Future President talks nonstop on the way home, and usually I nod or ask questions, but tonight I didn’t have any words in response to his bold proclamation: “You know who my favorite mommy or daddy is? Daddy. He plays Playmobil with me, he sings to me, he does everything with me. Well, mostly everything.”
I couldn’t think of a response that was neither rude or shocked, so I said nothing. A few seconds later, he pipes up: “Well, this is awkward.”
You don’t say.
Called in sick today because my whole family has a stomach virus, the same one I had last week. I guess you can call me “typhoid Mari.”
This meant that while my kids were mostly on the mend after puking earlier in the week, both grandmas were down with the bug. So today I had the hardest job in the world: SAHM. I’m not kidding. Staying home with kids is no joke.
So we didn’t stay home all day: we were at Costco before it opened. And here’s a secret – they usually open the doors before the advertised opening, sometimes as much as 15 minutes before. And when your kids wake up at 6, you can make it to Starbucks, Costco and Target and fit in a couple loads of laundry, all before 11.
When I am home, I feel compelled to do housework, so I washed sheets, vacuumed and cleaned bathrooms. We bought a birthday present and card for a party more than a week away and went to swimming lessons. A lot was accomplished, including breaking up more than one fight over the same two cars that both kids insist on playing with, even though there are a bazillion more all over the older one’s bedroom floor.
I also ate way more than I usually do during a work day, consumed more caffeine than I normally do and managed to spend way more than planned at both Costco and Target. It’s a good thing I’m not home during the week on a regular basis or we’d be broke and I’d be overdosing on fish crackers.
To all my SAHM friends, I salute you!
When I watched Grey’s Anatomy, I had an ongoing playlist I would continually add to based on the music that played during each episode. It’s amazing how the songs made me cry even more than the actual plot. I’ve stopped watching Grey’s Anatomy, but I still cry during songs way too often. When Adele’s new album was released, I cried while listening to “When We Were Young” at least the first five times I heard it.
TV shows and music still pack a punch – the season 8 finale of How I Met Your Mother featured Fort Atlantic’s “Let Your Heart Hold Fast” and it is still one of the most memorable season finales I’ve watched.
This season’s New Girl is now a close second. This weeks’ two-part season finale was really funny, really touching, and made me cry, especially when these two songs came on: “Rivers and Roads” by The Head and the Heart and “Still” by Seinabo Sey. Thanks to New Girl for introducing me to Seinabo Sey. What a voice!
I bought myself a FitBit for Mother’s Day with an AmEx gift card I won in a raffle. At Target, I helped Future President pick out a Mother’s Day card (at first he chose one for the special aunt in his life, but then I told him he had to find one with the word “Mom,” as that’s a word he can spell) and he chose a card with a monster and three eyes.
Last Christmas, I heard from a good friend that she and her husband stopped buying Christmas presents for each other and instead spent the money on themselves for something they really wanted, like professional family photos or a new computer. I have been rebelling against this notion my entire life – isn’t gift giving supposed to be fun? Except last Christmas my husband gave me jewelry I already owned and I gave him an iPhone charging case that he didn’t want. So I said, enough is enough. I will buy myself presents from now on.
So here we are, a few days before Mother’s Day, and I bought myself my own Mother’s Day gift, and I am completely okay with that. In fact, I have a list of presents I’m going to buy myself in the future for my birthday and at Christmas: a facial for my birthday and professional family photos for Christmas. It’s a win-win because I get what I want and my husband can spend his hard-earned money on Playmobil.
Granted, I still want something from my husband and kids: maybe two hours alone in the house so I can watch TV uninterrupted, and then I can paint my nails without someone smudging them. Actually, on second thought, I want two hours uninterrupted in a nail salon!
We spend a lot of time in the car and most of the time we listen to music and Future President tells me about something he saw on one of his shows (“Mommy, did you know Pinky Pie doesn’t wear a crown? But she’s the queen?”), but sometimes he’ll ask me the most pressing questions that he wants an answer to RIGHT NOW.
Last week it was, “Are we rich?” Today it was, “Why does it take so long to be a grown up?”
I, of course, didn’t have answers to either question, so I did what any good parent would do and turned the questions back to him. “Do you think we’re rich?” “Why do you want to be a grown up?”
And like any child of two law-trained parents, he had to define the terms first. “What does it mean to be rich?” I again turned it back to him. “What do you think it means to be rich?” “Bananas,” he said, and made a funny face, then put his sockless foot in his brother’s face.
“I want to be a grown up so I can play with my kids,” he informed me this morning. I assured him he would get to do that, but he should enjoy being a kid. “Yeah, I get to play all day and you don’t,” he agreed.
“Yup,” I said, and after drop off, I turned up the radio and sang as loudly as I could.
Almost 19 months after my second son was born, and here we are: me, hating my body, me, feeling no self worth, and it’s time for this to stop.
I owe it to myself, first and foremost, to stop with the self-hatred. I owe it to my husband, who tells me daily that I’m beautiful, even more beautiful than when we first met, to stop saying, no, no I’m not, I’m ugly. I owe it to my kids, who deserve to be raised in a family where body shaming is banned, especially by their mother about herself.
I’m buying myself a fitness tracker for Mother’s Day – whether it’s the Apple watch, or something cheaper – and I’m choosing me. I’m going to buy myself comfortable walking shoes and find athletic socks without holes somewhere in my drawer. I’m going to download the C25K app and I’m going to learn how to run and not let my heavy boobs be an excuse any more.
Last week, when I made this decision to love me, I took a walk after the baby went to sleep. It was still light out and my walk took me down a path where I could see Mt. St. Helens from a vantage point I didn’t know existed so close to my house.
I will never be skinny, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to be healthy and happy in the body I’ve been given. Let the self-hatred be blown to smithereens.