The Girl…

 

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Natalie. She was born on Mother’s Day weekend of 2008. With her arrival came a HUGE change for her parents. Not only would they learn how to soothe a screaming baby who cried for days/weeks/months on end, but they’d also learn that there is absolutely nothing in this world as awesome as watching a child grow up…

They watched as she learned to walk, talk, dance and sing. They’ve watched her fall down, and get back up. They’ve seen her cry for no reason, and for very good reasons as well. They’ve seen her yell and storm away from them in anger. They’ve felt her small arms wrapped around their necks to hug them tightly. Each year, the arms getting longer and stronger. They’ve watched her succeed and also fail. They’ve watched her grow for 8 whole years as time flew past at a rate that, looking back seemed far too fast.

At 8 years old, Natalie “The Boss” Baldwin is a strong-willed, somewhat overly opinionated young girl who loves her barn filled with animals, wants to be a vet when she grows up, and couldn’t imagine ever hanging out with her mother. She’s a daddy’s girl through and through. She doesn’t play with dolls, but with barn cats, chickens, bunnies and dirty pigs. She works hard and plays even harder. She has a big heart that she wears proudly on her sleeve. If you ask her for help, she won’t hesitate (unless you’re her mother). She also has a fierce attitude, quick temper and could easily be your worst enemy if you get on her bad side. Trust me, I know this already. Natalie is everything an 8 year old girl should be. Happy, healthy and filled with hope.

Today we celebrate our #1 girl. The girl in a straw hat and purple converse hi-tops. The girl who I watched pile bricks on the lawn tractor seat so she’d be heavy enough to make it run. The girl who doesn’t walk or run, but skips along. The girl who likes her music loud and her clothes brightly coloured. The girl who started it all.

Happy 8th Birthday Ms. Natalie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Real Me” Revealed

There was a time when I believed I would one day return to the person I was before I had my three kids. I believed wholeheartedly that one day I’d wake up, get dressed in real adult clothes again, and shake my mom-ponytail free. That I’d wake up and somehow be the same woman I was prior to having my children. I believed that one day, I’d be the “real me” again. After almost 8 years, I know one thing. The person I once was, will never reappear. For the first time ever… I’m relieved and excited to know that.

These past few months, perhaps even well over a year now, have been insanely busy for me. I haven’t had a chance to write anything about it, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. Almost everyday I’ve thought about the things I have to say about my life as a mom, how it has changed me. The early years of motherhood were very dark days for me. Exhaustion, isolation and extreme depression made for years of struggle. I made the best of it, did what I had to do, but remember very clearly thinking, “when will I ever be myself again?” The truth is, I wasn’t myself even prior to having kids. I don’t think I ever had a chance to even know who I actually was before popping out 3 kids in 4 years. I was so young. So naive. SO OUT TO LUNCH! So my dreams of one day returning to the person I was at 26, when I had my first child? SO NOT GOING TO HAPPEN… and THANK GOD FOR THAT!!

I turned 30 just before New Years, 2013. I don’t believe in resolutions, but I wrote one anyway. I wrote and posted on my Facebook wall, “My new years resolution is to start making the changes I always chicken-out of making. Time to stop trying to fit in where I don’t, be something I’m not, and follow along instead of leading.” These past few days, as I’ve been driving around on my countless errands I’ve thought about this one sentence. Over and over. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is perhaps the first (and probably last) resolution I’ve ever proclaimed and ACTUALLY kept. Writing those words on my Facebook wall, where, let’s get serious…no one gives a crap,  was the FIRST and BEST step I made for myself. Shortly after I wrote this, I trained and ran a marathon, I gave up on a lot of people I needed to leave behind…I accepted myself for who I was. I didn’t even know I was doing it. It just happened. In the past 3 years I can tell you, I’ve kept that resolution. Through and through. I haven’t wavered for one second.

