After Today, Someone Needs To Nominate Me For Mother of the Year

That’s a literary device we in the professional writing world call: sarcasm. Look it up, you will find it to be a delicious way to poke fun at others. Or (in this case) yourself. Myself. A delicious way to poke fun at me.

I’m starting to really wrack up the resume of Bad Mom days. Sometimes it’s just that I lose my temper and raise my voice a little bit more than I should. Other days it’s that I serve Top Ramen and a bowl of shredded cheese for dinner because – let’s face it – that’s all we have for food in the house, because I’m also vying for Bad Wife and never grocery shop anymore.

Seriously, though, I’ve had a lot of Bad Mom moments lately, owing in large part to just how crazy and insane our lives have been lately. We’re going on this unanticipated trip to Texas in a few weeks (to take my daughter to see her biological father, and basically sit in a hotel down the street for the duration of the trip in case she has a panic attack or meltdown). So I’ve basically been panicking myself for the last couple of weeks. And researching how to not get eaten by a scorpion, as well as the best ways to ward off being kidnapped by the Mexican cartel. (I have never been to Texas. Not sure if that’s obvious or not.)

Today may have taken the cake, as far as Bad Mom days go, though. Let us examine the evidence.

Oh We Don’t Have Milk? Why Not Play Puppies Eat Breakfast?

Translation:

We got up this morning and there was no milk. There actually hasn’t been any milk for like three days, because I haven’t had an opportunity to go to the grocery store and buy any. (And God forbid anyone else around here be asked to stop at the store for anything.) In the prior days, it was manageable because we had other food stuff around. But now we’re even out of that, so basically it was Cheerios or Starlight Mints.

But, like I said … no milk.

So I did as I always do when there is no milk. I gathered all the stuffed dogs in the house (of which we have many), poured dry Cheerios into bowls and said “no milk, no problem!!! Play puppies eat breakfast with the stuffed animals instead!”

You read that right. I encouraged eating out of a bowl on hands and knees. Like a dog.

Bath time

Okay. So I know that the pediatrician says that short baths are best, because eczema is irritated exponentially by prolonged sitting in hot water. I know. I know. I know.

But we also had a big bottle of medicated Eucerin that could be put on after said bath, and I really needed about an hour to finish writing an article for someone I do personal consulting for.

So rather than sit there and ensure a short bath, with no eczema problems to follow… I instead filled the tub and said the words: “you know what, go ahead and play with all the Smurf bubbles you want.” Then I opened a brand new, super sized bottle of Smurf body and hair wash, and sat down on my bed to finish the article.

The bath ended up being about an hour and a half long. The new bottle of Smurf body and hair wash is now empty.

Remember That Thing About Having No Food?

It got worse come lunchtime. And the scheduling of shit did too, because my daughter who has to go visit her biological father in Texas in a few weeks had to go to her court-appointed therapy appointment with the lady that is going to put a halt to those visitations after we do this test one, if things don’t go well.

So there was no food in the house. No time, on account of that whole hour and a half bath thing.

I’m making excuses, so I should really just say fuck it and stop beating around the bush and admit: I went to fucking McDonald’s.

I know, I know. I KNOW! McDonald’s is the devil. The Happy Meal ain’t going to be very happy when it ends in high cholesterol and diabetes. I KNOW!! But, keeping things in perspective: I can’t remember the last time we ate at McDonald’s. It’s probably something like once a year, maybe twice. And honestly, there are a lot of things on their menu that are perfectly acceptable when eaten in moderation, once in a great while anyway. And the toy was a LEGO movie cup with a coupon for free movie entrance. So whatever.

Fuck you. Stop judging me.

At this point I just completely gave up and let everyone in the house sit on their asses after we got home, watching movies I had no idea whether or not were age appropriate; basically from about 3 in the afternoon until now.

We watched Galaxy Quest. We watched Beetlejuice. And now we’re watching Curly Sue. My dad was there, and I told him to keep an eye on the content; mute things that should be muted. Of course I was in the kitchen cleaning for a while and came out to find him sawing logs on the easy chair in my living room while an alien made out with the guy that plays Monk, in Galaxy Quest.

