My name is Mandy, and I have working mom FOMO. It has been 3 days since my last attempt to force family time …
It was Saturday morning, and we were out of everything. After a long week at work, I was looking forward to spending the day screaming at my kids to stop screaming and making lunches no one would eat, but I needed to run my bi-weekly errand marathon.
I shared my dilemma with my husband, and his advice was to just skip it. I don’t even want to know the Lord of the Flies world we would live in if moms got to “just skip it.” My over the top reaction to this ridiculous idea obviously caused him to become confused because he then suggested that we ALL go run errands together.
We’ve tried this before, and my husband swore we would never do it again. When I was a stay at home mom, I dragged these three monsters all over town with me, so my tolerance for public spectacles is significantly higher than his. I said yes immediately so he couldn’t change his mind, and started drill sergeant-ing my way around the house. “Veronica, pick up! Stella, put on your shoes! Odette, get your head out of the toilet!” After three meltdowns, multiple wardrobe malfunctions, and countless threats to never leave the house again, we were on our way.
My husband looked shell-shocked, but I was determined to make the best of my family time. Seeing as it took an hour to decide what we were going to do and another hour and a half to execute it, we found ourselves leaving right at lunch time. We have a problem in this family that goes back generations. We have to turn everything into a party. A normal family of five would just make a quick trip to Chick-fil-A for a Saturday lunch. This family felt the need to partake in a $100 lunch complete with two for one beers for my husband and an appetizer for the lady who let herself get too “hangry.”
So after lunch, we were four and a half hours into the 3 hour grocery restock trip with nothing to show for it except full stomachs, a slight buzz and a bunch of grumpy kids. I somehow managed to plow through the next few hours of grocery shopping despite the look of misery on my husband’s face and the ten minute tantrums that happened every time we had to put the kids in a buggy.
Acting like maniacs all over town is obviously exhausting, so everyone fell asleep on the way home. Kids sleep to help reboot their energy levels, but there is one other side effect. Watching my children sleep also reboots my tolerance levels. Let’s face it, they are adorable. And regardless of the exhaustion and frustration family time induces, you take one look at their sleeping faces and you want to wake them up and do it all over again.
I guess the saying is true. “‘Tis better to have been irritated by spending time with your family than to never have spent time with them at all.”