Breaking Mommish

Only a few months after I married my husband back in 2006, I peed on a stick, there was a plus sign, another plus sign, and two lines a couple of times (this was kind of a shock, so I needed lots of confirmation), and I became a mom.

I had always wanted to be a mom, and while marrying Prince Charming made the picture even more clear, it was a bit startling to have this go down about 15 minutes after we returned from our honeymoon.

When our daughter was born, I became a working mom… I was a high school English teacher in and around Nashville, TN for 11 years, but two years ago, we moved to Arkansas and I decided to try staying at home with our three kids.

And I became Mommish (Mom + Amish = Mommish…see what I did there?)

My life is much simpler now, and in embracing my mommish lifestyle, I want to point out a few ways that motherhood is like being Amish (even though I have only the vaguest concept of Amish lifestyle, learned primarily from three episodes of the very *documentary-esque* TLC hit show Breaking Amish).

1. Unflattering Clothes. So no one is burning up the runways here. And my SAHM clothes aren’t as bad as the mom jeans from SNL. I still try to revive moments of fashion greatness because it’s fun, but I am so old, so cheap, so larger-than-I-used-to-be, so not-fooling-anyone. And I think all my clothes have permanent kid-food-stains. So yep, not a fashion icon.

Sweet family, but not strutting the catwalks anytime soon, amiright?

2. No Make-Up. Neither the Amish nor I go for make-up. Yes, I donned the requisite bit of make-up when I was working, but now that I stay at home? Well…let’s just say mornings are a lot easier. Even though I look like I haven’t slept in days (no eyeliner), I did enjoy those extra 10 minutes of sleep this morning when I wasn’t applying make-up, thank you very much. #sorrynotsorry

3. Hair Back. Here’s another difference in Working Carrie vs. SAHM Carrie. The Hair. Dear me, the hair. I used to make an effort, y’all, but ponytails, messy buns, pinning my newly-cut  bangs (I have NO CLUE why I did bangs to myself except for a sordid haircutting history) back with bobby pins…that is my hair these days. The Amish girls understand, and maybe they might lend me a bonnet on particularly bad hair days.

4. Limited Technology. I barely watch TV anymore. I get my news not from actual news channels or even our local news…I subscribe to the Facebook school of very-important-news. I assume that if anything is cutting-edge (TV shows, music, etc.), then I will eventually hear about it on FB. Many people wrongly assume that the Amish reject all technology, but that isn’t the case. They just choose technology more carefully and make sure it’s for the greater good. On the “greater good” note, I have close and loving relationships with my dishwasher, my washer and dryer, and my iPhone…because motherhood.

5. You Would Think I Drove a Horse and Buggy. Y’all, I love my car. It’s a paid-for GMC Acadia, and while still an SUV, it has the soul of a minivan. And though I’ve only been on maybe three carriage rides in my life, I know that it’s sometimes smelly to ride behind a horse. I can easily commiserate with the Amish about smelly vehicles, seeing as how my kids eat 85% of their meals in the back of my car. While I send food to the back seat and no matter how much I threaten them to neatly dispose of detritus, leftovers and trash inevitably go on the floor. Our dog loves to ride in my car for the free buffet when she gets in. I know…ew. At least my buggy goes faster than a horse because we’re always late, y’all. Always.

6. Simple Food. I.Love.Food. From a fairly early age, I became an adventurous eater, and I’ve been rewarded with fantastic meals and happy taste buds because of it. However, since I became Mommish, not so much. I eat like my kids because kids are picky and who wants to cook even more? Not this girl. So now it’s endless chickennuggetsmacandcheesehotdogsfruitgoldfishveggiesifIgetatreatlater… I will keep trying to give the kids more adventurous, healthier food. But I will also not be purveyor of the three-times-per-day meal fight because…ugh.

This weekend, for the first time in two years, I will be Breaking Mommish. I’m heading to Baltimore for my very first BlogU Conference, a place where I will learn the science and art of blogging, as well as learning how to reach more readers and perhaps make a little spending cash. I am BEYONDEXCITED. I get to meet writers I admire already and those who are new-ish like me. I want to soak it all in and my inner nerd is dying to pull a Hermione Granger and be in every class they offer all at once.

