Excerpts from God Has Better Things to Do Than My Laundry (And Other Observations From an Overly Dramatic Mom)
When I was pregnant with my first child, I used to drink milk and root beer out of the containers and swish them around together in my mouth. That way I could have a root beer float at any time during the day. I’m not actually allowed to do that anymore. Those were good times.
I love to throw a kid party. However, I secretly believe that the mom is the one who should get the party instead of the kid. After all, we are the ones who carried them for 9 months, gave birth to them, changed their diapers, fed them, clothed them, and did all the work. They … showed up crying and have complained ever since.
Having been married with children for some time now, I know how important it is to keep things fun and interesting. One way I like to do this is to kiss the hubby in front of the kids. This does a couple of things. 1. Lets them see you love each other. 2. Grosses them out, which then inspires me to tell them that I think it would be nice to relive our wedding kiss in front of their friends. After all, we did kiss in front of a group of people when we wed. They are then filled with terror at the prospect of such a sight. This is a good time to ask them to clean their rooms. (Isn’t parenting fun?)
Typical Sunday night conversation:
Vaughn: Did you set the alarm?
Me: No, why? I don’t have school in the morning.
Vaughn: So you are not getting up with the kids?
Me: I don’t need an alarm to get up with the kids. Even if you get up, the kids always come in and make sure I know they’re up, thereby waking me up and ruining my sleep pattern.
Vaughn: Didn’t you say you aren’t sleeping well anyway?
Me: Well sure, but I like deciding when I’m done. It’s kind of like when you use public toilets that flush by themselves.
Vaughn: You don’t like public toilets?
Me: Well, no. Sometimes you are just doing your business and the thing flushes on its own. I always think “How do you know I’m done? I’ll let you know when I’m done.” What kind of technology is that, anyway? Is it a motion detector?
Is it Pee Pee Technology?
Vaughn: You are considerably faster when using a public restroom than you are at home.
Me: That’s because half the time at home, I’m just hiding.
Vaughn: OK, can we go to sleep now?
Me: Sure, knock yourself out.
When my house is particularly messy and I’m the only one to clean it, I like to put on my tiara when I clean. That way while I’m grumbling about what a hot mess it is, I can remember that even Cinderella had to clean up after people, and she was a princess.
I used to pray for patience. I now know that if you pray for patience, God just gives you opportunities to be patient.
I have not been to the restroom by myself since 1995. As a child, I was taught to go to the restroom in pairs, for safety reasons. As teenagers, we travel in packs to talk about boys. I believe this is all preparation for marriage and children. Once you have them, you will never attend alone. They either walk right in, or knock until you have no choice but to answer. In my house it usually goes something like this:
Kid 1: Can you do my hair?
Me: Um, no, I’m busy at the moment.
Kid 1: OK.
Kid 3: The girls won’t play with me!
Me: Can I do something about that later?
Kid 3: OK.
Me: WHAT IS IT?
Kid 2: Man, grouch. I was just asking when we are going to eat.
Me: When you learn to cook.
Me: GOOD GRIEF—WHAT???
Kid 1: Whatcha doin’?
Me: My taxes. Go away!
Things mom never told me, about being a mom:
1. It’s your fault. It doesn’t matter what the situation, and doesn’t even matter if you were there, it is your fault.
2. If something is missing, you hid it from sight to spite them. It is your job to find it.
3. Laundry miraculously gets washed, dried, folded, and put away. You have nothing to do with it; therefore, why should they thank you? Also, if it’s not done, it’s your fault.
4. You will need to remember everything you have ever learned in school. You are not allowed to have forgotten anything. If you forget how to do something, you are considered stupid.
5. Food just happens. You will need to make sure it is ready, or if it’s not ready in time for the stomach growling, you will need to have a backup plan. (I like to refer to my backup plan as “going out tonight.”)
6. You will either have to get up before everyone else to get a hot shower, or wait at least an hour after everyone is gone for the water to replenish to a temperature above Arctic Ocean.
I think perhaps that women who have lived through their childrens’ teenage years (with girls especially) have formed a secret society of sorts. They are all sitting around in their little clubs, watching the rest of us flail around, and enjoying the show. They won’t get involved because they have already lived through their fair share of drama. (It’s either that or they are mostly institutionalized.)
A friend of mine suggests that perhaps they are sitting around sipping their drinks and waiting for the next survivor to arrive. I am not a drinker, so I said, “What will I do? Learn to drink?”
She said, “Well, I didn’t say they are drinking alcoholic drinks. You could have an orange mint julep.” I asked her what that was. Apparently that is what Reese Witherspoon served at her wedding. It’s some kind of a southern drink. I persisted in asking what exactly this was. Her reply was, “I don’t know, I don’t live there!”
My friend has two daughters. Neither of which are yet into the teenage stage. While I love her dearly, if she had teenagers herself, she’d understand that perhaps I may need to learn to drink. And as to whatever an orange mint julep is, it may not be enough to get me through this stage of life. But I am willing to give it a try at this point.
My girls got the scared, “Please don’t cry, why don’t you listen, what can I do, I’m messing this up” mommy. My son got the relaxed “I’m old, you’ll live if you fall down, sure, spill something on the floor, it needs to be cleaned anyway, if you want to eat Cheerios from the floor, the ten second rule applies here, go ahead, stick the binky in diet soda to clean it off and give it back” mommy.
Boy: Is Shamu a boy or a girl?
Me: I don’t know, but I think Shamu must be a girl, because did you see all the water that whale was retaining? That thing looked like I feel a week out of every month.
Boy: But mom, I thought Shamu was a boy?
Me: Well, that explains why he gets such great service, and why no one ever mentions that he needs to lose weight.
The Stay-at-Home Mom Poem
Oh give me a home,
Where a maid does so roam,
And the skies are not cloudy all day,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the house stays clean every day.
Home, home in never, never land,
Where the dishes do themselves,
Where the meals are all free,
And the laundry all clean,
And you can relax and read books all day.
About The Book
If you've ever tackled a mound of laundry taller than you, made reservations instead of dinner, turned to prayer to deal with your teenage daughters, and accidentally wet yourself laughing at your best friend, then you'll like “God Doesn't Have Time for My Laundry (and Other Observations From an Overly Dramatic Mom).” Heather Nestleroad gathers all of her blog posts from the last few years into a comprehensive book that can be enjoyed by parents, chocolate lovers, and coffee drinkers of all types. Read about how Heather learned to like (and order) coffee, explores her questions about the purpose of our lives, bares her neurotic confessions, and details conversations you'll swear you just had with someone in your family.
About The Author
Heather Nestleroad was born in a small Midwestern town to parents who loved each other, until they didn't anymore. She then spent the rest of her childhood watching family shows and dreaming of one day having a family just like on TV. After getting married and having children, one day she discovered she did have a family like that, only funnier. Heather now lives in yet another small Midwestern town with her husband, three children, and two cats. When she isn't writing, she is working with preschoolers, going to Bible study, driving her children around, searching for the best place to have lunch, and looking for ways to get out of cooking dinner. Her blog is NestledinSuburbia.com.
Ebook ISBN # 9780986005909 ($2.99)
Print available July 2012 ($12.95)
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