There is a lot of chatter about how people are fake on Facebook and don’t tell the real story… About how this makes our lives look way better than they are, and that is the cause of some people’s depression.
I’m an optimist by nature, and I admit that I don’t post many negative Facebook posts. I’m not the type of person to say, “I really can’t believe the NERVE of some people” or to complain about how hard things are, or to even ask for prayers when things get rough. I usually keep my challenges private.
But this is the Reno Moms Blog, and we’re all friends here, right? I’m here to share with you the difference between my Facebook posts for the weekend, and what actually happened.
Exhibit 1: My Daughter’s Theater Performance
My daughter is a pretty damn cute billy goat, right? She was the largest Billy Goat Gruff. And look at how loving my kids are to each other! Isn’t this wonderful?! Mere minutes after this picture was taken, we got in the car, and I started driving straight toward Yogurt Beach to celebrate another great performance by my daughter. I didn’t even mention it to the kids — just started driving there, thinking it’d be a nice surprise.
About five minutes into the drive and half way to Yogurt Beach, my children started fighting over a marker that was in the back seat. Cue the immediate tears and screaming. I say, “I was on my way to Yogurt Beach, but if you don’t stop fighting RIGHT NOW I’m turning this car around!” (OMG, I’m totally becoming my own mother.)
Right after those words were out of my mouth, I heard SMACK and Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, as my daughter had smacked her brother in the face. I turned the car around. It took them about a minute to figure out what was happening.
I’M GOING TO SCREAM UNTIL YOU TAKE ME TO YOGURT BEACH! My daughter screamed at the top of her lungs, and then let out an ear piercing scream. Her brother joined forces. I calmly continued driving home as they screamed and yelled the whole way. I was thinking it was going to be a LONG time before I took these spoiled brats to Yogurt Beach again. (Seriously, I love that place, but it’s the principle at hand here.)
We got home, my daughter refused to come into the house for 30 minutes, and they were crying and whining for 2 hours. I held firm. “Promise me you’ll take me to Yogurt Beach if I change my behavior!” My daughter demanded. I told her that sounded like a threat and there was no way we were going there in the near future after this show of behavior.
They eventually changed their behavior. I knew that this was my opportunity to prove to them that fits and threats would not work on this Momma. It sucked. It gave me a headache. But my point was made. I won this battle.
Exhibit 2: Our Annual Fall Colors Hike
Every year, I take the kids out to hike and enjoy the fall colors. We collect leaves and I take a ton of pictures for the annual calendar I make for the grandparents. Aren’t these kids adorable?! Don’t I have the perfect life?!
Let me tell you the real story behind this picture. I announced to the kids we would be going on our traditional Fall Colors Hike on Sunday morning. My daughter proceeds to change into a tank top and skirt that is totally inappropriate for the cooler weather. I hand her a sweatshirt. My son is having a fit because his shoes “hurt” him (kid has OCD fits over his shoes every freaking day). I say, “no biggie, just get in the car!” I knew he had left a pair of other shoes in my car a few days before, so I could call his bluff. I get both kids and the dog in the car.
We get to the trail, and I get out of the car. I open my son’s door to see his socks are now missing. He doesn’t know where his socks are. So I put his shoes on his bare feet. He initiates a fit because his feet are hurting and he has no socks!!! Wahahahahahaha…. As I’m closing the car door, I spy his socks, so I forcefully sit him down, take off his shoes, put his socks on, and then announce we’re off.
This is when I discover my daughter has left the sweatshirt I handed her at home, and she’s cold.
I can’t let them win. I think to myself. I can’t let them think this type of behavior will get them out of a family activity I have decided is mandatory, darn it. So we started on the hike. My son was trailing, so I walked with my shivering daughter (I’m thinking she won’t forget her sweatshirt again), and then I look back to see my son has kicked off one shoe and is hiking with one shoe on and one sock.
I then turn around, retrieve his shoe, and grab on to his hand to force him to keep up. He blubbers and complains the whole time. The tone of his whining is like fingernails on a chalkboard. But I proceed. I vow to myself I will be strong. People that pass me on the trail give me pitying looks, but we forge on.
Until my daughter trips over a root and falls down, scraping her knee and scuffing up her hands. Tears well in her eyes, but it’s totally a small scrape, and us Bellins are tough, darn it, so I encourage her to forge ahead. She does. I am proud. Until she announces blood is dripping down her leg. I have no Band-Aids on me. My son, though, is carrying a cloth grocery bag in hopes of collecting Fall leaves, so I take the said red bag and blot up the blood (totally minor scrape, mind you), and then my son throws a fit because his bag is now “covered in disgusting blood”. It’s a red bag. You can’t even see where I blotted up the blood.
But we forged on. They rallied a bit, but it was mostly miserable. I knew this was one of our last chances to enjoy the splendor of Fall leaves, so we pushed on. I ran into two friends trail running without their kids, and I cannot voice how envious I was of them.
We turned around after 30 minutes (long enough to prove a point, but not long enough to be stuck with Mr. Grumpy on the trail all afternoon). As we got close to the end of the trail, I realized I hadn’t taken any pictures. I pose my daughter, snap a few pictures, and then turn to my son.
Which is when I start bribing him. Because I’m in the running for Mother of the Year. The bribe worked. I got the picture at the top of the post — the GOOD picture showing my angelic children. Then I notice my daughter has let go of the dog’s leash, and the dog is wading in the muddy creek.
We get back to the car, and I load up the dog in the back of the car and right before the kids and I get in, the dog jumps into the passenger rear seats and gets MUD all over my seats… mud all over the car I just cleaned last week. My daughter then starts throwing a fit because she doesn’t want to sit on mud. I literally was thinking, Calgon, take me away!
So although I got some amazing pictures that make life look AWESOME, it really sucked. It had me reminiscing to my single days when hikes were about silence and enjoying nature and not dealing with all of THIS.
I love my kids. I really do. Most of the time, they are totally loving, kind and awesome. But sometimes, they can act like little assholes. Or big assholes in little asshole bodies. I remember my Mom saying when I was younger, “I hope you have kids one day that give you as hard of a time as you’re giving me!” I think that her wish has come true. This parenthood thing is SO DAMN HARD. It’s also totally awesome at times. But there are other times it’s totally NOT AWESOME. It’s my job to teach them not to be little assholes so that the asshole trait doesn’t become a permanent personality trait when they are grown. And that is NOT FUN!
So, in solidarity with all you Mommas out there, I’m sharing that my weekend looked great from my Facebook posts, but it was hard, exhausting, and I really just wanted to call in sick to work on Monday and stay in bed all day (but I didn’t).
When my child-free coworkers ask me how my weekend was, this post explains why sometimes I pause and just smile. Like this morning, when I smiled and said, “it was great, my daughter was in a performance and we went on a beautiful hike.”
Because people without kids just wouldn’t understand.
Note: This post is not sponsored by Yogurt Beach. But it feels like I’m a personal sponsor of that business, as my kids are totally addicted to the place, as exhibited in this post. I also have to credit that calling my kids little assholes publically was inspired by the book I Heart My Little A Holes.