And here are a few ways I’ll be Breaking Mommish this weekend:

  • Cutest clothes I’ve got (except for when I dress like a middle-schooler on Saturday night at the Nickelodeon #MiddleSchoolAwkward party)
  • Make-up…don’t want to scare anyone (AND I won’t be getting anyone else ready except myself! Score!)
  • Hair: making.the.attempt. You’re welcome, BlogU folks!
  • Technology: bring it. Even when I’m clueless about blogging terms, I will soldier on.
  • Transportation: teeny rental car, baby!
  • Food: as adventurous as I can find. Sushi in the airport? Yes, please. Seafood since I’ll be right by the ocean? Yum.

And y’all, as I’m Breaking Mommish, please forgive me for any stories and blog posts that begin with, “This one time at blog camp…”  Until next time!

 

 

A Dose of Sweetness, Reality, Humor, and Murder on Mother’s Day

You know the Mother’s Day when you get the sleeping late, the spa pedicure, the cut flowers in your favorite colors, the showering of gifts, gift cards, the afternoon nap, the blah, blah, blah? I got some of it. Not all of it. And I totally love my Mother’s Day, complete with its dose of sweetness, reality, humor, and murder. Yes, MURDER.

Sweetness: I got breakfast in bed! Coffee, milk, and cinnamon rolls from the pop-open can that 7yo Sarah baked herself. She was so proud as she tottered in, fully dressed for church holding the tray (decorated cookie sheet). Adorable, appreciated, and I wish I could wake up like that more often. I didn’t even have to cook lunch…ordered out my fave BBQ, y’all.

Reality: 2yo Sawyer had to be excised from the lunch table for excessive, inexplicable crying. Jeff bought me a steam mop for MD, a nod to my hatred of all things cleaning but a Prince Charming-esque valiant attempt to alleviate my hate/hate relationship with my white tile floor. 4yo Tate peed in his pants while on the couch but swore it was his younger brother, and he and Sarah almost got into a fistfight about who had actually urinated more in his pants, Tate or Sawyer. (Magical.)

Humor: The kids got in trouble with Jeff for saying “What the what?” Yes, there have been a few slip-ups and bad parenting moments lately wherein the kids may have overheard me use language I’d rather they not repeat. So I’ve replaced my usual under-my-breath-mutterings with “What the what?” ….What?!? It’s way better than other things they could hear me say. As it is Mother’s Day, I pled the Fifth and let Jeff referee that one. And secretly giggled…so…humor.

Murder: We wanted to get a few pics of the kids and me on MD outside on our front porch. It seemed to be going well (except for my unfailing ability to look weird in pictures, squint at the camera, smile too much, smile too little, and hold my body at awkward angles so that I actually appear at least 40 pounds heavier than I actually am, etc…we found this all out later upon closer photo inspection).

It seemed to be going well until Sarah let out a bloodcurdling scream, followed by about 8 birds, also screaming and mad.

Followed by our golden retriever Lexi emerging from the bushes with, you guessed it,…a baby bird coming out of her mouth.

Our screams startled Lexi, who proceeded to drop the bird and pick up it several times. Each time she dropped it, the bird would attempt escape, Jeff would try to grab Lexi’s collar, Lexi would wiggle out of his grasp, and the kids would yell, “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!” It was a macabre display, and we had to hustle the kids back in the house before all was said and done and before we were attacked by an angry mob of birds.

Crime Scene Photo. Don't be fooled by the adorable kids. Note the dog going off the front porch. Something is about to go very, very wrong.
Crime Scene Photo. Don’t be fooled by the adorable kids. Note the photo-bombing dog going off the front porch. Something is about to go very, very wrong.

Has it been a perfect day? Almost. I could’ve done without peed pants, screaming toddlers, unflattering pictures of me, and bird murder (bird-er! Lexi is a birderer!). (Gosh, sorry for the slap-happy wordplay joke.) But…it’s just another day in paradise. Not sarcastic paradise. Real paradise. I’m the luckiest mother ever.

