Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm voting myself off the island

 Of good parenting.  And it's not because of my children.  It's because of me.  I am admitting openly and honestly......I.  Am.  A.  Terrible.  Mother.   I am screwing up my children exponentially. Ten or twenty years from now, they will be the reason therapists and pharmaceutical companies are thriving.  While most parents are saving for their childrens' college education, I'm socking away money for the psychiatric intervention that is begrudgingly anticipated in our near future.

I scream and yell and get frustrated with them too quickly.  I speak to my 5 year old like he's a grown man and should be totally accountable for his actions.  And deep down in my psyche, that's  how I see him.  Why????  Because that's exactly how I was raised.  I was never treated like a child.......... one who's supposed to make mistakes, and learn from them.  It was horrible.  But because of that, I don't know how to relate to anybody who's too young to have a drivers license or a voters registration card.
I expect perfection from everyone, including my children, when I am FAR from perfect myself.  It's pathetic.

I constantly feel defeated.  And drained.   I can't keep up with the whining and complaining.  The constant questions and unending neediness.  I get frazzled way too easily.  I yell, or completely over-react to a situation, and then hate myself for days after wards. The guilt consumes me.

And it's NOT their  fault!  I know that.They are doing exactly what they should be doing.  Acting like kids.  Looking at me to guide them.

I'm forever sizing up every other mother I see, and I definitely FAIL miserably in comparison!!  I'm constantly waiting for the 'EXIT' door to open so I can run screaming through it.

They deserve better, yet are stuck with me.  A work in progress.  The lady with the caution tape wrapped around her.  I try so hard to give them all the advantages I never had growing up, when all the while, I feel I am failing to give them what they need most.  A mother they know loves them unconditionally, who raises them up when they hit the ground, gives them encouragement and support.  And I do TRY to do ALL of those things for them, but the second that short fuse button is pushed inside of me, it all goes out the window.

Yes, this is my pity party.  But, no, I'm not looking for validation.  And this isn't a cry for help.  I'm using this as a starting point to change myself.  Expect less from them.  Be more patient.  Yell less.  A LOT less.  Live in the moment.  Cherish all the questions, and even the neediness.  Remind myself it won't be like this forever.  Allow them to be "children" and not wish them into adulthood (or even into an age bracket where they no longer crap their pants).  Be less judgmental of myself.  Compare less.  Pray more.  Seek more guidance.  Ask for more help.  Take more time for myself.  Learn how to take a step back and...... breathe 

Just breathe.

(image credit.........tripadvisor.com)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Last time I checked, my name wasn't Dorothy....

 I will not say that I'm psychic.  Perhaps I just have a "sixth" sense about things.  Or maybe it's just this totally irrational fear that something bad is always going to happen (because, quite frankly, in MY world, when it rains is pours).

Per previous post (S.O.S.!!!), I was in a state of terrorized panic because I was leaving both of my children alone for 3 days, so my husband and I could venture off on a trip to Las Vegas.  This was the first time in 4 years that we'd actually been ALONE, anywhere.

Initially, I was elated.  Overjoyed.  Intoxicated with my excitement.  Then, a mere 24 hours pre-departure, I began to hyperventilate.  I was filled with apprehension.  I had this horrific sensation burning deep into my soul that something would happen while we were away.

Now, I know most of you moms are thinking that this is a totally normal state of mind when we leave our children for an extended period of time.  Without boring you with graphic detail of my adventures in travel, I will just run a few choice phrases by you that apply to trips that we have taken over the years..............Hurricane Frances, stranded on a cruise ship outside of Cuba, missed flights, near death experience on the 405 freeway thanks to a spun out taxi cab (that we were actually IN), sleeping on the floor of the Denver airport (twice in the same weekend!!), Salmonella poisoning.............you get the idea.

Something, inevitably, goes wrong.  It's actually become a joke between dear hubby and I......"what are we going to endure this time??!"  ((ha ha))

Never.  Ask.  That.  Question.

Imagine sitting poolside, enjoying the sunny, 80-degree weather......and a cocktail or 2........listening to the loud music being blared through 87 different speakers and all the girls in string bikinis who look like they eat nothing but a carrot every 8 days and clearly invested heavily into saline.................

