A Comparison of Parenting to a Roomba

As I was watching my Roomba make it’s away around my office, (can you tell how motivated I am to work?) I realized that, metaphorically, being a Roomba and a parent are almost the same thing.

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The Roomba is meant to make it’s way through your home and suck and sweep up any dust, hair, or dirt that is on your floor. Well, this could be compared to parenting because we too make our way through the home sucking up the same thing, but we also do this in life. All that dust, hair, and dirt are the challenges we face as parents. Most of it is gross and we don’t want to deal with it, but it continues to pile up.

When the Roomba runs into a wall or a piece of furniture, it will turn in a different direction. My Roomba often gets stuck in the same room or a corner because it keeps turning in circles. Hello! What parent hasn’t experienced that? As soon as you think you’ve got this parenting thing figured out, you run into a wall. Sometimes you make the right decision and you’re on your way again, but a lot of the times you find yourself running into the same wall over and over again or backing yourself into a corner. And when things get really bad, you may just bang your head against the wall purposefully. giphy-downsized

We have one of the first Roombas that was made and the battery in ours doesn’t hold out as long. When it is out of juice, it makes this noise that sounds like a character dying on a video game (like Super Mario). It’s quite hilarious because I often hear the same sound in my head after an exhausting week when I face plant into the couch.

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The upside to all of this is that the Roomba has a handle on the top, which allows you to pick it up and move it to a different room or to put it back on the charger. I think we all have those friends and family members who are willing to pick us back up and help us recharge.

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Why Weddings are Important

I recently attended my husband’s cousin’s wedding in Colorado. It took place at Arrowhead Golf Club, which if you have never been to, you need to put that on your bucket list. The backdrop for the ceremony was breathtaking and the ceremony itself  was heartwarming.

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Kurt and I in front of the arrowhead rocks.

I love weddings and I always cry, even if I don’t know the bride or groom that well. It just makes me so happy to see two people who are so in love and who are setting out on this new journey together. As I was listening to the vows though, I realized how important weddings really are. Not for the bride and groom, but for the guests – especially the married couples.

We all know about the honeymoon phase and how it ends so quickly. Throw in a couple of jobs, a house note, some other bills, and children and the romance could find its way into a dark, cold, corner of the closet. It’s hard to remember to show how much we love and appreciate our spouse, but I think weddings help us to remember.

The most well-known, and general, part of the vows
“I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from                     this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in                   health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
Couples forget this; I know I have on occasion. When I’m upset because my husband did something stupid or when he’s whining because he has a common cold, I tend to think too much about how feel. I have been making a conscience effort to stop and think about what I’m about to say, do, or even think. I do love my husband when he does stupid things and I do love him when he is acting like he’s dying from the Ebola virus. I make sure to let him know this. I want him to know, and more importantly remember, that I will love him no matter what.

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Although weddings can be great fun, especially the receptions, we need to remember what the whole event is about. Weddings should be treated as a refresher course to those couples who have been married and maybe forgotten what the honeymoon phase felt like.

 

My Experience With instacart

First, if you don’t know what instacart is, let me explain: It’s an app that allows you to grocery shop at different stores in your area and have someone pick up the items that are on your list and deliver them to your door. I mean, how awesome is this for a busy mom or for one who is too lazy on a Sunday afternoon and would rather watch football? (This girl) This sounds pretty genius, right. Not so much. I’m glad that my first order was free because I don’t think I am going to be using this again.

Here’s what happened:

  1. I chose the delivery date and time. I picked same day delivery, but was only given the option to have the groceries delivered between 8 and 9 p.m. That’s kinda late, but I figured what the hell, it’s worth it if I don’t have to go to the store myself.
  2. I “shopped” for the items I needed at my local HEB, but I was limited on the selection. For example, I only needed one avocado, but I only had the option to buy three or more.
  3. As the delivery time approached, I hadn’t received any updates so I opened the app up to check and get a status. I’m glad I did because I had  new delivery time of 9:30 to 10 p.m. I wasn’t okay with that, but I presumed I was all in at this point.
  4. A LOT of my items were (supposedly) not available. What grocery store doesn’t have yellow onions? Plus, I know which HEB “David the shopper” went to and it’s the big one and they have everything. Because of this, I had to make my own trip to the store the next day to get my missing items.
  5. Another reason I’m glad I opened the app back up is because all of these items that were seemingly unavailable (I just think “David” wanted to hurry up and get out of there) I either had to choose to replace it with a different option or get a refund. What would have happened if I were doing something else at the time instead of monitoring “David’s” every move and purchase?

