I’ve got a Mother’s Day hangover. And not the good kind that implies that I spent the entire day relaxing and drinking too much champagne. No, I’ve got the kind where I find myself asking, “What happened yesterday??” Now, I’m not the kind of person that traditionally builds up holidays. I’ve never had high expectations for a life changing New Year’s Eve. I’ve never thought that Valentine’s Day was going to be the most romantic day of the year. But somewhere along the line I saw one too many Mother’s Day commercials with happy kids showering their Moms with love, crafts, coffee and breakfast – even if it was poorly, yet comically, made with egg shells hidden in the omelet.
That was notmy Mother’s Day. And as I scrolled through Facebook, I started to think maybe I was the only Mom that didn’t have that picture perfect Mother’s Day….crafts everywhere, Moms thanking their families for the outpouring of love, and me feeling more and more empty. Then I remembered I was on Facebook and decided to go to Twitter, where complaining is more accepted. And I found my people.
But you might be my people too. So here’s what I fantasized for Mother’s Day, and how my day differed dramatically.
As a stay at home Mom, I’m a little set in my ways. I have a routine down with my kids and somewhere along the line I started to think that the only way things could be done was my way. I became increasingly frustrated with the way my husband was doing things, because frankly, I thought he was doing them wrong. He was getting annoyed and volunteering to do things less. He wasn’t as hands on as he had been in the past and I grew to resent that.
Eventually, I found myself asking, “Am I too hard on my husband?”
The answer was totally yes.
If you think you might be too hard on your partner, here are 5 ways that I lightened up.
Every once in a while, my husband gets it in his mind that we can’t possibly go one day longer without getting rid of some stuff. A lot of stuff. All the stuff. We go to Costco and come home with bins and bins and shelving to hold the bins and off we go. I mentally prepare, grab trash bags for what we’ll toss, the bins for what we’ll keep, and have dollar signs in my eyes for the stuff I’m going to sell.
I start in the kids rooms and secretly clear out some old toys, because Lord knows they won’t miss them. Then I retire the clothes that they’ve grown out of. Planning to have more kids, I get to keep all their clothes without much argument. Chad is great about getting rid of clothes. He sometimes goes TOO far in my mind, deciding that he only needs five t-shirts, one sweater, two casual polo shirts and one suit. Then I remind him about all the other times he might want to be dressed and we find a happy medium.
Then there’s me. And my bureau. And my walk in closet. And my bins of extras. In truth, I wear about one tenth of what’s easily accessible. And, walking Mom cliché that I am, it’s lots of leggings and casual shirts. My closet features lots of things with names you may recognize like Irma and Randy….but the rest hangs unworn, though not unloved. What transpires next is always like an episode of hoarders.Continue reading “What I Learned About Myself During Spring Cleaning”→
I am a smart girl. That’s just a fact. My school counselor once called the six year old version of me, “severely gifted,” which if I’m being honest, I thought was a little rude. Over the years, the rest of my class caught up with me, and I’m sure I’m mildly gifted at best these days- but I’m just saying, I’m not dumb. But when I’m talking about work with my husband? Daaaang, but it can sure make me FEEL dumb.
My husband is a Chemical Engineer, and specializes in Process Development. I barely know what that means, let alone when he actually tries to describe one of the processes he’s developing (is that even the right way to say it? I have no idea). But after years of looking at him sitting silent across the table at dinner parties, and watching him look at me with just a touch of envy while I regale our guests with stories of rambunctious first graders, I realized that he needs an outlet, too. He needs to deconstruct his day, and muddle through his work-related issues, and to have a sounding board for the problems he faces in the eight eleven hours a day that he’s not with me.
So I decided to take on the daunting task- to learn how to actually talk to my husband about what he does. (Shudders.) Here’s my tips for how to talk about work with your spouse- even when their job is not the kind of career you understand the ins and outs of.
This week, our Facebook and Instagram feeds were flooded with grand gestures of love. Long stem roses, chocolate covered strawberries, sparkly gifts, prix fix dinners out on the town, or homemade dinners for two. Meanwhile, Jaymi and I shared a romantic evening of chicken and chocolate chip cookies in heart shaped containers because the Daddy’s were working late. Once upon a time, we may have grumbled about the apparent lack of affection and romance on our Valentine’s Day, but this is what our life is these days. And the truth is, we don’t mind a bit.
Yes, we still LOVE our husbands, and sometimes we even gush about them, but romance looks very different these days. The key to making it work is embracing all the little ways our partners are romantic, and not taking those for granted. So here’s our thank you, for all these little things our fellas do year round to show us how much they love and appreciate us.
A few weeks ago, we had the honor of attending an absolutely gorgeous wedding. The couple was so in love, the setting was truly beautiful, and the food was on point. The bartender totally hit on me, and they even had hand-churned nitrogen ice cream for dessert. It was a truly beautiful day.
And it was also the first day I felt old in a good way.
