It has been a marvelous beginning of summer. The birds serenade us every morning with their beautiful song. It makes me want to open up our French doors and sing with them until my entire house wakes up to join in our sweet melodies. My pale pink, baby doll nightgown would blow in the breeze and my husband would cook up an amazingly decadent breakfast that he would somehow manage to make fat and calorie- free. There would be a carriage waiting downstairs to take us to the beach where we would spend time with our mermaid and unicorn friends in seventy-degree perfect, weather.
We would get great tans without the threat of strange sun spots that beckon WebMD’s dooming diagnosis. Our kids would behave like two little cherubs and not whine, hit each other, or need to poop or pee the entire day. I would have no desire to go to a separate part of the beach to have alone time, because being with my well-behaved, self-sufficient and loving family would be all I could ever want in the world. I mean, when you ride with unicorns how could life get any better?
Record skip. I don’t have French doors and the last baby doll nightgown I wore was when I was on my honeymoon. Now my idea of sexy, flirty, lingerie is a tight see-through tank top with pajama pants from Target. My husband upon assessing my “headlights” recently offered me his sweatshirt and asked if I wanted him to turn down the AC. I think I need to work on my sexy time attire. There is indeed a bird’s nest next to my window, but there is also one next to my kids’ room and on most mornings, that family of birds tweet their little hearts out until my one and a half year old wakes up and yells along with them. Yes, I said – yells. We aren’t exactly the Von Trapps.
I like to keep my husband happy (get your heads out of the gutter), buy nice clothes and enjoy good beauty products because it makes me feel good inside, but make no mistake I am no Stepford wife. We are not some cookie cutter version of the perfect American family. What is that anyway? I will digress because this is a politics-free-zone, but I will say that there is more pressure than ever to emulate what society has deemed as elite in the raising a family department. I’m sorry, but I cannot worry if every God forsaken thing that goes into my children’s stomachs are organic and non-processed or if they are watching too much “My Little Pony”. I mean, are they doing crack? Are they beating the crap out of the nose-picker they’ve made friends with at school? No? Well, we welcome small victories here people.
Victories aren’t always easy when you are a working mother. There is always the internal struggle of wanting to be there for our kids, but also wanting to be competent, salacious employees. Don’t even get me started on days off. We have to count for days where our kids throw up on themselves, have ear and eye infections and days where their school is closed. I haven’t even mentioned vacation days and time off to maintain some kind of semblance of self. I picture myself happily binge-watching the bachelorette while drooling out the side of my mouth without being interrupted by a Barbie Doll tug of war or the guilty feeling that I should be spending time with my husband or cleaning out the pantry for the thousandth time.
So when Mother’s Day Tea was placed on the school calendar I had already mentally skipped over it, assuming that it would not be a big ta-do at a preschool. I mean we were all working parents, surely no one would be able to make it. I was so wrong. Moms and Grandmas were coming out of the woodwork like there was a 50% off sale at Nordstrom which prompted my little five-year-old to wonder what time my Mother-in-Law and I would be at school. Let me remind you that this is a daycare. Sure, it also serves as my older daughter’s preschool, but in its truest form it is by definition a daycare utilized by families who have working parents that cannot be there during the day for their children… yet somehow this tea was at 2 in the afternoon. Throw the sentiments of bringing serenity to a working mother on this Hallmark Holiday out the door.
I of course did not realize this turnout of estrogen until the day of. I pictured a room full of maternal goodness and cringed at the thought of a Fill-in-Mom leaning over my kid to make her feel better about shitty, careless me, who seemingly didn’t bother to make time for the event. So I did what any rational, grown woman would. I drove to that school with unbridled anger, internally cursing the daycare the entire way, grabbed my kid before the event started and insisted it was so much cooler to be with Mommy somewhere special, like her office. Thankfully, I work for a family-friendly environment that welcomes us to bring in our germ-infested spawn when needed.
I exhaled when my daughter excitedly told one of my work girlfriends that she was able to leave school early. You would think we had just told the kid that Santa was coming for a surprise visit. I felt so satisfied seeing her little face light up that I assessed the space under my desk. She would be the perfect lookout for me if I took a nap. We could even make it a game. After the hoopla of running two and from school to save my daughter from a possible therapy session later in life, I was blissfully spent.
I run around a lot like my pants are on fire. I cut corners far too often. I brace for the wind only to get knocked on my ass, but I do it all with heart and love... sweet baby slobber, love. Most importantly though, I count my blessings when they are in front of me and when I fail to find the silver lining, I find humor. Some call it a defense mechanism; I call it survival. Unicorns and French doors may not be a part of my daily routine, but two little Mermaids are. Because of them, I've learned how to turn lemons into spiked lemonade. Ordinary lemonade would never do in this extraordinary time in my life.
Hugs, Kisses and a Splash of Vodka,