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Hot Mess Mom » Dear Diary, Family, Featured, Ramblings » I want to DO, not HAVE

I want to DO, not HAVE


Admittedly, I am a travel whore.   But really, I think I am an ‘experience’ whore.  I want to DO something all of the time!   This does not mean that I don’t spend days (lots and lots of days) in my pajamas, sipping on coffee, folding laundry and catching up on the DVR.   What it means is I’m always looking for something fun.  An adventure.   Why go to the Olive Garden for lunch when you can go a tiny Italian bistro that serves wine in glass jars and has tea lights lit in the daytime?

Why spend an afternoon at the park without a blanket, a platter, tons of munchies and a bottle of wine?     I live with a football, a blanket and a cooler in the back of my car.  At any time.. I can run into a market…grab a fruit platter, a block of cheese, a baguette, some juice boxes and a bottle of Chardonnay….and Voila’!…  an impromptu super-picnic!!     This is how my boys have been raised.  And it’s expected.   They are so funny…  “uh mom…  that place over there looks really {pretty/ nice/ fun/ awesome/ scary/ sick}….  you wanna pull over and hang out for a while?”

I will spend money on experiences.  I will drop $200 on fireworks that last 20 minutes but will not buy a $200 pair of shoes {and ya’ll know I LOVE shoes!}.    Seven used to get so frustrated with me…  {back when I was working and we actually had a savings account}….  Whatever money we had.. I would spend MORE than that on a trip or a series of trips.   But I wouldn’t spend a percentage of it to fix/update something unless it was broken beyond repair.

Honey..  the pool needs to be refinished.  It’ll be about $5,000.

No.   We have $8,000.   I am NOT spending $5,000 of it refinishing the pool.      OMG.. we have $8,000…  where can we go for $10,000???

My house is a wreck.   Okay, that’s not completely true.   It’s a nice house.   But it’s old.  I need to install new windows & doors.  The pool still needs to be refinished.   The outdoor patio needs renovating.   There is some sort of leak by the master shower that I pretend will eventually go away.   And about 2 dozen other small “hundred-dollar” fixes…    My kitchen is outdated.  My furniture is old.   And the kids used my favorite chair as a trampoline for so long that you are anally violated every time you sit in it.

Almost all of these things could be fixed if I used 12-18 months of travel/ outing/ adventure/ funday money.  Just 18 months of staying home.  That’s all it would take.  18 months with no vacations, road trips, or elaborate parties.   547 days without  hundred-dollar afternoon adventures.

But I just can’t do it.   I personally can’t do it, but I also believe {truly truly believe} that when my boys are older they won’t remember the tattered furniture or crappy outdoor fan.  They will not realize that their friends had french doors while ours were sliders.   I hope that they will remember the picnics and adventures and dance parties and 4 hour drives to attend a parade.   I hope they embrace the fact that they had friends in 10 different states and that their mother drove them to those states to play (let’s be clear…their friends are the children of my friends.. but still! )   I pray that afternoons counting manatees, running through fake snow, or tubing on the lake will take away the pain of not having an X-Box and a remodeled kitchen.

I hope that they remember that their friends were always welcome.   That their mom always cooked enough for everybody and that there was always music playing.   I want them to share my love of a ‘theme”..  and to always find an excuse or occasion for a party.   I want them to embrace (while understandably being embarrassed) the fact that their mother would stand on the coffee table and dance like a fool (yes..sometimes in front of their friends).   They should remember with extreme fondness that their father played baseball in the front yard with them and taught them to surf–albeit on a used surfboard.  That he taught them how to build a fire (and become pyro’s).   I want them to prank!   I want them to be clever and play tricks and see the humor in every single day of their lives.   And I really want them to remember the evenings spent on the tattered couch with all 5 of us laying on each other like cats….. cuddled up and watching movies.

So….  as I look around my house and note all of the things that could be better, newer, cleaner, or less dusty…  I’m okay with it.   The dust accumulated on my non-Pottery Barn furniture while we were playing Monopoly.   I wonder which of those will leave a more lasting impression on my boys…….

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Filed under: Dear Diary, Family, Featured, Ramblings



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52 Responses to "I want to DO, not HAVE"

  1. ANN says:

    So true, and sweetest post ever! They will not remember how or why your broke your ankle so bad, but they will remember the weeks and months of loving you back to good health, and taking care of you when you couldn’t walk. Yours is a special bond with your boys. I love that you go out of your way to show what life is about. It is what makes you YOU.
    I love you the most 🙂

  2. Kelly says:

    Dear Hot Mess Mom,

    You are my new BFF, you just don’t know it yet.

    Yours truly,

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      Dear Kelly~ yay! Come to the Million Milf March in September and we will drink to that! 😉

      1. Kelly says:

        I am – booked a room and have two more MILFs coming with me!

        1. Hot Mess Mom says:

          yay!!!!’s going to be glorious!! 😉

  3. Liese says:

    I agree 100%. I’m in the exact same position. My kids won’t care about the unfolded laundry all over the living room…..or will they?

