Monday, April 21, 2008

Kinda Looking Forward to Menopause and Rejecting Hormone Therapy. Family Beware.

I was watching The Simpsons with the family the other night. It was the episode in which Marge is pushed to her limits as a mother and wife by feeling under appreciated and the things she does taken for granted. The final straw was when Maggie spilled her bottle of milk all over the inside of the car and Marge snaps; bringing the car to a complete stop on the bridge and turning off the engine. When a bus driver approaches her car window, she growls at him; spittle flying. And I thought, "This is based on a true story. Mine". Because that is how I sometimes feel. I keep this house and family functioning like a well oiled machine. Trying to stay two steps ahead, making sure there isn't a break down in the system, is a lot of work. I know I'm preaching to the choir but there are kids to be fed and bathed. Clothes to be washed or replaced. Keeping tabs on toilet paper restocking, pantry preparedness, food preparation, food cooking, cleaner upper after meals, lunch packing, shampoo supply, school supplies, dry cleaning coordination, birthday parties, birthday gifts, kisser of boo-boos, keeping with the kids schedules, safety monitor and referee, coordinating drop off and pick up, clean sports uniforms, beds to be made, floors to be washed, toilets to be scrubbed, eradicating ring around the tub, dog hair removal, small toy corralling, finder of lost things, social calender keeper, master of the itinerary, suitcase packing, suitcase supply gatherer, haircut appointment maker (hell, ALL appointments), immunization shot tab keeper, thwarter of trash raiding dog, miscellaneous pet needs, copious document filler outer-er, vomit handler... And that is the incomplete list. And if I don't keep up with it, things come unraveled. Running out of toilet paper when one is mid-wipe will ruin your day. Finding you don't have all the ingredients to prepare the dinner you've already started to cook will make for an interesting menu. Dog eats your underpants.And so forth. The catastrophes are endless.

I try not to complain about it because this is the life I've chosen, It IS fulfilling, and my husband provides a comfortable life for us (which I should probably thank him for more often *literally people* get your minds out of the gutter and if he's reading this: THANKS HONEY!). Every once in a while it would be nice to hear "thank you" without any "buts" attached (i.e. "thanks for packing a lovely lunch, Mom, but I don't really like the way the honey soaks into the PB and honey sandwich by lunchtime what are the other options for someone like me who won't eat anything else?" OR "I couldn't check out a new book in the school library because you didn't put the old book in my backpack, MOM"). I'd like to think that my services and actions are appreciated rather than simply expected. Marge from The Simpsons ended up taking a spa weekend away, while the family attempted to soldier on without her. Every time I contemplate taking a weekend away just for myself, I start to tally all of the extra work I'll have to do upon my return and resolve that it just may not be worth it. While searching Youtube for a clip of the aforementioned Simpsons episode, I came across this and I was all, Dude that's it! (it's 3 minutes long but worth it):



And I'm not even kidding, while I was composing this entry yesterday afternoon, Boy-Child#1 appeared in the office. I asked him if he needed the computer and he said, "no, just wondering when you're going to make lunch". And at that precise moment, my daughter announced that her ass needed wiping because it "was a messy one". Then I snorted a can of Ajax. Verdict: bleachy.

*And a shout out to moms and/or dads who do all of the above and hold down a job too*

43 comments:

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

The problem is that it is all invisible work - it doesn't show unless you don't do it. I think that's why a lot of women choose to work outside the home (aside from financial reasons) - they want something visible to be given credit for.

I am so with you on this - well, except for the dog eating the underpants part. That's too weird.

The PB and honey kid? Tell him to make his own lunch.

womaninawindow said...

Argle Freaken Bargle, I return to work today after being off for four glorious freaken months during which I still did not have enough time. I am so envying your list right now 'cause you are underneath it. I'm gonna come home at 6 tonight, crawl underneath my list and cry. And by the way, Thank you, Thank you for making your son lunch and wiping you lill one's messy butt. Thank You...but, I gotta go to work now.

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

Thank you for that post. It's nice to hear I'm not alone in being totally unappreciated. The 24/7 job that comes with childbirth needs a manual. Wanna write it?

Karen said...

Indeed we do all live the same life. Thanks for starting my week off with a laugh, that little music video was great! My favorite part? The mom from Family Guy, "You think all this goodwill just falls from the freaking sky? Well it doesn't it falls out of my holly jolly butt."
Off to start my week of refilling things...

Karen said...

Your list makes me tired just reading it.

You're not alone. We all feel your pain. I truly think that a THANK YOU with no strings attached would do wonders for us.

Angie said...

My mom warned me when I made my decision to completely quit a few years back that the job is thankless at first, but when you see your children as adults, and especially as parents themselves, you finally feel thanked. I told her thank you anyway. I was just 30 when I did it finally.

