It’s a Hard Knock Life for Moms

Each year, every winter seems to get longer and colder and snowier. I look so forward to that first day of Spring. The real first day when you can actually open all of the windows in the house and let the fresh air in. It’s such an amazing feeling. The only part that sucks about it is then the entire Goddamn neighborhood can hear me yelling at my kids.

If you look closely, you can see the incubator in the background.
If you look closely, you can see the incubator in the background.

It takes a few times before you realize your rage is not being trapped in the privacy of your own home by closed windows. The moment you realize your neighbors just heard every curse word you just said to your three year-old, and they have dinner guests out on the deck, is the worst feeling. Thankfully, we have great neighbors, Mason and Gidget. Every time I apologize for my outbursts, they claim they didn’t hear a word. I appreciate that. Last week they were on vacay and I was so thrilled when I realized it. I went on quite the rant forgetting the air conditioning wasn’t on and the windows were once again open. So if the neighbors didn’t hear me, it didn’t happen, right?

As much as I love summer, the lack of routine does tend to reek havoc on our lives. When I roll out of bed at nine thrity-ish on a Monday morning, I’d prefer a few quiet moments to myself to enjoy my cup of ambition. Not so much. I’m hungry! I need to be at camp! I’ve had these clothes on since Friday! Someone pooed! Slow down, kiddies. I just woke up. In my bathing suit. I’m going to need a few minutes to regroup. I give a quick onceover just to make sure they’re all here and all mine. Then I lay on the couch for about another hour before I microwave the sausage.

Lately, laundry has been a real issue, ever since we returned from vacation. Our suitcases are still in the basement opened with clothes everywhere. Now this hasn’t stopped us from having company over every single night, but still. Also the state of affairs in our bathroom have really deteriorated. We live right on the park and I always tell people to just come in and use our bathroom. Until I realized the port-a-potty was a cleanlier alternative. I finally cleaned (wiped) that down the other day. Life isn’t easy without a cleaning lady. And the lack of routine means I do no housework. I just don’t have the time. With the tanning and the swimming and the cocktails.

Our kids have been staying up until midnight almost every night. They do sleep in. Sometimes longer than me. But there is something about lack of sleep and a toddler that really makes for a fun day. And then there’s a night like tonight. When it’s raining and we can’t have a pool party and drink in the park all night. We gave the kids dinner and much needed baths. Even though we have a pool, a little soap and water once a week can’t hurt. Okay, so now it’s going on eight-thirty. Time for bed! The looks they gave. They were in shock. What is this bed time you speak of, mother? I’m not playing. Get your little booties to bed. This is the first night since school got out that we’re enforcing a bedtime. Do you think your friends live this life? Partying till all hours without a bedtime? Well yes, your friends do. Because they were here with their parents until midnight last night, but there are a lot of kids (I imagine) that go to bed at a decent hour throughout the summer. Somewhere.

Bed time has always been rough in this house. With having the kids so close in age we had some strict rules in the beginning. One being, no sleeping in our bed. The older two really adhered to this one because there was always a newborn in with us, so they really had no choice. But once there were no new babies, shit got real. All hell broke lose. There were no assigned beds. No assigned rooms. There weren’t even enough beds for all the people in this house. It was a bit hectic. Every night was a game of musical freaking beds and turns out Beau and I suck at that game. We lose. A lot.

And then there’s the peeing. There is always someone peeing somewhere. It’s worse than college. We used to get up in the night to change the sheets, but now if we actually wake up, we just do the old throw a towel down and go back about our business of trying to sleep. I know it’s gross, but it happens. This is what our lives have become. Who are we? We used to have standards. We used to care. Not so much these days.

Up until a few months ago, we had all four kids sleeping in one room with three beds. It’s just the way they liked it. And it was sort of working. We would double gate the door so they couldn’t get out but we could still keep an eye on them. But there were two, who shall remain nameless, that would keep the other two awake and that wasn’t fair. So Beau slapped a new coat of paint on the walls in the third bedroom and viola! Except this didn’t really change anything. We just had two rooms now and not enough gates. Oh well. Someday they’ll all sleep.

One night I went in to check on them and found our daughter sleeping in a box. A giant box. She made a little bed out of it and was fast asleep. It was really funny. She never said a word, just curled up in her box and went to sleep. This probably meant something. She was probably trying to tell us something. But we just laughed and took pics of her and posted them on Facebook. We should probably just buy three more boxes.

We have codes that we use for our family and friends to know if it’s too early to knock. If the front blinds are closed, we are not awake/up for company. And in the back, if the umbrella is open, all are welcome. Pools opens, let the good times roll. It works out well for us. The only person that doesn’t have to abide by the rules is Shelly. She’s allowed to walk right into my bedroom. Day or night. If she’s made the three block trek, it’s obvi important. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. Even if I am in my bathing suit.

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