite what many seem to think. In fact, staying home is for the most part, isolating and depressing. Fulfillment is not often apparent. Most of the time I feel overwhelmed, and unappreciated. It’s lonely not interacting with other adults all day, my only entertainment being that of a four year old or folding yet another basket of clothes.
When the husband gets home, he doesn’t want to entertain me. He wants to sit and relax, drink a beer and watch some tv, which just reiterates my feelings of being alone.
There are times I do not want to think about getting out of bed, and my own feelings about my self worth are next to nothing. There are no reasons to change out of my pajamas, let alone run a brush through my hair. So I allowed these words to cut me. I allowed them to once again bring up all the feelings of not doing enough. For failing as a wife and as a mother.
There are no, “Hey good jobs!” in parenting or staying home. No one makes you employee of the month because the pork loin you made was outstanding, or because you spent six days this week driving back and forth to football practice, and was still able to throw something healthy and not pre made on the dinner table. Don’t even get me started about no one ever noticing the bed being made everyday.
So why is it I feel the need to be accepted?
Because despite the fact that I chose to stay home, I do see my husband working hard. I see how tired he is after he worked seven days this week so we can do a little more than get by. I hear the way others speak about staying home being a cop out and selfish.
And the worry about my marriage not working out, and me being left with nothing, terrifies me to no end. I don’t have an emergency kit under my bed if I need it. I am at the mercy of my husband.
When the hubs and I decided to get married we had a deep conversation about the way we believed marriage should be. Now, our way was pretty caveman like –Woman stays home, men work hard to provide– but that was what we both wanted. Neither of us had this growing up, so we thought that would be awesome for our children.
So as the years have gone by, the husband has worked his ass off. Before he landed a great job, he was known to work two and three jobs at a time in order to take care of us. The stress it caused our marriage was huge.
Raising kids is hard, and raising 5 at the time, with all of them 5yrs and under. alone. Was trying on my self esteem. It led to depression, weight gain and resentment. When you decide at 18 yrs old, that you want to be a stay at home to raise a family, you never think about what the impact of birthing five so quickly and doing things virtually alone would cause. Nonetheless, it got easier. The husband found a job that allowed him to drop the other two.
As the kids started getting older and less dependent on me, I became restless; thus I decided to go to work. I found a great job, that for the most part I enjoyed. I also started to find myself. I was no longer just the mom or the wife. People called me by my name. I was proud and extremely happy. Then reality hit.
Between daycare costs for #7, and fuel for the two hour round trip commute, we started to find that I had to pay more to work than I actually made. I was never home, and when I was there I was running around trying to catch up on what didn’t get done when I was away.
Laundry, cleaning, cooking… I now had two full time jobs, and parenting. It was putting a strain on the family and our home.
Then my oldest decided to start acting out.
My son got in with the wrong crowd. He would ditch school, get into fights, started sneaking out…He even started stealing and dabbling in drugs and failing all his classes. He was out of control, and with both parents gone all the time working, there was no one around to regulate. He had a revolving door to whatever he wanted to do.
I blamed myself because I went back to work. I had made a promise that I would give those boys everything they needed at home, and I failed. I hated myself for being selfish and enjoying being away. I took full responsibility for the decisions my son was making, Not because I should have, but because I am a mother and thats what we do.
So there I was, years later after quitting my job, standing there seething in the backyard of a friends home; way later than I should have been. I know Steve did not go out of his way to sound like an asshole (although that night I am sure I called him one more than a few times). He was voicing an opinion that despite his lack of understanding, they are still his right to have. However once we left, he didn’t think twice about those words. Yet three days later I am still fighting with the husband because I felt like he didn’t rally by his wife’s side. I just wish that for a second, people could actually see how hard it is to stay home or work. Neither is an easy decision, and both come with buckets of heartache.
(Steve’s name has been changed for the purpose of this post)
Most of the time, there is always some nonsense spewed like, “I don’t know how you do it” or “I’m losing my mind and I have a quarter of kids you have” and I laugh (hard) every damn time.
Come on folks. It honestly doesn’t matter how many kids you have, the bastards are just hard.
Parenting is hard.
If parenting were easy, I would laugh more and drink far less alcohol. (Disclaimer: I lied about the alcohol thing… for argument’s sake… I mean…what if my moms reading this.) and there would probably be a shit-ton less kids in the world without parents.
That being said, I received a phone call from someone near and dear early this morning expressing –loudly– (and I won’t even bitch that she knows better than to call me so frecking early) she was exhausted.
And the asshole that I am replied with , “Uh duh… you’re a mother. Isnt that a prerequisite or something?”
She fell apart.
She ugly cried about being a failure as a mother, and as a wife. She doesn’t want to get up in the morning anymore, she doesn’t want to be a wife or a mother. Shes ready to pack it in, and run.
It crushed me. God have I been there!
In her eyes and tired brain, her house is no longer the perfect space her and her husband had built over the years pre-kid.
She hasn’t worn makeup in years…and just brushing her hair, or taking a shower before her husband gets home is a miracle.