Didn't have time to watch the clip. My parents are here and I can't let them know how much time I NORMALLY spend on the computer.

KEEP BELIEVING

Susan said...

I found your blog from your link on Suze's "On Style" page at Glamour. OMG I only have 1 but I can relate!! Your blog is great! If it's ok with you, I'd love to put a link to it on my blogspot page. :)

Treasia said...

The video was great. I call those moments I have such as those my "Tawanda" moments and they come more frequently now.

caution said...

I love being able to be home during school breaks or when one of the kids is sick. But sometimes I think my kids would be more effectively moving toward independence if I weren't here so much. I am very convenient for them. Heck, maybe my husband would grow up a little faster too.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I appreciate you Tootsie. Thank you for being so wonderful!

(And for throwing that shout out in there. That gets a big ol' THANK YOU from me!)

seachange said...

Tootsie-

On your list, what could you get your children to do? They may not do it do your standards right away, at least they would be in the process of learning how to be contributing to the family.

Look at the bright side- it's off your list. :-)

JoeInVegas said...

Um, OK, let's stay calm now (backing away from the monitor) . . . (Noticed it's all women commenting, perhaps I should just slink away)

Tootsie Farklepants said...

susan~ Be my guest! Thanks!

Sea~ You're absolutely right!

Minnesota Matron said...

Yes, I know. The other day I stopped home during my daily four mile run to use the bathroom and was met with "Mom! Where my -- " and "Can you?"

I just ignored them all and left again. The thing that floors me is that John can be standing right next to me and the conversation is directed to ME as is the need.

Sigh. . .

Jennifer H said...

I told my kids I'm changing my name to Daddy. Daddy never gets asked anything.

Sigh. It's all true, what you said. Every damn bit of it.

Oh, and our dog eats underwear, too.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

There is a lot to do, but you have to make sure you don't do too much.

It's a rare occasion when I make someone lunch--my daughter learned how to make a sandwhich at 4. It's really not that hard, a couple of pieces of bread, some mustard, and a slice of lunch meat.

My kids are a lot more self-sufficient than most of their friends. I credit my belief in "good enough" mothering.

Being the keeper of the calendar--now that's a lifetime job!

Beckie said...

Ok so I found you via DGM (the day he did the shout our your blog and you left a comment). Since then I've read everything (yes I'm sure my boss is thrilled I took the time to reas all your archives!) you have written on here. Good stuff! And the link today - holy heck - almost made me pee myself! Thank you for the much needed laugh, and thank you for all that you do (not sure if it's the same hearing it from a complete stranger on the interwebby thing - and I'm from the east coast no less!). As a single mom I know how long the list is, but thankfully, there is also a list of great moments with the kids (in my case kid*) that make it all worth it.

Beckie said...

Crap I didn't proofread! I meant "shout out* your blog" - oh and that I took the time to "read*" your archives, really I can type I swear!

Suburbia said...

All of it...my life too!
That You Tube clip should be shown to teenage girls as a warning!
The Turkey bit is my favourite....I'm just off now to make dinner

THE MOM BOMB said...

Yup. You have hamster-on-the-wheel syndrome. Me too! But I appreciate you, buckets!!!

You know what I appreciate the most? Being brave enough to admit that your child enlists you for help with ass-wiping. I thought I was the only one!

Melissa said...

Oh man, it didn't feel that bad until I read it there on your post in black and white. Now I need Ajax, but I haven't any...must make more coffee and rip apart medicine cabinet in search of tranquilizing potion...

Anonymous said...

Girl, All I can say is AMEN! I hooted with laughter and boo hooed with tears as I read your blog and watched the clip. So often I feel buried and ready to snap. Our kids who keep us up to our elbows in poop are the same ones that we LOVE SO MUCH they also keep us from jumping off a cliff. Because, we don't want them to miss their dentist appointments tomorrow.

Keep doing the most intense, most difficult, most rewarding job in the world, girls! Our kids are oh so fortunate to have us!!!

Heather said...

There's a joke and I don't remember exactly how it goes but the man comes home from work and the house is a mess and the kids are running around out of control screaming and they are a mess and the husband asks his wife what's going on. She says, "You know how you always come home and ask me what I did today? Today I didn't do any of it."

jennie said...

Preach ON sister!!! yep its like that in my house too...and then i have one really friggin' huge tantrum. maybe i should try the Ajax instead. but now i think i am going to apologize to my own mother...i just hope she hasn't notice i gained 2 pounds.

but seriously, you are too funny!

The Introvert said...

My mom was a trooper. She did work full-time, but she did everything else you mentioned once she got home. Don't think all of your hard work will go unnoticed.