But whatever.

I’m not entirely sure how much further down the tubes of motherhood I can go at this point. I know I’m probably being a little hard on myself; and also blowing things a little out of proportion. But at the same time, I can see how people let some of these behaviors become habits, which then become the norm. The next thing you know your kids are constantly sick, covered in snot, eating Skittles and hot dogs on a daily basis for breakfast and lunch, with Pepperoni Lunchables for dinner; and swearing and making jokes about balls and dicks because of what they’ve been allowed to see on TV.

That’s where we’re going, isn’t it?

So now that I’ve laid this all out there, I’m sure one or more of you is going to jump up and nominate me for Mother of the Year, for whatever publication or TV show or website does such a pretentious type of award. And I’m going to try better for tomorrow. Really, I promise.

Though, I still haven’t gone grocery shopping, so I am setting the stuffed dogs and bowls up right now before bed…

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How This Halloween Has Taught Me to Be Less Of An Overachiever

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For the last couple of weeks, I have been totally not feeling it with Halloween. This isn’t normal for me. I’m not like one of those weirdos that obsesses over it all year long, and spends more time and money on decorations and shit than the month’s rent. But I’m still usually pretty gung-ho about it. I start costumes early. I do a lot of Halloween decorating and baking; and we visit pretty much every pumpkin patch with in a 50 mile radius. Twice.

It was around the time that I started suggesting we do something other than a trick or treat marathon this year, and then immediately started trying to come up with excuses for us to just do nothing but dress up, that I realized there was something wrong. More so than my usual “there’s something wrong” as in there’s something wrong in my head. There was something not right about me and Halloween. Something lurking in the inner caverns of my subconscious, just waiting to come out – likely at the worst time possible.

Such is the life of an overachiever. Shoving any reservations or actual desires down as deep as you can, until they come out at the worst time possible. Or in a total meltdown. It happens all the time. I say I’m going to do something, but really don’t want to. I know I don’t want to, but convince myself I do. Then I complain, then I procrastinate and procrastinate, and procrastinate some more. Then I finally do whatever it is I said I would do, crying the whole way through it. And hating myself, more and more each time.

But what is it about Halloween this year that has been making me procrastinate to such a degree that I started trying to come up with reasons why we shouldn’t even go trick or treating at all? What the hell kind of a shithole mother does that?

An overachieving mother that made a commitment to costumes she knew she couldn’t make, that’s what the hell kind of a shithole mother.

Around June, my nine year old got this crazy idea to be peanut butter and jelly this year. I thought it was weird because she doesn’t like peanut butter. And when I asked what kind of jelly, she said “orange marmalade.” Fucking orange marmalade? Bitch, you’ve never even had orange marmalade. (Yes, I did just refer to my nine year old daughter as “bitch.” In a blog, remember. I don’t do it in person. At least where she can hear.)

Regardless of all these logical fallacies, everyone in the family jumped on the peanut butter and jelly bandwagon and suddenly I was making multiple costumes, and being asked to make candy bags that look like bread too. As the life of the overachiever goes, I simply went along with it and started knitting.

524512_695212985993_197672610_nKnitting you ask? Well, when I looked up peanut butter and jelly costumes, all I found were these completely dorky, huge slices of bread that had fake-PB&J crap slathered all over them. That would have been embarrassing. Super duper embarrassing. So I decided I would make jar costumes. Coming out of the top of the jars would be scarves (to keep everyone warm) – which would be made to look like peanut butter or jelly coming out of the jars. It was going to be super cute, except for one problem: I had not a clue in my stupid fucking head how I would do anything beyond the scarves of overflowing condiments.

After I finished the scarves, I didn’t do shit for the costumes until three days ago. I finished them somewhere around July. So July, August, and September, I did nothing. Halloween in my mind didn’t even fucking exist.

1233963_700005776203_2026613288_nThen the questions started. “How are the Halloween costumes going?” “When are you going to work on the Halloween costumes again?” My husband, my dad, my mom … it grew relentless. So I made a bread bucket (because I finally had to admit that I am way too lazy to sew, and don’t have a sewing machine; so bread bags or whatever-the-fuck had been suggested were just totally out of the question). Then I started panicking.

