Give Me Wine, Or Give Me Death
Act 1 Scene 4:
Kim walks into the Seven Eleven. She’s wearing a t-shirt, jeans, no bra, a gray hoodie and flip-flops. She looks tired but determined. Despite never being in this place before she quickly finds what she’s looking for in the back. Wine. Her eyes narrow as she zooms in on the decent chardonnay sitting between the pink moscatos and sparkling strawberry wines. She clutches the bottle and goes to the checkout.
Dave (the clerk): ID?
Kim fumbles in her wallet while Dave and the other clerk make small talk. Kim hands her ID to Dave.
Dave: Thanks Kimberly. So how’s your night going?
Kim laughs with bitterness and exhaustion. Dave will never know.
Kim: My four-year old won’t go to sleep. I can’t find the right stuffed animal. I just want it to stooooppppp!!!!!
Dave: Credit or debit?
The above is a Facebook post from four years ago, when my daughter was four years old and Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t being investigated. Four years ago and as soon as I reread it, I remember it like it was yesterday. We have always been BIG on a set bedtime routine. Same time, same number of books, same number of songs, same rituals in the same order every night. We had the blackout curtains, we only watched loud movies with subtitles, nothing disturbed the sanctity of bedtime.
Except when we couldn’t find the right stuffed animal in a sea of fifty stuffed animals. Then all hell broke loose. But four years later I can remember the frustration, the tears (from everyone in the house, not just my daughter), I remember it perfectly because even though it was four years ago, the same frustrations continue to pop up. As a parent, some days just plain suck.
Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain
When this memory popped up the other day it got me thinking about how I present myself, specifically as a parent, to the rest of the world. Sure, we all talk about what a mess we are, and how we struggle, but very rarely do we put it out there on display. When we do, it’s usually with an exasperated chuckle and a shoulder shrug. We aren’t pulling out a magnifying glass and examining our short comings with anyone anytime soon.
Take my above story. I played it for laughs, I never mentioned that my daughter was screaming so loudly that I was legitimately concerned that a neighbor was going to call the cops. I don’t talk about how much of the wine I drank that night, or the enormous feeling of self-doubt that stuck with me long after my daughter calmed down.
And yet, it’s those tiny glimpses of things not being perfect, of being down right hard and exhausting, that most resonate with me as a mom. With that in mind, here are two (more) examples of me just kind of sucking at this mom thing.
Not A Hot Mess, Just A Mess
I’m pretty proud of the pictures I’ve been able to put on this blog so far. My husband, shoot even my daughter, have way better eyes than I do for photography, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job of making my food look appetizing.
But I’m going to let you in on a secret; the reason I tend towards close-ups isn’t because they look better, it’s so I don’t have to clean as much of my kitchen.
The picture on the right is what my counter looks like right now. I tried giving it an artsy filter, but it is what it is, a mess. I’m sure I’ll get to it after I’m done writing this. If I don’t get distracted by some game on my phone.
Thomas The Tank Engine Is A Real Jerk
Above is a cute photo of my husband reading to our son. I captioned it, “Story time” with a few heart emojis and shared it with the world. What this photo doesn’t show? How fed up my husband and I both are with the book he’s reading and how close I am to burning it.
There are two stories, in the first one Thomas can’t pull the heavy cars filled with people so he strands the people all around the island in cow pastures to lighten his load, in the second he wants his picture taken so he puffs his way into everyone else’s pictures, ruining all the photos. I’m sure both stories end with Thomas learning a valuable lesson, but we never get to the end because my son gets bored halfway through. So the only thing his developing brain is taking away from them is, “Hey kid! Are things not going your way? Just dump on those around you to get what you want!”
So there are my examples of me not winning “Mother Of The Year”. I share them with you to remind myself that nobody is perfect, nor does anyone need to be. If you are having “one of those days”, I hope this helps, and know that we’ve all been there.