Wait, sorry.  Random tangent.

Anyway............. try to envision the extreme fright of checking your cell phone, only to find 12 missed text messages and phone calls, mostly from your friends and family on the west coast (where you used to live) about the tornadoes ransacking the east coast (where you currently live).   

Yep.  Soak it in.

I couldn't get through to our babysitter immediately due to all the phone lines being jammed and destroyed by strong winds, but, long story short......a tornado, taking on a path of 65 miles total, passed through our town, missing our home by a few miles............. 
Keep soaking.

Clearly, we are all fine.  And healthy.  And lucky.  The kids are none the wiser.  Our babysitter did an EXCELLENT job of setting up a "safe room" in our house and making it seem like a camping experiment.  We are blessed with good friends who came over to check on everyone, and everything, in the aftermath.  Despite several, intense panic attacks, I am still alive.  And typing.

But, really.......when will a simple "vacation" be a simple "vacation" ?!?!  I feel I should just omit the word RELAXATION from my vocabulary.  Permanently.

(image credit......sustainabilityninja.com)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Nervous anxiety, coupled with the nausea induced by the smell of bleach and windex used to clean the house, in order to reduce nervous anxiety, can NOT be healthy.  In any way.  Please consider this a Public Service Announcement.

In all honesty, I need an IV drip of Xanax and a few shots of tequila......STAT!!!!   

What am I doing????  

In less that 24 hours, I will be boarding a flight, with only a purse and a book.  And my husband.   Not  8 carry on bags, 2 car seats and 2 hyperactive children.  I have been looking forward to this moment for the last TWO weeks!!  Now I'm not even sure I can make it 'til 3:00 before I need a stiff drink.  I've never even smoked, but I'm quite certain I might need a cigarette!

Why is this happening??

Why can't I just be EXCITED ?!?  Why do I have to worry about every possible, HORRIBLE scenario that probably won't take place in my absence ?!?  I thought I would handle this SO MUCH BETTER.

PLEASE, somebody tell me the world will not end because I am leaving my children for 3 days!!!  Tell me there is not a huge possibility that some catastrophic event will occur, and it will be ALL. MY. FAULT !!

My poor husband.  I sincerely doubt he needs a nervous wreck of a partly-intoxicated human being tagging along side him for the next 3 days.


(image credit)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Panic on the Playground

Motherhood, is clearly meant to drive me insane........or at least to the closest rehab......  Or bankrupt due to the medication I need to take in order to retain enough sanity to be able to function as a mother (so as not to have CPS called on me).

CASE IN POINT...........
I decided to take my kids to the playground in our neighborhood yesterday afternoon.   Thankfully, there were a few other moms who had the same idea (you will see where this tidbit of information fits into the story very soon).
While attending to my 2 year old drama queen, who refused to wear her shoes (quite frankly, I'm lucky she kept her clothes on), I can hear my 5 year old yelling something from the jungle gym.  My dear, sweet, non-judgmental, ever-funny and inspiring friend, J, who was with us at the time said, "I'll go check on C"
Two minutes into consoling the 2 year old, who's feet are now bleeding from the bark she's been walking on, barefoot, I hear......
"He's really stuck!!" 
Now, in my totally rational mind, I'm thinking 'how stuck could the kid be?  It's a playground'
(I said "totally rational mind", right??)
Long (exhausting) story short, the child had wedged both of his arms and shoulders into the metal brace beams for a platform on the monkey bars.
Which begs the question............"HOW??"
Answer...............I DON'T KNOW!
At this point, pandemonium sets in.  He begins to panic, and hyperventilate, and scream (picture the sound of a caged hyena), and thrash around (kicking me in the process), which then forces his tiny little shoulders even further into the entrapment.
His little sister reacts by screaming.  The other children, now forced to watch the mayhem that has ensued, all react with equal amounts of hysteria.  Now, I'm forced to be the levelheaded adult in this situation (and let me just say, that has never been a virtue of mine).
After several minutes of trying to reduce C 's amount of terror and anxiety, I am completely unable to free him of his imprisonment in the metal beams.  I feel absolutely helpless.  There is no "give" to metal, people.  It just doesn't bend. 
By now, the other moms are attempting to quiet the rest of the children, my daughter included, but to no avail.  So, I calmly (yes, calmly) asked one of them to call 911.  It was clear we would need the 'jaws of life'.  
And I actually amazed myself by how rational and composed I remained during the entire event (this is no lie - there were witnesses!!)
Just then, by the grace of God, and whoever else was watching over us, I was able to push one of his shoulders free!  I initially thought I had dislocated it to do so, but, I didn't care.  He was free!!  My heart actually started to beat again.
Aside from being traumatized by the entire experience, and some bad bruising beginning to form, we all seem to be OK. 
But, I think I officially have earned the right to take a flask along to all outdoor activities involving my children (save your judgement).  And perhaps I'll need to bring some cooking oil, or Crisco, along as well.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