As a result, I’ve become a better mom, and a better person all around. I’ve let go of so many things that held me back in my younger years. All the caring about people and things that didn’t matter…gone. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, I didn’t even recognize any change until just recently. I had spent countless years caring and doing things that didn’t matter. Worrying about what people thought. Trying to control situations I had no right to. If something went wrong, I’d spend an eternity worrying about what I could have/should have done to fix it. After I wrote that one sentence, that resolution, I started to stop doing those things. Instead of worrying about how other people felt, I worried about how it impacted my life. I learned I cannot be in charge of other people’s feelings or actions. That saying no, was something I could and should do on a frequent basis. That trying to be everything to everyone is a massive, time-consuming mistake, and one I wasn’t making time for anymore. Letting go of so much of what I thought I had to be, so many hours trying to fit in where I clearly didn’t… It made my life so much better. It has opened doors to a ton of new friends. New experiences. A much better world. A much better me.

Long ago I cried to my husband about how unhappy I was with where I was in life. I cried about all of my failings, all of the let-downs of my life. I searched for a person or thing to blame. He said one thing to me, a thing that has stuck with me since the day he said it. He said, “If you want something, you have to take it. No one is going to give you what you want in life. You have to take it for yourself.” I thought he was insane, but have come to realize that there is nothing more true in life. As a result, I’ve thought about what I want for myself and for my family, and every choice I’ve made has been entirely about getting to where I want us to be.

I have felt much elation and complete panic about my youngest daughter heading off to school in September. This moment was supposed to be the beginning of getting back to “me.” I told myself I’d have a plan. I thought I had a really good one, and then as it came closer, things changed, I changed. It didn’t fit anymore. I spent nights awake thinking about what my next plan would be. It came, and went just the same. I ended up getting completely sidetracked by a family situation regarding my niece so that has taken up so much of my mind-space in this past year.  As a family we’ve struggled to keep up. To make the right choices. To do what we believe is right in the face of complete insanity. It’s caused stress. It’s caused strain in our marriage and family. It has been hard. Regardless, somehow we’ve managed to keep it together. I’ve learned that sometimes you can only do so much before you have to tap out and take a detour back. That you can’t save the world. That you can’t fight to the bitter end, because you can’t win.  That sometimes you lose, and it’s wrong, and you move on. That sometimes the risk is too great on your own family. That sometimes you just give in, and it’s totally OK to do that. That sometimes your plans are derailed and you just wait until the smoke clears and you can get yourself back on track.

I may never be that carefree 26 year old again and I’m glad for that. These past 8 years have taught me a lot. These 8 years have taught me more than I could ever write in one place.

Simply put, I’ve learned what years of sleep deprivation does to your mind. I’ve learned how to clean up every sort of bodily function without gagging but most importantly… I’ve learned what it feels like to love another person more than you love yourself. I can’t regret my kids, or the havoc they wreaked on my life in their baby years. Without them, I wouldn’t be the “me” I have been searching years for.

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But I was TOLD Things Would Get Easier…

A month ago, this was me…

Freedom

I spent each day for a week doing EXACTLY what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. I loved every second.

Fast forward to now. When I do NOTHING I want to do, ALL of the time. I do NOT love every second of it. I’m not complaining though. I understand that this is what it’s like this when you have kids. But really? Maybe my Costa Rica trip spoiled me, or maybe I’m right and these kids are really out to get me. I’m in the final stages of a weekend alone with the kids while Nick retaliates with a guys’ ski trip. While it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I expected, I AM DONE!! Seriously. My throat hurts, and I can tell you, it isn’t because I’m sick. If I have to yell “STOP FIGHTING!” one more time…

Let’s just say it’s been a long weekend without Nick’s back-up.

