mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “Fairy Godmother”

Fairy GodMother 911

Growing up I never  thought I would be dependant on anyone, especially a man. My mom was a single, working mother (back when it was not really “in vogue”) so I assumed that it was just “normal” to work, take care of the kids and manage a household without a man.

My Prince!!

While my father contributed some support and paid for school (with the help of my stepmother – a woman), Mom was the one who made sure we had food, clothes and all the other necessary amenities (i.e. cable, Atari and summer vacations).

It was not always easy, but it was not always hard either. My brother and I “survived” and each went on to graduate from high school (catholic no less) and the University of Delaware (Go Hens!). We both have “careers” and are married with families of our own.

It was just a given that I would work, have bills to pay and shop the sale racks. I figured I would be happy and fulfilled and always desire the expensive, black leather boots at Nordstrom.

Everything was going according to plan and then life happened. Damn it, don’t you hate when that happens?!

Now there were 4 kids to clothe, feed and pay health benefits for. A mortgage and home equity loan on a townhouse that won’t sell (don’t even get me started on the Home Owner’s Association fees) and new tires and/or brakes on a minivan and Ford Expedition.

This coupled with all the other “stuff” going on my life made me take a step back and realize Holy Crap!! I am NOT the independent woman I thought I would be!

The realization was like walking into a brick wall. WTF, when did this happen????? Better yet, why did this happen??

I feel like I am stuck in purgatory with no chance of escape  – or even an escape route in the distance.

I have tried to be somewhat proactive, I talked to some people and solicited advice. However, all of it was pretty much the same. Nicole…you need a plan.

Seriously?!

A plan? Umm, I was thinking more along the lines of a bail-out or a free pass. A plan will require me to think and come up with idea and for lack of a better word plan!

I am NOT a planner, my mom will attest to this (as will by brother, SIL, aunts and cousin). That is not to say that I am a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of gal (can you name the movie this line is from???) either.

It’s just that planning makes me nervous and gives me stress.

It is stressful to me to 1) come up with a plan from scratch (if there were a template or a sample it would be SO much easier); 2) hope the plan is ok (again, guidelines would be helpful here); 3) execute the plan (yikes!) and 4) move forward to end result (way too scary).

You know what would be better for me? If someone could just rescue me and make it all better.

Why can’t there be a prince on a white horse who comes to my rescue??? It worked for Snow White, Cinderella and Fiona (ok, he turned out to be an ogre but you get my point).

I get it, being “rescued” is not a very, independent, feminist way of thinking but it is WAY more practical.

I know, I know, if someone rescues me they are doing all the work and not me. How can I expect to be able to care for me and my family (i.e. be a grown up) if I am not willing or able to take care of my own problems?

As my friend L eloquently said last night, You need to be your own prince…because ultimately you will end of caring the prince’s kids, mom, dog, etc”

L makes a VERY valid point but still, a rescue does have its appeal.

It’s romantic and easy and safe. There is no chance of error because the rescuer (prince, sugar daddy, etc.) will have thought of everything. He will have drafted THE perfect plan complete with all the  pros, cons and solutions for same. The end result will be amazing and surely lead to a  “happily ever after.”

And now I am going to do what I should have done years ago, I am going to reach out to my Fairy Godmother and issue a 911 alert!

Fairy Godmother, if you are listening, PLEASE help me. PLEASE (pretty please with sugar on top)  rescue me (or send someone to do it for you) and help me find my way. I promise to behave and make you proud but I just need a little push to get me started. FG this is a 911 call for help STAT!!

** Rider: Said Rescuer shall have no “baggage” (i.e. dog, unstable mother, etc. and he must be able to cook, clean, do laundry and food shop without prompting**

Thank you and I look forward to a response – or a visitor on a horse 🙂

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There was an “old” woman who lived in a townhouse

There was an old lady...

There was an old lady… (Photo credit: plind)

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do… Mother Goose

The husband and I bought our “cozy” townhouse way back in 2002. We were “young”, naïve and totally excited to actually own our own “house”. It was perfect! 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths with a cute yard that backed up to a grassy common area.  When we toured the house we giggled and talked about living there with a little dachshund and being SO happy.
In 5 years we’ll move to a bigger house and start a family! Fast forward 10 years, 2 dogs and 4 kids later and we are STILL here – WTF?!
When the twins arrived we were ok. The living room was a little tight with all the baby  crap (times 2) but we survived. When J arrived (2 years later) we figured we would put the house up for sale and look for something a little bigger. Luckily, J was a boy so he could share a room with twins.
Eighteen months later SURPRISE we had L (another boy) and the husband and I were screwed. The housing market had tanked and in 2 years we had gotten ZERO offers on the townhouse. All we could do was “make do”.
And that we did. I rearranged and organized more than a professional organizer. I was (and am) an expert in finding creative ideas for toys, clothes and other random things. To say we have outgrown our house is probably the understatement of the year but we’re stuck.Last summer the husband and I (more me) realized we needed to make some serious changes with our living arrangements. After surveying the upstairs (all 2 bedrooms) I decided that we would switch bedrooms with the boys. The master bedroom was much bigger and if we got the twins bunk beds it could maybe even look “cute”.
We took the family to the store we had gotten the twins baby furniture in assuming we could get bunk beds to match the Italian, pecan finish of the dressers I HAD to have 5 years earlier. NOT!