There are handprints from her 9 yr olds height, down to the floorboards, and don’t forget the nose snot from the kids/dogs all over the sliding glass door.
Her boys are, well…boys.
The boys run around making god awful noises, and can care less what they destroy in their hyper-path-of-destruction…Moreover, we cannot forget the frustrating battle every mother with boys have gone through… “There is pee all over the bathroom because the fuckers can’t aim for shit, and it stinks” issue.
This does not make her a bad mother. In Fact, far from it! This just makes her a mother. However, with every stupid popular parenting blog/news article/Pinterest/Facebook post etc making their way around the interweb who can help but feel bad?
Rapidly around the world, the media gods are spreading their propaganda about “how to be the perfect, loving, peaceful, non spanking, never freaking out, never swearing, never raising their voice kind of parent”, Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop there.
There are also the what’s best campaigns:
Breastfeed or you suck!
Bottle feed or you are stupid!
Dont let them drink out of plastic bottles or eat fruit from mexico!
Co sleep…Never Co sleep!
And for the everylovingfuck…don’t forget to not/use disposable diapers you rat-bastard!
They are making billions of dollars every year, because parents just want to succeed.
I had to put a stop to this fantasy…and right the hell now, what if my kids or husband heard this crap?
BCT (Before crotch trophies) I boasted to anyone who listened about how, “I am going to be the perfect, most understanding, patient mother ever… and I will never be one of those lazy bitches with a cluttered dirty house wearing yoga pants and hair scrunchies!” I swear it was hard to even write that with a straight face, because now I live in Yoga pants. I even have a pet name for them. They are my “I give up on life pants” and they usually go well with hair scrunchies, and Moscato…Not to mention how hard it is to keep a house full of kids clean.
There isn’t a parent out there that is perfect. This isn’t a sitcom where everything is resolved with a quick heart to heart in thirty minutes with no freakouts and a hug.
We have to stop the parent shaming, and brutal judgements my friends. If your kids respect others, listen to anyone that isn’t you (because lets face it, they always act better at their friend’s house), they don’t kill and skin all the neighbors cats, and are generally well-rounded, THEN YOU ARE ROCKING THIS!
As I write this, I am blasting Dead Kennedy’s whilst trying to ignore my kids to no avail.
I have yelled at 5 to stop being a dick to 7. And yes, I did use the word dick–out loud–.
I yelled at 2 for not cleaning the kitchen, then found out it was 6 I should have been yelling at. However, I didn’t apologize because I know there is something 2 is supposed to be doing, but dammit I can’t figure it out right now.
I spilled a beer I didn’t even know I opened yet.
Kicked the dog…twice…because he keeps trying to lay on my foot as I walk.
I forgot to switch the laundry this morning and now have to wash it again…for the third time.
And just now, I just remembered I put french bread in the oven. Lastnight. And never served it.
As long as the boys are clean and in bed before I am…with homework, chores and showers done…then I will be okay with how things worked out. They all lived through the day, and so have I.
Take a deep breath, and when things get tough, remember that EVERY PARENT OUT THERE FEELS LIKE A FAILURE SOMETIMES. If you don’t, you are not normal and should stop bragging. But all of you others, you are not alone. Now go tap yourself on the back, grab a drink and enjoy the rest of your day.
There is this secret society that is not really a secret. It’s like our own little Illuminati. All the most brilliant of writers, bloggers (Word slingers), Facebook Admins and well…Me… all hang out together. We bounce ideas off each other, and spend lots of time venting. It’s the artistic way to do things…trust me. The only thing we do not have is a handshake… I think we should work on that.
So while in this secret room that only the most elite are invited, they (The Bunker Gods) decided to do a little road trip. It’s a blogging tour if you will. They gave us all the same questions, with a fancy little hashtag that everyone can follow. So while I normally try to stay clear of these little things…these people, well…they hold a little piece of my heart so, how the hell could I say no?
So grab a drink (don’t worry, I’ll wait), take a seat, strap in and get ready!
Here are the questions:
What is your most prized possession?
Aside from anything kid related…I am not one who really has much in the way of prized. The hubs and I eloped, so there are no wedding pics…I have baby pictures of the boys etc, and even a stuffed animal from when I was a kid. However, that being said; if I had to drop everything and leave, there’s really nothing I would miss. Except for a pic of my gram.
I lost my gram last year. For those who know me, you know that she was my family, my rock. I have very little to do with my sisters or my folks, So losing her, shook me. I still have a hard time accepting it.
This woman was probably the strongest women I have ever met. At five foot nothing she had no qualms about getting in your face in order to knock you down a few pegs. She was brutally honest, and cared immensely about her family…even when we were being pig-headed and stupid.
This Picture of her was around the holidays one year. As a joke, my parents bought her a Grumpy shirt…because well…she always looked so grumpy. The joke was not lost on her. The picture showed her true personality, and I display it proudly.
