Posts Filed Under bitching about the kids I chose to have.

21 things standing between me and “reasonable bedtimes”

by renegademama

Last week a super handy chart took its 10,000 laps around the internet and I once again realized either: a.) The whole fucking parenting world is batshit; or b.) I am worse at this than formerly thought.

You see, the chart in question outlines the times a kid should go to bed based on age and what time he or she wakes up in the morning. For example, a 6-year-old waking up at 6:30am should go to bed at 7:30pm.

Seven. Fucking. Thirty.

Mmmkay. This sounds amazing. This sounds amazing because if my little kids went to bed at 7:30 and my big kids at 8pm, my husband and I would have like two hours of KID FREE GLORY to ignore each other together on the couch while watching Netflix but actually just playing with our phones.

Truly, do we have no soul left? What is wrong with us?

I hate myself.

Anyway, my kids never go to bed at 7:30pm even if one of them has strep. Lies. They go to bed at 7:30pm when they have strep.

Why are we talking about this? I hate this conversation. Getting my kids to bed “on time” each night is somehow the hardest goddamn thing I do each day. I realize that probably means I have pretty nice days.

I try people I TRY. And every day I feel the sun kissing my face with the promise of a new day, a new chance to get my kids to bed before 9pm. Or 9:30pm.

GET OFF HERE IF YOU’RE JUST GOING TO TELL ME HOW I’M RUINING MY KIDS WITH MY LACK OF CONSISTENT BEDTIME.

Nobody likes you.

We eat together at least 75% of the time though, so there. Leave me alone.

 

It’s hard, you know. And seriously, 9:30pm is late even for us, but SEVEN FUCKING THIRTY? Come on.

Usually my evenings go like this:

Do shit

Do shit

Do shit

Do shit

Do shit

Relax…

REALIZE IT’S 9:15PM HOLY FUCK HOW DID THAT HAPPEN EVERYBODY TO BED NOOWWWWWWW

There are just so many things standing between me and reasonable bedtimes. For example:

  1. Absolutely nobody under the age of 30 is as interested in reasonable bedtimes as I am. I made an infographic to convey the complexity of the situation:

BEDTIMEsit

  1. And yet, they are the ones whose bodies need to move to their beds. And sometimes, I just don’t feel like dealing with them. Here’s a pie chart of things I’d rather do than deal with four bodies who aren’t interested in bed:

bedtimeratherdo2

  1. Also, we’re supposed to eat dinner before bedtime.
  2. And I am supposed to make that dinner.
  3. Or my husband is supposed to make dinner and he sucks at it as much as I do.
  4. Also sometimes I realize we have no food and it’s 6pm so instead I sit on the couch in denial about dinner.
  5. Or I “run to the store” but once I get there, start enjoying the alone time, so I spend an hour gazing at earth-friendly toilet cleansers, which gets me home at 7pm, and ruins everything again.
  6. After-school “enrichment” activities including but not limited to Boy Scouts, swimming, dance classes, random teen “fun” events. HOW THE HELL DO YOU GET KIDS TO BED AT 7:30pm IF OTHER KIDS NEED TO BE SOMEWHERE UNTIL 8PM?
  7. All the kids are sitting quietly somewhere and I’m enjoying the silence so much I can’t bring myself to disturb them by demanding they get up and go to bed.
  8. Fights with my husband. Look, you never know when a good clean fight needs to happen. I can’t control nature people.
  9. On the other hand there is a small possibility I can control when I fight with my husband.
  10. Forgotten homework at 7:45pm. The fucking worst.
  11. Forgotten project at 8pm. Never mind this is the worst.
  12. Trips to urgent care because I’m sure he’s got swine flu this time. I AM SURE OF IT.
  13. Baths, because there is only so long you can push it. You know?
  14. Random total parental failure.
  15. Temporary lapse in judgment.
  16. We’re at my mom’s house and I like it there because it’s clean.
  17. We’re at the farmer’s market eating lamb shawarma. Have you ever had it? One does not simply leave lamb shawarma. I don’t give a fuck who needs to go to bed.
  18. My child needs her 75th glass of water and a new sleeping arrangement or that one stuffed animal or possibly a new life entirely, but definitely the glass of water. 
  19. WE ARE ENJOYING EACH OTHER AND HANGING OUT FOR ONCE AND FRANKLY I DON’T WANT TO FUCK WITH THAT.

I get it. Sleep matters. All this parenting stuff matters. But seriously, fuck these charts.

