Before you have kids, you should know that this is what you’re life is going to be full of. It’s too late for us, so all we can do is laugh at memes. Or cry in the pantry trying to quietly eat chocolate covered potato chips…. not that I’ve ever done that….
Is anyone else tired? Because I’m tired.
Walking through Busch Gardens yesterday, per usual, I came across all kinds of different people from all walks of life. The ones I always notice, when I’m not scrunching my brow at the latest hideous “fashion” trend teens are trying to dredge back from the depths of 90’s hell, are the fellow moms. I always wonder if it’s that whole thing where you don’t notice how many people have the same car as you until you buy one, but I definitely never noticed so many moms until I had kids of my own. Now I can’t take my eyes off of them.
We moms are “so strong”, aren’t we? Or that’s what everyone likes to tell us. We’re just the strongest, bravest creatures to ever walk the earth. Growing, birthing, raising children. Go us!
I’m not trying to be a sarcastic asshole. I DO think we’re incredibly strong, a hell of a lot more than we give ourselves credit for- and that’s the thing. We may be it, but we don’t always feel it. Or maybe we never feel it.
The mom who was really laying into her kid for acting like an ass in public when he’d been told repeatedly to cut it out? Bet she didn’t feel strong. Contrary to what our kids believe, we don’t like disciplining them. We have to learn to enjoy pulling out “mean in public” mommy or it makes us feel low, and humiliated, and even embarrassed. It makes us feel like we haven’t done our “job” correctly. It makes us wonder who, at that moment, is judging us, because perish the thought we EVER discipline our children in public!
The mom frustratingly trying to pull off a standing diaper change with a wiggly toddler in a bathroom full of people milling in and out. Did she feel like a parental powerhouse? Doubtful.
The mom I saw later in the night carrying her kid that is way too big to be carried (and I say this in a non-judging way, but just by weight alone), probably because their feet got too tired, or they said their legs didn’t work, or any number of other excuses that she was probably tired of hearing and gave up and decided to just lug the kid out. I guarantee she didn’t feel strong, even with the added weight.
And me. I’d promised to take Parker to Busch Gardens yesterday for his birthday (yes his birthday was Saturday, but we avoid busy places on Saturdays). I was not feeling the greatest, and my stomach made it worse. Parker’s attitude made it even worse than that. We had a bunch of errands to run before leaving and he was directly disobeying me, so I snapped, in public, and told him his birthday plans were cancelled. He lost it. Everyone stared. An overreaction on my part? Absolutely– but he pushed me when he knew he shouldn’t have been pushing. Am I proud of it? No. I’m not ashamed, we all have moments, but I’m certainly not proud.
When we got home, and I had time to rest and feel better, and he had time to think about what he’d done wrong, we resolved our issues, went to Busch and had a great time.
In these moments people like to tell us we’re strong for powering through is when we feel our weakest–our most vulnerable. We don’t feel like good moms, supermoms, whatever-name-you-want-to-call-us-to-make-us-feel-better moms. We feel like shit. The shittiest moms on earth.
This is where I know words are mostly empty. I know it’s nice to hear that you’re doing a good job, or you have great kids, or that you’re a wonderful mother– but what do they do for you at the end of the day? Not a whole lot. What I take solace in, is knowing that I’m not alone. I know that’s kinda shitty, taking comfort in knowing that other parents had shitty parenting moments too, but in a way, it’s the best kind of comfort. Knowing that no matter what, there’s something else out there slugging through it, too. There’s someone else out there who knows that you don’t have to have the most perfect of days to still have happy, healthy kids at the end of it. There’s someone else out there that proves that you don’t have to be the “best mom ever” every moment of every day to still be a great mom.
We’re all struggling in our own ways– some more than others.
Some days are easy, some days we put our “Shitty Mom” pants on one leg at a time. Some days we miss both legs completely and fall straight on our asses, but we’re TOGETHER. We are the Sisterhood of the Shitty Moms, and while we might not be out there yelling “YAYA” at another woman who is dealing with a tantruming kid in public, we have each other’s backs in sometimes silent solidarity. A warm smile, a knowing nod, a non-judging look. We’ve been there, we’ve made it through, and so can you.
Some Haunts have the best scares. Some haunts have the most creative ideas. Some have the best costumes, and others might have the best attractions for kids, and I’ve been to a lot of haunts over the years, and there’s just nowhere that hits all the marks better than Busch Gardens Howl o Scream– and this year, it’s back and better than ever! I know I say that every year, but this year they have expanded in a way that includes everyone– from the littles who don’t want to be spooked but still want to have a great time, to the adults who love things that go “AHH!” in the night.
It is my absolute favorite time of the year (sorry, not sorry Christmas) and there’s no place I’d rather be enjoying it than at Busch Gardens!
On top of the already great event Busch Gardens has been throwing for years- the scare zones, the houses, the shows (seriously, if you haven’t gone to see Monster Stomp in the Globe Theater… or even if you have… this is something you NEED to do) there’s more to add to your list this season!
(I apologize in advance for the lack of photos. My camera was on the fritz and my phone wasn’t much better).