Ha! Thats probably the easiest to answer. If I can’t talk the husband into a trip to our favorite watering hole… As soon as 4:00 hits, the “Give Up on Life Pants” (Yoga pants) are on, and a glass of this weeks favorite wine is poured. I am not really the TV type (Unless the Bruins game is on), so you will usually find me buried in a book on the couch, surrounded by family and dogs.
What is one song that has followed you throughout your whole life?
I wish I could say something cool like anything Dead Kennedys, Maybe something from Black Flag…because really, that’s what I dig. You could even throw in some Dave Matthews (who is my dirty little secret love) , Metallica or Disturbed. However, in reality…Anything Elton John Pre 1980.
Growing up my folks used to play him a lot. As well as Joni Mitchell…I know every song on every album. Yellow brick road being my favorite. Reminds me of a happier time; Life before bills, and the only drama was arguing over what skirt you were allowed to wear to school.
If you could give one piece of advice to new bloggers in your field, what would it be?
Relax. If you are doing this because you are hoping someday you will strike it rich… you are in the wrong place. Theres a reason they refer to artists and writers as starving. You can’t do it for the notoriety, or in hopes of getting famous. Don’t stress on numbers, views or comments… You need to write for you. For your own pleasure. Don’t lose yourself trying to please everyone.
Now that you’re famous, we need a quote from you.
Play hard and leave your mark. Make the world remember you. -Jeanne’ @SippyCupsandBooze
This is a question I have found myself asking the old brain lately.
Although everyone else declares change on New years, I am the ultimate procrastinator…Which means it is January 15th…. Still counts? Of course it does.
Back to where I was going with this… It’s a new year. That means for the most part, you get to start over. Make a declaration that most of the time you wont follow through with.
So, I ask myself. Am I who I want to be?
Eh, not even close.
Last year my new years resolution was to stop sweating the small stuff. Purge the negativity. Be a better person today then I was yesterday. All I was missing with this declaration, were rainbows and glitter.
Sounds easy enough. I mean how hard could it really be? Probably way easier than the old, “This year I am going to lose blah blah amount of weight, eat clean, and quit smoking” (Notice how I never attempted to give up on the wine thing…baby steps folks…baby steps)
I was able to erase some people…cleaned out the ‘ol facebook of all the people who did nothing but complain about everything… Got rid of the drama friends…No more drama was my most brilliant idea. It is AMAZING how much better you feel when you boot out the negative Nancy’s in your life.
It was a quick revamp of people by January 1st. However, like everything… it all went back to the same by February.
This year I announced a do over on the whole “better person” thing. However, the whole being a better person gig….For me, this is almost as hard as cutting off my own appendage. Keyword…Almost… However I could probably do the deed with a spork, a bottle of whiskey and a stick to chew on, long before I could slap on a pretty face, and keep my mouth shut.
I’m an asshole by trade, or at least that’s what a lot of people describe me as. I’m opinionated to a fault, and have the tendency to spew out the truth…and people don’t dig that, despite what they might say.
Trying to stay nice…be a better person… not let stupid get to me. Just the thought makes my eye twitch.
How do you not call someone on their shit, while being sweet and not hurting feelers?
When you ask me how you should handle a situation with your ex, how the bloody hell do I say, “I HAVE NO OPINION”, then walk away?
How do I NOT tell that guy at the party –the one my husband works with– that the reason I don’t like him is because well…I think he is a whiney pansy who needs to grow up. (Disclaimer: This example is solely based on fiction… no need to blow up my phone boys.)
Why do I need to say anything? It just happens. It’s a painful work in progress… little baby steps and lots of deep breathing…yoga and meditation… if I ever want to make a change I will have to change everything about me.
The hubs though… he is one of the good guys. I mean, he can get all mean and scary –trust me– but for the most part he is actually genuinely nice!
He worries about the little guy, and life being fair for others. He worries that at some point I may just tell someone I think they are an asshat, or go off on them for just being a dick. Then he will be forced to put his foot down, which most likely will be on my head. He keeps me grounded… most of the time anyway, however there are those moments…
I blame it on my filter. Mine broke (if I ever really had one) more years ago than I care to admit, leaving me to often wonder why you can’t pick another one up from Costco or something…
“Welcome to Costco… Have you found everything you are looking for?”
“No, sorry…but I am looking for a new filter. One for my mouth. It keeps misfiring.”
“Oh no problem! It’s over by the prosthetic legs and tires. Would you like for someone to help you out with it? Will you need a box?”
It would be a total relief. I could buy them in bulk never fearing again what might slip out in front of people.
I kind of feel like making this announcement will cause the Gods to challenge me more. Like they all know this is an impossible task for me to complete. I would have better luck finding elves to accompany me to Mount Doom.
So I guess I put things in writing…It’s there for the world to see and hold me accountable. So if you see me somewhere… a bar…a party… and I sound like Goldie Hahn in overboard (when she is blubbering and the kids think they broke her) come save me! There is probably a dumbass standing by making comments, and I am trying desperately to not jump all over him/her about it.
It’s always the introduction, “Did you meet my friend Jeanne’? She has EIGHT freaking BOYS…EIGHT!!” that gets them talking.
