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Feb 6 2014

Top 10 Ways Winter Makes Me Feel Like a Crappy Parent

By at 3:35 pm

Top 10 ways winter makes me feel like a crappy parent

There has been some sort of snow or ice on the ground in Pittsburgh since Thanksgiving. I am six months pregnant, driving a brand new (covered in dirt and salt) minivan, and schlepping around two kids. Did I mention we moved a mile down the road to a bigger place at the end of December and then my whole family got H1N1 a few weeks ago?

Yeah, I’m over it.

These are my normal “I’m a mom of two” standards: There is dust on my TV stand but I scrub the toilet bowl and sweep/vacuum bi-weekly (as in, twice per week). My kids don’t eat cereal for dinner but I am not opposed to Trader Joes frozen meatballs or Spaghetti O’s. I shower every other day, and shave at least once per week. My kids wear clean clothes every day but pajamas can be used two nights in a row. Bath night every other night. My kids each get two stories before bed and a song. There must be dessert in my house; my kids aren’t usually allowed to eat it. Milk plus back up milk, fruit, and peanut butter at all times.  One or two TV shows after naptime, and family movie night is Friday with popcorn if you ate a decent amount of dinner.

Currently? There is dust all over my house and pee all over my toilet. My kids ate frozen waffles and bananas for dinner the entire week I was sick. Fruit snacks now count as a fruit. I still try to shower every other day but you could braid my leg hair right now. Kiddo bath every third night, smell jammies on the floor to see if they are clean. Bake to keep the house warm, ration each child one cookie/brownie per day, eat the rest yourself after they go to bed. Go outside only if we run out of milk. Listen to the Toddler Pandora station in the morning, maybe one episode of Daniel Tiger, then a movie after nap. Sure kids! Eat all the pretzels you want for snack if it keeps you quiet. That means you will be less hungry for dinner which is good because I have no idea what we are having which is a problem because it’s 7 p.m.

So with my standards at rock bottom and my kids’ brains being fried by both the cold and the television, I bring to you the top 10 reasons I feel like a shiity parent this winter.

1. I forgot to put his hat/gloves on or rather my kid won’t zip (or wear) his coat and he threw a giant tantrum leaving the house. Or maybe I have the hat and he just won’t wear it. Perhaps I lost the gloves.

2. I won’t let you play at the mall because GERMS. There isn’t enough hand sanitizer in the world to stop THE SICK and if one more person in my Facebook feed posts about how their kid has been up all night vomiting I’m going to wrap my kids in plastic and never leave the house.

3. Accidentally squirting hand sanitizer in your child’s eyes. It’s really, really bad. They scream. For a long time.

4. Taking a bath is now on the list of “fun things to do this afternoon” Also known as “I feel less guilty about you splashing your brother in the face for an hour than rotting your brain with TV” (this also eliminates the every third night bath).

5. If you ask me if we can go outside one more time… It’s below zero, you won’t keep gloves on, and I’m too pregnant to chase you with my winter boots on. NO NO NO.

6. I’m not cranky with you, I’m just cranky. These are my emotions which I am allowing to bring us all down. You are a kid and you wake up excited and happy every morning waiting for adults to orchestrate a fun-filled day for you. You win, I suck.

7. I’m saying no just to say no. I don’t even think I am taking a moment to think over the request to see if it’s reasonable. I’m just saying no.

8. I want to be sick alone. When I am sick I want to run far away from my family and just BE SICK. Now I have to be a sick mama and wife. I feel guilty for being sick and guilty for wanting to run away from my family. “Being sick guilt” sucks.

9. More TV than you’ve had in your entire life. I keep telling myself once spring is here we’re selling the TV and walking two miles to the park every afternoon. But then I remember I’ll still be pregnant, Scandal starts back up soon, and the park is uphill.

10. The joy is being buried. I try to search for the joys of motherhood–to truly look at my beautiful children while they are talking to me and be amazed at how lucky I am. During this long winter I’ve stopped looking and started wishing the cold chaotic days away. This is not what I want. I want to relish in my children, my family, and the life we’ve created.

Dear winter, please stop.

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