Category Archives: Tired Mama

Day Fourteen

Day fourteen was the day I cracked.

Various friends asked, “How are you holding up?”

“Good,” I said.  “I’m okay,” I said. “I’m in the home stretch,” I said.  Not really good, I thought.  Not really okay, I thought.  If I’m in the home stretch, I’m too delirious to notice it, I thought.

I was going through the motions on the outside, but not much was happening on the inside.  I said to one friend (to whom I speak the truth when asked How are you?), “I look normal on the outside, but I’m dead on the inside.”

Except that wasn’t true either, because I felt like crying all day, and dead people don’t cry.

They don’t bark either.  I started barking at Gertie because she started biting me.  She bit.  I barked.  She started it.  Perhaps it was puppy antics, or maybe she disliked me.  My parenting skills had been on a steep decline since approximately day twelve.

A few years ago, when we had some behavioral issues with Harry, a dog trainer told us to bark at him to get him to submit to us as the pack leaders.   So, on day fourteen, I started barking.  Whatever the neighbors thought before had escalated for sure.

Did I mention Netflix stopped working?  I don’t know how to fix it, so Crash & Bernstein and Clifford Puppy Days would have to wait, which wasn’t a big deal to me, but there are two small humans in the house for whom that news was far more traumatic.

We all died a little bit inside on day fourteen.

Early in the day, I saw a new endocrinologist who wondered in an accusatory tone why I had a thyroid biopsy the year prior.  “The nodule was concerning to my previous doctor,” I told him.  He didn’t understand why a biopsy was done on a nodule so small, and he wanted some kind of explanation from me, which was awkward since I’m not a doctor, and then he told me my thyroid was lumpy.

After that, I spent a hundred dollars on treats and toys for Gertie at Petco, who likes to bite me, which offered up no shopaholic satisfaction at all.

I’m bitching and moaning (and barking) about being alone with my kids and a (biting) puppy as if I’m a Single Mama.  I’m not.  I know that.  My husband has been away for a few weeks.  I’ve taken out the trash a few times.   Big deal.  I’m no Jared Leto’s Mama.  But I am tired.  I’m exhausted and I think Single Mamas are heroes and I want my family to be whole again, so I can run far, far away because it’s Daddy’s turn to bark (and fix Netflix).

Did I mention we had Dylan’s first evening ice hockey practice on day fourteen and how I had to schlep Riley with me because what else was I supposed to do?  I remember chatting with a neighbor a few years ago about how her daughters, who were a few years older than my boys, had soccer practice twice per week at 6 and 7pm consecutively and how they had to take showers and eat dinner and do homework afterwards, and I remember thinking as I stood there with my four-ish-year-old who still napped and my two-ish-year-old who still pooped in diapers, When does this poor woman drink her wine?

And suddenly there I was, on day fourteen, with a 6:20pm hockey practice at an ice rink 25 minutes from home with a four-year-old whining and crying with tears squirting because I wouldn’t give him quarters for the “crap” machines.  Where did the time go and why are there “crap” machines everywhere and when would I have my wine?

Since Netflix was out, I had my wine while the boys watched an On Demand episode of Uncle Grandpa before bed.  Never before had that horrific cartoon shown any value, and never before had a glass of Chardonnay tasted so good.

One might say day fourteen ended on a high note.

That was yesterday.  Today is day fifteen, and there are ants in the bathroom.  After today, there are two more days to go, but who’s counting?  (Me.)

Does your spouse/partner travel for business?    


Filed under business travel, motherhood, parenting, Single Mama, thyroid, Tired Mama


I’m back!  Mike and I successfully escaped (ran away?) for five days and five nights.  We treated ourselves to a Caribbean cruise to mark a successful decade of marriage.  It felt incredibly indulgent, but I reminded myself over and over again that we deserved it.  We earned it.  We needed it.  Last Monday morning, I abandoned my to do list at home for a to do list at sea.  Here’s what I accomplished while we were away:

I read 2 books in 4 days. If this were a Runaway Mama word problem, the answer would be: Hallelujah!

I spent time with my husband.  What a concept!  We even talked about stuff other than our kids.  Crazy!

I took the stairs.  As much as possible.  Elevators are for chumps…and for parents with strollers, which thankfully wasn’t me!  Speaking of which…

I missed my boys because I love them enough to eat them whole, but not enough to wish they were there. No way. I watched the Mamas and Daddies on the pool deck with their little ducklings and they looked exhausted. I got tired watching them (when I wasn’t busy reading one of my books).

I didn’t use the hand sanitizer.  No matter how much pressure there was at every entrance to every dining room, every theater, and every lounge.  Allergic Mama!  Seriously, I’m allergic to propylene glycol and a laundry list of other chemicals that are difficult to spell (and thus aren’t listed here) and are in many skin products, including hand sanitizer.  Sigh.  My protest wasn’t because I aspired to take down the entire cruise ship with my germy hands; rather, it was because I didn’t want to have to search for a cortisone shot at sea…or in Jamaica (dear God).

I didn’t watch the news (mostly).  I’m a news junkie, so this was a good thing.  If I’d been home all week reading about and watching coverage of Sandy Hook funerals, I would’ve been a hot mess.  Funny, though, even in the middle of the ocean with limited access to the Internet and TV, it came up in conversation.  A lot.

I said goodbye to IBS…temporarily.  (Editor’s note: I once vowed to speak of digestion – especially mine – if, and only if, it was relevant to the story.)  As soon as the carpool lines, lunch boxes to pack, gifts to wrap, teeth to brush, homework to decipher, dishes to clean, bills to pay, whining to endure, groceries to buy, and cars to clean (I could go on and on here) faded into the distance, my perpetual digestive discomfort totally and completely disappeared.  Until the day before we came home.  Interesting.

I cruised, therefore I “bingo-d” (therefore I wasted a lot of money).  I played bingo with a glass of Chardonnay every afternoon on the ship.


Those are my very unlucky bingo cards.  I remember playing and winning Bingo on previous cruises, so my misfortune this time was difficult to handle.  This one kid, Aidan (I’ve changed Adam’s – oops – Aidan’s name for security), won Bingo, like, every day. On Thursday, he won twice in one session. After his second win, no one cheered or clapped.  We all kind of wished he’d graciously pass on his second win (over $180!) so someone else could have a bleeping chance, but we all really just wished we were Adam Aidan.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures. Surprise, surprise.  But the few we took are evidence that we really, truly got away.

Free at last!

Free at last!  Glass of wine in right hand!

That's me impersonating Dylan's swagger.

That’s me impersonating Dylan’s swagger.


We took a picture just like this about a dozen years ago.  It felt good to recreate it.

We’re home now. The boys were fine without us for 120 hours, my parents are (exhausted) angels, and Christmas Eve is upon us.  There are presents to wrap, food to cook, and cookies to bake. On top of that, the house is a mess, laundry is backed up, and my tummy hurts again.  But, I’m a Grateful, Fortunate, Happy (Tired) Mama for the great gifts in my life – my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, and my tan.  The best way to describe the feeling is that it’s a lot like…winning bingo.

Despite these blessings, I have a new and unfortunate health crisis to tend with. I have a really bad case of PVSD. You can read all about it here.

Merry Christmas Eve!

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Filed under books, Christmas, fortunate mama, Grateful Mama, Happy Mama, math, Tired Mama, vacation