Saturday, June 25, 2011

Martinis At Naptime

Once upon a time in a reality far, far away mommies would anxiously await nap time each day.  As they laid their sweet little darlings down for their daily bout of rest, mommy would smile.  But it wasn't because their babies looked like angels in their beds.  No.  It was because now, after hours of putting her husband, children, laundry, PTA duties, and house cleaning ahead of her needs.... it was finally martini time!  Yes, after laying her sweet angel's head on their pillow and tip toeing quietly out of the room, mom would make haste over to the wet bar in the family room and mix up a shaker full of sweet, sweet gin or vodka relaxation.  Quite often this would be mom's only moment in the day where she had time for herself. Her roll in the house was to attend, quietly & subserviently, to the needs of her husband and children without so much as the blink of an eye.  From sunrise to sunset she was busy flittering about her home creating the perfect vision of domestic bliss for her family.  Not once thinking of herself.  So, rightfully so, nap time was hers.  And so she'd hunker down, light a cigarette, and enjoy her mid day cocktail in silence.

Skip to 2011.  IF mom is lucky enough to stay home with her kids the domestic bliss of yesteryear are long gone.  The house is chaos from sunrise to sunset.  The kids are running & screaming, the dog has eaten and thrown up something on the carpet, The Wiggles are grating on your last nerve, you are way behind on your blog because you can't- for the life of you- get the kids to nap at the same time, the martinis have all been replaced by copious amounts of coffee and the odd Red Bull, you are lucky if you got a shower today, and your husband better drive through KFC on the way home because you forgot to pull the chicken out of the freezer yesterday and YOU ARE READY TO SCREAM!

So which vision of motherhood is ideal?  Which mom had it best?

While on the outside the 50's housewife seemed to have it all under control, on the inside she was screaming.  She was never really her own person.  She was thriving to fit the images in her women's magazines of perfectly coiffed ladies pulling roasts out of the oven as the children played quietly and her husband read a newspaper and smoked his pipe.  That bitch NEEDED her nap time martini!  More often than not it was the only moment in her day that belonged to her. 

So while it may seem she had things perfected to a T, let's examine today's mom and the advantages we have.

Rise and shine! 
The 50's house wife no doubt had to wake up an hour before her family to shower, do her hair and press her dress so that she looked lovely for her husband when she went to wake him.  She gets the older children dressed and ready for the bus while making a 4 star breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and fresh squeezed orange juice.  After serving breakfast, she hands her husband his briefcase and kisses him gently on the cheek and sends him off to work.  Now it's time to shuffle the children onto the bus, baby on her hip, looking bright eyed and bushy tailed.  She waves to the bus as it pulls away and heads back into the house to begin her day!

The modern housewife slams her hand down on the alarm and tells it to fuck off.  Then she punches her husband in the should to signal him that it's time to wake the hell up.  She pulls herself out of bed and throws on the cleanest pair of sweats she can find on the ground.  She heads to the kitchen because she doesn't even want to see the kids until her coffee is made.  Once coffee is made she wakes the little monsters.  She pulls a somewhat matching outfit out of the closet and tosses it on their beds and tells them breakfast is in five.  Back to the kitchen she goes to make breakfast.  But what will it be?  Pop Tarts?  Frozen Waffles?  Lucky Charms?  Pop Tarts win because mama's tired after being up late chatting on Twitter.  The kids come screaming into the kitchen and sit at the table to scarf down their Pop Tarts and Sunny D.  Mom is leaned up against the counter drinking her breakfast (coffee) and hoping the baby doesn't wake up until after the kids are on the bus.  Dad darts through the kitchen tossing Pop Tarts in his brief case and filling his travel mug with coffee before running out the door.  Mom glances out the window and sees the bus making its way down the street.  "Dammit!  Kids let's go!" Mom throws a couple bucks in each of the kids back packs for lunch and tells them to hurry up or they'll miss the bus.  She slams the door after them and watches out the window hoping they make it so she won't have to drive them to school.  YES!  They're on the bus!  Morning success!  Now for round two.

The Days Of Our Lives.
The 50's housewife spends her day cleaning, folding, shopping, and cooking in a graceful manner without breaking a sweat. Her children are angels who play quietly while mom handles her duties. Aren't they the sweetest? And just like clock work, they go down for a nap at the same tie each day leaving mommy an hour to sip her ice cold martini and recharge her batteries.