At first they are in awe…with lots of, “Oh my gods” and “Oh wow, you are crazy, how do you do it?” which I’m sure if I didn’t have as many kids, I would probably do the same, however my personal favorite –they like to bow down and tell me I’m amazing! (hey it happens, and I run with it, because in my house, it’s a dog eat…or should I say, kid eat kid world out there)
Nonetheless, the bubble quickly pops and they soon realize that in my house….it is probably too loud and way too crazy to even imagine what it’s like. However, the one thing everyone…and I mean EVERYONE always asks, and I (Dream of) want to throat punch them for…
“Are you still trying for a girl?”
Who in the hell said I was trying for a girl?
Who said I wanted a girl?
Whats wrong with just having boys?
Someone forgot to give me the “Everyone has to have a girl to be normal” memo.
Why is it so hard to fathom, that some people…they don’t need a girl to complete their family. In fact, I ALWAYS wanted boys. I love having boys. Even on the days I am pulling out my hair, hiding in my closet in the fetal position…
I get boys.
Who deemed it appropriate to give the “aww maybe you will get the girl the next time” shrug?
News flash! I never set out “trying” to have a girl. I never did the “aww maybe next time” thing. I wasn’t upset that there will be no pink or frilly stuff… no bows or glitter in my neck of the woods. I never wandered the department stores wishing I could buy all things girl. I was thrilled that the little bean growing inside of me was healthy, and all mine.
Now don’t get me wrong… I don’t hate girls, so don’t blow up my email telling me all the reasons I should want a girl with your panties in a bunch. I AM a GIRL (and pretty darn frilly at that)! I believe that just like I am made for boys, others are made for all things girls.
I like the spontaneity of a boys. The curiosity. The in your face crazy, and unfiltered honesty. After growing up in a house of girls, you have no idea how much I actually welcomed the later.
I am even okay with the bugs and other crawlies I find in clothes pockets from time to time.
While I teach my boys love and compassion–respect for woman–, they have taught me there really is a difference between a digger and a backhoe. I know every ninja turtle and dinosaurs you can imagine. Cars? Not only do I know the difference between a ’57 Ford Fairlane and a ‘57 Chevy Bel Air, I appreciate them! And believe it or not, it has probably made me a better person.
They have taught me strength and more patience than even mother Teresa probably ever had.
I no longer need or expect perfect in my world. Chaos and clutter are no longer a bad word.
They are strong enough to move furniture, and never again will I think about mowing a lawn.
I never have to worry about my makeup going missing..no arguing over the appropriateness of clothing.
Most important…I’m the only queen of my castle, and there will be no one fighting to push me from the throne.
My world was thrown into a vortex of color and pandemonium, and I love it. So next time you see a mother with all boys, don’t ask her about trying for a girl…buy her a drink and tell her she’s rocking it!
There has been this thing irking me for some time. And please, I am no saint…I even catch myself making a few of these mistakes at times, so don’t start bitching that I don’t get it… but seriously women. Gather around my little post right here; lean in (and men, you can join in too) and listen the hell up (you can even bookmark this for later reference, or even take notes).
No one…. especially your children…want to listen to you talk down about your husband. Ever. Now let that sink in before we move on….
He is not your manchild. He has a mother.
He is not stupid.
He can actually hear you say a million times, that he doesn’t do “such and such” right, but frankly he doesn’t care…and because he still did it, you should just stfu and thank him for the help, I mean… thats all you wanted in the first place right?
Stop speaking to him like he is a 3 yr old. He’s not. It’s degrading as all hell. And frankly, it makes my eye twitch.
Stop comparing him to other husbands/books/movies, if you don’t want him comparing you to other wives, or worse yet… next months centerfold model.
You do not need control of everything (well…I do… But I try really hard not to every.damn.moment of my day.)
Stop using sex as a punishment or to get what you want. You are not a whore. (and if you are, then I apologize.)
imagine for one second if you will, what would happen if your husband denied you sex all.the.time. We are women,… that shit would fuck with our head for years! Or better yet, you had to work for it by buying him something pretty or expensive…cook for him…take you on a date.
Leave Facebook out of it. I mean it. When he does something that bugs you, don’t tell the world. It makes him look stupid, and you look like an asshole…and no one likes an asshole.
If you hadn’t been forced to marry him by some sort of archaic arranged marriage…
YOU CHOSE HIM. You thought he was perfect. You loved him. Try to remember that.
You should be building him up, not tearing him down. (Which you should also be doing men) Because if you can’t get the support and love you need from your spouse, then where else do you get it?
If you don’t agree… stop for one second and mull this little fun shit around in your head…
Your sons are listening.
They hear how you feel about men and their fathers. They are absorbing like little sponges, everything.you.say. They hear the disrespect, and it bothers them.
And don’t forget about your daughters. Soon they will be your little mini me’s. It will start in the teen years when she doesn’t respect her father…when she begins to use your words to get her way with you. Then later on with her own husband.
