I have decided to participate in my first blog challenge: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
Basically, everyday of the week for April (except Sundays, which is perfect, since I have those days off on my blog schedule already) I will be posting the next letter of the alphabet inspired post. I only ask my followers to bear with me, since I am unwilling to give up my daily topics for my week’s posts. Not to mention I am also currently posting my #100HappyDays posts too. This may mean three or more posts in a day. A lot for this busy Mom to take on, but I fee like writing in my blog is one of the only things I do for myself. It’s Mommy’s Timeout time, Mommy’s play date, Mommy’s Lego building time. So, I will be posting. A lot. But it is okay. Cauz I love writing and I love challenges, and I am finding new and fun ways to write these blogs everyday. I can’t wait to see what kind of writing experiences these posts will initiate over the rest of this month. I invite anyone to join. I would love to see your take on the alphabet challenge, and having someone along on anything always makes it that much more fun!
The letter A: Adulthood
I have been having an ongoing conversation with my babysitter. He is a teenaged boy, and my kids love him. Everytime I see him, I seem to have something new to jokingly complain about, I mean come on, that is the essence of adulthood right? Basically, these little complaints have turned into a list. Every now and then he says, “Wow, I’ll have to remember that one. I never would have thought about how hard it would be once you have kids or a family.” To which I’ll chime in with, “Add this one (insert desperately missed freedom from b.p [Before parenthood] here.) to the list.” The list has grown quite long… so long I’m afraid I can’t remember them all. But there is another perk of adulthood. The older you get, the more stuff you try to jam into your head, the more memories you attempt to cling on to, and eventually those thoughts start falling out. Leaving a trail much like the bread crumb disaster of Hansel and Gretel. Once you try to follow it back to the beginning, a.k.a your youth, you find the trail has disappeared and you have no clue how to find your way back. Stuck in adulthood. (I realize at this point I am starting to sound old and grumpy, and possibly even senile… so let me take this opportunity to assure I am just a 23 year old Mother of two/ sometimes 5 [step parenting] who is in desperate need of a vacation, or at least an uninterrupted bathroom break…)
But back to the point I seem to have strayed from: the list. The list of things to cherish while you still can.
- Listening to music on headphones. This is no longer possible for multiple reasons. The two main ones being, 1. I wouldn’t be able to hear the children trying to kill each other with Hot Wheels and building blocks. And without me to intervene, they may have to learn how to… *gulp* SHARE!!!!! and 2. My husband immediately becomes convinced that I am either, a. ignoring him, b. depressed, c. mad at the world, or d. a mix of all of the above. So this little Nirvana is no longer in the realm of possibilities for me. I must live vicariously through those I pass by as they enjoy the freedom of blocking the world out, and letting the music consume them.
- Time to yourself. It is no longer as simple as walking into a room and closing the door. Privacy DOES NOT EXSIST! I repeat: NON EXSISTENT! I could try to close the door to my bedroom, but I would either have to bear with the sounds of my children screaming bloody murder as they attempt to break the door down (and as discussed above, any means of drowning their screams out is forbidden) or be faced with the eerie and suspicious silence of children as endure the panic attacks I attempt to beat down at all the imaginative and horrifying possibilities of what they could possibly be doing (putting my phone in the toilet, eating the dog food… AGAIN!, choking on a stray piece of whatever they managed to find and stick in their mouth… the list could go on and on.) So instead, I give in. Privacy, nope. Sanity, at least in the aspect of knowing my kids are ok.
