Truth Bomb: How I Sometimes Suck At Life, And I'm Learning to Be OK with It

I am going to just go ahead and say it...  I suck at life sometimes. Of course I could list the personal failures in my life, such as: a tanked marriage, train wreck relationships, career goals taken a backseat to being a mother, collapsed fitness goals... I have failed at it all and yet, here I am, still standing, still trying and still handling it all day by day. 

Being a parent means failing at something daily.  We don't like to admit it, but I am just putting it all out there.  I fail at parenting ALL THE TIME.  Burned the cookies, washed a red sock with the white laundry, packed the wrong stuff in the school bag, missed the bus...any of that sound familiar? Some days are better than others and some days are epic failures that take it all to another level.  I have tried so hard for years to look and act like I have it all together. Most of my friends would look at me and say I can handle anything, but I can't.  I mess up all the time.  It isn't because I don't try. I do. I try really hard to have it all organized...except when I don't have it all organized and it all falls to shit.  Being a single parent and having my son go between two houses means trying to balance it all and make it look easy.  It's not.  Most of the time I feel like one of those circus acts that spins those plates on the sticks and makes them all balance in the air...and then they fall and crash to the floor, breaking into a million pieces.  I have the calendar, group texts, e-mails, newsletters, note from the teachers, Daddy's schedule, Step Mom's schedule, Grandma's schedule, a house to keep organized, a business and dreams I attempt to keep going, a dog to keep from neglecting and some fish that I'm surprised haven't ended up in a toilet funeral, making sure kiddos things gets from one house to the other and making sure that everyone is some version of happy all the time.  

Are we over scheduled? NO! We don't do after school activities or extracurriculars.  If we did I think I would feel like he wasn't getting enough family time between the two houses.  So, there's fail number one.  He isn't playing sports or going to piano lessons or learning Mandarin any time soon.  Another fail? We barely ever make it to birthdays or playdates.  All these parties are on the weekends.  The weekends are difficult. I don't think people really understand that on the weekends we are doing our best to get time with the kiddo that is solely ours and uninterrupted.   Is it selfish that we don't go to every single birthday party we are invited to? Yes. I want my time with him and I want his Dad to have time with him to be able to do the things we enjoy. Is it a complete fail on my part to make more time to do the parties and the playdate stuff? Yes.  I am probably depriving him of having a full and active social life, but he's 4 and he has his whole life for that.  These are the fails that we have chosen and as a family decided to NOT prescribe to the idea that we have to do everything that everyone else's family does all the time.  Some fails are completely accidental and inevitable given the nature of our two-household-parenitng lifestyle. I have read an e-mail wrong, or missed a room meeting, or find an invitation lost in the SPAM folder or stuck to the back of a school project I have discarded into the pile of random drawing and workbook pages. No big deal, right? NO!! When this type of fail happens, the involuntary screw up, it devastates me.  I don't know why.  It's not like I missed anything so important in his life that he would be changed forever.  It's the little things.  But the little things are what kills me the most.  It's those times when I just pull over into the parking lot and cry into my hands and think, "How am I supposed to do this for the rest of my life? I am awful at this.  Why can't I just get it together?!" It's in those moments when I feel alone and overwhelmed and incompetent.  Let me just say this:  I am not alone.  I have help.  I am competent. That being said, the loneliness and inadequate feelings still linger there in my head and in my heart.  It's just a fact.  The reality of trying to keep it together for everyone all the time is that when I screw up, I feel it to my core. It's like a punch to the gut or a swift kick to the crotch.  

Most of the time the guilt of failure is not because I am disappointed in myself, but in the fact that I don't want to let down everyone else who is counting on me. I am supposed to be the one who leads this family. I am supposed to be the one to be the HBIC, the captain, the ringleader and the lady boss.  When it all goes wrong, I blame myself.  It can be a very difficult place to dig myself out of sometimes, but it's reality.  Confession: A lot of us are just deceiving the world when we put out this filtered, picture perfect image, when we know it's very rarely ever picture perfect. The difference is that I am learning to be OK with being the hot mess express sometimes.   

I'm learning to be OK with sucking at life sometimes.  I'm honest about it.  I tell the people around me when I am feeling like a complete screw up.  I am not the only mother on the planet that feels like a dipshit sometimes. I don't have to be perfect.  I don't need to have it all together, or to even pretend like I know what it looks like to have it all together. I am learning that the mistakes that I make and being fallible is lesson I want my son to learn. Perfection is not real.  I want him to be honest and be accepting of his greatness, as well as his faults. I know, I know...Its a process. We don't all just wakeup one day and say "F#%$ it! This is me, world!"

Real talk: I struggle with accepting myself everyday, but I have also learned to forgive myself.  Without that forgiveness the weight of trying to be everything to everyone all the time would swallow me whole.  Embracing who we are as complex people with likes and dislikes, skills and deficiencies, moments of superhero-like grandeur and times of absolutely soul-crushing embarrassment makes life a lot more interesting than the faux filtered Instagram worthy ideal of perfect we set ourselves up to believe in.  

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: Verbal Blunders Vol. 1

1. While diligently working on a project for Parent Night at school, teacher asked my son "What is your favorite food?"  Kid's response, "a Crappy Meal...That's what my parents call McDonald's." Needless to say the teacher had a great time telling us this story during Parent Night.  Disclaimer: don't get your underpants in a bind... we use fast food as a treat on very rare occasions and it isn't part of his regular diet, but what kid doesn't love a shitty little toy in that goofy ass box? 