Finally yesterday, I figured that the only way I could do this was to print off large versions of the labels, glue them to cardboard, and then hang them with ribbon. Then the other problem came in, though: the cost of printing was going to be more than buying super expensive, cliched costumes over at the Party Rip Off City. Plus I was going to have to piece together some kind of bottoms, because the jars couldn’t cover the crotch area – obviously – since that would make it tough to walk.

So I gave up. This Halloween taught me to be less of an overachiever. I apologized. I made promises to put together other, easier, costumes. I tried to compensate by decorating the house today with Halloween decorations, even though I said this year would only see a little bit of Fall stuff.

In the end, the only one that gave a shit was my mother. She threw herself around. She complained. She obsessed over how it could work – “you could just…” and “why don’t you…” She even cried a little. What she didn’t realize was that I had already started working on the costumes that will actually be worn, that are within my limited D.I.Y-crafting genius. And I started working on them with much more ambition and fervor than the last four months of avoiding the peanut butter and jelly costumes I am just not that accomplished enough to make.

Are you faithful blog followers overachievers at holiday times? Typically, Halloween is only the tip of the iceberg for me; but this newfound sense of “fuck it, I ain’t doing this shit” has me thinking that maybe the holidays will fair more low-key and within reason. I suppose only time will tell…

Chicagoland Bloggie Friend Frolic

I’m super duper sorry that I’ve been so minimal on the blog these last few weeks, you guys. It’s just that life got crazy a few days before we left for vacation, and it’s only now calming down as we go into the second week of our month-long stay in the Chicagoland area.

So before blathering on in blog posts later this week about all this crazy shiz that’s gone down while here, I wanted to first let everyone know about the Chicagoland Bloggie Friend Frolic that is in the works of organization for Sunday, July 14th at 4 pm in the suburb of Glen Ellyn.

It’s nothing fancy. Just people meeting up in a bar-ish type of casual setting. There’s a Facebook event for it you can check out. And above all, please share with people you think might be interested!

Whether you are a mom blogger, a tech blogger, a something-else blogger, an “I don’t blog but I read blogs” person, or someone that just enjoys laughter, come on by!!

Click the photograph to get the Facebook event invite. And make sure to RSVP so we have an idea of who to look for!

BlogFriends

STFU Fridays: The Letter Of The Day Is F

I have had a really horrible week. Really awful. Everyone around me seems to be acting like an ungrateful asshole. My spaghetti sauce in the crockpot yesterday got ruined because it was sitting by the sink cooling and someone – somehow – splashed rotten milk into it. And our city is burning to the ground in this massive California fire. So for this STFU Fridays, the letter of the day truly is F.

But is it the F you’re all expecting?

Fires

So we’ve been staying with my dad after his hip replacement, about 12 miles away from where our apartment is. Just about every day we run home to check on our guinea pig and fish; get the mail; make sure the neighbors have not vandalized our front patio. The usual. Yesterday we had to go out that way for the twice a year dentist visit. As we drove into the city, a huge plum of smoke was seen rising above the west end of town. Yet again, our city was on fire.

For those of you unfamiliar with California’s climate, it’s warm and dry. When the wind picks up, particularly the winds from the East (called the Santa Anas) it isn’t just warm – it’s fucking hot. Yesterday it was 98 degrees with wind gusts up to 60 mph. When those winds blow, all the crazy little fuckers with their pyromaniac tendencies come out with their Zippos and some area of California gets torched. Our community has a lot of small fires every year. This one was not small.

So far over 10,000 acres have burned. That’s getting close to about 15 square miles of forest, homes, a farm, and part of the highway that runs along the ocean. We’ve made national news – woopty doo – and there’s smoke fucking everywhere.