FOR THE KIDDOS:
Weekends in October, before the sun goes down and the ghouls come out, bring the kids (9 & under) decked out in their Halloween costumes to Count Von Count’s Spooktacular! They can dance and play with their favorite Sesame Street characters in the Sesame Street Forest of Fun, ride rides, go Trick or Treating, and participate in kid-friendly activities!
This event runs from 10am – 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays from October 7th through the 29th.
FOR THOSE WHO LIKE SCARES (hey, this can include kids, too!)
Once 6pm hits, Busch Gardens turns into a dark, scary, and fun place. The lights turn down, the music turns up, and you can choose from SEVEN haunted houses, FIVE thrilling Scare Zones, and TWO spooky escape rooms (I’d list the 3 shows, but they run all day long!)
Now I know what you’re REALLY wondering…What’s new this year?
a frozen castle nestled in Germany, prepare to be chilled to the bone in this brand new haunted house.
I honestly think it’s my favorite. The Curse of Dark Kastle was the perfect setting to install a new maze to get lost in, which special kinds of jump scares I’ve never seen before (and definitely didn’t see coming).
The brand new Scare Zone, goes perfectly with Busch Garden’s new ride InvadR. Blood thirsty Vikings have taken over New France after a raiding party gone wrong. Can you make it through the smoldering ash and angry Norseman who guard the walkways?
If you really want to test your fate- try one of Busch Gardens escape rooms! The Case of Mr. Karver (and his CREEPY doll collection) is back this year with new mysteries, and BRAND NEW this year- The Case of the Haunted Hotel. Follow clues and solve riddles to escape, or you’ll never check out! (These cost extra on top of park admission).
Of course, these aren’t the only things to do. You also have the coasters to ride and, all kinds of yummy food to snack on while you watch a show or run from chainsaw wielding demons on Demon Street. You just never know what’s lurking around the corner, so head over to Busch Gardens and check it out!
Howl O Scream is running on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, now through October 29th- with even MORE chances to get spooked this year, as the park will be open until midnight on Saturdays in October, AND added two Thursdays, Oct. 19 and 26, to its schedule!
Hope to see you there!
Find out more about tickets, specific dates & times on the Busch Gardens Williamsburg website!
THE BMF- it sounds like the title of a new Disney movie about a magical, mystical giant. Or a knife-wielding super ninja Bad-ass Motherf—- well, you know… and it’s kind of both. As rare as a unicorn. It’s the BEST MOM FRIEND.
In order to become the best mom friend, you must be born into the role, or somehow get past that mysterious, awkward stage of being “so and so’s mom” in another woman’s phone. You have to jump through flaming hurdles, and limbo under the lowest bars imaginable to reach that level with another mom. It’s the only time in life being “friend-zoned” is the ULTIMATE BE-ALL, END-ALL GOAL.
This isn’t just a friend of convenience, it’s someone you actually look forward to setting up play-dates with. It’s not just someone you have awkward conversations with while your kids run around screaming, but someone you can chat with about anything. She has to be a lady you are close enough with, who knows you and your kids well enough, to have your backs–but who also isn’t scared to call your kid on their shit, or tell you when you’re being nuts. Someone who you won’t instantly snap back at because you know she isn’t judging you or your parenting, she can just tell you’re about to lose your damn mind.
The BMF is a Best Friend PLUS, because it isn’t just you she has to be besties with. It’s your kids. And your kids have to be besties. Well, I guess they don’t have to be, but it sure makes things better. You basically become second moms to each other’s kids. You’re gonna trade them like cards when one of you needs a break, or wants to go out. Hell, you’re gonna go out together without the kids.
She has to be your ride-or-die chick. She has to be the kind of person who, even if she disagrees with how you choose to raise your children, respects you enough to let you do you.
It’s basically like finding the holy grail, because more often than not, if we aren’t gifted a BMF by our pre-kids selves, we find ourselves searching for one and coming across so many sanctimonious, judgy, “I would never do that” types. The “how dare you discipline my child?”, condescending, stick-up-the-butt types, that we just stop looking.
Finding your BMF isn’t as easy just wandering through the forest and bumping into her. The title may be bad-ass, but this isn’t Disney. It takes time, years, even. Dedication. Sifting through a lot of judgy bullshit and pointless drama. So if you have a BMF, go to her right now and tell her the following words:
“Thank you so much for being my BMF, and not a sanctimonious twat.”
Not all of us are so lucky.
Did you know that toothpaste becomes stronger than concrete if left on surfaces for too long? I didn't either. Thanks, kids!
Y'all can keep your creepy little elves- my kids live in fear of the PRESENT PRISON. holdinholden.com/2014/12/the-…
Cut Yourself some Christmas Slack goo.gl/fb/4WVJe2
My day as a parent isn't complete until I've threatened to sell at least one of my children on the black market. Twice. At least.
He only has himself to blame pic.twitter.com/UffL59jSmz
I'm forever teaching my kids to never say never... but... I'm breaking my own rules, here. NEVER EVER EVER will there be an elf on my shelf. Here's why: holdinholden.com/2012/11/why-…
If you have the desire to be in charge of someone else's bedtime who listens to you even less than you listen to yourself when you say "GO TO SLEEP ALREADY!"- having kids is definitely for you.