I look like an adult…I have the ill fitting suit jackets to prove it. I move thru the motions of being an adult…I go to work, pay the bills, buy groceries and perform the endless list of chores that always needs doing. I worry like an adult. I fret, I stress, I obsess: I’ve got all of that covered. But…most of the time I feel like a complete poser.
I don’t know what the hell I am doing.
Seriously. I look like an adult-gray hair and middle age ‘spread’ and all but inside I don’t feel like one. Totally posing. I see these moms in the store with 3 ring binders full of coupons “I saved $100 on $75 worth of groceries,” big, perfect teeth grin broadly, “The store practically pays me to shop there.” Well hell. I spend $124 on Saturday only to realize that I had parts of 5 meals but not all of 1. It’s Monday and we are already out of milk.
Pintrest is full of mom’s who have pre-packeged organic lunches shaped like panda bears and elephants all stored neatly in Bento boxes and containing the perfect amount of food from each food group. They even alter the vegetables so the visual aspect of lunch is better. Really? There are companies that sell monogrammed school lunch PLACEMATS to accompany the picture-perfect- calorie-appropriate-perfectly-proportioned lunches. No lie. Here’s the poser part: I got admonished at daycare Friday for sending a water bottle that was inappropriate for school. Yes, it’s a little big but it’s not like it’s a gallon jug. Not only was I reprimanded I was told that Sadie had an orange water bottle that was much better suited for school and that she should bring that one from now on. My retort, “She’s the 3rd child—you are lucky I even remembered to the water bottle to school!’ They laughed thinking I was kidding. I wasn’t. I slunk out of the school feeling every bit like someone pretending to be a mom rather than the full-fledged-bona-fide version.
This blog started because I was going to comment that this weekend was the first in a long while that I actually DIDN’T feel like a poser. Friday I gave what I felt like was a very calm and thorough talk on responsibility and expectations to my teen. I created a chore chart to allow my teen to earn screen time back. Saturday I cooked for my parents and Sunday I ‘threw something together’ for dinner–without using a recipe and with things found in the cupboard and fridge. Sunday and managed to accomplish–in all fairness start– a few projects. Sunday night I gathered the entire family and we watched Les Miserables. Culture. I was engaged and participated in homework without taking over and doing it myself. I cleaned up di-a-der-rea without gagging or freaking out. Mom win. That’s what I was going to write about last night. I was going to say that ‘fake it ’til you make it’ is valuable advice.
HA! This is what I get for procrastination. That meaningful and bonding talk on Friday? Today I found out that old WALLY (the rascal from Leave it to Beaver)–the same kid who was nodding and tearing up and apologizing and asking for help to do better was the same kid that spent hours after bed-time on a computer he wasn’t supposed to even have back yet. Evidently that talk that I was patting myself on the back for did not make nearly the impression I thought it did.
That meal I cooked my parents? Bizarre. As we pulled out leftovers tonight (because remember, I am a total loser at meal planning and grocery shopping so we are already working our way thru leftovers on Monday) I realized the absurdity of the meal I made for my parents. We had crock-pot ribs, a roast, seared pork chops, roasted potatoes and a salad. Oh and I gave them 15 minutes in which to eat it. We barely sat down at the table before I rushed them out to attend the basketball game they came into town to see. 3 types of meat and 15 minutes to eat. Daughter fail. Oh and let’s not forget that I had them crowded around kitchen table meant for 4 (there were 7 of us). On said table I had to use place-mats to cover the various amounts of craft paint and dried glue covering the table and we ate off mismatched plates and drank from equally mismatched glasses like the one that used to have reindeers on them or the plastic one we lifted from steak-n-shake. At 43 I don’t have a dining table, I don’t have a complete set of dishes and I’ve totally given up on ever having actual matching glasses made of glass. I am posing as an adult.
I have a house but there isn’t a room that doesn’t have something needing fixed or mended. My furniture doesn’t match. The couch I collapse into every night sags and is discolored and has actual HOLES in it. My towels—don’t even get me started the condition of my towels. My house is ALWAYS disheveled (and that is being polite). I can’t remember the name of all of my sons teachers when asked. The list could and does go on and on and on. Posing. I am totally posing and not doing it very well.
How did I miss the moment when “VIOLA” you transition from want-to-be into actual adulthood? At what point do you throw up your hands and admit defeat?