“Mo, mo, mo” Roark mumbles as he holds a little yellow chicken and plays with his toys on the window sill. He smiles and shakes his head side-to-side, engrossed in his little world. Meanwhile Cole is standing beside the wagon, grabbing at the toys and yelling “bababababa” at nothing in particular. This is a rare moment in the day when they are not climbing on each other or whining for attention. It is times like this where I realize that they are getting bigger, becoming little people, and they won’t need me forever.
My life is a perfect example of what happens when you are trying to “work from home” in an attempt to feel like a mother and bread winner (and why do they call it winning – which implies luck… my job isn’t so much luck as it is nail biting, tooth grinding, head exploding WORK). It is HARD to feed a baby, entertain another one, and answer email. When you do try to multi-task in such a way, you end up signing email with things like,
Eggsellent – Thank you!!!
List of random things from Mexico:
- 1/5 of tequila can be easily consumed by two people within the course of a day (I am not saying I was one of those people….which also doesn’t mean that I wasn’t one of those people)
- There was more beer consumed by my husband and I in 4 days than in the past two years. Combined.
- I witnessed a sunburn the likes of which I have never before seen - if you see a man wondering around Plano with BRIGHT RED skin, it is my husband. The light-skinned man who thought he didn’t need sunscreen on his legs.
- We created a new drinking game - every time someone tries to sell you something on the beach, you have to drink. See item 1 above to for the results of this HORRIBLE and yet wonderful game.
- Rocky Point is expensive.
- It is also the arm pit of Mexico. Akin to a very large Sneaky Petes – which might make sense if you are from the Dallas area.
- They will sell ANYTHING to you on the beach. For 10 times what it is worth. And they don’t like to be told “no” – it appears to mean “come back in 5 minutes and ask me again”
- You can read a lot when there are no babies interrupting you.
- You cannot read a lot when you are drunk.
- It is more fun to be drunk than to read.
- Hangovers are a bitch.
- Drinking more helps with number 11.
- Getting naughty in the shower is fun.
- Getting naughty anywhere when you are too drunk to remember it is… well, I don’t remember.
- Mangos on a stick RULE.
- Mushrooms cooked in cilantro chili lime sauce also RULE.
- Pretty much every other kind of food we ate didn’t so much rule as it did suck.
- Except for the Mexican Oreo Cookies – which totally ruled. Although I was mostly drunk. So maybe they didn’t… ?
- Roger Clyne put on a fairly decent concert, although it was crazy crowded and they (you will NOT believe this)… RAN OUT OF BEER … midway through the concert. Seriously – who does that?????
- They sell beer everywhere in Mexico – which helped with #19.
- Street tacos are best when drunk.
- You don't want to forget to get your passport which is in your backpack (in the trunk) prior to arriving at the US boarder on your way out of Mexico. If you do, be prepared for a lecture - the likes of which you have not heard since talking back to your mother in junior high school - by a crazy boarder guard that appears to want to see you either locked up or dead. I believe either would make him happy.
- There are people drinking beer at 6-fucking-am in Mexico. All. The. Time.
- I was one of them.
- I rule.
I enjoy writing. I like having my ideas ‘out there’ for others to read and comment on. I like feeling like I belong to something bigger than myself. It just feels...good. However I don’t really know where to draw the line between blogging and my work / personal life.
We have all read about that person who was fired from their job for disclosing too much information about their lives on their blog. So there is something to be learned from that. We also do not want to hear all about someone’s personal life only to find out that the person you feel so connected to is the freak two cubes over with smelly feet and bad body odor. So – how much should you share online? Where do you draw the line? And – how can you possibly bare your soul while trying to protect your anonymity? A bit of a conundrum, no?
I am not sure how to do this well. I have never been very successful with the work/life balance thing, and now that I have an online journal it is even more muddled. How much to share / how much to hold back... If I share everything, there is a good chance that either a) the company I work for will be a little miffed and quite possibly fire me or b) people from my personal life will figure out who I am and dislike certain things I talk about. Either way it is lose/lose – so what have I gotten myself into?
What do I think? I think it is liberating to talk about my personal life and work. I like to vent. I like to seek others’ opinions and I enjoy the feedback. I love a good controversial discussion (as long as I am right!) and look forward to throwing my ideas out for others to think about or even dismiss. It feels good to share. However I am certain that I need to figure out where the boundaries are and try to stick to them.
