Monthly Archives: August 2015

I Am Not That Mom

I am Not that Mom

I am not that mom who sits on the floor with you playing My Little Pony for hours. I am not the mom who builds entire towns on Minecraft. I have never learned to play Pokémon and I never (ever) will. I am well aware of my failure in this aspect of parenting.

I am thankful for my husband, who excels in watching cartoons and playing video games. I smile when I see him and the kids tossing a football in the yard. (In the yard. No Throwing Balls in the House. Jesus.) I laugh when they wrestle and tickle and play, play, play.

I’m just not that mom.

I was the young soon-to-be mom, scared to death but determined, so determined, to bring you into this world and love you like no other. I was the single mother of two who worked long hours and still held dance parties with just my two boys where we sang at the top of our lungs and the laughter rang as loud as the music. Before you were even born, I was the mom eating cherry cheesecake so I could see you dance. (And because cheesecake.)

When I first saw you, I knew that you would hold my heart forever. Two more times I met my new sweet babies, and two more times my heart grew to wrap around all of you. When you were a baby, I was that mom who couldn’t sleep for looking at you. I can still feel you, so tiny, snuggled on my chest. When I see you asleep now, I still picture you curled up in footie pajamas, all wispy hair and dark lashes against perfect skin.

I was that mom who rocked you all night, patting and bouncing and shh, shh, shhing when you cried. I was the mom who panicked over every bump and bruise. I was the mom who kissed boo boos. I was the mom who spent untold hours waiting on casts for broken bones or bandages for cut fingers. (Safety scissors, my ass.) I was the mom whose leg you were firmly wrapped around the day we toured preschools. I was the mom who went to school online in order to work from home because you needed me.

I am the mom who signs notes and checks homework and packs lunches. I’m the mom who makes the doctor’s visits and dentist appointments and parent teacher conferences. I’m the mom who hasn’t worn anything but thrift store clothes for years so that you can go to school wearing clothes that are apparently hand-sewn by the famous athletes of the world.

I’m the mom who makes stupid jokes and sings off-key and acts sillier than I am just to see you smile. I’m the mom who wouldn’t trade those smiles for the entire world.

I’m the mom who loves you so much more than I could ever explain. And the mom who tries so hard to show you that.

But most times I feel like I am also the mom who is failing.

I’m the mom with chronic recurring depression. I’m the mom with generalized anxiety disorder. I’m the mom with PTSD. I’m the mom who has chronic migraines. I’m the mom with chronic pain. I’m the mom who sees more doctors than hairstylists. (Hahahahaha, I don’t even remember the last time I went to a stylist. But you have an appointment tomorrow.)

I am the mom who struggles every single day to accomplish the things that have to be done so that you can have a “normal” life. I am the mom who does your laundry even when I have to sit down to sort it. I’m the mom who makes sure the water bill gets paid so that you can shower. I’m the mom who clips your fingernails and buys you toothpaste and nags you to wear deodorant.

I’m also the mom who forgets things. Not the big stuff, like birthdays or Christmas, although there have been a few notes from the Tooth Fairy instead of cash. But I forget things that you already told me. I forget that when you were playing a video game yesterday, you scored 58 touchdowns and a free throw, and spawned…maybe a chicken? I don’t know. I forget.

But I’m also the mom who can tell in a single glance when you are upset, and who listens to you when you are sad and angry and when you are happy and excited, even if I do tend to forget your ponies’ names and LeBron’s stats and how to catch ’em all.

I’m the mom who wants to slay all your dragons and breathe fire on anyone who dares to hurt you.

I’m also the mom who too often hurts too much to cook dinner. I’m the mom who lets you eat an unhealthy amount of macaroni and pizza rolls. I’m the mom who has piles of clean laundry on the couch because my arms ache so badly I can’t fold it. I’m the mom who gets overwhelmed too easily. I’m the mom who has to hide when things get to be too much. I’m that mom who cries in the bathroom when I’ve let you down.

I’m the mom who stays awake at night worrying about you. I’m the mom who wishes she could save all your hugs and all your “I love you’s” and get them back out on the days when there are no hugs, just slamming doors.

I’m the mom who loves you SO MUCH. You are the children who save my life every day. I’m the mom who is trying to be the parent you deserve, even when I’m not the one you might want.

 

*EDITED TO ADD: I am completely overwhelmed by the response this post has gotten. I love all you guys so much,  and even though everyone keeps saying that I’ve made them feel less alone, the truth is that YOU GUYS have made me feel less alone. Thank you all SO much for every like, comment, share, and kind thought. I’ve been trying to respond to all the comments, but as I guess y’all know, I’m sick a lot. But I have read every single one of them, and each one brings a smile to my face or a tear to my eye and sometimes both. I just wanted everyone to know how much your love and compassion for each other and your “me too” and your stories have affected me.

Love,

Steph


At Least They’re All Wearing Pants. I Think.