I COUNTER YOUR CHARTS WITH RIDICULOUS INFOGRAPHICS.

You know, sometimes evenings are really the only time we all get to BE together. Just hang out. It’s the end of the day. There’s nothing to do. We can chill as people who like each other. We can sit around. We can calm down.

It can’t be all business all the time. Right?

Plus, it’s 7:30 somewhere.

It’s a reasonable bedtime somewhere. And that’ll have to do for now.

Potty training is bullshit. And that frog toilet can go to hell.

by renegademama

I’ve been a mother for 14 years and have 4 children and the only thing I’ve learned is that “they” are pretty much always lying. Everything “they” promise will happen does not actually happen.

Breastfed co-sleeping kids are not “clingy.” Sleep-trained kids do not burn puppies. Formula doesn’t crush souls; homeschooling doesn’t create teenagers capable of speaking only in Minecraft code.

They walk when they want. They talk when they want. They eat food when they fucking want, and they almost all turn into Perfectly Standard Humans. I mean, not to us, of course, to us they are glittering pillars of genius resulting from, that’s right, our excellent parenting choices.

I can’t wait until I have children-in-law and grandchildren so I can tell them how to parent perfectly like I did. EVERYONE IS GOING TO LOVE ME SO MUCH.

But still, sometimes I forget that “they” are full of shit. Even still. It pisses me off every time I do it. How do I do it? I don’t fucking know. My brain is like a weak-ass sieve.

For example, a few months ago, my obviously overcommitted husband bought a frog potty from Target. I was like, “Mac, dude. He’s not even two. WTF is wrong with you?”

And he said, “Well I see no harm in trying.”

See now that is immediately where parents go wrong. The key is to look for opportunities to NOT TRY, not seek out opportunities for excellence. Be a hero in other areas, assholes! Not parenting! Shit.

So I told him, “Okay well this is clearly your gig because I have no interest in attempting to potty train a kid this young.”

“Have you ever potty trained any of our kids?”

“Well, no, but you never know when I may spring into action and frankly I feel implicated by your premature frog-toilet purchase.”

Then he walked away. People walk away from me a lot.

 

Much to my surprise though, Arlo started showing all kinds of interest in the frog shitter. Mac stuck him on the thing when he first woke up, because apparently that’s a thing you do when you’re “potty training,” and lo and behold the toddler would pee. He even pooped a few times. He even did it when we were on vacation in Tahoe.

THIS WAS ALL AMAZING WE HAVE A GENIUS BOY CHILD WHO WILL POTTY TRAIN AT TWO.  

We stuck him on it, and he went! Over and over again! Wheeeeeeeee!

 

Then we forgot about it.

Yeah, that fucking happened. We forgot about it. We simply stopped doing it. I woke up one Sunday and realized it had been two to three weeks since we stuck him on a toilet gleefully bartering candy for excrement.

The frog was full of lint and toys. Uh oh.

So like any reasonable person, I immediately blamed it on the child. He regressed! He went through a phase then forgot!

When that didn’t soothe my nagging discontent, I got on the Google “to research” and ended up reading about how “if you miss the window, you’re totally fucked and they’ll end up 12 years old peeing down their own legs in gym class and not in a fun way.” I’m paraphrasing, but that’s basically what “they” said and BECAUSE MY BRAIN IS A WEAK-ASS SIEVE I forgot “they” are always lying, I PANICKED because I HAD RUINED MY CHANCE FOR POTTY TRAINING.

In terror I committed myself to potty training the toddler NOW. I can’t miss the window! I missed the window! THE WINDOW MY GOD THE WINDOW.

(Arlo is 26 months old. This entire thing is fucking ridiculous.)

 

So I googled, “How do you potty train?” And set myself aflame.

With devotion.

First, I tried to put him on the frog potty again because it worked so well before, but now he hates the frog potty and insists upon sitting on the full-size toilet with his legs out, clinging for dear life to the toilet seat. He just sort of hangs there and looks at me for a few seconds, demanding “candy” while I squeal “pee or poop! YAY!”

But now he’s learned to say, “not working,” which he repeats to infinity beginning about 9 seconds after getting on the toilet.

As if he’s fucking powerless. Sometimes he demands that I shit or pee WITH HIM which is impossible because he’s dangling over the toilet himself and there’s no room for me.

Sometimes I walk away and leave him there hoping he’ll get bored enough to do it but instead he starts flicking the toilet water with one hand while clinging to the seat with the other and screaming for his older sister to join him for “swimming.”

