Off Duty Mom

Thoughts from an exhausted mom who is NEVER really "off duty"

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

I love you, Wine

Dear Wine,

I love you. A whole bunch. You are awesome. When I am with you, the world seems like a better place. You make a bad day so much brighter.

But, I have not been faithful to you. I have been spending time with…Beer.

And, here is my problem: I love you both. I couldn’t possibly choose.

The thing is, you see, that each of you offers me something different. Depending on my day, either of you might be just what the doctor ordered.

You see, Wine, you are fabulous. And sexy. And appropriate to accompany me at parties where food is served on little trays passed by waiters dressed in crisp white shirts. And, your cousin, Grape Juice, is totally acceptable for the under-5 set, so I feel pretty okay about being seen with you when I am in the presence of my kids.

But, Beer was in my life before I found you. We go way back. In fact, I’d be committed to Beer fairly exclusively if I hadn’t gone to that All-Inclusive where things got a little…interesting. I met you there and realized that I was not the kind who could be tied down.

And, if I am going to be honest, I also occasionally spend time with Cosmopolitan, Whiskey Sour, Margarita and that vodka that gets soaked with fresh pineapple for, like, two weeks.

I guess there is a nasty name for girls like me. I know. It’s not you. It’s me.

But, here’s the thing: I love you, but don’t always understand you. I don’t really use words like “mellow” or “full-bodied” to describe my perfect evening companion often. Most of the time, I am just looking for strength. I need strength more often than you might think.

If I had the stomach for Jim Beam Straight, I might give that a try, honestly. I get around. I know. But, Jim Beam Straight is too much for me to handle, so I am hoping to keep both you and Beer in my life, well, indefinitely.

You’re too good for me, Wine. But, stick with me. Ours is a good home. This is a good place for you: right here by my side.

I can’t promise you will be my one-and-only. I am not that kind of girl. But, we will have wonderful times together.

I love you.

Sincerely,
Me

Are you what we need?

Presently, Off Duty Mom seeks a guest blogger (or more!) for a Mothers’ Day series to be published in May.

We are looking for fun, irreverent, polished writing on any topic that moms can relate to easily.

We welcome essays, poetry and articles that will help moms smile during the Mothers’ Day holiday.

If you can fit this bill, submit through the Guest Posting tab here on our blog site.

Submissions must be received no later than April 30, 2013.

Happy writing! We look forward to reading your work!

Then and Now, Inside and Out

I will admit that when I sat down at my computer I had very little to say.  And, that, frankly, kinda scared the hell out of me.

Who am I if I am not a loudmouthed, sarcastic know-it-all who has something to say about everything?

I just don’t know.

My instinct, for some reason was to comment about Tupac.  I think it is because I saw a teenager wearing a t-shirt today that had Biggie and Tupac on it.  Tupac was flicking off the camera.  It made me think about the whole concept of rebellion and whether it was inherently good or bad — or neither — or both.

When I was a teenager, I remember there was a bit of a resurgence of 1960’s hippie fashion and culture.  I bought cheap babydoll dresses at Contempo Casuals and discovered The Beatles and people started tie-dying everything around them.  Then Hypercolor t-shirts became the post-modern pseudo-tie-dye reinvention.  Ugh.

And, during this time, I thought everyone over 19 was pretty fucking dumb.  They just didn’t understand reality.  This reality, of course, was whatever I believed it to be in my 14 years of wisdom.  No one, you better believe, was dumber than my parents.  They were super, ultra, extra dumb and could never hope to understand my world in all its complicatedness.

I was a rebel in my own mind.  I never got into any trouble whatsoever.  I once drove a car for about 5 whole minutes before I was 16 and had a license.  I never had to serve any penance for this crime, though.

anarchyYet, I empathized with those who struggled.  My soul seemed to identify with those who felt the need to revolt.  Maybe I listened to too many Sex Pistols songs or Sonic Youth feedback.  There was always a sort of fire in my tiny, adolescent belly that yearned to be in London (and be older), with my fist in the air and a snarl on my face.  I scrawled lyrics to Pixies songs on my school notebooks, then went to AP English class in my cheerleader uniform where I discussed philosophy and later filled out college applications to some of the more prestigious universities in my area.

I never felt like a hypocrite.  I just felt (then and now) that the person inside me didn’t always match the person I showed to the public.  Or the person my parents expected me to become.

I never rebelled.  Not in any real way.  And, I do think – now as an adult – that all of the teeny-bopper bullshit whining that I hear constantly about how adults don’t understand and the world is so cruel and the soul is so black and we’re just so misunderstood is played out and pretty fucking annoying.  I have become my parents.  But, I already knew that.

But, still, I kinda like seeing that picture of Tupac with a very adamant middle finger proudly on display on that kid’s shirt.  Part of me still identifies with the fuck-you attitude.

It is what makes me so charming.  And lovable.

Congratulations! You have Water-Elf Disease!

Much is debatable in this day and age.  We are constantly inundated with arguments of political, sociological, theological, philosophical and historical nature.

According to some sites, this little guy has Yellow Fever, Acid Reflux, Bubonic Plague and a splinter.

According to some sites, this little guy has Yellow Fever, Acid Reflux, Bubonic Plague and a splinter.

I think we can all agree on one thing, though:  the best place for medical advice is the internet.

According to WebMD, I may have Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema, Multiple Sclerosis, Windburn, Breast Cancer, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Dementia, Hepatits A, B or C, Lyme Disease, Malnutrition, Typhoid Fever or Radon Exposure.

To be clear, the sypmtoms I put in were related to being tired.  When asked if I bruise easily, I said that I do.  I also responded that I do, indeed, have dry skin.

That’s it.  From that, WebMD has determined that I have Typhoid Fever, which is frankly not something I have heard of since I used to play Oregon Trail on that one computer we had in the school library during study hall.

Other websites asked other batteries of questions that I answered honestly.  My potential diagnoses ranged from cancer and HIV to dehydration and mild anxiety.

When I put my main complaint as “fatigue,” though, not one website asked me if I was a parent.  Therefore, I was certainly not ever asked if I was a parent of two small children who sometimes have fights that must be broken up and who run seemingly incessantly during waking hours, or if in addition to my work as a parent I also worked a full-time paying job that required me to have a high level of patience and to stand for long periods of time, or if I live in a part of the country not prone to sunshine and year-round weather where my family and I could enjoy fresh air and Vitamin D, or if my boss was a dick, my family didn’t get along, my bills were piling up, my pet needed medical care, my house needed to be cleaned, my car needed to go to the mechanic, or my son’s preschool was giving me shit because I can’t volunteer or be around like the Stay-At-Home Moms can.

For, if the mighty internet had asked some of those questions, it might have come up with something more insightful and less alarming for my condition other than Syphilis.

And, while I don’t have ALL of the above listed “symptoms,” there are people who do.  And, on any given day, we all have a pile of crap we’re dealing with.

Just how DOES she do it?Oh...that's how...

Just how DOES she do it?
Oh…that’s how…

So, this all makes me wonder if anyone is really making the WonderParent thing work.

I would like to hear from you.  If you are a SuperMom or a SuperDad, please comment.  I would love to hear your tips and pointers for getting my act together and becoming the multi-armed Hindu Goddess-type I always thought I might be.

 

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