You know you're in the Mother-Hood when...

You Know You're in the MotherHood When...

You've sniffed a spot on your shirt and been able to determine the origin of said spot with CSI efficiency.

You let someone see you basically naked because he said he was an anesthesiologist.

It's a good day if you actually had time to shower, without interruptions or an audience of any kind.

Your meal plan has consisted of eating whatever mac and cheese is left in the pot after you've served it to the kids.

A drawing of you with a head the size of a watermelon is the prettiest picture you've ever seen.

Everyone but you being asleep counts as "alone time."

You feel a sense of accomplishment if you read an entire article in People magazine in one sitting.

You can name 3 out of 5 Backyardigans - you know you can.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Leering Unicorns

I am surrounded by birthday carnage.
Literally, I am sitting on my couch, soaking up the quiet that comes with everyone else being asleep except me. But if I were to get up and take a step in any direction, I would step on a birthday party land mine.
My son turned 3 today. He also had his third birthday celebration today. I am hoping this trend is discontinued, as he may not survive his 21st birthday if he has 21 birthday parties. The idea of planning and hosting another party is literally making my nails bite themselves right now.
Don't get me wrong, I love parties. I love going to them, I love helping to plan them, I love hosting them. What I don't love is biting off more than I can chew, and while my mouth is full of more than I can chew, I start to choke on the minutes that tick by as my procrastination habits creep up. Oddly, I can start to procrastinate pretty quickly, which is kind of ironic if you think about it.
For party number one, I hosted our family for lunch over the weekend. Not a huge chunk to bite off, as it was our family, so there's no fooling them. I did clean like Martha Stewart on speedballs, because I like to try and shock my mom every once in awhile.
Then came the "take the treats to school" celebration on Monday morning. In the age of everyone's allergic to everything, I took the easy option and bought pre-packaged, ready-made snacks so that if someone walked down the hall and inhaled the aroma of these treats, thus causing an allergic reaction, they'd have to sue the manufacturer and not me.

Now Tuesday was rolling around, which was the actual day marking the anniversary of my son's birth and the day of his party with all his little buddies from school. I thought I had laid the ground work for a fairly simple party for my son. Just a few kids from his preschool class for about two hours in the afternoon. Post lunch time, pre-nap time. No muss to fuss. Then I Googled.
I Googled party ideas, snack ideas, game ideas. I ended up going to three different stores looking for green apple sour straws, which I never found, to cut up and become the antennae for the alien cupcakes I made. I planned two games to play in the back yard - then Mother Nature decided to deal a cold, rainy day card. I moved the games inside, but they lost a lot of luster. I ran out of time to make another game that was a version of "pin the tail on the donkey" and figured no one would be the wiser but I still felt like I jipped the kiddos somehow.
I watched a handful of 3 year olds play gleefully with several toys I had put out. They ate their cupcakes and toted their treat bags and seemed to have a good time. Still I was left with a uneasy feeling of "not good enough."
Completely self imposed, I know, but I couldn't help but think that the house could have been cleaner, the party could have had more organized games and activities, I could have had better/different/more food.
Maybe it's because I'm competitive by nature. Maybe it's my low self esteem monster that was ever so prominent when I was younger coming out to stretch its muscles. Who knows. All I know is I'm pretty sure my son had a great time. The moms of my son's friends seemed to have a good time (and if they didn't, they're too nice to tell me!) and that's all that really matters. I can tell myself that all I want, but every time I look up, my eyes meet with the eyes of a big pink unicorn (stuffed animal from my daughter's room, not a hallucination brought on by late night cupcake frosting) and I swear that unicorn is judging me. It's wondering why I haven't picked up all the toys yet. Wondering why the bright plastic table clothes haven't been rolled up and thrown away yet. Probably wondering what the hell she's doing downstairs on one of the kitchen chairs instead of being upstairs with all her plush peers.
If I wanted to get all Freud about it, I guess I could say the unicorn isn't judging me, I'm judging myself - although Freud would make this whole thing about my mother, and that's another story entirely.
So, okay, I'm judging myself. I think all moms do this. We put all this pressure on ourselves to make our kid's costume for the play as well (if not way better) than the one our neighbor made for her daughter or decorate our house as beautifully as our best friend, or throw the holiday party that people actually want to go to instead of dutifully make an appearance for. Whatever the reason, I have a feeling that unicorn will keep leering at me for a long time to come. If I had a therapist, I would tell her it's deep seeded esteem issues stemming from not being nominated to Homecoming Court in high school. My mom would say that I just don't manage my time well and offer to help me clean my house. My sister would just tell me that I'm a goober, lovingly, and then give me a hug.
My friends, most of whom are moms themselves, tell me I'm way too hard on myself. All of these people generally shower me with compliments, which then feeds my ego just enough to make me want to try and top myself the next time around. It's a vicious circle, but that leering unicorn needs someone to judge and sometimes it takes all the motivation I can muster to get through an average day, not to mention a special occasion. Even if that motivation is my assumption that my kids toys don't approve (made worse the later in the evening it becomes.)
So, with the holidays lurking right around the corner, I better get to it, cause those holiday decorating ideas and perfect pumpkin dessert recipes aren't going to Google themselves.

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