Friday, May 28, 2010

A Wife

I think I would like a wife. I don't mean in a Big Love polygamy or some other lesbian way, but I mean I need someone to help me while I am managing the constant responsibility of my family and household. Someone to help me take care of myself while I am taking care of everyone else. I have to give credit to a friend who jokingly said that she asks her husband every Christmas and birthday to get her a wife. Sadly, he's never gotten her one, but I really like her idea. And just this week I heard Oprah say that what moms really need are wives. If Oprah endorsed it, I think the idea is about to catch on.

I told my husband that I want a wife and he responded, "What you want is a personal assistant. You don't want a wife, trust me". Huh. That's funny, but I don't think just a personal assistant is going to do. A personal assistant could quit too easily when frustrated; there's not the same level of commitment. Only a wife can deal with an entire family yelling at her that they do not need jackets. And when that family later puts on the jackets that the wife brought anyway, she accepts that no one acknowledges that she was right or thanks her. Most assistants would have quit after the first day. I suppose I could quit too, but luckily for my husband, this wife puts up with the comments made under his breath about "nagging" when she is merely reminding him of everything he is forgetting. No, the key word here is "wife".

A lot of my responsibility falls under the "mom" job description, but a "wife" encompasses that. A wife has to keep track of and take care of all the kids, the actual children and the husband. Its all the details, the what's due and when. Its the what time and where. Its the remembering the jackets, drinks, hats, snacks, and sunscreen. I doubt I will ever actually get a wife to keep track of and take care of me, but I'm keeping the idea on my wish-list. It would be nice to just once show up somewhere without any thought and have everything that I need, even the things I didn't know I needed, there for me. I'd like to experience once what the rest of my family experiences on a daily basis.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Hangover

I'm in the midst of planning a GNO - a girls night out. I get together with my best friend once or twice a year to go out without husbands or kids. I'm not sure what's funnier: how far in advance we have to plan in order to get our schedules synced for a night out, or the fact that I will spend the majority of my big night out drinking water. Times have changed and club soda greatly outnumbers any other drinks I have in the course of an evening. But as one of my other friends put it so well, "It only takes one hangover with kids to make you NEVER want to do that again; its just not worth it".

So, true. After a night out, there's nothing quite like waking at 6am to your kids crying and realizing that your head is pounding and you're on duty. Or the wisdom that you really can't curl up in a ball in the corner of the couch; you will NOT be left alone. This is true wisdom; the kind that will reform you. As a parent, you're expected to be at a high functioning level at all times, regardless of how you feel. Not only is no one going to bring you a pizza and cheese fries in the morning, but your kids will expect you to be upright and feeding them breakfast. I learned early on, and with this golden knowledge guiding me, I now stick to a very strict drink limit. It only took me one time of parenting after spending the night at a concert to learn my lesson. Its just not worth it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Any Given Sunday

I proposed last year that Mother's Day should be a day to spend without the kids; a day for peace and pampering. So how did I spend my Mother's Day this year? At Disney World with my kids, my husband, my in-laws, and thousands of annoying people with double strollers pushing around tired whining kids. Yes, I know, I didn't follow through with my plan. But last spring shortly after Mother's Day, I struck a deal with my 3 year old. I told him I would take him to Disney World to meet Mickey Mouse if he would lose the diapers. He potty trained himself the following day, in one day, and then wanted to know when we were leaving. He's been a trooper and has patiently waited almost a year for us to fit this trip into our schedule. So that is how I ended up at Disney World on Mother's Day.

I guess I sacrificed my Mother's Day for this trip. And it was a trip that I wasn't really looking forward to. I don't like crowds, I don't like people pushing strollers in crowds, and I don't like being held hostage to amusement park lines and awful food. In addition, Disney World is like Vegas for kids; it seems to never sleep and neither do the kids. Kids are up at all hours, which is very different than my usual parenting style. As for Mother's Day, there was a quick gift exchange with my kids earlier in the week before we left for the airport, but that was the extent of us observing Mother's Day. Sunday morning I pulled out the cards I had packed and reminded my kids and my husband to wish my mother-in-law a Happy Mother's Day, but this didn't trigger any of them to wish me one, not even my husband.

I have to say though, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun our trip was, especially since I didn't peg myself or my husband as "Disney people". But I guess Disney really is a magical place because I wasn't bothered by any issues. Maybe it was my husband conquering the FASTPASS system, or the fact that we walked so much I could have eaten my shoe. But maybe it was just seeing the joy and excitement through the eyes of my children that made it so magical. Nothing beats riding Thunder Mountain with your kids in the dark at 10:30pm (yes, we gave in to the Vegas style parenting). I turned around on our climb up the track to look at my 3 year old with Magic Kingdom lit up behind him. He had his little hands in the air, thumbs up, smiling, and ready to ride "no-hands" for the 6th or 7th time on this ride. With my equally excited 6 year old at my side, I knew then that this might actually be one of the best Mother's Days yet. A reminder that any given Sunday, not just Mother's Day, I have the privilege of viewing the world with them; and that can be pretty magical.