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The reason this blog exsists…

This is our place, moms all alike, those that don’t have a voice to share, I will do it for you. If you want to scream at your kids, it will be me, get a little botox, sure why not. Try that Paleo diet to loose weight and see if your body stops aching-that will be me, for you and all for one! I will try things, except yucky things, I will keep my body, mind and spirit young-all for us!

 

 

 

My mom always said I was beautiful…

DG with ESIt has been quite sometime since I have written as Mom Behind the Mask, and sharing this photo I feel really certain, isn’t giving me away for another day.

Yet the message and timing couldn’t be more symbolic.

This is how I looked in 1977 at a dance. I pulled this photo out of my hope chest (come to think of it, why would I keep this in a chest full of wishes and hopes YUCK! Subject for another post).  Opening the lid of this beautiful antique hope chest, and taking out the memories of life’s mostly forgotten memories fills me up with many feelings. Feelings that I believe I have passed onto our sons at some point in their lives. Strange that my own precious worn out photos, could stir my decisions on how to parent today.

My mom always said those words…you are beautiful. I never saw it then and for some reason, she saw right through me, knew those days would be long overlooked, with the straightening of the teeth, the contacts replacing the glasses, the eyebrow waxing, and truth be told, my own confidence.

Taking out photos for our upcoming  35th high school reunion has made me realize, those  pictures from any time capsule, be it 1977 or any year at any school , doesn’t define us, and for sure doesn’t help change that uncertain feeling of our teenage selves. Being young has its place, but for the most part it sucks and its worse for this mom.

Without boring you too much, I am fortunate, I will admit I am pretty, I wouldn’t go far as to say beautiful-that 13 year old girl, is still inside me. Perhaps that is what makes me a nice girl and not the other kind.

Fast, fast forward, I am a mom to two boys, actually not boys any longer. a truly handsome 22 year old, with an awkward teenage life.  Today the girls die for his attention, the guys he grew up with are shorter, fatter and the studs, not studs as they once were. Has his 13 year old self changed? Does he looked at his photo shoots of today, and think HA! I am better looking than you…Is he praying for his first high school reunion for those to say “who is that guy?” or “hey that is so-and-so, he is a famous music producer, do you think he will remember me?” I have done my job when you look at him, his humble confidence comes through. Please stay that way son!

I wish I was off the hook of the scorn mom feeling…I see it now with our senior in high school, even today I said to him that I see his confidence wain, it hits me harder than he sees, than my husband cares to hear about.  I think to myself was my insecure younger self, pushing him to a place I want him to be? Am I taking him down that path of insecurity instead of putting him up on a pedestal? And which way is better?  S#it I don’t know! He is super smart, and passionate about a career he hasn’t even begun, he is an amazing soul with a strong, handsome look. Behind his Clark Kent appearance, he hides. His contacts sit in boxes behind the medicine cabinet door. I research this future of his life, from colleges, to fraternities to clubs, and want to paint his picture as I believe he wants it to be. But it may not, probably not what he wants…

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I drag “her” through the dirt of insecure parenting, like a doll listlessly hanging from a three year old on a rainy day.  I can’t imagine my parents ever caring this much, or were those simple words my mom  would say “you look beautiful” is all any teenager needs?

I should ask her one day if she really knew her words would give me the confidence and strength to stand tall, and feel pretty- in the meantime…

I’ll stay behind the mask for another post, to avoid embarrassing my kids. More than that, I hope my story hit home for some mom who is feeling the same way!

The drawer of youth?

Don’t judge me…I have an obsession with looking younger. It isn’t about what you might think, or maybe I don’t know what you are thinking.  I just know that when you get to my age, you start seeing the days of Spring Break in Ft. Lauderdale, the baby oil and years of lifeguarding hit your face like a pitcher of Long Island Icetea hangover.

In my teens, twenties, and thirties I thought it didn’t matter what I did to my skin, like most youth, knowledge is wasted…Now it’s about turning back the clock of time, and truly educating myself ( and maybe you too) about all the products and procedures that will give me a bit of time-back! Watch me through the all the needles, lasers and sculpting, the before and after photos will be authentic, and perhaps this drawer will finally be set with the best products…stay tuned!

drawer of products

When your spouse is acting like a 12 year old boy! And all you want is an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Saturday night we had guests over. My husband of 20 years, 6’3″ 220lb all stature, turned into a little schoolboy, afraid of his own shadow. I had no idea after all these years of being together, that his social fears would come out like a tennis racket strings shattering in mid-stroke. Of all the things that one would describe my husband, being meek or shy he is not. His norm is walking into a room and the crowd shouts F@%ddy! The guys gather around him like a pied piper, women say their hellos, and never flirt. He’s that guy, until this past Saturday night.