To My Mama

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Carrie, age 6: Mom, why can’t you throw the ball like I do? You aren’t a very good water skier, are you? That’s okay. You’re a pretty good singer. I still love you. What’s for dinner?

Carrie, age 12: Ugh, Mom. You are SO embarrassing! Why won’t you let me do what all the other 7th graders are doing? It’s so unfair. You are ruining my life. I will never be cool, and it’s all because of you!

Carrie, age 16: I think I’m at the age where I’m past being embarrassed by my mother. I’m sure you could still find something to do or say that would mortify me in front of my friends, but I have a car. So I could just drive away if you got too weird.

Carrie, age 18: Mama, I thought I was ready to leave home and be far away, but I’m really homesick at college. Was this a mistake? Can I come home?

Carrie, age 18 (three days later): Mama, this is SO fun. I LOVE college! Thanks for encouraging me to stay here! I can’t believe I just said you were right. Weird, huh?

Carrie, age 21: I’m moving to Nashville after graduation. I have a job! I have an apartment! Don’t worry, Mom. You’ll love my boyfriend once you get to know him.

Carrie, age 22: Mama, this job sucks, and my boyfriend sucks. I’m going to grad school. I can be a college English professor when I get out!

Carrie, age 24: Mama, I met this boy, and I think he’s the one. I’m terrified, though. I’m so bad at picking boyfriends. But he’s different. And I couldn’t stand it if you didn’t like him. But I trust you, too. If you think something’s wrong with him that I don’t see, please let me know. And guess what? I’m going to be a high school English teacher, just like you were.

Carrie, age 26: Mama, he asked, and I said YES!!! You knew? He asked you first? Oh my goodness, I love this man, and I’m so glad you do, too. Please help me plan our wedding. Will you help me look for a dress?

Carrie, age 28: Mama, you’re not going to believe this, but we’re going to have a baby! You’re going to be a grandmother! You will be the best grandmother in the world. We’ve been saving our toys since we were kids! I’m so scared. I know nothing about babies!

Carrie, age 29: Mama, meet Sarah Seaton. Isn’t she perfect? I hope I can be half the mom that you’ve been. Muzzy is the best grandmother name ever.

Carrie, age 31: Mama, I’m heartbroken. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to have another baby. Why do we keep failing? I want to be the kind of mom you were, but I’m sad all the time. I’m letting Sarah down.

Carrie, age 32: Mama, this is Tate, your new grandson. A girl and a boy, just like our family! Our family is complete, and I’m so grateful that my kids have you as their Muzzy.

Carrie, age 34: Well, Mama, I thought that we were done having kids, but guess what? One more on the way! You will have to go into Muzzy-overdrive!

Carrie, age 35: Mama, I’m so glad you stayed with me in the hospital when Sawyer was born. Those were such sweet days, days I’ll never forget (even though we were both sleep deprived!) I’m terrified…we are moving to Arkansas. I don’t think I can be so far away from you! Jeff is already gone to start work, and I have two little kids, a newborn baby, and a house to sell. I can’t do this by myself! Can I even BE at stay at home mom? Can we survive this summer?

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Carrie, age 36: Mirror, mirror, on the wall, I am my mother after all. I sing in the grocery store aisles. I try to be cheerful when I wake the kids up. I’m sewing, and volunteering for the PTO. I was in a play this year. I am staying at home with them so that I can be there when they need me and help them grow. I am mothering my children in many of the same ways that I grew up because I was given a great childhood…not overindulged or spoiled, but given great love and joy in the little things, and given roots and wings. There is no mother in the world I would rather be like. I adore you, Mama! Happy Mother’s Day!

Y’all, A Versatile Blogger Award Nomination? Yep!