The salesman (who is borderline weirdo) told us the pecan finish was discontinued and suggested we try the “natural” finish. Just switch the knobs on your current dressers. It will look fine, besides they are boys who cares, he tried to assure me.

I stood frozen in the showroom, almost in tears. If only I had been more careful when choosing the twins furniture? If only we moved AFTER the twins were born? WTF was I thinking having 4 kids in a townhouse?!

After my mini breakdown, I ordered the bunks in the natural color and focused my energy into decorating their room. I went to Potty Barn Kids and surfed the internet for accessories they I would love.

Before long the room was complete and it didn’t look too bad – for a youth hostel. After awhile I got used to it and didn’t think too much about how cramped we all were living in this house. If I let myself think too much about 4 teenage boys and 2 adults living in this tiny house I could cry and never stop.

It will be fine. The market will change. Why don’t you rent the townhouse and just buy another house? we the types of things friends and family would say to make me feel better.
My favorite would be when someone with say 4 bedrooms and 3 baths would tell me how cramped her family was and how their playroom was just overflowing and they needed more space.

I would go to book club meetings at friends’ houses and just stare in awe at their homes and the space. WOW, what would it be like to have a basement? OMG what would I even do with another bathroom or family room? Holy crap, they can fit more than 3 people in their yard!I would think.
Not too long ago I took the twins on a playdate. As we walked up the path to the front door the twins froze and said C lives here? His house is SO big, look at all the windows he has. Is our house this big? It was then that I realized i would NEVER invite anyone to my pathetic house.Just when I thought things couldn’t get anymore crowded, J outgrew his toddler bed. Super!!Soon the husband and I found ourselves back at the furniture store chatting with our weird “friend” about another set of bunk beds.
We would like to just get the natural finish this time I said herding all the kids into one spot. Oh, that line has been discontinued, all we have now is the pine. he said.
Shut the front door! Are you kidding me???!! Now I will have 3 different colors of furniture in a room made for 1 person? O-M-G! was my response.
Our “friend” tried to tell me again that it would be fine that the kids would never know and back when he was a kid, people in the “burg” used to have 5, 6, 7 even 8 kids in 1 bedroom.

This was supposed to make me feel better? It was at the minute that I felt myself give up. What choice did I have? NEVER did I ever think I would be the mom of 4 boys living in a 2 bedroom townhouse. Never did I think I would have 4 boys share 1 bedroom and never did I think I would dread someone asking meSo, where do you live?

I ordered the bunks in pine and I accepted my fate. I told myself it would be fine and someday we would move into a “real” house. I am not really sure I believe myself but what else can I do?
The new bunk beds arrived today. As soon as the twins saw them they said hey mom, look they are a different color! (so much for the kids not noticing). Ugh!!
The room, or as I have taken to calling it, the orphanage, looks better than I thought it would. The kids are excited to have new beds and J is thrilled to be able to sleep on the top bunk.I guess all I can do is hope I am not scarring them too much and that someday they appreciate sharing a bedroom with their brothers.
In the meantime, I will try not to show my embarrassment of our home in front of them.  It is, after all, the only home they have ever known. A home is supposed to be a place that makes them feel safe and know they are loved right?
ps – Fairy Godmother if you are reading this, could you pretty, pretty please wave that wand of yours and get me a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath colonial with a family room and finished basement?

Bippity boppity boo

Bippity Boppity Boo

Bippity Boppity Boo (Photo credit: Adg’s Screen Caps)

So today I met with a colleague at work to “revisit” my February performance review. Back in February, it was brought to my attention, in a rather constructively critical manner, that I was a bit of a clock watcher and basically inept (per one partner). However, it was decided that I would be given 4 months to “improve” and then be given the opportunity to “revisit” the issues – I know you are jealous.

Well it has been over 4 months but I was in NO hurry to be reviewed again. Sitting across a desk from someone as they rattle off a list of negatives (no matter how “constructive”) is not really my idea of a good time (such as say a PAP smear) so I ignored the 4 month mark.

