I’m not sure what I was thinking. I mean, on the surface it seemed like a good idea. A roadtrip to a scenic resort with my children, a resort where I would be speaking at a conference. Fun! I would work/socialize/meet and mingle with a few hundred of my favorite role models in social media. My kids and their dad would frolic in alpine splendor. And if we checked the kids into day camp, my husband would finally get to see a little piece of what is usually “my” world.
The drive out was supposed to take two days, according to the original plan. But in a very demented delusion stroke of stupid we decided, what the hell, lets drive to Park City in a single day! Who needs to overnight in Vegas and spend all that extra cash?
We set out from So Cal at 6am. I happily tweeted the first half of our journey:
It was all going swimmingly, me tweeting, my kids managing not to kill each other in the backseat as they watched one Redbox movie after another… Sure someone had an allergic reaction, but I had benadryl at the ready. Along with tylenol, motrin, cough syrup and bandaids. Super mom, I tell you.
My poor gorgeous son turned a vivid shade of green and began to retch. And retch. And retch some more. Supermom forgot the dramamine. And the trash bags too.
The rest of the ride was accomplished in 25 mile increments with stops at many MANY rest areas and in barren fields. There were tears (his and mine) and sympathy gags (everyone in the car) . It was the longest 250 miles of my life. But we finally arrived. Sometime around midnight. We slunk in like criminals, hoping nobody would recognize the McSmellerson party.
After a shower and half a night’s rest, interrupted by more sick kids, I allowed my hopes to get up again. “I’ll just walk around the hotel with the healthy kids, because they can still frolic in Alpine Meadows and stuff, right?” I thought. My pep talk went on something like this: ” I can still do this. I can speak at a conference, care for my sick son, entertain my other three kids, and look fashionable doing it.” And then, “Ok not fashionable but decent. Respectable. Like a really good mom. With awesome kids. Cause even though, I’m a mess right now? My kids? Awesome!”
Here is what my normally happy-go-lucky 2 yo turned into the moment I walked into the hotel lobby. He flung himself to the carpet over some triviality like whether he wanted a cookie or a raisin.
Aside from the fact that I was dying to pretend he wasn’t mine, I was painfuly aware of the fact that my son was kicking and screaming on the floor of a hotel lobby filled with Mom Bloggers. Who were all thinking the same thing.
“THAT is why I am so glad I didn’t bring my kids!”
Not that we’re a judgey lot or anything. But talk about pressure. Did I 123 magic him or Love and Logic him out the door? Pick him up howling loud enough to raise the dead or leave him there? Laugh or cry?
Mostly what I wanted to do was head for the bar. And I’m not generally much of a drinker.
A couple of hours later I headed to the pool with my darling daughters. The pool, like the lobby, was also full of Mommy Bloggers. Some of them even had their (mostly younger) kids with them. Ahhhh….. I could let my hair down, I could relax. I could….. avert my eyes? My eyes! My eyes!
Eyes were bulging as well as averted as my barely teenaged daughter, blessed with a great figure, disrobed and revealed her adorable new teensy weensie yellow bikini. Yep. That one. Of course. She had to pack THAT ONE. The SEXY one. The one I bought her because at some point, you gotta pick your battles. Carefully. I figure that it’s better to agree to the bikini and fight the bigger scarier stuff. Like navel piercing, and tattoos. (That’s the bikini on the left. But not my daughter, for the record. She looks a lot better in the bikini. )
One thing I hadn’t considered when I relented that day at Target? That she would be wearing this particular swimsuit in UTAH. In my mind she was wearing it in the back yard. In So Cal. Worst case scenario she wore it to the pool where her friends were all wearing Ed Hardy thong bikinis in baby size and she looked Amish by comparison.
It was a fine time to notice that every other little girl in the pool had on sporty and generic looking one pieces. And they were all asking their moms to buy them the same bikini my daughter had on. Cue: glaring mothers.
My panel is tomorrow and I can only imagine what shape I will be in after another sleepless night. Ironically I am speaking on the topic of small business and balance – being a mom blogger, mompreneur and at the end of the day (as well as the wee small hours and side of the road) a MOM. Having it all. That’s right ladies. You can have it all. That was the truth I came to preach, with myself as the prime example. Some example.
If you see me in the lobby or on the elevator and I look disheveled and slightly glazed over, if I smell bad, or if I have a small child trailing after me and shedding unreasonable tears, I’m just gonna have to let you in on my awful secret.
I really can’t do it all. At least not all at once. And I’m not sure anyone can.
But I’m trying here. Really really trying. Once in a while I might come close. Just not on this road trip. I may have bit off more than I could chew.
For the record though? My kids really are awesome. Even when puking, screaming and underdressed for the occasion.