Recently a neighbor of mine expressed her envy over my winter break. “You get to spend so much time with your kids. I wish I had that,” she said. She has two children under the age of ten. At the time, I smiled and nodded sympathetically. I chose not to reveal the depths of my black heart.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m in my 40s, or because my teenagers are old enough that I can tell they are going to be great adults, but something in me wants to smash all of the mothering myths.
My kids are great. I love them desperately and am proud of them daily. Perhaps knowing what amazing young people they are becoming gives me the confidence to speak up about the realities of time off with my kids.
For example we did not once sit around with coordinated fleece blankies, sip hot cocoa and chat about a recent ski trip. We don’t even ski.
Nor did they wake up like fresh bunnies, bring me the paper and serve me coffee.
We did couch surf and agree on one Netflix show, argue over which movie to watch at least three times, and often go for hours without really communicating. Truth.
In the spirit of the new year, I have decided to do a countdown of the top ten things that I have said, thought or overheard during this frequently romanticized time together. #blessed
Top 10 Truths About Time Off with the Children
10. Get up. Get up. Get up. It’s almost night.
9. Oh? You’re going out and have determined your own curfew? How adorable. Give me your keys.
8. They never stop talking. Ever.
7. This is a book. It has words like that screen but the words--they mean things.
6. Why won’t they talk to me?
5. Wait. Are you guys talking about drugs? What’s dabbing? Don’t laugh at me.