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Mama’s Still Got a Wild Streak

Whenever I go on a trip with the kids and my husband stays behind, I leave him with a detailed list of meals that I have pre-made for him. I remind a billion times to water the plants, and ask him if he’s sure he has enough to eat, even though I know he does.

But most importantly, I demand he not cut his own hair. (It happens all too often. Like the time he decided his hair would look good if he cut it like Ragnar Lodbrok from Vikings. We’ve just recently “recovered” from that incident.)

However, this weekend the tables were turned. He went away for the weekend, and I stayed at home (with the kids).

I figured that pre-made meals and reminders of what I should be doing would be unnecessary. I figured I would just continue on as normal, with a predictable routine and wholesome meals and decent bedtimes, plus a little time to get some extra work done.

But apparently, without my husband coming home at night, I turn into some sort of barely functioning bachelor who eats chicken nuggets for dinner and stays up at all hours binging on Hershey’s Kisses and episodes of Marriage Boot Camp. I don’t shave or even shower. I eat my son’s leftover noodles straight from the pot and sit in front of the fridge making that first-world-problem groaning noise when I realize I have to assemble my own bean and cheese burritos.

Oh yeah, and I CUT MY OWN HAIR.

Much like you would expect a toddler to do if left alone in a room with a persuasive friend and a pair of scissors. And with much the same skill level. From certain angle,s it’s not so bad. From other angles, it looks as if I went for the Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber bowl cut, then chickened out halfway through.

Now what, you may ask, prompted this? Well, while unproductively sitting on the Internet after the babes were in bed, I came across this fabulous flash mob gay proposal in a Home Depot and saw one of the dancers had lovely Zooey Deschanel-ish bangs. And I thought, “I should have bangs too. I would look really, really, ridiculously good looking with bangs.” Then I went on Pinterest for a while. Then I found a “How To Cut Your Own Hair” tutorial, because of course, it’s Pinterest. Then I rashly decided to cut my own hair. Then, upon realizing I only had blunt kitchen scissors, I went through with my ill-advised plan anyway.

After the initial “Oh, God! What have I done to my beautiful hair!” moment passed,  I tried to work with it. Then I called my hairdresser and put on a headscarf. Then I took off my headscarf to take a selfie of my ridiculous monstrosity (because everyone needs a good laugh now and again). And then I figured, it’s really not so bad.

Okay, it’s pretty bad but…

Motherhood can get a bit monotonous at times (ahem). Sometimes I worry that I’ve become monotonous as well. That there is no mystery or wildness left in me. That it’s all been drained into these tiny babes I love so much. That all my youthful spirit has become solely theirs.

So I’m glad to find I’m still young enough and ill-advised enough to go on with my life in an unpredictable manner. I’m glad I still take risks. I’m glad I can still surprise myself (and my husband), even if it is in a foolish sort of way. I’m glad I have the guts to laugh at myself. I’m glad I’m not boring.

And I’m really glad that hair grows back.


About Gemma Hartley

Gemma Hartley
Gemma Hartley is a stay-at-home mom of two: her wild-boy toddler, Lucas and newborn daughter, Avery. Gemma and her husband are high school sweethearts who moved from Dayton to attend UNR, and soon fell in love with Reno – settling into a cozy house in the Northwest shortly after they were married. In 2010, at 22-years-old, Gemma graduated from UNR with her BA in English Writing, then gave birth to Lucas the next week. Gemma loves being a young mama, especially in Reno where she has plenty of opportunities to explore and play outdoors with her babies. She also loves cooking (especially baking), running (slowly), and crafting (sporadically). You can read more about Gemma and her family’s adventures on her blog Journey of Love.

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