THIS IS NOT SWIMMING YOU ASSHOLES.

The next day I muster all my energy and gleefully ask him “Do you want to go to the potty? Let’s try the potty! Omg big boy! YAY! Let’s do it!”

He grabs my face, looks me dead in the eyes, tilts his head slightly and says flatly, “No.”

 

Nobody likes you, Arlo.

 

Then I remember how Georgia potty trained because she refused to wear clothes and didn’t like the feeling of pee down her leg, so I take his clothes off and he ends up taking a shit 10 minutes later on the top of the kitchen trash can while pulling things out of the junk drawer as I cook dinner.

This is the point at which I realize potty training is bullshit.

If you are dealing with a human who a.) sits naked on trash cans while sober and b.) has no problem taking a shit on it while playing with pencils and ear plugs, there is no hope for you.

 Nobody can work with that.

This is not a regular human. This is an individual outside the bounds of toilet-trained capacity and it is absolutely time to focus on doing nothing again.

The kid is only 26-months-old. Someday he will use a toilet. Someday all humans use toilets. In the grand scheme, what’s a year or two? Damn you Mac and your high standards.

And fuck you, frog potty. Fuck you. You can’t shame me into action. I know better! I’ve been a mom for 14 years!

I’m a motherfucking expert.

Oh, you wanted me to poop in the toilet? No worries I actually just took care of that. In my diaper. WHY ARE YOU CRYING?

Oh, you wanted me to poop in the toilet? No worries I actually just took care of that. In my diaper. WHY ARE YOU CRYING?

 

Sometimes, I am the asshole

by renegademama

One of my goals in life is to not let my decision to have children ruin anybody’s life.

I talk a lot about asshole, entitled parents producing tiny asshole children, and I work really, really hard not to do that. It’s kind of my claim to fame.

It’s not. I’m not famous, or even special, really.

Anyway, on Saturday, the fruit of my womb (I just threw up a little) ruined a woman’s afternoon. Or a portion of it, at least.

We were in Santa Cruz at the Beach Boardwalk, celebrating Arlo’s 2nd birthday. While walking through the amusement park to get ice cream, Georgia began vehemently asking for “a little bear dessert,” which of course I promptly ignored because that’s the first thing I do whenever any of my kids ask for anything.

But she kept on, and because we had stopped to let the bigger kids go on a ride, I decided to inquire about why child number three was hopping about and begging.

“What the fuck is a ‘bear dessert?’” I asked, but said the f word with my eyes only because I’m classy. She answered by pulling me around to a stand with an Icee ad. She was talking about the bear on the Icee ads. This is totally how they sell this crap to kids.

“Can I please have a bear dessert instead of ice cream?” She asked.

“Have you ever had one of those?” I asked.

“No, but it looks sooooo good.” She answered.

“Dude, they’re super gross,” I said, lying (I don’t remember how they taste). You see, I have a standing rule against sticky shit, particularly if it’s red. I’d like to tell you it’s because red dye number 40 kills people, but actually it’s because I don’t want to deal with the potential mess this  kind of thing brings. Plus, if you start buying your kids Icees and candy, all they ever want in the future is Icees and candy. Not interested, thanks.

But Mac disagreed, saying, “No they are not gross. Why are you ruining our kid’s childhood? Did you not drink those daily as a kid?”

“Well of course I did, Mac, because it was 1989 and all I had to entertain myself was the 7-11 down the street.”

But I realized he was right, and we’re at an amusement park and beach, so what could happen? I bought her one. I even bought a big one because I figured the other kids would want to try it. Plus it was like 50 cents more for twice the size. Why do they do that? WHY MUST THEY ALWAYS WIN WITH THEIR CAPITALIST PROPAGANDA?

So we get our ice cream and return to our spot on the beach. George drank about a third of the red-dye-death drink then stuck the cup with the remaining liquid in  the cup-holder of a beach chair.

Time passes. Arlo discovers the cup, removes the lid, and begins depositing chips in the remaining liquid. Normally I would care about this sort of thing, but I didn’t this time, because a.) he was already disgusting; red sticky shit couldn’t possibly make this worse; b.) he was super annoying at the beach and this activity had no drowning risk, so I could sit down for a minute; and c.) they were “baked” chips. Mac bought them. Who the fuck buys “baked” chips?

Men sent to the store, that’s who.

He didn’t mean to. We aren’t monsters.

Anyway, more time passes. Like an hour, or more.

