I am your motherhood cautionary tale.


Books and magazine articles have been written.  Characters in movies have been scripted.  Actors have portrayed that mother you have seen in the grocery store or at Target.  You know the one, with wild kids, begging and bribing them with high fat, high fructosed anything, just to calm them the eff down, so she can buy tampons.  And you sigh in relief at the tampons because you know for a fact she doesn't need one more kid.

She is a motherhood cautionary tale.  So am I.  I came to that conclusion this week, when after a full day of play and running errands, my kids were lapping me at 10:45 pm.  That's right.  It's summer and my kids don't have a bed time.  Let's be honest.  My kids have never had a bed time.  We have a time goal set, but we rarely hit it.  We rarely come close to it.  So my kids have been crashing anywhere between 10:30 and midnight.  Awful right?  

I know what you are thinking.  Put those kids on a schedule.  It will make your life easier.  Yeah, I've heard it all.  I even have a book that explains it in detail.  I plead the 5th on this subject.  Because scheduling takes time and effort.  Have we met?  Also I hate being a slave to a schedule myself, so that kind of boils over into my motherhood efforts.  Cautionary tale number one:  Put your kids on a decent schedule, otherwise your kids will be night owls and you will be wondering how much melatonin it takes to knock out a six year old.

Cautionary tale number two:  Don't use curse words.  Ever.
Yesterday, my three year old used the eff word in context and in a complete sentence.  Your welcome.  It took me a minute because a voice that precious should be saying such words.  One glance at my six year old who was cracking up, told me that yes I had heard it correctly.  Well, hell.  Look friends, I try.  I really do.  But before I took this mothering gig, I was a foul mouthed sorority alumna trying to make it in the world.  Which apparently required lots of curse words.  Trust me, I've gotten a lot better over the years.  But, as my mother reminded me, I used the eff word in almost the same exact context last week while driving.  With my mom and both girls in the car.  So, don't cuss.  Fouled mouth toddlers are still cute, but quite embarrassing.

Cautionary tale number three:  Don't raise emotional eaters.
I could write an entire post about this situation.  After reading this I fully expect divorce papers from my husband as this is his biggest fear.  Let me give you some truth.  I hate to hear my babies cry.  I'm sure you are shaking your head saying "aww, I do too".  But I hate crying babies for a different reason.  The crying is like nails on the chalk board for me.  I despise it.  It has, at times made me kidney punching angry.  So when my kids cry, whether it's from self injury (falling off the couch while illegally climbing), medical injury (shots, blood tests, urine samples), or fear/sadness/shame/what have you, I soothe with chocolate.  I know, call CPS right now.  I have been known to carry Hershey kisses to doctors appointments.  I have on occasion dropped chocolate chips into a screaming toddlers mouth.  I have been known to soothe a child who just tripped and face planted into a wall with a spoon full of cake frosting.  I cannot tolerate crying.   Plus if the professors at Hogwarts felt that chocolate was the only remedy for a dementor, why not a crying child?

So I completely expect that at some point in my children's life, we will be in therapy trying to figure out why my girls grab a sheet cake prior to working out their real issues.  I will just print out this post and hand it to the therapist.  There are two things I'm sure my future holds.  Orthodontia bills and therapy bills.   Maybe there is a groupon for that.

Cautionary tale number four:  Bribery is a short term solution
I bribe.  I won't deny it.  I had a friend that swore to Buddha that she would not bribe her child.  She was also the first one to tell me how well it worked.  I started bribing early.  You can have these cookies if you stay in the cart and not try to become a "baby of Walmart".  You can have 4 M&Ms if you pee-pee on the potty.  Mommy will buy you that My Little Pony horse corral train wreck extravaganza if you drink all this zithromax for the next 5 days without yakking it up on the first try.  Bribes work, but not forever.  They are not long term solutions.  Case in point:  I've been bribing with money lately.  I know.  HORRIBLE.  Here's the thing, remember the "I despise crying"?  Ditto on whining.  And lately my three year old is wild about whinning.  So instead of doing any real parenting, I've been bribing my six year old to over look things like; the last Capri Sun, the last strawberry pop tart, and pushing the elevator buttons.  The six year old gets a dollar, and the three year old thinks the world turns for her.  Don't do it friends.  Learn from my mistakes.

Cautionary tale number five:  Turn off the TV.  Or don't.
My TV is on all day if we are home.  Weekends included.  I'm sure you have heard that my six year old learned where babies came from by watching Kourtney Kardashian deliver her son Mason.  I digress, there are 101 articles that will tell you television is rotting your baby's brain.  That if they watch too much TV by two years old, they will grow up to be serial killers, or worse college drop outs.  I have read many, and each piss me off the same.  Look, most of the articles state that watching too much TV impedes on the imagination.  To which I call bullshit on "those researchers".  Come over to my house.  Watch my kids, watch them watch TV, then watch them recreate the latest episode of Super Why, Fish Hooks, or Jessie.  

