It’s Not Easy Being Me

Standard

If the word “Mom” is supposed to be a term of endearment, why do my kids use it as a four-letter word?

Even though “Dad,” by default, should elicit close to the same response, its aura is closely guarded by the lovely ankle-biters who buzz around my being like well-intended gnats in the same way they encircle his early evening entrance in a bionic halo.

Don’t be fooled. Those ankle-biters are trying to TAKE ME DOWN. Image via Stacie Chadwick

On most days, while Dad can’t do anything wrong, I can’t do anything right, and to use a phrase I can’t stand hearing as my children channel the Von Trapp family and sing it in three-part harmonic rounds?

That’s not my family. Image via larryedmunds.com

IT’S NOT FAIR.

For one thing, Le Magnificent Father has full control of his iPod at all times. No one living in our house under the age of twelve would dare touch his custom Eighties Metal Hair Pie Mania playlist, because anything Dad listens to, regardless of overused electronic synthesizer riffs, is cool.

Dad rocking a sweet, 1987 mullet for Senior Prom. Photo stolen by Stacie Chadwick.

So what if I wanna blast Shannon’s “Let the Music Play” through my Yukon’s three and one-half speaker sort of surround sound stereo and relive that fateful day when 8th grade super-fox Jon Miller asked me to couples skate at the end of the night after the rest of Crosby Middle School had gone home? I can’t. The aforementioned ankle-biters have commandeered my phone and googled some kind of Mom-proof auto lock on Pandora that loops the best of Justin Bieber over and over. Even though I kind of like JB in a non-threatening, could be his mother but won’t admit it, all-ages audience kind of way, if I hear “Boyfriend” one more time this summer I’m gonna take back every compliment I gave him in my fan letter and punch my life-size, blow-up doll right in the face.

Then there’s the whole food pyramid, or nutrition plate, or “no you can’t have the deep-fried Twinkies you saw on Food Hoarders for breakfast or ever” mentality I like to bring to every meal. As I come in the front door with bags full of groceries that I can’t even pronounce, he’s sneaking the kids out the back door to some yogurt place where you get a free set of windshield wipers if you match your weight in ice cream topped with gummy worms and that nasty, congealed, strawberry relish type stuff that’s better used as some kind of adhesive.

Ummmmm, gross. Image via freshcupfrozenyogurt.com

In the spirit of the Olympics? Game, set, and match Dad.

It never fails that when I want our children to pick up what’s left of the house, help fold the clean laundry that ended up on the floor because they hate folding clean laundry, and put out an APB for every flip-flop shoved under the sofa or thrown up on the roof, Dad decides it’s time to go on a yard safari. While he’s out with the nasty coyotes in the scrub oak searching for rabbit bones that can be shaped into some dinosauresque model the kids will think is awesome, I’m keeping it real inside, telling them that they can’t join their dad with the nasty coyotes in the scrub oak and could they please turn off the T.V. and clean their rooms?

Essa on her way into the scrub oak in search of fairies. I hope they don’t eat her.

Yet somehow, they’re able to morph through the wall (because I’m so smart, I lock the doors immediately after seeing Dad tromp up the hill in our backyard in a pith helmet and a game skin back pack) and file out behind their father like sweet little anti-Mom ducklings while I’m left inside and alone to face the nightmare better known as my children’s rooms.

Mom 0, Dad 10,000,000,000,000,000

So yeah, it’s not easy being me, but maybe tomorrow Dad will force-feed everyone Muselix for breakfast, send the kids off to clean the creepy basement camp for the day, and have them weave flowers through my hair on their way up the stairs to write me heartfelt thank you notes right before tucking themselves in for their reasonable bedtimes.

And then again? Maybe not.

66 responses »

  1. Sadly, parenthood is good cop vs bad cop (mommy always ends up being bad cop) because marriage is adult vs child (mommy being the adult, and men never growing up past doing whatever they want and having a woman fix their messes as they blow through). I feel for you. There must be some way to concoct an elaborate plan to turn the tables and trick dad into something responsible and mandatory, while you end up blowing them away with something beyond cool?

  2. This is a great post! And a sentiment shared by many women! Sometimes it seems like I’m the only one who thinks around here in my house. Everyone else is busy doing whatever they feel like in the moment. Argh!

    • Right! If I could live in the moment, I absolutely would, but I’m too busy taking care of the upcoming 10,000,000,000,000 trillion moments to do that. Thanks for the comment. I’m looking forward to you posting a three ingredient dinner that takes me 10 minutes to cook and will make my children love me more than their dad.
      =)

  3. That’s a great photo of you and your kids, Stacie. Even if they are trying to do you in. Moms always do seem to be the “bad” parents. Probably because dads are all “Who wants pizza for breakfast???” It’s kind of unfair, isn’t it.

  4. Mmmhmm. Though the kids tend to turn to me for backup, since they haven’t figured out how to manage Captain Agro with the same finesse I do, I still tire of feeling like a mother of three when only two are from my womb.
    Ps. I bet you would totally rock that wildflowers in the hair look. Yeah, that’s right, let the music play, sister!

    • Sadly I’ll never know what it feels like to weave wildflowers through my hair as I’m more focused on plucking out each and every gray strand that the ankle-biters force from my skull. But thanks for the compliment and right back ‘atcha. =)

  5. haha! I guess the conventional ‘mum disciplines the kids, while dad makes sure there’s light at home’ role does look skewed in favor of the dad especially as the kids see it….but then again we won’t know until a dad rants it out 😉 BTW nice pic!