I reflect a bit on this evening and think to myself, most of our ‘group of friends’ are his friends. Especially in large, planned out parties. I take note of this as my college friends, some he knows, and others he is meeting for the very first time, enter our home with the ring of the bell. Couples, and friends from my 20s and late teens, to me it feels like an old episode of FRIENDS. I am Monica, he is Tom Seleck’s character Richard the Dentist (people have even said that we look like them). Ironic as I am wondering about how that Richard would have handled Monica’s friends.

I want to catch up and not babysit my 12-year-old husband. Though I feel at a loss for his youthful retreat. I ask the crowd to move to the family room, only a few feet away from where we were conversing in the kitchen, and couldn’t budge them. Why was this guy, my Tom Seleck acting like he didn’t belong in my past?

We are 7 years apart this is fact and part of the fiction of the original Monica and Richard or a bit more years separate them if I remember correctly. When I was in junior high,  F@%ddy was in college. When I was in college, he was married to his first wife with a new baby. Did the age difference really make this evening of FRIENDS a disaster?

Could it be our lives only intersect when he feels most at home?  Even in our home, I couldn’t budge him off the chair to get to know my new-old FRIENDS. My Joey, Rachel, and Chandler were in the house, yet as FRIENDS the connections never happened with F@%ddy. The episode of Richard and Monica hanging with Monica’s friends didn’t really happen in my lost memory either. So why was this modern-day Monica so frustrated with Richard?  Does the past need to stay there with old boyfriends, love letters, scrapbooks and photos from fraternity dances? Or does my Richard today, need to get off his seat and pretend for a few hours that he can relate to my past without jeopardizing our future? Of course, I will never say anything to him, it is only here that I vent.

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Teenagers really know it all!?

I remember all to well, thinking I knew it all when I was between 16-21, invisible, indestructible and a know it all! Now as a parent, my memories are more clear of my own stupid choices, I see it through my own kids actions. And yet there is nothing we can say, or do to change them. Consequences are truly the only thing that will teach them otherwise, sad to know that poor actions/consequences are the only way teens learn from.

I have raised two sons, both are smart, kind and caring. And yet one digs a deeper hole when he falls. He gets out and makes it through stronger and tougher, but why does he or other teens have to fall at all? Will this make him a better, more adjusted adult? Or will he and others soon to be young adults faltering always? I hope not, and knowing my kid, he learns hard and shines through. Just wish he wouldn’t make the mistakes in the first place. Being a mom is a tough road to ride on sometimes, but the joy far outweighs the holes!

 

Girls with mask

 

 

Driving Miss Scary…

mom scared with 15 year driving

So one would think after the third kid I would be a chill, cool and relaxed mom. I wouldn’t worry about much and be able to sit in the passenger seat of the car while my 15 year old learns to drive. IT ISN’T POSSIBLE…IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!

I know I am not alone,  its a feeling we moms get when our babies get behind the wheel. No matter what I do to relax, I can’t, and the strange thing is, my husband seems so at easy with it. Which is what our son needs so why is it so impossible to get “dad” to drive with son.

It truly isn’t fair to either of us, our son and myself. He doesn’t need the stress of me, grabbing any piece of the car that could handle my white knuckle grip, besides the foot break magically appearing on the passenger side when I slam on my own breaks. Lets not forget the immediate uncontrollable squeal, that even child birth didn’t warrant.

Being 15 and a boy is hard enough, let alone being guided by Driving Miss Scary  sitting in the seat next to him. What choice does this poor kid get, a crazy mom, or a dad that hardly fills his driving hours, and throw him out on the road of life with the confidence of a mom, like me.

Boys need their moms up until the day they get their drivers permit! Dads hear me roar!

Hiding the evidence

hiding the evidence

I had to do it, its a thing I can’t stop, I had to shop!  I have tried, boy I have tried (really I haven’t).  The excuse goes like this…I had one of those days, frustrated by a client, and feeling bad for myself, I ran out of the house like it was on fire. I needed retail therapy. After all, it was Spring and the house needed refreshing, besides my BFF is coming in town in a few weeks and she is a tad judgmental.

So this shopping trip was fulfilling my insatiable appetite, like a druggy on the corner looking for his fix, I need this day of shopping.  Making the house look inviting; flowers, candles, outdoor stuff, for an outdoor family room, ahh…one more area to decorate, how can I complain?

Important presentation of any home in our “area” is to rep-re-sent…what does that actually mean you ask? This MomBehindTheMask can tell you it has to be done, hiding the evidence to not only the hubby, but to those prying eyes of the neighborhood ‘Gladys’ who wants to know how you do it.

How do you (me) put together that beautiful, well-put together home?  Filled with the oohs and ahhs of every house wife near by. “Your house looks so nice, ”  “where did you get that table,” “what about that bowl?”  “you must tell me who your decorator is…” So there it is, the evidence of just a few of the bags of guilt. The guilt isn’t about the actual shopping act, or at least completely, or my husband being mad. Its never telling that I shop discount.

