A Mother’s Journey from Slobbery to Sobbery

If this was me, I’d be in my element….

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But it isn’t me, at all. The truth is: I have a pre-disposition to slobbery. Reason being, when I was a teenager I was actually a slob. My clothes lived all over my room, wherever they landed basically. It was a treacherous sea of clothing and shoes, in there, and visitors entered at their own risk.

After years of pleading, my poor mom finally gave up and asked of me but one request: Keep the door closed!

Now, I’d love to say that this all changed when I went off to university but I’d be lying. My four housemates will attest to the fact that I really didn’t pull my weight. When the chores were divvied up, I was always given the least demanding tasks like sweeping the laundry room floor. While my more responsible peers took on the biggies like cleaning the kitchen and the living room. I think they knew that I was shitty at cleaning and they wanted the job done right.

I’m fairly confident, however, as we’re all still friends, that what I lacked in domestic prowess I made up for in ridiculousness and what house of university friends doesn’t appreciate that? I played a mean leg guitar, my Dr. Evil impression was tops and my Rat Face (which, as it sounds, is an impression of a rat’s face) is still alive and well and has even been passed down to our kin.

It wasn’t until I lived in my own little apartment for one that I gained a bit of house pride, but only a bit. I was hardly there.

Fast forward 18 years… I’m now living in a house of five again, only this time I’m in charge of tidying, cleaning and organizing the entire fucking thing! Talk about a learning curve. I know that by having kids, I signed up for all of this. I think I was a bit naïve, though, as to how much mess they would actually produce and I can’t help but wonder if life would be easier if I was still a slob.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not boasting Show Home status, by any means, but there are times when our house looks pretty damn good- if only for a few precious moments. There are also times when it’s a gigantic mess… And occasionally, amidst that wreckage, I cry…  And |I wonder, is this the slob in me feeling hard done by? I don’t know but I do think that we can all benefit from a good cry every once in a while.

Personally, I find combining oven scrubbing with sobbing, to be very therapeutic.

Allowing myself to cry, doesn’t mean I’m not grateful that I have an oven to cook with, a home to live in and a healthy family to take care of. It just means that sometimes the weight of motherhood just builds up…

Whether we are crying, laughing or sprawled out, zonked, on the couch at the end of the day we, moms, deserve a nice cocktail. And there is no beverage more perfect for a house cleaning, family organizing mom (who used to be a slob) than a Dirty Martini. This is how you make one…

Two Olive Martini Cocktails

The Dirty Martini

Ingredients:

2 oz. vodka or gin

1 oz. Vermouth

A generous splash of olive juice

Green olives

Method:

1. Fill a metal shaker up with ice. Add the vodka (or gin), Vermouth and olive juice.

2. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.

3. Add olives. Just drop them in (if you’re feeling lazy) or put them on a lovely cocktail stick (if you’re feeling classy).

4. Serve to your house cleaning, family organizing mom friends.

TOAST– to dirty ovens, therapeutic tears and all the laughter in between.

A Martini for a Mismatched Mom

Every once in a while a day begins in such a way that you just know a drink will be had at the end of it. Last week, Becky had one of those days…

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Becky is a busy wife and mom of 2 who spends her working hours counseling some of Ottawa’s youth. She is a juggler, as most moms are, a classic example of a modern day mother. Becky is well aware that the journey of motherhood is neither smooth nor predictable. She knows that there’ll be times when she is victorious and times when she clearly is not, like last Friday…

"Is it that obvious?"

“Is it that obvious?”

Despite her footwear mishap, (a result of a toddler distraction during the boot selection process) she is able to laugh along with her colleagues and students.

Becky knows that laughter is key in her role as a mom.

At around 10 am, on the day of the mismatched footwear incident, Becky discovers the home phone in her purse. Luckily her cell is in there too. Recalling a very tasty cocktail she’d enjoyed recently, she sends the following text: How do I make a French Martini?

Becky knows who to call on for drink recipes.

