Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Women Who Throw Phones

I'm starting a club.  It's kind of like the First Wives Club.  But its called Women Who Throw Phones and you can only join if you have done at least 5 of the following:
  1. Thrown your cell phone across the room, picked it up and thrown it again
  2. Spoken to your children in an "exorcist voice" and later felt ashamed
  3. Cried so hard you've thrown up
  4. Experienced an actual hallucination from lack of sleep
  5. Missed your child so much when they are with a caregiver you spent all your "me time" crying
  6. Walked the dog, taken the children to school, done all the household chores and worked a full day--all with a fever of 102 or higher
  7. Caught your child's vomit in your hands while driving 
  8. Wanted to scratch out the eyes of any number of women who post this on Facebook: "Hubby is taking me for a much needed getaway this weekend. Beach and spa, here we come!!!!!!!"
  9. Been at a loss for words when a friend says, "I don't know know how you do it!  My husband went away for the weekend and I had to do everything myself!"
  10. Have built shelves, haggled with a mechanic, taught your son how to pee in the toilet, and received Father's Day cards.
One time I went to a parenting class at my church.  And as I sat there hearing advice that did not apply at all to single parent families or children with special needs I began to realize that I didn't belong there.  I needed to be able to talk with people who had problems bigger than Little Johnny Is Not Obeying His Parents or How To Carve Out More Time To Have Family Dinners Together.  The subject of children's anger came up and as people shared anxiously about the (relatively mild) scenarios they were dealing with I thought, "My God. I don't think you would last one day with my child."

One day my best friend Libby and I were at the beach with Rahul.  We had just come through a particularly bad patch, and I spent the day telling her all the latest.  It was pretty "life or death" and she is one of the few people on the planet who knows some of the most excruciating details.  As we left the beach we passed a family bargaining with their toddler to let go of their beach towel because she was dragging it on the ground.  Something like, "Betty, if you let go of Mommy's towel you can hold the sand pail!  Come on Betty, let go!  Betty, do you want an ice cream?  I'll buy you one if you stop dragging the towel!"  Libby and I rolled our eyes at each other I said, "I look at families like that and wonder how long they would last with my child."  She laughed and created a quick shorthand I have used many times since:
"LESS THAN"


"TWO"

Less than two minutes.  That's how long they would last.


I am in Maine right now with one of my best friends and we are totally serious about starting our club.  She is a widow with 3 young children and helped me create the above list from her own experiences.  Her children are extraordinary--one is in the gifted and talented program, one has special needs and the third is an Indigo Child.  She lost her own father when she was a young girl and is now helping her children navigate the same situation.  She is the most amazing mother.  Another friend who I asked to join our club is a divorced mother of three young children who recently had to sit at a court hearing and hear a judge tell her the upside of her new 50/50 custody agreement (which my friend had spent years fighting to prevent) is that "Mom will finally get some 'me time'!"  She is working 3 jobs and has to regularly hand her children over to a man who I wouldn't let in the same state as my child. 

We need each other.  Every once in a while we need to be able to talk about our lives, say "You know what I mean?" and hear someone say, "Yes.  Actually, I do."

You know what I mean?



3 comments:

Tam said...

Even after reading that I still want to be a single parent. I must be crazy. And I have caught a child's vomit in my hands-he wasn't mine but it was definitely necessary.

KES said...

wow, renee. that's all about i can say. God is working something so special through you, and i'm grateful to know you!

MPB said...

"Yes actually, I do :)!"

sign me up for the club! Although I'm no longer a single mom, I believe co-parenting with 4 indiduals has many special moments as well :) Thanks for making me laugh this morning Renee!