Monday, January 18, 2010

All work and no play makes Amo a grumpy girl

So, I'm beginning to feel like a single mommy. Not because my husband is a dead-beat dad or anything - my husband has been a patient, fun, loving daddy since day one - but because he has to work so much to keep us afloat. He works two jobs so we can pay our bills - one full-time during the week in which he travels, one part-time on the weekends. And then he watches our son on Saturdays so I can work a part-time job during the day. Tag-team parenting. I get home from work on Saturday afternoon, I tag him, and he leaves to go to his part-time job. The only day we are together as a family is Sundays.

I miss my husband.

I know we are not alone. Tag-team parenting has become necessary in the past couple of years for many Americans. We gotta do what we gotta do to pay the bills.

However, I feel as if this has made me a grumpy mommy and a grumpy dog owner. Ninety percent of the time, I am the only one at home to deal with the domestic problems and my patience level is decreasing.

It would be easier if I could concentrate on my son only. But, my husband's dog, Meeko, (I didn't adopt him after we were married and I don't claim him) is like having two more kids. He is an over-sized, muscle-y, bull terrier who thinks he is lap dog. And he is not. At all.

He drinks from the toilet, he pees in the floor, he eats Q-tips and used Kleenex, he eats my panties, his breath smells like anal gland juice, he expels his anal glands when he gets scared, he tortures my tiny toy rat terrier (Pia), he is always under my feet, he stinks, he sheds, he manipulates my son into giving him his dinner, he barks, he's pushy, he requires a bath after every trip outside to the bathroom, he chews up my son's stuffed animals, and he drives me craaaaazy!!!

This week, he cornered Pia in the hallway until she got so freaked out that she peed when I tried to pick her up...she peed on my pants, peed on my slippers, peed on the floor.

Later that same day, my son picked up an entire glass of soy milk and dumped it down the front of his body, starting with his face. I came in the room to find Meeko licking my son from head to toe, like he was a white, bloated cow and my son was a salt lick.

And later, Meeko ate my son's Play-doh after my son thought it would be fun to tear the Play-doh into tiny pieces and throw it around the room.

A couple of days ago, he dug into a trash bag of Max's dirty diapers like it was a buffet. He tore into each diaper, ate the poop out, and then ate the crystallized pee that came out of the diapers.

That was fun to clean up. He went outside for the rest of the day after that.

I feel like I am yelling all the time, saying, "No!" and "Stop!" to my son and the dogs. I'm grumpy. And then I watched an episode of Supernanny where she says to never lose your cool in front of your kids, always remain calm and assertive. And I just want to say, "Yeah, right. When the only conversation you have had in days is with yourself, you miss your spouse, when the only place you ever get to go is WalMart, when you have been peed on, cleaned up human excrement, have had to daily deal with the dog from hell, and have not had any time to yourself in over a year, it is almost impossible to remain calm, yet assertive."

And I know there are moms out there who do remain calm, who speak in soft voices, who are loving and kind and quiet in all they do, whose kids don't yell because they never yell (my sister-in-law is one of them)...but I just don't happen to be one of those moms, no matter how hard I try. Which makes me feel like a failure.

Because when my son throws a tantrum, it is a THROW DOWN to the finish. No sissy tantrums for him.

And when Meeko loses control of his cow body and has to run around the house like a wild stallion, he seriously LOSES CONTROL of his cow body and knocks over furniture, my son, and pushes me into whatever wall is closest. I don't want the first words out of my son's mouth to be, "Meeko, stop!", "Meeko, no!!", "Meeko, if you do that again, I will drive you to the nearest Chinese restaurant and cut you into Kung Pao Chicken myself!"

So, Mommies, how do you stay calm? How do you find your parenting chi? I think my chi is broken.


  1. Awww, girl. I'm sorry you're feeling this way. That sounds like a whole lot to deal with!!!
    Being a single mom, I know of which you speak, and it's tough, no doubt about it.
    I have always been a single mom, so I have had a groove right from the start, but I think in your case, to have that support and then lose it for a while is super stressful.

    Don't beat yourself up by thinking mom's don't lose it on their children, well cuz, I would guess that we ALL do. I have never met a mom, super or otherwise, that never freaked out or had a breakdown on a regular basis.

    I could be wrong, but... just sayin'

    I think you're a great mom.

  2. Okay, for me, i start to sing everything. it sounds silly but when I start getting tense and freaking out about stuff i just start"We are going to watch Elmo now and we are going to have fun and calm la la la!" all in a sing songey voice. Or "We are not going to ride the kitties or pull their tales, la la la!"

    It sounds ridiculous but it helps. I'm not always singing though. There are those moments. LIfe with a toddler, I guess. And i completely understand tag parenting. We do it too! In fact, i worked all weekend. It was my turn.


    it will get better when they are in college. :0

  3. I feel so bad for laughing but you wrote that in such a hysterical fashion! That dog is a beast, a hellion, a nuisance, a goner????

  4. Great writing as this reads like a situation comedy on television, only it's real life. It's hard to believe but in the future, this will be one of your favorite stories. We've all had those days and I would sometimes just lock myself in my room and pretend I lived alone.

  5. well. I've often wondered myself how other people stay calm. Because, ummm... I don't so much. Vitamin b helps though. A LOT. Don't be too hard on yourself. YOu ever notice most of the 'experts' don't have kids? I never read the book but I LOVE the title:
    Buddha Never Raised Kids & Jesus Didn't Drive Carpool: Seven Principles for Parenting with Soul
    sometimes you just have to keep breathing

  6. I feel for you-I don't know how you have managed so long! I literall "tune out" and my husband must know the signs because he then takes the lead...

  7. Oh. My. God.

    That freakin' dog would be gone! I have a feeling that is probably where most of your stress stems from - that wolf in dogskin! Seriously, can't your husband do something else with it? A dog house in the garage, maybe?

    When I was a single mom of three, my ex-husband bought a dog for the kids and expected me to take care of it while he was out of town working all week. That dog shit and pissed all over MY house, chewed my new sofa pillows, and was all around obnoxious. I finally said NO MORE...find somewhere else for your dog because I have enough going on without that headache. He gave the dog to a friend. And I got my peace back!

  8. Oh goodness! I know Meeko is really stressful and a lot to handle but he's so sweet...most of the time. I love him but I agree with other comments that he may be better off somewhere else. Somewhere where he can run and play and stay outside playing with other dogs his size. I sure would make your life easier.

  9. I wish I could say I never yell. It's a hard thing to avoid.


I love your lovely thoughts...