Yesterday I got a message from a reader.
First off, I have to tell you that I’ve started and stopped this message probably a dozen or more times. Two words. Self confidence. Life is kind of a bitch when you don’t have it.
I’ve been there.
I think we all have.
I kept reading.
“If you are feeling challenged, unsure, disorganized, embarrassed, mortified, overwhelmed, or anything else, this is the place for you. You are not alone.” Can I just say, “Holy Effing Shit!!!” Have we met somewhere? Do you know me? This little blip describes me so perfectly, it’s almost scary!
I read some more.
I am a mom of 6 ranging in age from 19 years to 19 months. Fo’ real. I have a crazy, hectic, school, work, sport and music filled life. I go everyday, all day. I am not the “typical” mom. I do not conform. I am not a “smiler”. I parent so vastly different from most everyone I know that I’ve finally had to succumb to the fact that I am the one who isn’t “normal”. I don’t tell my 19 month old that he needs to make “choices.” I say “NO and STOP.” I also have no problem letting my 19 year old know when he’s being an absolute dick. So that’s kind of me in a nutshell.
I’ve been in quite a state for the last few months feeling really worn down and both physically and mentally exhausted…my biggest problem is that I feel like I’ve been fighting this battle with other parents trying to make them see that I’m not as “hard” as I might seem. Yes, I expect a lot from my kids. Here’s a good example. Manners are a big deal to me. It won’t kill anyone to remember to say please and thank you. And they get reminded. In public. Out loud. It’s not like I’m mean about it or anything. Seriously. Just a small reminder, but by the way I get the polite smiles, and then side stepped, you would think I had just threatened physical harm.I am just so damn tired of fighting the fight with parents who don’t parent at all (literally heard a child, four years old tell his mother that she sucked because she wouldn’t buy him a drink from the concession stand…..and she stood there, and smiled, and said, I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was so important to you…..and then bought the damn drink. WTF?????) Anyway, I’m babbling.
No, not babbling.
I read this:
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your blog. I read it everyday. Faithfully. It makes me laugh. It makes me feel normal. It makes me feel like there is another mom out there who’s laundry hasn’t been done since the early 2000’s, who’s kids love to get into anything and everything they can, and who sometimes sits down with a glass of wine or a beer and says, “Fuck It”. You have made this ride the last few months a little bit easier with your wit and humor and “realness”.
So, Thank You Susie. Thank You.
That last paragraph
made. my. day.
I started this blog 14 months ago, just because of that last paragraph.
Because being a parent is hard.
Because we put so much pressure on ourselves.
Because we moms are constantly worrying about how we compare to other moms.
Maybe it’s the same for dads too.
I don’t know.
But I do know that it’s exhausting.
And worrying about what other people think and how they perceive you can be debilitating, even.
So I do my own thing.
Yeah, it took me 7 kids and 43 years to get to this point.
But I finally got there.
Number 1, who is almost 16, hasn’t had a cell phone since Christmas.
He lost the privelege.
And then he eventually lost the ability to earn it back.
I consider a cell phone to be a privelege.
Wherever he is, there are phones available.
He’s not unsafe.
He can get in touch with us.
But if he wants to have his own phone at this point,
he’s been told he needs to earn the money to pay for one.
Is it a major inconvenience for us?
You bet it is.
But there are a whole boatload of inconveniences that come along with being a parent.
I’m sure there are people who think we are being too hard on him.
But those people aren’t responsible for him.
They don’t know our situation.
And to be honest,
I don’t give a shit.
Saturday was Number 3’s birthday.
He had a couple friends over.
He was being a little bit of a show-off, and was squirting people with a water gun.
I told him to stop.
And he looked right at me and kept right on doing it.
So, in front of friends and parents,
I pulled him out of the pool, and he had to sit on the deck away from everyone for about 10 minutes.
On his birthday.
Is it fun to do that?
But it’s necessary sometimes.
And part of the reason he did it in the first place is because I’ve let him get away with more than I should have in the past.
So now I have to undo what I’ve done.
Which is way harder than not allowing the behavior to occur in the first place.
He’s had some issues with OCD and anxiety.
I’ve made excuses because of that.
I’ve felt sorry for him.
But letting him be a douche isn’t helping him.
It’s tiring to stay on top of it and to stay consistent.
But if I don’t,
I’ll have a much bigger problem on my hands in a couple years.
And so will he.
I could beat myself up for not doing things perfectly.
Or, I could accept that I’m human.
If other people can’t accept that, eh .
You know how I feel about those Judge Judys.
Which brings me to another area of judgement… the condition of my house.
It’s not good.
I really used to worry about what other people would think.
The prospect of an unannounced visitor was horrifying.
My house is rarely neat.
I guess I could make it a priority.
But right now it would be futile.
A full day’s worth of cleaning can be undone in minutes.
It’s not an efficient use of my time.
I can exercise, and have a clear mind all day, or I can clean, and have a clear floor for um,
like 5 minutes.
If people have a problem with the state of my house, well, they know where the door is.
So, to the author of that really awesome message yesterday,
I would like to thank you.
Keep doing your thing.
Let the haters hate.
You’ve got a supporter in Connecticut 🙂
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!!