- Making plans. I really can pinpoint when this became so difficult, but I could relate the process of making plans to running a marathon in some ways it seems. Honestly, when you are done making the plans to DO something, you are left so exhausted, you don’t have the energy to DO the thing you planned. Step one: Find someone to make the plans with. Between coordinating schedules, ensuring no one in either family involved is sick, factoring in work schedules and birthday parties and other previous engagements…. this is no easy feat. And the fact that my list of people to “make plans” with is incredibly small, does NOT make this any easier. Step 2: Decide what to do. This is affected by just as many, if not MORE factors. What kind of money do we have and are we willing to spend? If it is an outdoor event, what is the weather gonna be like? How long are we gonna need a sitter for? Or, can the kids come along to the planned event? How much time do we have in our rare allotted window of space in our crazy busy lives? Do I work early the next morning? And so on…. Step 3: Finding a babysitter. I will admit, we are rather lucky in this department, but there are always hiccups along the way. And it doesn’t help that we found an AMAZING sitter (the teenage boy who this list is to) and then I went and hired him at McD’s with me, effectively eliminating his FREE AVAILABILITY he was able to offer us before) But, anyway, this step usually starts off with out much stress. You write out a list of sitters, smile at all the options and think, “one of them HAS to be free.” Five minutes later you are beating your head against the doorframe (or any other hard surface in sight) and thinking that maybe you should just cancel this time. Babysitter A is sick. Babysitter B has plans to go to the movies with his friends. Babysitter 3 is grounded. Your mom, gives you a guilt trip about how she JUST watched him the other day, and your husband says there is NO way he is stuck at home with the kids while you go out and have fun. But, eventually, you can occasionally track someone down, or at the very least, convince your Mom that it will be FUN (and maybe throw in that you are on the verge of a mental breakdown and this is your last hope of retaining sanity. Hey! She is the one who taught you how well guilt trips worked!) Step 4: Getting ready to go out. If it’s a night out on the town, this can get really difficult, really fast. As a mom who doesn’t get to go out much…. getting READY for that rare night out is like the stress of Prom all over again. You go through 8 different outfits 12 different times before settling on the very first one you tried on. BY that time, your floor is covered in clothes (more laundry for that NEVER ENDING PILE!!!) and your children have been trying to get your attention for the last thirty minutes. They have given up on simple screaming and have decided it is time to try and literally climb you, as if you were Mount Everest. You shuffle to the bathroom and begin your routine of putting on your make up, to which your husband replies, “why do you have to get so dolled up?” if he isn’t going, and “Are you almost done?” if he is going. You finally finish getting ready, the babysitter is at the door, and your kids have finally realized that Mommy is leaving. Step 5: The goodbye. Your kids are crying, hanging on your legs, getting their peanut buttered hands all over your outfit. You quickly search for a baby wipe and smudge it out the best you can, and briefly consider going to change….but you decide you better make your escape now. No need to draw out what is sure to seem like the end of the world to your “heart broken” children. You promise yourself, and the sitter, that the kids will stop crying and screaming within five minutes of you leaving, as you shut the door behind you and race to the car, listening to the cries of “MOMMY!!!!!!!!” fading away. You feel a little twinge of guilt, but then remember, YOU NEED THIS! Step 6: Attempt to enjoy the night out, while you are fighting the sleep taking over your body. Dammit, why does this all have to be so exhausting?!
- Eating your food. Yourself, alone, no sharing. There is no such thing as mine anymore. If I open anything within my kids sight, it is fair game. “Mom!? Bite?” is the constant inquiry as I attempt to eat the yogurt in my hand as fast as I can before another child realizes I have food. As I scrape the bottom of the cup I realize I got about two bites between my suddenly starving children, and actually consider eating the next one in the dark privacy of the pantry. But as mentioned above, privacy does not exist, and it is hard to enjoy fat free vanilla pudding while listening to your kids fight/ imaging that their silence means they managed to get heir diaper off again and you are gonna come out to find a new poop inspired body painting to clean up. You sigh in defeat and hand them another handful of goldfish, stealing a few when they aren’t looking.
- Sleeping in. No matter how late you put those monsters to bed, they are up at the butt crack of dawn EVERY time. Occasionally I can get away with letting them sit in their crib while I force myself awake over thirty minutes and 5 snooze buttons. But it’s only so long before they begin screaming for food, or to get out. Besides, you leave them in there too late, and nap time is out the window. A day without nap time…. makes me wanna curl up in the fetal position and hum to myself just thinking about it. Sleeping in is now, 8 in the morning, at the very latest. I knew I should read the fine print when I signed up for motherhood.