Reality TV Made Me a Horrible Parent, And I’m OK With It

I’m convinced my years of watching shitty, smutty television have ruined me entirely.  I used to spend my evenings watching orange High School diploma equivalent wielding morons drink and screw their way up and down the Jersey Shore.  Or 40-something-year-olds trying to hold on to whatever shred of youth and fame that still might exist by challengeparticipating in outlandish, stupid challenges that prove absolutely nothing.  Or sassy Southern Black women all talking over each other for 30 straight minutes.  And I loved every minute of it.

Not to mention the unnecessarily gratuitous programming that is HBO and Showtime.  I mean, people having sex 5 seconds after meeting?  Now, that’s called Tinder, but back in the day that just didn’t happen outside of a porno.  It was a wonderfully fantastic world where we could demand F-bombs and titties and we could demand them now!

Fast forward four years, I no longer have cable because it’s too expensive.  But that’s ok because Netflix has picked up the ball.  They have riveting, smart series complete with all the nudity and swearing you can handle.  Thank you, Netflix. You are a true American hero.  netlfixBut wait, they also have family programming AKA shit for kids.  A lot of shit for kids.  And what do you know, I have kids.  A lot of fucking kids.  Because of this my shitty Reality TV and Adult premium cable programming has been replaced with more Barbie movies than should ever exist and Koren cartoons with no words.  Seriously, the characters say nothing.  They just make sound with “fart noise” as the subtitle.  I wish I was kidding.  The worst part, my kids LOVE it!!

So this is my life.  Kid’s shows as far as the eye can see.  Or is it?  Years of infiltrated smut have rotted my brain to the point where I can’t watch “Spirit” with my 3-year-old without thinking, “Oh yeah. Lucky’s dad and Ms. Flores are totally banging.”  Or “Man, I hope Ken is getting the good stuff for how much Barbie is making him work for it.” I can’t turn it off!  And I’m not sure I want to.  It’s the only thing left that still reminds me I’m more than just a mom.  I have the mom car, the mom body, the mom desire to be asleep by 9:30 PM.

As a mom or parent in general sometimes is hard to remember that you’re more than just those little people you’re legally obligated to keep alive. I used to be so skinny because I would forget to eat lunch every so often.  I would just be busy or… sleeping.  Either way, I looked amazing.  Now, I have to actually feed other people, therefore, reminding me that I’m hungry.  Then I not only eat my lunch but whatever they don’t eat too because “we can’t waste.”  I’m fucking enormous.  They ruin EVERYTHING!

While my waist-line may not be what it once was, my disgusting, disturbed mind is still as strong as ever; nurtured by years of the worst programming television had to offer.  I encourage all parents to hold on to something from your old life. Something that reflects who you once were before your children infiltrated every aspect of your life.  If that’s picturing cartoon characters doing the nasty, so be it.

wink

When Your Baby Becomes A Kid

Having a baby is the most life-altering thing any human being can do.  Man, woman; gay, straight; single, married, it doesn’t matter.  Whether it’s your genetic material or someone else’s, having a baby in the house is going to fuck your day up.  These days you can’t throw a rock and not hit a blog post or book or article about the trials and tribulation of having a baby.  But no one talks about what happens when they’re not babies anymore. I mean we all know teenagers suck, but what about those wonderful school-aged years when the only they’re doing at the speed of light is learning what not to do. Not to mention, being influenced by other kids.  Correction, other, shittier kids. You know longer have full control over what they learn and how they learn it, which totally sucks!

My oldest son recently turned 8.  I, believing the lies told me by my parental predecessors, thought things would be getting easier by now. We’d be able to have a wrongmeaningful conversation, common interests, and even a developing sense of mutual respect.  Boy was I wrong. What I got were conversations that contain the word “um” approximately 8,000 times about people I’ve never met and things I’ve never heard of, the constant demand to fain enthusiasm 24/7, and a never-ending need to talk myself out of striking a child.  You spend years teaching your child to talk.  Then, you immediately regret that decision.  They never stop talking.  Never.  Ever.

now I get itHe’s reached the age where he is trying desperately to understand adult conversation and nuances. However, he has the attention span of the fruit fly so he zones out halfway through the answer to a question he just asked.  So when he says the words “Ooooh! Now I get it.”  That means he has no idea what the fuck I’m talking about. He’s just moved on to whatever random thought just came into his head like, I wonder if now is a good time to bring up that thing I did at Grandma’s house  months ago that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about right now.

