Would You Have Kids Again?

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By the time I had my second son, I had already been asked the three most personal, invasive questions that anyone who isn’t your doctor could possibly ask.  You have probably been asked them, too, or have asked them yourself (Shame on you!).  You know the questions:

  • When are you getting married?
  • When are you going to have a baby?
  • When are going to give your son/daughter a sister/brother?

I thought getting married, having a baby and giving that baby a sibling would have been enough.  I was wrong.  The question I hadn’t expected was what would come next.  Oh, sure, I got a year or two reprise from the invasive questions after my second son was born.  I think people saw how tired and hormonal I was.  Asking me any such question was likely to result in my becoming a sobbing lump of incoherent mush or my removing your head with my teeth, either literally or metaphorically.  No answer was worth the risk of witnessing either.

Eventually, though, the question came, “Would you have kids again?”.  Usually, I was asked this question while I was dealing with one child having a tantrum as the other cried in terror or as I tried to change one diaper while the other child removed his, and it’s contents, onto the floor next to me.  To be clear, no one was ever asking if I would have more kids, just whether or not I had made a mistake by having any.

I have to admit, in those early days when I was too tired to think, or feel, or function,  there were many times I would have quickly answered “No!”. “No.  If I had to do it over again, I would not have kids.  I would choose sleep.  I would choose freedom.  I would choose feeling human.”

But when my boys would fall asleep in my arms or smile at me or do something for the first time, I was entranced.  I was in a bubble of love and could not image life without those experiences.

The question, “Would you have kids again?”, has come up over and over as the kids have grown.  I wonder sometimes if people even realize what they are asking.  Do I look that miserable? Sometimes, I probably do.  Are you suggesting my children shouldn’t exist, that I made a mistake? I never thought anyone was trying to be cruel.  More likely, they were acknowledging the level of commitment it takes to be a parent.  Hell, I have even said to people who don’t have children, “You made the right decision!” or have warned them, “Whatever you do, don’t have kids.”

The question hasn’t just been from strangers.  My husband and I have asked it to each other.  We have often joked (okay, sometimes, we weren’t joking) about how much easier life would be with only one.  The thing is, we already have two.  How could we possibly decide which child to keep?

I can't even imagine life without my children.

I can’t even imagine life without my children.

And, that was the crux of it.  Once you have a child in your life, once you become a parent, there is no undoing it.  Sure, you may wish that you had more sleep, more time to yourself, more time for your partner.  Never having had your child, though, that is unimaginable.  The thought of a world where either of my sons didn’t exist is sad and lonely.

“Would you have kids again?” is an unanswerable question because once you have your children there is no other life.  I have no way of knowing what my life would have been like if I hadn’t had children.  I can imagine many things but none of them may have been true.  But, now that I do have children, I can’t imagine my life without them.  They are as much part of me as my limbs.  They are extensions of my being.  No matter how much of a challenge it can be to raise them, I would not want a life without them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imperfect Mommy is on HuffPost!

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HuffPost, in partnership with Chevrolet, launched a new section today called ‘Moments Not Milestones’.  Guess who was featured as their first blogger?  That’s right, Imperfect Mommy!  Check it out.  Like it! Share it!  Comment!  Enjoy!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marie-zullo/i-wonder-what-my-barbie-w_b_5546027.html


Toilet Paper Troubles

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As I hunched over the toilet tonight, trying to plunge the half roll of toilet paper it apparently takes my son to wipe his bottom (or “bum” as the creepy lady from the Cottenelle Cottonellcommercials likes to call it)  down the pipes, I couldn’t help but reminisce about toilet paper troubles past.  This post originally appeared over 2 years ago. Unfortunately, not much has changed.  Sigh.

 

 

 

“Mom! Mom!” came my son’s panicked voice from the downstairs bathroom.  “The toilet is overflowing.”

I race down the stairs thinking, “I really need to get more fiber in these kids’ diets.”

When I arrive in the bathroom, the toilet, thankfully, is not overflowing but it’s not really flushing, either.  Tissues are piled high in the trashcan and the toilet paper roll is missing.  A fresh roll of toilet paper sits on the top of the toilet tank untouched.

“What did you do?” I ask my son.                                       tp roll

“I flushed the toilet paper roll.”

“Why?”

“Because there wasn’t anymore toilet paper.”

“But, why did you flush the roll?”

“Because, I used it to wipe my butt.”

“But, there’s a new roll of toilet paper right here, ” I say, as I pick the roll up from the back of the toilet.

“Oh. Then, I guess I didn’t need to use all those tissues.”

 

 


Nice Try

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David recently appealed to me for more screen time. When his verbal pleading and protests didn’t work he submitted the following cartoon depicting what would happen if I gave him more screen time:

scan0001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I give him points for creativity, but the answer is still “No.”



