Monday, May 7, 2012

Didn't See That Coming

The boy and the girl and I had been playing outside for about an hour. That's a big deal for me for several reasons: 1) it's hot and I don't like hot, 2) there are bugs and I don't like bugs, and 3) it smells and it makes me smell, and I don't like to smell. But my kids like to play outside, so I oblige.

I don't even know what prompted me to ask, maybe walking around outside at 11 AM on a Monday with nothing to do lends itself to random thoughts, but I innocently asked,

"Do you like being home with Mommy better or being at school with your friends better?"

DD - "I like being at home with you."

Me - "Really? I thought you were going to say you would rather play at school."

DD - "No, I like being at home because that's where you are."

I never would have predicted that answer. I immediately teared up and thanked her. I'm sure she didn't know why.

A day at home with me doesn't seem all that special. We eat breakfast, then the kids play around while I drink coffee and waste time on the Internet. We might go outside if the weather is nice. We might play downstairs for a while. Run off some energy before lunch. Usually the girl watches some TV while her brother takes his afternoon nap. I internet some more. Brother wakes up from his nap, we play, eat dinner, then start winding down for a bath and bed.

A day with me has its challenges. I lose my temper too much. I am impatient. I yell. More often than not, by 10:00, I am praying for the strength and patience to make it through the day. By the end of the day, I am physically and emotionally spent. I feel guilty by how glad I am when the kids are finally in bed, and I can sink onto the couch and relax.

But somehow, that's not how my daughter sees it. As much as she loves school and playing with her friends, she likes being at home more. As inept as I see myself as a mother, she still would rather be with me. The whole scenario just illustrates how much my confidence as a mother has plummeted lately; that I was sure I already knew the answer to the "innocent" question I posed.

My daughter loves me, and loves being with me. I didn't even know I needed to hear her say it, but I guess I did. How did she know?

- MortarBored Mom

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Tao of Britney

Three posts into this blog may be a bit soon to reveal one of my biggest secrets, but you know what they say: the truth shall set you free. So here goes.

I love Britney Spears. Wait, wait, wait! Before you write me off so soon, let me qualify that. I'm not talking about early Britney, with the pig tails and hyper-nasality. And I'm not talking about trashy, post-divorce Britney, with the barely-there get-ups and overly autotuned tracks. I'm talking about Britney circa 2001, when she started singing about real shit. Now I know she doesn't write her own songs, but when I first heard her sing "Overprotected," I could tell she felt those lyrics as if she did. She was tired of being told how to live her life. What to think. How to feel. She was ready to make her own choices, her own mistakes.

"What am I to do with my life?
(You will find it out don't worry)
How am I supposed to know what's right?
(You just gotta do it your way)

Britney Spears may not have written those lyrics, but I probably could have. Back in 2001, and this very day. In 2001, I was struggling with the big decision - What do I do with my life? Do I try to find a job after graduation? Do I apply to grad school? Do I move back home and live off my mom until she forces me to make a choice? (thanks Mom!)

"What am I to do with my life?"

Now I struggle with the big decision - Am I making the right choice? Should I be looking harder for work? Did I make a mistake quitting my job? Am I cut out to be a stay-at-home mom or are my children suffering because of my short-comings? What was the point of all that time and work in school?

"How am I supposed to know what's right?"

I know I don't have to make any decisions today, or even tomorrow. But someday soon. Those decisions will affect so many other aspects of my life, it makes my head spin. The thing about these kind of big decisions is that you can't really ask for advice. Well you can, but it has to be your decision, your choice, because you are the one who has to live with the consequences.

"You just gotta do it your way."

Touche Britney. Touche.

On a not entirely unrelated endnote, I have started running again. How is that not totally unrelated, you ask? Well in case you haven't seen the "Overprotected" video, Britney looks pretty kick ass in it, and I'm sure she didn't get that way from sitting around drinking beer and eating ice cream.

So for this week's Flashback Friday moment, here are before and after pictures of me running a 5K back in 2009. In typical Kelly screw-up fashion, I missed the end (yep, don't ask) and ran an extra half mile. Good times.

Who can guess
which is before and
which is after?

Ok so there it is. My confession. I heart Britney Spears. Don't judge me. And don't judge her. That was my girl.

- MortarBored Mom