I’ve had it. Had it, had it, had it. I just looked over my blog post from Wednesday, and all I can think is blah blah blah blah prbphhhhh. Oh, staying at home is so awesome, I said. Even when it’s rough, it’s still so cool, yeah, I said. Ha, ha, David, you have to go to work while I get to stay home with whining children all day, I said.
I am full of shit.
Sorry, Mom. Don’t read that last curse word. You, too, former student of mine I used to reprimand for swearing (but that was in class, so yes, you shouldn’t have said that word, and no, you shouldn’t have carved it into the desk). But seriously, I’m done. I quit. You know what I want? I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want (remember this? It’s so terrible it’s delightful:).
I want to wear heels, on a regular basis. That sounds so absolutely superficial and ridiculous, but you carry yourself differently when you’re in heels. There’s a bit of swagger in the step that doesn’t come with the same black ballet flats some people (i.e., me) wear every day. Heels are a reason to use eye shadow, and wear clothes other than jeans and a vest, and maybe break out a proper purse rather than the hobo bag I use to carry extra diapers. Heels mean you’re going someplace mysterious, or important–not just to the library or Starbucks.
I want to go Christmas shopping, all day, even with my children, and not need to worry about making it home by 1 or 2 o’clock for naps. That’s it. I want to be able to spend a day at a major mall (King of Prussia, how I miss you so). All day. I want to leave the house whenever I want in the morning, and not have to worry about being there exactly when the shops open because I only have so much time to get stuff accomplished. Again, silly, superficial, but you know what? This is my blog post. I’ll whine if I want to.
I want to get angry at people who aren’t related to me. You know how you get annoyed by that nosy person in the lunchroom, or the incompetent boss who needs to trim his nose hairs once in a while? When it’s family, you’re not as nice as you should be, you lose your patience more easily, you don’t necessarily bite your tongue or mull a situation over before you react because you live with these people seven days a week. Give me a stranger to rile me up any day. At least then I can make snarky comments about putting gum on his desk phone and not feel too guilty about it.
I want to interact with people who are not in my exact age group, income bracket, place in life, or gender. I love, love my friends. I mean, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But we are all women. We are all in our thirties. We all have small children and are sleep-deprived and worry too much. I told David once that I miss guys. He looked at me funny for a moment, but dudes are a good balance–they take things as they are, they often talk in black-and-white and don’t dither about nuances. They joke around more, and not in the sarcastic way women usually joke. I’m totally being sexist and generalizing, aren’t I? Holy cow. But still. When I worked I interacted with heavy metal fans, and women who drove motorcycles, and people who ran marathons or traveled all over the world. People who had kids or didn’t, were almost retired or just starting out. People who were different than I.
I want to play music at home or in my car that is not acoustic and may or may not contain swear words. Loudly.
I want a commute, either on a train or in a car. I want forty minutes alone each day, at some point, to listen to the radio, think quietly, process my life, reflect.
I want to be able to stop by the gym without scheduling it.
I want to be able to interact with my friends without having to organize a playdate to do so.
I want a performance review. I want someone, periodically, to meet with me about the work I’m doing, give me lots of compliments and positive feedback, and send me back to my tasks refreshed and encouraged.
I want to be in a setting where it’s unusual for someone to cry, hit, steal, scream or whine.
Basically, I want all the benefits of a job. Without actually working one (a paying one, I know. I have a job, yadda yadda).
Now, here’s my disclaimer, which you and I both know: I have dear children. I have sweet children, who, really, most of the time are exceptionally well-behaved. No, I’m not bragging; it’s just how they are. We got lucky with really good kids. Seriously. Quinn said “thank you” today to a cashier as we were leaving a store. She says “Bess you” to strangers who sneeze. Saoirse holds the door open for people, and is so quick to apologize for misbehaving you wish you didn’t have to reprimand her in the first place. I have never been as happy as I’ve been these past few years.
I’m tired. I’m scared that my world has gotten too small. I drink so much coffee that my hands are shaking by 2:30 p.m. As content as I am in my life–truly content, because really, what more could I want, other than maybe a red Audi R8 or regular vacations to Atlantis?–some days, when one child won’t stop whining for attention, and the other is tired of her older sister getting attention for the whining that was being done because she was getting more attention in the first place, and you’re late to music class and your day’s schedule is nothing but errands and laundry and you really want a date night with your husband but keep forgetting to ask your mom to watch the girls and you’re just so tired of staring at the inside of your four walls because there’s always something–something!–that needs to be organized or dusted or washed, well, those days you just have to hit the wall and fall where you will. Sometimes you just have to allow yourself to wallow in your own frustrations, petty and temporary as they may be. You have to let yourself kind of swim around in the bitterness for a bit, because then, like a good performance review, once you climb out of the rut–getting a good night’s sleep would probably help, here–your perspective is back to what it should be. You see all the good around you, you appreciate the tear-stained hug your daughter gives you after she just slammed her favorite toy into a table lamp, and you consider yourself lucky to be able to wear Converse sneakers all day instead of uncomfortable stilettos (I’ll admit that last one’s a stretch).
A bad day, if you can look at it this way, kind of sets the barometer back to sea level. I always hated playing Mario Brothers with my little brother when we were kids, because one small mistake could send Luigi (I always got Luigi) tumbling into that awful abyss. The good part of it, though, was that at least the game was over and I could try again. Not that I did, of course, because by that point I’d probably be so frustrated I’d declare video games stupid and go back to reading Jane Eyre or something. But you get my point. If I did have a job, that incompetent boss would probably drive me batty, and I’d just come home venting about him, and start to dread going to work in the morning. I’d probably start wearing flats to work because those awesome new boots I’d gotten hurt my feet. I’d probably tell that nosy person in the lunchroom to mind her own beeswax and she would just start a rumor about how I’m testy because I have three thyroids and a intolerance for oxygen. So I’ll stick with what I have, because my husband is cute and massively even-keeled, as frustrating as that is when I’m raring for a fight, and my daughters make watching them grow the most entertaining and awe-inspiring spectator sport imaginable. Though, I might just take to wearing those red pumps to the library now and again…or at least just on the bad days.
Dammit, there I go again, putting a positive spin a crappy day. I have got to stop doing that. Seriously, how annoying is that? I promise, next time I’ll try to just complain a lot and leave it at that, okay? After all, we all need to be the annoying lady in the lunchroom sometimes. She always had the most fun of anybody.