Hey you there: Are you stressed?

My mom broke the unspoken rule of motherhood the other day.

She asked me if I was stressed.

I lied and told her everything was fine.

She didn’t need to know that I can’t even go to the bathroom without someone screaming, “MOOOOMMMM!!!” Most summer days, I don’t shower until 10 p.m. My husband comes home to a ragged, dark-circles-under-eyes, exhausted as hell wife with her dirty hair in a clip, pulling her bangs away from her face. The days I do appear showered and put together, he wants to know where we are going that night.

She doesn’t need to know that every day my kids fight, whine and argue like they are trying to set a world record for “Aggravating Mom the Most.”

She doesn’t need to know that me working from home when my kids are home is getting increasingly more difficult as my kids age. I thought it would be easier, but it’s because my children no longer take naps. Back, long, long ago, I had two to three hours of peace and quiet during the day. That was MY time. A time when if I needed to nap, I could grab 20 minutes and feel rested. If I needed to work, I could. Now, my kids surround me like a bee to a flower. Buzzing, buzzing … all the time.

She doesn’t need to know that rather than be a mom to my 14-year-old son, I am now his personal taxi service for all high school sporting events. Who has practice at 5 p.m. on the weekdays? Answer … my son.

She wanted to know what she could do help ease my stress. She let me know that she is there for me if I needed to talk. I actually told her I have no time to talk – that is what talk-to-texting is for where I don’t need to have a conversation for 20 minutes, explaining why I am stressed.

Besides, no one cares!

A day later, I confessed I was stressed. Who isn’t?

Moms are all in the same boat – making our way through muddied waters called Motherhood. Day in and day out, we experience the same problems. And it doesn’t matter if you are a stay-at-home mom, working-mom or whatever-type-of mom.

Being a mom is stressful enough without adding all the extras – like laundry, cleaning, cooking, dishes and sleeping (if we are lucky).

To know that we are responsible for our children is an insane amount of stress – especially if we don’t want our kids turning into Neanderhtals later in life.

We have to dole out the chores, the punishments, the rewards, the explanations. We have to set good examples.

We have to make sure they are associating themselves with the right kind of people.

We have to make sure they receive proper nutrition and the right amount of sleep.

We have to control how much screen time they have on a daily basis.

The list is endless.

And it’s not just moms … this goes for dads too. Parenthood is the hardest job I have ever had in my life. Some days, I yearn for my college days where the only person who I was in charge of was me. I’d give anything to pull an all-nighter, cramming for an exam. I’d give anything to have two days to write a 10-page-double-spaced paper on revolution. I’d give anything to live in dorm with 200 other people.

This isn’t saying I don’t wish I was 19 years old again. Because, I don’t. I don’t miss my teens, 20s or what’s left of my 30s (which is six months). Those years are who made me the crazy, loud, fun-loving, honest, hard-working mom I am today.

So, yes, I will continue to pretend everything is fine; and that I am not stressed because no one wants to be weighed down by my problems because we all have them – it’s just how we deal with them that makes us … us.


Getting pulled over … causes mom to pause

I couldn’t locate the cash box anywhere in the house. And it was driving me crazy. After looking in everyone’s closet and in the basement, I decided it was either loaned out or simply stolen.

I needed more tables. The tables set up in the garage were already filled with old board games, decorations, bedding, clothes and knick-knacks.

And soccer practice started at 6 p.m.

Dinner had to be made. Dishes had to be washed. The cats needed fed. You name it, it needed to be done.

Add into that the twins were talking to me non-stop all day about the impending garage sale.

“What time does it start?” “Can we make muffins to sell?” “I don’t want to sell my toys, but can I still keep some money?” “What if no one comes?”

I was beyond stressed out and my mind was literally spinning in 100 damn directions.

“Let’s go NOW,” I screamed to my 14-year-old son.

And off we went to soccer practice 4 miles always, my spinning mind and all. The fact is, we left the house early. We had plenty of time to make it to the soccer fields.

But I was in a hurry.

Driving down the road, my mind wasn’t on the drive at all. I wasn’t paying attention at all. I make the 4 mile drive to the community park, once, if not twice per day. I was driving on auto-pilot.

But then I saw the lights go off … and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a finger pointing to me to pull over immediately.

I was caught.

Nearly 1.5 miles from my house, a county sheriff pulled me over.

“I clocked you going 68 miles per hour …” he told me.

I couldn’t even complain as my mind was still racing about what else I had to do that evening for the garage sale.

Digging through my purse, I found my driver’s license and then by some grace of God, I actually put the insurance card in my van the day before, so I pulled that out along with the registration papers.

I have lived in the same county for 16 years and have never had so much as a parking ticket.

My only response was, “Yup, OK. Sorry.”

I know I looked like a trainwreck. I had Jazzercised that morning, and taking a shower was an afterthought to getting the sale ready. I didn’t care how I looked.

