10 Smart*** Responses to Extended Family’s Holiday, er, Spirit

10 Smartass Responses to Extended Family’s Holiday Snark Spirit

What Pumpkin Spice? It’s time for Egg Nog Everything.  The halls are as decked as someone trying to take the last toy-of-the-moment off the shelf at Toys R Us, and you’ve finally got that Taylor Swift song out of your head because it’s been replaced by an infinite loop of the first verse of Jingle Bells being yelled at the top of your kids’ lungs.  Christmas is right around the corner, which can only mean two things: It’s almost Thanksgiving, and it’s time for family drama, I mean fun and togetherness.  This year, I’m thankful for sleep training, cardigans that hide muffin top, and that shoes without heels have become a thing, and obviously seeing extended family. But if togetherness didn’t make your list of things to be thankful for, never fear, this handy list of go-to retorts has you covered better than that slimming black sweater you just dug out of mothballs. So have that second helping of mac and cheese, relax, and have a glass of red.

Photo Fotolia.com 2014

Photo Fotolia.com 2014

Family: I thought you’d been working out?  

You: I thought you’d been going to therapy?

Family: Should you be drinking that while you’re breastfeeding?  

You: You’re right. Here’s the bottle, Grandma. [Note: even if you don’t intend to drink that glass of wine or coffee, just pour one so you can get a break from nursing]

Family: I like to put (milk, broth, magic fairy dust) into my mac and cheese so it doesn’t get so dry.  

You: You do make the best, would you be a dear and do the honors?

Family: Were you trying to get pregnant or was #3 an ‘oops?’

You: It’s too soon to tell.

Family: Such a shame you have to work, kids should really have their mother at home.

You: Oh I totally agree, we’re looking at refrigerator boxes now. I hear overpass space by the river is going like hotcakes.

Family: Did you just buy another new car?

You: I really wanted a handbag like yours but we’re really watching our budget.

Family: Are you saving for retirement?

You: I’m saving for medical school so my kids can take care of me for free someday, does that count?

Family: Is he having another beer?

You: If you noticed, that means you’re still here, so yes, he’s having another beer.

Family: Such a bummer you weren’t able to have a girl (boy). Girls (boys) are so wonderful.

You: I usually just stare and blink, but let me know if you’ve got this one nailed.

Family: Are you on the computer [drinking/ working out/ having a shower/ doing anything other than holding/ feeding/ reading to/ other approved maternal activity]?  

You: Are you still here?

This post is dedicated to my awesome family, here and across the pond, who actually never say or ask the wrong thing. I wish we had a lot more togetherness, during and between the holidays. Miss you, love you!  

© Folding A Fitted Sheet 2014. All rights reserved.

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The Morning Routine of a Non Industry Powerhouse

5:30 am overly ambitious alarm goes off and I scramble to find where my phone ended up after I fell asleep making a to-do list on it the night before. Phone is under the baby who I didn’t even realize had ended up in bed with me at some point in the night because I almost certainly sleep-walked to get him out of his crib when he woke up screaming like he was stranded on a piece of driftwood in the middle of the ocean. Get the phone out from under the baby, silence alarm, get baby back to sleep. Put on yoga pants from Target and contemplate doing a Fitness Blender workout. Fall asleep standing up for a second then climb back into bed to get the best 45 minutes of sleep of the night before the baby wakes up again.
(c) Folding A Fitted Sheet 2014

