I’m Not Your Mom, I’m the Maid (Life After Layoff – Chapter 16)

Okay, there is something like 48 days left before school starts again and I’m ready for it to get here.  I have had some fun times with the kids, but when we try to focus on school work it gets sticky.  Ann is willing to work on the worksheets from her teacher.  Christopher is excited to help Ann count things.  Marie is willing to do things she likes to do and Patrick refuses to do anything but Science experiments.  Boy, do I feel like a great teacher…NOT!

Earlier this week I had one of the worst days yet.  Part of the reason is because the kids had gotten in trouble the previous day and they were all grounded to the house.  They were also grounded from their tablets.  Now I ask you, who is really being punished here?  ME, that’s who!

Considering these factors, it’s no wonder why I snapped.  I was trying to get some housework done and get some school work completed.  But the kids were more interested in fighting with each other, making messes and being a pain.  I had told them at 5:00pm that we needed to clean up the house before their Dad arrived.  However, instead of cleaning they continued to fight.  I’m not sure what the last straw really was, maybe when Patrick hit me in the head with a plastic ball.  He said it was meant for Christopher.  Like that makes a difference, it was my head that got hit.  At that time, I knew I had to leave the house before I killed them all.

I walked out the door and sat in my van.  I didn’t have my keys, so I couldn’t go anywhere.  However, the kids didn’t know that so they chased after me.  Yep, even Christopher, who was only wearing his underwear, came outside.  So then I had to yell at the kids and tell them to go inside.  They did and I followed them a minute later.  However, I didn’t stay inside.  I told them to get busy cleaning and then sat down outside on the porch.

Within minutes Ann came out the door crying.  She said that Marie said she was going to throw away her Barbie dolls if she didn’t clean.  That is when the light came on up in my brain.  I walked in, told them all to stop cleaning and go to their beds.  I told them I would clean it up on my own.

With a stern look on my face, I grabbed some headphones and plugged them into my cellphone.  I put on the headphones, turned on some music and started cleaning.  When the kids tried to talk to me, I would tell them, “I’m sorry, but I’m not your Mom.  I’m the maid.  Your Dad will be home soon to care for you.”  Then I’d go back to cleaning.

This little exchange went on for a bit with all the kids.  All the while, I continued to clean and ignore any fights or crying.  What happened next was interesting.  As I was picking up balls that Christopher dumped in Patrick’s room, Patrick came along and started helping me pick them up.  I just went on my way, not making any recognition of his help.  When I was picking up a mess in the living room that Ann and Christopher made, Ann came along and helped pick things up.  As Ann was cleaning by me, I noticed that she had found an old cellphone she plays with and had attached a set of headphones to it.  She too was cleaning with headphones on, just like the “Maid”.  The only difference was that Ann didn’t have any music coming out of her headphones.  LOL  It was pretty funny, but I didn’t let it show.  The more I cleaned and ignored the kids, the less fighting they did.

By the time Frank got home, I was in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher and singing to the music that I was listening to.  The kids probably thought my singing was bad, which made me sing even louder.  I told Frank about the day and my break down and after crying some more Frank gave me a hug.  Then he handed me my keys and wallet and told me to go for a drive.  I grabbed the keys and ran out the door.

After I got away, I calmed down more.  I don’t know what made me madder, the fact that I let them get to me or the fact that it took me ignoring them to get their attention.  I don’t know what Frank told the kids while I was gone, but when I got home they were a lot better.  So the next time this sort of thing happens, I’m going to tell the kids the following:

“You can either spend time with your Mom and have some fun times or you can have a Maid clean up and ignore you.  It is up to your actions.  If you see your mom put on headphones and turn on the music, you know you’ve crossed the line and gone too far.”

Hopefully it won’t get to that point, but if it does, I will be happy to just be the maid.  At least that way, I won’t have to hear all the crying, because the music will drowned it out.”

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