  6. I know how you feel. The only “kid” I’ve got left is my 15 yr old daughter. Her father will do anything for her and buy anything she wants (within reason) and I have to remind her to do her homework and her chores. Moms are always the bad guys.

  7. Moms just have to play the long game. No one ever yells “I WANT MY DADDY” when they’re in desperate need of a parent! It does make me feel a little stabby when Daddy comes home and “takes care of the kids” with frolicking and merriment when things have traveled a long way sideways all day.

  8. Oh GG, we once again live the same life, except my kids’ Dad is so cool and fun he lives in an entirely different house (tiny apartment – haha, I’m winning!) He fills them up on junk food every other week and then I try to feed them right to the screams of ” there’s nothing to eat.” Grrrr!

    • TWTG, You’ve got a tougher problem, for sure, because you can’t exert any type of control when they’re at their dad’s place. Good thing you’re such an awesome person and mom, and can kill it with a spatula. Thanks for the visit, GF. Looking forward to seeing what you’re up to next… =)

    • I’m going to trust you on this one. Right now I’m the bane of their existence on many days…telling them to clean their rooms, empty the dishwasher, stop arguing…you know the drill. I’ll count on your premonition to be correct. Thanks Valentine!

  9. SC! Enjoyed, as always, a little peek into your life! When I saw the title to this it immediately made me laugh because I say it often… but it’s always followed by… DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT???!!! which gives me the self-righteous platform of indignation that I rely on to keep my own house in order. Which seems so very tame compared to yours. Two parents! Three kids! A mullet in your past! Oh, you lucky woman. You deserve flowers in your hair…

    • Does it have the same effect if I self-style my super-sweet flower weave? Probably not. Thanks for the visit and comment, Laura. I can always count on you for girl-power moral support!

  10. Oh man! This is so like one of my mom’s rants.
    Growing up, my mom was the dictator, and dad was the cheerful revolutionary whom we trusted with dirty secrets. Dad would come home early from work and—before mom came home—take us out for fried chicken. (We were supposed to be a vegetarian family!) Dad rarely told us to do our homework or to get off the phone. When I failed geography in 8th grade, mom yelled at me; dad got me a book and signed it with, “Dear Bharat, do better.”
    Mom had to say no all the time! It’s hard being that all the time. Luckily my mom was good with sarcasm. I remember a particular one, “Bharat. You registered for the GRE in January. It’s July, and the dust-pattern on your study-book hasn’t changed. You’re probably thinking I’m going to pay tuition for your grad school in America.”
    Nicely written. If I ever decide to become a dad, I think I’ll be strict. Nah…I think I’ll spoil the crap out of my kids.

  11. It isn’t always the Mom who’s the bad guy, Stacie. But it is always one of the parents. “It’s not fair” is right, but it could just as easily be you saying it.

    I loved the entire post, but especially this:

    “…some yogurt place where you get a free set of windshield wipers if you match your weight in ice cream topped with gummy worms and that nasty, congealed, strawberry relish type stuff that’s better used as some kind of adhesive.”

    • True, true Charles! I’ve started asking my husband to take my place in the “that’s not fun” department every now and then, just so I’m not the only one making them do summer homework packets, clean their rooms, and help out with chores. He’s always game, but those flowers haven’t been woven through my hair yet. Good thing I’m an eternal optimist. There’s always tomorrow, right?

      Thanks for the visit. Looking forward to seeing what’s going through YOUR head.
      =)

  12. I can see they’re about to take you down. The smallest muchkin must have pulled a wrist flip on you right? Rememeber that for next time, the smallest is always the most dangerous.
    Great read, thanks for sharing and making me feel at home…really at home, I think we are the same person!

    • Being a Gemini, I’m convinced that there are a lot of us walking the earth so welcome to the band of brothers, or exhausted mothers, I’m not sure which. Also, thanks for following my blog. I write about an assortment of things, but somehow the ankle-biters end up getting WAY too much air time. =)

  13. You’re right, Stacie. It is NOT easy being you. However, it’s extremely easy being your Blogging Bestie! I’m going to have to have a talk with those ankle-biters when you visit. Don’t worry. I won’t be mean. And a couple hours locked in a dark closet would do them some good. What? It’s an air-conditioned closet.

  14. Hmmm, I’m not positive but I think that was just a tinge of guilt I felt course over me. It has not been outside of my range of expertise to agree to finger painting the moment the kitchen is finally spotless or playing outside after baths are already complete. Maybe it was fitting that I played Capt. Von Trapp in our high school musical.

    I would share this with my wife because she would love it but in the spirit of self preservation I am more likely to go to great lengths to ensure she never finds it.

    • You’re burying me, Simon? Shame on you. Now go pick up a spatula and make your lovely wife breakfast in bed. Then clean up all the dishes and let the kids run through the sprinklers while they play freeze tag inside, then clean it all up again and go for a run.
      =)

      • Now I am definitely hiding this. If she were to read this comment she might give you some kind of medal, decide you are her new best friend, and hijack our friendship right after you quoted Coach Taylor and talked about Cool Ranch Doritos. Also, in my defense, I cooked dinner last night (actually cooked, not just put out chips and salsa) and though I wouldn’t say that I run, I did log my treadmill and elliptical time this morning. Just so you know, you are still one of my favs even with the scolding. You’ve made me laugh this morning, thanks for that.

      • I hope you made it yourself out of one of those skinny Michelob Ultra cans. I guess I have to find out if an Aries is allowed to be friends with a Gemini now.

  15. Oh wow, 63 comments. I wonder what insightful exchanges of information await me. Oh I see, just some idiot treating your blog comment sections like his own personal instant messenger. Just like an Aries.

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