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Oh my goodness! Someone thinks I’m versatile (not usually the first, middle, or last thing anyone would normally say about me), so I’m jumping up and down thinking that I might not be so bad after all! My buddy Brandi over at A Girl Named Wanda nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award, and I’m so grateful! Brandi (and her awesome alter-ego Wanda) write(s) about being a SAHM (and how hard it can sometimes be), and she eloquently quotes conversations with her two children as they grow up, say funny things, and learn to make sense of our crazy world. I’m a fan, and YOU SHOULD BE, TOO! Get over there and follow her, y’all!

Thank you, Brandi, you sweet rock star!

Here is a list of rules to accept this award:

Show the award on your blog.

Thank the person who nominated you.

Share seven facts about yourself.

Nominate 15 blogs.

Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know.

Seven Facts About Me:

  1. I’m a Tennessee girl by birth, but the Hubs swept us away to romantic Central Arkansas (which I really love!) almost two years ago. I stopped teaching high school English, which had been my thing for 11 years, and started my new gig as a SAHM. Best. Decision. Ever. We have a girl (7yo) and two boys (4yo and 2yo), and they are a hoot. Sometimes I have bad parenting moments, and lucky for y’all, I’m not ashamed to share them on my blog.
  2. I’m a recovering teacher (thank heavens I’m no longer grading papers during every waking hour…that can drive a person to drink… a lot more than usual). I still fly my nerd flag, though. And I’m a YERD (yearbook + nerd = YERD). I ran the yearbook for the high school where I taught, and because I love it and can’t seem to stay away (and I’m a glutton for punishment), I produce the yearbook at my daughter’s elementary school.
  3. I was once a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. It sounds crazy, I know. But I did it. The Hubs, my mom, and my 92yo grandmother who never missed a WOF episode flew to LA in September, 2012 (when I was 6 weeks preggo with Baby #3, thank you…not fun partying in LA) and my episode aired the day before Thanksgiving of that year. I was the second place player, bested by a lady named Kat (I still cringe when I think of her), but I won the prize puzzle, which was an all-expenses paid trip to MAUI. Yes. MAUI. We had a blast.
  4. I am a crappy housekeeper. Since keeping house is now officially part of my job description (according to the Hubs), I’m getting better, but y’all will probably want to leave the eating off the floor to my golden retriever. And the white tile floor and I have a hate/hate relationship, too.
  5. I should not be allowed near scissors or hair clippers. I think this is the blog post where Brandi refers to snorting out her coffee.
  6. I do not give fashion advice on my blog, but I do have some questionable fashion magazine choices where I try to match my activities as a SAHM with fashion I see there. It’s an award-winning two-part series. Okay, not really. But it’s kinda funny.
  7. My best friend and cousin Randle encouraged me to write a blog because she loved following my misadventures in parenting on Facebook when I moved six hours away. I’ve been blogging less than a year, but I love writing again and sharing sometimes serious, mostly idiotic stuff about life with my kids and husband. And I will be attending BlogU in Baltimore in just a month! Cannot. Wait.

And now for some Versatile Blogger nominees…

  1. Underdaddy – This sweet dad is all about his wife and kids. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes sweet, always worth reading.
  2. I Refuse to Follow Your Blog – I feel like I’m reading a continuation of Office Space, as written by Peter Gibbons. Check out the snarkfest. And I’m kind of honored that, despite the name, he follows my blog.
  3. Within Normal Limits? – I have the honor of knowing Lauren personally as well as admiring her writing. Lauren is a mom, a therapist, and I love how she writes about her own quirkiness. She is one funny gal.
  4. Imperfectly Nice – April is another writer I know personally (okay, so we were sorority sisters and drinking buddies in college), and I just appreciate her outlook on the world. Her post about choosing to have only one child is just amazing.
  5. Domesticated Momster – Trista is a fellow SAHM, and I feel like she gets what I’m going through, and we seem to cope similarly (wine).
  6. Ben’s Bitter Blog – Ben has found over 500 things to be bitter about. And that’s just today. Just kidding, but Ben has an awesome, snarky take on the world, and I appreciate his humor.
  7. Modern Mommy Madness – Harmony has it all: humor, heart, and her kids manage to drive her crazy, too. Check her out if you haven’t already!