We Got Nominated for a Liebster Award! (AGAIN!!!) WOO HOO!

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We were nominated by the author of Spin Cycle Diaries. Go check out her blog. We’ll wait. You can find her here.

She’s awesome, right?!

Anyway, Tal included 11 questions for us to answer. And here they are:

1.  Describe your blog in five words.

Irreverent musings of two moms.

2. What inspired you to start blogging?

When Marie and I met one another we quickly realized that we shared so many experiences of (and reactions to) parenthood. We felt incredible relief knowing that we were not alone in our feelings. We wanted to share that relief.

3. Do you ever want to throw your hands up in the air and stop blogging?

I initially read this as “Do you ever want to throw up in your hands?” No, no I don’t. I also don’t want to stop blogging, but I do take extended breaks sometimes.

4. Are you currently in love and with what or who?

Yes, my husband, children, sleep, and chocolate. And caffeine. Oh, and bacon.

5. How many times have you been in love?

Many times. I fall in love again everyday with my husband and kids.

6. Do you identify as carnivore, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, or something I haven’t mentioned on here?

I don’t see meat-tarian on the list. Is that not a word?

7. Does internal health or external beauty influence your healthy food choices more? and if you don’t ever choose healthy, tell us why.

I don’t make healthy food choices because bacon tastes so freakin’ good. And I grew up down the street from a paper mill and playing in the cool spray from the mosquito-spraying trucks. So I am invincible.

8. When you get two spare hours, do you chill or play?

I wander around the house feeling a vague sense of unease wondering what I’m supposed to be doing.

9. What is your favorite activity? Go ahead, say what you want.

Sleeping.

10. Sexting, yay or nay?

It depends….is it Nathan Fillion sending the pics?

11. One wish is granted to you – what do you wish for?

The ability to fly. With my own wings and everything. But not hollow bones.

Thanks, again, Tal! You made our day.


Melissophobia* to The Rescue

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beesSo, we took the kids to Costa Rica for 10 days a couple of weeks ago. It was enthralling (at least to me). David declared the food to be “gross.” Scott wanted to know why everyone “talked weird.” And Kelly….well, Kelly was pretty happy actually. Anyway, on one day David and I decided to go on a zip-lining tour. Kelly uncharacteristically passed up an opportunity to risk her life. I was a bit surprised that David wanted to go because he is usually a pretty cautious guy, but even after I explained what zip-lining entailed he was up for it. And for the first several runs he was pretty excited. Until we got to the 14th one (out of 16) which was no higher or longer than any of the previous runs. I think he’d just had enough at that point. Anyway, on the platform David loudly announced that he WAS NOT going to zip-line anymore. Which would have been no problem if he could sprout wings and fly back to the base. Otherwise, zip-lining was the only way to get home. I quietly explained this to him to which he responded LOUDLY, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU MADE ME DO THIS! (say, what?) I’M NOT MOVING….(bee buzzes by)…OK! I’M GOING, I’M GOING.” *jumps*

If I’d known how motivating bees were I’d have become a beekeeper years ago. On a related note, I damn near jumped out of a moving car once when a spider suddenly rappelled down in front of my face. I was driving the car, though, so….

 

*Melissophobia is fear of bees

 

 


Want to Know What’s Keeping Us Awake Now?

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To find out what’s causing this Imperfect Mommy’s sleepless nights, check out the latest post on our Things the Keep Us Up at Night page.  You’ll hear what’s keeping us awake. http://imperfectmommy.com/things-that-keep-us-up-at-night-coming-soon/


The Top of the Ferris Wheel

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Already feeling clammy in the humid August heat, I felt my body temperature rising even higher as I stood with the boys trying to decide what to do.  Either way, it would be something that scared me.  My time to make a decision was running out.

The boys and I were at a local festival where we had met Jenny and her kids.  Usually, I avoid anything that creates even the remote possibility that I will be on an amusement ride. Since we were meeting Jenny and her kids, though,  I thought I was in clear.  Our kids could ride together.  I would snap a few pictures and cross my fingers that the meltdowns that used to be a regular part of these outings wouldn’t happen today.  That plan was working well until ferris wheelwe all got separated.

We had been at festival for about an hour.  With the heat, and all the fairs sounds and smells, my boys were needed break.  Water and snack could not wait.  Jenny’s kids had already had a snack and wanted to stay on the rides.  Off the boys and I went in search of carnival treats and hydration.  After several explanations of why eating anything fried or guzzling down an extra-large soda were not good choices while riding on things that spin you around, the boys finally agreed to bottled water and ice creams.

When we returned to where the rides were, we couldn’t find Jenny or her kids anywhere. I figured she had probably needed to make a quick exit.  Standing with my own boys, I could totally understand if she had.

