Kentucky Mom to Twins and More

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Failing at motherhood sucks


I failed so badly today.

So, I yelled at my daughter tonight. What’s new, right?
But this time, I really yelled.
It wasn’t fair to her, I see that now, but I couldn’t help it.
I didn’t yell at her because she left her uniform in a heap on the floor again. Or because she left the kitchen door wide open again or because she was mean to her little sister again.
I blew up because while I was getting them ready for their umpteenth soccer practice that week, she said, “You don’t ever stay to watch our practice.”

I snapped. I screamed at my 7-year-old. She couldn’t possibly be serious saying that – when all I ever do these days is spend my waking hours getting them to school, to practice, cooking, cleaning, correcting homework, helping with fifth grade science projects that make me want to gouge my eyes out – that she couldn’t possibly NOT see how hard I’m trying every day.

With one man down in this household, I won’t lie, many days suck. Let’s take Mondays for example.
I taxi one to practice, come home to either fix dinner or let the dog out then go back to the field to drop off the twins for their practice and pick up the other. I race home to bathe that one, let the dog out and feed my son (who’s luckily gotten a ride home from a friend) and then I go back to the fields to pick the twins up and race home to give them a bath in time so we can still do our nightly reading and any other homework they’ve forgotten about or haven’t finished yet.

When she’s got gymnastics on Wednesdays, I rarely have time to sit and watch either – because I’m racing around taking care of the other three kids. But it kills me. I see those other moms sitting there, witnessing their kid’s first roundoff back handspring. The beam routine in which she DOESN’T fall off. They get to sit there for an hour and a half. Idle. Watching. So yes, to my daughter, it seems as though mom didn’t stay to watch practice. If she’s only looking at the logistics, I wasn’t there. I wanted to scream and cry at her to tell her it’s not that I don’t WANT to stay and watch her. But 7-year-olds don’t understand very well how moms can’t be two or three places at once and if we could, well, life would be so much easier.
She doesn’t realize that if only things were the way I wanted, I would be there watching while her daddy cooked or he took her brother to practice or let the dog out or started the bath. If only things were ideal, daddy and I would both be able to come to the games and cheer them on. We would both be able to take them to church together or go to Sunday brunch as a family. “If only” are such gut-wrenching words these days.

The girl whose mom never stays to watch.
She doesn’t know my heartbreak when she reminds me, “Mommy, you are always on your phone!” I know she doesn’t get that I’m most likely studying my iPhone calendar trying to figure out how I’m going to be at three separate soccer games at precisely the same time Saturday morning and when I do pick which game to see, how to tell her siblings I won’t be at theirs. She doesn’t know I’m likely texting someone to help me give them rides home afterward. I’m likely checking my TeamSnap app to update her brother’s tournament times, which happen to be for games in Indianapolis, and how I’ll handle the rest of the kids while I’m with my son 150 miles away all weekend long. She doesn’t get that I am likely looking at the online menu at Outback buying four overpriced mac and cheese dinners to pick up on the way home.

I can’t beat what’s happening to us. I can’t win at the logistics here. I am only trying to hold my head up above water long enough not to drown. I hate that my kids see me drowning. I feel sick every time I snap at them. It’s not their fault they don’t understand… it’s not their fault these are our cards right now. I’m just hoping they can look back and remember the days I swam, and know how hard I tried keeping up.


My blog was originally published here at Cincinnati Moms Blog.




Sunday, September 24, 2017

I'm NOT just a homemaker


I saw some life insurance policy paperwork lying out on the counter the other day that caught my eye. Looking at it made me a little ticked. It wasn't the sad realization that my husband is readying things for our financial future when something happens to him that made me so upset. Nope, it was one little word on the bottom of a questionnaire that sent me into a shit fit.

The form offered a short line in which to write "spouse's occupation," and my husband wrote: HOMEMAKER.

Ok, aside from the fact that it's not 1955, and I'm sure that word doesn't even exist anymore... I'm aggravated, hurt and offended that this is the one word my husband chose to describe what I do every day of my life. No, I'm not saying my husband is a chauvinistic brute. He knows better - his mother and sisters are nurses, his youngest sister is a teacher. His grandmother inherited and ran a successful grocery store chain after her husband died. So I feel it necessary to explain to my husband why this description of me just isn't going to cut it.

