Wednesday, March 7, 2012

..but I still don't like "play dates."

I truly think I may be the only mom on the planet that doesn't like the "play date."

You know, the "fun" time where (in a perfect world) your kids play happily with your friends' kids so that you can have uninterrupted mommy talk time?

Exactly. In a perfect world. Or maybe with kids who are compliant and don't try to use the equipment as a way to cause heart palpitations to their dear old mom.

((Now before you go all, "well if they were trained..", on me. That applies to your family. Not to mine)).

Back to what I was saying. What was I saying? Oh, yes. Play dates. I remember the first time I went on a playdate when I had two small kids. Thankfully back then it consisted of destroying my friends house (because it was indoors) but we all pitched in to clean everything up. Granted, I was clued in pretty early that while we (mommy's) could speak as we pleased, we couldn't hear a daggum thing over all the shrills.

Fast forward to four kids and, while two are older, I still have two smaller ones that I have to chase around the park. And generally we end up at some darn park without a fence. You know, prison containment for my kids that are not compliant. But most of all it's the fact that I will have 50% that want to wander and explore (again, perfectly fine) except that the other 50% want to stay and do death defying stunts on the playground. So hmmm... which one do I oversee? All the while, the other mom is standing there probably wondering why I'm not talking to her very much.

I can't handle it. Oh I can handle my children at a park. I just can't handle the idea that somehow I am supposed to carry on a conversation beyond: "Eva, you fell of the merry go round because you were dangling your, eh hem, booty out in the air," "Isaac, stop trying to eat the bark. BLAH" "Jorge and Alex, stop climbing on the outside of the tube slide. Seriously."

So when it's just us. I enjoy it. I know, it makes me anti-social. But I've been told I will enjoy play dates again one day, but that seems absurd to me because by the time that happens I've also heard it's hard to get teenagers to go hop on the playground equipment.

Here are some pics of our park day today. (yes, it was not a play date. Even though I invited other mommies to go. No one could come on such late notice).

Exploring for cool sticks.

My favorite "equipment" for them to climb on.

Their faces seem a bit upset that we aren't eating with friends.

What are your thoughts on Play dates? And is it one word or two?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why I quit blogging..

It's been 5 months since I last wrote on my personal blog. And while I tried to give a small hint as to the changes I've experienced, I had not given much explanation as to why those changes prompted my exodus from the blog world.

You see, I struggled with feelings of insecurity and rejection and the best way for me to feel immediate relief was for the World Wide Web to give me a stroke to my ego. Granted, I did not always realize this was going on, but alas, it was. The symptoms that presented were (but not limited to) inflammation of the truth, of my world. I wanted to get a pat on the back so I would write a post, show a picture or gush about how wonderful my life, kids, family was (this also applies to Facebook posts). These things in and of themselves are not negative. But when this was the only thing you ever saw, you may tend to think that I am either perfect, or living some kind of dream life where my kids obey 90% of the time and I rarely raise my voice.. I mean, why would I have to with the perfect kids and all?

What's lacking in the posts and pictures is the back story or the immediate after story. Let me give you some examples. There is the perfect caption and then the reality. But rarely is the reality ever shared.. because I just wanted you to focus on the positive. Heck, I did too. While I may not have captioned these pictures exactly like they are below, the truth of my point still stands: sometimes people present only a portion of their reality.

*Exhibit A.
Caption: "I am so proud to be home all day and school these adorable children who are so creative and do nothing but sit at this table with a sincere reverence for me." (okay, a little dramatic.. but you get my point).

Reality: While I didn't stage the shot, as soon as I hit send on sharing with facebook the older two started fighting about who had done a better job on their work. Eva walked over and drew on Isaac's paper and he started screaming. It wasn't quiet and serene any more.. and certainly not reverent.

Exhibit B:
Caption: "I love that my children enjoy being so close to each other. They are so happy together. They are watching a movie that they NEVER EVER EVER get to do because we don't like that big ugly box, unless it's absolutely necessary.. like I'm sick or they are sick or something EXTREMELY RARE like that."

Reality: This is probably the third day that they had watched t.v. and not because it's educational. Nope. They are zombies. They are sitting next to each other because the magic machine is playing happy images that will do nothing for their educational achievement. Oh and no one was sick. I was probably just trying to keep my head above water with laundry or house work.

Exhibit C:

Caption: "I am so excited that I just made this incredibly healthy meal for my entire family. Look at the effort it took.. but it's worth it to eat healthy. I mean please know how much I value eating healthy and know that my kids LOVE it."

Reality: I won't tell you how many times I eat fast food in a week. And I certainly wont talk about the extra weight I have because you might deduce that all my habits aren't as healthy as I'm letting on. Gracious, don't even get me started that Broccoli is the ONLY green thing my kids will eat and THAT is only because of the movie "Mars needs moms" that got them on the idea that it was "cool."

Exhibit D:
Caption: "I love being home so that I can keep my house clean. Like, all the time. I just love being able to have a clean house."

Reality: This was taken while our house was on the market. I only kept it this clean for the first few weeks. Then I realized that if someone wanted to buy the darn house they would have to buy it in it's current state and I certainly wouldn't break my back with four small kids trying to keep it spotless. I guess I should also mention we never sold it. But we are happy to still be in it.

I think you may be getting my point. For so long in my life, I was so hungry for affirmation and acceptance that I would shudder at the thought of telling you my parenting failures or my marriage mistakes but now I long for it. When I post a picture on facebook (or a status update) I have to ask myself: Is this presenting the reality? Or, am I only sharing the positive I see? Now I like to share pictures of what's really going on on any given day. Mostly to remind myself not to take myself so seriously. And honestly, to help those around me realize that it's okay to be honest. But it starts with yourself.
I don't know.. maybe, just maybe I will return to blogging. It may not be as often but I can assure you that it will be balanced. ;-)