It’s not for ANY of the reasons you might think.
There are many facets to parenthood that are less than pleasant. In fact, they’re downright fucking AWFUL. Destroyers of sanity. They can make you question your goodwill toward man. Question your beliefs… and what day of the week it is. That being said, they’re all doable. Survivable. You might even find that making it through them will mold you into a stronger, more resilient human being. More productive, even.
You might think lack of sleep is going to be the thing that pushes you over the edge, but over time, even though you will forever miss it as though it’s a missing limb, you learn to carry on. Changing disgusting explode-y diapers becomes less barfy and more like training to be a ninja as time goes by. Just HOW fast can you do it while still being efficient and not getting shit under your nails? Teething? …Well, teething sucks, but you’re certainly not going to die from it.
As often as I feel like I’ve lost every single last drop of my patience, I actually have a hell of a lot more than I did prior to popping out crotchfruit. I’ve become more aware of my health and what’s in the stuff that I’m eating thanks to wanting my kids to eat well. I learn things… or re-learn them… honestly, I’m not sure which anymore, since I have to help my kids with homework. I care a hell of a lot more about washing my hands and personal hygiene because I’m constantly trying to avoid catching their nasty elementary school plagues. My life has improved dramatically. I have more gray hairs to cover, but, hey, it gives me an excuse to get my hair done more often, so… win? Yeah. I’m gonna go with IMPROVED LIFE.
Still… today I find myself full of regret. Full of wondering WHY I ever procreated in the first place. WHY I would put myself in such a horrible situation.
It’s not the stomach flu and a house full of barf as far as the eye can see, although, that’s a close second. It’s not tantrums, or teacher’s conferences, or algebra. It’s not a feeling of inadequacy as a mother, or just no longer wanting the weight of responsibility that comes with raising tiny humans, no. It’s much, much worse. I don’t think I can do it anymore. I’M NOT CUT OUT FOR THE MOM LIFE!
I sat at breakfast this morning, groggily eating a bowl of cereal, as I usually do on weekday mornings before I have to get the kids ready for school. We may not all sit down at the same time, but I always end up eating at the same time as the kids, regardless of who sits or finishes first. This was a breakfast unlike any other, though. Beside me sat Parker, armed with a long string of dental floss by his father. WHY floss at the breakfast table? Good. fucking. question.
WHY FLOSS? There’s a perfectly logical explanation, if you ask Parker. His front tooth has been loose now for over a month. Actually, all four of his front teeth have been loose for over a month, but the top left tooth in particular has been dangling by a string this entire time. Loose teeth completely skeeve me out. Worse than snot rockets, worse than chunky vomit, worse than open wounds, pretty much worse than anything on this entire planet. One wiggle in my presence and my stomach flips over and I get that oh-so familiar barfy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m so utterly disgusted by the wiggling teeth and the bulgy gums, and the protruding big teeth, that if I see them, I run. If the tooth comes out relatively quickly, all can be right with the world. My blood pressure returns to a healthy average, the vomit rising in my stomach lowers back down, and I can still live in my house and claim my children as my own.
THIS KID, THOUGH. THIS DAMN KID. His dangling chicklet of a tooth… he babies it like it’s his firstborn child. He pushes, and pokes, and shoves it forward with his bottom lip. He sits next to me and plays with it for hours on end. And this morning, at breakfast, with a fistful of floss, he made a noose for the last nerve holding onto that bitch and proceeded to pull. On my left? Holden, who just ripped off a molar cap yesterday and proceeded to place the bloody thing into my hand, was on my left, working on another loose tooth.
I tried to stare into the abyss of my bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats, tried to find my happy place (on a beach with 75 tacos and margaritas) but the creaaaaaaaaaak sound of the floss pulling against his tooth was too much for me to take. I CAN’T! I QUIT! I’M DONE!
I’m considering moving out until the kids have lost all of their baby teeth… but Parker will probably have this thing hanging from his head until he’s a crusty old man, so that might not be possible. We all have a line that cannot be crossed or we’ll break. Nasty hillbilly dangly baby teeth are mine. What’s yours?
Has it really been so many years that it’s time for this already? I know, I know, it’s so tiny in the grand scheme of things. Even in just the grand scheme of parenthood, it’s nothing but a blip on the radar. Insignificant. Or, so you think, until it happens, and it WILL happen.
It comes with age, the years pass, and this has to change. It has to, there’s no other way, but you’re never fully prepared for how much something so small will affect your life, your mindset, your feelings, your entire friggin’ day– and it kind of pops out of nowhere, because things have been working so well as they are for SO long. Why fix what isn’t broken? Why change what’s worked for years upon years?
