Mothers sickness retreat. A girl can dream, can’t she?

Bow down to the Porcelain God.

Bow down to the Porcelain God.

This weekend something horrible happened in our household. It started with a random public barfing session from my 18 month old son, in the middle of a museum hallway. What follows this, may not be for the queasy tummies. You have been warned.

The random barfing, continued during the day. Then started back up Saturday night. He barfed on at least 4 sets of pjs, 4 sets of sheets, and 4 sets of blankets. The next morning, I found barf on the crib, around the crib, and splattered on the wall. Then the diarrhea started…..

Fast forward to Sunday night. The baby had been doing better by now. Low appetite and diarrhea, but the vomiting had stopped. However, within 15 minutes of each other, my 6 year old daughter and I were co-barfing side by side. Thank goodness we have 2 bathrooms. If you had witnessed this, you would think we needed an exorcist. I was running to one bathroom, while she was just going at it all over the floor, hallway, walls, light switches  etc. My husband was freaking out. That evening my daughter and I made camp in our bedroom. A pot by her side, and me running to the bathroom through out the night. It was not a pretty sight to see. I will leave it at that.

The next day, she was pretty much back to normal. However I was a different story. It took all day for me to be able to hold down food and water without wanting to die. My husband luckily stayed home from work to watch the kids, while I tried to lock myself in my bedroom. The moment I would come out of hiding, my husband figured I felt well enough to help with the laundry, participate in the parenting, and be a fully functioning parent. Which of course made no sense to me, and just caused us to argue about what it mean to be a nurturing partner.

In the mist of me wanting to give up on anything right and holy in this world. I was crouched over, worshiping the porcelain god, where once my family’s butt was pressed up against. Now it just felt like a wonderful cooling surface for my sweating, sagging face. How do you like that visual? Anyway, I came up with an epiphany… or maybe it was a hallucination.

Someone should create a facility, retreat, service, what-have-you, for moms to go to when they are sick. Picture this if you will…. You get sick, your husband is taking care of the kids, but who is taking care of you? (of course you are thinking: Well shouldn’t your husband be taking care of you? You would think….) Wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere away from the house, where you can be cozy with TV, people bringing you anything you need when you ring a bell, hold your hair when you puke, clean up after you, no noise, no kids, food to drink of your choice, and just be left alone to heal?

Then, at the same time while this is all going down…. The same service would then bring hot meals to your family, sanitize the house from all the germs, do your laundry, and basically play the roll of the mom while you are off healing in paradise. I would pay large sums of money for this service.

But then I realized something…. I do have this service. It is called my mommy and daddy. I needed my own mommy and daddy to take care of me. If I could, I would have camped out at my parents house, let them take care of me, and then in return, they could then go take care of my family. They could take care of everything. Ok, that is a far stretch and way too much to ask for. However, my dad would come over in a heart beat and take care of me, clean my kitchen, fold my laundry, put a cool cloth over my head, and tell me everything would be ok, if I asked him to. But I am too proud, too “strong” (not really), to ask for help. Apparently in my mind, I can take care of everything on my own.

I still think a “mom sick service” would be a wonderful invention. Someday, you’ll see, it will catch on. Million dollar idea.

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How could she say she loves daddy more than me?

She loves daddy more than me!

She loves daddy more than me!

The other day my daughter turned to me and said, “Mom, I love you this much (with her fingers super close together), and I love daddy this much! (With her arms spread wide apart)”. My first reaction, although I kept my internal dialogue to myself was:

“What the hell are you talking about? I do everything for you. I cook, clean, hairdos, wipe your ass, buy you shit, play dolls with you, art projects, listen to your whining, make milkshakes, hold you when you are scared or hurt, work at your school, EVERYTHING! What does daddy do for you? Tell me that! He gets to play with you for 1 hour a night and then on the weekends, where he mostly plays video games. And that is worthy of you loving him more than me?”

But I didn’t say that…. After I took a deep breath and carefully chose my words, all I could say was, “Well, I love you, dad, and baby brother all THIS MUCH (with my arms spread way apart over my head), and when you are in a family, you can love everyone the same amount.”

Since then, she has been giving little punches here and there. Saying shit like, “Well, if you and daddy weren’t together, I would live with daddy”.

Which of course I replied with, “Well who would wash and fold your clothes? Who would make you smoothies? Who would color with you? Cause daddy’s not.” Probably not the most “Positive Discipline” thing to say, but my feelings were hurt. And at the moment, I didn’t want to sit back and choose my words correctly.

