Kids are finally in bed.
TV is on, though I’m not really paying attention.
Being thankful that today is done, and that tomorrow is another day.
You’ve probably heard (seen, read, over-digested) one of the many versions of this quote a ridiculous amount of times in your existence:
“You’ve gotta’ dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt.
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
– William W. Purkey
But to (part of) this, I saw, NAY!
When I need a real release, I dance like EVERYONE is watching.
Because it takes real confidence to be sassy, outgoing and exuberant knowing all eyes are on you.
Because it’s important to be yourself, missteps and all, and not give a damn what anyone else might think.
And because, quite frankly, I make this look good.
I love baking. I also love trying something new. Working with puff pastry is not nearly as scary since you don’t have to make it from scratch now that it’s readily available pre-rolled, in sheets, in the freezer section of your grocery store.
Still, spending a few quiet minutes baking something new… getting everything organised… assembling… smelling the aromas wafting from the oven… and then eating… what’s not beautiful about that?!
I was feeling mopey today. Lonely. Sad. Overwhelmed.
Before having kids, I never used to be much for going out. I mean, I’ve always been social and rarely went long periods without hanging out with someone, but I’d often pick watching a movie at home with a friend over going to a bar. The strange thing is, now that I don’t have the option of going out and doing my own thing, the loneliness of the situation sometimes brings me down. Where I used to cherish having alone-time, now I get lost in it and struggle to fill the time with stuff that satisfies me. Most people I know have their own shit to do, or their own kids, or spouses… and I guess I’m still coping with how depressing it is having nowhere to go and nothing to do on Fridays and Saturdays.
After being cooped up in the house all day with the kids, I finally took them to the park after dinner. I figured a change of scenery might change my mood. Or, at the very least, the sound of one of my girls crying over being pushed by the other wouldn’t be so loud outdoors. 😉
Not too long after we arrived, I immersed myself in a (not-so) exciting game of solitaire on my iPhone (good God that sounds pathetic!), when a mom, her dog and three kids arrived. She made a few attempts at conversation which only annoyed me. Couldn’t she see that I was busy being a nerd damn it?! Now, I normally make friends easily, though I’m not quite at my mom’s level of proficiency. That woman will talk to a doorknob. Still, I had to take a moment, put the phone down and realise that I had been craving adult interaction all freaking day. I was lonely as hell before going to the park. Why was I not seizing this opportunity?!?
So I started paying attention… and I’m glad I did. Within minutes, her two eldest daughters were saying they’d “take care of the baby”. My eldest and her youngest, who are the same age, were chasing each other through the play structure. We commiserated over how all moms “hate” this job every once and a while. We laughed over how if an adult behaved like a 3 year old we’d call him an asshole. (But obviously we’d never call our kids that… to their face.)
… she didn’t want to shake hands, she wanted a hug (my kid of gal) …
… she wants to get together for tea …
… she lives within walking distance of my house …
… one of her kids said she wants to babysit my kids when she “grows up” …
It was the perfect antidote to my mopey mood.
I’m not sure how much I believe in fate, but this meeting was certainly a fortuitous coincidence.
PS. DD4 hasn’t had the chance to bike much this summer. I’ve often been afraid of letting her go on her own, because of having to prevent DD2 from running into traffic at the same time as I keep reminding DD4 to look ahead. Still, I let her bike to the park today. It took her about 5 minutes of coming and going for her to build enough confidence to do it, but she eventually went off on her own with her bike to follow the other kids around the park paths. She was gone for a good 15 minutes and was so happy when she came back… proudly yelling “I did it mommy!”
At bedtime, DD4 said to me “YOU did it mommy. You helped me ride my bike. That was your special gift to me.”
And moments like that make this job totally worthwhile.
I have my first class this term at the University of Ottawa theatre department tomorrow. It’s my third year as a professor and I love it whole heartedly.
I’m nervous. I’m excited. I still have prep-work to do. I don’t know what to wear.
But through the nerves, there’s one major calming element:
My pad of Dots and Stripes sticky notes.
I heart them.
Some Twitter moms have recently made comments on my usage of the #lazymom hashtag saying that it devalues me… that I am a strong, confident and successful mom who shouldn’t focus on my low points. While I use the #hashtag with tongue firmly planted in cheek 99%, the comments did make me reconsider the accuracy of the hashtag.
Rewind back to a couple of weeks ago. Not long after I bought DD4’s backpack and lunchbox for school, I started thinking about the potential hell that is making school lunches and taking a closer look at what I was feeding my kids. While my girls are happy and healthy balls of energy, I noticed that I was making the same boring things over and over again. The meals were relatively balanced, sure, but they required little to no energy from me. Furthermore, they certainly weren’t challenging my kids at all. How the heck can I expect them to like curry as much as I do if I never make it for them? How will they get used to different textures if they are always exposed to the same ones? #lazymom was in full swing.
Cooking for one (+ 2 who maybe-might-probably-won’t eat it kids) is certainly not the easiest, but I completely forgot how much enjoyment I get out of being in the kitchen. Not to mention that I essentially stopped taking care of myself and kept fueling the #lazymom machine with the same boring, bland foods that I fed the kids.
So I recently started making meal plans again. Sure, there’s the still the occasional “pizza” and “hot dogs” on the list. Yes, it’s a challenge creating a meal that will have elements that hopefully everyone will enjoy. And, yes, I often just let the kids eat yogurt and applesauce instead of what I’ve made. They are trying new things… some of the time. Though what I feel is just as valuable is that they are seeing me taking better care of myself. They help me in the kitchen. Mealtime is (sometimes… not always!) more fun now. My diet is more varied and I’m slowly but surely gaining energy that has mysteriously gone missing.
I forgot how much I love food and that eating is not just something that’s on my to-do list. There’s a lot of untapped potential here and I am looking forward to see how this develops.
Besides, I’m a good cook. I’ve been told so. I’m a keeper!
#ubermom has been born.
PS. Here are some links to what I’ve made recently. I’m a bit in love with www.allrecipes.com and have been since university. The site has a great search function and lots of variety. It gets a huge amount of traffic and so reviews/comments are always helpful to decide if a recipe is risky or not. It’s certainly not a perfect resource, but it’s been a huge help for me.
My fav pizza sauce for when I want to be slightly less lazy than opening the freezer or picking up the phone.
A really easy Italian Dressing mix that you can use with oil/vinegar … mayo… or as a seasoning.