But you have to. You have to accept that times are changing. Life is changing. And things must change when life changes to adapt to the new route life is taking.
This includes bed times.
YES. I’M FREAKING OUT OVER THE CHANGING OF BED TIMES!
We had a good run. Nine long years with the SAME bed time was more than I could have ever hoped for. It couldn’t last forever, I knew that, but I wasn’t prepared to be dozing off by 9:30 and crawling into bed by 10:30 most nights. WHEN DID I GET SO OLD?? I guess hearing the songs I grew up with on the “oldies” station should have been a gentle nudge to coming to that realization, but NO. I refused to believe it. I still refuse! I’ve been a night owl my entire life, and suddenly, I find myself going to bed earlier and earlier some nights. If I stay up too late, it’s almost like I have a hangover the next morning, even if there was no alcohol involved before bed time.
And, of course, this would happen just as my 9 year old is asking to stay up later. It’s like he’s literally sucking the life-force out of me. Yeah! I’m blaming my tiredness on my children! 10 years ago, I was just leaving to go OUT at the time I am going to bed now.
This exhaustion has dredged up the creeping feeling of change I can’t seem to get away from these days. I’m well aware that my kids are growing up, but now I realize that I am growing down. Sooner rather than later, we will be ships passing in the night. My kids will be up late trying to cram for a test, or chatting with friends, or whatever the hell it is that kids do these days (I used to sneak online and use up our free AOL minutes) and I’ll be resting my weary old bones, being equally thankful to be past the bedtime battles stage, but missing the days where I could catch up on the DVR, work, have some drinks, and just relax for the hours after the kids went to bed. I need that time, and it’s slipping away!
Now, the question has really become- do I accept my little old lady ways and go to bed early to avoid nodding off in the middle of primetime television, or stay up late just to get those precious hours of ME time– the me that is the closest to who I was before kids- awake into the wee hours of the morning, doing whatever the hell I wanted.
The answer? …. I think I’m gonna have to sleep on it.
For the most part, I knew the basic requirements of motherhood before I had kids of my own. Long days, late nights with little to no sleep (usually leaning more toward the NO), scant pay–only coming in the form of snuggles and the occasional sense of pride and joy… that is, when you’re not dozing off. I knew about the ass wiping, the seemingly never-ending tantrums, the booboos, hell, even the homework I’d have to help with. I knew about all of these things. I wasn’t prepared for them, heeeeeeell no, but I knew they were part of the package.
There are things that I do now on a daily basis that did NOT come with the package. These, I feel, are defective, and I would like to return them for a full refund. I will not accept store credit, I just don’t want to do them!
Now, you could go all sanctimommy and tell me to better parent my kid, and if you wanna go down that path, yeah, sure, I could. But let’s keep in mind that not all kids are the same, so not all forms of parenting works the same on every kid. SO YEAH, I’M STUCK DOING THIS SHIT.
I’m cool with being woken up before my alarm, I guess. I’ve become immune to listening to my kids talk nonstop about Minecraft, even though I feel like I should be paid per minute. I’ve even accepted the fact that my kids are nearly in the double digits and I’m still wiping snot off of their faces.
I’m FINE with every weird nook and cranny of parenthood…. except these five things. FIVE jobs I’ve taken on as a parent against my will, that I wish I could quit.
1. Couch spelunking. I spend far too much of my time digging in between the cushions of my couches and digging crap out that my kids have carelessly left behind. Of course, it’s never shit I WANT to find, like money… my sanity. It’s nasty shit, like dirty socks, week-old Goldfish, and granola bar wrappers.
2. Cup collecting. No matter how many times I tell them, ONE CUP PER DAY. RE-FUCKING-USE THE ONE YOU HAVE. They don’t. They use a different cup for every. single. beverage. Even if it’s the same beverage. They even use cups for snacks. And then they proceed to leave them around the house, forcing me to pick them up like I’m on an Easter egg hunt, only what’s inside isn’t candy, it’s rancid ass milk.
3. Sherlock Holmes-ing. I am not a detective. I have no interest in going into the PI business. I don’t have heat-seeking abilities, or an implanted metal detector, or X-Ray vision, yet somehow, when the kids lose shit (which is ALWAYS) they immediately come to me to find it. Of course, they go on and on about how long they’ve been looking to no avail, but we all know they haven’t actually looked beyond scanning the area directly in front of them with their eyes.
4. De-Underwearing Pants. A hell of a lot more laundry would get done around here if I didn’t spend 50% of the time I have for it removing underwear from pants.
I’ll be honest- this blog was supposed to be 5 jobs I wanted to quit, but thanks to all the de-underwearing, Sherlock Holmesing, couch spelunking, and cup collecting I had to do, I completely spaced on #5, which I guess is fine, because there are really about 25 odd jobs I got roped into when I became a parent that I’d totally quit if I could, but I can’t. Maybe that’s #5. I’d quit not being able to quit ANY OF THESE THINGS.
