Unfiltered Mommy

An honest view of parenting in today's world

Cold Coffee


Remember when you used to be able to sit down and sip on a nice cup of piping hot coffee and read a book? Well neither do I! I suppose at one point in my life I must have had this experience but right now it seems like a fantasy. Yes, the hot coffee and the having time to read books. Ah books, I vaguely remember reading novels for pleasure. I think it was sometime between 2008, when I finished my MSW, and 2011 when I started reading every book on pregnancy known to man. That’s probably about the last time I got to sit down and drink a cup of joe too. Coffee has always been part of my morning routine. When I was a freshman in high school I convinced my mom to buy General Foods International Coffee tins. I think I discovered them at a friend’s house one night when I slept over. You know, that powered sugar they called coffee? I loved them! Especially the French Vanilla. By senior year, I had convinced her to buy a coffee pot so I could make coffee from coffee grounds. You see, when I was a kid my mom drank instant coffee. Taster’s Choice instant to be exact. My first taste of coffee was when my sister started Kindergarten. I must have been about 2 years old. My mother and I would walk her to the bus stop everyday down our 1/4 mile long driveway. By the time the bus came, my mother’s coffee was stone cold. One day on the trek back up the driveway, I noticed that she wasn’t drinking it so I asked for a sip.  She was probably as surprised as I was, but I actually liked it.

Here I am, some 30 odd years later and I am somewhat of a coffee aficionado. I love my java! But unfortunately I am now back to drinking cold coffee. My husband, bless his soul, makes my coffee when he hears me stirring in the morning and delivers it to my bedside. I get about two sips if I’m lucky before the day begins. From there it ends up in the microwave about 3 times. Sometimes it stays in there the entire day because things start happening and I just plumb forget about it. I know it sounds trivial, but to me, this is one of life’s simple pleasures and while I adore my two daughters, I need my coffee for all to be right in the world.

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I’m no stay at home mom…

Recently on a friend’s fb page she made a statement that she was not a housewife, but rather a stay at home mom (SAHM). At first I was a little offended by the statement. I didn’t understand why she would not want to be referred to as a housewife. I asked her to clarify her statement. She had a great response. She said that her job was to enrich the lives of her three children, not to do all the cooking, cleaning and household chores. She spends the 8 hours a day that other people spend at work, entertaining and teaching her three young boys. Just as families with dual wage earners, the family shares the household chores on the weekends. Her husband helps out with meal preparation and they all pitch in to do the cleaning.. After hearing this, it made perfect sense to me and after being home with two children all day for three months I definitely see where she is coming from.

Having a background in child development and psychology, I try to spend my days teaching my oldest daughter all of the wonderful things I know so she can be a well-rounded and conscientious human being. I limit TV time and engage her in all sorts of activities to challenge her and help further her development in all areas including: sensory, fine and gross motor, social/emotional and cognitive. It is exhausting! There really isn’t any time for cleaning and laundry except on the days when she takes a good nap. Therefore, twice a month we have a cleaning lady and my husband and I share the burden of the laundry. My husband is more of a neat freak than I am so he cleans on the weeks when the cleaning lady doesn’t come and he also picks up after all of us every night. That is his choice. If it were up to me, I would just let it get messy until the next visit from the cleaning fairy. We both agree that this is money well spent each month.

But after thinking more and more about my friend’s statement and seeing SAHM listed as the occupation on people’s fb pages, I started thinking that maybe I am offended by the term “Stay At Home Mom”. Honestly, there are very few days where we “stay at home”. Our weeks are filled with outings to the park, walks on the ocean, trips to the library, zoo, aquarium, Legoland, and running errands.  I prefer the term “Full-time Mom”.


She didn’t “let herself go”

We’ve all heard it. The disappointed statement of a young male, usually childless and more often than not, unwed, who feels let down that a woman who has children or has gotten married has “let herself go”. Because we all want to be depressed, frumpy and overweight by the time we hit middle age right? This statement is one of my biggest pet peeves. When I hear it I cringe! But it wasn’t until having my youngest child 3 months ago that I realized why.

When I was on maternity leave with my oldest, I was a mess. I was lucky if I got to brush my teeth before 2pm. I showered every 3 days or so and barely had time to use the bathroom. Having freshly shaved my legs was a distant memory. These things seem much easier now, but having multiple young children has a whole new set of challenges. This week my husband is out-of-town on business so I asked my parents to come and help out for a few days. I scheduled a day of beauty for myself. I got a mani/pedi, eyebrow wax and a haircut. It was a little slice of heaven, and I am truly grateful. Yes, I said grateful. Grateful that I could get 3 hours away from home to get some much-needed TLC. You see, I haven’t had my haircut in over 3 months, and the last time I got my eyebrows done on the fly at some random salon, I felt like I flushed $20 down the toilet because you couldn’t even tell that had been done afterward. This little slice of heaven will have to hold me over until I get the next opportunity to be childless, which will likely be in another 3 months or so. I sat down and thought about this the other day and figured that I get a day of beauty once a season. This was my Spring Makeover. I am guessing that I will have to wait until June for the next one.

So, one could look at me at the end of May and say that I’ve “let myself go”. Sure, my eyebrows will look like caterpillars, my hair will be stringy and I will have tons of split ends. My toenails will be jagged and my hangnails will be out of control, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t long for a day away from my regularly scheduled program to focus on myself and improve my mental health and outer appearance. It’s just that without the proper support, doing something without one or two children in tow is quite difficult. You see, we don’t have any local family or a regular childcare provider. Paying for drop-in care at child care or paying for a babysitter nearly doubles the cost of these services.

Next time I hear this phrase come out of someone’s mouth, I may try to help them understand how ignorant they sound. Or, maybe I’ll ask them to come and watch the kids so I can go to the salon so they won’t have to look at an unkempt version of who I used to be.  I wonder how well that would go over…

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