A few years back, there was this couple we use to hang out with. We will call them Frank and Barbara for all intended purposes (and so no one sues me). Frank was the main provider for their household. He spent 10 hours (or more) a day working, then came home and hid in his workshop. He wasn’t perfect, however nor was she.
Barbra was a stay at home mother, who also ran a part-time daycare. She would spend many days shopping with her mother, and complaining about Frank and his lack of… well… pretty much everything to her friends and mother.
When Frank would introduce his wife to someone new, he would say things like, “This is my wife Barbara”
However, when Barbara would introduce him… She would say things like, “This is my bitch Frank”.
She would think it was hysterical, and maybe on the couple of man hating days I too found it funny…but in reality she may as well have said something like, “Hey everyone, this man right here…he is a pussy, and I don’t respect him, oh…and either should you”
Needless to say, they are now divorced. Believe it or not, it’s not because Frank left her… it’s because when you say out loud over and over that your husband is a bitch to anyone that will listen… you begin to only see that person as a bitch.
This was something I had to figure out first hand myself…and the hard way. I use to have bar night. It was a few women and I that would all get together weekly at the bar; get completely wasted, and bitch the night away about all things husbands. It started out as a way to blow off steam, and vent.
Believe it or not, after a while without even seeing it coming… things got toxic. I found more faults with my husband, yet never looked at my actions as a problem. It began tearing apart the very foundation my husband and I had built up over the past 20 years, just for the pure entertainment of others.
However with all things said, the worst thing in my opinion, would be putting everyone’s needs ahead of your husband, or your marriage.
Your best friend is NOT more important than your husband, and if they are…then maybe you should reconsider your priorities.
You shouldn’t drop the time with your spouse just because your mother has a need to go to the craft shop right this minute, Or because your sister has decided to have yet another meltdown.
Your child is also a poor excuse.
Now before the panties get in a bunch, and all the moms start yelling at me, just keep reading. I don’t mean the little things. I can give a rats ass who gets seated at the table first… or that you need to put little Johnny to bed before you sit on the couch and watch tv or have a conversation. I’m talking time folks.
Remember when you started dating, and all you wanted to do was spend all.your.time with that man? It was absolutely disgusting to everyone around you. Now I am not saying that is how you need act now (sort of), because trust me… I need some “me” time just as much as the next person; plus the goo goo eyes and face sucking just makes people feel awkward and unsure of where to look. But think about it. As much as you may think that spawn you guys made, should come first… you are wrong. Dead wrong. *Gasp*
That kid (no matter how cute or little) is going to jump ship one day. And guess who will still be there? Thats right… your husband will. (as long as you haven’t broken his spine completely yet) He should be put before everyone (and vise versa guys). Because lets face it…we need the support, and for someone to need us.
Furthermore, when couples are happy with each other, it makes for a great stable marriage. Which then leads to happier stronger parents. Which nonetheless, makes for nice little happy stable spawns. It’s a win win for everyone. Trust me. I know all the things.
I think couples get stuck sometimes. They begin to forget about life before kids, because kids are so darn exhausting. It’s really no ones fault.
There was a time when all of a sudden my husband and I never talked. He would come home from work, while I was making dinner and yelling at the kids to stop fighting, or do homework etc. He would walk past me with a grunt which meant hello, the kids would instantly stop what they were doing to bark about their day as he walked to the shower.
Dinner would finally get served (no longer at the table as it had for years) but on the couch, then some channel surfing before bed.
I began to get angry. I blamed him for not talking to me, blamed him for being distant. Only talking to the kids or his friends. Of course that didn’t help anything, it just made for a house full of tension.
Then he finally spoke up…(or yelled). I wasn’t doing any talking either. I was just bitching at him. He was tired. Why didn’t I make an effort? Why do I always make it his responsibility to make us okay?
Because I’m a woman. I think its been bred into us to think that men are the romancers. We have decided they need to know what we need… even if we don’t know ourselves. We make it their responsibility to put us on a pedestal, yet we never do the same for them.
So I tried it. When he got home, I allowed the kids to quickly say their hellos. Instead of them following him, I did. I would lock the door, ask him about his day. He would in turn ask me about mine. We would hang out for 15 -30 min without kids interrupting.
Just that little bit of change, made for others. He started putting forth more effort without me asking…like date night. I love date night.
Last but not least…. Don’t ever, and I mean EVER complain about his parenting skills in front of the kids… or hell, anyone for that matter. If you have a problem, discuss it alone. Away from everyone else.This goes especially for those parents raising step-kids. The last thing you need is to witness someones total disrespect for the other. Or kids completely disrespecting other adults. *Shudder* It’s completely awkward for all that witness it, so… as much as I don’t want to see you and your spouse have sex…I also don’t want to see you have a knock out drag out fight in the middle of a party.
I know I am not an expert. And by no means am I or will I ever be perfect… But some things just needed to be said. Take it or leave it folks.
Kids are disgusting.
It’s like “Hey, the trash can is literally 5 feet away from the couch, but lets just shove everything under the couch instead”
Makes total sense.
