Where’s my stuff?

I have come to the realization that I no longer own anything. I mean we own a home and a car (a few). I have purchased clothing and shoes. I buy food (almost every other day). We own the furniture in our home and our phones, but I personally cannot claim anything as my own.

In college, I bought my own clothes and I was the one that wore them or loaned them to friends. I purchased my own car and kept it clean, vacuumed and washed. I bought groceries for our apartment and we occasionally went out to dinner. (College life is a poor life, so it was definitely an occasion when we went out to dinner.) Once I graduated and actually earned a paycheck, I bought cute purses and shoes for each season (or outfit). We bought home decorations and nice porch furniture. I owned things, knew where they came from and knew where they were.

Now, clinging onto the last 6 months of 39, and as a mother of three busy children, I have realized that my husband and I have very few personal belongings. I buy clothes for myself only to find them in the bottom of my teenager’s closet. I bought cute winter boots, only to have them worn by our 2nd grader and returned caked with mud. I asked for a bike for Christmas, and I now see that it is laying on its side in the garage. I just went grocery shopping at the beginning of the week, bought a 12 pack of diet soda (my unhealthy indulgence) and there is only two in the box. I have a home office, but I’m constantly looking for a pen! I have a great office chair, but I continuously find it in front of the dryer, as it has been used as a ladder or stool by someone to short to see into the dryer (it’s a stackable washer and dryer). I have a phone, but it’s loaded with games and music that I don’t even touch.

I think the two things that bother me the most are make-up and deodorant. As the mother of a teenage daughter, I am always on a hunt for MY OWN make-up. I don’t even wear a lot of make-up, so I think this is why it’s so irritating. Mascara is probably the boldest tool in my make-up collection, and it is rarely in my make-up bag. I thought buying the teenager her own make-up would solve the issue, but it seems my make-up is still her top choice. And deodorant…this is just gross to me, but who in this house is stealing MY deodorant? Not that I want to sniff pits to find out, but seriously…why my deodorant?! Everyone has their own deodorant, but mine is always missing. I find it in the car, in a laundry basket, on our shoe bench or kitchen counter, but never in the bathroom drawer where it belongs!

I comically refer to our children as “squatters”. They don’t pay rent. They don’t buy anything for themselves. They rarely clean up after themselves and constantly rummage through the house leaving a trail of wrappers, clothing, shoes and towels where they fall. I have found pencil drawings on the walls, graffiti on bedframes and dressers (a second grader’s signature in permanent marker) and blankets and used bowls or cups piled in a bedroom corner. I’m pretty sure this is life of a squatter.

I think, as all parents, we spend a lot of money in one month, but have very little to show for it! This is not a selfish rant, but merely a comical realization. As a mother, you not only give up the right to sleep in, watch your own television, or listen to your own radio station, but you also give up the ability to own anything that will not be used by someone else. You now have to do exactly as your parents told you to do…share.

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