Greta said...

I am SOO with you babe. My kids have their own "wipe my butt" song. It's awesome. I've been threatening to make a .wav file out of it next time.

Also...my blogger word verification was sbarfmfn...that pretty much describes MY PMS mood.

Mrs. G. said...

If it makes you feel any better, your readers get how hard you work and understand your need to ingest Ajax (I've heard meth is more satisfying, but I understand there can be complications).

Madge said...

dude. we keep taking it though. we have to. and the shout out to those of us who do it and work THANK YOU. and basically what we do is everything on your list -- but just half-assed. which is the depressing part - -nothing ever gets done.

except blogging. blogging gets done.

Angela said...

Uh....I don't do any of this stuff. Replacing clothing? Do unpacking hand me downs count in this dept? If so, then I totally qualify. Otherwise, it's all mallomars and shots of Jim Bean here all day long. You exhaust me with this.....reminder of all that I need to be doing. Truly.

Stu said...

Snorting Ajax huh? You know that is a gateway drug to the harder stuff. Soon you'll be shooting up Downy and stuffing your bra with dryer sheets.

-Stu

EatPlayLove said...

I think you should go away for the weekend, let the reality of what you return to melt away. Trust me, when I get my boobs back, I am so going away!

Saucy said...

Toots, be careful. I'm worried that you sound like you're on the edge. Better check into Mrs. G's Womans Colony ASAP. In the meantime, HRT has helped me from going postal (or as we say in this house, Goin' Saucy!) on my family.

Oh and PS. Sharpie markers work, too.

laughingatchaos said...

After the last four hours of WTabsoluteF, I think I could out-roar Marge. I can't take it anymore, and it's just a damned good thing the boys stayed in bed this evening or my head may have blown clean off. And, for an amazing change of pace, neither they nor my husband were the reason for this anger. Mark the date.

Colleen said...

Dude!!!! That hit the nail on the head! And I couldn't stop laughing at Patricia Heaton trying to get that turkey up off the floor and into the oven...or whats-her-face from "Family Guy" say that Christmas comes out of her Holly Jolly Butt!
I've been WAY cranky (uh, hormonally challenged may be a better description, but whatever). That video and your very valid (incomplete) list of all you and all us other moms do, and the props to those of us who work on top of it. Totally made my day.

Cheri said...

Oh Gawd. I got all tired and felt unappreciated just reading! Can of Ajax -- you crack me up.

JCK said...

I loved this incredibly honest post, Tootsie. And it was special that you gave a holler to the working moms, too. But, then, you are a special lady.

I thought the comments were really helpful. I'm taking notes!

And, yes. Ass wiping around here at times, too.

Nicole said...

I just came across the flickr of this awesome stay-at-home mom and was reminded of this post! :D Here are some of my favorites:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/snippets_from_suburbia/2422671432/in/set-72157603605223443/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/snippets_from_suburbia/2268061374/in/set-72157603605223443/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/snippets_from_suburbia/2254001550/in/set-72157603605223443/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/snippets_from_suburbia/2372411720/in/set-72157603605223443/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/snippets_from_suburbia/ - her main page :D

standing still said...

No shit, sister, and ALL that. Plus no social security and no formal job performance review with a 3% raise. I'm nodding my head here in sunny Minnesota.

Sue said...

So frickin funny and sad at the same time. Why do we put up with this shit?

I loved "Everybody Loves Raymond". Many episodes I thought they had spied on my life to get the ideas!

I would be happy to go on the spa weekend with you.I'll just have to go to BJ's first and stock up on tp and paper towels, oh yeah, and ass-wipers.

Allison said...

last paragraph: priceless

You are a queen who should be worshiped. You and all moms who do all the above things while still managing to LOVE their children! You rock!!!

(women keep the earth turning - don't let anyone tell you any less)

dkuroiwa said...

This clip is one that I will "bookmark" on YouTube!! I love it.
Sadly...when I tell my friends that I am a "married, single mom", they think I'm kidding.
Most days, I'm okay...but ever so often, I seriously wonder how it ever got this way.
And this is why I blog...in a country where "that's what mom's do", I'm thinking, "yeah, but do they work full-time, too?!?!" Other bloggers, whether they know it or now, are my very own personal support system....and yeah, uh-huh...it's only Wednesday, but I'm feeling a Tawanda moment coming myself!!!
Thanks Tootsie...you're the best!!

HRH said...

I, in the choir, enjoyed the sermon here at the church of Tootsie. Now I am standing to sing the Hallelujah chorus...

Cheaper in Baht said...

I could not have said it better! And I like Suburbancorrespondent's observation that it's all invisible work.