Let’s not dance around the truth here- I ripped the ass out of my pants on Sunday. I’d love to sit and complain about how this horrible thing that caused the cold winter air to kiss my cheeks must be because I’ve had children and they forced weight gain, and that means my pants are simply to not be able to contain my ass anymore (and yes, that’s sarcasm). I’d also love to give thanks to the months of booty workouts I’ve been doing, and sya that my rear end just Hulk smashed their way through the seams of my jeans because it is so glorious I must move up a size, but neither of those things are the truth, at least not totally.
Were my pants tight? Yes. I wear tight pants. I KNOW, BLASPHEMY! PANTS ARE EVIL! I don’t disagree, but I still wear them. And when one puts on tight pants, what’s the first thing they do? You lunge. You squat. You stretch. You try to get them that perfect balance of fitting and comfortable. Pants are bad enough when they’re squeezing your uterus like a fucking bear trap. This isn’t the 1800s. I don’t want to wear a corset. Especially not one made of denim. I want stretchy comfort. These were not stretchy comfort- they were squishy death.
Like I always do, I popped my ass into a deep squat and instantly heard a sound no one wants to hear: EAAARRRRRRRTTTTTT.
No, I didn’t accidentally squeak a fart out- the seam down my crack ripped all the way up. Lucky for me, I was at home, but I was still mortified. No one wants to rip their pants. It’s never as funny as it is on television.
I don’t have a ton of pants that really fit me- and I mean really- so when I lose one, it’s almost like losing a limb. Like losing that one hair tie you have that you’ve spent months stretching to the perfect size to go around your hair three times without pulling your scalp or falling out. They become the holy grail. You treasure them, take care of them, make sure nothing bad happens to them. But at least hair ties are a couple of bucks for a pack of about 50. Jeans can be more than 50 for one damn pair, depending on where you get them (and you can’t always get them cheap, because the cheap fit might not fit right.)
With one of my few fitting pants out of commission, this only meant one thing: I had to buy new ones.
That night I went pants shopping online- yes, online, where I can’t try them on. At least there’s a chance they’ll fit and I won’t have to go through the horror of trying hundreds of pairs of jeans on in the store, and I sort of know my size, so it was really making more of an educated guess.
I sifted through what felt like endless pages of cuts and sizes and washes (did you know there is literally an entire category called “MOM JEANS”- NO! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! BURN THEM! NO ONE WANTS MOM JEANS. QUIT IT. THEY ARE UNFLATTERING AND MAKE YOUR ASS LOOK SEVEN MILES LONG.) and picked two I liked. One for a replacement and two because I require free shipping and one wasn’t enough to get it.
…..and then I let them sit in my cart for hours, because I just couldn’t seem to go through with spending that much money on pants for myself.
Now, y’all know I scream from the top of every roof that we deserve to treat ourselves–to get ourselves something we don’t need every now and then because we deserve it– and I fully endorse this, subscribe to it, follow through with the words that I say- but what about shit we DO need?
As much as we hate pants, we need fabric to cover our asses in public. Yet I’m still wearing pants that are almost as old as my oldest child. I have underwear older than my oldest child- WHICH I KNOW IS KIND OF GROSS- but y’know, when it’s that time of the month, you don’t wanna potentially ruin anything relatively new you might have. I have shirts from pre-children. I don’t replace bras until I’m being impaled by underwire, or until I’ve worn out the band so much that it’s sliding up and down my ribs like they’re a Slip-N-Slide.
I didn’t want to, but I bought the pants. We gotta take care of ourselves, y’all- and not just once a year, or for special occasions, but regularly. We can’t be walking around looking like we’re starring in some post apocalyptic movie while our kids look like catalog models. We deserve better. Our butts deserve better.
There’s sibling rivalry, and then there’s my kids. I’m sure every parent says that, including my own mother. I wouldn’t have argued with her before I had my own. My brother broke my nose growing up. We really had it out for each other. But I swear, and I’m being honest and without any exaggeration, my kids are mortal enemies.
78% of their time is spent arguing about stupid bullshit, 12% is spent tattling on each other, 8% is spent quietly fighting so I don’t hear them and they avoid getting in trouble, 1% is spent sort of getting along while still being horribly condescending to each other, and the last 1% is sometimes spent genuinely enjoying each other’s company. Maybe. Probably not, though.
Every mother’s dream is to have their kids be the best of friends. Thick as thieves, with an unbreakable, unshakable bond.
I’m not gonna sit here and whine about how I’ve failed at my job, I’m a horrible, terrible mother, blah blah blah. I didn’t. I’m not. They’re kids. This shit happens. But that doesn’t mean I can’t hate it, and want to change it. And I have tried. Over and over again. Now THAT, I have failed it. I know, I know– you can’t force these things.