I hope you will enjoy reading all these awesome bloggers (and if any bloggers aren’t into this sort of thing, you don’t have to participate). Thanks so much to Brandi for thinking of me, and I hope y’all have a great week! Thanks, carrie

The Bro-Mantic Mom-edy: An Analysis of the Two-Couple Friendship Dichotomy (and yes, I’m a weirdo)

The Bro-Mantic Mom-Edy: (n) Two couples hanging out together, trying to decide if this four-person-friendship thing is gonna work.

Please forgive the combining of words, but this is a thing that needed a name. It’s like dating, only harder in some ways, as there are now two couples and four personalities making sure they can co-exist in a fun, social environment…not just two people awkwardly getting to know one another. I give you…the BRO-MANTIC MOM-EDY. (Here’s a tissue if you just threw up in your mouth a bit.)

One of the things the Hubs and I worried about when we moved to Arkansas was having to make new couple friends. I talk to walls, but the Hubs is quieter until you get to know him. And then he is a hoot. Anyway, we were leaving a fun crew of people, and we feared never finding the same balance of tolerable husband-wife combos again. (We needn’t have worried…our new town is chock-full of awesome people.)

But you have to know what I’m talking about. Sometimes, the BC can go horribly wrong. For example,

  • The husbands love each other, but their wives have a competitive, love/hate, out-Pinteresting each other “frenemy” thing going? Might work, but probably the boys are better off as drinking buddies.
  • What if the wives are BFF’s, but the boys have nothing to talk about and cheer for completely different sports teams? Might be time for the boys to babysit and a GNO.
  • And then there’s the awkwardness of Husband A/Wife B and Wife A/Husband B…do they like each other (but not too much, obviously, *yeesh*) or can they not stand to be in the same room because she’s a PETA member and he’s a deer hunter or they disagree politically or blah, blah, blah? Can the A/B members of the opposite sex co-exist in a friendly manner before everyone retreats to the kitchen or man cave or wherever?

Other factors, too, contribute to the successful Bro-Mantic Mom-edy. Obviously, successful BC couples most likely have similar value systems and senses of humor. Most of the people we hang out with are in a similar life stage ( 30s/40s parenthood) and can feel (or have felt, or will feel) the parental pain we all go through with our, ahem,…perfect progeny.

And I’m not gonna lie, I tend to get uncomfortable around people who, after a certain time of day (noon)…(okay, 3pm), won’t indulge in a drink or two with me. Is she judging me? Is she a better mom because she isn’t holding a wine glass? Why do they not drink? Am I going to be the object of a vague “pray for my friend, she’s battling some things” Facebook post on their way home? Yes, I worry about this. But not enough not to indulge, ya know?

And let’s talk quickly about BC and kids. I love kids…we have a girl and two boys, ages 7, 4, and almost 2. They are fairly well-behaved. To my knowledge, they haven’t rolled up in someone’s house and put a hole in the wall or anything, so I consider that a win. But, in a BC relationship where kids are also invited and involved, I won’t sign my kids up for being terrorized by other kids, even if their parents are our perfect BC match made in heaven (but they probably wouldn’t be if I freak out about their kids, right?). Similarly, in our house, we don’t negotiate with terrorists. So if a BC-pal wants to correct my kids if they are behaving heinously, I’m okay with that.

Good couple friends are (sometimes) hard to find, so hang onto the good ones. The possibilities are so fun…play dates, double dates, backyard grill-outs with the kiddos, and vacations to the beach. I’m grateful for the people in my BC club, and we are always looking for new members….

 

Carrie: Giving Crappy Home Haircuts Since 1988

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This is a picture of me when I turned 10. I’m looking down at my birthday cake, and I have terrible bangs. This was a running theme throughout my childhood. When my bangs got too long for my taste, I would sneak into my parents’ bathroom, find the scissors, and work my magic.

This photo doesn’t show the worst example of Carrie’s Home Haircuts, but it’s certainly representative, and I can’t find the other school picture that is way better (read: my bangs are approximately half an inch long after the “gotta even it out” school of home haircutting disaster the night before 3rd grade school pics). It may have been burned during a particularly ugly teenage years moment. Who knows.

