I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

What is it about life that it just piles and piles and piles on top of everything and everywhere?

I mean, I realize that entropy is the default state of being and the Second Law of Thermodynamics so why fight against The Universe?

And yet.

No matter how much (or let’s be real, little) I do, it’s never enough. I always feel behind the 8-ball.

Is this a Woman Thing? Or a Mom Thing?

I mean, I don’t really hear Hapa Papa bitching and moaning about the state of the house (although, lately, it seems to be pressing on even him) or feeling as if he’s always behind or never caught up on shit.

However, now that I think about it – and I mean this in no way to diminish what Hapa Papa does because he is quite the involved father and provides pretty much all monetary support for our family – he really only has two major areas of responsibility: providing monetarily for the family and being an involved father.

Everything else is on me. Now, usually I don’t mind because quite frankly, I’m a control freak and I rather enjoy having everything be what I want it to be (or think it should be). But then, when things aren’t quite right, it’s all on me.

Hapa Papa is an easy-going guy and a good sport, so other than a few things, he really doesn’t have a particular opinion on whatever new parenting philosophy I’m trying this month or homeschooling or sports (wait, he does have an opinion on sports) or food or household chores or whatever. As long as it doesn’t particularly bother him, Hapa Papa mostly just gets out of my way and lets me do my thing and tries to support me as much as he can.

He is a good man.

But just like I (God-willing) will never have to feel that singular burden of providing financially for our household, he will never have to feel that singular burden of everything else. The staggering amounts of minutiae in the daily lives of five living and growing human beings.

I am overwhelmed.

(Although, I can’t say I have ever felt whelmed.)

It doesn’t seem as if it’s that much. I mean, I am a competent person of above-average intelligence and ability, right? Right?

So why do I feel so shitty? And so dissatisfied?

And now that I think about all the stuff that is within my purview, it really is a lot! I mean, I am not exaggerating when I say that Hapa Papa only needs to think about (and do) his career/making money and being a good father/husband. (And to clarify, Hapa Papa does a ton more than the “average” husband – so please know that I definitely appreciate him!)

Here’s just some stuff off the top my head that I have to take care of on a regular basis:

– Follow up with Car Rental Company to make sure they submit the missing paperwork to our credit card company re: a claim
– Follow up with Health Insurance Company re: multiple claims/missing money
– Submit FSA receipts
– Take care of all benefits
– Physicals and dental appointments for the whole family
– Saving/Investing
– Paying everyone and every institution that we need to pay
– Enrolling/Scheduling kids and their classes and paying on a monthly/quarterly basis
– Shuttling kids to all their activities
– Feeding/Bathing/Clothing/Maintaining/Keeping Alive/Disciplining children (and self and Hapa Papa)
– Keeping track of extended family birthdays/special events/visits/illnesses/etc.
– Keeping in touch with family friends
– Scheduling car maintenances
– Insurance (life/health/car/home/flood/umbrella WHATEVER)
– Shopping (food/clothes/home/educational/etc.)
– Cooking
– Cleaning/Laundry/Dishes/Garbage
– Mail (absolutely my LEAST favorite)
– Diapers
– Potty Training
– Parenting
– Taking out the garbage
– Compost
– Returning library books
– Sleep training
– Homeschooling
– Ovulation/Fertility Tracking (if we are still trying for a fourth)
– Taxes
– Anything that requires a phone call or a live human

Look. I know this shit is what life is made of. And again, it’s not like Hapa Papa doesn’t contribute in terms of housework (I am always elated when he unloads the dishwasher – one of my LEAST favorite activities even though it is incredibly simple). Furthermore, Hapa Papa is amazing at giving me space to decompress and disappear from the family. He gives me entire WEEKENDS (on a regular basis!) so I know I have it good.

But if I have it so good and am still feeling crushed, how the fuck are other people doing this?

Is everyone else just better at faking it?

(Ok. I do know some people who are terrible at faking it and when I look at them, I judge. I know. I’m a hypocrite. But seriously. Come on, people. Get your shit together.)

What do you think? Are we all just sucking at “adulting”? Did our parents have these problems, too? They must have, right? Let me know in the comments.

What Liam Neeson and Hapa Papa Have in Common

Okokok. So perhaps this title is a bit misleading. But stick with me for a few more seconds.

You see, lately, it’s become ever more apparent that Hapa Papa and I are totally failing at our respective roles. We are totally half-assing things and while amusing for the short haul, it is somewhat alarming (in a climate change-y kinda way) for the long run. Because Hapa Papa is fortunate enough to work from home most days (unless he’s “on vacation”), our kids have no concept of what it means to work (and work hard). I think they vaguely think that work means to be on the computer, go to airports, and stay in hotels. (Cookie Monster demands a Facetime tour of every hotel room Hapa Papa stays in. He particularly likes seeing the bathrooms. He’s a weird kid.)

Anyhow, Hapa Papa is always marveling that he used to work hard but now he has completely lost that ability. In fact, it has gotten so bad that work tasks that used to be easy can occasionally be stumbling blocks.

When I expressed concern over his job security, Hapa Papa responded, “Don’t worry. It’s like Liam Neeson in that movie, Taken. I don’t work hard, but what I do have is a very particular skill set.”

Here’s a clip of that scene for reference. You know, because I’m helpful like that.

Also, should I be offended that Hapa Papa includes me on the Mediocrity Train? Because when he is home, I cede all parenting duties to him and go out with my friends? (To be fair, it was my birthday.) And then when he has the nerve to actually go into work, I have  no idea what to do with my kids when they’re not in school or napping.

