ROMANCE IS DEAD! VALENTINE’S DAY IS A SHAM CREATED BY THE CARD COMPANIES TO SCAM MONEY OUT OF PEOPLE! OTHER NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY IN ALL CAPS!
Valentine’s Day has never been a huge deal to me, but I used to like to be taken out, fed a nice meal, maybe given a little gift. I never got wound up in the hype, but it always did feel weird to be single on what most people consider to be a “romantic holiday”. I guess all those commercials and ads and candy hearts got to me. Or, y’know, just wanting to feel special. Either/or.
Even getting married, snagging the man, making it official, didn’t do much to dull my wants to be treated like a princess…. or something. Again, I don’t know, a day to celebrate love, even if it’s made up, make-believe, intended to scam people out of money, is still kind of nice. Why the hell not, right?
After having kids, though, my desire to be taken out on the town faded into oblivion. I don’t want to blame the kids, I feel no ill will. Really, I feel nothing at all. My desire to be taken out on the town has been outweighed by the feeling that I don’t need to be.
Before anyone gets all up in arms, I’m not coming down on anyone who feels as though, or believes that, they should be spoiled on Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nope. It’s your life, your relationship, and your feelings- and all of those things are valid. You do you.
For me, though, it’s no longer part of the plan. Not that I’d turn down a gift, or a nice dinner- but the sky will not fall if it doesn’t happen. I will not be mad if it’s not planned for me. Hell, I’d rather it NOT be. I’ve been married 10 years this month. Is the honeymoon over? Duh. Is the romance DEAD? I don’t know if I’d go that far– it has just changed over the years. Morphed into something that no longer resembles hearts filled with chocolates and bouquets of flowers.
This morning I woke up with a nasty pain in my back, my kid was home sick from school, and going out sounded like the LAST thing I want to do tonight. We might get a fancy meal… and by fancy, I mean takeout tacos. And only because holidays give us excuses not to cook and why NOT take advantage. We might see a movie… sitting on the couch with the kids, scolding them to stop dropping popcorn between the couch cushions. We might do something romantic after the kids are in bed, and by romantic, I mean clear off the DVR and play videogames. But celebrate? Eh….It’s not being wined and dined, or being lavished with gifts and flowers, but it’s life. The life we created together. It ain’t pretty, but it’s ours, and that’s kind of grossly romantic in itself, isn’t it?
Since I’ve had kids, my reaction to cancelled plans can usually be summed up in one word. An exclamation, really. A feeling. an overabundance of joy summed up by 3 letters:
There was really no greater feeling than knowing you don’t have to prepare not only yourself, but your kids, to go out for some things you really didn’t want to do all that much anyway. People say the older you get, the more excited you get about cancelled plans, but I don’t think it’s age. I think it’s preferring lazing about rather than trying to corral your insane children in public. It’s not having to get them ready, think about what they need, what you need, what everyone needs. Being on time. Worrying about someone having to potty. Trying to FIND a potty. Worrying about snacks and drinks and blah blah fucking blah, the bajillion things you worry about as a parent when you’re not in the comfort of your own home. You’d just rather stay in the comfort of your own home, am I right?
No having to put on pants, or makeup, or brush your hair. No having to pick out clothes for the kids or keeping them from getting food or boogers on them. No having to have patience because there are witnesses present. You can just be you. And not even the best version of you. The grossest, laziest version of you. You can pick your nose, couch surf, eat an entire bag of chips. None of these things you could do if other people were around.
Well, okay, technically that’s not true. You COULD do all of these things, but they’re likely to get you some weird looks and possibly a few phone calls.
It’s not that I hate leaving the house. I’m not a hermit, or agoraphobic. I do things all the time. I enjoy things outside the 4 walls of my house. Hell, my house can drive me crazy from time to time, but more often than not, I just prefer the relaxation in knowing that I don’t have to do anything. That I have no obligations other than to keep everyone in this house alive. SO, when I get that phone call telling me I can do exactly what I like to do most days- which is nothing- I breathe a sigh of relief.
