March 8, 2010

*wink wink, nudge nudge* it gets better...

as soon as you buy my beachfront land in Arizona.

I follow this hilarious mom blog written by a few mothers of preschoolers and young children. At first, it was an older, wiser look back of "thank goodness" I'm past those days. But suddenly, as I read today's post and wanted to patronize the writers with kindly pat on the head and assurance it would improve, I knew I was full of sh**.

I am the parent of two daughters, 6th and 9th grade. They've outgrown Hannah Montana (and I'll never tell anyone that on occasion they haven't because on the off chance that their friends somehow or another discovered my blog (as if) and read this... THEY HAVE OUTGROWN THE MOUSE*EAR CHANNEL AND ALL ITS OVEREXPOSED STARS).

They have outgrown Mommy and Me outings, unless it includes a credit card with unlimited dollars but extremely limited input from said Mommy.

And, they are in school "allday" which really amounts to 4 hours to myself in which to run the errands that make their lives go smoothly. And try to freelance write.

So, we start with the guilt laden question from the day they were potty trained. "When will you go back to work?" This question was usually met with the incredulous stare of "what do you mean back?" For 24/7, I was on diaper then potty, feeding, cleaning, and entertainment duty. Assuming it was until both children were in school "allday", that is approximately 28,200 hours, 705 weeks, 13.5 years (based on a 40 hour work week with no vacation schedule), of solid work and you have the flippen nerve to inquire WHEN I WILL GO BACK TO WORK?

Nonetheless, I felt compelled over the past several years to attempt that "back" stuff. I sold kitchen gadgets, I worked at the church, I wrote about men's shirts for a catalogue, I used to get up at 3 AM every morning to work as an editor for a European website. (3 AM because there were no interrruptions and because it fit in well with their start of day timezone).

Now, I'm back to work as an unpaid taxi driver and staff to two kids, a dog and a spouse.

Yeah. Back.

Oh I was supposed to talk about how it got better, right? (s'cuse me, there's something jamming my fingers, knuckle crack) ahhh yes.

Don't worry mommies, it gets better.

Don't mistake my sincerity for sarcasm.

You can look forward to the day your child barges into the bathroom, not to help you pee, but to rummage for the hairspray that works better than hers.

You can look forward to the day that you graduate from the eyeroll to the simple glare of somehow or another behaving inappropriately in public. Public can be defined as anywhere anyone who may know someone who knows someone and text back can be. Inappropriate can be defined as picking lint off the sleeve, saying hello, or even worse, greeting a friend of theirs. It makes no difference if you've known this friend since preschool and they once sang Barney songs together. (attempt to be cool mom disclaimer: they did not watch it, mom just had the TV on that channel!)  If that friend and your child are no longer in the same social strata of middle or high school, it's an unforgivable crime to greet them. Unless your child greets them first.

You are required to master the art of texting, because a phone call indicates the dreaded, I have a parent sign. Yeah, because your peers, like the Disney icons before them lead completely parent free unsupervised lives. Uh huh.

You are subjected to demands of "absolutely nothing to wear" the minute you've finished the last load of laundry. Made me long for the days when dad dressed them. I cannot believe I used to cringe at the get ups. Dad actually once took daughter to dance lessons with the tights OVER her leotard (like pants?).  I should have celebrated them so they didn't have such a ridiculous sense of fashion that there are varying degrees of appropriate jeans. Last year, after such an announcement, coupled with a demand, I made it easy on said child. I took all her clothing with the exception of five outfits. I figured that she would be less overwhelmed about her choices of what to wear. She was allowed to choose the five. I'm not THAT mean.

In fact, I'm so nice that instead of getting up to write for Europeans (for pay) at 3 AM, I get up to make sure the last load of laundry for your sporting event is finished before said offspring goes to school. And she better not flippen dare tell me she has nothing to wear, or she'll wear that clean sports uniform. Ungrateful one!

You are required to color code charts and overlaying calendars to make sure every child is at the required place at the appropriate time. Heaven forbid you suggest they find a ride. Even worse, I've discovered are the times you offer to drive another child home (in the hopes of reciprocation) and decide to stop at the store because you're driving right past it for that loaf of bread, deposit said child at doorway 5 minutes late with a parent pacing the driveway wondering where their precious offspring could be.

Pour me a glass of wine.

WAIT!

School all day also means your child will receive DARE education, which is noble but also means that if you so much as have a glass of wine in the sight of your child, you will be lectured by said child about the evils of alcohol.

So yeah, moms, it gets better when they go to school all day and you go back to work.

No, that is not my nose growing. It's my wallet, getting stretched. Because I haven't figured out a way to be paid for all my nonwork hours of taxi driving, laundry doing, and errand running, yet. But I'm a writer. Really.

5 comments:

  1. the milkman, just a simple farmer3/8/10, 3:02 PM

    May I empathize?... *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a witty, well-written post and gratefully, I had to think back really hard to remember how thankless and frustrating the job was.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Don't worry Kim, it gets better. Well maybe not the wallet-stretching part. That'll get dramatically worse when they start college.
    By the way, I found out when a parent calls the child's cellphone, there's a Bluetooth signal that goes directly to the kids eyeballs that causes them to do that rolling action.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazingly the taxi driving part doesn't even completely end even when they are older and can drive themselves.
    I can remember on time giving another child a ride home from baseball practice even though he lived about 20 miles east of where the school was. We lived about 3 blocks west of the school. having never been to his house before I was depending on him for directions. At one point I asked him if he was sure we were going the right way, he responded by saying we should have turned about five miles back and that he had not been paying attention.
    Typical high school kids I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My husband just said to me yesterday that I don't understand how hard it is to work all day and then come home and have to 'take care of the baby'. What he means by 'take care' is play with the 14 month old while I cook and clean for 45 minutes before he goes to bed. Because my day everyday raising this boy is filled with bon bons and relaxing obviously?

    I did try to explain that I work all day, and then cook and clean, and it extends to the weekends and that I have never once had a day off, but apparently it's just not the same as driving in to an office each day. When I am done breastfeeding I am taking up drinking for a living.

    ReplyDelete

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