The modern housewife's day is just a bit different. She still hasn't showered by the time the kids have left for school and now the baby is awake. So she pulls the exersaucer into the bathroom and hops in the shower to hose herself down super quick. Of course the baby gets bored in 2.5 minutes which reduces mom's shower time in half. Once her "shower" is done she leaves baby in the exersaucer, rocking the base with her foot while juggling the brush and blow dryer. She slaps on some make up and some (semi)clean clothes. Now it's time to feed baby so you plop him in the high chair and pour some Cheerios and Puffs on the tray so you can gather the dirty clothes from EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE. Because heaven forbid anyone place their clothes in the hamper. Once mom has a load in the laundry it's time to pick up around this pig sty but baby has different ideas. He's blown out his diaper and painted the tray of his high chair with the contents. Awesome. Before mom cleans it up, she takes a picture and Tweets it because her Twitter moms "get it". It's bath time for baby which causes her to run late to drop off snacks for her daughter's kindergarten class. After dropping off snacks she runs errands. It's time to pick up her husband's dry cleaning, drop off over due library books, hit the gym- hahahahahaha just kidding!- pick up more formula, order balloons for the birthday party this weekend, get an oil change for the mini-van, Gymboree classes with the baby are next, swing a box of baby clothes you don't need any more off at a friend's house, and grab some fabric from the craft store. The baby slept in the car so there's clearly no martini at nap time. Now it's back to the house because the school bus will be dropping the kids off any minute. You pull in just as the bus is arriving. Sweet. Once inside the house you realize you forgot to pull that damned chicken out of the freezer for dinner so you text the hubby to pick up some KFC then tell the kids to get to the table to do homework. The fighting between the kids started almost instantly. "He took my pencil!" followed by "She's looking at me!" completed by "I hate you!". Ugh. Just shut up and do your homework! You still haven't offered up your version of cleaning the house yet and you really don't have time for this. Stop to Tweet how the kids are driving you bonkers. Then grab some crap off the floor and toss it in their rooms. When will this day end?!

Honey!  I'm Home!
The 50's Housewife has had a productive day and the house is pristine when her husband arrives home from work. The kids are quietly reading which allows mom to take daddy's briefcase, offer him his slippers and pipe, and give him a moment to relax after a hard day at work while she plates dinner. Dinner is a magnificent feast of succulent pot roast, roasted veggies, and a crisp salad with home made dressing and glasses of ice cold milk. Everyone washes their hands and arrives at the table. Prayers are said and the meal is consumed while the family listens to daddy talk about all of his accomplishments at work that day. He's our hero isn't he!

By the time her husband arrives home from work, the modern housewife kisses her husband and hands him the baby as soon as he plops the KFC on the counter and tells him she needs a break because these kids are driving her up a wall. "What about dinner?" dad asks, baby dangling off his hip. With one glare from mom he understands that dinner will wait. Mom heads to her room and flops onto the bed and pulls out her iPhone. It's time to catch up on her Tweets. But 5 minutes in, the kids are fighting again. She heads out to find out why dad isn't handling it wherein she finds she's lost him to ESPN. REALLY? After a frank "discussion" about this mess it's time to slap some KFC on some paper plates and feed the family. This modern family sits around the table chatting about their dad.  The kids boast about what they did at school.  Mom vents about what a busy day she had and Dad talks about the deal he closed and how glad he is to be home with his family.

Nighty Night!
Night time has rolled around for our 50's housewife. She dresses the children in their night gowns, brushes their teeth, and tucks them into bed. Prayers are said, kisses are placed lovingly upon their heads and the lights are turned down. Mommy now heads in to her dressing room to change into something sheer for hubby. They enjoy some "alone" time. Husband is happy and drifts off to sleep. Mommy rolls over and cries herself to sleep. Another day has gone by. Exactly like the day before.

