My First Day of Kindergarten

AHH! I am a planner. I like plans. I have fairly shitty follow through, but I am a future thinker none the less. This is how I saw my daughter’s first day of kindergarten: We leave the house at 7:30am, family in tow. Ella actually lets me brush her hair and clip it daintily to the side. She gets to wear the perfect pink outfit with matching, or in her case, quasi-matching leggings. We deposit her safely in class and give our baby sweet kisses goodbye. I take the perfect picture of her sitting at her new desk and we leave without any tears. I will wait by the door like a stalker, checking to make sure she is adjusting to her new surroundings. I may tear up a bit- after all, it is my first born’s first day of school! Jeff and I will take a picture together cheersing to our accomplishment- we made it through her first 5 years! THEN comes the best part…I meet up with some moms who also dropped off their babies and we all celebrate with a champagne brunch! Hooray! School is in session!

But, we moved.

I don’t have a gaggle of awesome ladies whose babies are all starting Kindergarten. Sure, I have some friends, most work or aren’t SAHM or have little babies that would make my champagne brunch impossible. Yes, I have a two year old, but somehow he never makes it into this dream plan…maybe I got him a babysitter.

My new reality looks more like this: We walk to school, Ella in her uniform (which thankfully still gets to include the leggings) and Ben tags along as we walk her through the front door and down the hallowed halls of her new elementary school. Then, we will still give sweet kisses and I will still hover near the door to make sure she acclimates well and then we go home. Jeff goes to work. No fanfare, no champagne, no gaggle of ladies, no big celebration.

Sad.

I hate when plans fall through and I really hate when I lose my opportunity for a festive celebratory brunch! I shall befriend someone in the next 12 hours and make them my new best friend while simultaneously scouring YELP for brunch reservations on a Monday. I am very determined when I want to be and right now I want to be. I can’t get the sound of clinking glasses and laughter out of my head. That was the plan! (insert whining and a couple obnoxious foot stomps) I wanted it to become a yearly tradition. Damn it all.

I realize I just made my daughter’s first day of kindergarten all about me. I feel slightly bad about it, but in my defense, this is a day I have been thinking about for the last 5 years. I always looked forward to this singular day on the calendar. I assumed kindergarten would afford me a bit more independence. I assumed that this would be the point I could start figuring out my career path so that by the time Fall 2017 rolls around (yes, I am counting down Ben’s school career too) I would have an idea of what “Meagan with two kids in full time school” would look like.

Oh well. Does anyone like brunch? I am in the market for a companion…

xoxo

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First day of preschool last year. Cheers!

 

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7 Moms Not Invited to Girls Night

7 Moms not invited to GNO

  1. Moms with curfews. Seriously? Live a little. You have no kids for the evening, you are out of the house and you probably even put makeup on…don’t call it a night at 9pm. Unless you are exclusively breastfeeding and you must get home before the baby wakes up the entire house- put your big girl panties on and enjoy a night out!
  2. Moms who get shitfaced after two drinks. Come on. I know that your tolerance may be less now then it was at 22, but no one likes a sloppy drunk, especially after two glasses of wine. I don’t want to spend my night away from the kids taking care of your drunk ass. Get your act together and start practicing more at home. That’s what the rest of us do.
  3. Moms who are always on some prohibitive diet or cleanse. Please don’t make me feel guilty for ordering a large bowl of queso and a pitcher of margaritas. I never get any queso, especially while it is still warm or doesn’t have little chip crumbs all in it from double dipping. Yuck. I know that you are going gluten free, paleo and pro-kale, but watching you eat a salad with no dressing makes me sad. Don’t make me feel sad and fat on girl’s night out.
  4. Moms who pretend they didn’t have sex to make their children. Granted, there are many different sorts of girls night out events and while you may not want to talk about your new found love of warming lube with the PTO president, your girlfriends want to know. We want to know that we are normal and we want to talk about sex, baby! As a woman that reads an exorbitant number of romance books, I like to see how the real life logistics pan out…can you really bend that way while simultaneously using that technique with your tongue? I sure hope so.
  5. Moms who always say yes and then bail the day of. I understand extenuating circumstances. Sometimes your kids suddenly pukes all over you or maybe your husband had to work later than expected, but not every. single. time. you make plans. Please get your act together, I have secured a babysitter and looked forward to a night out for days only to be emotionally crushed that my adult time has now been downgraded to wandering around Target housewares department searching for a good deal. On second thought, maybe I don’t mind that you bailed. I love Target and a good deal and I need a new rug for the bedroom.
  6. Moms who always somehow one-up-you. I feel like e’ffing mom of the goddamn year when I finally get around to being awesome enough to make playdoh for the kids. Please don’t then tell me about the amazing borax-free glitter slime you made for your littles to help refine their gross motor skills. Blah, blah, you are awesome. Don’t piss in my punch bowl overachiever. You win. I get it.
  7. Moms who can only talk about their kids. Yes, you are a mom and you have kids, but please, give it a rest. You are also a person who has individual likes and dislikes, dreams, feelings, desires and passions. Hopefully. If you don’t, you should take some time, start a blog, write all about your need to discover who you are, almost get a divorce and then find your passion. It is as simple as that- now you have something else to talk about.

