Friday, May 25, 2012

Figuring it Out

Twice this week a friend has called me for help. Once, for marital advice and once for organizational/housecleaning help.

When I confessed to her that I pretty much wing it, hoping no one looks too closely (at my baseboards, my roots, my "yell jar" full of money because we are really really trying to stop yelling in our house), she said, "But you seem like you have it figured out."

Ha!

Figured out? Me!?

See, that's the good thing about having friends and family that live far, far away. They only see your house at its best, freshened up for visitors. They only see your family when there are no such things as nap times and too many popsicles because, you only see them every five months or so, so let's make this one a good one.

They don't see the text message from your daycare asking if you have a dog because your children, the human Swiffers, have hair all over their pants. They don't see that you haven't made it on time to anything since you had kids, and that one time you were on time you forgot snacks, wipes and your house key.

They don't see the milk-filled sippy cups that are magnetically drawn to the abyss under your couch.

I know you didn't want to see it, but I didn't want to smell it. Ugh.

But if you were to spend all any of your day on Pinterest or blogs, you might think that everyone but you has it all figured out. These people post long, humorous essays about the educational craft they did that day with their three home-schooled children. (Who, by the way, have never screamed or thrown a tantrum a day in their life and always, always, always have their hair french braided with a pretty ribbon.)

They show photos of their organizational systems that you then post to your "I WILL get organized" board, but really, you just feel guilty and overwhelmed every time you see it because you know that your mail and bills and photos and cards will remain in little piles scattered around your house because you are just not that organized, and you never will be.

And if you were to judge yourself against these people, because, let's be honest here - everyone judges everyone - then you would come off woefully bad.

And that's why I blog. So I can show other people out there that I don't have it figured out. That you don't have to have it figured out to enjoy your life.

Sure, sometimes I want to pull my hair out if my (almost) 3 year old asks me any more questions. Or if my 10 month old won't sleep. Or if the dog just got shaved but is somehow still shedding.

Sometimes I want to scream at the top of my lungs and stomp around like a 3 year old. (He gets to, why can't I?!)

Instead, I get on here, write about all the things I do not have figured out and hope that somewhere out there is a community of moms just like me, rallying behind the scenes, saying "We don't have a clue either!" and that we can all go out and have a margarita.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Phantom Cry

I've always heard of the phantom limb sensation;  how, after a limb is gone, the person can sometimes still feel it - grasping objects, throbbing in pain. The limb may be gone, but the feeling is there.

But I've never heard of phantom cries. Which is the sensation I have.

The Hubs and I will be having a perfectly normal conversation and all of a sudden I'll say, "Shhhhhhhhhhh. Shh. Shh. Let me listen."

And he will stop for five seconds, craning his neck to better hear. "What?! I don't hear anything. What?"

"SHHHHHHHHHHH! Shh. Shh." I'll listen for a minute. Nothing. No sounds. "Huh. Must have been nothing."

Which I have to say because the only alternative is to say "Well, I heard Peanut crying on the baby monitor, but I just remembered that we got a babysitter tonight to go out to dinner and we aren't even within ten miles of our kids, much less within hearing distance, and we don't even have a monitor here."

A few weeks ago at work, I woke in the middle of the night in a hotel room across the country from my kids, and started to get out of bed. Because I had heard her cry. Loud and clear, from thousands of miles away. (I was so surprised the next day to hear from The Hubs that she had slept through the night. I still doubt it, and think he just slept through it. It was so real.)

Sometimes I guess that the phantom limb doesn't have to be a limb at all. Sometimes, it is just the idea of something that is supposed to be with you at all times. Sometimes it's your kids crying for you in the night.