Honestly, I thought work was going pretty well. I was covering for another paralegal on maternity leave and that had kept me busy. I was working with different lawyers and it was a nice change of pace. There were no major catastrophes (at least that were brought to my immediate attention) and I was feeling somewhat confident – anyone who knows me knows that me using the word “confident” is a big deal since I am not typically a confident person.

Anyway, I decided to bring the review up last week when my supervisor was visiting my office and figured I wouldn’t hear anything more about it. Wrong.

So here I am today feeling OK about myself as I shut the door to C’s office. I make myself comfortable, amidst the folders and papers on her guest chair, and brace myself for the news. C starts off telling me that the majority of the “talk” was “positive” BUT there were some episodes of “self-sabotage” and plenty of room to grow (I do too much personal stuff and one partner never knows when I am “around”) but overall I had “improved” since February. Whew…but wait there is more.

It seems the overall opinion, among the lawyers, was that I am not very “remarkable” and that I do nothing to distinguish myself from any other Tom, Dick or Harry that could sit at my desk.

Do you feel the love???

How does one respond to that? Do you smile and say thank you? Do you cry and leave in a hurry or do you just take it all in and pretend to give a shit?

My reaction was a combination of all three. After a HUGE pep talk I left C’s office feeling…well…like crap but knowing it was up to me to make a change because no one was going to do it for me.

C said I was allowed a brief moment of pity (I took an hour) and then I needed to focus on what I could do in my life to make me happy (in work and home) and “shine”.

I feel like I am at a cross roads lately. I know that there is no way I was put on this earth to be a paralegal. Seriously, there had to be some other purpose for me other than being unremarkable at a law firm satellite office in Princeton, NJ. But what??

C had asked me today in her office what I liked to do and what made me happy. I toyed with a sarcastic rebuttal but decided against it. Instead I told C that I enjoyed blogging and working with parents of kids’ who have autism (like my 4yo).

Ok, great, wtf am I going to do with those 2 thingd?? While I would love to be a professional blogger, I don’t think bloggers get medical benefits  – a necessity with 4 kids (one of whom has ASD). Also, I really have a clue as to how you become a full-time professional blogger.

As for working with parents, this is something that sort of took me by surprise. Last year, I was given the opportunity to sit on a parent panel at an autism seminar. At first I was terrified thinking who the hell would care what I would have to say????

Then something strange happened that day, not only did people listen to me but they asked ME questions and even emailed ME. They actually cared about what I had to say and to paraphrase Sally Field “they really liked me”. It was a great feeling and I volunteered for any other future parent panels.

I started networking among the ASD professionals and even volunteered to work at a carnival hoping to get my name out there and be remembered. I don’t know if my efforts will pay off one day but at least I know that a couple of times a year I get to take part in something that really makes me feel good about myself and makes me feel like I am making a difference.

C told me today that I can’t expect instant gratification and that I need to keep working and making a mark for myself, to plant the proverbial seeds that will someday grow.

I guess C has a point but all I could think of when I got home is how I wish I had a real Fairy Godmother who would swoop down and shout bippity boppity boo! before making all my wishes come true.

I know, I know, I am a 40 yo mom of 4 and I can’t expect anyone, let alone a Fairy Godmother, to make my dreams come true. It is up to me to do that but really, just one time, I think it would be FABULOUS!!!

In the meantime I will continue to do my best at work to be more “remarkable”. I will put on a fake smile and look happy as I sit at my desk “working” and doing NOTHING personal (like everyone else is doing). Who knows, maybe it will all pay off and someday I will get to do something I truly like.

In the meantime, I will keep hoping and praying to hear the magic words bippity boppity boo!!

Are you there Fairy Godmother, it’s me Cindy

Cinderella - Prince Charming & Cinderella

Cinderella - Prince Charming & Cinderella (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Fair Godmother,

I am starting to worry, I haven’t heard from you in ages, is everything ok? Did you “forget” to send me your new mailing address again?

Anyway, my fairytale is just not happening the way we had discussed. I know, it’s my fairytale and I can’t compare myself to others (Snow White with a prince and a bunch of “little” men, Rapunzel with all that great hair or even Sleeping Beauty who actually gets a full nights sleep). But can’t you wave your wand and tweak a couple of things?

FG, when I said I wanted to be a successful, working mom, I was thinking of  a career doing something I love, something with meaning – or at least making 6 figures. Not working 8-4 and paying close to 6 figures for health benefits for Prince Charming and the 4 princes.

If I must work, can’t you arrange for me to get ready in a peaceful atmosphere? Maybe a vanity with a velvet cushioned stool and perfect lighting where I can sit and put on my make-up ALONE.  Standing in a cramped bathroom, where there is always a bulb out, trying to tweeze my eyebrows while L continuously flushes the toilet while throwing my Bobbi Brown eyeshadows ($22/each) all over the floor was not what I had in mind.