I really don’t know why people think I have a hard job. Yes, yes. I have three children. But seriously, short of making sure they are fed, wiping their bottoms, and occasionally separating them from all out brawls, I don’t really do much. No, I’m not underselling what I do. Please believe me when I say, I had multiple children for a reason. So they can play with each other and I can ignore them. Yes, even Glow Worm, the baby. He is very independent.

I can’t help sometimes feeling like I’m failing as a mother, though. Or if not failing, precisely, that I am quite mediocre because I am not making them do flash cards or whatever. It’s because I’m extremely lazy. That’s why I bought all those educational toys. They can learn while they play, right? Playdough and coloring are good, right? Spacial awareness and art and stuff? Tactile and fine motor skills? It’s also why I bought all those Chinese DVDs! They’re not zombie-ing out. They are LEARNING MANDARIN.

But then, I think back to my childhood and you know what? My parents didn’t play with me. I had piano lessons and Chinese school, but other than that, my days were filled with school, homework, hours and hours of TV and books. I went to a good school and turned out fine. (Hapa Papa occasionally likes to mock me and say that I went to a better school than he did but I don’t get paid. Then, I throw back that I don’t have to work and spend all my time buying stuff on Amazon and Costco and hanging out with my kids. Who’s smarter now? He usually concedes the argument at that point.)

Anyhow, not sure what my point is today except that um, yes. I’m a mediocre parent and I’m okay with that. Have a wonderful long weekend!

 

6 Eating Days Left!

SADNESS!! How can I just have six eating days left? Fleur and I are pretty much just dragging Hapa Papa around to our favorite places and forcing him to eat stuff and hold our bags as we spend way too much money on Taiwanese stationery, pens, and DVDs.

Here we go! Off to the updates. (A shorter one today because we have limited eating time.)

1) Arcades here are awesome! And the rides last so long Cookie Monster wants to get off before it’s done.

20140803-022919-8959890.jpg

20140803-022918-8958941.jpg

20140803-022917-8957731.jpg

20140803-022918-8958239.jpg

20140803-022919-8959581.jpg

20140803-022919-8959269.jpg

2) First full day with Hapa Papa was fun but also hard. Starting out for adventures seemed so great until I forgot to bring money, ran back home to get some, and then lost my bus card (with $15USD on it!) in rapid succession. Hapa Papa mocked me and said, “It’s Week 5!” I say his presence threw off my game and it’s all his fault.

3) The kids were all super tired after a long, hard day of playing at Kidsburgh, and poor Glow Worm barely napped so as a result, it took him forever to fall asleep at night. Of course, because we all share a room, that meant that every time he was almost out, Cookie Monster would burst in the room and wake the poor little guy up again. I swear I almost committed bodily injury against Cookie Monster. I know he just wants to spend time with me and have my attention, but OMG GAH!

It was so sweet though. For some reason, Gamera is convinced that if she sings, Glow Worm stops crying. And it usually works. Really cute. Currently, she just sings one line of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” in Chinese. Then when Glow Worm stops crying, she is so proud and says it’s because he loves her and her singing.

4) I may have mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. When I do my Gamera voice, she sounds like Miss Piggy. That’s because Gamera sounds like Miss Piggy.

5) I was so wrong. Turns out, it is Cookie Monster who has forgotten how to walk and begs Hapa Papa to carry him. I think a lot of it is because Bebe keeps wanting Hapa Papa to hold her hand and Cookie Monster is jealous and possessive. Bebe misses her dad and my guess is that Hapa Papa being here reminds her of it.

Because the kids had been doing so well, I didn’t really think anything of it, but now that I do, I suspect the kids have missed their fathers more than we thought. It makes me feel even sadder for kids who don’t have their dads around.

6) We have purchased SO MANY Chinese DVDs. I even threw in a few Kung Fu movies for myself. Heehee. You know, for my education.

7) We went to another kids’ place yesterday called Fun Kids Fun and we liked it much better than Kidsburgh. It seemed less crazy. Plus, everything is adorable! You can pay by the hour or by the day. The kids loved it. I think they may have liked it more than Kidsburgh.

20140804-130446-47086564.jpg

20140804-130449-47089508.jpg

20140804-130447-47087877.jpg

20140804-130446-47086193.jpg

20140804-130449-47089220.jpg

20140804-130446-47086998.jpg

20140804-130448-47088339.jpg

20140804-130448-47088913.jpg

20140804-130447-47087487.jpg

20140804-130822-47302041.jpg

20140804-130822-47302653.jpg

20140804-130822-47302349.jpg

20140804-130943-47383568.jpg

20140804-130944-47384220.jpg

20140804-130944-47384555.jpg

20140804-130943-47383881.jpg

20140804-131221-47541304.jpg

20140804-131220-47540292.jpg

20140804-131219-47539989.jpg

20140804-131220-47540705.jpg

20140804-131222-47542370.jpg

20140804-131221-47541889.jpg

20140804-131359-47639419.jpg

20140804-131359-47639143.jpg

20140804-131359-47639706.jpg

20140804-131358-47638840.jpg

20140804-131447-47687605.jpg

20140804-131446-47686999.jpg

20140804-131447-47687927.jpg

20140804-131447-47687286.jpg

20140804-131610-47770197.jpg

20140804-131611-47771020.jpg

20140804-131610-47770527.jpg

Alright. Fleur and I have to figure out where to go shovel food into our gaping maws. Have a great day!