Last night, I took Isaac to the movies. He’d had two great days in a row at school, Ryan was out of town, and I have a cold: all signs pointing to YES! Take that child to the theater with those large, comfortable seats and darkness-welcoming relaxation after single parenting for 3 days. (I bow in awe of all you full time single parents. You have my undying admiration.) I’d considered just watching a movie at home, (a treat for a kid who isn’t allowed screentime during the week save for school work), but I’ve got this thing… I’m a far better parent out of my house than in it.
I have my moments, sure, (we’re about to sew a Dracula cape for a stuffed rabbit), but mostly when I’m home, the sirens call to me. I’m like the mom equivalent of a sailor except instead of luring me with the enticement of sex and beauty, they’re calling to me about laundry, cleaning, emailing, reorganizing, and dirty dishes. Also, there are the REALLY lovely ones who beckon with awaiting books or backlogged magazines or Instagram. You guys, they do that creepy, witchy, come-hither-finger-thing and I DO! I DO come hither! I AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH! I AM WEAK! *Admits defeat by flicking through an instagram feed of Sphinx cats.*
It is hard for me to admit this. I know so many moms who seem to come into their own by spending time with their children in their homes. They’re crafting with them, baking with them, playing games with them, painting with them, taking sunlight filled pictures of them frolicking in meadows to post on social media and send me into a spiral of mom guilt. (There aren’t enough meadows in our schedule! We need more meadows!)
Aside from the meadows though, I do all of those things- I do. It’s just that I’m not totally present though much of it because of the F*CKING SIRENS. I spend a lot of time saying, “Let me finish this, buddy, and I’ll be right there!” And I do get right there, but I also then feel like I’d been choosing to spend more of my time with the Dyson or my child’s dirty clothes instead of with my actual child. *Exasperated guttural mom cry*
Now, to be fair, most of those things DO need to get done. Even the reading is important because I know I am a better mom when I pour some time into myself. (I’m having a more difficult time justifying the Sphinx cats…) All of those things are part of parenting and if I don’t keep up with them we won’t have any open, clean spaces in which to build Dracula’s Lair. Ninja Turtle hideout? The North Pole? Dracula is giving out presents at the North Pole while the Ninja Turtles pull the sleigh??? Honey, I’m going to finish the laundry- I have no idea how to even attempt to play that game. (Which, in itself, is a whole other reason why getting out, out and AWAY is better: I don’t know what the hell is going on in his imaginative role playing and when I do try, I get a lot of, “Mom, that’s not really how you do it.” Enter the Dyson.)
So we go out.
We go for hikes.
We go to museums.
We go get ice cream.
We go to the park.
We run errands. I actually think I may be a better mom in Target than I am in our own house sometimes. I am not kidding.
What I am saying is, if you are one of those moms who can’t seem to get herself together at home enough to be as present as you’d like, I AM TOO. I’m mostly sure this is totally fine! I don’t think I’m the most reliable source on that, but at any rate, there’s strength in numbers and I know for a fact I’m not the only one, so there’s that. No shame! Well, not really. I actually feel really bad about it. But I feel a lot better when we’re at the ice cream shop… or on a wooded trail… or at *cue angelic choir* Target.