Monday, December 10, 2012

Dirty Little Secrets

Everyone has dirty little secrets.  Habits we're not so proud of.  For instance, I used to watch Judge Judy.   


Another one?  Every time I write, I have to re-read several times and remove all of the apostrophes from words that don't need themFor instance, in just the previous sentence, I had to remove the apostrophe from apostrophe's.  True story.

Of course, everyone has some level of issue with this when they're typing quickly.  It's most common when you see it's vs its.  It drives me buckin' fatty when I make THAT particular mistake.  I feel like it says something about my level of intelligence and something about me on a base level of humanity.  What?  You don't know when you use its vs it's?  Who raised you?  Wolves?  

So, I guess another dirty little secret of mine is that I judge people harshly for the its vs it's mistake.  Well, that and spelling no one... noone. Hand to God, when I see this mistake, it makes me want to call up the grade school where this person went, scream FAIL and then hang up. 

Another dirty little secret... I'm totally a pimple-popper.  There. I said it.  My name is Jaynee.  I'm a 35-year-old mother of two.  And so help me God, I LURVE popping my pimples.  So much so that were hell to actually freeze over and my skin become as smooth as silk, with not one clogged pore, I would go certifiably insane.  It's a big stress reliever for me. And these days, it's pretty much the only alone time I have.  Not that I have to be alone to do it.  I'll do it while waiting for The Bird to finish pooping so I can be sure that she actually wipes and doesn't just assume the clean pinch.  Learned that lesson the hard way.  Oh, she'll ask me to leave so that she can poop in privacy and while popping a blackhead I'll distractedly inform her:  "Why should you get to poop in privacy?  No one in this house gets to do that anymore."  Plus, the popping of the pimples totally justifies spending so much money on foundation to cover up all of the marks I then leave on my not-so-Hollywoodesque skin.

So... yea.  Me in a nutshell.

But the real dirty secret that I carry in my heart?  The one that I only admit to myself and to Benny after I've had a little bit of wine which loosens the tongue and helps me let down my guard: I'm a terrible Mommy.

Now, I know... I know that people are going to come to my defense.  That's just human nature.  And, honestly... it's sweet.  But, I'm not just saying that to get anyone to tell me that I'm a great mom and that I'm too hard on myself.  It's honestly how I feel about oh... 85% of the time. Whether or not it's true?  Doesn't matter.  It's how I feel.  A lot. 

Maybe it's having two kiddos which means that I have to split my already limited time and attention between two of them now.... which makes me wonder what they are missing out on because I work outside the house?  Maybe it's the fact that every day feels like it's one long ridiculous sprint to the finish line, where I can celebrate with a nice Merlot (or, on the chance that I've been to an out-of-state Costco, an $8 bottle of something that I never would have purchased otherwise... and upon one sip note that I will never purchase again).

And no... this is not me wishing to be a SAHM.  But in some way I regret that I don't WANT to be a SAHM.  Because I really feel like I would totally suck as a SAHM and somehow, the kids would be even MORE messed up than they're probably going to be with me working outside of the home.  Plus... work is the only place I can go to drink my coffee and read the newspaper in relative peace.  And dammit if that doesn't make me feel guilty.   

Ah... feminism.  A total beyotch. Giving me everything I've ever wanted... yet somehow unable to take away the guilt that comes with having everything I've ever wanted. It's a raw deal.

Want to know why I don't go on Pinterest much these days?  It's because of all these overachieving mommy's who make my brain bleed.  A perfect example is our Elf on the Shelf, Dino.  It is all I can do to remember to make sure that he is in a different position before I go to bed each night and that it's somewhat mischievous or creative.  And then I get on Facebook and see what other Mommy's are doing with their elves and... I mean, all due respect but the elf fishing for gold fishes in the toilet?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS?  Let's not even talk about the creative factor that blows my elf holding a mere Oreo while sitting on his usual shelf COMPLETELY out of the water.  

No.  Instead, let's focus on how my girls would freak out if they saw goldfish in the potty.  And I guarantee you, Millie would be going in after them.  I'm just saying... goldfish are a rare commodity in our house.  (Because Mommy can't be trusted around them, mkay?)  Our house... it's a lot like prison.... if the inmates and guards bartered with goldfish instead of ciggy's.  I've been able to get some pretty amazing behavior out of the prisoners with the offer of goldfish.  But it works the other way, too... the prisoners have figured out that to keep the guards happy, they need to be happy.  And happy, in their world, means goldfish.  So... now you can see how they've got me between a rock and a yummy salty snack.  

Okay.... so the goldfish are out.  Know what else is out? This.

