I’ve been dealing with an awful lot of Mom Guilt lately.
Here’s the deal: I’m coming up on the end of my residency (only two more days!). In order to finish early, I had to switch a bunch of call, so I’ve been on call approximately one billion times in the last few weeks. There have been a few days in there where I would be at the hospital until 10pm or later, go do my grocery shopping, come home and pass out for a few hours, and then drag Caroline to daycare at 6:30am to be in the operating room by 7. This past Sunday, I saw 17 patients and didn’t get home until it was almost Caroline’s bedtime.
I would complain that my own kid doesn’t even know me anymore, but the fact that she’s repeatedly begged me to “stop fixing so many teeth, Mama, please” is evidence enough that she’s well aware of who I am and exactly how much of a workaholic I am, to boot. Some nights I call to check on her and my mom will tell me “she’s doing great” so that I don’t worry, but in the background I hear “am I going to Mama’s house soon? Is it time for Mama yet?”
Feels good to get it out, though, even if there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment. And while we’re at it, I have a few other things I’d like to get off my chest. That’s right! It’s time for True Confessions: Mom Edition. Here’s how this works: I publicly post a bunch of stuff that I’d normally never tell anybody, ever, and then you do the same in the comments. K? Good talk. Don’t let me down, ladies.
Here we go:
I’ve had an open container of cooked egg noodles sitting next to the carseat for four days.
Those AAA batteries you gave my kid with her birthday gifts? Not a single one of them was used to power her toys, if you catch my drift.
I got fed up with Dora the Explorer, so Caroline thinks she’s been “sleeping” since sometime around February 2011. I have also been known to tell her that Yo Gabba Gabba is “broken”.
I have brought her to daycare looking like this, because I didn’t have the energy to fight her:
When she asks me what my wine is, I tell her it’s “Mommy tea”. And yes, the liquor store is the “Mommy tea store”. And she comes with me when I go there. Frequently.
Those fruit snacks and Kraft mac and cheese in the shopping cart are for me.
When I get tired of reading her books over and over, I hide them and tell her they’re at Daddy’s house.
I have occasionally bribed her with candy to stay in the jogging stroller so that I can get a workout in.
If people come over on short notice, I throw all her toys in the shower so that my house looks clean.
When she wakes up at 5am on weekend mornings, I have been known to drag her into my bed, hand her a bowl of dry cereal and my iPad, and pass out cold next to her until she shakes me awake again.
So, what about you? Time to share in the comments! Don’t leave me hanging, here…
You guys, you truly are not going to believe the crazies I have found on the internet since I started this whole online dating adventure. I thought I was crazy… but these guys take it to a whole nother level. I submit here several messages for your consideration, copied and pasted verbatim for your enjoyment.
Let’s begin with my most… ah… mature suitor. He is 49 years young and his screenname is “slosoftkissr” and no I am not even joking a little bit about that. His profile consists of a long jumble of repetitive insanity that I honestly could not get through and this is the first message he contacted me with:
“have a 1200 sq. ft. gym in my home,perhaps I can entice you with one day,however,I liked your ad & I think, feel ,demonstrate & represent a much younger and energetic gentlman,generally I enjoy the company af a younger gal,as my stamina & endurance are a drive only the young can appreciate,I MEAN YOU LOOK SO GOOD IN YOUR PIC’S YOU MAKE ME WANT TO BUY YOU NEW CLOTHES FOR EVEN MORE GREAT LOOKS,I DO HAVE A VICTORIA SECRET CARD,esp.I LIKE YOUR THIRD PIC,IT’S MY SCREENSAVER,CALL ME,WHERE PERSONALITY,EMOTION AND CHARISMA,SHINE THROUGH.(he gives his name and phone number here).AS A FORMER TICKET AGENT WE’LL NEVER BE OUT OF IDEAS ON HOW TO HAVE FUN.”
Okay. Dude? Number one: you’re f—ing crazy. Number two: you’re old enough to be my dad (I’m 28). Number three: you’re f—ing crazy! I was actually contemplating meeting up with this guy just so I could share the undoubted hilarity that would follow with you guys, but then I got to the screensaver comment and now I just want to take 40 showers and delete any and all pictures myself that I have ever posted on the internet, anywhere. I also probably need to start drinking heavily.
Needless to say, I did not reply to this creepster’s first message. Not to be deterred, the very next day he sent me this:
“I FORSEE NO TIME WE’D BE OUT OF THINGS TO CHAT ABOUT,IT’S A MATURE TRAIT TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT,AT LEAST YOU TALK ABOUT FAKE GUYS TOO MANY GALS TALK OF THEIR BAGGAGE,DISTRUSTING ANY MAN…………WELL NO I’D NEVER BE JEALOUS NOR ENVY,HOWEVER KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN,TO ME IT IS A GREAT INDICATOR HOW WELL YOU WILL TREAT THE MAN YOU DESIRE……… 1 THING ALL MY EXERCISE MACHINES ARE INSURED MY GIRLS HAVE BEEN GOING ON THEM SINCE 30 LBS.,I’VE GAINED SOME (REVERSIBLE) WEIGHT SINCE QUITTING SMOKING LAST YEAR,THE TRIUMPH IS GOING STRONG…LV UR #,OR BLOCK YOURS,I WON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL,HEALTHY CONFIDENCE RIGHT..(he gives his name and phone number here).”
