Tuesday, October 27, 2015

At Least I'm Trying: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Holes in my Pants.

Jeff asked me what I wanted to write about and I told him the truth: that I wanted to write about how I'm a horrific mess of a mother and human being.

"You're not any more of a mess than anyone else is," he snorted.

He's wrong of course. He has this problem where he's always wrong when we have disagreeing opinions. I'm not calling him obtuse or anything, but he really needs to refer to past notable cases. THE DEATH PENALTY- Sarah right, Jeff wrong. PARTY IN THE USA, GREAT SONG OR ONLY OK- Sarah right, Jeff wrong. PUTTING YOUR SOCKS ON BEFORE YOUR PANTS IS WEIRD- Sarah right, Jeff wrong.

I am a mess right now, I am. I realized it as I was late for Adam's bus (again) and I had to abandon Avery on the sidewalk down the street and book it running to catch it, with Ben a bouncing ball of jello in the Ergo. "I'M HERE, ADAM! STOP! I'M HERE! I got there, finally, and one of the mothers that wait at the bus stop gave me her number if I ever need some extra help. I wanted to thank her, but I can't remember her name. All I know is that it is NOT Sabra, like the hummus and now I can't look at her without thinking about hummus and I really want to ask her name again, but I always have a fear that not being able to understand accents makes me racist somehow, like my ears have stopped listening on purpose or that I don't think knowing her name is important. I don't want to be racist, so I keep on pretending I know her name because knowing her name is important, and she's told me several times and all I know is that it is NOT Sabra. My current plan is to become good enough friends that I can text her and ask for the correct spelling to put her name into my phone. Then I will google the pronunciation of it all day long and maybe also google hummus. I really like hummus, which might be the culprit behind this whole racist fiasco.

I'm a mess every single day that I drop Adam off for school. I'm always the last mom there, pulling up right as they are about to close the doors. "GOOOOOO, ADAM, RUN!" Whenever I rush over to help him out, papers fall out of my car door. One time, a partially-eaten APPLE FELL OUT. Please don't call CPS. It was from the day before, I'm almost mostly certain. And it was his apple, so at least I'm feeding him fruits. Food pyramid, y'all. 

I'm that mom at Kindergarten drop-off. I tried to pass the bus when the lights were flashing and then I remembered and got flustered and parked illegally. Adam's teacher left the kids to come and tell me I couldn't do that and I just nodded my head, partially parked on the curb and all. All of the other drop-off moms come early, They park their cars and wait by the door. If they have other kids, they're sitting nicely in strollers. I come late, park illegally, and leave my car idling and my other kids screaming. The other moms intimidate me.

There's one mom that really intimidates me. I know logically that she's done nothing wrong, that she's probably a nice person, but she scares me. She has a little girl, with the name of an ex-president, Madison, McKinley, Buchanan, something like that. She always has a gaggle of other moms standing with her and she's always discussing school policy with the teachers and aides. She's always very cool and collected and she's almost always wearing yoga pants. Don't get me wrong, I wear yoga pants too, but we wear them really differently. She wears them because she probably actually did yoga while little Grover Cleveland quietly played in the corner. I wear them because I didn't have the strength of character to face pants with buttons that morning and because I'm trying to not wear my trash-bag pants in public so much since they got a hole in an undesirable place, I'm trying, She wears them coupled with those puffy vests and a Starbucks cup and I wear them with my husband's novelty t-shirts since I'm trying not to wear my Ninja Turtles shirt in public so much since it got a hole in an undesirable place.

There are times I really wish I could be like her.

But there are times that I remember that I don't drink coffee, I don't wear puffy vests because my arms get cold and don't arms deserve some quilted goodness too? I mean, are you really that much warmer? And yes, Ben and Adam do hypothetically share parts of their names with former presidents (and Avery shares her with a character on Dog with a Blog), but it's ok that we're a different type of family. It's ok that I'm that mom.

There is freedom in failure as long as you keep trying and I know that sounds like something that Gatorade would say, but I believe it. I'm going to keep trying. I wore jeans to drop off Adam today, then I changed back into my snowflake pajama pants. I keep meaning to wash those, but then I keep wearing them instead. I changed back into jeans because I was expecting company and yes, they are THAT dirty and I'd much rather be that person, you know? I'd rather be comfortable in pajamas than sad in real pants and I'd rather let my flaws show through like the holes in my trash bag pants (why do I keep talking about pants?? I hate pants!) because my victories feel sweeter that way. I made a healthy dinner tonight, despite being a complete disaster. I yelled less, despite the piles of laundry. Isn't that neat? I kept going even when Ben peed on my shirt and laughed. I laughed back, I forgot to change my shirt for a long time, but I washed my hands. I taught the kids a little, even if I let them watch TV more. There's something that kind of smells in the basement, but I put an air freshener down there and I'll figure it out. I'll get there.