Yesterday I was at my mother’s house pawning “craft-time” off on her. I played Candy Crush on my phone while she busted out the glitter glue and paint with the kids. I’ve given up on trying to be the crafty mom. Screw crafts. In my opinion, it’s true that good moms do crafts with their kids. But Smart moms take them to grandma’s house. But I digress… My mom looked at me and said, “WOW, you have 3 KIDS now.” What she meant was that now I no longer have 2 kids and a baby. 2 kids and a baby wasn’t nearly as difficult as 3 talking-back, not listening, doing whatever the hell they please KIDS! It made me remember a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago, with a new mom. I promised her it would get easier. HA! I’m so full of shit. What I should have told her was that yes, soon you will master this new baby stage and be totally comfortable. But then you know what, it moves to the next level. A harder level. If you continue to have more babies, yes, you will catch on faster, become immune to sleep deprivation and get into the groove of babies. BUT, once they all start growing up…You’re screwed. Really. I think back on the “baby” days and I think, damn, what the hell was I even complaining about? Now I have to deal with attitude. I have to deal with disciplining them. I have to make sure they don’t turn into homicidal maniacs. Now I get to deal with school, kids at school and the behaviours they pick up from those kids. As an example, Jack came home from school singing about “ball-sacks in your mouth.” What the hell is that all about? Do I even want to know?? Suddenly, I’m having to think about parenting, and not just meeting their base needs. Yes, I still feed them, bathe them, and occasionally wipe a few butts, but now… Now I have to put thought into how I’m going to make sure they grow up to be functioning adults. I have to figure out how to keep them off of the Jerry Springer Show!! It’s crazy overwhelming, and I’d argue completely unfair. As if the first two years of insomnia and ass-wiping wasn’t enough work… Now I have to use the brain that has been turned to mush from too much Treehouse? Uh-oh.

I have heard so many different tricks of the trade when it comes to kids. Most of it has been complete crap. After all, I can recall a few people telling me that it gets easier the more kids you have. Yeah. I call bullshit on that one! I take all of the advice I’ve heard, and I pour myself a glass of wine and laugh. Everyone has different kids, different lives, and way different experiences. No one knows what the hell they are doing, so I’m not going to pretend I do. Instead, I’ll just try my best, and hope that none of my kids turn into crazed lunatics, thieves, or stars of ridiculous reality TV shows. So, to my dear friend with the new baby. Yes, it’s hard but it doesn’t last forever. If you’re ever in a stage where you think you can’t take another day…Just wait a week, and BAM! a whole new level to master. You’ll figure it out, we all do. Hang in there.

As for me… Right now I’ll remind myself to enjoy these kids, while they’re kids…. I’m already getting comments about the hell that the teen years bring. Hooray for parenting!!

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Mom Really is the Loneliest Number…

I was in the middle of writing a list of things that I’ve learned since becoming a mom 6 years ago. After reading it over and over, I decided that I’d heard it all before. If it was old news to me, it’s probably old news to you too. Of course I know (along with every other mom out there) about the sleep deprivation, the conversations about poop and the extreme exhaustion you will feel just in getting dressed every morning. It can be funny to read about it and relate to. List aside, there was one thing that I wanted to say, but couldn’t. It seemed to be trapped. Too shameful to say. I don’t know if it is because we aren’t supposed to talk about it, or if maybe I’m the only one in the world who feels it, but I’m just going to go ahead and say it. Being a mom is extremely isolating and lonely.

Before I had kids I had a job, and friends, and a pretty extensive social network. I had my own life, and although it was nothing like an episode of Sex and the City, it was still much more exciting than my life post-kids. When I was pregnant the first time it didn’t even occur to me that soon my social life would be non-existent. I figured that it would just change. I would do things all the other moms did. Like drink coffee while our kids played together, spend hours at the park and giggle with the other women about how sweet our kids were. Post-baby I realized that in fact, being a mom was the loneliest gig out there. My daughter didn’t like mom/baby groups, and to be honest, neither did I. She cried the whole time, grumpy that we weren’t at home in the rocking chair. I usually sat there red-faced feeling like a failure-mom for not being able to soothe her or make her sweet and smiley like the other babies. There were no great friendships started with other moms or feelings of camaraderie. It was fine and passed the time, but that was it.

