It’s happened. I have officially reached a new level of mom hood in my life. Mile markers start meaning less and less after you hit 21, and when you hit 33, well the big mile marker is the fact that you actually got to sleep. Seriously. It’s kinda funny how life hits you. You go your whole school life working and striving to be this person you think is going to change your future, and when you get there, it’s not that big of a deal. Graduate college? Great. Got your dream job? Good for you. But when you’re there, it’s like, where do I go now?
I’m not going to lie. I am a tad bit ashamed of my job. I work as a cashier at a grocery store. Honestly, my cousins all have these fabulous jobs (bankers, professors, doctors, lawyers, judges, etc.), and I work part time in a little mom and pop grocery store. My hourly pay sucks, and there are times people are so rude and pushy you just want to walk out and quit.
But that’s where the shame ends. The best part of my job are the people. I have fantastic, hardworking coworkers that I admire. Their lives are fascinating to be a part of, and we laugh, joke and have so much fun (probably more than we’re supposed to), but we always get the job done. And honestly, they’re as much my friends as they are my coworkers. It’s like a real family where we look after each other and have each other’s back.
But my great-aunt had a stroke back in May just before the Kentucky Derby. And it was scary. She has no family outside of me, my mom, my mom’s sister who’s handicapped, my grandmother and two cousins. There is no one else she has. My cousins were slammed in and out of town plus work and weren’t able to care for her. My mom’s sister and my grandmother are both sick. My mom still works full time and won’t retire for another year which left only me to help my Aunt Winnie out.
So May was crazy jumbling my life, kids, marriage, work, my aunt and her needs who lived only an hour and a half from my home, pay bills, laundry and regular household chores. I thought I was going to die. I was like, “I really need a vacation from my life!” And then my aunt had an idea. “I’m going to Arkansas in a few weeks, and I am going to need someone to take care of me. I will pay for your ticket if you will go with me and help out.” I was nervous and excited all at once. Would work let me take off in that kind of a notice?
Thankfully, my boss is pretty awesome, and she let me have the time off to help Aunt Winnie out.
The trip with Aunt Winnie was special to say the least. I have been to Arkansas but only just outside of Memphis over the river. This was my first trek into the heart of the state specifically the capital. Honestly, my aunt was pushy, bossy and kept walking in front of cars and traffic like Mr. Magoo (please someone, somewhere, tell me you remember that cartoon and write it in the comments!). We saw a historical house in Memphis where the former lady of the house and I look eerily alike. My aunt thinks I should quit my job to become a full time ghost to scare the crap out of people all the time.
I met P. Allen Smith and toured his garden home.
Seriously, I got some amazing shots that I have been dying to use for a blog post! It was insanely beautiful!
But then I had to come back home and start the chaos again. Honestly, I was ready to tackle it because I felt surprisingly refreshed. My aunt is staying temporarily in a retirement village which she seems to enjoy. I hope she wants to stay not because I don’t want to help her. I just feel safer knowing that she’s not home alone 24/7 and could have another stroke without anyone knowing anything.
You know what one of my favorite things about working at the grocery store is? The customers that come through my line. Sure, there’s some jerks out there, but most everyone is just struggling to get through a day at a time. One of my favorites is when 2 single ladies come through my line. I listen to their complaints and requests for the perfect guy that are always super unrealistic!
All the single women who dream of having the perfect husband and the perfect kids and how they’d never let their kids act like some parents do in the grocery store. It’s like watching your old self before you actually got married and had kids. You look at them like they’re naive yet at the same time you can’t help but think, “You know what? I’m kinda jealous of them! They can do whatever they want whenever, and I am covered in commitment on every corner!” Yes I said it! Yes I feel it! And it’s magnified since being on my trip.
Being a working mom sucks! Being a stay at home mom sucks just as much. Sometimes, when I see all the commotion and mom shaming, I think, “They’re both right, but they’re mostly both wrong.” We make ourselves feel guilty over the smallest stuff. I can tell you from personal experience that I have cried over telling my child no. There’s NOTHING wrong with telling your kids “No!” In fact, parents and kids rely on the word no for pretty much everything when it comes to setting boundaries. And I can tell you that I have cried over telling my child yes. It’s like an emotional roller coaster of craziness, chaos, carnage and celebration all rolled into one!
But being a parent really is rewarding. It’s just sometimes, it’s hard to see the reward when you feel so unappreciated. I mean, there was just yesterday that I was feeling really unappreciated. My kids did everything they possibly could to get out of house cleaning. My boys are 8 and 4, but my youngest will be five next month. Both are old enough to know better and know how to clean. But both really think it’s only mom’s job despite my constant nagging! I try so hard to communicate with my boys clean habits, but when my husband sets his dirty plate and glass on the floor, it’s kinda hard to reinstate clean habits. Dishes are always piled up waiting to be cleaned. My kids don’t think they have to eat what I fix them because I’m a short order cook!
I think I might be passing a kidney stone on top of everything else that’s been going on in my life. I wanted my husband to go get a propane tank but my husband was complaining about how hot it was after mowing and didn’t even offer to go get a propane tank for our grill while I was trying to fix supper. Seriously, I had to unhook it, carry it, drive to Rite Aid to get the thing exchanged, carry the new one to the truck, and rehook everything up. And my husband had the audacity to ask, “Is everything okay?” after I had already told him about me potentially having a kidney stone! Yeah, unappreciated is an understatement! The grass got mowed. I am thankful. But he keeps killing my flowers over and over again no matter how many times I show him, tell him, etc. It’s like I can’t get through to him.
I love my family so much! I can’t imagine my life without them despite how I feel or how much they throw at me. It’s a double edged sword. And I know that every parent just wants to feel appreciated.
So there you have it. There’s how I feel and what’s going on in my life. It’s kinda crazy, kinda nutty, but it’s all mine. And I own every drop of the madness. And if I go crazy along the way, I might as well be having fun filling it with more adventures.