OKAY KIDS. YOU DON’T HAVE TO PUT PANTS ON!
One less fight to have that day.
I was wrong in my line of thinking that had me believing ALL the best plans were cancelled plans, because this morning, after I’d been waiting weeks to get my hair done, I got a message from my hair stylist informing me she was sick and would need to reschedule my appointment.
Hair appointments are my ME time. My time to get away from life. To just sit and do nothing but gossip and read trashy magazines and NOT listen to my kids bitching about everything. It’s one of the only plans I make I actually look forward to, and when they get cancelled, it’s awful. It’s horrible. I then find myself sitting on the couch vegging out, which any other day I would relish every moment of, feeling angry and sad.
My life can really be summed up in two reactions.
There is no in between.
Does anyone else feel this way??
I’m not the type of mom who believes in participation trophies, or not defining a clear winner. I think kids need to learn to lose because losing is a part of life, and there’s really nothing wrong with it. If anything, it should motivate you to practice more and try harder. There’s always room for improvement, and practice makes progress, therefore, there’s no reason at all to be a “sore loser”. Those are the things I teach in my household.
…aaaaaaaaaaand it seems that my kids missed the memo.
I loved board games before I had kids. I have so damn many of them that they’re overflowing in the front room of my house. I’d love to PLAY all of these games (I’d also love to put them away, but I digress), but every time I’ve tried since exploding children out of my uterus, it’s turned into madness. Screaming, whining, tantruming, sore loser-y madness. MY BELOVED BOARD GAMES!!! HOW COULD YOU?!
when my kids aren’t screaming family game night is a great time, and how can I deny such time spent with family without electronics and other crap? Simple answer: I CAN’T!
Confession: in order to keep family time moderately civil, I’ve started…. throwing games. Yep. I let my kids win from time to time. Don’t you judge me.
LOOK, sometimes, when we’re playing games, and I see the shit starting to go south, and their faces are starting to turn blood red, and I know they’re about to blast me and pretty much shit on the rest of the day because no matter how much I try to tell them losing ain’t no thang, it never sinks in, and it’s the end of the world, and perhaps that means I failed somewhere down the line, and maybe this is the longest run-on sentence in the history of this blog– I DON’T CARE, I THROW THE GAME. Everyone’s happy! I mean, there are equally as many times that I whoop their asses just to prove a point as I let them win, but that’s not the point. The point is that yes, occasionally I LET THEM WIN since they’ve always kinda sucked at games and can’t win on their own.
In my parenting world, it’s all about choosing my battles wisely. Sometimes, it ain’t worth it to teach them the lesson of losing. If that makes me shitty, so be it. But, again, my shitty parenting is not the point.
THE POINT is that I was sitting at the table playing tic-tac-toe with my seven year old, which I usually whoop his ass in (much to my delight and his utter dismay), when he beat me. Not just once, but three times. And not out of luck– the kid schooled me. Moments later, my husband got his ass whooped in a game of squares by our nine year old. And I started to realize, this has been happening more and more lately. We’re winning less and less, and not because we’re throwing the games. Not because we want to avoid tantrums. Not because we JUST WANT THE GAME TO END BECAUSE OMG IT’S TAKING SO FUCKING LONG I MIGHT ACTUALLY DIE AT THE DINING ROOM TABLE. But because they’re BETTER than us. Smarter. Sharper.
It’s finally happened. I’m finally to the point of parenthood where it’s truly all downhill from here. First it’s silly games. They’re already better than me at math. Next thing you know, they’ll be having to help me with computers and technology, and it won’t be long before they’re shipping me off to the old folks home because they don’t want to wipe my ass EVEN THOUGH I WIPED THEIRS FOR YEARS, THE FUCKING INGRATES.
I’m gonna need them to start throwing games so that I win to keep me from losing my shit.
Parenthood has officially come full circle.
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. single. time. pic.twitter.com/qxy23khtts
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