Two more kids later, and not much has gotten better. Yes, there are play dates and mom friends that keep me from going completely feral (and I am grateful), but those usually consist of conversation about our kids. These events are not bad in any way, but they hardly replace true uninterrupted adult interaction. All of our mom conversations feels distracted, or rushed. Moms are busy people. Contrary to popular opinion, we aren’t just sipping lattes and doing yoga. We are usually always focused on what our kids are doing, where they are, whether or not they are about to stab another kid with a stick (maybe that’s just me). We don’t have a lot of time to get into detail about the challenges and hardships of being a mother, wife or woman. I know lots about these moms, but not about the women behind the mom-badge. Does that even make sense?

Back in the early years I would plan nights away, without kids. When I did, it always seemed like the odds were stacked against me. Someone would get sick, and then I’d feel guilty for leaving. Plans would change, babysitters would cancel. If on the off chance I actually could escape for a night with a girlfriend, I’d spend the entire time worried about what was happening at home. I knew that when I got back the work would have piled up and I’d have to spend double the amount of time trying to catch up. The dishes would be piled, the kids would be dirty, and the house a total write-off. Eventually I just gave up on going out all together. It seemed easier to just push that aside and tell myself I’d get back to normal once my kids grew up a little bit. I thought it was what I had to do to be a better mom.

I’m only thinking of this now, because I’m sitting in the house with my three kids alone. Tonight is yet another night out for my husband. He doesn’t understand how I feel about this at all. He says that he’s not stopping me from doing the same thing, and he’s right. But what he doesn’t understand is how lucky he is to live in an area where he has friends who want to go out with him. How lucky he is to have a community of people who stop in to see him, and who want to spend time with him. People who talk to him as a man, and not just a father.

I gave up my job, my friends and any resemblance of my old self because that’s what good moms do. Right? My husband is lucky because he doesn’t feel an ounce of guilt when he goes out and has fun. He doesn’t think about what will happen when he has a horrendous hangover and can’t function the next day. He doesn’t worry that he’ll come back from a night away to a pile of work to do. He doesn’t have to. And yes, I’m jealous. 

So if I were to write a list of things women need to know about having kids, I’d write this: There will be times when you feel completely isolated and lonely, and that’s normal. There are lots of us women out there who are surrounded by their kids and even other moms, and still feel all alone. 

I’m not sure I know this as fact yet, but I’m pretty sure it passes. Our kids grow up, and we start to have time for people over 4 feet tall again. Until then — I’m just hanging in there. I’m looking forward to that scene, like the end of a movie, where the wounded hero emerges from the pile of rubble to claim victory! It’s going to happen for me, for all of us. 6 years down, 16 or more to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lacking Mom-Magic? Don’t Worry, Your Kids Will Be Alright!

I was reading this article on parenting earlier, and the whole time I was thinking “yes, yes, YES!” It was about how the author was sick of making her kid’s childhood magical. It struck a chord with me, particularly as I was just thinking about how much of a failure I was for not having an elaborate birthday party planned for my eldest daughter’s 6th birthday next month. Actually, let me re-phrase that. I wasn’t feeling like a failure so much as panicking over how I’d come up with something so very special for her that all her friends would think she’s the luckiest kid on earth. As I was waiting for her to finish school, I read this article and instantly felt relieved. Thank goodness there are other parents out there who are sick and tired of always trying to entertain their kids, make things over-the-moon special and picture-perfect in every way. She’s 6. She should be happy with a cake, balloons and her friends coming over to trash our house for an afternoon. That’s what I got as a kid, and I thought it was awesome.

