I always knew I’d become a mother. The number of children I wanted changed from time to time but never the fact that I would have them. I’d imagine their chubby little faces swaddled in soft blankets of blue or pink. They’d look into my eyes and hold my finger in their tiny little hands. I’d feed them and love them as they grew. We’d hold hands running through fields of wildflowers loving each other until the end of time.
What I DIDN’T envision were sticky little fingers SWIPING ALL MY CRAP! They’re barely preschoolers when it begins! “Mom, can I play your phone? Mom, can I play the Ipad?” (And that’s if they even bother to ask.) Half the time you spend an hour looking for the dang things before it occurs to you to check the hands of everyone under four feet tall in your house! Maybe we should get them each their own? That’ll solve the problem! HA!! Nice try! Their devices only work with Wifi. What on earth are they supposed to do during that 4-minute drive to the grocery store, you animal!?! That’s right…reach into that purse and hand that sucker right on back, mom.
It only gets worse as they get older. I thought I’d earned my World’s Best Mom status when we gave my middle-schooler a phone for his birthday. I charged it up, entered all our contacts in it and assigned his ringtone to the theme of The Regular Show, his favorite show at the time. While he was opening it, I called it over and over to make it sing the song really jazzing up the moment. He was ecstatic…like jump up and down ecstatic. Phew!! Finally, my phone and my freedom were mine again….right?
Wait, has anyone seen my charger? What the friggen, frackin, frickety, frang? That little snot-nosed body-wrecking monster took. my. charger. Ok, calm down, this is fixable. I’ll just order a dozen phone chargers on Amazon Prime Now. They’ll be here in two hours….it’s going to be okay. Good try my friend, good try. It doesn’t matter if you buy a charger for every outlet in your home, you will never have a functioning charger again. You’ll spend 30 minutes searching the house to FINALLY find one under a bed somewhere. It’s 12 inches long but hey, you’re not complaining! Ohhhh, you wanted a charger that was functional? Sorry girl. Try plugging it in, flipping it upside down over a box to hold it steady…a little to the left….there you go! Oh, nope, it stopped charging.
Of course, the thievery isn’t limited to cell phones and their accessories. Remember when you wanted that amazing little girl? That little mini-you whose hair you could fix and nails you would paint. You imagined dress shopping for prom, endless nights talking about boys and her standing at her wedding to thank you personally (in tears, of course) for being an incredible mother and her best friend? Yeah, she’s in your closet and she’s commandeering every single decent shirt, dress and name-brand pair of boots you own. Those Manolo Blahniks you went back into the store to try on six times but felt too guilty spending that much money on shoes. You finally justified your mom guilt by vowing they’d be your birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents the next 2 years and you finally took them home. You’ve only worn them twice. You clean them after each use and store them in their original box. Yeah, they’re in a pile of Target specials and flip-flops under four dirty t-shirts, dangerously close to a melted cherry slushy in your daughter’s walk-in-closet. You have your clothes stuffed into a 10 ft. x 2 ft. indent that you also share with your husband while she dances around in her walk-in closet under the lighting of a pink crystal chandelier. But hey, go ahead and throw all your crap and mine in a pile on the floor. That’s cool.
So, thank you Lord for these wonderful blessings you have bestowed upon me. They are the light of my life. I don’t know who I would be if not their mom. But Lord, if they steal my crap one more time…..hell hath no fury like a mother without a phone charger and her only pair of Jimmy Choos. ❤ ❤ ❤
I am the least girly of all girls. In writing this post, I had to text two of my best friends who happen to be sisters. They have been dressing me, fixing my hair and doing my make-up for every fancy occasion in the past 23 years including my wedding where I literally wore Tiff’s wedding dress while she and Skye did my hair, make-up and acted as my photographers. I asked for a name brand of shoes people would recognize. They know me and they love me as I am so they didn’t even question – they just shot back several examples. Thank you Skye and Tiffany, my sisters from another mister.
Find their makeover page on facebook: www.facebook.com/SWBmakeovers
In a generational sandwich, we’re the meat – those of us born in the last years of the 1970s and first years of the 1980s. We exist between generations without belonging to either. Not accepted as Generation X who think us too young. They are the latchkey generation, the MTV generation with their love of grunge and hip-hop music. They find themselves now middle-aged while considering us still in our prime. We are also not accepted as Millennials who think us too old. They are the tech generation with their fluency in technology and social networking. Labeled as spoiled and entitled, free-thinking and optimistic, Millennials have never known a world in which technology did not rule.
Our early memories are full of bike rides and backyards. We were booted out of our houses after breakfast and told to be back at dusk. I doubt many Millennials are familiar with the term “dusk” in the same way we were. It was as important a time of day as breakfast, dinner or bedtime to us. We were the last of the free-range children running from yard to yard with our legion of friends. We did not practice stranger danger. Our parents did not helicopter over us in any way. We were free and it was fantastic.