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And as with all things, everywhere you turn someone is taking advantage of the situation. After the dentist’s appointment, and before my dad’s doctor’s appointment, we went to The Burger Barn for lunch. While there, person after person could be heard calling into work on their cellphones, claiming they couldn’t get back to work because of the fires. Bullshit. One guy got up and ordered another Animal Style burger, yelling “yeah, I don’t have to go back to work – I can eat all day!!!” Shut the fuck up, you fucking pig. Have some fucking self-respect, and stop being such a lazy shit.

Worse than that, right before we left, this group of guys from the local college came in. The school had been shut down earlier in the day and evacuated because of its proximity to the fire. They were meeting some other guys that were already there, and one of them shouted from across the restaurant to this skinny little shit, standing in a loose tank top and his disturbingly long mullet. He was being asked if he had finished his poli sci paper, or if the fire had given him an extra day. The kid yelled in response:

“Naw, man … I’m bummed because I finished it last night while I was doing a number two.”

Fucking gross!! Who says something like that?! Shut the fuck up, you mullet-headed punk. People are trying to eat and not get burned alive here.

Family Meeting

And then I hosted a family meeting last night. I really have started to feel like everyone in our family is disrespecting each other (me), being ungrateful for what we (I) do for each other (I do for them), and causing problems that do not need to be caused (I don’t want to deal with). I even printed out an agenda for everyone, and for the most part it was well-received.

My agenda items were:

1. Mom’s purse (not rifling through it without asking, or digging everything out of it and leaving it all over the floor

2. Being grateful for what people do for us (and expressing that)

3. Listening to mom when she talks and not lying

4. Reiterating that homeschooling, not Barbie dolls, is the #1 priority

5. The new TV rule (no TV before 6 pm, even on weekends)

6. Technology free hour.

Lastly, I raised the complaint jar to 50 cents a complaint, and I added a dollar penalty for every time someone violates the family guidelines. We hung them on the fridge and my dad accrued a 50 cent fine, and my husband a dollar one, before the night was even over. But then after a week of no one getting anything put in the jar, the reward is the jar gets emptied and we use it together as a family – to go out for ice cream, mini golf, whatever.

All seemed reasonable, right? At the end of the family meeting, we went around and everyone got to share their thoughts. My dad expressed full support for me and my feelings. We all seemed pretty excited that this would facilitate more time as a family. My husband’s only comment, though, was “fine.”

When I went to sleep last night, and when I woke up this morning, the weight of that “fine” was hanging over my head. Fuck that. Shut the fuck up with that “fine” bullshit. When we talked about the technology free hour every night (from 8 to 9), Pookie piped up and said that it was really important to her. Lately she has been complaining that my husband spends next to zero time with her. He shows no interest in the things that are important to her. And he spends all the time with her just telling her to do chores or go to bed. God forbid Nick have to put his phone down for an hour, or actually make it home by 8:00 pm to spend time with his family. God forbid we actually have to make commitments to each other. I cannot remember the last time we spent time together as a family. Not running errands. Not dicking around on the phone or computer. But actually spent time together.

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Our family has become like the fire in our city. It’s out of control. Everything is being threatened and destroyed because of the gross neglect that has been going on for some time now. It’s true that we’ve been trying to juggle from one tragedy to the next these last six months or so, but that is no excuse for our family to have fallen apart. When a person says that his hobbies are work, your family is in danger. When a family spends all its time apart and doing their own things, your family is at risk of destruction. When everyone’s treating each other like shit, lying to each other, ignoring everyone, and taking everything anyone does for each other for granted, your family is about as fucked as the trees in the path of the fire that continues to burn west of our home.

Well I, for one, am not going to tolerate it anymore. Like all those people at The Burger Barn, I’m taking advantage of the situation this fire has created. Maybe after having to pay for a shitty attitude enough times into the complaint jar, we will all be forced to do something like go to a movie together, or go out for pizza as a family (instead of what we currently do, which is all eat at separate times). Maybe then the fire will be quelled.

So the letter of the day is F. F is for fuck. As in shut the fuck up, motherfucker. F is also for fire, fire fighter, and fire eater. But most importantly, F is for family. That’s pretty much the only important F there is.

A Day With the Doctor

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Cold and flu season is in full swing (actually, it has been for a little over a month), so naturally this means our annual trek to the doctor when actually sick inevitably occurs. Because we homeschool, we don’t have quite all the health snafus that other families do; however, it still crops up.