A part of me totally understands where she is coming from. She loves her dad. She would do anything for him. She searches for his attention in any way possible. Don’t get me wrong… my husband is a great father. He is patient, affectionate, and loves his kids with all his heart. But handing out attention, free willingly? Get in line, cause we are all in it. His second love in life, after his family, is his video games. The man is obsessed with games. And sometimes, quite frankly, he puts his games in front of his daughter wanting to play with him. His solution is usually to include her in his gaming. But that can only take you so far.

So when daddy is available to hand out attention to his daughter in any shape or form, mommy is usually left with the dirty work, of dishes, laundry, cooking, teeth brushing, negotiating bed times, and arguing about the amount of screen time or candy eating.

I am her veggies she has to eat on her plate before dessert. I am nutritious, healthy and something she needs for her body. Daddy is the ice cream Sunday she gets to eat after her she is done with her healthy food. I mean holy hell, I have taken parenting classes for god sake! Why would she say, she loves daddy more than me?

In the end, she is being a kid. And frankly, she knows how to push my buttons when she is pissed at me. She could be saying this because she is upset I made her put her dishes away when she was done eating. Or took the iPad away when it was time for bed. But it is hard to not take it personally. I just hope when she is in her 20’s and out of the house, she can look back and think, “My mom rocks! And she took such great care of me. And I love her so much!”

I am patiently waiting for that day to come.

What makes a marriage work?

My husband and I just shared our 10 year wedding anniversary. It just so happens that we also got married on our anniversary of being together. We count that date more than our wedding anniversary, since we were practically married before we made it official. That means we have been together for 19 years. We were kids when we got together. I was 14 years old. 14!!!!!

19 years later: 2 kids, 1 short sale on a town home, and a butt load of trips to DisneyLand later, and we are still going strong. When I say going strong, I mean, no one has ever called the cops, we can tolerate each other, and still enjoy an evening snuggle.

I always said that I would probably kill my husband before leaving him. And so far, so good. But what makes it so we want to keep trucking forward in this life together? That is a very hard question. There is a P!ink song that best describes my love for my husband, “True Love”. And I quote her lyrics here:

“Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say
Sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face
There’s no one quite like you
You push all my buttons down
I know life would suck without you

True love, true love
It must be true love
Nothing else can break my heart like
True love, true love,
It must be true love
No one else can break my heart like you”

Both my husband and I come from broken homes. We have seen divorce over and over. We have seen disfunction and negativity from our parents divorce. To us, divorce is just not an option.

But I have to say, there are a couple of things we have learned over the years that has helped keep our relationship going:

  1. Once engaged in an argument with your spouse, that is particularly not going anywhere, it is best to break out in a quote from your favorite movie that you both share interest in. For example, anything from a Vince Vaughn movie works great. The key is to chose a movie quote that can ease the tension in the argument. (Example, “You motor boating son of a bitch”. Wedding Crashers)
  2. Go to the bathroom with the door open. If you can do this, there are no secrets in a marriage.
  3. Have a solid 3 TV shows you like to watch together. And if they can be a little raunchy, even better. Just choose shows where the kids have to go to bed first. Re-runs of Roseanne does not count. But Survivor or Big Brother are great, cause you can talk about them through out the week and come up with theories of how each week’s show will pan out. We have boring lives, can you tell?
  4. Separate bank accounts!!! I have to say, this is probably the one thing that has saved our marriage over and over. We have a joint checking and savings that pay for all the joint bills, groceries, kids clothing, kids  activities, and trip money. Then we each have our own personal checking and savings. This pays for all our individual bills, work lunches, movie tickets, clothes, video games, etc. We can’t give each other shit for how we want to spend our personal money, as long as no one is touching the joint money for personal reasons. It is fabulous! I wouldn’t change it for the world.
  5. Have at least 1-2 sets of couple friends, where you can double date. When you have been with someone forever, and have kids, I have to say, it is hard to get out on dates. Quite frankly, I would rather stay home and shop on Amazon in my PJS, then go out on dates. But it is important to do. Adult time, outside of the house, without kids, reminds us that we can still have fun together and enjoy each others company outside of day to day life. Now, if you have another set of friends, who are also a couple, then all the better. They can motivate you to go out with them. And they can offer a different set of conversation topics besides kindergarten and the baby’s frequency of pooping.

Marriage is hard work!!!! We have had our ups and downs. Our relationship is always challenged when there is transition going on, or a change in finances, or baby sleep patterns. But in the end, I love him with all my heart. And we are a united team, just planning our next DisneyLand trip.