After watching Cailou build a robot, guess what we built?  After watching Jessie have a talent show with Zuri guess what we did?  After listening to Kai-Lan speak Mandarin, guess who counted in mandarin first and then in English?  Yup.  So watch TV, or don't.  Just know that I know the title song to Fish Hooks, can name the entire Cailou family, and am still singing the damn song about Dora's map.

This is what motherhood looks like for me.  I don't expect it to look the same in your house.  I'm not an alpha mom, I' m not even a beta mom.  I'm a mom.  Some days are fabulous.  Some days are heartbreaking.  Some days are a total wash.  Whatever the day, I feel like you guys could learn a thing or two from me.  So whatever the fable of motherhood know this:

I am that mom at Target bribing with high fructosed anything.  
Your welcome.


11 comments:

  1. Here are reasons I think we would be automatic friends:
    1) Schedules are for people much stricter than us. We are more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants type parenting duo and our little guy stays up until we go to bed. Works for us. Not so much for others.
    2) My son's first words included: Daddy, Momma, doggie and sh*t.
    3) Bribery for us comes in the form of gummies. Bears, worms...the works.
    4) Between the iPad and tv...there isn't much silence in our house. But Louis is seriously the most creative, adventurous and well spoken toddler I've ever met. So eat that "experts". :)

    If all of your other posts are as hysterical as this one, I'm your new biggest fan. Get it, girl!

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  2. Is it bad when you feel like the day is a wash and it isn't even 9:30 in the freakin morning?

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  3. I'm 100% positive I need to move to Cali so we can be neighbors. Not only do I think we would get along perfect, I thinks are kids would too! I don't know if that's a good or bad things after reading this post. ;) My youngest last night (way past bedtime - we don't have a routine either), eating our McDonald's & I hear out of his mouth WTF, except it wasn't initials. Yep, mom award right there. Lets see, I already mentioned no routine and ah yes, bribery - I'm all over bribery. Write that book already woman! ;)

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  4. I never expected I would give in so easily to my toddler's demands. Even my own husband tells me to toughen up. But geez, I'm home with her all day and if she just wants a freaking olive and it'll make her happy, she can have all the olives in the world

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  5. I needed to read this today. I'm 16 weeks pregnant with our first and while I'm very excited, I'm also scared out of my mind about labor pains, breastfeeding, setting a schedule, raising this kid, keeping a clean house, becoming a responsible mom (forget the adult part, it's a little late for that), and getting over my only-child mentality. But I'm a Southern girl, I'll make it. But I can't promise a cuss word or two (or 20) might not come screaming out of my mouth. Bless my heart!!!!!

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  6. This is my favorite. I love you and your imperfect parenting!

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  7. This is my favorite. I love you and your imperfect parenting!

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  8. I don't even know you, but I love you! You have no idea how much I needed to read this tonight. I am a mom of a 3 year old and a 6 year old and my brain is buzzing from all the crying, whining, talking back etc. And then my heart explodes two seconds later when my son asks for a hug. Seriously, this ride called "being a mommy" is a wild one!!! You just made me feel so much better about the "decisions" I'm making regarding letting my kids fall asleep to shows on the kindles (yep, horrible), but I'm tired and it cuts down on just one more argument and they fall asleep quickly. I'll be sure to get back on schedule after summer is over...for now, I'm just riding this ride. Thank you!!!

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  9. "kidney punching angry" I love you.

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  10. Want to know something? I laugh in the face of kids-on-schedules. They're so freaking stupid. You know why??? Because hello, what NORMAL person has the same exact itinerary every single day? I mean really. Maybe back 60 years ago, when life was a little more low key but today? Yeah freaking right. We never have typical days. Some days we sleep in til 9. Some days the kids decide 5 am is a beautiful happy hour. (UGH!) why the heck would I want to be slave to a schedule? I get the whole idea that it's to put the kids on YOUR schedule but really, are you seriously kidding? have you seen the parents who have their kids on schedules? Who is really the slave? Who is having to make plans around jr's 3:15 pm naptime? And who is having to skip out on couple's night out (whenever the heck that happens) because polly just has to have 3 books read with daddy at 6:43? Sorry but I'm not signing up for that shiz. So don't feel bad Megs. Really. You are an amazing mom. This whole parenting thing just calls for surviving and making the awesome moments when you can. And writing great blog posts in the mean time. :) Screw the experts I say. (except, just kidding. Don't really. they're not that hot!)

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