A baby-sitter AND they kept the 2 little girls overnight!
Now, it wasn't a Grand Slam Home Run.
That's when we have a sitter for the 2 little girls AND the teenager has plans, or is at his dads, or otherwise engaged in something not horrible-illegal-terrifying. Meaning we don't HAVE to stick around the house, to make sure he's not pulling a Risky Business type situation in Comfytown. However, any babysitter is worth it's weight in gold to us right now.
Doesn't happen often, which is fine, we wanted these babies, and I even got pregnant ON PURPOSE those last two times! I know, right? What the hell Ivy League life is this? We're like a black and white TV show from the 50's. Except I doubt June Cleaver ever took a pregnancy test in a bar bathroom stall.
If she did she certainly wouldn't tell anyone about it, because that was the "Everything Is Perfect, Pay No Attention To That Mess I've Swept Under The Rug" generation. I'm sure people still do that, and we all do what we feel is right, but as a person who has had to explain this to several of my same-age friends, this does a doozy of a two-zie to your kids.
The more someone irons little kids play clothes or the family's jeans (yes, people still do this,) or makes elaborate meals that look like artwork, to me it's a red flag. Not always but I feel like often the reason they're working so hard is to hide something they're ashamed of. Not always, but a lot of times all of that "look how perfect we are" is just a distraction, either to keep themselves busy, or hide the real pain of whatever-it-is.
And a lot of times whatever-it-is is probably just real life, but maybe they're worried how others will perceive that. Will that whatever-it-is make them look like a failure as a person? As a parent?
Think about that when you see these elaborate projects on Pinterest. On the one hand, if doing all this is all that person needs to make them feel like they're doing their best, is that so bad? Probably not.
I'm one of those people that like to (lovingly) tease the over-achieving SUPERSIZE Platinum-Level Pinterest moms. Mostly I appreciate their efforts, but a small part of me feels inferior that I can't make myself want to do these things. I'm also glad I no longer beat myself up as a parent, so I don't need to do these things to validate myself.
I know I only have so much energy, and if I used it ironing or making these lunches, I wouldn't have anything left for PLAY. My kids care a lot more about my playing with them, reading to them and/or doing things like painting and coloring. This is more important to them than what their lunch, or clothing, looks like. It's more important to me.
I know that I do my best, and the reason I do is so that I don't beat myself up at the end of the day. I know that some days we do lots of fun stuff, eat totally healthy food, and then some days I'm tired, and maybe the kids eat processed lunchmeat. It's gross, but that's also okay, nothing in moderation is that bad.
I would just like to have a talk with the baby-clothers-ironers and whoever makes these lunches in the picture above, and ask them if it's worth it.
Does that really work for you?
Do you feel like an awesome parent because their clothing always looks perfect?
Can you sleep at night because of this?
If so great! Good job! You win.
Buuut, are you also exhausted?
Does it seem like no one else even notices or cares?
What if you gave yourself a break?
What if you could convince yourself it's okay?
What if you didn't iron all their clothes, and spent all that time playing Play-Doh with your kids or took them outside to get dirty? *Gasp* I know, sounds horrible, but your kids might just love it.
Just think about whether all that energy is really going to the right place. That's all I'm saying.
Unless these things really do make you feel better, and I'm guessing it doesn't always work, eventually people will start seeing pieces of that shiny, perfect Norman Rockwell painting peeling off, revealing the real-life Picasso-esque painting beneath.
For my money? Give me the Picasso. It's much more interesting.
I'm certainly thrilled to be comfortable enough to say that my life is not perfect, none of us is perfect, and that is perfectly fine. We work to move forward, to keep learning, forgive and forget, and even if that is not okay with you, it doesn't bother me because this is MY family, and that's okay with me.
I pretended to be someone I'm not during my first awful marriage, and I'll never do it again. It's exhausting, it's counter-productive and it will almost definitely explode to a million messy, jagged pieces that you'll eventually have to clean up. Just hope when those pieces do explode, no one gets hurt.
Anyway, getting back to the topic, it is important for even the Leave It To Beaver-est parents to have time alone together sometimes. It's important for us to take that time and do what we need. Lately it's not going out, having SUPER BIG FUN or even deep-cleaning the house. It's just relaxing and being together, just the 2 of us for awhile.
I'm impressed we still actually enjoy each other's company after a decade together, and we will always enjoy the comfyness of just relaxing. For the first couple of years with these little kids, we used to feel this...PRESSURE, I'll call it, when we would get a sitter.
We would think:
We finally have a sitter,
What should we do?
Where should we go?
We should do something, get out somewhere.
Where can we go that isn't so expensive?
How can we have fun and not have to drive so far?
What do I have to wear, that still fits?
and so on.
We didn't have much time to plan this one, and I had zero energy to make anything happen, or to give zero shits about that, and it turned out to be a great thing.
We didn't have time to overthink it or make plans that we were too tired for once the time came, and we just stayed home, did pretty much nothing and FINALLY finished the Breaking Bad series on Netflix.
That sounds so stupid to be happy about, but I've seen way too many spoilers on social media, yeah yeah 1st World Problems, I get it. With our little ones around, marinating in Cabin Fever, we never get to just relax and watch "adult TV" and OMG that sounds like porn, and no we don't get to watch that either, I just mean resting, visiting and watching a show that's not effing Mickey Mouse.
Though sometimes that is strangely pornographic. Have you seen my post about their "Triangle Bush" episode? That is a link, I'm not the only person who thinks Disney is full of pervs.
Anyway, more than ever right now, sometimes we (okay, *I*) just need to do nothing. I never get enough sleep during the weeks I'm watching kids, and I just really needed the rest. I slept for over 12 hours last Saturday night, I obviously needed some rest. Sleeping in, the stuff my dreams are made of.
It's like that old saying, they tell you on airplane when you're traveling with children, if the oxygen masks fall down, parents put your OWN oxygen mask on first. THEN put your chidrens' masks on. You can't help anyone if you're passed out. It's the same thing on the ground at home. You need to be rested to be your best YOU.
Don't underestimate the power of doing NOTHING once in awhile. I'm so okay with Nothing. I kind of love Nothing.
Nothing is the new Black. I have to remember to actually schedule some nothing once in awhile. We earn it every week.