(c) Folding A Fitted Sheet 2014

6:15 am hubby brings me a coffee and turns on Morning Joe to test whether or not I am in fact alive. Most of the discussion topics piss me off enough to rouse me. Finish coffee with actual milk and sugar and berate myself for missing another workout and consuming my entire daily allotment of sugar in one cup of coffee.
6:30 am Kids wake up and begin the chaos that is getting them dressed. Get in the shower while the hubs does breakfast for the kids. Love that freakin guy. Think of 10 more things I left off the to-do list in the shower and make up mnemonic devices to try not to forget them before my shower is done and I can put them in my phone. Wash bangs because I’m 3 days overdue for a shampoo but I don’t have time for anything more than bangs.
Forget 7 of the 10 items I thought of in the shower [spoiler alert: this will bite me in the ass later].
Spend 10 minutes layering eye cream, concealer, highlighter, and primer to under eye area. Still look like a Walking Dead extra.
Dry bangs. Pull rest of hair back into a ponytail. Get dressed after trying on half of 3 different outfits and realizing the other half is in the laundry.
Head downstairs to finish washing the bottles and pump parts for the day, grab to-go coffee and breakfast I can throw in the microwave at work.
7:15 am Leave house heading north to do the drop-offs.
8am Leave school heading back south, past my house, toward the office and remember I have snack duty this week and call husband in a panic to pick up fruit and flowers to drop by the school on his way to the office.
9 am arrive 30 minutes later than my childless 20-something co-workers who all went to a barre class at 5am.
9:15 am put breakfast in the microwave (hey, it’s organic!) and have another cup of coffee and note that my sugar consumption is now 3 times the recommended daily amount but silently renew my vow not to switch to artificial sweeteners because of those lab rat studies from Sweden. Wonder if I should switch to almond milk, briefly.
10 am retrieve forgotten, cold, solidified oatmeal from the microwave. Hold out for 30 more minutes before eating 2 donuts leftover from the morning meeting. They weren’t gluten free or sold individually at some gourmet donut boutique that sources its ingredients locally.

Don’t Call Me a Mommy Blogger

I could be called many things, and most of them I’d agree with. I like Super Mom, Wonder Woman, and You Poor Thing [as long as that last one is followed by an offer of either babysitting or wine, or both]. When you get married, you might give up your last name and maybe your middle name. When you have a baby, you give up your first name and maybe even the cutesy pet names your partner gave you when you first got together and had nothing more pressing to do than have sex and decide on a brunch place.

piclab

You become Mommy, Mama, Mom, Hey, No, or some excruciatingly high-pitched noise that only barely qualifies as a human-made sound. When you become a mom, you get labeled. Working Mom, SAHM, Mom of Multiples, Single Mom, Nursing Mom, Expectant Mom, Special Needs Mom, the possibilities are endless. Right now, I’m Working Mom, Nursing/Pumping Mom, Mom of Three, Boy Mom, and probably That Mom Who is Always Late and Has Something Green on Her Shirt. But one thing I am definitely not is a Mommy Blogger.

I don’t like the label Mommy Blogger, but not for the reasons you might think. Sure, I prefer to call myself a writer, but not in the implied snotty way that people often try to distinguish themselves from everyone else on the planet with a laptop, a WordPress account, and an opinion. If anything, it’s the other way around.

I’ve been writing Folding A Fitted Sheet for about 3 years now, and I had an epiphany recently while folding laundry. I’m actually not trying to be cute, it’s just that quite literally most of my epiphanies, ideas, and horrifying realizations that I’ve accidentally washed something important, happen in my laundry room, not least because that is where I spend a lot of my bleary-eyed waking hours. It occurred to me that I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I don’t want to be a Mommy Blogger. Not because the label itself implies a sort of duality where one pursuit is more or less important than the other, and where neither is taken all that seriously. And not because the term blogger has come to connote a hobby rather than a passion or an occupation. And certainly not because anyone can be a blogger. Although that last one is true, the first two of those perceptions about Mommy Bloggers couldn’t be more wrong.

I am privileged to be part of a couple of “mommy blogging” communities filled with very talented writers, each with their own style and voice and unique story to tell. And I count myself qualified to be among them on those criteria. But that’s where the similarities end. These moms, and an ever increasing number of dads, are honing a writing craft unique to our generation.   It takes immense dedication and focus, organizational skill, networking, a degree-level understanding of online marketing techniques, a very thick skin, and of course a half-decent ability to write, to be a Mommy Blogger. And notice I didn’t say successful mommy blogger. In my experience, it demands much more than simply putting thoughts into words, even more than pouring your heart out onto a screen or telling your story, whether that’s the saga of how you braved fertility challenges to bring a half-dozen children into the world, or your hilarious mis-adventures in Target yesterday. And both are the stuff of some damn good blogs.

In my epiphany, shortly after realizing that the number of matchless socks had finally outnumbered our actual pairs of socks, I realized that I don’t want to be a Mommy Blogger because all I really care to do is write. I don’t want to over think it and I don’t want to make it more than a hobby. It’s my creative outlet and, along with laundry, my ticket to Zen. Yep, I just realized how incredibly sad that sounded.

So call me many things – Working Mom, Boy Mom, Tired Mom for sure – but don’t call me a Mommy Blogger. I’m just a Mom who happens to write stuff while sitting on top of the dryer.