You see, I worked really hard to get my degree from a prestigious women's college 20 years ago. A college that for more than 170 years has been trying to break down and shatter stereotypes that women are just here to cook and have babies - to "homemake." It is a highly-decorated and esteemed higher learning institution where women have come to learn the same things that men are learning, to play the same sports as the men are playing, to be the best at whatever they dream. I'll admit I was never great at math or science (I may have bribed a biology lab partner to do all the pig dissecting sophomore year), but I could read and write like hell and it's the only thing that put a diploma in my hand and I'm damn proud of it.

Featured in a text book. I've come a long way from graffitiing the principal's car in 1986.
For years, I worked as a writer and editor at newspapers in the Midwest. People picked up their newspapers and read stories I crafted (probably crafted in less than an hour because this old girl loves a deadline) and they may have even shared those stories with their family or friends - probably printed or saved them, too. I walked into a local restaurant the other day to find framed on their wall a feature story I wrote years ago about their owner. Every once in a while, I get an email from a man whose son was killed in car crash years ago in a Memorial Day motorcycle accident that I covered when I was a reporter. A total stranger who I've never met gets my prayers most every Memorial Day. A column I wrote years ago was published in a textbook to teach feature writing. Some college kids could be reading my shit for homework, so that's pretty cool for me. I spent a good chunk of time after my babies were born freelance writing for the local daily paper, doing phone interviews and writing between naps, diaper changes or breastfeeding. Even then, I still considered myself more of a writer than I ever did a homemaker/wife/mother of three kids under age 3.

I work part time at my daughter's preschool now, as a one-woman media/publicity department. I write press releases and stories for publication, take pictures, update their web site, create and send out direct media. But more importantly, I'm Miss Andrea to 50 preschoolers who trust me, who give me hugs, who tell me stories each day about butterflies they caught, where they saw a fox or how they lost a tooth. They trust and come to me when they are crying on the playground, want to tell a secret or have an accident on the floor.

For the past couple years, I've volunteered at the grade school cafeteria. This is not a pretty job people, as I'm sure some of you may already know. It's like helping hungry, angry, little people in a ketchup splattered, Jell-O stained, stale bread-smelling, windowless room for two hours a day. And none of them ever say "please." But I go anyway because I love my kids. I love the smile on their faces when they get to see mom standing there with gloves and an apron on cleaning spilled peaches from their lunch table.
Yes, I am home most days with four kids. I'm dealing with a lot of laundry, a lot of missed pee in toilets, a lot of fights over Barbie dolls and a few piles of dog poop the new puppy might leave for me. I'm trying not to piss myself jumping on the trampoline with the twins. I'm singing Ariana Grande songs out loud in the car with a 5-year-old who doesn't care that I have the suckiest voice ever. I'm failing at way too many Pinterest recipes that my kids won't eat and constantly wiping fingerprints from every glass surface in this house. I'm coordinating play dates for my kids at the park when all I really want to do is watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix with a glass of wine. I'm taxiing the kids to and from practices and games and friends' houses like I'm some 1980s Tony Danza.

But here's the thing... yes, all that "homemaking" takes a lot of my time, but in no way does it define me. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to see my kids more than I would if I had a full-time job. I love that I'm able to drop everything to come and get them when I get that barf call from the school secretary. I love that they can come home from school and ask me for homework help instead of some babysitter (love is probably too strong a word here). But I'm letting you know, I'm not the homemaking robot you think I am. I'm more than just Mom-Cleaner. I'm more than just Wife-Cleaner. I'm more than just Dog-Cleaner. I'm more than just House-Cleaner.

I have beautiful, creative - sometimes twisted - thoughts that I love to write down. I have dreams and aspirations of doing something great for the literary world (says the lady who for one hour stood in the Target toy aisle contemplating the purchase of a fart gun). I want to teach my kids a love for reading and writing and the art of communicating honestly and completely uninhibited - without reservation. I am a storyteller. I am a friend who will listen (and probably give a painfully honest opinion, too). I am a lover to four messy, stinky people. I am a believer in a God who somehow has got to have a purpose for me. I am a juggler of life. I am all this and more.

I ask you, dear husband, can you fit all that on one line of your questionnaire?



This post originally ran here at PopsugarMoms on Sept. 21, 2017. Link below:
https://www.popsugar.com/moms/Why-Homemaker-Bad-Word-44051265?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=post&utm_campaign=moms