The article mentioned the kind of feelings I can relate to. Panic over having to come up with awesome ideas that will not only entertain my kids, but make them smarter and better people. I fear that they will have a horrible childhood if I don’t scour Pinterest looking for cool Easter crafts and baking ideas. I worry that if I don’t have them signed up for every sport and extracurricular activity going, they will miss out on something. At times I have thought that it’s my job to make every moment magical and special for them.  If I can’t keep up with all the other moms, will my kids become future sociopaths and monsters who end up facing a life imprisonment? Sometimes I work myself up enough to think the answer is yes.

The article states that we spend entirely too much time planning elaborate games/crafts/parties/activities to entertain our kids. I agree, because really, my parents didn’t do half the stuff I see on Pinterest and Facebook, and I think I turned out OK. In fact, there are a whole bunch of us poor adults wandering around aimlessly with no memories of our moms creating magical boats out of juice boxes, or planning elf on the shelf hiding spots to make our eyes pop out of our heads. We didn’t have parents who played with us 24/7 and made everyday an adventure for us. We had parents who set us free instead, to find our own adventure. We were allowed to be alone, and we created our own games and sources of entertainment. This parenting style seems to have gone the wayside, and I think that’s a shame. When I think of my childhood my parents are somewhat of an afterthought. What I remember is my sisters and brother, and my cousins and our whole world that we created by ourselves, outside in the trees, or on the beach at our rickety cottage. I remember special occasions most because of the “kid table” that had it’s own pecking order. We were our own community. We were our own world. I think that was what made my childhood magical. We were left to interpret the world in the way a child naturally does-with magic. Now everything is set out with a plan and a lesson. Structure, structure, structure. Parents are defeating the purpose when they try to force a “magic” that comes naturally to their kids.

Earlier I was planning out what kind of Easter craft I would do with the kids this weekend. I think I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I HATE crafts. My daughter loves them. I usually find something online, and try to re-create it with the kids. When theirs (and naturally mine as well) don’t work out as planned, I get upset that I failed to create the perfect craft memory with my kids. Even writing that makes me shake my head. Yes, that’s ridiculous. I know. So this time I collected a bunch of paper, markers and some cute Easter stickers from the dollar store. I’ll drink my tea and watch them do crafts. They can do elaborate arts and crafts at school or at daycare and that doesn’t make me a bad mom at all.

All that aside, I do think it is a parent’s job to make things special for kids sometimes. I have very fond memories of some of the stupid and pointless things my parents did to make things fun for us. I remember my Dad telling us stories about a mythical magical monster named “fuck-a-loogie” who lived in the closet. I’m not even kidding. Leave it to my father to use a swear word in his magical monster’s name. He’d tell us the story and then when he left “fuck-a-loogie” would appear wearing a rope mop-head for hair with a clementine in his mouth. One time he even appeared in our window. It freaked the crap out of us, and we LOVED IT! As a side note on that: Clearly I get my twisted sense of humour and childhood memory-making skills from my dad.

When I asked Natalie what her best memory is so far, she said this: “Remember when you were driving and you ran over the 911 sign?” Yeah, so she remembers when I was sleep deprived, with three kids in the car (Millie was only 10 days old at the time), and I mowed over the 911 number sign at our house. She didn’t even mention the trips to Disney that cost us several thousands of dollars. Proof that kids don’t give a damn how much money you spend.

My kids will be OK. They have plenty of “magic” in their lives. Natalie once asked me if I’d take my hair out of the messy ponytail it was in. When I asked her why she said: “so we can see the eyes.” When I was wasn’t getting it, she said: “Mom, you said you had eyes in the back of your head. That’s where you hide them right? In your ponytail?” Clearly they aren’t lacking in the imagination department. That’s good enough for me.