Why not try to influence them, though? Quietly. Secretly. Discreetly. Make them think it’s happening without outside interference? Show them that, despite all the arguing, they actually have a lot in common and truly could be the best friends that ever existed?
I feel like over time I’ve built up a pretty big buffer for their bullshit. I tell them to resolve their own arguments because eventually they need to be able to do that kind of thing without a mediator. I tell them not to tattle, I won’t hear it, yadda yadda- but there’s only so much one person can take, and lately, literally all they’ve done is fight. Even the most innocuous things turn into an argument. One orders something at a restaurant and if the other orders the same thing, all hell breaks loose. It doesn’t matter if I’m yelling YOU CAN BOTH HAVE THE SAME THING WHY DO YOU EVEN CARE? They want to fight. They want me to turn into a stark-raving mad-woman, and I’d had it.
Come yesterday, they’d both had their tablets and basically everything fun else they own taken away from them for a month. Yeah, a month. While they understood the severity of such a lengthy punishment, and they knew how they’d managed to get themselves into such a mess, it wasn’t doing enough of the trick for me when it came to their attitudes toward one another. With nothing else to do, it almost seemed like the only thing left to do was to annoy each other. And me. And I’ll be damned if I was in the kind of mood to tolerate that level of bullshit. Nope.
It just so happened that yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and that gave me an idea.
When the kids got home from school clamoring on and on about all the candy they received from classmates they DON’T fight with, I told them they would have one way to earn back their crap- thereby relieving me from having to listen to them complain, and maybe teaching them something in the process: They had to hand-make Valentine’s Day cards for each other, and in them, list 5 things they actually like about each other.
There was a bit of complaint–swearing that it was going to be an impossible task– but they soon agreed and got to work. SHOCKINGLY, IT DIDN’T TAKE THEM THAT LONG TO FIND THINGS THEY LIKE ABOUT EACH OTHER. I know, my jaw is on the floor, too.
Well, would you look at that–AND I DON’T MEAN HOW MISTY THESE MADE ME–but how, even though they swear they don’t–they DO like each other, and each other’s company.
I’m not under any false pretenses, here. No rose colored glasses for me. I know this isn’t the be-all-end-all-solution. It’s not going to make happily ever afters, or make them instantly best friends 24/7. I know it doesn’t mean they’re never going to fight again, but it’s a really great reminder for them when they aren’t getting along that it is possible. That if they’d just drop the petty garbage-level fights, they can have a great time with each other. And if they refuse? I’ll have them make new cards.
If you celebrate Valentine’s Day as a big holiday, showering your significant other with gifts, cards, chocolates, flowers- hey, good for you! I’m glad you find joy in it. It’s pretty cool that you’d do that for someone else.
If you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day as a big holiday- if you think it’s stupid. If you would just rather treat it as any other day- hey, good for you! You do you. Whatever makes you happy, I always say.
I don’t really care what you do today as long as you and whomever you may be with have a good time. Whether that good time is a night on the town, or a night on the couch.
Valentine’s Day has never been that big of a deal for me because I don’t do jewelry, I am not particularly fond of flowers, and I have no self control when it comes to chocolates so I’d rather not have them in my house. BUT, I will generally take any holiday, constructed or not, as an excuse to eat good food, because I love food. Any day I don’t have to cook is a good day to me.
Maybe it’s my age, or the fact that my kids have ripped away my patience, but going out on one of the busiest restaurant days of the year and dealing with traffic, people holding hands across tables, and long waits even with reservations is just not all that appealing to me anymore.
IF THAT’S WHAT YOU WANNA DO MORE POWER TO YOU.
If that’s not what you wanna do, and your still looking for something even the most mildly festive, I have some ideas to toss your way:
Nothing. Do absolutely nothing. I mean it- nothing. Get home, sit on the couch, order a pizza, say screw the housework you were swearing you were gonna get around to. Take this time to love yourself and your laziness.
Pick up a special dessert of your liking. Tell the kids you’re gonna have some sexy time and send them to bed early and then just veg out on the couch and eat it all without having to share it with them. If that ain’t love I don’t know what is.
Spend the night beating the shit out of each other. VIRTUALLY. YOU KNOW, VIDEO GAMES? Get some comfy pajamas on, settle down, and whoop each other’s asses.
Go to bed. You don’t get enough sleep as it is, and you know it. What could be more romantic than a full 8 hours of rest and not wanting to stab everyone in the morning?
Save your time and money on Valentine’s Day itself and go out the day after- chocolate at 40+% off.