After dinner dishes are thrown away cleared mom and dad split bed time duties.  Mom takes the baby, changing him into jammies and offering him a bed time bottle while rocking him off to sleep.  Dad gets the big kids in their pajamas, brushes their teeth, and reads them stories.  Dad knows better than to leave the kids alone in the room before they're asleep so so thwart any fights he lays down with them and before you know it he's asleep with them.  Mom places baby into his crib and wakes dad to sneak him out of the kids' room.  It's been a week since mommy and daddy had relations and dad has that spark in his eye!  But mom's had a busy day and just want sto catch up on her blog.  So they compromise.  They decide that he'll play Xbox for an hour so she can blog and they'll meet back in the bedroom in one hour.  When the hour is up, dad has finished level 5 of his game, mom has finished a blog and caught up on Tweets, and it's time to rock and roll!  It's more about quality then quantity now adays so the tow make it count and then fall asleep in each other's arms.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

So while it may appear that the 50's housewife had it all and that the modern housewife's days are far more chaotic, I'll take my modern day family any day!  My husband is my partner and my best friend.  I have a voice through my blogs and Tweets that my 50's counterpart didn't get the privilege to have.  My days change every day and I never know what's going to to happen next.  My kids are crazy and out of control but that is there personality and we embrace it.  I may not get my martini at nap time, but I get my happy hour with my girls on Friday night.  I may not be perfectly coiffed each day but my husband thinks I'm a hottie in my sweats.  And each night I roll over and go to sleep happy about this life I have helped to build.  Crazy and all.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Queen For A Day

Yesterday was Father's Day. My husband had to work so the kids and I spent the day cleaning, shopping, filling out cards, and wrapping the hand made gifts we had made for our hero- DAD! When my husband got home we presented his favorite meal, he opened cards & gifts, and we played baord games. It was a great Father's Day for my hubby!

But I couldn't help but think of that episode of The Middle where it shows the REAL difference between Mother's Day & Fathher's Day. On Mother's Day mom doesn't get to sleep in (the kids need her), breafast in bed is a sloppy mess (as is the kitchen but don't worry- mom will clean it), the kids still fight, the dog still barks, dad still watches the game. But there's cards and gifts and that makes it Mother's Day.

Father's Day on the other hand is usually a day of relaxation and adoration for the man who heads our house hold. Why does he get this peace & relaxation? Because mom is there to plan Father's Day!

Don't get me wrong. My husband is a shining example of husbandry and works diligently to ensure Mother's Day is better than the average day at our house. But there is a difference between the two days that is noticable. For sure.

Therefore today I told my husband I needed a break. And I took one. My husband always encourages me to take time to myself but I end up filling my days with kids, housework, and all the other things that "can't wait". So really It's my fault that I never get the time I desprately want. Isn't that what we do as moms? Come on. You know you're guilty too! We all talk about wanting a day- just one freakin' day- to ourselves. But do we even know what that day looks like? Here's a few things that would make a nice day for this mom if i were Queen For A Day:

1)I'd only say things once. All day. Not a single repeat.
2) I'd go to the bathroom without a single inturruption. With the door closed!
3) I'd be the first person to eat at dinner and my food would still be warm.
4) I'd go grocery shopping without the kids and it would take a mere fraction of the time!
5) No one would whine at me all day. Not a single teen, toddler, baby, husband or pet. ALL day.
6) I'd get a paycheck for the work I do as a stay at home mom. And it would have lots of zeros on it ;0)
7) I'd sleep a full 8 hours in a bed that is only occupied by myself and my husband and I'd wake up whenever my body felt like it.
8) I'd go to the gym without packing up 4 other people, checking them into child care, and then I'd work out as long as I want- not until my time limit was up in the day care. Then I'd sit in the steam room without looking at my watch.
9) The only crying that would take place would be me- crying as I watch a chick flick of my choice.
10) I'd take a nice walk with my family- and no one's leg would fall off, no one would die of exhaustion, and no one would need a drink of water.
11) The only ass I would be responsible for cleaning would be my own.
12) My teen would kiss me in public and declare his love for me (Okay. That one may just be a pipe dream).
13) I'd go on a date with my husband where we'd have energy to see the late showing of the movie and then still "stay up" when we got home.
14) My car would stay clean on the inside all day.
15) All 3 of the kids would take a two hour nap in the middle of the day so I could sit on the back deck and write.

These are the plain and simple ways this mom would be happy. There's nothing fancy like "Dwayne The Rock Johnson would apply my lotion after my shower" although I'm willing to re-work the list if you think we can work that in. The list is just simple little things I dream of each day. But alas, as a mom I have forfeited these items into the world of parenthood.

I love my life more than words can express. But the life of a mom is a different one. A complicated one. A selfless and exhasting one. And I wouldn't have it any other way. But a girl can dream right? So what's on your list if you were Queen For A Day?