Mommy Wants a Timeout

In which I contemplate absurd moments in parenthood, occasionally attempt to refer to myself as a “triathlete” while keeping a straight face, and maybe post some random pictures of stuff I’m knitting

Archive for the tag “marriage”

The World’s Hardest Job? Maybe, Maybe Not…

As I let my body recover from some nagging injuries, my priorities for the summer have shifted away from triathlons and races and more towards the domestic sphere, so please humor me as I blog a little more about life, and a little less about training for a while.

A while back a little video kept circulating on Facebook, something about people interviewing for “the world’s hardest job.” I never got around to watching the whole thing, (and I’m not a serious enough blogger to do anything that resembles “research”) but I think the gist of it was that being a stay-at-home mom is the toughest job in the world, and its job description would scare off many a would-be applicant.

It’s a funny premise, and I can’t entirely disagree that a description of what I do day after day sounds pretty tedious: Waking up earlier than I want to, cleaning up messes that seem to regenerate themselves instantly, shuttling my child to back and forth to school while fielding endless questions (How long until our sun turns into a supernova? How much cheese can you eat before you have a heart attack? Do elephants have dentists?), doing my best to prepare fresh, healthy meals for two guys who would frankly prefer to eat a platter of fried chicken with a chaser of Oreos every night.

But the bottom line for me is that, no matter how hard the job is, I get to take care of MY family, MY child, every day, and that’s a pretty awesome gift. I’ve got a husband and a son, these two people I love more than anything in the world, and even though I wish they’d tidy up the trail of items they leave strewn about the house, and gain a little better aim in the bathroom, at least the time I spend cleaning up after them is one way I get to be guardian of my little flock, and mistress of my own castle. Which brings me to my next point…

You know what the hardest job in the world is? I don’t think it’s taking care of your own children, or cleaning your own house. You know what’s harder than that? Taking care of someone ELSE’S kids, who’ve been raised with someone else’s rules and philosophies about discipline, diet, etcetera…Being a preschool teacher or day care worker, for example. Or cleaning someone ELSE’S house…That’s gotta be a tough job, right? Cleaning up after strangers, gaining way too much insight into their personal habits and hygiene…and doing it all for minimum wage, then going home after a long day to it all all over again for your own family. If THAT’S not one of the hardest jobs in the world, I don’t know what is.

So I’ll take the cleaning, the driving, the cooking, the kiddo’s tantrums and whining, and everything else that comes with the job while I consider myself pretty darn lucky for being there for the cuddles, the discoveries, and the milestones. It’s not glamorous, it’s certainly not well-paid, but the hardest job in the world? Not even close!

Sadly, he's no more helpful around the house today than he was when this picture was taken.

Sadly, he’s no more helpful around the house today than he was when this picture was taken.

The Bigger You Are, The Harder You Fall…

Being the preferred parent in a household is as transitory as holding the lead in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination…Just when it seems like there’s one clear frontrunner, another candidate sneaks up from behind to take the lead. Likewise, I seem to have lost my edge as favorite parent in my own household, as evidenced by the following (unofficial) poll results:

Kamran: “I love Daddy as big as all the planets and stars and the whole universe.”

Me: “How much do you love Mommy?”

Kamran (taking a moment to think it over): “This much.” (Holding hands about a foot apart.)

Ouch.

Just to confirm the findings of this poll, I conducted another, equally scientific one the next night.

Me: “How much do you love Daddy?”

Kamran: “10 billion, million, 400 trillion, gaZILLION!!!”

Me: “How much do you love Mommy?”

Kamran (without hesitation): “Fourteen.”

I’m not sure why my approval rating has been slumping so much lately. Maybe it’s all that time I waste on cleaning the house and cooking dinner while SuperDaddy plays computer games and does puzzles with the little guy. (Not that I’m complaining…SuperDaddy puts in 9-10 serious hours at work before he comes home to play.) Or it might be the fact that a car ride with me usually results in a trip to preschool or the grocery store, whereas a car ride with Daddy usually ends up at the science museum. Clearly, my candidacy for #1 parent will suffer until I get my priorities straight. But here’s a campaign promise I intend to keep: All the gifts Kamran gets this year will be labelled “From Mommy,” until I’m the frontrunner again. Except the socks and underwear…Those are from Daddy.

Triathletes…And The Husbands Who Love Them

“I really think we should go with the sleeveless wetsuits so it’s easier to put our inflatable water wings on.” This was the two cents my husband put in when he had determined I was, in fact, committed to my goal of completing a triathlon, and he was sort of committed to maybe training for one, too (as long as the swim was really short.)

We bought the wetsuits, and despite learning that no inflatable anythings would be allowed on a triathlon course, he was right there with me a few months later when we plunged into the unseasonably cold water of Blue Lake for our first practice open-water swim. (If I recall correctly, he was right there afterwards, too, to point out that no one else was near the water that day, which should have been our first clue that only crazy people would swim in water that cold.)

That was the beginning of my “Summer of Tri”, and his summer of “I Tried, I Finished It, and Don’t Ever Ask Me To Do That Again.” I became hooked on triathlon training, and he decided triathlons would be much more fun if they took away the swimming and running parts. So I’m a triathlete, and he’s not, and that’s settled, right?

Except lately, I get the feeling he thinks I’m taking it too far. It’s like he thinks I’m cheating on him with my training…I run off at all hours for workouts, leaving him at home with the kid, and I’m ready for bed (to sleep, mind you) ridiculously early in the evening. I start gushing about the great swim workout I had that morning, and he gets this faraway look in his eyes, and I’m positive he’s thinking about the last episode of Game of Thrones instead of what I’m saying…He just doesn’t want to know the details of my affair.

So how do I convince him I still love him more than any mere sporting event, and though I’m definitely committed to my new, fitter lifestyle, I’m just as committed to our evening CSI marathons and excessive ice cream consumption? And does he know how grateful I am for talking me down from a nervous breakdown when I didn’t think I could ever swim in an open lake, for helping me learn to change a flat tire on my bike, and for being there when I crossed the finish line for the first time?

Maybe we need a romantic getaway, a weekend in a nice hotel somewhere, with good restaurants, nice scenery…We could go for long walks on the beach, and talk about all the fun stuff we used to do on weekends when we didn’t have to make time for my workouts. We could reconnect, and I could reassure him of my love and fidelity.

Also, it would be great if the hotel had a pool, too…You know, so I could get in a few laps in before breakfast?

My awesome husband, who can also call himself a triathlete.

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