I had this whole big plan to write this blog about the endless stream of CRAP our kids bring home from school and claim it’s art. I still believe that, but I had a weird realization.
Could it be that I just don’t understand art? Is that why so much of it just looks like splatters thrown on canvas, clay clumped into pointless shapes, and garbage superglued together into… well.. whatever? Am I just not sophisticated enough?? There’s plenty I find beautiful, inspiring, showing talent beyond measure, but the junk my kids bring home? No. I struggle to even keep a straight face while I tell them how wonderful their creations are.
BUT, as hideous as they are (and man, are they hideous) we must hold on to these little pieces of…. art. Why?
At the end of the world, when we’re all gone, their hideous turd-mound looking clay pots are going to be all that’s left to learn about our civilization by.
So, you’re scratching your head, right? You’re over there like “LOL, the fuck is this crazy lady going on about?”
But I’m about to blow your mind. Or, I’m about to prove that the past few weeks have finally shit on the last bit of my sanity and pushed me over the edge. I’m not wearing tinfoil hats yet, so I’m pretty sure you’re going to be on my side.
Believe it or not, I watch a few shows about history. Excavating, ancient times, past civilizations. On these shows, they always find a majority of the same things:
The occasional bone, decrepit structures, and, wait for it… what archaeologists call “primitive pottery.”
And what, prey-tell, does this “primitive pottery” look like?
And what does THAT look like??
The. same. bullshit. my. kids. bring. home. from. school.
Are you following where I’m going with this?
What if, these long-lost ancient civilizations weren’t wiped out by famine, disease, or volcanoes…. but by their EVIL CHILDREN?!
I’ve long been convinced that children are trying to destroy us. From the tantrums to the whining to the arguing, to the sass, to the plagues they bring home and the homework we have to help them with– they’ve been trying to bring us down for as long as written history exists. BUT– what if– they’ve succeeded before?
Are their weird, disfigured clay creations really useless pieces of crap, or are they priceless artifacts of last remnants of humanity once they’ve succeeded in wiping us out?
Think about that next time you wanna chuck that shit in the trash while they aren’t looking.
I’m SURE you’ve heard by now, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock (or having a life at all) I just celebrated my birthday. Ripe ol’ age of 84.
Seriously, though, leading up to this birthday was a sense of dread. I’m not a big fan of birthdays. Why? Because since I had kids, they’ve fucking sucked. Why? Because I never get anything.
Before you go off on me about being needy, or selfish, or whatever word that’s going through your head right now- I never get anything by choice. By angry choice, but by choice.
Every. single. year. my birthday rolls around and my family asks me what I want. I hum, and I haw, even though I know what I want, I have a list of things I really want, I’ve wanted them forever. I hum, haw, and consider not even saying it out loud, because I know, even if someone agrees to get one of these things for me, once the day comes, I won’t go through with it. I won’t let them get it. I’ll tell them not to.
Why? Mommy guilt. Good ol’ mommy guilt.
Every time I think of a gift that I want, even if we have the money for it, I think about all the other ways we could spend the money instead.
Well, the kids need new shoes. He could really use a new dresser.
And it doesn’t stop there.
The bathroom needs a new faucet. Could really use a new blender since I dropped the last one. We should really start saving for a new washing machine.
There is ALWAYS something that I feel like we need more than something I just ‘want’, and I begin to feel horribly selfish and guilty for “wasting” the money on myself. Once you get on that train of thought, you really begin to believe that you never deserve anything, because you will always put needs over wants, and others wants over your wants, and before you know it, you’ve gone years without a birthday, mother’s day, and Christmas present.
The kids look like Gap models and you look like an extra from The Walking Dead. Your ratty old purse is just fine because “it still works.” Your ugly ass shoes you’ve been wearing since before you had kids can stay because your kids could use new shoes first…. even though their shoes are totally fucking fine.
You will ALWAYS find an excuse if you search for it, but the fact is this– you deserve something for you every now and then. YOU DO. DON’T ARGUE WITH ME. Stop making excuses to put yourself last. Your kids will be fine. You can get a blender later. Your purse/shoes/pants is/are nasty.