I will shop with the elite, those women in the hood, that drive the Range Rovers, but I won’t admit that I ever, or hardly ever, pay full retail. I hunt for the sale, especially the deal. If I can get ‘Gladys’ to compliment my TJ Maxx buy, then I win, and my addiction subsides for another day.

 

 

Is it 5’Oclock somewhere?

its 5oclock

It was about 2PM today and as my normal day goes, I was at the grocery, not just any grocery store, of course it was Whole Foods, after my yoga class I was feeling completely namaste, or maybe not, based on my new found definition. “The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.”

Ok, I was feeling something peaceful and relaxed as I was walking out pushing my cart filled with healthy, organic, gluten free, paleo dinner that my family ( one kid left at home and husband) “loves”.  Now I can’t lie, they hate it! Making fun of me at every turn. Their Happy Meal would consist of…well, yes a Happy Meal, and a full on ice cream bar, with jimmies (partially hydrogenated soybean oil-LARD), caramel sauce that doesn’t have caramel in it, and tons of soda, maybe the soda comes before the ice cream, but you get the picture. Yet they know loving, caring mom/wife wants them to live forever and to lead them to a life of torture of eating cardboard. It works in our family…

Back to my grocery shopping and feeling at peace. There was a young mom, pushing her stroller with one child in it, 3 bags on top and two 4 year olds ( best friends or twins, not quiet sure by her stress level). Which ever her dynamics of family looked like, I could only smile, and then get the funny frown lines in my forehead ( my plastic surgeon told me to avoid)…breathe and I said to myself ” MomBehindTheMask, once you were that young mom, pushing, balancing, screaming and why didn’t anyone like myself now, for example;  stop my 30 something self and say to her, relax…its not worth it, the screaming doesn’t work, the logic does and so does a five o’clock somewhere sign in your house”.

There are no words to help that me, or her…boy oh boy I have tried with my ‘good friend-sister in law’ shh, she isn’t suppose to know I am speaking about her. Its the truth though, I really think 99.9% of us moms go through that space without a clue, without the benefit of our aging bodies, and knowledgeable souls. It comes with the real benefits I promise, as I sit outside on this beautiful afternoon, watching my son and his friend play basketball on the driveway, I reflect. It isn’t about the hardship of being a mom of toddlers, and the worry about who is whose best friend at age 4. Its about this part of the journey. Seeing your kids grow to be strong, smart and kind people. I wish I had words that would change that woman’s grocery store outburst today or help my sister in law with my nephews. I don’t have the answers, I only have time that has passed…and a five o’clock somewhere sign that gives me all the advice I can ask for!

 

 

sleeping…

I don’t ask for much, I make dinner every night, ok 3-4 times a week or so; I clean up, sometimes, do the laundry most of the time ( kids like allowance), and have my glass of red wine a few nights a week (because its good for me). I have a pretty basic life, a good one that I don’t place many demands on my husband. Not asking for the big house, the pool out back…I just want a good night sleep.

I can’t sleeep! It is now  11:56pm on my first blog post, on this nite, I tired to fall asleep with just one of my relaxing esophagus”pills” which is also suppose to make me sleepy. The benefit I see, is to cover up the snoring next to me ( yes honey I love you very, very much). It just not fair, I had the pillow perfectly placed around my ears, to cushion the loud sounds coming from my sweet, kind and overly stuffed up husband. This is my every night. Trying the little nudge first…several times; ear plugs you should see my collection.  Acoustic Sheep, yes that is what it is called, look it up; there is something that is designed for this very notion and I know it works, when I can find the charger cord, and have it positioned just so to charge (will probably need a new one).  I can normally get a good night sleep with all these things in place.

Why don’t they ( and I place all of your husbands in this one category of “they”) support our goals and desires to sleep, there is Zyppah, and those pinchy nose things, of course; then the big daddy, the sleep apnea machine, ok I might be pushing it too far for that contraption. But seriously why can’t they do something to help us sleep under their stupid snoring.

I know I can’t be alone, do you just choose to say nothing when you are with your girlfriends, or just sleep in the guest room? I know your secret…I will not be alone any more, I will be the masked wife/mother to spill the dirt on all our suffering together.

I choose to stay with my husband’s warm body next to mine, in our Sleep Number, the one that has a “partner snore” button and the Zero G, neither of which works in “this home”. Sold with a promise and a prayer that I would lull myself to sleep in the comfort of space and 8 hours of time. BTW, it wasn’t the store clerk filled with promises, it was the snoring husband, sound asleep next to me with me trying to figure out how the he## I am going to get to sleep tonite. me asleep

PS, Morning after…I decided to check my midnight spelling and grammar before I hit publish, and guess what my husband said when I told him he was snoring…“I didn’t hear it”

This is my life!