Arlo saunters over to the chair, and, before I could even notice what he was doing, sits down in just the right way that he flips the chair over on it’s side, launching the melted Icee-chip mixture out of the chair and onto, yep, you guessed it, the woman enjoying herself on the blanket in front of us. Oh, but it didn’t just hit her. It hit her blanket. It went inside her bag. It pretty much doused every single thing she owned, including, understandably, her will to live.

That’s right: Sticky red melted ice drink with chips and possibly kettle corn spewed across a total stranger. My entire family was horrified. We were immediately on our hands and knees helping her clean it up. I’m giving her wipes and offering water bottles and begging forgiveness and she’s looking at me like, “Please die in your sleep” and I’m like believe me I’d like to, but there was nothing I could do.

The damage had been done.

I had become one of them.

I was the asshole.

It wasn’t intentional, and I’m not sure I could have prevented it, but it felt terrible. There was nothing to do but own the fact that my existence seriously inconvenienced an innocent bystander, despite my efforts to not be that person.

As we sat there watching the woman play totally unobtrusively with her son and husband, I kept glancing at the red all over her blanket and realizing, once again, that sometimes I AM THE ASSHOLE. In life. In general.

I can think I’m not. I can deny it. I can try to wish it away. But the time will come when I’ll have no choice but to face the truth. Will it set me free?

I had to leave. Fuck freedom.

On the off chance Arlo flung sand from his shovel or threw up and it hit her or some shit, I had to get out of there. It was time to leave anyway, maybe.

As we were leaving, I saw some grown ups and kids having a grand old time throwing sand at each other. Yes, you read that correctly. Literally engaging in my idea of hell, gleefully. My first thought was, “What the actual fuck. What kind of monster throws sand at a beach? What if that gets on ME?”

Then I thought: Well I guess it’s their turn to be the asshole.

But I looked at my kids anyway and said, “DO NOT EVER THROW SAND.”

Because we can’t avoid being the asshole all the time, but we sure as hell can avoid it most of the time.

This is my deep learning message for the day.

Have a nice afternoon.

Hey, hiiiiii! Fuck your pleasant life!

Hey, hiiiiii! Fuck your pleasant life!

 

How to raise an excellent toddler

by renegademama

Arlo will be two in June. We have entered full-blown toddlerhood. Luckily, he’s my fourth child so I know lots and lots of helpful things about toddler discipline and entertainment and excellence in general.

I’m basically an expert. As such, I’ve compiled a list of things I’ve learned in the service of all humanity. 

Here you go. How to raise an excellent toddler:

1.     Make sure you give your kid plenty of attention so they don’t act out in pursuit of “negative attention” (because, as we all know, it’s “still attention”).

2.     However, do not give them too much attention because you will spoil them, and they will grow up to be the dude driving 55 in the fast lane because that’s how they like it gottdammit TO HELL WITH THE REST OF YOU.

3.    Siblings are a good way to make sure your toddler doesn’t think they’re the center of the universe because your time will necessarily be divided among all the kids. But this can make the toddler feel neglected. Make sure you balance that. Also, siblings are a good way to make your toddler think they ARE the center of the universe because everybody in the family is all “OMG look how cute the baby is!”

4.    In other words, your toddler is acting out because you are spoiling them through their siblings and neglecting them because of their siblings.

5.    There is no apparent way to fix this. Have a nice day.

6.     Sometimes toddlers need you to soothe and hold them during tantrums. Other times you need to walk away from them. These tantrums appear identical.

7.     FIGURE IT OUT.

8.     Giving in to a tantrum is a uniformly terrible decision and by all forms of reason, decency, and logic will only result in a total dick of a human, but sometimes you have to do it because you’d rather die than listen to this shit for one more second.

9.     Keeping a toddler busy by offering questionable food items so you can get some critical thing done is a horrible parenting move that pretty much only concerns you through child number one. Just yesterday I bought cookies at Starbucks and gave them to my toddler solely so he would sit in the cart at Target. Leave me alone.

10. The only things toddlers want to play with are: toilet water, knives, and ash from the fireplace. Wait. No: Dog water, cat food, anything out of the dishwasher that can impale them, trash, marbles, liquid soap, and iPhones. If you stop the toddler from playing with any of these things, they will scream. These are “walk away” tantrums.

11. Sometimes, for reasons unknown, toddlers will throw themselves around the room in unbridled glee at bedtime. You may think: “Was there caffeine hidden somewhere in the day? Did one of those other kids give him a sip of the green tea latte they shouldn’t have been drinking?” Then you will think, “I have ruined this child. He has no routine. WHAT HAVE I DONE?” They will scream when you make them go to sleep. This is a “cuddle” tantrum.