And I swear to God listening to this kid tell a story should be illegal under the Geneva Convention. It is the most torurous experience in my life.  “Mom. I, um, went to Jack’s house and um we played this game um that has this um thing and you have to do this other thing to  um make this one thing happen.  It’s just like the one I played at um I don’t remember his name’s house. You remember?”  Ummmmmmm……what?!?! For Christ’s sake.  I would almost rather work at a college bar on a Friday night full of Sorority bar crawls that’s four deep with dumb bitches who have never had anything stronger than Malibu….almost.  But of course I can’t tell him that.  I have to pretend to be interested and care, because he needs validation.  I need a boob job and a wine of the month membership, but you don’t see me bitching!

So, if you’ve just had a baby, enjoy these moments when they sleep all the time and don’t speak.  Trust me the spit up and shit is worth it.  Just remember, the day is coming when you will have to interact.  And they won’t be like those cool kids on sitcoms.  Rudy Huxtable isn’t real. (Too soon?)  Kids don’t make witty jokes or say the funny thing at the right time.  They will, however, rip ass in the middle of the grocery store and laugh relentlessly.  So, it’s not all doom and gloom.

As for me and my first born, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The other day I made some smart ass comment and he goes,  “Is that sarcasm?”  I’ve never been more proud as a partent.  He’s such a great kid with all kinds of creativity.  He’s sweet and kind and thoughtful and a great big brother.  He has more love and generosity in his little finger than most people do in their whole bodies.  But if this phase doesn’t pass and soon, I would recommend buying stock in duct tape and Pinot Grigio.

Pinot Grigio

 

 

The Real Reason We’re So Happy You Just Had A Baby

 

As I am a woman of a certain age, my Facebook feed is blowing up with pictures of babies.  From firstborns to fifth-borns and everywhere in between. There are babies fucking everywhere! I know when each of my kids was born, those posts of their first moments/days were always the most Liked and commented on, which got me thinking, “Why are people always so excited when someone else has a baby?”  I have a theory.  SHOCKING!

OMG BabyNow, I am not judging anyone for being excited about babies.  I even find myself getting giddy when someone I know endures the worst pain known to man only to be rewarded with little to no sleep, sore nipples, and a body that will never be the same no matter how much weight you lose.  But I think it goes beyond our biological encoding to reproduce and “aww, babies are cute.” Cause not all babies are cute, there I said it. My youngest looked like a lizard for the first few months of his life.  Seriously, that giant mouth on a newborn is terrifying.  Anyway, I think people with kids get so excited about their friends having kids because simply put, misery loves company.

I’m not saying that having kids is all miserable, but it’s pretty damn close.  I love my kids more than almost anything, but when I see one of my kidless friends announce the birth of their first child I can’t help but think, “HA!  Suckers!  suckers You fell for it.  You had a great life of doing whatever you want whenever you want, and now you’re screwed!”  For years those of us straddled with kids have seen posts of you getting dressed up to go out drinking every weekend, going on vacation whenever you want, going to the gym, taking a shower, sleeping, the list goes on and on.  We saw these posts and shook with envy.  We would curse you by saying, “One day.  One day they will suffer the same fate as us.”

In addition to hoping you suffer through the same misery that is having children, we just want to be able to do stuff with you again.  We can’t afford the three vacations to Jamaica every year, and drinking all day with a 2 -year-old is typically frowned upon.  Now that you have kids too, you’ll be forced to come over and drink shitty light beer on our couch just to say you had a “night out.”  We miss hanging out with you. Ruining your life as you know it is the only way to get you back.  So we make you think that you really need to have kids too.

xanacThen we took it a step further.  We make parenthood seem like the greatest gift on the planet.  Bloggers wrote about the joy of being a parent.  But there must have been a typo because what they meant to write about was the joy of Xanax.  We fooled you, like the generation before had done to us.  “Kids are great,” they would say.  “There is no greater joy.”  Bullshit!  A childless vacation is a greater joy.  Sleeping til whenever the fuck you want is a greater joy.  Taking a shit by yourself is a greater joy.  The day will come when you realize all things you once took for granted, and you will attempt to make a deal with the devil to finish a cup of hot coffee, just once.

So, welcome to the club!  We are so happy you are here.  If you need help or have any questions be sure to direct them to honest parents.  You will recognize the moms by the sweatpants and lack of makeup.  You can recognize the dads because they will actually have a child near them.  We will be here if you need us, and we will do our best not to blow smoke.  We will tell you that being a parent is exhausting, hard, neverending work that never receives thanks or appreciation. There are no more sick days.  There are no more Sunday Fundays.  Most days, I don’t even get to sit down for more than 20 seconds without someone needing something or shitting their pants. Your whole world is these little people who require all you have and then some more. While it most certainly is not always the most fun you will ever have in your life, being a parent is certainly the most challenging, and I’m still hoping for the most rewarding. Fingers crossed.

fingers crossed

 

**For all of you reading this who are struggling to have your own bundle of disaster, never give up.  Never stop trying. There is always a way to become a family.**