Inspired by an article I read recently I’ve decided to share a few of my Mommyhood bloopers. We live in a society where we are connected to most of “our people” through social networks. On these networks you more often than not are celebrating the highlights of your day/life and bipassing the ones that don’t make you look so cool. With parenthood, and many other subjects out there, I find it comforting to hear that “I Am Not The Only One”. But there is no way to see that when all you are reading on the web is how your friend’s kid just won the spelling bee, or how someone’s kids were fantastic at potty training, or how another friend manages to parent, hold a job, and make cute Pinteresty things. So I will “come out” and admit to some of our not-so-highlighted moments of how mommyhood is not always as blissful as facebook might make it sound.
There are plenty of days when I won’t even bother to dress our girls. They do not go to school, and if we are not going out in public I don’t see the need to clothe them only for them to create more laundry for me. So yes, several days a week you can find the girls, and often myself, having spent an entire day in our underwear. (Of course when guests are on the boat I make an exception and clothe myself, but will still let the girls lounge around in their undies or pj’s until its time to go back to bed).
When we have evenings out with friends, when we are keeping the girls up passed their bedtimes, so we as adults can enjoy our evening, their sugar rule usually goes out the window. On any normal day I will watch carefully our girls’ sugar intake, a child only needs so much, but if we are out and I am forcing them to stay up later than usual then I will let them eat whatever sugary treat any of our friends offer them (of course still to certain degree). But with all the honorary grandparents these girls have in the harbour it is not rare that in one late evening they may partake in suckers, m&m’s, cake, and juice. If it helps them stay awake and happy while we are out, then they are enjoying themselves and so are we. Thankfully they both crash from the sugar highs once we get back home and have no issues falling asleep.
We have had the awkward, “Mama, Papa, what are you doing?” experience. But not even in such a straightforward and tame way. With the way the boat is laid out our 4 year old sleeps in the same room as us, but on a raised up bunkbed. This leaves parental intimate moments to be had either elsewhere or late at night while she is sleeping. Well I guess one night, she wasn’t sleeping so much, because evening, as we are sitting around with friends, our then two year old asked us what we were doing, we said “playing a game”, and she answers back, “oh like you the game papa and mama played” while swinging her hips front to back. OOPS, she saw too much. Luckily she was way too young to remember this and has never brought it up again. But of course, she had to mention it in front of everyone.
There are days when our four year old, who is brilliant and knows how to push my buttons, gets sent to her room for time out, not only because she needs to be disciplined, but also because it gives me a breather so that I do not lose my cool with her. It is rare that I will get angry enough to yell, but when she gets me to that point, the best thing I can do before I blow up at her and do something or say something I will regret, is to send her away so mommy can take a step back and recoup, think things through calmly and then address the issue in a manner that is more receptive and productive. This gives me the time to tame my temper and remember that she is only 4, still learning, and still very loved.
Our daughters wake up early. Too early. They start squirming around 6:30 in the morning. I am not really a morning person, once I am up I am ok, but getting up is the hard part and I will be angry against anyone and everyone that forces me out of bed. So we have gotten into the habit of letting our 4 year old entertain our 1 year old in our salon until Eben is ready to crawl out of bed and join them. Of course having a 4 year old in charge isn’t ideal and we still get woken up every 15 minutes or so by one of them tattling on the other or them asking for treats or needing to go potty, but it still gives us those precious extra minutes. It has also caused us a few ugly messes, that you can’t really get mad at them for since you are the one letting them roam free. We have come out to the salon to find finger paint all over the table and some of their toys, or kids nail polish on the couch cushions, or that the baby had turned down the freezer temp and thawed our food, or that they are walking around the boat sticking playdough where it doesn’t belong. Our sleeping in does come at a cost.
It is not always pretty being a mom, as I walk around our half cleaned boat in my underwear with my frizzy hair, but it is a gift that I was given. Not everyone is so lucky to have these mommyhood bloobers, and so although they are embarassing or frustrating, I take them in stride, learn from the experience, share the stories with others in hopes that at least they will get a laugh out of them, and feel thankful that they are part of my “normal” not-so-highlighted life. I am also especially thankful for coffee. These bloopers are part of what make mommyhood work for me.