Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer "Break": What social media doesn't show you

Kids smiling, jumping in the pool, playing in the sand, eating popsicles, swimming without a floatie for the first time, cooking on the grill, having a frozen beverage by the water. These images will flood your Facebook or Instagram feed ALL. SUMMER. LONG.

Here's what you don't see.

The mom who took the picture hasn't showered in 3 days. She hasn't worn makeup in much, much longer.

She broke up 4 fights already today.

Her toddler threw a tantrum because she asked for a banana. But when the banana was delivered to the very spot she requested so she could see the TV while watching Peppa Pig (for waaay longer than she should have been allowed), the banana was, GASP, cut into pieces. She wanted the banana BIG WITH THE PEEL ON BUT JUST STARTED A LITTLE SO SHE COULD PEEL THE REST HERSELF.

Her oldest has asked what the plans are for the day for the 137th time.

And honestly, there are no plans for the day.

There are no plans because there are many, many, many clothes to wash. And a dishwasher to empty because it was run 4 days ago. EVERY bedroom looks like a pack of wild hyenas ran threw it. There are toys in every damn corner and there are dress up clothes in the bathroom, which have left a trail of glitter down the hallway and even on the toilet (don't even want to know what happened there).

But by the 138th "what are we doing today", Mom just can't take one more f*cking second. So guess what, kids? We are heading to the pool!

That helps.

For about 46 minutes. 21 of which were spent putting sunscreen on each child and blowing up flotation devices.

But somewhere in those 46 minutes, Mom succeeded in taking a picture in which NO child is crying, whining, or fighting. As a matter of fact, they even look...happy. Post that sh*t to Instagram, baby.

Then if she is lucky, by the 47th minute the children are requesting a snack and she can snap another picture to share of them eating popsicles by the sparkling blue pool water and it looks so peaceful that everyone, even Mom, buys it.

Plus Mom is still in shock that the kids went 47 minutes without asking for a snack. That's a success right there. Have to stop and celebrate the small stuff, right?

All of a sudden it's late afternoon and everyone wants more snacks. Mom doesn't know what to make for dinner. Or if the kids will even eat the damn dinner because SNACKS.

Everyone needs showers or baths now because they lathered up in sunscreen for the 46 minute pool escapade. They don't want showers, especially the youngest, so she needs to be carried in and refuses to cooperate for the entire duration of the shower. The bathroom window is open a bit and the entire neighborhood has most likely heard just how uncooperative she has been.

Finally, somehow all children are clean and in pajamas.  Then the snack requests begin AGAIN. Mom whips up some homemade milkshakes and for a few moments of bliss, all kids are happy and maybe Mom can grab her phone and snap a another quick pic as evidence of his momentous occasion.

If she's lucky, the kids will fall asleep by 10 pm and Mom can finally relax. She will sit down to her favorite show and maybe even post about it on Facebook to let people know that she still watches programs that aren't on Nick Jr.

However, approximately 8 minutes into the show, Mom is asleep on the sofa. Her moments of freedom slip away as she wastes them on something as boring as sleep.

She will wake up and do it all again the next day.

Her summer is AH-MAZ-ING, dammit. And she has the pics on social media to prove it.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

All the Parenting "Advice" You Will Ever Need.

The Internet is really helpful sometimes.

Or it just informs you of all the ways you are failing as a parent.

Just this past week, I have read SO MUCH bullshit helpful information. And of course I would love to share it with you.

If you care at all about the health or future of your children, AT ALL, you will take what I am about to say seriously. Even though maybe we have never met and you know nothing about me...or my kids. Please read my every word and make life changes accordingly. You can also assume that what I am telling you is most definitely based upon scientific fact. Okay?

Let's get started.

You should never, I repeat, NEVER, let your child eat sugar, have screen time, or play unsupervised. You should not let them watch TV or use bubble bath (unless it is organic, obvi) or eat chicken nuggets from a fast food chain.

Here's why.

Not by me. Or God. Or even your closest friends and family. But on Facebook probably. And maybe even Instagram, too.

Hey Mom, remember all those double stuffed oreos you let your kid eat that one time when you needed them to just shut their yapper for a minute? They contain really bad things with long names that I can't pronounce. And thanks to that crap, they will bomb their SATs and have NO CHANCE of getting into any kind of college. Nice going.

Your choice to let them watch an episode (Okay, maybe it was 4. In a row.) of Paw Patrol will decrease their attention span FOREVER. Good luck in pre-K. They will never be able to concentrate during "circle time". They will be nightmares in the classroom, or anywhere for that matter. Because of YOU.

If you are not their hovering over them at every moment during the day, how will they form any sort of moral compass? We will be reading about your kid committing unspeakable crimes in the newspaper one day...because you weren't there to make every single decision for them. Shame.

Just kidding. We all know that there won't be a newspaper by then.

Yep. You let them order a soda from time to time at a restaurant. You really messed up on that one. They are doomed. That Coke they drank last week? That Happy Meal you let them eat very occasionally? Epic fail as a parent.

Every problem your child encounters in life will be because of you and your poor decisions. Its true. I wish I could be more positive. But I can't. Don't believe me? Just check your Facebook feed on a daily basis and you will see the warnings...and the judgements disguised as "good reads" or "useful tips".

You can go read it ALL. Just make sure you refilled your prescription for Xanax.

You'll need it.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Being left to do the living.

2015 has not been kind to my family.

I haven't written on this little old blog here during this calendar year. Not once. Because frankly, I didn't have a thing to write about worth writing about.

The year rolled in and brought with it a major tragedy. On January 2, my successful, funny, driven, adorable, kind nephew passed away after suffering a head injury from a fall. He was 22. He had the entire future, a whole lifetime of living, ahead of him. Yet he is gone.

There is no rhyme or reason to who dies and who gets to live. Children die. Adults die. The elderly die. And others live. But eventually we all have that common fate. We will all, in fact, die.

And when someone dies, it's those who are left that must carry the heavy burden of living. Living to see a day that you desperately want your loved one to be seeing with you. If you stop and think about that person no longer existing on this planet...well, it can just be too much to bear. The burden can become too heavy for those that are left to do the living.

My sister. My nieces. They lost a son, a brother. Yet they must continue to live.