I woke up the other morning to an army of ants having a party in our kitchen. It was a real rager. Ants of all sizes were all over the cat food, walking on the counter, and having a feast in our garbage. It was only 6:00 am and I now had yet another task to add to my ridiculously long to-do list. Just one more thing I needed to fix. My skill set prior to having children was very focused. My job was fairly straightforward and the goals were very defined. Now I’m a chef, doctor, therapist, teacher, dictator, exterminator, handyman, and/or referee and every day is different than the day before. Something or somebody always needs fixing and, regardless of my qualifications, I am the primary fixer.
This morning, my 3 year old didn’t like the two dress choices I presented her with because neither dress twirls the right way. Mama needs to find the right dress and fix this fashion catastrophe.
My seven year old had a record-breaking streak of not wetting the bed and then he wet the bed again. Mama needs to do some more research on essential oils and whatever else Google tells me to do.
Last night my six year old refused to eat his dinner because the strawberries touched some of the Mac and cheese. Screw that. Mama is not fixing that crap. He won’t starve. I’m pretty sure one skipped meal won’t have him auditioning for a Sally Struthers commercial.
The ants need to be murdered, four light bulbs need to be changed, the oil needs to be changed in the truck, the electrician needs to come and fix some stuff, I need to buy three birthday gifts for upcoming parties, I need to find the anti-itch cream because they all have giant mosquito bites (which will probably lead to Zika), I must remember to check my middle kid for ticks since he thought it was a good idea to roll around in a questionable area of grass and weeds, laundry needs to be done so we don’t have to go naked tomorrow and my daughter can wear the same freaking leggings she wears every day. Then I need to answer 37 emails, 11 texts, and 2 voicemails. This is just a random sample of the little things that I need to take care of and fix. Today.
One of my children wants me to fix it when ice cream is too cold.
Another one wants me to remedy her pacifier situation. I need to find the other pink pacifier. You know the one that squeaks the right way.
Two out of my three children would like me to fix all the toilets outside of our house that flush so loudly that the ground shakes. The third kid just doesn’t flush.
All three kids would like me fix the issue over at Aunt Jemima that has led to the recall and disappearance of their most favorite pancakes. And please don’t tell me all about how I shouldn’t even be feeding them that crap in the first place. I don’t have enough time to try and fix your opinions on what I feed my children.
Then there are the big things. I need to make sure that I spend enough quality time with each child so they don’t grow up to be the Unabomber. I need to try and fix the relationship between my boys and sportsmanship. It would be nice if they didn’t freak out and roll on the ground every time they lose a basketball game against each other. Then I need to figure out how to talk to my growing boys about everything that is going on in our crazy world. They’re too old to be shielded from the news but too young to learn that there is so much bad out there. I need to fix this so that they realize that they can be the good in the world.
I fix a lot of crap.
Then I woke up one day and decided that most of this shit doesn’t need to be fixed. Well, at least not today. During one of my 3:00am mental ramblings, I made a note to teach my children about the value of disappointment. Life is full of disappointments and I don’t want them to grow up thinking that Mommy will be there every step of the way to fix what’s broken. I will not be the mom that brings their forgotten library book to school for them. I will not be the mom that tells them that everyone was a winner in the baseball game. I will not be the mom who goes to EVERY SINGLE school event. I’ll make just enough appearances so that they know I care.
At the end of the day, I’ll reflect on all the things that I fixed, tried to fix and the things I couldn’t fix. I’ll make new lists and set new goals. I’ll be grateful for this awesome, tedious, and exhausting life I lead.
And then I’ll go fix a drink. Because I am damn good at that.