5:30 AM: Wake up.

5:32 AM: Pour coffee. Panic about all the things. Put on running shoes because my feet are bitches.

5:35 AM: Attempt to wake kids up gently. One is already awake because he STAYED UP ALL FUCKING NIGHT. One begs for one more minute. One glares at me out of one eye. Find leopard print dress that daughter wants to wear, carry it around with me.

5:40 AM: Discover that although I spent hundreds (AND I DO MEAN HUNDREDS) of dollars on an array of Nike shorts, WHICH ARE ALL MY KID HAS WORN FOR THE LAST YEAR, he has decided today to wear a too short pair of faded black jeans with paint stains that I bought at a yardsale over a year ago. He also disdains the colorful new socks he begged for and that cost more than most prom dresses and wears instead two-year-old black socks that I’m pretty sure were left here by some random kid.

5:45 AM: Find my other son also wearing old black jeans. What. The. Fuck. NOBODY WANTED NEW JEANS. I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT FUCKING JEANS. Jesus. Whisper “fuck you” to older son because I know it will make me feel better and make him laugh. Say JK! Because he loves it when I do the Teenage Speak like the other day when I said I was totally ratchet and they said I don’t think you know what that means so then I said I was going to go ham. I also don’t know what that means.

5:50 AM: Start making lunches. Drink coffee. Add more and more things to lunches because I don’t want them to be hungry and they won’t eat breakfast. Take things out of lunches because I am going way overboard and lunch boxes won’t close. Wonder what happened to the leopard print dress.

5:55 AM: Look frantically through son’s dresser for black shorts because he JUST CAN’T wear those jeans. Not those jeans, please just not those. Wonder what happened to leopard print dress. Son asks for IPod back because he was in trouble and it was taken away but it is the first day of 7th grade so I say Yes because I am a Nice Mom.

6:00 AM: Cannot find IPod or dress anywhere. Son says IPod is in my purse. That is ridiculous. I tell him I hid it somewhere he would never think to find it. He says it seems like I hid it somewhere where I also would never think to find it. He again claims that he saw me put it in my purse. I do not have time for this. Go look for leopard print dress, beg daughter to get out of bed, plead with husband to Find The Things.

6:05 AM: Accidently forget which child I am talking to and yell, “WAKE UP!” at 6-year-old who then bursts into tears as I frantically stroke her head and apologize because I got confused and thought she was the other kid who I have to scream at to get even a blink. She gets up.

6:07 AM: Daughter gets dressed in backup leopard print shirt and khaki shorts. Accuses me of always buying her clothes that match mine. That is just ridiculous because I would NEVER and I do mean NEVER wear leopard print. Although now that I think about it, my luggage and my blanket are leopard print and also my makeup case…

6:10 AM: Son says he’s ready to go. I tell him to brush his teeth and put on deodorant. Tooth brushing takes a long time because toothpaste cannot be found, he doesn’t know that two weeks ago I replaced the head on his spin brush, the bathroom smells. Has he not brushed his fucking teeth in two weeks? I can’t think about this now. Again with the IPod in my purse. Whatever.

6:15 AM: Daughter dances around and I tell her to go pee. She says thanks for reminding her! Jesus. I tell her to brush her teeth while she’s in there. Son AGAIN with the IPod. “We took it to BestBuy, remember? And I asked for it back but you said no and you put it in your purse?” I remember that we took it to BestBuy and I put it in my purse. Yes! Pull IPod out of my purse triumphantly and give it to him.

6:32 AM: Son asks what time are they leaving and I say TWO MINUTES AGO OH MY GOD. Other son gently says some shit about that being a little early, don’t I think? NO BECAUSE THERE MIGHT BE TRAFFIC. My kids will not be late on the first day.

6:35 AM: Ask son if he brushed his teeth and put on deodorant. He says he brushed his teeth but did not need deodorant because he was wearing cologne. Husband explains that deodorant is Every Day and cologne is only if you want. I say ALWAYS WEAR DEODORANT OH MY GOD.

6:37 AM: Daughter wants sparkly rainbow hair bow that matches leopard print Not At All. Ends up wearing sparkly headband that matches leopard print Not At All.

6:40 AM: Everyone starts to leave and husband says, “At least she didn’t make you guys line up for pictures” so I say OH MY GOD GUYS and get out my phone. I try to take a picture and say, “Why is it all black? My phone is broken. Shit! Oh wait, the case is on. HOLD ON WHERE ARE YOU GOING I HAVE TO TAKE A….they are gone. I chase them to the car and take photos maniacally. I hug them all tightly and tell them to have a good day.

6:45 AM: Back in quiet house. Pour more coffee. See leopard print dress in kitchen.

7:15 AM: Husband calls to tell me that they can probably leave a little later tomorrow because they are already there and the doors don’t even open until 7:30. I say that I thought there might be traffic. He says, “Me too” just to make me feel better.


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