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This handsome guy is my husband Jeff. In a move that I support and commend, the Hubs decided that he would no longer spend money getting his hair cut at a real place because, well, it’s only a quarter inch long and because we are cheap. He does just fine at cutting his own hair at home. I can’t say the same for his attempt at cutting our 4yo’s hair…it required an emergency Great Clips appearance the next day.

We are no strangers to home haircut disasters, but the SAHM cheapskate in me has made this a hard lesson to learn.

Exhibit A: The Dog Grooming Debacle of 2014

LexiThis is my dog Lexi, the only being on earth who loves me without judgment or reserve. I am her person, and she is MY dog, a golden retriever we rescued 4.5 years ago. If I were half the person Lexi thinks I am, I would probably be walking on water by now. She’s a rock star, and I can even forgive her muddy paws on my hideous white kitchen floor because she’s such a sweetie.

Last spring, she was smelling a bit ripe, so I decided to give her a bath on a Friday afternoon in the front yard while I was watching the cul de sac critters (my kids and neighbors’ kids) run around. They all wanted to help, of course.

As Lexi is a golden, she sometimes gets that pretty long curly hair behind her ears matted together, and I wanted to free her of this during the bath. I got her all bathed up and ran to get the scissors to cut out the knots. As I was cutting, a child distracted Lexi, and she jerked just as I snipped the scissors. (*This is the point where you can freely cringe and shed a small tear.)

I cut her ear with the scissors. I cut her ear…with the scissors. I…cut my dog’s ear…with.the.scissors. I put Lexi in the car and left the children to fend for themselves.

Long story short, this household accident which could’ve been avoided if I hadn’t been too cheap to take her to a $35 groomer or too impatient just let nature do its thing…put six stitches into Lexi’s ear and cost me $250 at the vet. Yep. The Hubs was thrilled, as you can imagine. I am happy to report that Lexi has only had about 2 baths since then, neither of which included grooming her ears.

So you would think I’ve learned my lesson, right? WRONG. I now give you…

Exhibit B: The Cat Grooming Shenanigans of April 14, 2015

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This is our cat Georgia, our oldest child whom we adopted as a junior-sized kitten in 2004 when we were still dating. As you can see, she is fluffy, and each spring, she sheds her winter coat all over the house, constantly grooming, picking at her coat with her teeth, and occasionally throwing it up on our floors. Several years ago, she was sprayed by a skunk, and our vet recommended shaving her coat to help alleviate the God-awful smell. So we did.

And then we got the bright idea to shave her every spring to avoid 97,000 tufts of cat fur and barf all over our house. It was a genius move.

Our vet Jason in Tennessee is also a good friend, and he confided that Georgia is one of the roughly 25% of cats who need to be, um, sedated in order for all parties to have a pleasant grooming experience (Georgia mauled his nose once while we were getting her shots). Yep, we were all for riding that friend discount, slipping her a mickey, and having her come home skinny, svelte, and groomed into her lion’s cut, ready to take on back yard birds, etc.

But now we’ve moved to Arkansas, the land of full-priced veterinarians, and there are tell-tale tufts of fur popping up all over the house. So, having learned nothing at all from previous home grooming disasters of myself, my children, and our dog, I sent this text to my vet friend Jason.

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I have totally got this, I thought. My cat loves me. This can be over in no time and I will have saved our family, like, $125. Totally worth it. Surely it can’t be that hard, right?

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My inner monologue was so, so, SO wrong.

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And Georgia never scratched me, bless her precious, kind, still-loves-mom-even-though-she-did-this-to-me heart.

This is as far as I got. It looks like she got in a fight with the business end of a weed-eater. I think she’s embarrassed…she’s done a lot of hiding and meowing at me. A neighbor kid actually saw her yesterday and asked, “What happened to your cat, Ms. Carrie?”

Ugh. I’m the worst mother ever. I’m probably going to start a GoFundMe account to fix Georgia’s jacked up fur because Jeff is in “I told you so” mode.