In conclusion, I am an idiot and have no clue what to do. So, there is that.
I wake up every morning, a little angry that I have responsibilities outside of myself. I crawl out of bed, drag myself into the shower, and get ready for work – all the while wishing it were the weekend at the very least, longing for the days when I didn’t have babies to change, dress and feed. This must mean I am a bad mom.
However, the moment I go into the boys’ room, all of those feelings vanish. I am not able to look at their bright faces, see their tiny reaching hands, smell their amazing baby breath, and endure the good morning gurgles and hugs without completely melting. So I must be a good mom.
I am amazed at how much I can love my children, how my needs seem so unimportant when they have needs to be met. So, see, I AM a good mom.
I do freely admit that I begin watching the clock around 7pm hoping that their bedtime arrives post-haste. So perhaps there is some evidence that I am a bad mom.
I love watching the boys play together. It is amazing to watch them work things out in their heads – figure things out – learn while doing. This must mean I am a good mom.
I love every moment that I am with them, and yet I have never done anything more difficult. So what does that make me? Crazy.
We are going to Mexico this weekend. We leave Friday. I plan to be drunk a total of 96 hours – from the moment I leave until the moment we return. So – if you happen to be on the plane or beach with me, I apologize now. Please forgive my loud annoying behavior and keep in mind that this is the first time we are leaving our children in A YEAR to spend time together.
It seems trivial to write about Mother’s Day, or my children, or anything in the face of this news about Cancerbaby.
The world is now home to a husband without a wife, a mother and father without a daughter, and many people with a hole in their heart. It is sad, and sad, and sad.
My mother was a good woman. She was killed by cancer.
My father was – and still – an idiot. He is perfectly healthy.
The world we live in is an interesting place. I am not sure that it is much more than that though. This world is a place in which we live. We can try to learn from our experiences here. We can try to make this world a little bit better for those that come along after we are gone. Or we can simply exist and fade away. I am not sure that any of our choices have much bearing on how things happen, why things happen, or even what things happen.
A few things I am certain of:
Good things happen to good people
Good things happen to bad people
Bad things happen to good people
Bad things happen to bad people.
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
(which may or may not have been written by Ralph Waldo Emerson)
I am not sure what I really feel success is - what I could do that would make me feel successful. I have actually thought about this a lot, I am just not sure it can be boiled down to ONE thing.
I think that my poem would go something like this:
To do one thing each day that I am proud of.
To say "yes" to my children as often as possible.
To never yell when talking will accomplish the same thing.
To always understand the reasons behind the "no" I tell my kids.
To show my love for my family in my actions AND my words.
To find joy and humor in each day.
To never be satisfied with my current knowledge - to continue to learn as long as I am living.
To always push to be better.
To help my children define their own success...
This is to have succeeded.
I am 5’ 5” and 126 pounds on a good day. This morning I was 128.5.
I have brown hair and dark, dark brown eyes.
I have olive colored skin that looks greenish when I am not tan. Not really a good look in the dead of winter.
I have ‘runners leg’ – which means that my legs are tan but, because I wear socks and running shoes when running, my feet are white. Looks very sexy when I wear sandals or dress shoes…ooh baby – hella greenish feet and tan legs…what a hottie!
I don’t wear very much makeup. I wear blush and eye liner. In the winter I usually wear some sort of base to combat the evil olive skin which I speak of above. Sometimes I wear mascara. Usually I put on lipstick in the morning if I am going to work, but I don’t put it on any other time during the day. I have worn eye shadow about a dozen times in my life – and it was always a bad look for me (read: 80’s blue eye shadow applied WAY TOO DARK). I do use perfume – I wear Issey Miyake and Vera Wang sometimes. Burberry Brit is my newest one – which I love.
I prefer jeans and a t-shirt to anything fancy, however I cannot get away with this at work (except on Friday). I like to push the limits here – wearing sleeveless dresses and flip-flops just to stir things up…amazing how stuffy this place is. People literally FREAK OUT when you don’t obey the dress code…and yes – there is a dress code here. Crazy place. When I first started working here 9 years ago, they had just started allowing women to wear pants… No – I am not kidding.
I am a type A personality – meaning I like to be in charge, or at least seem to end up that way in work most of the time. I fit well in my job working with our customer, handling issues, doing senior management kinds of things. I enjoy a good argument, and I prefer to win. I don’t mind competition and like a challenge. I tend to get bored quickly though – so things have to stay interesting…
And well – that is pretty much me.