2. When we go over train tracks or a big bump in the road my son will often yell out "That scares my penis!"  I literally have no clue what this means, as I do not have a penis, but I imagine said body part being 'scared' is a not good thing...Amiright?

3. As I was standing in the shower the other day trying to get my head together and my son came in and said "nice perky boobies, Mom"... WTF? Note to self: shower at midnight when he's asleep...

4. Me: Come eat your dinner!  Son: I hope it doesn't taste like poop again. Me: (dead silence and face on floor)

5. I overheard my son tell Darth Vader "not to be a dick" one time and it took everything I had to keep it together.  I laughed so hard that tears soaked my face.  

6. This also reminds me of the Thanksgiving when my son called Donald Trump a "Dick" to my very ultra conservative family member and all I could do is shrug and say "he's not wrong." Needless to say, it made for great holiday awkwardness.

7. I asked my son to please not touch the toilet seat when in a public bathroom and he exclaimed, "Are girls THAT DIRTY when they pee?!" Roars of laughter are heard from the surrounding stalls...

8. Son: Did you get me a surprise for being so good? Me: No, but you should be proud of yourself. Son: I'd rather be proud of you for buying me a new Pokemon.  Me: (smacks forehead)

9. While getting my sons bathtub ready and he walks in and says, "I'm gonna need a bath bomb in there, it's been a long day..." I feel ya, bro.  

10. So, I finally go the first call from the principal.  Apparently a teacher asked the kids, "What is an F word?" (The letter of the week is Letter F)  My son retorts with "FUCK, but my Mom says I shouldn't say it. It's a grown up word." Technically he was correct and therefor, couldn't be punished.  Honestly, I was pretty proud.

 

 

 

WTF Wednesday: The Diaper Bandit

WTF Wednesdays are when we get real, and by real I mean TRUTH.  Every week I will post a parent fail, rant, complaint, or questions about parenting as an opportunity for some full disclosure venting.  This thing we are doing, raising children, is hard. And for some reason we all want to pretend like its easy.  It's not easy, nor is it always a clean, organized execution like we would lead others to believe.  If you're about this life of child rearing you are well versed in how easily things can go wrong.  Not terribly wrong, but like "crayon in the laundry" wrong.  I want all of you to know from the start that I do not profess to be the most perfect single parent on the planet.  We're alive, we're happy, we're healthy…but there isn't a day that goes by that i don't think to myself "seriously, what the f%#?!?!?!?!" WARNING: This post involves talk of poop.  If you have children you already know this basically makes up about 75% of what we talk about with other parents anyways. Especially if you're child is preschool age.  I just wanted to warn you that if you have a weak stomach, don't read on.  But seriously, I am sure worse has happened to you….this is just my WTF moment for the week! 

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Yes, that is our dog Spirit.  And yes, she's in the shower. And yes, there is  a very traumatizing story behind this picture.  So, here we go...

Boo is potty training.  He's got the whole peeing in the potty thing down like a pro, but pooping in the potty…well, not so much.  For some reason he's afraid to poop in the potty.  I resist putting Pull Ups on him and keep encouraging him to try to poop in the potty.  We've tried stickers, M&Ms, bribery with toys, trips to Disney, ice cream, EVERYTHING! Nope. He's just not into it.  And I can't force him.  He's 2 years and 10 months old and i keep telling myself by 3 he will be pooping in the potty, so just chill out and don't give the kid some sort of complex that has to be fixed by many years of intensive therapy.  On this special day Beckett wore underwear to preschool for the first time and made it all morning with no accident.  When he came home he asked for a Pull Up, but because I didn't put it on him he decided to put it on all by himself.  So he did.  And he pooped in it. Next, he decided that he could take off all by himself as well.  I let him.  Boom! Parent fail #1.  He smeared that mess all over himself and the rest of whatever was anywhere near him.  I threw the dirty diaper in our Ubi (parent fail #2 and didn't even realize it) and escorted little man into the shower to rinse off.  We had a nice long conversation about how much easier and less messy it would be to just use the toilet.  Get kiddo out of the shower and all dried off, dressed, smiling, cleaned up bathroom.  Ok, cool.  Time to relax and play some lego duplos.

Nope.  Not at all.  Not when I noticed that our loving, affectionate, curious and slighty mischievous little terrier rescue is carrying the dirty diaper down the hallway and showing you how she has rolled herself in it. This wasn't some random weird thing dogs usually roll in out in the backyard that would warrant a hosing off.  This was shit.  Human shit  and it was all over her.  And then it was all over me as I grabbed her to get said shit off of her.   Apparently I didn't close the diaper pail and while we were in the shower she decided to steel the diaper and violate whatever was left of my last nerve that day.

Heres what was going on in my brain at the time:

"Umm, what does the dog have? Oh my god, thats a diaper.  Holy crap! AHHH!!! Ok, clam down.  Just breathe.  Gross. Grab the diaper and throw it away.  Close the damn diaper pail, idiot.  Grab the dog.  Get her in the shower.  Oh, this is so disgusting.  Why?!?! No, seriously…What in the actual f*%#?!!!"

So there you have it.  A real parenting story.  A parent fail of epic proportions.  Some days we feel like we're up to our necks in it, and here's proof that somedays that is literal. At the end of the day, we love our dog.  I love her like she's my other baby, so cleaning her up after something like this is not that big of a deal.  I do it for Boo, why not her too.  Bright side to all of this: both babies bathed by sunset.

Please feel free to share a parent fail, frustrations, or questions with us by commenting below.

For information about where we got Spirit please check out Poodle and Pooch Rescue.

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