  4. Christine E says:

    So sweet D! Your boys are very blessed to have you…

  5. Sami says:

    Amen! To all of it…Your boys will not care about the stuff, they will remember the fun…You go girl…

  6. Marcela says:

    Hot Mess,

    You are hilarious! I am almost 3 months pregnant with my first child and I just stumbled upon your blog.
    I come from a middle class family in Uruguay, South America. I grew up like your boys and I have the fondest memories from my childhood. I want to give this baby the same type of experience and your blog will inspire me towards that path while bombarded by the all consuming consumerism.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      yay!! Welcome Marcela! Congrats on the baby 😉

  7. You’ve got it all figured out, lady! Experiences beat stuff any day.

  8. nwilson says:

    I read pretty much all your posts but never comment. This one made me tear up. I feel the exact same way and I love that you said it! I’m bringing the family to Florida for two weeks mid-June. Let’s try to hook up! Message me if you’re game. xo

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      Aw, thanks Nic! we are traveling most of June, but would LOVE to see you if we are here!! ( i think you’ll know where to find me 🙂

  9. Maureen says:

    I have just started reading your blog, I came across it trying to find something to do at a new job where they obviously don’t really need me and I had to comment on this post. I love this and it is exactly how I was with my son who is almost 15. I have a two year old now who is not as laid back and easy going as my son is, so it makes some outings harder, but hope to get back to spontaneous road trips and adventures as she gets a little older! You sound like a great mom and you are totally right, they will remember the times they had growing up, not the furniture!

  10. Kate says:

    Sooo true! I am the same way when it comes to my kiddos. Thanks for sharing this. BTW, your blog rocks

  11. Rhonda B says:

    Honestly — you are my hero! I didn’t learn that the kids won’t remember how clean the house was. I spent 15 years cleaning every spare minute — I don’t ANYMORE! But I DO need to be more spontaneous!

    I just found your BLOG and I am going to “LIKE” you on Facebook and totally pump you up!!

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      welcome!! you are here at the right time as I’m burning up the Ca coast with my boys!! 🙂

    2. Ellie says:

      Me too, Rhonda. I wish I could go back and have been a more relaxed mom!

  12. After reading this post I think you will love this site, Your Travel Videos is a collection of links to videos and other internet resources on places to stay, restaurants and things to do. The cool thing about the site though is that you can make money off videos you have made, or also from videos that are already out there on the web. It is 100% free so there is no risk to check it out and join.

  13. Jenn says:

    I love this!!!!!

  14. Jenn says:

    I love this!!!!!

  15. Jennifer says:

    I believe I just found my twin. I have told my husband for years that I don’t want “things.” I want “experiences.” I refer to all of the outings I take the kids on as adventures. I love to travel whether its an hour away to a place I haven’t been before, or to another continent.

    We, too, have a some “well loved” furniture that could be replaced and cars that, well, embarass my children. But I would much rather use the money it would cost to replace those things on some new adventure (I am itching to go on an African safari–not a reality until the kids are older/grown). And I have a hugely long “bucket list” of things I want to do. *sigh*

  16. Jen says:

    LOVE this! I literally have tears streaming down my face. This is the kind of mom I want to be…one day.

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      aww.. shut up. and thanks 😉

  17. I totally love this one. So much. Summed everything up. Perfect. Now we are going to watch movies all day, jump on the broken couch some more, and smash marshmallows to the carpet. Then, of course, freak out and clean up really fast before someone stops by without texting/calling.

  18. Susan says:

    Someone recently turned me on to this site, and I think we must be soul sisters. This is completely my outlook on life. My kids are still pretty young, but I see a huge jump in them somewhere after every experience. They count for more than people know!

  19. KBar3 says:

    This is so me and my family. I came across this post looking to see when your little par-ty would be in Sept. 2013. 🙂

  20. […] know I want to DO, not HAVE.  And I do DO.. {yes.. I said do do… … giggle….}  I DO as much as I can afford […]

  21. Marie says:

    One of my best friends has nickname me “julie” aka cruise director. I am a single mother of 2 amazing girls and we are always planning some kind of new adventure.
    One of our greatest adventures that was born out of not knowing what to do on a cold night has become a family tradition.
    We were looking forward to going on a picnic however it was a rainy night. I quickly had to figure out how to keep my girls smiling like any good cruise director. LOL
    So we grabbed a blanket and all of the goodies we had bought earlier in the day for our picnic. We placed the blanket on the living room floor and set up our picnic right there. We played out usual game, told stories and had a wonderful time. Our carpet picnics have become a tradiion for us over the last six years. The three of us are always ready for a carpet picnic. Carpet picnic has also turned into the code words – need some time together (just the three of us)for family bonding.

    1. Hot Mess Mom says:

      we LOVE carpet picnics. Especially during the summer 😉

  22. April Randazzo says:

    What an amazing post!!!!! It’s so true!!!! This is my new favorite blog for sure!!!! Keep up the great work!!! Can’t wait to tell everyone I know about it!!! 🙂

  23. thebev says:

    My son and I travel almost all summer. We live away from all of our family and use the summer to stay for free all over and visit at the same time. My husband who work (someone has to make the $ I spend) only gets to come on a few of our trips. We have fun but it’s way more scheduled with him. I must say that our Dadless trips are way more spontanious and fun. I too travel with a blanket, snacks and balls, kites etc in the back of my car. It’s always awesome to be outside and enoying the day.