12. You can definitely trust my tantrum classification method. I’ve made it up randomly over 14 years of parenting based on my initial gut instinct and the level of remorse I feel after.

13. People will always, always blame you for the deficiencies of your toddler. You will suspect they are correct. Also, you will want to cut them. Then you will remember the number 1 rule of parenthood: Kids are who they are and you really can’t change them but if they aren’t perfect it’s your fault.

14. WHAT? Yes. That’s what we have here, folks. If you aren’t following, read another book.

15. Parenting books are the fucking worst. Unless they help. I wouldn’t know because I gave up hope around child number 2.

16. I’m kidding! Never give up! Constant self-improvement and hope! Unless your kid had one of those twenty minute car naps replacing the actual nap. If that’s the case, give up hope. You’re going DOWN. Your toddler, however, is not.

17. In related news, your toddler will hit, kick, pinch, and possibly bite other humans. You will think for a moment there’s something pathologically wrong with your child because who the fuck bites people? But then you will remember that all toddlers, ALL TODDLERS, act like rabid animals for at least 2-4 months of their lives. The only person at the park who doesn’t know this is the mother of the child your kid just bit. (WHY UNIVERSE WHY?)

18. Potty training before two. Ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Go home with that nonsense.

19. Toddlers are like border collies: If you don’t give them a job, they will dig out of the yard and eat the fucking hose. Only unlike border collies, toddlers hate all your ideas for entertainment, preferring only their own, such as eating butter off a knife blade, dipping broccoli in a toilet, or playing with the toilet brush, or really anything at all involving toilets and their water and brushes. Except peeing into the toilet. That is a stupid, stupid, very boring game.

20. AND YET, toddlers are the cutest mammals alive and are so profoundly adorable whilst talking, running, and expressing their little personalities that you will think, at least once a day, “Oh god please never grow up. I SHOULD HAVE THREE MORE.”

21. And then they will throw your FitBit away and shit on your arm somehow.

But it won’t help.

You will still find them irresistibly annoying, and simultaneously mourn and beg for the time that they’re a little bigger.

Basically, after 14 years, here’s what I’ve got going on in my brain: Do not fuck this up, Janelle. You are fucking this up. You are not fucking this up but will feel like you are. Sometimes you do fuck it up, in which case you should try to do better and that may or may not work but in the meantime you’ll notice the kids are growing up and turning out fine. Good, even.

And you’re more surprised than anybody.

So let’s just focus on that because the rest is too fucking complicated.

Go ahead. Make a suggestion for an activity.

Go ahead. Suggest an activity.

****

Eight spots left in my May writing workshop.

I hope one of them is yours.

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Sometimes we need to hear it, so I’m saying it again

by renegademama

I have long believed that the problem with motherhood is that you can’t check out for a bit, go on vacation, take a motherfucking “mental health” leave, “recharge” over the weekends. Look forward to Friday.

Or, you know, two weeks in Mexico. (Do people actually do that?)

There is no built-in relief valve and very little potential for “a relaxing evening.” And yet, sometimes you really aren’t into it, and you have to keep going. For like, years.

You can’t “leave it at the office” at the end of the day. There is no end of the day. THERE IS NO END OF THE DAY.

It feels relentless sometimes. It feels unforgiving. It feels forever.

(Hey there HI, look, quick note: I know it’s not actually forever, so we can just go ahead and not write the “Someday you’ll be very sad they’re gone, Janelle” comment because thanks I know and yes it hurts my soul and I’m super fucking tired anyway.)

But I realized something recently, from my friend, Lynn. I told her I couldn’t write or get anything done beyond the most critical components of each day. Like I just couldn’t fucking do it. No motivation. I just want to lie around in my bed and eat simple carbs and drink tea, for health, but also flavor. Mostly flavor.

I told her I couldn’t muster the willingness to do more and didn’t know what was wrong with me. I told her I want to watch movies all day.

She told me, “That’s cool. You should do that.” And I was like “What?” And she was like, “Just fucking DO THAT. Why do you think you shouldn’t? You’ll get done what you have to. We always do.”

I couldn’t answer. I guess because I feel like I “should” be doing this and that and the other damn thing, and disengaging, doing things that are frivolous and “not helpful to others” is somehow wrong or ungrateful or a waste of time but mostly what I felt was shame.

