Thursday, February 16, 2017

Laying in the Road, Waiting for Traffic to Run me Over: Life as a mom

Making the decision to be a stay home full time with my kids was what I thought I always wanted to do. I dreamed of being a mother since I was very young. So being a stay at home mom was just part of my dream. I felt like I was missing out on all of the good stuff at home if I wasn't the one who was with me them daily. 
My daughter was 6 months old at the time and our babysitter was sending me pictures of things like the first time she rolled over, and pictures of trips to the park. And seeing her starting to grow without me made me sad.
Funny thing is I worked as a nanny for a family while our daughter attended a home daycare. I only worked because my ex-husband wouldn't let me stay home. I honestly just worked to pay the babysitter. It was the stupidest thing ever but I was married to a very controlling human who refused to let me stay home or go to school. 
Finally when she was 18 months I quit. I finally talked my ex into letting me stay home and babysit a few kids. At least that way I could be home with our daughter and I make a small income on the side. I couldn’t wait to slow down and truly experience what life was all about. I envisioned the perfect life I would have as a stay at home mom. We would spend our days strolling through parks/museums, my house would be spotless, nice meals always made, I'd teach our daughter, she would take long naps and at end the day I put her to bed and relax with a smile on my face.
I had this vision that my house would be the epitome of a Pottery Barn catalog and our yard would be the envy of our neighbors. I'd have the smartest, most well behaved children and my (then) husband would wonder how he got so lucky to have such a perfect wife and prance me around town like a sparkly little show pony, and my kids would idolize my every move. Usually this fantasy also included me winning a dance competition of some sort in front of a crowd of hundreds.
I was certain my life would be perfect.
The next 5 years were rather a blur of ...
babysitting part time from home & starting a mom group to...
running a successful home child care to...
a divorce to...
a big move...
 unemployment and dead broke to... 
back to running a home daycare.
Once Logan (2nd kid) started school. I went back to school full time for a cosmetology degree. But then I got pregnant with baby number 3 and I throw up like the exorcist at least 3 times a day. I couldn't work, go to school or move most days. So at 10 weeks pregnant I once again became a stay at home mom and I did some babysitting on the side. Again I pictured this perfect little dream of unicorns, rainbows and me winning dance competitions. 

Fast forward 5 years...most days I think about going and laying out in the road and wait for a car to run me over. 
At least my co-workers and fellow students didn't throw tantrums in front of me. My kids don’t give a shit who is around. They’ve thrown themselves upon the finest floors in the city in front of dozens of horrified onlookers. In fact, they prefer to misbehave in public because it practically guarantees my reaction will be within the confines of the law.
Now, I live and die by my kids’ happiness. Not a minute goes by in my day that I’m not thinking about how I can somehow make their lives better, constantly worrying that they are not happy enough, evaluating myself as a mother and continually thinking of ways to make sure they have the most perfect lives possible. I look at these kids and understand the meaning of life. 
And in return, my children are physically incapable of being happy unless I am actively waiting on them. For example. I sit down to dinner completely exhausted. I’ve been running like a crazy frantic person all day breaking up fights and diffusing tantrums and cleaning up poop and a cornucopia of other usually unidentifiable bodily fluids or crushed foods into the carpet.
They will purposely wait until I sit down and put the fork to my lips to tell me that they need a napkin or a drink. And then when I point out that their napkin or drink is right there there, they will frown and frantically look around for something they’re missing that will make me have to get my old tired bones up from the table to get for them. And if they can’t find anything they will chug their milk until it is gone and whine that they are still thirsty until I get up and get them more.
They are sick and twisted little creatures.
And now our 2.5 year old has started decided that sleeping if for the weak. He now gets up 500 million times throughout the night opens his door, stands at the baby gate that keeps him caged in his room and whines until one of us get up and put him back into his bed. This is not a game we enjoy and I'm really regretting getting rid of his crib.
I am so sleep deprived at this point that this is especially dangerous for him at this point in my life because since becoming a stay at home mom I have completely lost my fear of going to prison.
If I would have ever, EVER, had a co-worker wake me up in the middle of the night on a regular basis I would have put a mouse head in their lunch box, or at the very least change their computer password to “I am a giant asshole”.
But no. I will not stand for a sub par performance review from my kids. I drag my half asleep self out of my warm bed. I go to his rom. He smiles once he see's me and runs to his miniature bed and jumps in, curls up with his little lovie blanket, and he’s quit and asleep before I even spread out his blanket. And I have no idea where it comes from, but somewhere deep inside me I’m like, “awww!” and the thoughts of selling him to the gypsies down the road from us quickly disappears.
Which brings me to my next point – my ungrateful fart knocker of a client. AKA my husband.
My husband is amazing. I love him with all my heart. Seriously. 
But sometimes when he arrives home after a 48 hour shift he is completely oblivious to how much work is was to keep the house standing upright. In fact, he has the nerve to ask why there’s goldfish all over the playroom. 
And I’m just thankful he didn’t come home five minutes earlier when the cat was on fire and the toddler went missing. There are so many times in my day where, if he were to come home and see what shape the house was in, he would fire me and hire the nanny.
I sometimes feel like I’m the only parent in the world who can’t manage a simple project. 
We are going to get pictures with Santa Claus = A blowout diaper up the back right before they sit on Santa’s lap.
Let’s commemorate your first hair cut = Death grip around my neck every time the beautician comes at them with a comb, hence the reason why I cut their hair myself at home. The screams don't bother us and we know he's not dying.
We are going to eat dinner now = Hustling out of a restaurant in shame. 
But the higher my expectations for perfection, the more chaotic and painful the experience. I used to be the queen of manipulation, but now I just pray and wear comfortable shoes.
When I first became a stay at home mom I was terrified of the police showing up at my house because I made some horrible parenting mistake. Now, if they show up I will ask them if I can borrow their tazer for a second.
I used to sneak into the bathroom to pee in private like a normal human being, now I sneak into the bathroom just to catch up on my snapchat alone.
I’ve learned that being a stay at home mom is as challenging of a career as any. And as with any job, it’s all about balance. And mom's its okay to take time for ourselves. This is something I STILL struggle with and I've realized after the last few weeks it may be time for me to seek out some sort of help. Before I end up in the looney bin for a nervous break down.
Don't feel ashamed to use the nursery at the gym to give yourself a break to blow off steam in a kick boxing class. Don't feel ashamed to schedule a massage while the kids are at pre-school instead of cleaning the bathrooms. Shit, bringing a flask to the playground if you must. 
It's all about balance mommies. 

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