This morning, I got up early, hunted around the house for clean socks and underwear and jeans, and helped pack up my husband for a work trip. I loaded the kids in the car, drove him to the airport, watched tearful goodbyes from the kids and drove home with cries of “I miss Daddy” ringing in my ears. He’ll be back in three days, but for these kids, three days might as well be three weeks. They should be used to this. They should understand the routine. Daddy has to travel at least every other month or so and has since they were born. But still, they take it hard. And so do I. At least…some of the time
But can I be honest with you for a minute? It’s not ALL bad….
The reality is, I’m parenting alone from about 6am to 6pm anyway. The kids go to bed by 8:30 at the absolute latest. So yes, while having help during those couple hours a night is hugely helpful, the net gains aren’t too shabby.Continue reading “Work Trip Martyr”→
Once upon a time, when it was just the two of us, my husband and I were younger people with lots of energy. We could stay up late, watch TV, talk to each other, enjoy a cocktail and, well….you know what happens next in the RomCom that was our “Once upon a time.”
Then we got married. Had kids. Became chronically exhausted. And some elements of those younger people’s lives slowly fell off the radar. We stopped watching multi-season television series and settled for single season commitments like Survivor or American Horror Story. We were maybe the only people NOT pissed off about Game of Thrones being only seven episodes this season because it was manageable enough that we could finish it.
Half the time one of us is asleep by the time the other gets back from putting the kids back in bed after their philosophical inquisition/demands for water/”one last hug.” Conversations are often about said kids, our upcoming schedule, or what needs to get done around the house. I’m too tired to even drink wine, so I’m not going to spell out for you what else I’m too tired for. Continue reading “The Romance is Dead. Sort of.”→
I am not the first woman to notice this, but dear GOD WHY CAN’T MEN FIND THINGS. I can’t decide if it’s a lack of commitment to finding said thing, or if it’s that they know they have wife-insurance in this regard, so it’s not like it’s never gonna get found, or if there is some honest to goodness optical difference with man-eyes that just cannot be helped. Continue reading “Man Eyes”→
Okay, so it can’t just be us- kids’ movies give us all.the.feelings sometimes. Trolls? Who didn’t shed a little tear at that beautiful True Colors Duet? Or Finding Dory-did anyone else catch that her poor parents missed her ENTIRE CHILDHOOD? They can’t get that back, people! But that reunion, sigh. So lovely. And don’t even get me started on Up. Like, I can’t. I just can’t.
The most recent culprit? Moana, by a landslide. But Moana can affect everyone so differently, and for such different reasons. Will you simply trip on a taro root? Remind yourself that you know the way? Or discover friggin’ happiness is WHERE YOU ARE?!? Whoa, Moana. Whoa.
So? Where are you on the Sob-Spectrum?
Jaymi: Oh dear God, Lila is Moana. She loves her grandmas, she strays from convention, and she has to go her own way. She is strong, beautiful, and brave. She trusts her instincts and chooses her own path, but thoughtfully and responsibly. She knows who she is and can always find her way. And we just don’t freaking understand her sometimes. So, it’s sweet little tears for the first twenty minutes or so. And then at the part where she decides to leave, and the dad is mad cause he doesn’t understand yet, and the mom just gives her a little nod and helps her pack?!? It is like a flash forward to college, when Lila’s heading off to study fashion design in Tibet and I have to be like, “follow that voice inside, Lila” when really I want to be like, “Get your ass into nursing school.” Total onslaught of waterworks.
Christine: Don’t get me wrong. I’m made of stone. The whole “daughter going on a journey” thing? I can keep it together there. At this point Moana is a delightful story of a girl that wants to be on the ocean. Love it. Catchy tunes, that Maui cracks me up, and OH the crab. I get my old times Flight of the Conchords fix from the crab. Fun, fun, fun. And then she’s alone. On a boat. With the ghost of her Grandma. Singing. And that’s kind of a game changer. Because for us – family is EVERYTHING. And yes, my Nana passed away a little bit ago, so sue me if I cling to an eccentric cartoon Grandma. So when her Grandma sings to her and there’s a freaking key change, so you know it’s about to get real, and Moana finds out that “the call isn’t out there at all it’s inside me,” yeah, I start to get a little watery. Can you blame me?? And sure, maybe when she runs back to Ghost Grandma and the music swells as she says, “I will carry you here in my heart you’ll remind me that come what may, I know the way” my eyes swell too. I mean, she IS MOANA.
Chad (Christine’s Husband): You guys are crying at the wrong part. You cry when Moana is walking to Teka to restore the heart. I mean, she’s crossed the horizon to restore the heart and fix all of mankind! It’s about societal restoration and no matter what people do to you it’s how you respond. Moana telling Teka, “they have stolen the heart from inside you, but this does not define you” is a message to all of us that we are more than our circumstances! And fighting doesn’t get you anywhere, that’s why Maui failed. But you need someone that sees you. You just need that love, someone to say “this is not who you are, I know who you are.” It’s all about the love.
Michael (Jaymi’s Husband): Wait, you guys cry at Moana?
Everyone Else: You DON’T cry at Moana?!?
Michael: I don’t cry. Also, it’s a cartoon. Calm down.