What about you? What job would YOU quit if you could?
Like many people, when I hear the two words “Wooden Coaster” I think, OH NO. I typically avoid them like the plague, they’re just too rough for the ol’ neck & back these days, but Busch Gardens’ new wooden coaster InvadR, nestled in the wooded forest of New France, is unlike any of the rickety wooden coasters that I’ve been on before.
As a wood/steel hybrid coaster, one of the things I was the most excited for was the smooth ride it promised. Well, that, and the 74-foot drop, 9 airtime hills, two tunnels, and speeds reaching nearly 50 miles per hour. Excited enough to drag myself out of bed at 4:30am to be able to get to Busch Gardens’ before it opened and give it a whirl.
Yes, I said 4:30 in the MORNING. And I am not a morning person. The excitement was real.
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Even though Parker is finally, FINALLY, well above the 48 height requirement for at least a few of the coasters, I can’t tell you how amped I was to hear that the height requirement on InvadR is 46″. Which means minis, who are too big for The Sesame Street Forest of Fun, but still too small for The Loch Ness Monster, can still hop on a “big kid” coaster and have fun with their families– something Parker spent a couple of seasons being really upset about. If only InvadR had come sooner!
STILL, it’s here now, for all the new little thrill seekers out there, and I think he was even more excited than me to hop on.
If you know anything about Busch Gardens, you know that not only is it beautiful, but the theming is pretty much perfect. InvadR and its gnarly hulking Viking self fits perfectly into the wooden, lumberjack-esque New France area of the park, and no, they did NOT tear anything out to put it in (trust me, people ask all the time). It interacts with both the Le Scoot Log Flume and the Caribou Train Station.
Granted, I’m not the greatest with photos, which means you should really just go and see it for yourself.
Don’t believe me yet?
How about this face, does this convince you?
No? STILL not enough. Sheesh, you’re really gonna make me pull out all the stops aren’t you?
FINE. I saved the best for last!
The footage of my first ever ride aboard InvadR in the front row.
Hold onto your sunglasses, people!
I’m seriously– hold on to your sunglasses! Put them somewhere safe! Bonus points to anyone who sees the point Thomas lost his. BUT, we had so much fun, he’s not even mad.
InvadR is open to the public now. Get to Busch Gardens and hop on!
Over nine years–ten if you consider time in the womb– of sleep deprivation followed by early morning wake ups. Nine years that have included everything from midnight feedings to being stuck in the carpool lane at the elementary school before 8am because apparently no one rides the bus in the rain. Nine years of one child who wakes up so early he literally read the entirety of War of the Worlds before I woke up at 7am, followed by another child who doesn’t know the meaning of sleeping in, even though he’s incredibly grumpy when he wakes up early- which is every. single. day. of. his. life.
Nine years of being forced out of bed at ungodly hours, before the sun comes up, even on days where it makes zero sense to be awake and there’s no need to be– nine years of honestly believing I wouldn’t be able to drag myself to make breakfast and get the kids ready, nine years of going almost completely against my nature as a human being and playing the role of a morning person, and you’d think I’d be used to it. You’d think I’d find a way to thrive in the wee hours of the AM. You’d think it would grow on me. That I would naturally morph from a morning hating curmudgeon to a productive morning person.
Nine years and I still hate mornings just as much as I ever did. Hell, I probably hate them even more. HATE. They make me miserable. I’m not cheerful. I’m not productive. I don’t get things done before the sun rises just because I’m up. I’m up because I have to be up, and I’m grumpy about it. The only difference is that I have kids to witness it. Poor things.
People say parenthood changes you. They’ll tell you it over and over again– that it will change your brain, your feelings, how you react to things, treat people, so on and so forth. It doesn’t. It just makes you even more of who you you already were. It amplifies the tiny things, and pulls out both the best and worst in you.
I’m not a damn morning person. Never was, never will be. I was never patient, having kids certainly didn’t give me any extra of that. I’m STILL not magically good enough at math to help with homework. I’ve never been a pushover, and I never will be, not even with the addition of adorable puppy-dog eyes. If anything, I’ve become even more immune to it.
I honestly think that we become even better, stronger versions of ourselves… and I guess we have our kids to thank.
But let’s agree to NEVER tell them that.
…. and I’ll never, ever be a morning person.
17 of the Most REAL, Honest, & HILARIOUS Parenting Memes on the Internet goo.gl/fb/gPZWNy
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Being an adult is stupid. pic.twitter.com/ghkAP7UbIt