“Sorry, guys, I don’t see them anywhere.  They probably needed to go.  You both look hot and tired.  We should head out, too.”

Aaron looked relieved.  “It is wicked hot out here.  This was fun but now I need some air-conditioning and TV.”

“I don’t WANT to go!” Nic’s voice was low but forceful. “I want to go on some more rides.”

“Not me,” Aaron said.  “I’m done.  I say we go home.  NOW!”

Nic’s body was rigid, his face panicked.  I had no doubt that he was as tired and hot as Aaron, but Nic’s plan for the day had clearly not been completed.  He gritted his teeth, his hands curled into fists.  He was teetering on edge of a full-scale meltdown.

“Oh, here we go again!” exclaimed Aaron.  “Another fun thing ruined!”

“Nothing is ruined,” I said.  Nothing was ruined, yet, and I wanted to keep it that way.  Too many times, our last memory of an event was the tantrum Nic had when it all had grown too much for him.  It had been a few months since that had happened.  We had started to try more outings.  Aaron was not objecting to doing things with his brother.  I did not want it to end now, we still had so much summer to get through.

“How about this,” I said trying to let my voice sound light, “Nic, you can go on one last ride.  Aaron, I’ll get you the cotton candy you wanted.  Then, we will go home.”

Nic’s body relaxed.  Aaron rolled his eyes.

Nic chose the Ferris wheel.  On the way over, I bought Aaron some cotton candy.  All was, again, right with the world.

Then, carnival signwe saw the sign. No single riders meant Nic couldn’t ride alone.  He would have to ride with a stranger.  For some kids, this wouldn’t be a problem.  Nic, though, he wouldn’t ride with another kid, at least not a stranger.  I didn’t want to let him ride with an adult I didn’t know.

Nic started to release a slow growl.  “I have to go on the Ferris wheel!”

Aaron rolled his eyes.  I was not going to let this afternoon end in a tantrum, no matter what I had to do.  “How about another ride?” I suggested.

“You said I could pick one last ride!  I pick the Ferris wheel!”

I looked at Aaron.  “I’m not getting on that thing!” he said before I could even ask the question.

“Nic, I’m sorry.  I can’t leave Aaron down here all by himself.”  And, I am scared to death of getting on that thing anyway, I said only to myself.

“Mom, I’ll be fine,” offered Aaron.  “I’ll stand right here and eat my cotton candy.  No one is going to take me.”

There I stood at the foot of the Ferris wheel trying to decide what to do.  The idea of leaving Aaron alone, where I could see him but not reach him if he needed me, frightened me more than was probably healthy.  The idea of being on the Ferris wheel brought back childhood panic was being stuck at the top with my sister wildly rocking the seat and pretending to fall out.

Nic’s ears were turning red, a sign that he would not hold it together much longer.  I looked at each of the boys.  I looked around at all the other kids running around without any sign of  watchful parents. Aaron tugged on my sleeve and whispered, “It’s okay, Mom.”

With my legs feeling wobbly and my heart-racing, I took a seat on the Ferris wheel next to Nic.  As the ride began to move, I felt my stomach drop.  Beside me, Nic’s smile grew wide.  He closed his eyes, tipped his head back and let the wind sail through his hair.  Below, Aaron munched on his cotton candy and waved up at us.  I wanted to wave back but my hand was frozen to the bar meant to keep us in the seats.

As the first pass around completed, I thought ” Okay, I can do this.”  That was until we started to go up again and stopped right at the top.  I felt as though my heart had stopped.  I imagined myself slipping under the safety bar.  Falling to the ground, my skirt lifting over my head.  My granny panties being seen by all embarrassing me only slightly more than my thighs that had not seen a razor for about as long as it had been since they had seen the sun or exercise.   Nic’s grabbing my had brought me back to realty where I was relieved to see I was wearing pants and still seated on the ride.

The look on Nic’s face had changed from joy to fear.  “Is the ride broken?  How long do we have to stay up here?” he asked, a small tremble in his voice.

“Hey, buddy!  We are fine.  They are just letting so other people on the ride.”

“Look!”  I said, trying to distract him.  “There’s the library.  Oh, and that’s where we got ice cream!”  Then with all the courage I could muster, I looked down and pointed. “There’s Aaron!  Let’s wave.  Do you think he can hear us from here?”

Nic smiled down at his brother.  “Hey, Aaron, up here!”  We all waved furiously to each other.

Through the rest of the ride, I pointed things out to Nic.  I asked him what his favorite rides were.  His smile was back.  He was having fun.  Aaron was safe and proud of being able to stay by himself.

It was my favorite day that summer.  It was the day that my boys made me face my fears.  The day that I learned to trust them, myself and the universe just a little bit more.  Now, whenever I hesitate to do something, I think of the Ferris wheel and ride anyway.