TRAVEL THERAPY #7:
Being a Mom is a Thankless Job
Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. | MARK TWAIN
Oh, Mr. Twain…could you please resurrect yourself and come have a little chit chat with my kids? Maybe you’ll have better success getting them to stop vegetating in their little corner of the earth and start soaking up the views. I’m just their mom after all—what do I know?
Never mind that I spent countless hours on an itinerary that was completely centered on them—one that included cool activities, mind expanding experiences, adequate downtime, and fodder for a lifetime of memories like Quebec’s Summer Music Festival, whale watching in Taddoussac, climbing the Statue of Liberty, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, prime seats at Blue Man Group, and so much more.
Never mind that at the end of each day they begrudgingly admitted that I had nailed it. They still began each day with beastly attitudes and repeated requests to vegetate in our Manhattan hotel room…and made sure I paid for my torture of them until we returned back to the room.
My desperate move to preserve my sanity during the long car and train rides on the first half of our vacation, backfired on me. When I lifted my ban of Nintendo DS ban and ran into a Canadian Walmart to snag the last one off the shelf, I did not imagine it would overshadow the excitement of the Big Apple. Just as I had always feared, the damn thing became the center of fierce addiction that had my 9 and 12 year olds counting the minutes until they returned to the hotel room for their fix. I swear I would have peed my 9 and 12 year old pants to take a trip like this with my family. But, I didn’t have one. At eight, mine dissolved and I’m being overly generous when I guesstimate that I went on three family vacations between the ages of eight and 18.
I’m weary. I’m discouraged. It feels like the majority of my efforts as a mom are not only unappreciated, but resented. My kids seem oblivious to their good fortune—to travel to amazing places with both parents and a sibling and see cool shit, to be able to pursue whatever activity their soul desires on a whim, to have most every need met by a constantly present at-home mom. They seem to have no concept of gratitude for all that I do for them at the cost of my own career and my own interests. Oh God, being a mom is a thankless job.
Maybe I should raise the white flag. I could buy another damn Nintendo and let them vegetate together while their dad oversees them from the comfy couch and I acquire broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things on my own. I’m considering it. I could also just out-stubborn them all. As with all things, balance is probably best.
Once we returned home, it seemed the intermittent enjoyment the kids allowed themselves to have began to overpower the complaints. I didn’t get the thanks I was hoping for, but I do believe it was a favorite family vacation for Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Did I mention that being a mom is a thankless job??? Not that I’m complaining or anything lol.