A huge walk-in-closet with racks of clothing (that all fit) arranged by color and a full length mirror I could twirl in front of would be nice. Instead I share a closet with Prince C and the kids and if I want to twirl, I have to walk through the kids’ room, over a pile of toys, and stand in hallway (remember those ugly mirrored doors in front of the washer/dryer we talked about).

Also, didn’t we had discuss how a working mom needs lots and lots of shoes, in a variety of heel heights and styles?  You must have forgotten, why else would I have to crawl around on the closet floor looking for the missing left heel (as I wear the right) with J asking me for a red juice and M asking me who Bobafet is?

While on the topic of clothes FG, could you make me 5 inches taller? I know that I am almost 40 (ouch) and long past any growth spurt (at least a vertical one) but apparently pants are only made for people 5’8 or above.  A couple of inches would really save me time in the morning (no more scrambling around in my closet for a pair of shoes high enough so my pants wont drag on the floor) and money at the tailor ($10/hem?!).

Sorry to go off on a tangent, what were we talking about? Oh my working mom fairytale. Let’s discuss childcare. I thought a nanny was a given. Someone like Supernanny or Mary Poppins (or even the chick from the Sound of Music). A firm yet motherly type who would whip the kids into shape and have dinner on the table by 5. Not my poor aunt and uncle who walk in to complete and total chaos every morning. Today L was wearing a bike helmet and his brother’s sneakers, clawing at the door to go outside and ride his scooter,  J was crying for a lollipop and the other J standing half-naked in the bathroom watching Dora.

Lastly, why do all the radio stations play commercials, or Katy Perry, at the same time? How is a princess supposed to clear her head and get ready for the day when she is stuck listening to commercials for hair removal or pet supplies or that damn Firework song?

I have to wrap up, since I am writing this at work.  I would really appreciate a response, please don’t make me Google you again. Thanks so much for your time!!

Cinderella

ps – what the hell happened to the Lunch Fairy? I had to bring  pb&j and a bag of jellybeans for lunch today.

#TBT: Fairy Godmother, I have a bone to pick with you

Happy Throwback Thursday everyone!! The following was one of my first posts from back in March 2012. Sadly, it still rings true today (lol).

Thanks for reading and have a good day 🙂

 

Dear Fairy Godmother,

It occurred to me today that you and I are suffering from a lack of communication. When I told you years ago that I wanted to be Cinderella when I grew up, I was referring to the Cinderella post-Prince Charming. The one who met a Prince at a ball, fell in love,  had a fairytale wedding and then lived happily ever after in a grand castle with a little princess and prince. Not the Cinderella who works all day, cooks and cleans up after everyone and has to deal with an evil X (substitute mother-in-law, boss, neighbor etc).

I am grateful and truly appreciative of the wishes that you did grant. Meeting my “prince” on a blind date in Hoboken. Falling in love and getting married (our wedding wasnt as fairytale as Kate but I did have an awesome dress) and being blessed with 4 little “princes” (I know you had no control over the prince part but you could have least put in a request for 1 girl).

However, here is where it starts to get a little fuzzy for me.  The “castle” I had in mind was a 4-bedroom, 3.5 bath colonial with a great room and finished basement not a 2 bedroom 1.5 bath townhouse with 2 closets for 6 people. I saw myself in more of a SUV type “coach” or at least something Italian not a Town and Country minivan (I don’t care if it has stow-and-go seats or not).  I pictured my days filled with charity work, meetings with other high-powered CEOs and weekly spa appointments and trips to designer boutiques. Not working 8-4 in a law firm with the only “spa” being my bathroom and an exfoliating scrub purchased at Target.

I would be very sophisticated or at least pulled together wearing cute outfits that were always in style. Never did I think I would own “good” hoodies and yoga pants or be caught dead in a fleece zip up. I dreamed of a trainer who could come to my “castle” 5 days a week for an intense work. When acquaintances would see me they  would say Gee you look good
I hate you!
 not You look good…..for someone who had 4 kids.

The thing that upsets me most Fairy Godmother, is never did I envision my days “off”  spent scrubbing toilets and tackling loads of never-ending laundry.  I don’t mind laundry as much (minus the folding) but toilets? Come on FG, throw me a bone or at least a cleaning woman 1x a month.

This coming May I have a very big birthday and I would really appreciate it if you could work your magic wand on some of my requests. I am not asking for all, especially with the economy being what it is,  but maybe just 1 or 2?? Please???? Thank you in advance!

Yours truly,
Cinderella

 

Oliver Herford illustrated the fairy godmother...

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