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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!