There were no discussions of terrorism or terrorists while we were growing up. We would be adults before the tragedies of 9/11. The only drills we practiced in school were for tornadoes and fires. We were not taught what to do should an active shooter enter our school. Our school doors were not locked with passcodes and buzzers. There was no such thing as run, hide, fight. We were young, perhaps naïve but we were happy. Things were perfectly simple.
The technology in our homes consisted of corded landline phones, blocky television sets and VCR’s. I vividly remember using a cassette tape recorder to record the sound of The Cosby Show many ties when it was on past my bedtime. Televisions were in the living room and cartoons were only on Saturday mornings and then, only until our parents woke up. The television belonged to our parents and there was no confusion about it. Our phones allowed for no privacy. Hours were spent twisting the cord around our fingers while we leaned against other side of the living room wall catching up with our friends.
The first computers in our homes were a VERY big deal. They filled half of the living room. We used them to create banners on huge rolls of printed paper. We typed the Oscar Meyer bologna song into a program that would speak what we typed back to us in that computer voice. It was hilarious every single time the computer mispronounced bologna. As we grew older, we were introduced to our first true love, video games. We died of dysentery countless times on The Oregon Trail, we spent hours with our friend’s Atari playing Pong, Space Invaders and Centipede. I was not one of the lucky ones who owned an Atari. Though going without only made 1988 more amazing when Christmas day came and my sister and I unwrapped the most amazing present to date: The Nintendo Entertainment System. Our lives were never the same.
Most of us were in high school before ever hearing the word internet. The concept of the world wide web seemed too big to even comprehend. We plugged that phone line into the back of our system and entered an entirely new world. The endless arguments over why Millennials are so spoiled and entitled seems so obviously answered; they never had to dig deep within themselves for the patience and commitment day after day to log onto the internet through AOL dial-up. They never tasted the devastation of being kicked off the service when someone would pick up the phone. We stayed up late and got up early to fit in our chat room time without our parents kicking us off to make a call. A few of my friends I either considered rich or much more loved than my sister and I had a second landline in their home. Do you understand what that meant? They could be online any time they wanted! They could chat online AND talk on the phone! No parent interruption. AOL dial-up was character building for our generation. After developing that sort of fortitude, we unknowingly wrecked any chance of fitting into the Millennial generation.
So how do we function in a generation between generations? We simply accept it. We count ourselves lucky to have experienced the best of both worlds. There is no other group of people who grew up without technology but were young enough yet to learn how to live in a world full of it. We are every bit as reliant on technology as the Millennial generation but we are also as able to recognize the importance of putting it down as those from Generation X. I see it as having the best of both worlds. Not everyone gets to be the meat in the sandwich. That sure seems like the best part to me!
I have struggled with my weight since I began having kids (unique story, huh?). I could blame it on the kids or on my hypothyroidism but mostly, I really like food. My mom was a Diet Technician. I liken it to having a dentist for a parent. My sister and I looked forward to Friday nights when we would order pizza and mom would pour us half a glass of pop (I’m talking my adolescent years here people). Never having had to learn self-control with food, I have very little of it and the junkier, the better!
A year ago, after some back trouble and medication, I began losing weight faster than I could inhale the bear claws. People were kind at first asking if I’d lost weight and telling me I looked good. Then things took an odd turn I was unprepared for. People started “joking” with me about my weight. I was told to “eat a hamburger” and that I “would blow away in a strong wind”. They told me to stand sideways so the rain wouldn’t hit me and (my personal favorite) “you look kind of sick”.
What is that? Why is it ok to skinny-shame people? What no one would ever dare say to an overweight person seems to be perfectly okay to say and joke about to a skinny person. I was so happy when I’d lost weight. Why did I feel bad about it all the sudden? Why were other women, many my friends and co-workers mean momming me?
I’ve spent a lot of time since thinking and talking to others about it. What is the mentality that makes it unacceptable to comment and joke to an overweight person but thin people are fair game? Some thought it came from a jealous or hateful place. Others thought since you’re skinny, life is easy. You should be able to put up with it. After all, it’s just a joke. I know my family and friends would never say something purposely hurtful. I’m sure some of my frenemies absolutely spouted off from a hateful place. Mostly, I think they do it because “everyone does it”. As a society, what is deemed acceptable by the group, is just that, acceptable.
I have a thick skin. It left me at a solid 2 on the butthurt scale. Being thin isn’t always a life choice, though. Hey, if you want to picture me eating carrots and running marathons, I’m not going to stop you (full disclosure, I’m eating Reese Pieces as I’m typing this). I’d just ask you to think before you speak…..we’re all just trying to keep our head afloat in this thing called life. There’s no need to drown the person beside you. We can both make it in!
