Everywhere I turn, I’m bombarded with reminders to savor every moment with my kids. I feel pressured to love the noise that fills my house when my kids and their friends are marching through my kitchen. I worry that I’m being a bad mom when I hear someone spill a gallon of milk and, as I clean up the mess, I mentally calculate just how many days I have until I can ship them off to college — and I’m not calculating those numbers because I’ll be missing them and their messes, that’s for sure.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. Really, I do. In fact, I count raising two humans to be functional members of society as my single greatest achievement. My kids are funny, polite and have a healthy respect for ’80s music and, on the whole, I enjoy the people they are becoming a great deal. So, yes, I love being a mom, but there are some aspects of mothering I could do without, if I’m being totally honest.
1. Snuggling on the Couch
Yes, I love the smell of my cherubs after they’ve been bathed, and they look so cuddly in their jammies that I want to squeeze them. I love when they climb up on the couch next to me at the end of the day for a bedtime kiss and snuggle time. But I can only cuddle my precious snowflakes for about five minutes and then all bets are off. They are in my personal space they’ve already invaded for the last twelve straight hours, and after around five minutes, I’m pretty ready for them to find another spot on the couch — preferably across the room.
2. Family Vacations in Theme Parks
Gone are the days when you can pile into the car and buy a ticket to an amusement park for some family time on the Tilt-A-Whirl. Nowadays, a theme park vacation requires planning every minute detail a year in advance. There are special bracelets, six months in advance sign-ups to avoid waiting in long lines for popular rides, and panic over not getting reservations at the most popular restaurants at the resort. By the time my family and I grace the gates of a theme park, I’ve been over the fun and excitement for eight months.
3. Romantic Candlelight Dinners With a Sitter I Can’t Afford
I know, I know. I’m supposed to tend to my marriage and schedule date night and sexy time. But come on — date night isn’t cheap. From the babysitter to the restaurant to the expensive Spanx I have to put on to get into my “going out” dress, date night isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I’d rather put a movie on for the kids and sit out on my back deck with my hubby and a glass of wine while wearing yoga pants. It’s cheaper and I don’t have to worry about who’s driving home.
4. Birthday Parties
I’ll be honest here — I hate throwing birthday parties. Coming up with a theme, shopping for party favors, food, and decorations, and then inviting 15 kids into my house so they can mess up my floors and destroy my home is just not my idea of a good time. And holding a party in a gross, germ-infested party place where my kids will come home puking after eating too much pizza? Yeah, no thanks.
5. Breakfast in Bed
What do I want for Mother’s Day? Quiet, peace, and a pedicure. What don’t I want for Mother’s Day? Breakfast in bed made by my kids. The process starts when I’m trying to sleep in and ends with a huge mess that I have to clean up after I eat burnt toast, soggy cheerios, and half a glass of orange juice. Can’t we just go out for breakfast, kiddos?
I look forward to those sweet sounds of silence that emanate from my upstairs hallway when my kids finally succumb to slumber. What don’t I love? The three hours of shenanigans and hysterics that go on leading up to my kids actually shutting up for the night. And I swear it’s gotten worse as my kids have gotten older. From the constant reminders to bathe, brush their teeth, and get their pj’s on, to the crazed bellowing I do to get them to turn off their electronic devices, trying to get to lights out is enough to drive me insane.
In the last ten years, Halloween has become a big deal, and when you have toddlers, it’s a special version of hell. From the gory displays in the costume store to the horrific costumes that teenagers wear out trick or treating, Halloween is a nightmare. Throw in wandering around in the dark, too much candy, and late bedtimes with cranky goblins, and it’s officially my least favorite holiday.
8. The Night Before Any Gift-Giving Holiday
Admittedly, I’m a last minute Nellie when it comes to planning major holidays. I’m the mom who realizes five days beforehand that the giant rodent hasn’t prepared Easter baskets. I fill stockings at midnight, bleary-eyed from travel and merry-making, and I’ve been known to bolt out of bed in the middle of the night because I’ve forgotten to place the celebrated child’s presents on the kitchen table. While my kids aren’t ungrateful bastards and I do derive joy from their smiling faces on Christmas morning, I don’t find one ounce of parental transcendence in a Walmart aisle filled with loathsome candy and other hostile parents.
Like I said, I love being a mom, but I can’t be the only one who struggles with those special family moments that are not so special. I know I’m not alone, in fact, because I can see it in the eyes of every mom posing with Disney characters in my News Feed.
Solidarity, sisters. Mickey and Minnie didn’t have kids, so they’ll never understand our struggles.