It is 8:30 on Sunday evening. We have just put the boys to bed and Cole is upstairs in his bed crying the saddest, most heart-wrenching cry. He simply wasn’t ready to go to bed. Roark, on the other had, was ready almost an hour ago. What would you do in such a situation? If I put Roark to bed now and kept Cole up it wouldn’t seem fair, yet this also seems unfair. Now Cole has to hang out trying to entertain himself until he is sleepy and he is so upset with us… If only we had a larger house – they could have separate rooms and this wouldn’t be such an issue. 6 bedroom homes are a little hard to come by these days. And since our money tree hasn’t bloomed yet, we are stuck with the house we have now – with one too few bedrooms. Maybe one of the boys could live in the garage…that might work. Or a closet. They wouldn’t mind a closet – they ARE little after all.
I used to regard politicians as intelligent people. When I was little, I imagined that the president was wicked smart – his brain untouched by negativity and uncertainty. Now, I wonder how any politicians make it out of bed in the morning. Listening to them talk – I am amazed at how unintelligent many sound. They are not articulate or convincing. How did they get that job????? Who voted for them?????
Do you ever hug your kids tight, and hope that they will be able to feel exactly how much you love them? Do you ever just tear up a little when you try to articulate how wonderful they are? And do you hold onto them for dear life, willing them to remain this age, right now – forever?
My youngest daughter is graduating from 8th grade this Friday.
She is going to be in high school next year.
It is blowing my mind.
Am I a good mother?
Am I a good wife?
Am I a good person?
What will I be remembered for when I die?
I hope my girls don’t think of me and remember only the times I harped on them to finish their homework “for god’s sake – it is ten o’clock already and you are just getting started!!!”. I hope the boys don’t remember that pained frustrated look I give them when coming into their room for the umpteenth time during the night wishing they would lay down already and go to sleep, damn it! I hope my husband doesn’t just remember the times when I would much rather sink into the bed and go to sleep instead of – well, you know.
I would love to be that perfect person – the one that pops up at 5am and cooks a huge breakfast, followed by going on a 10 mile run. And then after helping everyone get ready for the day hug and kiss everyone goodbye and head to work where I contribute for 10 full hours, only to return home and cook a full 6 course meal. I would round out the day with family time including games and sharing, and then personal one-on-one time with my husband. But – I am SO NOT THAT PERSON.
So I am faced with how to be the best person I CAN BE. I do have limitations – and there are certain things I just don’t seem able to do – at least not happily. I am not a morning person. I don’t like hopping out of bed, and especially not at 5am. I don’t always have the time or motivation to run in the morning, and barely make it to work on time for my first meeting most days. I get sucked into the net on many days and lose at least an hour reading things that are a waste of time. I don’t do the bare minimum, but I can honestly say that I am not exactly breaking new ground in the work-motivation category. So – there is certainly a wide array of ways to improve pretty much every aspect of my life…oh, where to begin?
I thought about this a little bit…how to improve myself – my life. I came up with a list of things I could do that would make me better… don’t laugh – it was hard.
- If I say NO to my kids, understand why I am saying it, and understand the risks of them doing whatever it is – and then explain it to them. No more “because I said so”
- Ask them more questions and then shut up – give them room to talk…
- Tell my family that I love them. Every day. Even if they are embarrassed by it.
- Stay up with the girls until they are done with their homework – even if they don’t need my help, they seem to appreciate my company
- Tell my husband more often how happy I am that he chose me. Show him how much I love him in our conversations, our activities, in everything we do together
- When with my kids try not to think about other things I should be doing
- When at work – work. Make sure they are getting their money’s worth out of me.
- Keep a list of work accomplishments and make sure I have new additions weekly
- Find ways to give back to my community – although I have to admit I don’t really know what this means or how to begin.
- Find things that we can do together as a family that we all enjoy and start some traditions around these things
Some of the ideas are ‘reaching’ and some are just plain dumb…however they are a start. I still don’t think there is anything earth-shattering in that list. There is nothing that will turn heads or put me on the family map…but they get me moving in the right direction. I think. Maybe. Eh – who knows.
“Girls have it so hard.
They have cramps and periods and headaches.
They have babies and labor.
Boys don’t have anything.
Girls have all the pain.”
“Boys have to deal with the pain of listening to girls.”