This brings up a whole other set of pet peeves that I have, though. Being a hypochondriac, I naturally have a number of issues with matters of health. But then there is an entire other set of things that just drive me absolutely bonkers when it comes to getting sick.

Pet Peeve #1: When People Hang Around You Ill

Fucktards is what I like to call those people. No offense or anything if you are one of those people that is so inconsiderate that you think it is totally OK to go to a party or to work or to pretty much anywhere ill, but it’s not. I understand people who are given a hard time by their employers, but then it’s the employers that are the fucktards because – for real – sickness spreads when people don’t stay home.

When you or your family is sick, they can get other people sick. And who the fuck are you to get people sick against their will?

Say you go to a party and your kid is sick. Say he has the flu (ahem … that is how we got sick over a month ago at this point …). Say there is a senior citizen at this party that has a compromised immune system and a heart problem. You obviously don’t know that he does, but you also don’t know that he doesn’t. He holds your little bag of disease and then the old guy dies of the complications from the flu two weeks later.

The point is that no one knows what health issues others have but them. Which means as a decent human being, someone sick should stay home. It may not be a big deal to you, but it can always kill someone else.

Pet Peeve #2: Patient Care Is Our #1 Priority

Every time I walk into our doctor’s office, I see this sign that says “patient care is our #1 priority.” It’s a wonder my blood pressure readings always come up low, though, for this is the biggest annoyance to me, probably on the entire planet.

If patient care is your #1 priority, then why is it that four weeks ago I was told to go to the emergency room because you couldn’t fit me in for a week? If patient care is your #1 priority, then why is it that no one ever called me back after I phoned four times? If patient care is your #1 priority, then why did you never call in the prescriptions you told me you were calling in the minute you walked out the door?

I recently read an article that reported a study the CDC recently did, which stated that the majority of doctors in America right now are going to visits, not treatment. What that means is that doctors could care less about treating their patients,  and keeping people healthy. What they care about is getting copays.

Pet Peeve #3: Doctor Time

Have you ever been told that it was going to be five or ten minutes, only for it to wind up to be an hour and a half? That’s what happened to us today. Our appointment was at 12:50. I checked in at 12:30. She told me 5 minutes. At 2:15, we were finally taken in.

There were two other people in the waiting room.

A little known fact by you faithful blog followers is that for six years while in college, I was a full-time pharmacy technician. For 40 hours a week, I schlepped drugs, wrote employee schedules, argued with insurance companies, and handled all the other random crap the pharmacy manager didn’t want to handle.

I never once told a patient it would be 5 minutes.

Nothing makes someone that is tired and sick and feeling awful more frustrated than being lied to. I’m sure that enough people at our doctor’s office have been outraged when told it was going to be 30 or more minutes to make these horrible women lie and say it would be 5 when it was clearly going to take longer. That doesn’t make it OK for them to lie in such an egregious fashion.

I suppose I’m just a little turned off right now because we have all been sick for going on four weeks now. We were sick through Christmas. We were sick through New Years. When I called to get in a few weeks ago, I was told “tough shit.” What kind of a society do we live in where we can’t get ahold of our doctors when we need them? What the fuck is the point of even having a doctor, then?

We are one of two days worth of doctor’s appointments down and I am hoping this is the end for the season. Unless, of course, we picked up any other manner of illnesses from the doctor’s office while waiting to be seen, which raises a whole other set of pet peeves altogether.

What’s the Deal, Mom Bloggers?

I know what you’re all thinking:  I’m probably about to alienate myself from the world of Mom Bloggers forever. I’m probably about to say something super bitchy, or downright rude. I’m likely about to become a total hypocrite, since I – myself – am a Mom Blogger. This would be par for the course, since it is the B(itch)Log and all. But I still think that’s all wrong.

Just hear me out, because I’m trying to understand what the deal is, Mom Bloggers.

What is a Mom Blogger?

A Mom Blogger is a mom that blogs. Next question.