I pull my couches from the wall at least once a week, however by looking at it…you would totally think I was lying. And if I didn’t do this….the smell that would emanate would kill a 10 thousand pound moose in moments. Trust me on this, I know things.
About a week ago while doing this disgusting chore, I was bitching to myself that this was NOT what I had planned as a kid. You know….when teachers ask the class, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Never.ever. did I ever say, “I want to be a house mom cleaning up petrified lizards and cereal (which I haven’t bought in a year, so where the hell did it come from?) out of my couch.”
Instead I said stupid shit like, “I want to be a wonder woman-ballerina who can fly a fighter plane, while always wearing red cowboy boots and a sombrero.” Which is funny, because I sucked at ballet. (I still love red boots) In fact, I would have been better off saying I wanted to be a bulldozer or a trash truck, because that would have made more sense.
So back to the couch…
One sippy cup…sporting curdled milk.
What looks to be a petrified lizard (I was serious) or maybe a mouse with no fur…
Two ninja turtles with no head
1 G.I Joe head (Beginning to see a pattern with heads)
6 empty beer cans (which I am sure were on the side table at one point, but if you are going to shove everything in the couch, may as well throw dads beer cans in for good measure)
One chapstick without the stick (8 is an avid chapstick eater)
One half chewed pigs ear (That I am sure the dog has been looking for)
4 unmatched socks
Crust to what looks like peanut butter and jelly sandwich
600 legos (maybe 4)
Mouth guard number 6754
and a hand towel…that is not even from this house.
We are only missing Jimmy Hoffa. Unless that was the petrified lizard.
It doesn’t matter how many times I yell out, “Throw all you shit away!” or “If you are going to eat that…I better not find it in my couch later.”
Doesnt matter how many times I explain to them that no one else (aside from hoarders) live like this. I mean, when are you ever going to need that half eaten apple?
It’s really hard to find all the smells in a house full of little men, without losing your shit. At one time the basset hound was my biggest adversary. She would find, concur, and then eat all smelly things. Can’t tell you how many popsicle sticks (Kid you not) and legos that bitch has shit out in her time… but now…
Now she is 16 and I think along with her ears and eyes…even her smell is now broken…or she just got sick of trying to keep up with them.
I have even thought over the years (dreamt) about hiring a maid. But who in their right mind would be able to handle, let alone keep up with my kids? It would take a whole cast of maids and I ain’t got money for that.
So if you ever come for a visit, all I ask for…Please for all that is sacred…Do NOT ever put your hand in a couch cushion, or look under the couch!
Cheers! Happy Friday!
That hit me pretty hard.
The hubs and I have been married for a little over 20 years, which seems like forever, and barely a minute at the same time, depending on our moods and I suppose what cycle the moon is in.
We had only known each other for four months when we tripped and fell into a courthouse, eloping. Everyone was pissed. Of course, that kind of whirlwind romance should end quickly.
Statistically we should have been divorced within the first 5 years…2 years if you toss in the new baby I started popping out every year.
Those first 5 years… they were the most brutal. Hell…maybe even the first 10. What saved us? We were two bull-headed people, who could not accept failure. We would not prove everyone right.
It helped that I was crazy head of heels in love with the big brute.
The hubs and I came from totally different families, none of which was healthy…this meant that neither of us had any clue what the fuck we were doing, let alone a great example of a good marriage.
The hubs parents divorced when he was small, only to move back in with each other because of money, and in my opinion their codependence on each other.
They spent the majority of their lives together fighting and talking down to each other. They were never happy, which spread to the kids.
His mother was always working, while his father would spend years sleeping on the couch, drinking himself to death.
My folks were different. They were married, seemed to love each other, but never fought. I mean, they would disagree, but there was no slamming doors, yelling… My father never went against anything my mother said. She ruled the roost per say…
Sounds great right? Well…it was, until I was married and had no fucking idea what the hell I was doing, let alone how to fight without killing each other.
I would get so damn angry and think I was a horrible person because I voiced how I felt. If the husband yelled or I slammed a door, I felt like a total failure as a wife, mother and person.
Dont get me started on what would happened when one of us lost our shit and threw something…
Things would get ugly and sometimes outright hateful.
Things were broken (a lot of things were broken), because breaking something physically, was far better than dealing with feelings. I hate feelings.
However, not everything was a bad example in my family. My parents always showed affection. This was probably the biggest gift they could have given me. This was something the hubs never saw, nor had.
Even saying I love you regularly, was taboo in his unhealthy household. This was something I needed and wanted for my boys.
I think in the real world, affection towards people gets lost sometimes. I mean, I can’t stand for people to invade my space and touch me,and don’t even get me started on the fact everyone thinks they need to fake hug you… however it is totally different when the husband enters my space.
I need him to touch me. I need to feel like he knows I am still here.
For the last year, (probably two) I have been a whiney tit bag. Part of it is I am getting older, and don’t look as good as I once was. I have my own insecurities that no one can change that but myself.
But none the less, the biggest thing of them all…our best friends decided to divorce, which seemed to come from nowhere, and it was ugly.
Their divorce shook everyone, because for 16 years they alway seemed pretty happy.