Now, in honour of Becky, and those who have walked similar paths, The French Martini will (indefinitely) be referred to as: The Disheveled Momtini. This is how you can make one…

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The Disheveled Momtini

Ingredients:

Vodka 1.5 oz.

Chambord (raspberry liquor) 1 oz.

Pineapple Juice 1 oz.

Method:

1. Fill a metal shaker with ice.
2. Measure and pour in all of the above ingredients.
3. Shake, shake, shake and strain into a martini glass.
4. Serve to your favourite disheveled mom friends and the ones with matching shoes too.

TOAST to laughter instead of tears.

What’s Your 7 Minutes in Tahiti? (Fending off the Mom-Meltdown)

Female leg walking on the beach in the ocean - Narrow depth of f

As a parents we’ve all lost it! Snapped. Acted in ways that we’re not proud of. I know I have. And when this happens, all we can do is forgive ourselves (once we let go of the guilt), and seek out ways to prevent the snap or meltdown or the losing of our shit or whatever we call it when our own behavior fails to meet our own expectations. Not to mention, the needs of our kids.

I discovered the key to my own meltdown prevention one evening, during the usual routine. You know it. The one that’s similar to a cyclone. It strikes weekdays between the hours of 4:00 and 8:00 pm.

A typical Evening Cyclone, and the surprises that pop up within it, render me useless by 9pm at which point I rip open a jumbo chocolate bar and plant myself firmly on the couch.

Those hours, leading up to bedtime, are action packed.  They involve an endless flow of food preparation, cleaning up, followed by homework, varying activities, and more cleaning up. Then, bath time and the sorting out of everybody’s things. And, of course, we can’t forget the unpredictable tasks of tantrum management and the keeping of sibling peace (insert frazzled expression).

On the above mentioned, and ever so insightful weekday evening, I was unknowingly on the verge of a discovery. I was also on the verge of a meltdown. My role as peacekeeper was wearing thin and my patience was waning. The girls were messily brushing their teeth. I was sorting the dirty laundry into piles.

My chocolate + couch time was feeling very far away.

I took a few deep breaths, willing my patience to hold out.

Twenty minutes more.

I can do this!

Then my youngest decides (for no apparent reason) to scratch her sister who does not retaliate but instead screeches the most ear piercing, window breaking, instant headache inducing shriek.

Deep breaths.

My eyeballs are, pretty much, akin to those of a bug, at this point.

“You’re alright,” I say to Zed.

“NO story for you tonight,” I inform Mini.

I start to shuffle them all towards their rooms, insanity creeping at my heels.

And then, the front door opens. Hubby is home from work. Up the stairs he comes.

This is my cue.

“I’m outta here,” I say, in a matter of fact manner.

Hubby’s brow furrows.

I turn and walk away, peeling my clothes off layer by layer as I go. I don’t look back but I’m pretty sure they’re watching me.  I open the door, turn on the water and step into the shower. The perplexed look on my hubby’s face is the last thing I see and then steam surrounds me. For that moment, and the six to follow, I am alone in Tahiti.

I immerge from the shower, a new woman. I throw on my robe and I’m ready for story time.

Seven Minutes in Tahiti, for me, on that day was a simple shower. It dissolved the meltdown in its tracks. Sometimes, I find that sending an SOS text to a fellow mom often does the trick too. She’ll text back a photo of her son, missing his bangs or a confession that she’s just been hiding in an undisclosed location scoffing ice cream.

Ahhhhh, 7 Minutes in Tahiti. Where do you find yours?

Cocktails and Canvases

 

Beautiful Women Clinking Glasses In Limousine. Focus On Glasses

While I was never a Minolo Blahnik wearing stylista in the city, back in the days of freedom, I used to love to throw on some heels and a chic (or so I’d thought) ensemble. My friends and I would get together, at a local bar. We’d drink cocktails and dance the night away, in a circle, like a ring of shoe and purse worshipers.

On lazy summer days, the girls and I would just chill out up on rooftops, drinking beer. We’d talk about guys, sex, and the meaning of life. We’d confide in each other about the trials and tribulations of our own, self-absorbed, twenty-something lives.

We had some serious time on our hands….

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