Monthly Archives: May 2015

Husbands, the cars they drive and the balls they carry

Shortly after my husband turned 40 he traded in his fancy car for an even fancier, and more importantly, faster car.

porsche (2)
The irony of it all did not escape me, of-course, and for a while I was waiting for him to trade me in for a 25-year-old blond. He hasn’t, YET.

Of-course those who know my husband will say that he probably wouldn’t trade me in for a 25-year-old blond. He would trade me in for a 25-year-old brunette.

But that’s a topic for another time.

He loves his car. It is a beautiful Porsche Panamera Turbo and it is very fast. It can go from 0 to 60mph in less than four seconds.

I know this because he talks about cars incessantly. And as a testament to how good a wife I am (how do you make a coughing sound with text?), I listen.

I know more about cars than I care to. I can identify a Porsche S at first glance, love the idea of a Tesla, though I don’t like the look of it much and think it’s too expensive, and I will often comment on the fabulous way a Carrera 4S seems to glide on the road.

So, of-course, as the owner of a fancy fast car, my husband exhibits a lot of the behaviours we all see and hate. For example, he parks at the very far end of a parking lot, often takes up two spaces and refuses to let the kids eat certain snacks in the car.

He also likes to “intimidate” drivers on the highway. He will tailgate a slow driver in the fast lane, which in highway language translates into “get out of my way!”

He says most people will oblige. They see the Porsche behind them and they know what to do.

There is, however, one category of drivers who will not: men in minivans.

Men in minivans will happily drive at their car’s maximum speed of 60 mph, in the passing lane, and will not move over.

I think I know why:

These men have given up a lot. They have given up their dignity, their self-respect and let’s face it some of their manhood for convenience and practicality.

All this sacrifice so they can drive around in a box on wheels that can fit bicycles, scooters, skateboards, balls (by that I mean mainly baseballs, footballs and soccer balls) and many many children sitting in the back watching DVDs and snacking on sticky foods and drinks.

They see my husband and they say “screw you Porsche! I’ve given up my balls! I am not giving up my lane. This spot, in this lane, in this moment in front of your fancy fast car is all I have left. So you can go around me or suck it up. Cause I ain’t going nowhere!”

That’s my theory at least. And I’m sticking to it.

Did I just say that? 20 things I never thought I would hear myself say

As a kid I always said that I would never turn into my mother. She yelled too much, had too many rules and obsessed over healthy nutrition. Little did I know that I was the one who turned her into my mother.

And now, my children have turned me into their mother.

Some of the things I say these days are right out of my mom’s lexicon. Others bemuse and amuse me and some take me by surprise:

1. You will only appreciate me when I am gone.

2. Is that chocolate or poop?

3. Please don’t stick your toe in your brother’s butt.

4. Please don’t lick the door knob.

5. Please don’t lick your brother.

6. That’s a strange colour poop- let me take a picture of it.

7. Did you see that picture of the poop I sent you?

8. Really slept in today- got up at 8.30.

9. Because I said so.

10. Because I know everything.

11. Of course blue is a beautiful colour! Elsa wears blue all the time.

12. Don’t eat that.

13. No, you can’t have a cookie for breakfast (this one only because it points out my hypocrisy as I will often have a cookie for breakfast).

14. Please, get out of the oven.

15. I don’t care what other kids do, I’m not their mommy.

16. How many times do I have to tell you?

17. This is your last chance …

18. I’m being serious. This is really your last chance.

19. OK, I’m going to count to 5 and then…

20. Why are you doing this to me? I gave you everything!

I guess the one thing I know for sure is that I was a much better, more patient parent before I became one.

But I can proudly say that I have never said “Don’t make me tell your father!”

Well, not yet anyway.

Enough with the “mommy wars” already

Working moms writing open letters to stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home moms calling what they do work, former stay-at-home moms calling it a privilege and not a job.

Is anyone else tired of the mommy wars? Why are we (mothers) so desperate to convince each-other that our choices are valid; that they’re so lucky or that we’re so lucky.

I was a man’s woman most of my life. I enjoyed the friendship of men, their protectiveness and their insights. My male friends were always honest without being judgmental and didn’t have much patience for my insecurities and my need to analyse everything.

Then I became a mother. And I discovered how wonderful female friendships can be. I liked the “sisterhood”. It was nice to talk about relationships and cry with no-one wanting to figure out who needed to be punched. It was nice to talk about how our husbands’ can be ass*&^s sometimes (because they can be) and how we hate how motherhood has changed our bodies (breastfeeding did THAT to our boobs?)

And then I became a full-time mom. Partly by choice, mostly by circumstance: a couple of international moves and then some health issues for my son and here I am, a full-time mother for five years.

And then the sisterhood was not a sisterhood anymore because it became about working mom’s Vs full-time moms.

Trying to balance it all when you are a mother is not easy. Perhaps our guilt, because we feel that we’re either failing ourselves or our children makes us think that we need to keep justifying our choices.

But in doing so, however, we have created these two “camps” and we started telling the other camp how they should feel. And the sisterhood is no more.

Working moms tell me how lucky I am to have this time with my kids. I am in many ways, no question. But there are times when it doesn’t feel like that. It’s tiring when the only way to convince the other person is by yelling at them or putting them in time-out and it hurts when kids throw things at your head, and it’s exhausting when this is your reality – a groundhog day of time-outs, spilled food, yelling and crying.

And no I didn’t feel lucky or fulfilled when my daughter asked a few months back what my job was and when I said “to take care of you and your brother” she said “but what do you do that’s important?” (can I put her in time-out for that?)

So my message to my working mom sisters is when I complain about my kids, or the frustrations of being home all day please don’t tell me I’m lucky. Just listen. The way you listen when I say my husband is an ass**&^e, though he’s really not. Also, don’t tell me “well get a job then” because maybe after taking five years off no-one wants to hire me.

On the other hand, a lot of working moms say they feel judged by us full-time moms because they don’t spend as much time with their kids.

Let me tell you categorically: we are not judging you! We are jealous of you!

We are mostly in awe of you for managing to work, have fulfilling careers and be good mothers. You get to go to meetings and be respected and rarely threaten anyone at the office with time-outs. And then you go home and sit on the floor and play with your kids. You guys are amazing.

I am not speaking for all stay at home moms but most of us envy, admire and respect you and wonder how you do it. I would like to think that you feel the same way about us.

Let’s just accept the fact that people are different. Different lives, different circumstances, different choices.

So I propose this: let’s stop talking about working moms Vs full-time moms and let’s talk about bridging the gender pay gap, better conditions for working moms, more opportunities for full-time moms to return to work, better childcare options and perhaps some work flexibilities for dads (yeah remember them?).

Let us all agree that we are all mothers working hard, making mistakes and figuring things out as we go along. Because we all love our children deeply and unconditionally.