Thursday, January 22, 2015

Momma's Frustrations of Daily Life

7 Things that frustrate me daily - in no particular order.

1). Sitting.  I just want to sit down, for over 20 minutes without having to get up.  As SOON as I sit down, someone needs something.  Whether it is a cup of water or a snack or a shoe tied, or a Minecraft emergency, or even a “but I wanna sit there” complaint.  It seems like a conspiracy hatched by the kids, the dog, The Hub and even my own bladder.  None of these factors in my life will allow me to be uninterrupted for an extended period of time.  And by ‘extended’ I mean over 15 minutes.  

2). My face.  It is looking older and older.  I FaceTime with my little brother who lives in Hawaii.  (Yea, I know!)  And I am overly distracted by the little ichat box with my talking face in it.  It looks old and haggard and saggy and old.  The wrinkles aren't that bad, but the saggy, baggy neck, chin and jowls are upsetting. Should humans have jowls?  Also the bags under my eyes are super puffy and the some of the freckles are running into each other.  I am only 42, but I see what 72 may look like, pretty clearly!  

C). Homework.  I am sick of the homework.  My 11 year old’s 5th grade homework is enough to have me hate school all over again. It is time consuming and tricky.  He is sloppy and rushes through everything.  So I have to be the ogre and have him re-do it so that a human being from this century can read it.   He does not seem to learn that if he rushes through to get it done quick, it is only going to take him 3 times as long to finish.  I have said it before, I don’t know how his teachers have not throttled him as of yet.  Is there anything less logical and more pig headed than an 11 year old boy?  

You like me, you really like me!
D). My social media problem.  Notice I did not say addiction.  I am not ready to go that far.  I can stop any time I want to. It hasn't interfered with.... OMG I just got a comment "liked" by Jenn Mann of People I Want To Punch In The Throat!  No Way!  Where was I?   I know.  I will just keep rowing down that river in Egypt.  I like it.  I am a social person, and I like the perceived notion that people actually listen to me.  Even if it is just a Facebook “like” or a re-tweet.  No one listens to me in my real life but they do on my computer. Look, you are listening to me right now!  Wait, wait, don’t go.  Let me entertain you!  

Sub-paragraph Q).  Cooking.  I actually love cooking.  I enjoy creating meals and having them all come together.  I enjoy putting it on the table and looking at my feast.  I love serving the plates and taking that first bite after savoring the smells.  If it were only that simple. The creating of the meals is interrupted continuously.  I forget my overall vision for the meal.  Then the complaints start before I finish.  
i.e.
“What are we having?”  (said in an incriminating and volatile tone)

“I don’t WANT that for dinner!”

“I HATE (insert here: any food item that I am currently cooking)!” 

“But I am STARVING and I don’t like any of that stuff.”

“You NEVER make anything I like!”

“Honey, isn't that (insert here: pan of food he has never cooked in his life) on too high?”

“Do we have any (insert here: something we don’t have and wouldn’t go with the meal anyway)?”

“Why did you make it that way?”

“Is this your own creation or did you follow a recipe?”
Then we sit down to the table, that no one seemed to remember how to set, and I am hopping up and down like a bunny getting all the things that were forgotten, like a fork, the butter, salt and pepper, cups for drinks, said drinks, napkins, etc.  Then after all the complaints - and I have inhaled a cold dish of food - the clean up process starts.  I HATE cleaning up after I have cooked. HATE IT. I am a messy cooker.   But it is usually a toss up of cleaning the kitchen or doing the bedtime routine.  As much as I hate cleaning up, I will choose cleaning up, every time! 

Z). Sleeping.  I need a night.  Now it is not nearly as bad as it was when the kids were babies.  I am not that sleep deprived.  I shouldn’t even complain about it…. Ok for all of you parents of babies out there, I won’t.  I won’t dare complain, because I am still getting about 6 hours more sleep than you are!  

6). My Body.  I don’t care much about how she is looking lately.  She can be covered up and disguised with clothing, but I do care how she feels.  That is pretty crappy!  Knees cracking, elbows popping, shoulders aching, back straining and ass dragging!  It has to do with age… and eating improperly… and lack of exercise…. and weight, but I am going with blaming it all on age.  

