Amber Myers is honest.
On her blog, Airing My Dirty Laundry – One Load at a Time, she tells of the struggles of shopping responsibly in Target. She tells stories of a feisty, princess-obsessed daughter and a son with ADHD and Aspergers. With every post, she gets bolder. More honest.
In a comment, she admitted to telling her thirsty and whining kids to swallow their spit.
Hardcore, I tell you. But she’s also a tuned-in mom in a military family who would do anything for her kids. And she’s a published author. Just don’t piss her off with loud cellphone talk or reclining your airplane seat into her life.
Amber is also a work in progress.
She wants to be a better mom. I think she’s pretty remarkable as is. Today on the CD, she writes about a struggle many of us face in this time-crunched age – should we play or should we go? Bloggers have so much to do. But, their kids want time, too.
Please welcome Amber today, and take a spin at her fresh new blog domain. Just remember to keep your seat in an upright position. And bring chocolate. And bacon.
Natalie, my seven year old daughter, always wants me to play with her.
Lately it’s been Barbies.
And I wouldn’t mind playing Barbies but she shoves a doll in my hand all the time. Then if I’m trying to create my own Barbie dialogue she’s like, “No. You say this.” And she tells me what I have to say. Or do.
“You have the Vanessa Barbie and she runs the dress shop. She doesn’t go for a drive. No, Mommy. Take her out of the car. She RUNS THE DRESS SHOP.”
“Wow, chill, Natalie,” I’ll say. “Let’s not having a Lizzie from Walking Dead moment.”
Sometimes I refuse to play. I’ll say I’m busy. Sometimes this is true. Someone has to cook dinner, after all. But sometimes I fib. I’ll say, “Er…I can’t play now, I’ve got to…sweep.” Even if there’s nothing to sweep, I make a show of getting out the broom.
Then I feel guilty.
Then the song Cat In The Cradle pops in my head.
I mean, yes, it’s about a father and son, but still. The message is still the same. Soon she’ll be older. Soon she won’t have time for me. She’ll be busy texting and on whatever the latest Internet craze is and she’ll basically be thinking that I’m strange and uncool.
“I can’t play all the time,” I muttered to myself. “I’ll go insane.”
Some might say talking to oneself is a sign of insanity.
The guilt is there. So I’ll usually say, “Okay. I’ll play for five minutes.” A Barbie is shoved at me. I’ll try to change her dress and Natalie is all, “Ruth stays in the pink dress. Ruth doesn’t like the other dresses.”
“Ruth wants a change,” I’ll insist.
“Ruth likes the pink dress, Mommy.”
If you think Barbies is bad, well, it’s not as horrible as playing a game. Candy Land? Is not fun. It’s worse if my son Tommy joins us because then the kids fight.
“Tommy is cheating!” Natalie will whine. “He moved his peg one more than it should be.”
(We were playing Trouble.)
“Am not. You cheat,” Tommy will retort.
“I DO NOT! Mommy! Tell him! Tell him I don’t cheat!”
I just want to shout, “Why do people have game nights? Why?”
I endure it because at some point everyone will be gone and it’ll just be me and my beloved books and while that sounds fabulous now, I know then I might be all, “I miss playing Barbies and being forced to go with Natalie’s storyline.”
So I’m working on saying yes more often.
What’s five minutes out of my day?
It might not be the most enjoyable five minutes of all time, but at least my kids will remember, “My Mom? She played with us.”