High school was light years ago but it sometimes feels like it’s first period Biology class, my face is broken out and I’ve overslept so I’m in sweatpants and a day-old t-shirt. It’s Mean Girls 2.0: Mean Moms. I’ve come across these mothering marvels in many different areas of my adult life and I’ve categorized them into 5 mom-eriffic groups.
#1 The “Bless Your Heart” Jesus loving Mean Moms often living below the Mason Dixon line. These are the most manipulative of all the mean moms. These moms hide behind their higher morals and religious beliefs to judge and belittle you. “Oh honey (they always call you honey), your kids go to daycare? Bless your heart.” “Your little blog is so unique, bless your heart.” The best part is they’ll use it behind your back. “You know I’m the last person to judge anyone or spread gossip but did you hear about Ashley’s divorce? Bless her heart.” Trust me moms, no one’s heart needs that much blessing. You can keep alllll that blessedness to yourself.
#2 The Backhanded Compliment Mean Moms. These moms give you all the putdowns you could ever want with a smile on their face. I have the queen of the backhanded compliment moms in my life. “I wish I didn’t worry about what others think like you do.” “I love the way you don’t ever worry about what you’re wearing. It must be so freeing.” “I wish my hair looked good thrown up in one of those messy buns like you wear every day.” I know what you’re thinking – “Wow, she’s a really talented writer! It’s amazing how she can come up with such creative examples to explain her point!” Sorry guys, these were the actual backhanded compliments I received in a single morning getting ready for the day. Yep, a single morning.
#3 The “I’m a Better Mom Than You” Mean Moms. There’s no winning with these moms, don’t even try. Every single thing you do for your kids, they do it better for theirs. You buy organic? That’s so nice, they’re vegan. (Don’t mention you also stopped at McDonalds on your way home from the grocery store). You responsibly put sunscreen on your kids at the pool? Great job! Totally nailing the momming today! Uh-oh, they read sunscreen causes cancer. They lather their kids in coconut oil every thirty minutes while wafting Essential Oils around them from a diffusing necklace during swim breaks. They always look like they feel sorry for you. Obviously, you’re an uneducated idiot who rubs cancer on your kids and shoves poison down their throats. Don’t even mention the disposable diapers in your bag!
#4 The Stay-At-Home/Working Mean Moms. I had originally grouped these moms under the “I’m a Better Mom Than You” moms but after some thought and experience, I realized these moms deserve a category all to themselves. It doesn’t matter which category you fall under, you’re wrong and you are ruining your children’s lives. Working moms let you know you’re lazy and worthless with laughing jabs. “HaHaHa, I wish I had time in the day to write a blog.” “HaHaHa, my super special little snowflake is only four and he knows all his letters, numbers, presidents, basic Algebra and can recite the periodic table. His school (yeah, he’s three, it’s daycare. Stop calling it school.) really challenges his brain and develops his autonomy. He’s not plopped in front of the television and hanging from my apron strings.” Don’t start feeling too badly yet. Stay-At-Home-Moms are often just as bad. Obviously, since you have a job, you are screwing up your kids completely. “I just wouldn’t have had kids for someone else to raise.” “I just worry about their emotional development. They must not even know who their mommies are.” I work from home part-time and I work outside of my home part-time. I must really be messing this up.
#5 The Mean Mom Volun-Bosses. Let me preface by saying there are some great volunteer moms. I’ve been in lots of different PTOs for years. I’ve met some great moms whom I still love dearly. Then, there are others. Mean moms that think the PTO means they run the school. They’re exclusive and create cliques (into which you are DEFINITELY not invited) and no matter how hard you work on your assigned task, it sucks. “Oooooh, I see how you’re cutting out those Hawaiian decorations. Maybe you could try with a sharper pair of scissors?” “Melissa, how cute (she definitely does not think they’re cute) are the party decorations Ashley picked out? I’m just not sure where we’ll be able to put these.” Ummm…I can think of a place to put them! They’re kindergarteners. They don’t care what color the leighs are. They just want to eat cookies and laugh at each other’s farts. These moms often overlap into the above categories as well. Lord help you should you not be able to take off 32 days a school year to volunteer at every single class party, field day and fundraiser. You don’t even care about the well-being of your child, do you? Of course, should you show up, you’ll be ignored and treated like a leper. Should you be in an active position within the PTO or other volunteer group, nice try but you’re still not safe. Everything you do is wrong. Every plan you make for every activity sucks. These moms can do it better and they will be glad to let you know that in the middle of an event you’ve spent the last 36 straight hours planning. Thank you for your uninvited criticism Mean Mom Volunteer. Your zero experience in this position has really qualified you on an expert level.
So, there you have it! You thought high school was only four short years. Don’t worry though…see that group of moms over there in the corner? The ones in sweatpants and day-old t-shirts? They sure look like a hot mess, don’t they? Whelp, we are! We also enjoy each other and support each other (WOW, what a concept!!). Come on over! We have sunscreen and chicken nuggets!