Friday, December 09, 2016

Mister Mom

Being a mom is a tough job. I should know, because I've been one for the past two weeks.

"Hey!" you're thinking. "You can't be a mom... you're a guy!"

I can be whatever I want to be. Stop discriminating against me based on my gender!

Why have I been a mom? Because Betty had a minor procedure a few weeks ago. The procedure only took 14 minutes, but the recovery time is between 2-3 weeks. She's doing OK, but I'm getting a first hand look at what it's like to be Mom for a while.

And I'm exhausted.

I used to get excited when I got over 10,000 steps on my FitBit. It would take a significant effort on my part, because I sit on my fat ass all day at work. So for me to hit 10,000 steps, I'd have to work at it: walk around the neighborhood, park far away from the office, or just randomly swing my arm at 11:59 pm to get those few extra "steps" in. But Betty always tells me that she gets that every day just doing mom stuff. And she's right. My FitBit has been clocking in at over 10,000 steps regularly, sometimes even before 3 pm.

No wonder I'm so tired.

Betty's parents have been at the house, and they've been a huge help. I honestly could not have done this without them. Their house flooded so they've been floating around at all the kids' houses until theirs is fixed. But we really needed them this month. And even with three grown adults, we still haven't been able to do what Betty does on a normal day. I'm regularly told by the kids that whatever I'm doing is not how mom does it, and I'm doing it wrong.

One day I came into the bedroom, where Betty was on Season 2 of her Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix, and just said, "I want to cry."

Betty laughed. Real tears of joy streamed down her face. The laughing made her surgery site hurt.

While being Mom this month, I've finally started learning where things are in my house. I've also learned that we have not one but two colanders. (We might even have three.) What!?! I went almost four years without knowing that.

I wish I could go back to those innocent days of ignorance and bliss.

Being a mom is a thankless job. The kids don't say thanks after I get them ready for school, or make their lunches, or make dinner. (OK, so Betty's parents have been doing a lot of that. But the kids don't tell them thanks either.) I'm blaming their lack of manners on Dad, and since I'm Mom right now, that's not my fault. And the kids need to be at different places at the same time. Thankfully we have great friends who are willing to be our own personal Uber drivers for a bit.

But it's not enough. I'm not a great substitute for Mom. I like to come home, rile up the kids, play games with them, bathe them, then go sit in the restroom for twenty minutes and play Angry Birds Pop on my phone. All this "make sure they get their homework done then eat a healthy snack then go do something educational then BRUSH YOUR TEETH ALREADY" isn't my style.

To all the moms out there, let me say this from all of us clueless dads: Thank you. We love you. We need you. We're not worthy.

Betty still has about a week's worth of recovery time before she's going to feel somewhat normal again. And after that... I'm going on a Mom's Night Out.