Ahh, the joys of a holiday weekend. Some of our offices closed early, some of us had a longer weekend, many of us traveled home this weekend to celebrate Easter with our families. Before the weekend, it’s fun to anticipate a shorter work week, a weekend out of town, and some long family meals with inappropriate conversations and gorging ourselves until we wondered why we ate like that.
Even if you aren’t Christian and you don’t celebrate Easter, you still go away on holiday weekends some time during the year and you know what it’s like.
But now, enter a toddler into the scenario. If you have a baby or a toddler or a child, you know exactly where I’m headed. If you don’t, well, then play along and imagine it or don’t read today’s posting.
First, the packing. The organizing and the preparing for a weekend away takes on a whole new level. The old you used to have a staging area where your clothes were delicately laid out and planned for each occasion during the weekend.
The new mommy you – does it matter if you even pack? Aren’t you lucky to remember some clean underwear and a hairbrush? Who gives a rip what you’re wearing.
Then you need to GET to your destination. I will admit, it’s bizarre to me that as your baby gets older, you actually need to take LESS stuff. Doesn’t that seem counter-intuitive? Yet it’s true. Before she was mobile we needed the swing and the big stroller and the jumperoo and then all that bottle paraphernalia. The bottle warmer, the formula, the bottles and nipples, on and on and on.
Now she’s all over the place and well, we brought a few toys and that’s it. No more bottles, no more forumla, just plain old milk in a cup. Any cup will do with my kid.
In fact, I don’t even need to pack baby food anymore. Though, imagine my horror when I strapped darling daughter into her highchair at my mom’s on Friday night and then looked at everyone in the kitchen and realized I had no idea what we had to feed her for dinner.
Mother of the year award is coming my way for sure.
But then again, at Grandmommy’s, there’s ALWAYS something to eat. Right?
OK – so we’ve packed up clothes, we’ve packed up the car and we’ve strategically planned our departure time to miss traffic and still enable us to reach Grandmom’s house in time for a short afternoon nap (for baby, not you). And we arrived to Grandmom’s house. So you’re thinking the hard stuff is done, right?
Enter the mental marathon of the weekend.
See my earlier post from some time in the past about group parenting (recall, I have no memory so you can find it yourself).
Gather any number of family members around a small child and EVERYONE has an opinion about EVERYTHING (one hot topic this weekend was why would I put a young toddler in gymnastics. Apparently “because I want too” isn’t enough of an answer).
Granted, now that we’re 17 months into this game, KT is an old hat at this. Having a baby means your confidence is depleted. You used to make it through a day. Then you have a baby. And suddenly you don’t know your ass from a hole in the wall, let alone what the hell is going on and how to make it all stop so you can go get some sleep.
Then you add in family members who want to tell you what to do at every turn, even when they have no idea, and well, suddenly, everything becomes more confusing.
OK – so I had a baby. My confidence was depleted. I realized that I no longer could be so sure of everything in this world and that I had no idea how in the hell to take care of a baby. It always seemed so easy when it was someone else’s snot-nosed twerp.
But then time passed and I slowly learned how to build my confidence back up as I learned to how be a parent.
But still, three days of constant comments and critiques and questions and evaluations wears on the most veteran of parents. Going home for a holiday weekend is a physical and mental marathon.
And then there’s the holiday meal. Inevitably Grandparents want the beloved grandchild to participate in the meal.
What this means for the parents of said child is the following:
a. your outfit will get trashed by the kid’s food
b. the baby’s outfit will get trashed by her food
c. you won’t eat a warm meal
d. your husband won’t eat a warm meal
e. you’ll be incredibly stressed out the entire time and wondering who at the table is judging your discipline skills and your child’s poor table manners despite her young age and exhaustion from not napping well due to constant over-stimulation from a house full of 14 people
The good news is you won’t really have a chance to over-eat anymore on holiday weekends. At least not while baby is up. If you’re a true KT fan, you’ll always find time for dessert and candy after baby goes to bed.
And then it’s the end of the weekend and you have to get home. You have to strategically leave to beat traffic, to get home in time to squeeze in some sort of afternoon nap for baby (not you), and to not leave too early to seem dismissive and ungrateful towards your host and hostess.
Then once you get home, you have to unpack all the crap you brought, put it all away, do all the baby’s laundry from the several outfit changes, and then go to the grocery store to stock up for the week, feed and bathe baby, put baby to bed, then wonder about your own laundry and your own dinner.
And then wonder why the hell you are so freaking tired if you had a short day of work on Friday and technically a longer weekend.
I will leave you with some positive thoughts. It’s always fun to watch your family’s joy and pleasure from spending time with your beloved child. And the insane and inappropriate dinner conversations that happen at my parent’s house are always good for happy place giggles later on in the coming weeks. Anyone else talk about vibrators, condoms and their mom being a prom whore at Easter dinner?
Because we did. And it was hilarious.
Even though I’m tired.