Maybe that actually helped my cause? You know the look – hair pulled over with a clip, yoga pants on, coupled with a work-out tank and gym shoes, all sans makeup. I may have had deodorant on, but who knows. Thank God I tossed on  my prescription sunglasses – I am required by the State of Ohio to wear glasses due to my poor vision that over the years has worsened due to being pregnant with the kid(s) I taxi all over the place. So, I actually had on two pairs of sunglasses – my Dollar Tree pair on the top of my head and the $100 pair covering my eyes.

I was a hot mess.

As I sat in the car, looking at my teenage son, I saw the sheriff sitting in his car too. He was running my plates through the system. I knew he’d find nothing on me since I am boring-stay-at-home-mom-turned-taxi-service-in-the-summer.

Making his way back to my vehicle, I knew I was gonna get a lecture about safe driving. I was right. “Doesn’t it bother you when drivers speed down this road? And you have kids! It bothers me and you live on this road, just like me!”

The truth is, yes, it bothers me a lot when motorists speed down my road. But, on the flip side, my kids don’t play in or even near the road. I am more worried about a driver losing control and hitting a tree head on than hitting a kid. I dread the day when I hear a crash only to run out to my front yard to find someone incapacitated. That scares me. That bothers me.

Thankfully, the sheriff only gave me a warning. But it was a warning that changed my life. Ever since that day, I have set my speedometer on 55 miles per hour. I’d rather be late than get pulled over again. It’s just not worth it.


Wanna be amused? Go to your park and “parent-watch”

Before you read this and accuse me of being “horrible” you should remember these statements:
“Been there, done that”
“This too shall pass …” – someday.

Tonight, I was in charge of passing out pictures for the soccer league for the community in which I live.
I set up my wagon, outside the chain-linked fence park and as I sat there, waiting for parents/coaches to make their way to my “station,” I also was keeping an eye on the twins playing. There is only one way into the gated park and I was sitting by the entrance. They were fine.
First of all, let me say this say, my position is VOLUNTEER … meaning “FREE, DONATED TIME, NOT GETTING PAID.”
So, when a mom walks up to me and says, “YOU NEED A SIGN TO LET US KNOW WHERE YOU ARE …” when I am the ONLY one sitting there in a chair, with a wagon holding a big-ass box, isn’t that a given? Alas, point well taken. Next fall, you will see me wearing neon green, holding a neon sign telling the world, “SOCCER PHOTOS!!! SOCCER PHOTOS!! COME GET YOUR SOCCER PHOTOS!”
OK, so I manage to get through THAT ordeal.
Time passes, the twins are puttering on the equipment and I continue to “parent-watch.”
And here’s when I started to laugh – internally of course, because if anyone of these mom’s would have seen me laughing, they may have biffed me – let’s talk about toddlers.
I have two 4-year-olds and a 10-year-old. For the most part, I am past the temper-tantrum stage. Now, if they misbehave, I just randomly take stuff away – or threaten them with “DO YOU NOT WANT TO GO ON VACATION?” (Yeah, what happens AFTER we vacation in June, I am not sure … I will keep you posted.)
So, in essence, I don’t (and they don’t) have public meltdowns too often – besides, when they do, I just pretend to ignore them and hope they are someone else’s children. “Gosh, where are THEIR parents?” I say … looking around.
I also tend to tell them “I love you, bye-bye” and they come running up behind me.
So, today, as I saw a mom carrying a screaming 2-year-old and dragging her 3 or 4 year old, I was laughing – inside of course. The 2-year-old was missing a shoe. The other tot did not want to leave the park. The mom was at her wits end. The funniest part is … she was carrying the screaming 2-year-old, sans one shoe, when she put her down and said, “WE HAVE TO GO BACK, I LOST HER SHOE. OH, WAIT, IT’S IN MY HAND.”
I wanted to tell this poor, stressed out mom, “Been there, done that, with TWINS” but I didn’t want to feel superior, nor did I want her to feel shittier than she already did at that moment.
Then we have the moms who constantly tell their kids, “TWO MORE MINUTES!” “THIRTY SECONDS!”
Let me save you the trouble … toddlers do not have any concept of time. To them, two hours, two minutes and two seconds is all the same. When it’s time to leave, try just leaving next time instead of announcing to the park, “TWO MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!”
The funniest part of the park-expo tonight didn’t even deal with toddlers.
I was sitting there, again, watching a man back into a handicap parking space. He then hit the pole. I wanted to yell, “YOU ARE GOOD” but he must have figured it out because he moved forward to fix his accident.
As he and his wife walked to the baseball fields, I happened to glance his way and saw what I consider the oddest baseball snack in my life … a jar of … PICKLES!!
Truthfully, after witnessing all the park-expo drama, I was getting a bit hungry … and man, if those pickles didn’t look tasty!