The divorce makes you question yourself, your marriage and your decisions….because if they couldn’t make it after 16 years, then maybe you won’t either. It makes you think all kinds of crazy shit…
Are we heading that way?
What has changed?
Does he still love me?
Would he tell me if he didn’t?
It makes you paranoid.
The bitch in my head tells me how worthless I am, and how outright mean my husband is… even when I know deep down he hasn’t done anything to prove her point.
Especially after all my weight gain and health problems. I mean… how is the chick in yoga pants who hasn’t moved from her bed in a few days attractive?
I have had a lot of hurt in my time…a lot of rejection and loss… especially by people who shouldn’t reject you. These are the things I start to think about –dwell on– when I go to my dark place and let the bitch take over.
I start to get angry, because anger is easier than hurt. I begin to blame him for all of my pain instead of blaming the people who have actually caused this insecurity.
And you know what he does? He laughs at me.
He says that even though I am batshit crazy, he still loves me.
He grabs my boob when he walks by, or smacks my ass when I bend over.
He tells me to go make him a sandwich and grab him a beer… to do women’s work…which then makes me want to punch him in the neck, and I tell him so. Which makes him laugh…I love his laugh.
And he walks in the door and woos me with a night out, and sticks around when others would have left. Hell… I would have left me… I’m exhausting.
It’s in writing this, that I can remind myself of all the reasons I believe we will be fine, despite others and the bitch in my head. That I can remind myself that others lives are just that. It’s theirs, and it has no reflection on how things should be for you.
Sorry for all the words…apparently I was in a sharing mood this evening.
This post was written last year to the school my son was attending. After years of frustration, I decided to write a blog post and forward it to my sons school.
Have you ever had to deal with one of those teachers? The kind of teacher who always gives you “that look.” The look like you are a horrible parent because they feel like you do not do enough for your child?
I have, and I am done with it.
I have come to the decision that I am checking out. I know it is not the responsible parent thing to do; however, I am just frustrated and burnt out. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying I do not care about my children. I care about my children more than anything, which is why I have made this decision.
My son has struggled immensely in school from day one.
I have had so many parent teacher conferences over the years that it is becoming comical. My calendar is riddled with one appointment after another. Most of the phone calls that come in after 3:00pm are teachers and have been for almost six years. I even cringe now when the phone rings.
We have had an IEP, meetings with counselors, teachers, and principals, always hearing those same dreaded words.
“Your son is a dreamer!”
“Your son is unorganized!”
“Your son is behind.”
“Your son fiddles too much in class!”
“Your son will need to be retained!”
“Your son is always falling behind and doesn’t seem to take school seriously.”
“You need to work more with him at home.”
“You need to explain to him how important his education is!”
In addition, my all-time favorite, “Maybe you have too many kids and he is not getting the attention he needs at home.”
Now let me explain how heartbreaking this is to me.
My son is very sensitive. He is the one who is always worried about what people think about him, always worried he is disappointing.
He is the kind of kid who always needs encouragement.
He is the kind of child who cries when you are the one who is hurt, because he feels your distress.
He is the child who wants to help you so you have a better day.
He wants to befriend anyone he encounters, even if the other person does not return the same feeling…Which believe me. Happens more than I could ever understand.
He is the child who hugs you a 100 times a day, telling everyone he loves him or her because he feels everyone should feel loved.
He worries. About. Everything!
He genuinely loves school; he tries harder than most to please his teachers and do a good job, only to feel like a failure when he does not finish in the same time-period as everyone else.
He does not disrupt the class, does not sit and talk, throw things, bounce off the walls. He just sits. If he does not understand something, he stares out in space and becomes withdrawn because he is now to afraid to ask for help.
He learned early on that people get frustrated when trying to help him because he never seems to understand what they are asking.
He learned how awful it feels to have someone look at you with disappointment because you are slower than other people are, far earlier than any person should have, and that my friends, pisses me off more than anything.
We as a family take turns sitting down at the table with him for hours at night, helping him do homework and understand the work in front of him. As a parent, I am heart-broken and frustrated to no end. I spend my nights trying to calm down my anger over the situation, absolutely irritated that there is no help for my son. Why can they not see that just because a test he took in kindergarten says he does not have a learning disability, it does not mean he learns the same way other kids do?
Do you know what it’s like to watch your child cry while he tells you his brain is broken, because he doesn’t understand what we have explained a 100 times that night? Do you know how frustrating it is when you cannot help your child? How it feels to watch him go into a depression complaining about stomach aches, watching for months as circles develop under his eyes because he has stopped sleeping because he doesn’t want to go back to school and face his frustrated teacher. No 12-year-old should feel this way… EVER!
How do you look in your child’s eyes and give him the reassurance he needs when nothing else has ever worked?
How do you make a teacher understand that your child is not behind because of the negligence of his parents or because of the child’s lack of wanting to succeed? I am done pounding my head on the wall trying to explain what this is doing to not only my child, but to our family as a whole.