  24. John says:

    Experiences are so much better than stuff. A Playmobil drug bust complete with pictures means the living room does not get as tidy as grandmas and MIL would like. Kids.. Enoy and warp them.

  25. Louise says:

    OMG!!! too freakin’ funny. It has happened to me, glad to know it’s not just me…

  26. Colby says:

    Wow, that was well written. Good stuff.

  27. This is the way to GO. Experiences are the building blocks of life and I even read somewhere that it is more financially savvy to spend $ on experiences rather than things. I am going to put the cooler in my car right now! I love your blog and iI read you every week. I am new, but I’d love a visit from the HMM! if you have a boring moment strike you, check me out at the website I registered with.
    Mommy Frazzle

  28. Katarina says:

    I feel the same way about cleaning. I’d rather do a Star Wars puzzle with the boys rather than dust; I’d rather play hide and seek than vacuum; and I’d rather go swimming than wash the windows. I want my kids to have fulfilled memories of great experiences, not that their house was spotless. But these are the things that I want for myself as well. I don’t want to be old and gray and have a memory bank account of all those endless hours scrubbing and cleaning. I want it to be filled with memories of them.

  29. Betsy says:

    I found you while looking how to keep a toddler busy during his first 10 hour car trip and a plane ride. Busy Bags of course but I noticed you mentioned manatees. I am in St. Pete and used to love to gogogo. I am the gramma now but I put 133,000 miles on one vehicle alone and how I do miss that van. I have been wanting to camp, I still have my tent but now everyone is working, borrring and so it is me and the two year old. We tried a play group but the other kids were too young. He loves to be outdoors and anything with wheels. I might drive over to Disney downtown and then ride on all the free transportation. He would love the monorail.
    email: we will have lunch

  30. karen says:

    Just don’t lose sight of those things that are really important to you. What will make you a more complete person for your kids, a clean house or an evolved mom?

  31. Erica says:

    You have taken the words right out of my mouth (fingers?). I’ve recently been doing a lot of *whining* about not traveling, not having any exciting and new experiences. I think I just need to do it! I have a 122 year old home…its a money suck. Actually, I paid for new windows and the company decided to never come back… eventually filed bankruptcy and I lost $9k. Imagine the trip I could have taken with THAT money! But, such is life! Onward and upwards! (Found you through TMB. Great blog!)

  32. That was so true and I wish to be you. What a fantastic life you got. You people are really living. We are like robots.

  33. Jini says:

    I don’t have kids yet, but I imagine when I do I will go for the same things. Kids are easier to convince to do fun stuff. When I try this method with adults…not so easy and fun. Hopefully I will be able to create great experiences as you have with your family. Thanks for the post.

    p.s.: I love pottery barn but have yet to purchase one single thing from there.

  34. Susan Carter says:

    “my favorite chair as a trampoline for so long that you are anally violated every time you sit in it”. I feel your pain on that one, except my anal pain comes after two bottles of wine and the Mr. gives me the good old surprise attack!

  35. Lee A says:

    I understand your dilemma, I love to travel as well. But sometimes you just have to choose between a new bed and going to California.

  36. Lucy says:

    SO true! I too, live for the experiences! I couldn’t go 18 days/hours without doing something incredibly unusual and adventurous. I think I might have to write a few words about my various adventures soon. PS, at least you HAVE a pool. 😉

  37. Emily Wilson says:

    I am so glad to know that I am not alone. I stress when I care too much about all the stuff we have to do to the house when just instead I would rather spend the day with my daughter using our imaginations (I’m not financially able to take trips but when I can I try).

  38. Els says:

    I just discovered your blog and I must say that I absolutely love it! I have also 3 boys and can relate to everything you write about, I do too think like you, our kids will remember the happy times instead of the outdating kitchen or furniture, and would love to go camping and stuff, but it’s a bit complicated over here (we live in Mexico…now you can say you have mexican followers as well, LOL!)

  39. I totally agree with you! Except that we’ve just been told our roof needs to be fully repaired and resealed ($6500) and that kinda can’t wait or the whole thing is going to fall on us. Devastated!

  40. samantha says:

    Aaand this is why Iove you (a stranger I’ve never met) you always keep it so real and fun. Im prego with our first and I hope I’m as fun as you. Definitely my “mommy idol”. It’s so true. I don’t remember all the tattered and torn bs we had…I remember the lake, the river, disney, many trips from Texas to Florida for the hell of it…my mom waited tables for many years and would save her tips all year for us to take several vacations during the summer. She later quit, went to school and became a rn… but that just meant more lavish trips 😉

  41. Alina says:

    I just looooooooooove your blogg! I feel like becoming a mom changed me into this stress case, mom guilt, loony mess… I’m looking to find myself again… Bring back the person who let loose and was a “hott mess” but at least enjoying her mess. Thank you do being so real, and sharing how reality is a mess… But a fun mess!

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