I'm Okay With Nothing

Last weekend we were lucky enough to hit a Parenting Home Run: 
A baby-sitter AND they kept the 2 little girls overnight!
Cue *Fireworks*
from casinoreviews.org

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.
YES, this is one meal. Cute, but appreciated? from okinami.wordpress.com 
I just do my best as a parent, and my best is not the same as anyone else's best, and some days my best is not as good as other days, because I'm human. And that is perfectly fine. 

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. 


  1. Nothing is everything sometimes.

    One thing I've come to believe is absolutely true - you never know what goes on behind closed doors. Those women ironing their jeans may be terribly unhappy about something, or ironing may be fulfilling to them.

    1. I feel like it has to be SOMETHING, even if it's just a little Garden Variety OCD and hey, nothing wrong with that! There are worse things. So much worse!
      Thanks for the feedback.

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  3. It's all keeping up with appearances.....there's no need to prove to anyone that you're a good parent...which you most certainly are!

    1. Thank you for saying that. I'm far from perfect but I do try, not so hard that it make me crazy but really hard :)

  4. Having been the perfect mom, iron everything in the house, Allthethings must be perfect and whatnot, I'm here to tell you...it sucked. It took a long time and meds to lose that guilt. I'm happy with nothing and happy to gang out in my not so perfect house with my not so perfect kid and hang. XX

    1. I'm glad you got that worked out, it doesn't sound like that person was a barrel of laughs, and the person you are NOW is.

  5. Having been the perfect mom, iron everything in the house, Allthethings must be perfect and whatnot, I'm here to tell you...it sucked. It took a long time and meds to lose that guilt. I'm happy with nothing and happy to gang out in my not so perfect house with my not so perfect kid and hang. XX

  6. So funny. I tend to be somewhat cynical about anyone who's life looks *too* perfect online. At the same time though... I do think my boyfriend is the absolute best and he does sweet things and makes me swoon so maybe all those women who are gushing over their "hubbies" don't have anything to hide. But... I've known too many women in abusive relationships who spend so much time updating their social media to let everyone know how happy they are and how in love... it's definitely a weird phenom of overcompensation.

    I can't imagine ironing children's clothes. I don't even iron MY clothes.

    1. I know what you mean. My 1st husband was an ass and I thought any husband that was nice must be cheating or something. My current husband is a dream come true. I don't know if he's hiding anything but we spend most of our time together for the past 10 years so if he is? He's really fucking brilliant about it.
      Glad you have the same. Every awesome Hacker Hooker Ninja Spy deserves a great guy.

  7. must have just been the timing cuz there is nothing wrong with this post!! And god love babysitters and alone time to do absolutely NOTHING. I think those wondermothers make all of us "normal" parents feel inferior from time to time, but like you said, those over-efforts are really self-serving, aren't they? I doubt it's really for the kids.

  8. I so totally agree with you. My sister and I have a saying, "The more perfect their life looks on the outside, the more screwed up it is on the inside." I hate to say I've seen that one come true in the form of "perfect couples" getting divorced more than once.
    I love the "nothing", when my mom takes my son for the night, I sit in bed and watch all the TV I've been missing and my husband falls asleep without a kid jumping on him.

    1. I think we've all seen that a time or two, unfortunately.
      This is becoming my favorite, just enjoying the peace and QUIET of Comfytown, talking without a million interruptions and YES to junk TV!

  9. You want a trustworthy babysitter who can do no wrong, well then hire Mary Poppins, otherwise hook up lots of nanny cams because you can't trust anyone nowadays.

    1. You said a mouthful, MJ. Right now they're really little so we only bring them to family. When they get older, and know more of what is going on, what's right, what's wrong, and can TATTLE and whatnot? My husband plans on leaving them with any whacked-out stranger that comes across our path. So, you busy in about a year to watch them?

  10. I have yet to convince Boyfriend that doing "nothing" once in awhile is actually okay. A random pajama day, parked in front of the TV or curled up with a good book. In his mind, if he's not doing something, then he's wasting the day away. One day I will beat it into him that wasting the day away once in a while is NOT a bad thing.

    1. Is he a drinker? Make him some mai tais or pour him some wine/beer until he has a hangover the next day :) The hangover is one of the body's ways of telling you to take it easy! I swear sometimes I over-drink just to lay around and watch TV the next day.

  11. This post is right on the money and I get every single word. I stopped going to PTA meetings because of the moms with the designer bags and plastic smiles who are anxiously awaiting to befriend you so they can spill all your secrets at their Bunco night. You know this because while you are in their good graces, they talk about their very best friend to you or they get drunk and break their best friend's nose-on purpose (yes, it happened to one June Cleaver wanna be I know)....I know more about families my kids go to school with than I care to. Their perfection is definitely an illusion and I do not bite! No thanks!
    Our family has its share of crap, believe me. I don't even pretend life is perfect.
    As for having a babysitter and doing nothing.....we would send our kids to Parents Night Out at their karate school and go home with bad Chinese and do nothing. I like nothing. So, yeah, I get it.

    1. Oh the fake moms. I have THAT to look forward to again this fall when Lola starts preschool. I learned after awhile with my son, on the first day of school I wear a ratty sleeveless T-shirt so my creepy tattoo shows, cut-off jorts and old gym shoes. Then usually everyone stays away from me. You're right, they're usually just trying to get some dirt to win the other moms over. Tell them fake stuff about the teacher, and then say "Don't tell anyone" then when they blab they're telling a total lie! Serves em right.