Treat yourself. Do it, even if you feel guilty right now, you’ll be so glad you did later. Maybe not right away– the guilt is hard to shake– but hopefully, getting something for yourself for once will feel good, lift your spirits, and help you see that you are absolutely worth a “want” every now and then.
How do I know this to be true? Because I finally accepted the gift, and I couldn’t be happier. Everyone is fine. No one is suffering because money was spent on me.
JUST. DO. IT.
And for the love of all that is holy, DON’T SPEND THE GIFT CARD ON THE KIDS.
Every weekday morning when I wake up, I follow a very structured routine. Spend 5 minutes wondering why school has to start so early and trying to convince myself to roll out of bed. Pee. Wash my face. Help the kids pick out clothes, if they need me to. Help them make breakfast, if they need me to. Make myself something. Sit down at the dining room table, and read. And by read, I mean scroll through my Facebook newsfeed. I know, my time would be better spent reading newspapers, but give me a break, I just want mindless entertainment before I’ve had my coffee. Lately, it’s been kind of treaturous navigating the depths of my Facebook newsfeed, but it’s part of my rock solid routine, so I do it anyway.
I usually find the same things: tons of cat videos. Recipes. Makeup ads. Random life updates from friends, family, and acquaintances. The more than occasional political rant.
I’m used to it. I expect it. It’s aaaaaaall part of the routine.
But while I was scrolling this morning, minding my own groggy business, I got an enormous kick to the side of the head. Didn’t need the coffee to wake me up, the rage did quite fine on its own.
Nestled in between a spammy meme and a news article was a post from someone who’s name I don’t quite recognize but somehow made it onto my friend’s list. It’s not that I’ve never read or heard the exact words she’d so angrily typed out before, but my reaction to them never changes.
It was a complaint about all the parents complaining about snow days, and the statement wrapped up with this little gem:
“Why did you even HAVE kids if you don’t like spending time with them?”
Man, I swore to myself that I was going to write a funny blog this week, and maybe it’s the pain talking, but I’m feeling quite unhinged about this, and so I need to get this out while it’s fresh on my mind.
I’ve been a parent who complains about snow days. Many times. EVERY time. I’ve complained about teacher work days. I’ve even complained when my kid has the sniffles and has to stay home sick. My complaints have nothing to do with not wanting to spend time with them. It has nothing to do with not wanting them, or being unappreciative.
People who pull that statement out of their ass, and they do it often, any time you so much as say anything that isn’t laced with BS about how much you love your kids, are saying what is basically the equivalent of the favorite of children everywhere: “if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?”
These things are not mutually exclusive. If I love something, someone, I don’t have to like it/them all the time. If I love something, I don’t necessarily want to exchange vows with it. Just because I complain, doesn’t mean I don’t like something.
When I complain about snow days, holidays, teacher work days, it’s not because I don’t want to spend time with my kids. I don’t know why I have to explain this, but I will, because, well, I’ve already come this far.
I complain because I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that my kids are going to spend the entire day fighting. They get along SO well when they have time apart, and I want them to get along. I want them to have time with their own friends, without each other, without me. Form their own opinions. Get a mental break from constant sibling shenanigans. I also know that when they spend this time home, it means I can’t get the shit done I need to get done. Things get behind. And yes, I like my alone time. I like the quiet. I like to be able to concentrate- and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with wanting those things, and enjoying them when you get them. There’s no rule that says in order to really want and/or deserve your children, that you must crave to spend every single second of every day with them. That’s called smothering. I want my children to learn to be independent. I want independence.
If you’re expecting other parents to never complain, constantly be positive, enjoy every minute of parenthood, you’re asking them to be fake as fuck. It’s not realistic. It’s not going to happen. Not in real life, and not online. Cut it out and let us bitch and mourn for our lost alone time.
Real talk: My health has been super shitty lately. My chronic pain is basically out of control (usually I can confidently say I have it managed) and it’s to the point where it’s so intense it’s clouding my brain and making it tough for me to concentrate– which means it’s next to impossible, and very painful, for me to write new blogs. Which sucks.
I’ll tell ya what, though, even with the high level of pain I’m experiencing, there are still things that make me laugh, and those are funny parents. Bless you all.