 

Shame? Really? We’re there, Janelle? We’re at “shame?”

You know what?

FUCK SHAME.

Where the hell did it come from anyway?

When did I start believing that “me time” is some scheduled-in healthy activity to recharge my soul and feel capable and mature again? Did I ever feel capable and mature? When was that, exactly?

Like a bath or spa trip or pedicure or “night out with friends” is enough to soften the fact that I was awakened at 5am and puked on by 5:30am, while lying in a bed with sheets I had put on the night before.

Sometimes, I’m just over this shit, and what I need to do to “nourish myself” is perform the absolute bare minimum, possibly for days at a time, until something changes.

Yes, that is my deep conclusion. You’re welcome.

 

I lose motivation and I think something is wrong with me. I think “You should be progressing, Janelle, moving forward on projects at work and at home, feeling inspired and healthy and shit!” I lose the ability to be all the things all the time and suddenly I’m deeply flawed and need help?

Fuck that. I’m human. I’m being human. I’m tired.

Then I feel guilty for feeling guilty about my limitations because clearly I have internalized gendered work expectations and I should be okay with who and what I am without thinking I need to be “fixed” and improved somehow by “positive self talk” and yoga, so I’m ashamed about dropping into bare minimum and I’m ashamed for feeling ashamed for dropping into bare minimum?

WHAT THE FUCK HAVE WE DONE TO WOMEN?

Or maybe I’m just crazy. Whatever.

I unsubscribe.

 

I’m going with Lynn’s theory.

This weekend, I did approximately 12 minutes of housework and stayed in my pajamas 85% of each day. Big activities were: Trip to store (alone) and trip to movies (with kids). That’s it. Full stop. Have a nice day.

Today, after dropping my toddler off at day care, and driving to my office, I turned around and drove the 15 minutes back home. Even though I had a hundred things to do, emails to send, people to contact, words to write, I felt a heaviness in my eyes and across my face and remembered that I had changed the sheets again, on account of the vomit, so my bed had crisp white sheets on it, and the house would be silent and empty, and I could let the cats in and we could get in that bed, and sleep.

So I went home, and silenced my phone, and took my jeans off and went to sleep, with my hair still wet from my shower, and when I woke up after an hour, I realized I wasn’t done yet, so I went back to bed, and I slept for 2.5 hours straight.

Then I got up and wrote to you.

Because you know, here’s the thing:

We already do, at the bare minimum, a ridiculous amount of work. We get up at ungodly hours and get puked on and deal with kids with nightmares and kids in wet pajamas and breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Getting dressed, getting to school and work, getting home, groceries, activities (they pop up even when you avoid the bastards). We’re driving carpools and packing diaper bags and getting dressed for work. We’re feeding and cooking and “leaning in” and washing and texting and planning and getting degrees and getting sick and well again and helping other humans do all these things. It’s a beautiful shit show.

And somehow, on top of all that, we think we need to be fit, happy, and organic. We think we need to be sleeping well and using soft voices and engaging in age-appropriate play and we need the weeds pulled and the dust bunnies gone and the garage organized. The entryway cutely designed.

I don’t even believe these things. And yet somewhere, deep in my gut, there’s a voice telling me, “No Janelle. You can’t sleep for 3.5 hours when you’re supposed to be working, even though you’re nearly out of your mind with exhaustion.”

And I look at my garage and think “Does anyone else live this way? Seriously?” And I wonder if there’s something wrong with me, secretly.

And when my kids are being assholes, I think, “I probably made them this way with my yelling.” And I feel ashamed, and afraid.

And sometimes I realize it’s 5pm and I picked up my baby at 4pm and I’m already tired of taking care of him. I ask myself “Janelle! What are you doing? He’s already almost two! He will be gone soon! How are you not enjoying every moment? How are you not savoring this time?!” And my heart drops again into a flash of deep shame.

You know what?

Fuck shame.

 

This is what I’ve got. This is it. It’s either enough or it’s not.

Sometimes it’s full of power and creation. Other times it’s asleep during working hours with a pillow over its head. But it’s always here, and it’s always ready to grab a tiny hand, examine the fat little knuckles and wonder how anything so beautiful could possibly exist, and why, why the fuck are we up at 5am?

I guess what I’m saying is we’re enough.

But you don’t need me to tell you that.

We can look around, and see for ourselves…

IMG_2093-2

Though sometimes it’s nice to hear.

 

******

Hey. Fuck housework and write with me

We’ll have fun.

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