VII).  Laundry.  OH Sweet Love of all that is Holy, I hate the laundry.  I hate everything about it.  The sorting. The fishing dirty, little underwear out of dirty, little pants that are inside out. The dirty, little balls of stinky socks. The super-stinky basketball clothes.  The pre-pubescent stench of the 5th graders clothes. The soaking wet towels thrown in the laundry on top of and underneath more gross clothes, that sat for days. Loading the machine then forgetting to change it over to the dryer.  Then having to rewash the mildew smelling load again.  Ugh! The folding and putting away that NEVER gets done.  Then looking at the hamper and seeing it is full again and always for ever and ever, Amen!  



It can be daunting, mundane and tedious, but I read this and then kind of hate myself.  WTF do I really have to complain about? So what are your frustrations?  Are they as meaningless as mine?

Friday, January 9, 2015

We Came, We Saw, We Quit Our Membership

Yea, Yea, Yea, I know!  You hate all of us non-fit, newly resolved, noncommittal types who just committed to your gym.  The gym you go to every other day no matter what.  

We are taking your parking spaces, we are taking your equipment.  We are taking up all the space at the front of your exercise class.  We don’t know where we are going or what time anything starts.  We look overwhelmed and at the same time cocky because we are now ‘going to the gym’ and ‘getting in shape.’  Finally!  Something that you have been doing for years. 




What makes us so special?  We now act like we own the place. We forget to wipe up our funk off of the stair-stepper after our grueling 20 minutes. Only 20 minutes and we look like we just took a dip in the pool.  You see, we sweat so profusely because this is the most movement we have had since we had to run into McDonalds from the parking lot when they screwed up our drive-in order.  

Some of us start a program that we were able to do 10-15 years ago, like no time has passed.  Only after, realizing that a lot of fucking time has passed!  Some of us just walk into the fitness room and jump from machine to machine, pretending that we know what we are doing and then get bored.  Some of us start a fitness class with other newbies and realize that it is not as easy to walk out in the middle of class when everyone can see you leave.   

Just be patient.  It won’t last long.  Mid February, maybe early March, we should be clearing out soon enough.  A few of us will inflict an injury - on ourselves.  A couple may even provide some excitement being taken out on stretchers!  

Instead of getting mad at us and cursing our brand new work out clothes with matching bag, sneakers, and headband, try to have some pity.  We really don’t know what we are doing.  We may act like we are ready for the workout routine.  But we are not.  We may act as if we love going to the gym.  But we don’t.  We may try to keep up with the crazy spin lady. But we can’t.  

There are some who will find that fun.  Find that spark that will light their ass on fire.  Then they will love going to the gym.  Some will start to feel really good and realize how healthy they are feeling.  They will actually look forward to their work-out.  Be kind, because some of those will be here the rest of the year!

But the rest of us, in all reality, are scared, miserable and tired.  We don’t like working out.  We don’t want to get off the couch.  We hate seeing all you svelte committed exercisers, rolling your eyes at us.   Our motivation to start getting in
shape is usually a vane one - just so we don’t have to buy the next size up - just so we can eat a few pieces of pie and not look 5 months pregnant.  Is that too much to friggin' ask?  However, vanity will not be enough to keep us motivated. We will search for a better motivation.  But what-the-fuck-ever!  We won’t last.  We never do.  We will skip a week and then 2 weeks and then 3 months will have gone by and we will cancel our membership. That is…. until the open enrollment is offered next January!  


Until next year.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Growing Pains

The holidays bring out the best and worst in me.  I was an absolute mess before Christmas.  The planning, the spending, the worrying about the debt-ing, all made me an emotional mess. Oh and did I mention that our house is up for sale, and we have to have the house show-ready?”  That combined with memories of Christmases gone by and the reality that my boys are not babies or even toddlers anymore.  They are getting bigger and this, or the next Christmas may be the last ones that they believein Santa.  When that happens, a certain magic will be lost.  

It seems that we try to hold on to a piece of the past no matter if it is healthy or not and the holidays give us the opportunity to do that.  Baking what our grandmothers baked, putting decorations up that remind us of our childhood, trying to recreate experiences that we had as children for our own children.  