Completely. Unacceptable.  Gangnam Style?  Seriously, what do you people do at night after your kids go to bed?  Because if it entails anything more than drinking a glass bottle of wine and turning on Chicago Fire... well, you're doing it wrong.  And when you do it wrong, you end up dressing your elf like Psy and destroying whatever dignity those reindeer had at one point.  Not to mention, making the rest of us feel completely inadequate about making a elf angel with flour and then not being able to figure out how to get all of the flour off of the elf's suit.  Because I suspect that's something they taught in Home Ec when I was in high school, but I was too busy trying to figure out how I got my dimensions on my homemade pillow covers so desperately wrong that I could fit my table partner into it easily.  Oh yea... that happened.  Jaynee once used a sewing machine... to disasterous results.  WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT?

But, I digress.  Not everything is Pinterest or Elf on the Shelf or other Mommy's fault.  

Nope.  That would be all me.  

I look at the kids rooms and they're just a cluttered disaster.  Half the time I'm frantically digging through the laundry basket to find a pair of pants for the girls that aren't dirty so that we can make it to school in time.  (NEW RULE:  No more washing pants every time we wear them... it's killing my laundry duties.  We will now only be washing after at least two wears.  Or if they are covered in poop or vomit.)  Then I look at my room....same disaster, different paint color.  Same for every room. I haven't scrubbed the tub since we fired our housekeeper and OMG... I let my kids bathe in that?  And my floors... failure on every level.  There is absolutely no way to keep wood floors looking nice... even if the kiddos weren't here to spill yogurt on them or paint it with nail polish that Mommy accidentally left out.  The maintenance is a freaking joke.  Who has time for that?
But, you say... that's just housework.  No big deal.  The kids will be fine.  They're happy.  They're healthy.  They're relatively clean.  Right?  Well, today I literally pinned down the oldest to run a freakin' comb through her hair and it was like I was removing her eyeball with a spoon.  

And I did that right after reading about that Jada Pinkett Smith article wherein she talked about girls not feeling like they have control over their bodies... so that's why she let her 16-year-old cut her hair like a boy.  It's her hair, she can do with it what she wants.  And I'm all.... Yes!  Absolutely!  Hazel can't be in charge of what we're having for dinner or if she can poop alone or where we're going at any given moment, but she can have control over her hair. Thank you, JPS for putting it into words!!!   

But then I looked at my oldest child.  The light of my life.  The little bundle of joy that made me a mother and caused my hair to turn white overnight.  Not grey.  WHITE.  And I just cannot let her go outside the house with that... rat's nest.  At some point - for her own health because who knows what's living in it right now? - I have to take a stand and just run a brush through it quickly  But, she has hidden my two brushes.
"Brushes?  You mean cranium torture devices, Mommy?  No thank you!  You'll see them in HELL."   

A normal mother... she probably lets things like this go.  Or tries to find a way to trick her child into agreeing to running a comb through it, lest it become a traumatic experience for everyone involved. 

But, see... we've already discussed that there are no goldfish in the house.  And what's a Monday if there's not crying and screaming?  And then whatever reaction The Bird is going to have to the brushing of the hair. 

So, yes... 85% of the time, I feel like a bad mom.  Like I'm doing it wrong.  Like my kids are going to end up in therapy because their mom put them in pants that were very clearly in the laundry basket and then threatened them with brushing their hair if they complained about it.  

The other 15% of the time?  Those are the times that I get to read stories over and over and over to them... as they repeat the stories from memory.  They are the times that they ask for ME to put them to bed.  They are the times that both girls faces light up when I pick them up from school and they can't wait to be with me.  They are the quiet moments in the dark where I get to smell their necks as we lay in bed together snuggling for just a few moments before the chaos that is life in 2012 breaks loose.  

That 15%?  I'll take it.   


Carrie said...

At least you are completely normal. In January of this year, I started going to yoga at night and the amount of guilt filling my head those first couple of weeks for leaving the kids at home when I felt I "should" be with them almost made me stop going. Then, almost as the instructor sensed I needed it, she talked about that time on the mat being the most important time of the day- that the hour spent on the mat is what makes me be a good mom.

Maybe your yoga is a bottle of wine. Perfect.

Pinterest is for inspiration. It is not a standard. My kids could care less what I bake or make or decorate. That's all for me. It's like yoga. All they really care about is the time I spend with them.

Who needs to dress up an elf when you've got mom dressed as the grim reaper dancing to Thriller? I mean really...who can top THAT?? My kids talk about it all the time. Coolest.Mom.Ever.

Sarah L. said...

I, for one, vote that the elf moves back to the north pole, pronto. Tell the girls that he was needed to break a labor strike the other elves put on. Without him up in the north pole, there won't be any toys from Santa. They'll understand.

As for the rest...I bet they'll remember the 15% too, way more than the rest.

Hang in there.