I feel jittery.  And excited!!  I feel like a 5 year old set loose in Toys R Us with no adult to set limitations.  Or a grown woman (which I think I might actually be one day) sent on a shopping spree in Nordstrom with no spending limit.


Because I am going away!!  For an entire weekend!!  With my husband!!!  And.......NO!!  KIDS!!
(exclamation on the last 2 words of that sentence, just in case you missed it).

NO KIDS!!!!!  

This hasn't happened since September 2006.  I know, right??!  It's so easy to feel like you are just a "mom", and forget that you are also a wife.  Someone besides your kids actually loves you and depends on you.

Things I am MOST excited about.......

1.  I get to pee in peace

2.  No whining, yelling, crying, screaming, fighting, kicking, pushing, pulling..........I can strip myself of the referee whistle strapped around my neck for  THREE.  WHOLE.  DAYS.

3.  I can sleep!!  And even if my body clock wakes me up early, I get to just  LAY THERE. And stare at the ceiling.  No 5 year old will be there to shout in my face at 6:00 in the morning - "hey mom!! guess what?!  I went to the bathroom and wiped my own butt!!"

4.  I'm getting a massage!!!!  And I mean a real one.  Not the kind where my kids jump on me because they think it's hilarious to cause me pain.

5.  I can take a nap.

6.  I don't have to wipe any orifice on any other human body.  I'll only be responsible for bathing myself.

7.  I don't have to watch 8 episodes of  iCarly or Spongebob Stupidpants.

8.  I get to be ALONE with my husband.  We can have a conversation that's not interrupted every other sentence.  I might even actually be able to complete a thought while talking to him.

9.  I get to dress up and put on makeup.  Pretend I'm a fraction of my formerly hot self.  I might even get all kinds of crazy and wear heels!!

10.  No small child will be using me as a jungle gym while trying to eat at a restaurant.

11.  No dishes, diapers, laundry or cooking for anyone..........I'll be the one who's getting pampered!

and, who knows??

Maybe I'll even miss my kids so much, that I'll actually look forward to coming home.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Forget fire & brimstone. Hell is co-sleeping with your children for 8 days and then traveling across 3 time zones with them, all while they are sick and you are all sleep deprived.
But, we are alive.  And home.  And exhausted. 

Which leads me to ponder why going on vacation leads to needing a vacation to recover from vacation..????  Maybe it's the 8 carry-on bags and 2 car seats we are forced to lug through the airport all while making sure our 2 small children don't run away or get lost amongst the crowd of hustling travelers.  And then having to figure out a way to transport said children when they decide they are too tired to walk any longer and place themselves in a catatonic state on the dirty airport floor.

Then come all the stares from strangers, especially when you are holding a screaming 2 year old while trapped in a confined space like a bunch of sardines.  As if I'M having a GREAT time ??!

Or perhaps it's sleeping in the same bedroom, as a family of 4, while on vacation, then traveling for 6 hours via 2 planes, to get to your car, which is another 3 hour drive from home.

Traveling is great.  I love to visit other places.  See friends & family.  

It's everything else that comes along with it that makes me want to take a long walk off a short cliff.  I guess that's where the saying comes from..............