The trick is not losing ourselves in the past, not succumbing to the old ways that we used to use to survive.  There are roles we played as children that can be carried into adulthood that no longer serve our best interests.  

My goal as a mother is to make the roles of my boys good ones, to allow and even facilitate the changing of those roles as they grow. I know I am going to be a major topic in their future therapy sessions.  I cant escape that, but I want to mitigate the damage.  I want to - for lack of a better term - not pass my neurotic shit on to them.  I want their lives to be about them and what they want and need, not what I want for them. 

My personal struggles have been fighting my own narcissistic tendencies and my need for validation, control and attention.  Well the attention thing may be out of the question, because well. blog about ME! But I am learning that I can validate myself.  Control is something that I am learning to let go of, one white knuckle at a time. 

I am finding it easier to see my role as a mother as one of a guide and not a leader. A behind the scenes coach and support system rather than a director.  This is needed as they are becoming older.   Lil One is only 6 and I can still bask in the glow of his cuteness and cuddle-me-ness and his looking to me as the one with all the right answers.  He is a smart cookie and so easy going, and I may be able to hold on to that for another couple of years.  

But First born has been discovering himself apart from us. It is exciting and frightening to watch. First Born is 11 and I have started the transition into someone who really does not know anything. I am the one to be tested and argued with at any cost.  My natural urge is to fight this.  But I am realizing that that will not help.  I have to let him make mistakes. I have to let him fall.  I have to make sure that I validate his feelings, even when I think that he is being rid-god-damn-diculous and overly dramatic.  I have to allow that to happen. If I fight it, I fight him.  He has enough angst and frustration, I dont want to play the lead role.  I am also realizing that he still needs the hugs and cuddles that I give Little One.  He leans into me when I am going over his homework. He lets me fix his hair in the morning and still gives me a kiss goodnight.  I have to be welcoming to that for as long as he still needs it.  I have to not push when I go to give him a hug and he backs away and only does the one-arm-patting-the-back thing.  I need to give him his space and allow him to grow.  

It is so hard and so emotional!  So much more emotional than I thought it would be.  There are times, especially during the holidays, when I ache for First Born to be that little wiry monkey who would fly into my arms and tell me - with his speech impediment - Momma I yuve you soon much.’  I miss when he would pat the floor next to him and say, Momma, you pway dis twuck and I pway dat twuck.’  I daydream of the nights spent on his rocking chair in his room, when he would tell me what songs he wanted me to sing to him before bed.  I would sing and his sweet little voice would join with mine on the parts that he knew.  I miss that little guy.   I miss the role I played.  I miss how good I felt being able to comfort and fix all of his problems with a hug and a kiss.  At 11 he still needs me but in a way that I have to learn.  The early years came naturally. These years are going to need some research and patience.  The roles are changing. 



Everything is new but we are the same.  Can we change?  Is it possible that we dont change but become more of ourselves as we improve?  When we were born, were we wired as perfect beings and then life happens, parents happen, mistakes happen and our wiring is short circuited, then re-wired?  Are the improvements we make actually working our way back to our original wiring?

I sit here typing this with tears running down my face.  I know that growing pains are as much about what we as parents go through as it is for our children.  I realize that growing never stops and I have to continue my growth as a mom.  I have to figure out the next stage and allow my sons to figure it out as well.  I cant scoop them up in my arms and tell them Mommas got you, baby.  Everything is gonna be all right,and expect that to work.  I am going to have to find something that makes me feel as good as when I could still do that.   How do you find that?  How can I get that back?  Am I supposed to get that back?  How do you come to the realization that that part of your mothering role has been played and is done?  How do you look back on that and smile with pride instead of cry with longing?  


When I looked at my sons when they were first born, I knew in my heart and soul that they were perfect beings, full of love and abundance.  Their lives are a wonderful journey back to that love and abundance.  They will go through highs and lows, beauty and pain, joy and failure and I will be there.  I look forward to being there in the background, always there with a soft place to land when they need it.  In the meantime I will still be on my own wonderful journey learning and playing the roles I need to play.   Someday making it back to my own original wiring and returning to me.