And maybe, just maybe -- don't get ahead of yourselves or anything -- maybe Jeff was a little right. I am a wreck, (the astonishing number of unanswered texts and emails testify of that), but maybe Drop-Off Mom is one too. Maybe she hates real pants too. Maybe her arms really don't get cold. Maybe she drinks her morning coffee because she's exhausted. Maybe she wears her nice sunglasses to avoid wearing make-up. That's very hypothetically clever of her, maybe we should be friends. Maybe I don't know her at all and I shouldn't project my insecurities on her or her sweet daughter. Maybe that's wrong of me to judge her, when I am certainly in a great position to be judged by others.

I will take my judgments and I will add them to the piles of pants, apples falling out of cars, flustered mornings and frustrated afternoons and I will label it "Not quite there yet, keep on trying" pile and I'll do that.

I'll keep on trying a little harder to be a little better.

In my snowflake pajamas.



Jayson said...

I'm a total mess too, it's all good! The Little Guy is late for school pretty much everyday because getting myself out of bed is hard. And today he pulled a super moldy piece of pizza out of his backpack, so that was cool. Also, when jane was little and throwing up like a billion times a day I didn't change my shirt every time, so I Smelled like spit up pretty much all the time. I totally get it. Love you! -Karissa

Audrey said...

This gave me a good chuckle. I'm totally the mom that is running towards the school after the bell rings, one kid tucked under my arm like a kicking, screaming football and dragging the other kid while he cries. It's quite the scene pretty much every day. One day we made it without all the fanfare and several of the moms congratulated me. The world needs the "wreck" moms to balance out the universe, or at least to provide some comic relief :) As for the vest thing, I had an order get mixed up once and was accidentally delivered a puffer vest and was shocked at how awesome it was and ended up buying one. (Perhaps the whole thing was really just a marketing ploy . . .)

Christy said...

Sarah Sarah Sarah! !! Write a book about ANYTHING and it will be best seller! !! You have a ridiculously brilliant sense of humor without even trying. ..you are GIFTED girl! Write that book before I die. ..I want to read it!!!!!

Marta said...

Um I love you right now. Pants are the worst (why don't elastic waist jeans come into style?!). Pretty sure having three kids makes you supermom, just by keeping everyone alive and eating apples and stuff. I'm barely treading water with my two. This motherhood thing is HARD.

Aimee and David said...

:) this post was amazing. Definitely should go viral in the mommy world!

Val said...

Love this! Can I tell you "it gets easier" without being cliche? Because I can totally relate to feeling like my life is a total mess, and yet as I read this I realized that I don't feel like my life is a mess anymore. (Still a little disorganized, but no longer a mess.) Somewhere along the way it got a whole lot easier and I was able to start cleaning up the mess.

Can I make you a promise that things should get a little better once more of your kids are in school? Having three out of four kids in school has made all the difference for me. Sure I still have to get them ready, but then I have over 3 blissful hours with one child. (It helps that our bus stop is 1 house away.) Now I take my youngest grocery shopping and I pass moms with multiple young children. I always try to give them a "hey I totally know how you feel, and you are doing great smile." I'm sure they look at me with my one kid and think that I have it all together, but they have no idea that I used to have to take FOUR preschoolers grocery shopping.

There is one place that I still relate to what you said - Sacrament Meeting. My kids act like they have never been to church or heard the word reverence before. Part of me is just waiting for the day the bishop asks us to sit in the foyer. I've had to accept the fact that my family is there so that any visitors will know that LDS families aren't perfect.

Anyway, I'm rambling and totally putting off the fact that I have to help my kids get ready for school. So I'll just say Solidarity and leave it at that.

Brittany said...

You need to pitch this blog to run on huffington post. scoop@huffingtonpost.com

It's funny and poignant and full of love, which is everything I wanted to read this morning! You are not alone! :)

Shantel said...

I think that I love reading your blog so much because each of your posts reflects so much of my life and it makes me feel like maybe I'm not so much of a mess and not doing as bad as I think. Because, I think you are a wonderful mother and so if you have a pair of pants that you live in and only change into jeans when you have to - maybe it's okay that I'm the same way. So, thanks for the encouragement. To motherhood!

Also, I second all the comments about needing to monetize your blog and/or send the posts to huffington post etc.... You are a writing rock star.

GrammyG said...

I was totally that mom.there were days that the three little girls were dressed and in car seats when I noticed the little kid barrets in my hair, a crayon grocery list and fuzzy slippers on my feet. Had PeaPod been available I would have been the first and best customer. And my children grew up and have their own wonderful chaotic families and see themselves in this article. It really does get better. In the meantime, you are bringing brightness into soooo many days. Keep up the good work!

marrahyde said...

"You're only a failure when you quit trying." President Gordon B. Hinckley

Hey, I really admire you. I have not had the privilege of motherhood so I admire ANY woman who puts forth ANY effort (and you put forth A LOT) to be a mom. Hang in there!