 

 

 

Singing Instead of Shouting…

I will admit that somedays I do a lot of yelling. Days spent with 3 kids can be very stressful, and I’ve been known to lose my cool when things take a turn for the worse. Last week as I was browsing through blogs, I found something that made me laugh. I’m new to this, so I have no clue how I actually ended up where I did, but I was inspired by the words of another mother. I found a blog by a woman who is on a mission to stop yelling. I was intrigued. She has decided to sing instead of yell. That’s right. When things get crazy, and she wants to yell at her kids, she busts out in song. “The Hillllllllls are alive with the sound of muuusssic…” This cracked me up, and made me want to jump on this singing bandwagon. You can read her blog here. It’s a pretty neat idea.

Yesterday was a day that brought me to the brink of insanity. My kids were on top of their “drive mom bat-shit crazy” game. I believe they wanted to see if they could break me. They came close. By the end of the day my throat was so raw from yelling that it sounded as if I had been drinking whiskey and chain-smoking all day long. It was rough. This will not happen today. Today, when they hit, fight, break or destroy something, I will not lose my cool. I will not spend the day yelling at them. Today, I WILL SING!! 

Tonight we’re being joined by their 2 friends for a sleep-over. 5 kids, 1 mom, no yelling. A test of wills… Bring it on!!

 

 

 

Happy Jack vs. Sad Jack

The other day Jack and I were doing laundry together. I was trying to teach him to fold his underwear, and he was enlightening me with his vast knowledge of Lightning McQueen and car racing. I decided it was a good time to ask him a few simple but important questions. Asking Jack anything is usually opening yourself up to being completely confused and eventually becoming very irritated. He jumps from one topic to the next, dances, sings and is even known to throw in some ninja-kicks when you give him the chance to talk. He cracks me up, but sometimes he says really profound things without even trying. We started a discussion on feelings. We listed different feelings and he acted them all out for me. When he was done playing charades I said “OK, now what makes you happy Jack?” Jack listed a ton of things. He named his friends, going to their houses, them visiting our house, going to daycare, his daycare lady, the boat, the beach, ice cream, candy, Batman. I actually had to stop him. He was filled with excitement, talking about all the things he loves. Then I asked him “Ok, now what makes you sad?” He looked at me and had no clue what I was asking. I didn’t want to put words in his mouth, so we went through what sad meant again. Still, he struggled. Then he listed three things. 1. When it rains, because he doesn’t like thunder. 2. When slides at the park are too big for him to go down. 3. Going to the beach and thinking a shark will bite his leg off.  I didn’t know what to say to this kid. As I was thinking of the perfect thing, he quickly jumped up and down a few times and said “Can we get a piggy Mom? Pleeeease??” Obviously Jack had moved on from our conversation. He ran out of the room. Our time was up. Jack is a busy kid. He doesn’t have time to waste on sadness.

I didn’t really put much thought into the conversation for a few days. I laughed, because who lists a possible shark attack as one of the things that make them sad? Just this morning I was replying to an email from one of the people who contacted me after my PPD post, and I was thinking about depression, and sadness in general. I thought back to my conversation with Jack. The things that make my 3 year old sad, are things that he is afraid of. He’s afraid of thunderstorms, getting hurt on a slide, and possibly having his leg eaten by a shark. His fears are of things he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand that thunder isn’t meant to be scary, that he probably won’t get hurt on the slide, and that in fact, there aren’t any leg-eating sharks in Weller’s Bay.