xoxo

gno

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Five Reasons I Don’t Play With My Kids

5 reasons I dont play with my kids

  1. It is important to foster independent play. Learning how to be alone is a vital life skill.  There are whole books devoted to the promotion of “blanket time”, independent play while staying in the confines of a specific perimeter. In mommy terms- “stay on the e’ffing blanket and play quietly so I can walk away for a minute!” I love independent play time. In fact, I encourage 6-8 hours of independent play time a day. We have a small home and it’s the perfect exercise for my mommy ears to acutely decipher the difference between playing together and beating the crap out of each other. See? Fostering independence
  2. I have other shit to do. LOTS of other shit to do. I am a full-time SAHM which means we are busy grocery shopping, picking up dry-cleaning, running to the bank, searching for Frozen paraphernalia and fighting over which park to go play. (The one without the giant gaping holes of death 8 feet in the air, preferably.) THEN, we get home and are confronted with laundry, meal preparation and bill paying. What I really need are office hours, but since I don’t have the luxury an office, I need require some quiet time to focus on my non-kid tasks at hand. Sometimes I just want to get a task done without little helpers wanting to assist in measuring, pouring or stirring.
  3. This is why they have a sibling. After the traumatic birth of my first child, I cannot say that I looked forward to having another little alien inhabiting my belly. But, my mom always said, there is no one that will ever know the true craziness of your childhood better than a brother or sister. I totally agree. I look at it this way; humans crave companionship and who better to hang out with than a genetically similar and slightly obligated sibling? A ready-made playmate, if you will, a built-in companion for all the family vacations, someone to share a bed with in a hotel, a partner to ride rollercoasters and someone to share your insane love of Caillou and goldfish.
  4. I just don’t want to. In the words of my 3 year old, “I DON’T WANNA!!” I just don’t. want. to. Please, come talk to me about your first crush, getting your period or masturbation, but for the love of god don’t make me pretend to be Barbie’s best friend riding Rainbow Dash to Princess Anna’s castle. I don’t have the energy to keep up the high-pitched voice and backstory and honestly, you get so mad at me when I suck at your little kid cos-play. I am sorry. I don’t know the rules and quite frankly, you seem a bit confused about them yourself. Let’s just part ways and say that I am not a good fit for your playmate.
  5. I am not their friend, I am their parent. That’s right, I said it. I am not wearing a pink velour jumpsuit- I don’t want to be your bestie, God love you. In fact, I can’t be your bestie if I want to be your parent. I truly don’t think you can have it both ways. As a parent, you need to make the tough decisions that may piss off your progeny, but it is a necessary evil. It goes with the territory.  Rules, grounding, chores…these things take a consistently firm hand that may not win you points in the friend column and that’s ok. Let me repeat: IT IS OK. I give you permission to piss off your kids in the name of good parenting. Mommies need a supportive partner, a supportive village of friends and a (responsibly) boozy mommy’s group. This is the only way we will survive the Mommy-hood.

Now go give your littles a hug and tell them that mommy can’t play right now.

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xoxo

Life in the SAHMommyhood

I didn’t want kids. I didn’t want to get married either. Kids gave me this chest tightening anxiety and it seemed as though everyone in my family had gotten a divorce- many after 30 years of marriage. I didn’t want any part of it. I assumed that I would have enough ammo to thoroughly fuck up my own children, let alone navigate the shark infested waters of holy matrimony.

I was 20 years old, what did I know? I was a radio, tv, film major and wanted to travel the globe making women’s studies documentaries. I thought I could learn the craft and help the plight of women around the world…I was optimistic and yet lacked any drive to actually pursue my dream. So, what did I do? I waited tables, went to parties, cultivated a great group of friends and became settled into an ordinary life in a college town. I have never been on a humanitarian mission or stood behind the camera.