That’s the thing- you don’t HAVE to do anything. Or you can do a tiny something. Or you can make the day an excuse to do something you’ve always wanted to do, or eat food you wouldn’t normally eat. Cook something special, or don’t cook at all. It’s another day. It’s all about what you make of it.
Just make sure you significant other is on board with this idea or it might be a cold sleep on the couch.
Why is it that it has to be our birthday, or mother’s day, or some other special occasion to give ourselves an excuse to do nothing? In order to sit down, and relax, and not worry about all the things that aren’t getting done, it has to be a special treat. And why is it that on those days that are supposed to be special for us, where we’re supposed to treat and pamper ourselves–our general idea of treating and pampering is sitting on the couch and not doing a load of laundry for once. Not sweeping the floor, or chasing after our kids, or looking over homework, or doing the dishes, or cooking dinner.
We pressure ourselves, bully ourselves, even, for even sitting down for as little as a half an hour to browse the internet, or watch a TV show because there’s always something more productive we could be doing. We work ourselves crazy, and then feel guilty because we didn’t get it all done. Everything is more important than ourselves, and what we need. We put ourselves last, and when it comes time to put ourselves first, we usually still find ourselves chasing kids, looking over homework, cooking dinner, or thinking about these things so much that we can’t relax.
Parenthood finds us trapped in this vicious cycle of our own expectations, expectations of others, and a constant sense of overwhelming responsibility. Things need to be done, because if we don’t do them now, they’ll pile up and we’ll have to do more later. Every now and then we get a vacation because the pot needs to soak, or the dryer isn’t done, or the project isn’t due for a few more days.
It’s not that we don’t think we deserve it– we KNOW we do. We yell it from the rooftops- WE DESERVE “ME” TIME. We encourage and advocate for others to take time for themselves. It’s important to us– we cherish it, and crave it, but when it comes down to it, we rarely take it. We go on about doing our daily chores, picking up after others, folding the laundry, unloading the dishwasher.
I’d tell you to just do it. Take your time. We don’t just deserve it, we need it. But I know you won’t. I won’t. We never do. But we should– seriously, we should. If we can’t do it for ourselves, we should do it for the people who have to live with us, who might not live with us for much longer, because we’re forever thisclose to either kicking them out, or running away- and then who would do the laundry? THINK OF THE LAUNDRY!
Thousands of loads of laundry over the years,
Without a single recognition of sweat and tears,
Though I lie and say I don’t need any thanks,
And I continue on sorting underwear and tanks–
because it’s all part of the job, I’m the mom, so it’s no big deal
cleaning and sorting, and making the meals.
They all come with the territory, I knew this going in,
So complaining about it seems wrong, and I can’t win.
I’m left feeling unappreciated, like nobody cares,
When I’m the one scrubbing stains from underwear.
With each garment, each dish, I learn something new,
About every single one of you.
I know what you like, what you don’t, the vegetables you won’t eat,
I know to remind you about homework, and when you actually fall asleep.
I know everything- so why do I feel like you don’t know me?
What I want, what I don’t, and what I really need?
One thing I don’t question is the love that we share,
even if you don’t always speak it, I know that it’s there.
But sometimes, consolation just isn’t enough,
because parenthood isn’t easy, it’s tiring, and rough.
I’m human, not perfect, I waver, and falter,
It would be nice to know that I’m more than just the one who provides shelter.
I want to know that you care, I want to know that you notice,
when I’m worn down, feeling out, but I don’t think that you know this.
I put on too good a face, because I want to be strong,
to be the role-model you deserve, to suck it up and get things done.
Parent is what I do, but it’s not who I am,
beneath the surface, it can feel like I’m running a scam.
Like you, there are times where I just want to be held,
and told that it’s all okay, that I’m unparalleled.
To have the comfort, and notion, that it’s not all for nothing,
that I’m not the invisible fish in this ocean.
I’m acutely aware that things will soon change,
and I won’t be able to see you just by calling your names.
You’ll be older, moved out, on your own,
Hopefully with my lessons helping you manage your own home.
But while you’re here, take a moment, stop, and see,
the one cleaning up behind you, pushing you to be better, is me.
I don’t need endless praise, or gifts, or money,
just every now and then stop, and say “thanks for all you do for me.”
LIVE on Twitch tonight! Come say hi! twitch.tv/holdinholden
I Ripped the Ass out of my Pants goo.gl/fb/fcStPt
@BrentWalshITM Your show in RVA is the first time considering taking one of my minis to a rock show and I figured you'd know better than any- safe for a 10 yr old or wait a few years? He loves y'all but I don't think he can handle a thrashing
My kids do this funny thing where they give me all kinds of attitude in the morning while forgetting I have access to their toothbrushes while they're at school.
It really doesn't have to be a battle, I promise. holdinholden.com/2015/02/to-t…