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There are some good things about this service, though:

  1. You can choose to have a shopper go to Spec’s and buy alcohol. Woo Hoo!!!
  2. If the store is out of an item you requested, you can choose to substitute with something else (you are given options) or you can ask for a refund.
  3. You don’t have to get up off your lazy ass and go to the store.

I am absolutely not saying that every one else has had or will have my same experience, but I know that I won’t be using it again.

You Are Doing A Great Job

I know I’m not the only one who is reading and listening to moms who are stressed out about whether or not they are a good parent. If you are a mom (and even if you’re not), there’s a chance that you will see a post, a meme, or a video at least once a day on whatever social media platform you use. Some of these are funny, some are sad, and some are spot-on to how you are feeling at that point in time.

Here is what I want to say to all the moms: You are doing a great job!

Who cares if you sent your child to school with Doritos for breakfast? (guilty)

Who cares if you didn’t give your kid a bath last night because he had swim lessons and chlorine kills pretty much everything, right? (guilty)

Who cares if the laundry in the basket that hasn’t been folded is from two weeks ago? (guilty)

If your kids are alive, happy, and healthy; you are doing a great job!

I think if all us moms complimented at least one other mom every day, we would feel so much better about ourselves.

When you see that mom in Target with the three-year-old running through the store because he is fighting the bad guys while his baby sister is screaming because she is tired but refuses to take a nap, smile at her and and give her a knowing nod. You might even let her know that her super hero son is cute.

So, your goal for today is to tell at least one mom “You’re doing a great job!”

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You Have No Idea

If you’ve never dealt with a mental disorder, you have no idea. You don’t know what it’s like to be so sad that you can’t crawl out of it. Or to act out in a way that makes even yourself embarrassed. You don’t know what it’s like to carry around a “secret” that you are too afraid to share because of the stigmas.

People have their own opinions, and are allowed them, but when I hear others talk about how there is never a need for medication for emotional and mental disorders, it hurts and makes me angry. There are also those who think there is no such thing as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. If you don’t suffer from it and have never been through it, you have no clue and don’t have a right to speak.

I have bipolar disorder, and although I have it under control now, I went through years and years of my life knowing that something wasn’t right, but I was too afraid to speak up and do anything about it because I didn’t want others to look at me differently. I have not completely gotten over this, but I am less inclined to sit back and let others make fun or pretend like it isn’t real.

I still get depressed for reasons that are unknown to me. If you’ve never been depressed, let me explain what it feels like for me (it’s different for everyone). Depression is like tar – it’s sticky, smelly, and no one want to willingly deal with it. Once it hardens, it’s tough to get rid of. Imagine never being happy about anything. Imagine not being able to get out of bed in the morning because you truly feel that there is no reason to and your body physically won’t let you.

“No one cares about me anymore.” “I bet if I was gone, no one would even care.” “Why am I even here? What’s the point?” This is what goes through my head. I can give myself all the pep talks in the world, but that self-doubt is what takes over – I can’t move because of it.

Things that I normally enjoy – exercising, reading, spending time with my son – seem like a chore or there is no inclination to participate at all. My medication helps with all of this, but it doesn’t make the depression go away completely. I’ve got techniques that I use now and I know when I am getting depressed and what I can do to pull myself out of it before it gets too bad. It’s still there though, and always will be.

The other aspect of bipolar disorder is becoming manic. No, this doesn’t mean people go insane, it simply means that a person will have erratic and over-the-top behavior. What’s so bad about this part of the disorder – besides the over-spending, over-drinking, and/or drug use – is when the morning comes, regret is the first emotion felt. With the regret, comes depression, and the depression just gets deeper and deeper. It’s a roller coaster of a ride, and not a fun one.

Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who #1, stayed with me after going through all of  this and #2, confronted me about it and urged me to get help. Like I said before, I knew something was wrong, but I was too afraid to admit it. If I said it out loud, that meant it would be true, and I was so embarrassed about that.

It took me a while to get over feeling ashamed of having bipolar disorder, and I still don’t share it with everyone because I know I will be treated differently, and that’s sad. This makes me who I am, and if people aren’t okay with that, I don’t need or want them in my life. What really upsets me though, is people who talk about mental disorders when they know nothing about them. You can read all you want, but if you’ve never experienced it, then you can’t possibly know what a person is going through.