I met my now-husband when I was 19 years old. He was cocky and self-assured and I hated him, we did not get along. At all. I was bitchy, he was cocky. We were both far too stubborn for our own good, so we started dating, obviously. Four years later we got married. He wanted kids and I wasn’t necessarily opposed to children at this point. For some weird reason that I still don’t fully understand, I knew, like I have never known anything so certain in my life, that he would be the father of my children. I couldn’t picture having kids with anyone else. No one. I could picture dating or marrying someone different- but not to be the father of my children. I call this the Neanderthal theory- we are still primitive beings. We seek the best partner for procreation. He was so good looking. He had that self-assured strut to his walk and had this wink that would make your knees weak. He had thick dark hair that always looked effortless and perfectly bed-head messy, and still does all these many years later. He took pride in his appearance and his wardrobe. The first time we really hung out alone was a J Crew sale at the local hotel. (We both still have the coats we bought from that event) He was attractive, funny, smart and driven to succeed.

You hunt. I gather. You provide. I take care of children.

I suppose it could be that simple.

After graduating college with a degree in Sociology, I dipped a tiny little pinky toe into the “real world” and decided that I could make more money and have a more flexible schedule if I continued to bartend. Honestly, I could make $10k more slinging some drinks than I could advocating for children lost in the system. Two years later, we got married and two years after that we had our first child. I took six months off from work and went back part-time, 3 nights a week. I would head off to work in the evenings and Jeff would stay home with the baby, no paid child care necessary. It was a win-win! I made some extra income, we didn’t have to pay for child care and all was good. I didn’t have a career, per se, but that was ok. I couldn’t think of any career that would make me drop off my precious baby to daycare. NOTHING. 

We had our son two years later and I took another 9 months off. I headed back to work and my husband had the babies in the evening. I still had no career, but the tradeoff was well worth the lack of 401k. I couldn’t, and still can’t, imagine dropping my babes off every morning. No. No. No.

We became involved in our fabulous cooperative preschool. I became school treasurer and then spent a year and a half as President. We created fundraisers and held garage sales, we had weekly play dates and mom nights out. We would go for ice cream on the square and a picnic lunch on the courthouse lawn. I wouldn’t give those moments up for anything. My eyes get watery just thinking about it. It just never made sense to go find a “real job”.  The money was too good, the schedule was flexible and I loved the company and my co-workers. It became hard to justify going to work full time and neither Jeff nor I found it necessary. He never called it “his money”, I never felt guilty for staying home with the kids. He didn’t demand dinner every night or question the daily household chores. We had a good respect and rhythm in the house.

Of course there have been times I blew up and completely lose my shit. I would cry out of frustration that he just doesn’t understand how difficult being a SAHM is and he reminds me that he works his ass off all day to support his family. This is still a regular discussion. I won’t say there is resentment, but definite tension. He has often told me that I am more than welcome to pursue a career and he will stay at home- if I could make as much money as him. Right. We all know that will not happen. So, Monday comes back around and he drives off to work and I start a load of laundry. Truthfully, he would go crazy staying at home and I don’t want to be in the  grind of the workplace.

I need my babies with me, but I also need a good babysitter.

I need date nights and adult conversation. I need strong margaritas and a good reason to get out of yoga pants. I need to exercise my brain in interesting and challenging ways that have nothing to do with child rearing. I need reminders that I am more than “just a mom”. Yes, there are days that I want to start taking shots of whiskey before 9am. There are days I wonder what by life would be like without the constant pressure of children, days  I wonder what I could have done should I have married someone that didn’t want children. There are days when a simple trip to Target ends up in flailing fits and screaming matches. There are days I want to cry alone in my closet and hope that no one comes to find me, but even in the depths of despair and frustration, I cannot hand my children over to someone else’s care every day.

Someday the kids will grow up and spread their wings, god willing, and I don’t want to look back and wish we had spent more precious moments together. They only get one childhood and I want it to be full of adventure and fun. I want to take too many pictures and hover too closely. I want to be there and present all the time. I don’t want to relegate my million daily kisses to before 8am and after 5pm. I brought these sweet beings into this world and I want to explore it with them. I want to have lazy mornings cuddling on the couch and fun afternoons at the museum. I don’t want to wait for the weekends. I am selfish like that. I don’t want to prioritize anything above my duties to my family and I don’t think I could balance work/home. It’s just that simple. I want to be home with the kids and it works for our family.

 

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