Just… no. Blocked this dude so fast, you guys.
Next up: a 43 year old “hobbyist” (?) who, um, certainly fulfills my requirement of liking kids. In fact, he’s probably got that covered a little too well. His first message:
“You are fine and your kid probably is too
You life is just starting and I want to be there with you having all that fun ”
I’m sorry. Did you just hit on my three year old? Blocked. So fast. Again.
So it seems the verdict is in: I attract the crazies online just like I do in real life. I knew this online dating stuff was a bad idea. But it’s like a trainwreck, you know? It’s so terrible, yet you just can’t look away…
Okay, internet, I have a confession. Due to the boring lack of activity in my dating life lately, and the fact that I am about to move to an area where I know literally no one, I’ve decided to take the plunge into online dating. (I’m not sure why, but I’m literally cringing while confessing this to you guys.) At least it will allow me to meet new people (not in bars, for the love of God) and if nothing else, make some new friends in the area I’m going to be moving to.
So, I’m trying it. Is there something about it that seems vaguely pathetic to me? Yes. Do I actually think I’ll find someone that way? Not really. Am I going to get all crazy-chainsaw-murdered and stuffed in the trunk of somebody’s car? Probably. But all that aside, I bet it’s gonna be pretty entertaining, and I’m dragging all of you along for the ride with me. Because that’s how much I love you people.
So aside from all the awkward conversation and presumably a hefty dose of rejection and probably being murdered, the worst part about this online dating stuff is writing a profile. Mine is something super awkward and lame about liking to run and whatnot and people probably fall asleep just reading it.
If I didn’t actually care about getting any responses, though, I”d probably write something brutally honest and totally weird, just like the real me:
I am seeking a: Man
Do you drink?: Only when potty training. My daughter, not me. I’m fully housebroken and have been for at least ten years.
Marital status: Divorced. Don’t judge me. I see you over there, judging me.
Profession: I’m not as hot as a dental hygienist, but I went to school for longer.
Education: Someday I will leave school and get a real job, probably.
Do you want children?: I’m all set right now, thanks for offering.
Do you do drugs?: Only caffeine. Well, and then there’s the speed. I mean, I do have a toddler, after all.
Do you have children?: Oh boy do I ever.
Do you have a car?: …What the f–k? Wait, there are people on here without cars? Can I get a refund?
I am looking for: Basically a smart, fun, hilarious, educated, good-looking guy who loves kids and isn’t a douchebag. Must have a job and a car and not live in parents’ basement. Must shower regularly. Must not be an axe murderer.
About me: Well I’m a single mom and a dentist, don’t hold it against me. My daughter is my whole world, so mess with her and I’ll kill you. I work too much but I love my job to a degree that is a little bit pathetic. I can be kind of a pain in the ass sometimes. Example: one of the last guys I dated told me I should dye my hair blonde because it would look better so I dyed it dark brown just to piss him off. This isn’t coming out right, is it. Oh, the other thing is, I write about my life for the website of a major magazine but don’t worry, I won’t use your real name. Probably. You know what? Try to forget that thing I just said about writing. There’s a crapton of super personal stuff on that site about my divorce. Let’s change the subject. …..I like long walks on the beach? I’m going to stop talking now.
First date: Something that doesn’t involve crazy-chainsaw-murdering me.
Interests: My daughter. Teeth. My daughter. Teeth. My daughter. Wine.
So, what do you guys think? Would you date me? Would anyone?
An awesome job. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s about as good as this whole “job” thing gets. (I wouldn’t know. I’m 28 and have been in school for-literally-effing-ever, so I have never had a real one before.)
I’m going to be an associate at a private practice in Massachusetts, about 45 minutes from where Caroline and I live now. It’s a busy and successful practice with two other super-nice young doctors who also have kids, the office is beautiful, and my hours are perfect: Monday and Tuesday 8-7, and Friday 8-5. I’ll have to find a sitter I trust to pick her up on my long days, but this will leave me four full days of the week to spend with Caroline. And this poor child has been in daycare from 7:15am to 5:30pm nearly every day of her life since I went back to dental school and then residency, two and a half years ago. I am so excited to actually make a comfortable living and still be able to spend more time with my daughter… particularly since her father is moving eight hours away, and I’m sure she’s going to be somewhat… out of sorts.
Basically, it’s my dream come true, I think. I have worked so hard for this.
