I am a mother, and the only difference between me and the vast majority of other mothers out there is that my children are fifteen years apart. Mind you, that doesn’t mean I am “nineteen kids and counting” and have just bred a pyramid scheme of free childcare and labor as to appease the ovary gods, or to scratch every metaphorical itch that my womb (soul) gets.
That may not sound too bad, two kids…fifteen years apart, but I can assure you that it is a bit worse than what you can even begin to imagine. That is to say, that you as the reader, are a normal and logical parent that had children within the same decade, and possibly within five years of each other. I assume (and you know what they say about assumptions) most people either have full grown adults, teenagers (13+), pre-teens (8-12), or little ones (see previous and do the math).
That’s an intelligent move and I extend my hand in a congratulatory manner, I wish I had known then what I know now. Isn’t that just the total cliche of life?!
But alas, here I am…Stuck in parenting purgatory.
At a moments notice, I have to go from toddler style to teenager kung-fu. I have to deal with horrible haircuts, slipping grades, a rejected heart, driving, only child syndrome of a now big sister, teaching adulthood, and or, calming psychotic freak outs of an internet addict when the WiFi is too slow…
While at the same time trying to deter a biting phase that seems to be more than a phase, potty training ( AKA; pooping on the floor), sharing, hitting, climbing on counters, jumping in fire ant beds, trying to break co-sleeping (room sharing), and or, tantrums of a binky addict at 2 am when I can’t find the right binky out of the 12 binkies in the bed.
I have to go from being punched in the nose (for God knows what) by a two-year-old, and then verbally assaulted (for God knows what) by a seventeen-year-old.
I’m so physically and emotionally exhausted that, well, that I can’t even think of an analogy to describe how tired I am. Whining (and wine) doesn’t even help anymore. I am a hot mess most days, and not in the same cute and adorable way that Mila Kunis is a (supposed) hot mess in” Bad Moms”.
I am that streaky self-tan, holey yoga pants wearing, sometimes buzz cut having (easier than pulling it out), always late if I show up at all, smoking (yes, SMOKING! I’m tired and weak-willed!!) mother, sipping on a pint of Maharaja at 10:59 am because it’s five-o’clock somewhere.
“Wanna get away?”…well yes, Southwest Airlines, some days I do!!! Is that okay, Southwest?! Am I allowed to say that?! How about you stop patronizing me with your low airfare and clever little commercials in between the same 5 episodes of Paw Patrol that I’ve been watching for two weeks!!!! AHHHHHH!!! *throws sparkling Rosé at television*
Did I happen to mention I am also married?
Somehow, I am supposed to keep my shit together, keep myself from killing my seventeen-year-old replica, keep a crazy baboon toddler from killing himself, keep the animals (literal animals, we have pets) fed and clean, keep the toilets clean, keep the litter clean, keep the yard clean, keep myself clean, and you’re telling me I am supposed to keep track of a forty-three-year-old man’s contact prescription, car keys, pool key, shoes, and feelings all while stuck in a repetitive verbal loop of; “The [insert random object name] is right there… in front of you…right there…no, not there…look down a little and to the left…your other left…oh my god, (storm over in annoyance and grab said object) it’s right here!”
Really?! For real?!
When in the hell did I fill out the W-2 for this job?! How long is the contract?! Is there a non-disclosure?! When exactly is the non-compete clause up?! Is there even a 401 or retirement package?! Geez…I need a smoke, anybody got a light?!
But as with most things that seem like an overwhelming storm of emotions, there are beautiful silver linings, one of which is called nap-time and it is absolute heaven.
It’s that amazing time of the day where I get to snuggle up under the covers, in a cool dark room with a miniature human that I grew. I get to serenade him softly as his warm carrot breath slowly wafts across my cheek, and his tiny arm twitches while he holds tightly to my neck.
Then there are those times where I am sitting across from my daughter drinking coffee together, and she is rambling on about politics or philosophy and I am in awe of what an incredible young woman she is, about how proud I am of her mind and her stubbornness, and I chuckle silently to myself about how she is going to give some poor sap a run for their money one day. That she will be a strong, fierce woman that won’t put up with nonsense.
There are those rainy, quiet Sunday mornings where the house is in order, the litter is cleaned, and the groceries are all bought and put away before I am even out of bed. The days of no special importance that the honey do list is all checked off even though I had no idea I had even made one. No reminders, no plans, no appointments or engagements…just relaxation and laughs and catching up on the DVR.
These are all moments of pure bliss, times I don’t just wanna get away…
Toddlers and teens and husbands, oh my…
What would life be without them?
Lonely, and terribly uneventful.