We have thought about pulling him out of school and homeschooling him, but when we have discussed this with our son, he breaks down and begs us to let him continue. He swears he will try harder; fearing we only want to keep him home because he is not good enough to go to a normal school, or because we need to punish him for not being “normal.”
I am tired. I do not want to fight the teachers anymore who do not care whether my child succeeds. I am tired of listening to the gripes about how poorly he does or how awful his last state test scores were. I am not going to allow my child to spend his lunches in detention every day, because he did not finish his timed math test or because he did not understand the directions to the story he was supposed to write. When is punishing him every day finally too much?
I am tired of hearing that I am failing him because his reading level is not what they believe it should be. I am tired of filling my son’s nights with arguments over homework or hours of practice reading trying to get his “scores” higher for the teacher.
I am tired of him not being able to enjoy being a kid. Playing with friends after school and on the weekends because his workload has been doubled — per the schools request. I am sick of hearing the threats of retention that make my son feel like no matter how much work he does it isn’t good enough.
We will continue with the help at home, the practice reads and struggles to help him understand. However, I will no longer allow them to make him feel like being different means he is broken, and I will no longer let other people break down my child before he ever has a chance.
Update: Things are still a struggle every day for my son, and he will always have a difficult time with things that come easy for others. But now… after someone from his school read this… they opened their eyes. He is now getting the help he needs. He even has his smile back. So please, if your child is struggling, know there are others out there that are struggling as well. Don’t allow yourself to get to the state I was in. Make them listen, because if you don’t…who will?
Boys are disgusting… and unless you have the patience of Job (which should really be spelled Jobe…but eh, it wasn’t me who wrote the bible), or a ton of wine/vodka/beer/xanax …no one should ever plan on raising 8 boys. It’s not for the squeamish or easily offended.
Why you ask?
Well, for one, you will NEVER own anything nice… EVER. And we won’t even discuss boogers, dirt, farts and other nastiness.
It took me years of yelling, fighting and threatening lives to realize this. And there are still times I revert back to stupid naive mom.
Why you ask?
Still to this day, none of my celing fans spin without crazy, off kilter wobbles. We have replaced more than I care to admit, which really makes my eye twitch. Reason for this debacle?
A. Someone will always throw something at it to see how far they can shoot the thrown object…
B. Someone will try to swing from it like something out of Road House, during a bedroom brawl…
C. A hockey stick will “accidently” hit it making it fall.
D. Someone will want to see if it could hold their little brother like at the ringling brothers circus, or on an adventurous day, the older brother will see if it can hold him.
E. They will see something in a movie that they wanted to try.
F. Cause why the hell not?
The only good thing that comes with it, is no matter how many times I threaten them death for the name of the kid who did it… they never snitch. This means if any of them go to prison, I will never have to worry about that label… so there’s that.
I remember the exact moment I realized that as the only woman… the mother… that I was fucked…like seriously fucked.
It was a Saturday, and the hubs and I decided to go out-of-town for the day on a little shopping and lunch trip. Five hours without us… What could go wrong?
Well… there was a full-blown hockey game going on with the boys and a bunch of friends.
In the house.
And Not just a small one. Think of Stanley cup, only without the million dollar players, ice, and cup.
They had pulled all the furniture out of the dining room and living room (we had wood floors). They had set up nets, laced up the skates, making sure to sport pads and helmets (because safety first).
I suppose I should be grateful there wasn’t booze or strippers involved, but then again it wouldn’t have taken me 3 hours to put the house back together, and another trip to find a new light for the ceiling fan that was the casualty of a last min score if it was all about strippers.
Over the years I have had full body holes in the wall where one kid pushed another kid… Not sure which kids because again… no one would snitch.
Then there was the time we bought the toy hauler… We had only had it a couple of weeks. took it out once, and as the hubs and I sat watching football (it was a sunday), drinking beer and eating crap food with a few friends, we heard glass shatter.
Of course like good little parents we ran out front to see what all the noise was about, hoping it was the neighbors but not so stupid that we were surprised it wasn’t.
All the kids were huddled together pretending like they were singing kumbaya or some shit. You know…hugging and trying to look innocent.
Turns out, the kids were playing a game of “Who can throw a rock over the house into the back yard (we lived on a ⅓ acre which meant you had to have muscle behind that throw), and the damn kid threw the rock over the house like the star pitcher for the Dodgers, and right through the damn toy hauler window. The brand new “Havent even got a license plate or paid the first payment” yet toyhauler.
Then there are the toilets that have been clogged with numerous hot wheels, spider man’s, underwear (yes underwear) and my favorite… the bar of soap that slowly slips down the pipes until you have to hire a plumber to tear out your front yard to get to the pipe.
If I added up all the money the hubs and I had to dish out just for damaged crap around the house, we could have probably made a trip around the world a few times by now. But no…we thought we could raise kids and come away unscathed.
I just hope the boys remember this when I have dementia and decide I want to hang from their ceiling fan.
What kind of stories do you have about your kids that make you think “What the Fuck?!” I would love to hear about it. Just leave it in the comments, or you can email me if you want to keep anonymous.