I started to think about my own happy vs. sad list. I can list many things that make me happy. I can also list just as many (and maybe even more) things that make me sad. When I started to think about specific things, I realized that my own sad list was filled with things I fear. I am sad (or mad, which I’ve learned is pretty much the same thing for me) when people treat me badly, because I am afraid that these people do not like me, don’t accept me, and so on. I am sad when innocent children get sick or die, because I do not understand why it happens. There is no way to justify children dying. Now all of this isn’t that profound, I’m aware of that, but I started to think that if I could just understand or accept a few of my fears, maybe my sad list could shrink to be as small as Jack’s. Totally unrealistic, I know. He’s 3. He doesn’t have anything to worry about. He doesn’t deal with any of the adult stresses in life. If he’s at the playground and someone pushes him down, he lets out a scream and then gets on with it. He starts climbing another ladder, and I don’t think he ever thinks about it again. He’s forgotten within minutes, even seconds. That’s why his sad list is so short. He doesn’t ever focus on anything that makes him sad. He believes that he is great. We tell him everyday. He knows that we love him and that he is special. He never questions that. He accepts that what we tell him is fact and it is. I worry about the day when he starts to question those things. When people hurt him and tell him the opposite of what he hears now. I wonder if we will have filled him up with enough confidence to know that he IS all those good things we told him. I worry a lot about my kids and their confidence. I think of how they will deal with bullying and hurtful things that people say and do to them. Sometimes people are real assholes, and although I hate the idea of my kids knowing that, it’s a lesson they’ll have to learn and accept. I’m not going to worry about it now though, because so far my kids all have long happy lists, and short sad ones.

It’s crazy what you can learn in a 10 minute conversation with a 3 year old. Jack reminded me to keep it simple. To stop focusing on the sad, and get excited over my happy list. Maybe I’ll bust out a few ninja-kicks now, Jack-style.

Picture time… Happy Jack and his big sister Natalie (she made his happy list).

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The Self Check

Since the title of this blog has wine in the title, perhaps I should explain the test we call the “self check.” With three small children in the house, we obviously enjoy alcoholic beverages. It goes without saying, that when life gets crazy, we stop and have a drink together to make sense of the insanity. That said, we must check our status every once in awhile, to make sure we aren’t going above and beyond social drinking into the land of indulging too much. One night my DH (Dearest Husband, not to be confused with Dumb Husband, Dick Head Husband, Dolt Husband or any other variation. I will gladly let you know when I’ve changed his nickname to any of the above mentioned.)  Anyway, my DH came home to say, I want to check to make sure I have this drinking thing under control so I’m doing the “self check.” Confused, as I often am, I asked for clarification. This check involves not drinking any sort of alcoholic beverage for a designated time. If at such time, one “needs” a drink or can’t be without a drink, then a red flag goes up and a drinking problem could be indicated. After a very long, hard week of relentless work, whining children and an excessive amount of family stress, DH says he’s having a beer. Sure, fine, totally OK with me. He says to me, “It’s OK, I’ve done my self check. I’m good to go.” After his designated non-drinking time he has come to the firm decision that this beer after work is not a problem, but merely a way to unwind and relax from a hard day. OK, I get this. I am a total fan of pre-dinner drinks, social cocktail hours and occasional “we don’t have kids, let’s get loaded” behaviours. I was shocked that he was even concerned about this. I don’t know many parents that don’t indulge (or over-indulge when necessary) when given the opportunity. It didn’t even cross my mind that beer was something he was worried about. OK, I’m going to be dead honest here. I LOVE wine. There isn’t a wine I’ve really ever disliked. I mean, if it’s that bad, add ginger ale. It’s all good. I have never felt that having a glass of wine while making dinner was a bad thing. Call me crazy, but what’s the big deal? I have three kids. I do not get the chance to drink until I can’t function. After that glass of wine (or two) I have to bathe my kids, read them stories, tuck them in. How does one do that while highly intoxicated? I’ve never thought I needed the “self check.” Sure, given the opportunity (away from my kids) I will drink my face off. Hell, I get that chance very few times a year. But, on a day to day basis? Really? Why is this even a topic to discuss? So, after DH has concluded that he isn’t an alcoholic, the conversation turns to me. When was the last time I did a self-check? How do I know I’m in the clear? My answer: “I’m a woman. I just know.”  I’m drinking a glass of wine while I type this. My kids are in bed. CHEERS!!!

Of course I mean no disrespect to people who suffer from alcoholism. It’s in no way a joke or something to take lightly, and I would never diminish the severity of this disease. All I’m saying is, don’t hate on parents who have drinks.