No seriously, what the hey makes a mom that blogs deserve the title of Mom Blogger?

Sometimes s/he blogs about parenting issues. Sometimes s/he blogs about being a housewife. Other times (most of the time) s/he blogs about some random, mundane bullshit that has nothing to do with being a mom at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely benefit from this sort of laissez faire attitude towards what the content should be. But it still can lead to a little confusion.

So I will repeat: a Mom Blogger is a mom that blogs.

Exactly who is qualified to be a Mom Blogger?

This question seems almost redundant now, doesn’t it? A Mom Blogger is a mom who blogs; therefore, “a mom that blogs” is the qualification to be a Mom Blogger.

But it’s way more complicated than that. Dads are Mom Bloggers now, or Dad Bloggers or Parent Bloggers (as they like to be referred to so as to avoid the emasculation that would necessarily come of a dude being called a Mommy Blogger). Moms of cats, dogs, birds, and other pets have become Mom Bloggers too. Daycare ladies without uteruses write Mom Blogs. Sometimes it seems as though anyone who has ever taken care of another human being or other type of species that breathes (or maybe not) in a motherly or caretaking capacity can – at any point they deem appropriate – be referred to as a Mom Blogger. Also people that plan on one day doing any of that –  maybe, if they feel like it – can be Mom Bloggers too.

Are you starting to get the frustration, here? What’s the deal, Mom Bloggers? Is there anything left about motherhood in the Mom Blogging Universe anymore?

Who supports a Mom Blog?

It would seem that the community of Mom Bloggers would support each other. But that’s not always necessarily the case.

Sure there is a small group of Mom Bloggers that talk about each other, tag each other, Facebook each other, Tweet each other, reference each other, collaborate with each other, and other BFF-ish online interactions-with each other. But there are also a lot of Mom Bloggers that are pretty well left out of the group.

And every once in a while (and by that I mean at least a few times a day) Mom Bloggers of even the most popular and widely-read sort run into other Mom (or Dad or Parent) Bloggers that do not reciprocate support. That ignore certain factions of the Mom Blogging community, for whatever reason.

Again, I ask: what’s the deal Mom Bloggers?

No but really, what’s the deal Mom Bloggers?

So we already asked what the deal was with Mom Bloggers basically being anybody and anyone, male and female; whether they are really moms or not. We sort of alluded to asking “what’s the deal?” on the issue of the content of a Mom Blog (which is basically anything and everything). And the matter of reciprocation between Mom Bloggers – big and small – got a big “what’s the deal?” I would even upgrade that one to a “what the fuck” because it’s messed up to ever believe that you’re too big to be supportive of others in the community.

But the real question I have, Mom Bloggers, is about the skill level.

I used to tutor and TA when I was in graduate school, so I have read a lot of really shitty writing. I mean really shitty. I mean academic papers with “WTF” and “OMG” and one even with a smiley face emoticon. I once had a student show up having a hard time reading the word “philosophize.” And yet still those academic papers with all their illiteracies and their poor grammar and their 2nd grade reading levels were still better than some of the Mom Blogs I’ve read lately.

Some of the worst writers on this planet are the most popular Mom Bloggers. Some of the stupidest, most boring, most mundane content I have ever read in my entire life is coming from Mom Bloggers that are read more widely than the New York Times. And by contrast, some of the best writing I have ever read in the blogging world – from Mom Bloggers and otherwise – gets three or four hits, while “OMG pee poo diaper time whassup” got millions of views.

What. Is. The Deal. Mom. Bloggers?!?!

So you might say I’m feeling a little perplexed or reflective as to just what the deal is with the Mom Bloggers? I believe that a blog is just like any other piece of writing – it should be done well. It should be widely supported within its group of peers. It should have meaning and purpose, and it should be free of stupidity. Call me crazy, this is just how I’ve tried to run my own Mom Blog.

What do you think the deal is, Mom Bloggers? Or are you ignoring this post like many of the others because you believe you’ve grown too big?

Speaking of Mom Blogs, have you voted for me on Top Mommy Blogs lately? Just click the link and your vote is registered … http://topmommyblogs.com/