So all of that is a huge relief and very exciting. I’ll be finishing my residency at the end of June and starting at this practice in early July, assuming I can get a Massachusetts license by then, because as it turns out, it is the most giant pain in the butt ever to acquire a Massachusetts dental license. I need to pass a physical and take a legal exam and get a passport photo taken and donate a kidney and give up my firstborn child and wait, I’m not even sure what we’re talking about anymore, but all of that seems reasonable, no? Thanks a lot, Massachusetts. We might never be friends.
Caroline and I also found the most adorable house for rent ever, located in a fancy-pantsy town nearby, so we are waiting to hear back about whether or not we are cool enough to live there. I suspect we might not be, seeing as how I have been known in the past to forget to pay my bills until whatever I’m not paying for gets shut off (well played, cable company) and I am a scandalously single young mom. But, we will see.
So, things are looking pretty good for me and Caroline these days. As my friend says, “Great kid, great job, great future– only one piece is missing now, Jules…” She means men, of course, and although I have pretty phenomenally terrible luck in that category, I’m sure that someday, all of that will work itself out, too.
And if it doesn’t? That’s okay. Because I’ve got my dream job… and I’ve got my baby.
Categories: Caroline, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance | Tags: Apartment, Breakups, Caroline, Dating, Dentistry, Friends, milestones, Moving, Private practice, Residency, Single Parenting
(Alternate Title: This is Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Read Kids’ Books.)
Have you ever sat there, reading a classic kids’ book to your children, and thought… what in the everloving eff is going on here? I have. In fact, I do it on a regular basis. (Don’t even get me started on fairy tales.) For your convenience, I’ve listed here several books to watch out for, summarized their questionable messages, and thoughtfully re-titled them to more accurately reflect their content. No need to thank me. I do it for the kids. Let’s begin.
Guess How Much I Love You: Okay, I’ll be the one to say it. Big Nutbrown Hare is the biggest one-upper who ever lived. His son is all “I love you as high as I can reach” and he’s all “Oh yeah well I love you as high as I can reach, which is way higher since I’m older and taller and smarter and better-looking.” There is no need to get so competitive, you know? Your kid’s just trying to tell you he loves you, so maybe don’t be such a jerk about it.
Moral of the story: Anything you can do, your parents can do better. Sweetheart.
New title: Guess How Much I Can One-Up You.
The Runaway Bunny: It’s sweet that the mother bunny loves her baby bunny so much that she’d resort to all kinds of impossible shapeshifting and crazy stalking and improbable kidnapping to keep him near her. Wait… no it isn’t. It’s the creepiest thing ever. And I thought I was a helicopter mom. I mean seriously. This woman is gonna be all up in her poor future daughter-in-law’s business. I can smell it from a mile away.
Moral of the story: Mommy loves you sooo much, honey, that if you leave her side, she will hunt you down Taken-style and drag you right back to where you belong, so stay exactly where you are, so help me Jesus. You can move out when you’re forty. Five.
New title: When Helicopter Moms Attack.
Goodnight Moon: Okay, I’ll admit that I love Goodnight Moon. (Sorry, Margaret Wise Brown. Didn’t mean to call you out twice here. Love you, girlfriend.) Still, books like this are the reason my kid takes 45 minutes to go to bed every night. It is the original book of bedtime stalling excuses. Whatever happened to just saying goodnight to each other and going to bed? Let’s not encourage saying goodnight to the room and the moon and the cow jumping over the moon, (which is not real), the bears and the chairs and the kittens and the mittens and the house and the mouse and the wait there’s a mouse in here?? What the f*ck?? “Goodnight nobody” is right, because none of us are getting any sleep tonight, are we. Get real, kids. When I say it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime now. Where’s the children’s Benadryl?
Moral of the story: It’s perfectly acceptable to take so much time to go to bed that it’s basically the next morning already.
New title: But I Don’t Want To Go To Bed. Five More Minutes?
The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real): This story basically traumatized me as a child. Yes, I am sensitive. (I cry several tears for each and every mean comment you guys leave me.) Can we first discuss the “Skin Horse” for a second? That is some Jeffrey Dahmer sh*t right there. But mostly, my problem with this story is that it’s just super sad. The little boy loves this toy and lures him into a false sense of security that he’s gonna be real someday and then gets all sick and sends him off to be burned alive (what?!) and then gets a nice new shiny one and forgets about the old one and goes to the beach, the end. Not nice, little boy. Luckily the rabbit does get to become real because he cries, and he runs off to the woods with the other wild rabbits where they all probably live another two to three weeks, tops.
Moral of the story: If you get too sick, Mommy and Daddy will burn all your toys. Also, you can get anything if you cry about it. Even if it’s impossible.
New title: How Toys Become Super Depressing.
Postscript: I sent a draft of this post, as I often do, to a friend so that she could prescreen it for excessive witchiness.
Me: Can you make sure this post isn’t too much? I think everyone on Parents’ Facebook page thinks I’m a huge wench. With a potty mouth.
Her: Oh my God!! You’re like the Ann Coulter of the parenting world!!!
Me: …That’s the meanest thing anyone’s ever said to me.
Her: Oh. I meant it as a compliment.