And yes, y’all. I’ve learned my lesson. Be they for child or pet, NO MORE HOME HAIRCUTS.

Carrie On Parenting: Worrying WAY TOO EARLY About My Kids’ Spouses?!?

In 2010 at a family reunion, we joyously cut into a “gender reveal” blue cake and officially prepared to welcome our second child into the world. A boy! A little brother for our daughter…nothing could have been more perfect.

And then my grandmother looked over at me and said , “You know what they say: ‘A daughter’s a daughter all her life, but a son’s a son ’til he takes a wife.'”

Um, ouch. He’s not even born yet, and some wench will someday come along and try to take MY SON away from ME!?!  I just found out he was a boy, like, 30 seconds ago. I am the woman in his life. ME.

In an eerily similar scenario years later, my next door neighbor Larry teased me one night: “You know, Carrie, one of my boys is going to be Sarah’s first kiss. It’s just proximity.” I began to see spots in front of my eyes and to hyperventilate just a little. Whew…while I love those precious neighbor boys to death, she.is.SEVEN. I am not ready to go there. Nope, Larry. NOT funny.

Luckily, no one has as yet prearranged our third child Sawyer’s impending nuptials. He will turn two on May 1st. I’m sure the matchmakers can’t wait to set him up with the cute girl from daycare who is almost potty trained.

I should’ve seen this coming. My husband is the baby of his family, and my precious MIL cried (openly sobbed, actually) as we drove away in the limo from our wedding. At the time, I didn’t understand. Isn’t she happy for us? She is gaining ME, not losing HIM…I’m not that bad. I’m nice. I will make her proud! 

But, precious MIL, I get it now that I’m a mom: back in 2006, your son had taken a wife, and it sucks to think that you had been replaced as the woman in his life. I will try to be brave when my time comes, but I’m guessing yours was a glistening tear compared to the snot-slinging ugly-cry that I will be trying to hide when our kids get married.

Every once in a while, I send up a prayer for my children’s future spouses. I wonder where they are, and what they’re doing. I wonder if their parents are praying for my daughter or sons, too. Are they older or younger? Where do they live? Have we met them already, or when will that happen? Do they drive their brothers and sisters crazy, too? Have they learned to ride a bike yet? Do they like elementary school (or middle school, or…gasp…high school?)? Do they also cheer for SEC teams like we do, or should we learn some fight song for a small liberal arts college in Maine? Do they like big dogs, too? And the lake or the beach?

I hope my kids’ spouses will be fun, funny, and intelligent. I hope the IL’s will believe they are the luckiest people on Earth to have caught the eye of one of my kids, and I hope my kids will feel the same about their spouses. I hope the IL’s will value family like we do, in all its imperfect but genuine love and silliness. I hope to hang out with the IL’s and think that they’re cool people I would like to hang out with even if they weren’t married to one of my kids.

I hope the IL’s know how to cook and clean because, well, I’m trying here, but it ain’t pretty. I hope they like sports (but that isn’t a deal-breaker), and board games, and I really hope they like kids. Grandkids would be nice SOMEDAY, but take your time, people!

And I hope they’ll be cool…while it may be easy to label me a crazy MIL (as I’m taking the time to lay out future in-law qualities a good 15 years before this will ever become a factor), I just want to stay close to my kids. NOT live-in-your-house, up-in-your-business 24/7 close…yeesh. I don’t even want a key. Or to even live in the same town.

But I do want to pick up the phone and talk to you, in-law, or my kid, and for that to be okay. I may even call you from our private beach vacation in Turks and Caicos or from the box seats at the nearest football stadium because, well, the Hubs and I have clearly laid plans of an awesome retirement.

But in all the crazy stories you hear about in-laws (thankfully, none of those apply to me), I don’t want Sarah’s husband to hate his “meddling MIL”…I want to be the cool MIL. I don’t want my sons to disappear completely forever once their wives (inevitably, as they should) replace me as the woman in my sons’ lives.

Have I completely lost my mind? Why am I so worried about this TODAY?!?