I don’t know who created these or when, but these are what have kept me giggling through the pain this week (and yes, I’m including some of my own. SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION!), so I hope you enjoy!
The most serious letter I’ve ever written
Not asking for myself at all….
Million dollar question
Those are what’s kept me giggling. What about you?
Any time I get an idea of something to write about, before I sit down and type out the thoughts in my head onto my computer screen, I have a moment of pause. I find myself wondering–
Is this going to make me sound like a whiny bitch?
I’ve had plenty of people, family members included, whisper behind my back about how “mean” I am, how I sound “ungrateful”, how I should post more “loving” things, how they “don’t understand” me. I don’t really give two floating farts in space about any of that. What I never want is to come off as something I am not. I want to be clear in what I think, why I think it, why I’m writing it.
It’s this innate, almost cosmic feeling I think most parents get these days before posting anything online (especially moms, because let’s be honest)
“Who’s going to take this the wrong way?”
“Oh geez, I know so and so is going to disagree”
“Do I REALLY want to post this?”
You just know, deep down, someone is out there WAITING to shit on your opinion. WAITING to criticize you. WAITING to one-up, disregard, or mommy-jack your post.
You KNOW you’re going to be judged, one way or another, no matter what you do.
Over eight years of publicly putting my opinion out there, telling my stories, basically letting it all hang out and taking all kinds of heat, and still I continue, and still, in the back of my mind, I think “is this going to make me sound like a whiny bitch?”
Occasionally there’s a “what will my kids think in a few years if they ever see this?”
And a rare “maybe I should be more positive.”
The whole reason I started my blog, why I continued it for so long no matter what anyone said, was because I lived in a world where you couldn’t say a single negative thing about your kids or you were automatically labeled a “bad” parent. I was sick of it. I knew my feelings weren’t negative- they were real. I didn’t, don’t and will never understand why people pretend parenthood is some magical paradise where dog shit is made from chocolate and nothing ever goes wrong. To shame people for talking about the not so pretty parts is to force them to internalize totally natural feelings, and in the end, only makes them feel worse– when really what we should be doing is normalizing REAL parenting. The truth, no matter how ugly.
No, there’s nothing wrong with sharing the great things your kids have done, or announcing to the world how much you love them, but there’s also nothing wrong with having a shit day and expressing it. You’re looking for someone to relate to. You’re looking to vent. You’re just looking to speak what’s on your mind- whether it be perceived as positive or negative- without the sanctimommy police jumping down your throat about it.
Don’t stop. Don’t let anyone shame you. The less we talk about it, the more taboo it becomes to talk about, and I refuse to go back there.
Are your kids being assholes? Say it. Did you lock yourself in a closet and drink wine straight from the box because they were driving you insane? Let’s laugh about it together. Do you look forward to them going to bed so you can finally unwind? ME TOO.
Talk about it. Talk about it openly. Tell the truth. Hell, tell your KIDS the truth. They’ll grow up to be less of an asshole, and you’ll spend less time pulling your hair out. Maybe not less time drinking wine out of the box, but less time tearing your hair out, and trust me, that time you’ll save is so worth it.
As for the pearl clutching judgy biddies? They will always be there. They will always be whispering. They will always be talking shit with their bitter biddy friends. But hopefully, the talking will turn to whispers the more we become confident yelling the truth.
STOP SAYING PARENTHOOD IS A CAKE WALK. IT ISN’T. IT’S HARD. KIDS ARE ASSHOLES. WE LOVE THEM, BUT THEY’RE ASSHOLES. IT’S OKAY TO ADMIT IT. BITCHING FEELS GOOD.
There. Don’t you feel better now? I sure as hell do.
6 Things Moms of All Sick Kids Know goo.gl/fb/D74HPA
Some parents use school holidays for family time. I toss the tablet at my kids in hopes they'll dislodge themselves from my butt for 5 mins
If by "any plans tonight" you mean "are you gonna take off your pants & plant your ass on the couch all night?" then yes, I have plans.
Put this in a pamphlet, print it out & hand it out to young girls everywhere. THESE ARE THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW! holdinholden.com/2013/12/a-pr…
@MrsBHise thank you! I'm loving it (even though it's super sore). One more session to go!