Warning: This article is part of “The Edge” series and may not appeal to those without a sense of humor or those who are completely opposed to any and all swear words. 🙂
I used to say, when I young(er) and stupid(er) that I like to cook. I thought if I said it, it would be so. It sounds much better and more responsible than “I like to read fiction novels and write stuff.” I thought if I printed off recipes, followed them, made them, served them, I would be a good (enough) cook. As I get older, my true feeling is that I don’t mind- cooking when I’m in the mood, but it would never be accurate to say I like it or that I’m good at it. “In the mood” mostly means I feel like drinking wine, which is the only way to cook, in my opinion.
Most days, cooking is the bane of my existence after working a full day and taking kids to activities. Plus, my children eat about 5 things each and my husband hates leftovers. Cooking is futile. Maybe if I were a master chef, everyone would eat and look forward to leftovers, no? Exactly. I also don’t garden, sew, or have house plants. Actually, I have one house plant. It’s a vine of some sort in a cute pot that I can get away with watering twice a month. Honestly, that’s about all I have left as far commitment to taking care of something besides little humans. My oldest keeps asking for a pet. I told him he can have any pet he wants as long as it doesn’t poop.
We used to have pets. The majority of my memories involve cleaning up shit from the backyard, chasing pet hair all over the house, and saying goodbye to my favorite shoes. And have I mentioned the poop? Oh my god, the POOP. I’ll never forget returning from vacation one year to find that my cat had gotten into a large house plant and not only pissed in it all week, but then kicked the piss dirt all over the walls, blinds, and windows in the living room. Thanks a lot, cat.
Or the time one of the dogs had a freak out over fireworks and dug up the bedroom carpet. I know everyone loves their pets, so don’t get your panties in a wad. But I have to say I’m in no hurry to have more. In fact, I’d be open to letting my kids have some type of creepy reptile instead of a furry pal. I’d rather watch a snake slowly eat mouse guts. I have those moments when I see a puppy, or hang out with my sister’s awesome lab, when I think how lovely dogs are. Then I remember one word: shit. Have I mentioned how much I hate to clean up shit??
I have sewn buttons on coats and shirts a few times. Because truly, I’m too ashamed to show up at my alternations place and admit I’m too useless to sew a fucking button. I mean come on Mandy, what kind of mother can’t sew a button?! So, I get them on there. I have no technique or method. My criteria: is it going to stay on and will the coat button? Yes? Score one for mom. As an aside to this, my sister sews curtains and elaborate Halloween costumes like beautiful butterflies and colorful peacocks. She has a garden, house plants, tulips, THREE pets, and cooking skills from memory. She also works. She’s such a show-offy bitch. Yes, I’m jealous. All except for the pets.
So, what CAN I do? I don’t know, really. My kids are alive, they seem happy, and everyone is clean (usually). We read books, we do stuff. I love them. I’m really good at loving them. Do they deserve better? Probably, but that’s just the luck of the draw, kiddos. Some moms sew, some moms cook, some moms do it all. And the rest of us hire someone to cut the grass, buy tomatoes at Kroger, and donate the shirt with more than one button missing. I guess you can say I’m “leaning in” to my shortcomings and accepting them. Which is fine with me as long as I’m not picking up shit from the backyard or the living room floor.