By Lisa Barr
If any of you had noticed in all of your running around this week, my blog did NOT come out yesterday. Why? Because I don’t have a friggin’ minute.
And this seems to be the vibe around my town. School is out. Graduations abound. Camp (packing) is approaching but not here yet. Baseball is insane. Kids want plans. Kids want you to drive them and their friends EVERYWHERE. Read: YOU ARE THE ENTERTAINMENT. Whatever has been your normal pattern of life — at least for the next few weeks until normalcy kicks in — is shot to hell.
Do you mind if I take a moment to bitch? (Feel free to skip the next paragraph, especially if you are my husband).
Here’s my week in a nutshell: I was in New York for three days for work and pleasure (okay, I digress but …THREE celebrity sightings: Spike Lee, Denzel Washington AND Matt Dillon –YES, True Confession — I’m one of those women whose bible happens to be People magazine). Anyway … got home late Monday night, Tuesday was 8th grade graduation. Keep in mind that it was my daughter’s graduation, which translates into THE DRESS (Don’t ask me about that drama), mani-pedi, hair, makeup — the whole car wash — running to all of her appointments and sliding into graduation … Now that’s done … camp packing and all the missing items are ON, 500 errands, more forms, graduation parties, Sweet 16 parties (five gifts STILL needing to be bought), ACT prep, Poms practice at the high school, doctors’ appointments, and to cap it off — Sunday night is the 8th Grade Bash at MY house. With another Mom, we invited the ENTIRE class (because I hate leaving anybody out). At this point, I feel like leaving EVERYBODY out! It’s a backyard party — movie and deejay — expecting 100 kids — but the weather is now reporting rain (There is NO Plan B), not to mention blogs that need to be written and other work deadlines calling (screaming) my name.
Yes, it’s Hell Week here otherwise known as MY Life.
Let’s put things in perspective. These are not the problems of gang warfare, or being a Single Mom trying to figure out how she is going to work AND take care of her kids who are now home, or having a child who is terminally ill — REAL problems.
No, this is merely an extreme case of Mom-Running-Nutsy, and as my husband says (while lying leisurely on the couch watching hockey and I’m Road-Runnering everywhere around him): Lisa — YOU-Do-It-To-Yourself.
Aw, screw him. But he’s right, because I AM running amok. I just don’t have the answer yet on how to minimize all of these “necessary” suburban demands. Do you?
My mother-in-law would say just tell the kids NO. And then you have that tugging in your heart — because you want your kids to have fun now that school’s out and the pressure is down, to be part of things; to be active and not sit in the house holed up texting and facebooking like zombies. But as we all know — what needs to get done all falls on us.
My kids were still sleeping, so I drove early to Starbucks this morning to get a jump on my writing (the one bonus of having teenagers — THEY SLEEP).
One Mom, a friend, came up to me. “Do you see how I look?” she says accusingly, pointing to her no-makeup face. “I don’t have a fucking minute. You tell your Stay-at-Home Moms that whatever they are feeling — I am feeling multiplied by 300 percent. I cannot wait for this week to be over.”
I SO feel your pain.
A Dad I bumped into on the way to his daughter’s graduation earlier this week, said, “What is it with you women? My wife has lost all her marbles.”
“Marbles,” I said defensively, given that I was clinging to my last marble at that point. “What marbles? You can sit and criticize, but she is doing everything. Give her a break. Be sympathetic. Know that she is trying to make everyone happy, get everything done, and make graduation a great experience. But when you have daughters — it’s just not fun — it’s stressful.”
“So my response about her WAY overreacting to every detail and being dramatic was not a good one?” he asked.
“No. It sucked.” I said. (even if it’s true — which I didn’t say.)
Getting back to my friend who works full-time, who also has daughters, and was complaining about having no time — here’s the best part … I had JUST finished giving my husband (who as you know by now meets me for our 20 minute “coffee” hook-up before work) an entire play-by-play of every damn thing I had to do this week — also known as the “I’m Losing It, Babe” speech. I could tell he wanted to reduce our 20-minute coffee to 10 minutes … and then she came up and gave him the ENTIRE breakdown of her crazy week … Yes, it was pure poetry.
He looked at me when she left and said: “You women are all crazy.”
And I said, “That’s the beauty of Suburban Living and Motherhood — we ALL go through our humps and bumps crazily, simultaneously. We all get it — even if you don’t.”
On that, he took his cue and left, HAPPILY bolting out of Starbucks to the safe haven of work.
I watched the glass doors close behind him, thinking … What I feel, what I’m going through — is universal Mom-speak. Why even bother telling my husband? I just get the Stay Calm response (which makes me even crazier.)
And then it dawned on me. There is NO WAY TO FIGHT IT, so why not EMBRACE IT.
My advice: Walk into a store this week, bump into a friend — another Insane Mom — and utilize what I call The Bitch & Release Technique – Both of you let it out, listen, breathe, nod in joint empathy, and I promise, nothing will feel better, more therapeutic.
Again … Bitch & Release … I don’t have a friggin’ minute/You don’t have a friggin’ minute — My kids are making me crazy/So are yours — Breathe — let’s commiserate for FIVE stolen minutes — I GET YOU/YOU GET ME … Finally, Someone Understands …
THEN, get in your car, punch it, and continue the race.