I’m honored to have a guest blogger on Momarock, today, sharing her honest and candid thoughts on what happens the day after Mother’s Day.
“No It Isn’t!! YOUR. Day. Is. Over!” she replied as I excitedly wished her a Happy Mother’s Day Week. For YEARS, I’ve greeted my Irish twins the Monday after Mother’s Day in the same way, but the eldest didn’t buy it this morning! I’m not entirely sure she bought it last year, either, but at eleven, at least she made an effort to smile and humor me for a few days! ‘Darn, I knew this day would come!’
Every holiday of every year, my husband and I have the same response to the question of what we want for Christmas, birthdays, and everything in-between—“Well-behaved children!” And we mean it! We’ve been pretty consistent parents for twelve years. At least, on these days, we just want them to do what they KNOW is expected—leave their shoes in the closet instead of in front of the door or the middle of the walkways, put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wear shoes instead of their white socks while running around in the yard, ETCETERA!
We don’t REALLY expect them to rise early and make us breakfast before 9AM church (although bringing a cup of coffee WOULD be nice! We have a Keurig, For Heaven’s Sake)! We don’t expect them to UNLOAD the dishwasher (although they didn’t complain about putting away the silverware when they were toddlers and got to sit on the tall stool for the job)! We just want a few days of parenting PEACE at this point! Isn’t THAT what holidays are for? Don’t we get to have a few FUN days of parenting per year?
We don’t expect perfection! We don’t even expect things to go smoothly at this point! We just want a day when we don’t have to wonder if it’s too late to consider adoption, or if we’d get arrested for posting a funny Facebook status, asking if anyone wants to buy our kids! But that blog has already been written.
‘I got NO LIP for a whole day on Mother’s Day and now she’s sitting in front of the TV on a school morning,’ I grumbled to myself. She knows that’s not allowed, I explained, for the four zillionth time, taking the NICE approach instead of snapping it off, simply because it’s the day after Mother’s Day and I didn’t want to fight! Every time she does this, she is PICKING a fight! Even if I DID allow it, she knows it would be after an exceptional day where the kids got their homework and chores done (without nagging) and had already exhausted themselves by playing outside. –Or at least a rainy day! We’re not TOTAL control freaks, after all! We allow for some grey area.
“Look, it’s another beautiful day! Go outside in your downtime, instead of plunking on the couch,” I said.
I never used to have to tell my kids to go outside! Before they were pre-teens, they did it automatically! They LIKED jumping on the trampoline! They dug worms and went fishing! They also ate breakfast, got dressed and brushed their teeth automatically, every single morning. THAT is because we were consistent parents! WHEN will it all pay off!? WHEN do we get to stop nagging?! WHEN will it all become automatic!?
The other Irish twin, who is almost 11, had run upstairs to give me a hug as soon as he heard me flush the toilet. That’s his way of saying; “I’ve been up to something downstairs that you wouldn’t approve of (SCREEN TIME!!!!!). Don’t go down there!” He smiled as I wished him a Happy Mother’s Day Week and asked me where the treadmill is. Of course I KNOW where the treadmill is, so I assumed he had moved it or sold it on eBay, responding with the question, “Where is the treadmill?”
“EXACTLY! You don’t even know where it is! THAT is because you haven’t been on it in two years! Which is why I want it GONE so I can turn that room into my office!”
“He’s tricking you,” said the evil twin (I mean Irish twin!) “He wants to turn it into a video game room and play Terraria all day!”
So then the arguing began! And I hadn’t even had my Monday morning coffee yet!
All you parents of cute little kids, posting your family bliss on Face Book– -KNOW THIS!!! I did that, too! We were happy, too! It used to be GREAT! But those little angels develop their own attitudes about life around fifth grade and you have weeks, even MONTHS at a time, of wondering why you even had children! Getting ONE peaceful day without them barking at you for no apparent reason will become your GOOD DAY!
Your friends with teenagers didn’t post on Mother’s Day for a very good reason! They knew TODAY would arrive and all those smart remarks they held back yesterday would come spilling out of their kids’ mouths! We don’t know why they WANT to start a fight, but they do! And then they’re happy five minutes later! These years are like a rollercoaster! These years are DIFFICULT! I don’t even CARE about their hormones at this point! I just want the respect I deserve!
So don’t get too braggy, because the parents with older kids aren’t lying when they assure you, “OH, it gets a LOT worse!”
Now that I’ve busted your bubble, I’ll get back to work. Mother’s Day is over and the laundry baskets are full again! Plus, I need to figure out how to sell this treadmill on eBay!
Our guest blogger is a stay-at- home mom and military wife. She enjoys fitness, freelance writing, reading, editing and reviewing books. She may be reached through the Momarock website.