I Am a Mom

i am a mom

I am a Mom
I am tired – All. The. Time.

I am a Mom
I have traded regular salon sessions for a ponytail, manicures for a pair of clippers, a perfectly clean house for a large playroom
I cook, I clean, I do laundry
Lots of laundry

I am a Mom
Regular date nights are a thing of the past
“Dinner out” is usually pizza in
When making dinner, I focus on 30 minutes or less recipes – No time for experimenting these days!
The DVR is full
The hamper is still full
The dishwasher never stops

I am a Mom
My day starts at 6am whether I want it to or not
I hear screeches of “Mommmmmmy” in my sleep (the couple of hours I do get)
My main job seems to consist of herding the clan for breakfast, attempting to push everyone out the door before it’s too late – lunch in hand, work, clean, laundry, dinner, bath, bed, clean, hopefully a shower, then passing out

I am a Mom
And the best sound in the world is my kid laughing

I am a Mom
And I look forward to coloring, the annoying kid songs I can’t get out of my head, and the months old bits of cereal I find in the couch

I am a Mom
And my kids’ hugs are everything to me
Their smiles light up my life
Their voices fill my soul
Their laughter is my whole reason for being
They are my miracles
They are my destiny
My world revolves around them, and that is okay

I am a Mom
I am here to guide, teach, sooth, love, and inspire
I am the washing machine, the snot rag, the kissing healer of all boo-boos, the storyteller, the “tucker-iner”, the chef, the discipliner, the listener, the wife, the Mom

I am a Mom
And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

In a Nation of Fear, United We Stand

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me,
‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’
To this day, especially in times of  ’disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing
that there are still so many helpers –
so many caring people in the world.”
-Fred Rogers

Flagedit

I purposely try to stay away from the news lately. It seems like it is worse and worse each day and quite frankly, I just don’t want to hear it. I know that’s not a very responsible, adult thing to say or do, but it’s true. I don’t feel the need to constantly subject myself to all the other ever-increasing craziness in the world when I have more than enough of my own right now. Not to mention that when there is a huge tragedy, the media sensationalism gets me almost as upset as the event itself.

Yesterday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon made my heart jump into my throat yet again this year. A swirl of emotions and reactions went through my body as this latest disaster unfolded before my eyes. First, I experienced the shock of hearing the news and the tears of sympathy for all the people affected. I feared for my family and friends that live there. Then I got mad.

Why?
Why do these crazy tragedies continue to happen at a more and more frequent pace now? 

CONTINUE READING

Psycho Mom

retro momSome days I feel completely psycho. I feel like I’m failing at whatever I do. If I were to take a step back and look at my life from the outside, I’d see that in reality, I’m really quite successful. I have a great job (or 2 or 3), I’m healthy, I have a beautiful family, and a kid that I just adore to no end who seems to think I’m pretty cool too. But the problem is, I live in my life and whether if I actually am or not, I feel like I’m failing at everything.

How does that happen? How does a happy, successful person suddenly start to feel like a complete psycho?

I’ll tell you how – I became a mom. That and the fact that society has created ridiculous expectations for ourselves. Back in the day, moms were expected to just be a mom. Little Suzy Homemaker – take care of the house, take care of the kids. But now, moms can have it all – family, house, career, kids.

And kids these days? They don’t just run outside to play in the yard all day. Now they have classes, and sports, and dance, and clubs, and play groups, and music lessons, and the list goes on and on. Being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job in itself with lots of overtime hours. How do you even just keep up with your kids?

Then there’s the pressure to have it all – kids and career. So now you have this great job, which is full-time job #2. When you are at work, you’re thinking about what you should be doing with your kids. When you’re with your kids, you’re thinking about all the work you didn’t finish at your job. Not to mention you can’t really take your kids to all these groups and activities because there are just so many hours in the day.  But you will anyway because “that’s what good moms do.”

And housework? What’s that?!? You’re just happy when dinner gets on the table at a reasonable hour…

Women today can have it all. But at what price?

We put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best at everything, just because we can. Get the promotion at work, look fabulous every day, have the house spotless, the kids perfect, the hubby happy, workout, do yoga, meditate, don’t forget to treat yourself to the spa every now and then. Yeah, right. How often does all that really happen? Without a nanny and obscene amounts of money anyway… Society makes us believe that it always happens – or should happen. But in real life, these moms just feel psycho.

I know I do. I’m Miss Multi-tasker all the time, but I never think I am doing them well enough. I feel guilty being at work, because I “should” be home with my kid and doing things with her. I feel guilty if I’m just home because I “should” be showing my daughter that women can have a career too and I should be setting an example of a strong, independent woman. I need to pay the bills, but I feel like I’m not around enough to do ample activities to help “expand her development” and “socialization.” At the same time, it seems like we don’t just “not do anything” enough either. We should have more hang-at-home time to chill out and have quality time together. I feel like I can’t even stay on top of the laundry. I think my husband is getting the short end of the stick. I feel guilty if I dare to take a little bit of time just for me to do one workout or go get my hair cut. Some days, I feel completely psycho – have I mentioned that??

Let’s face it, anyone who says they do all these things and it’s not a problem is a big, fat liar. Back in the day, “it took a village” to raise a child. It still does, but we often no longer have that option. And that’s okay. This is what life is like now. We have to just remember that we can’t do it all. Nor should we. The most important things a child needs is shelter, food, a few clothes, support, and love. Lots and lots of love. Now, that’s “doable”. The rest is just gravy.

Having the internet and everything else at our fingertips can be a great resource, but sometimes it’s our biggest downfall. We are constantly barraged by all the “should be” images and that’s a major contributor to the psycho mom feeling. Maybe sometimes we need to just click it off. Remember we are human. We are only 1 woman with only 24 hours in the day. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what “doing it all” really means to us since it’s probably something a little different for each person. It’s always good to work towards a goal. As long as we remember that we are who we are (forget about the “should be”), and as long as we have a hefty source of love, we are 3/4 of the way there. No psycho mom needed.

“Just Relax!”

You know that nails on a chalkboard, animated steam coming out of your beet red ears as the sound of a runaway train barreling towards a cliff blares in the background feeling? It’s amazing how a simple phrase can sometimes send you instantly to that spot. That phrase for me is, “Just relax!” If you want to see me climb the wall, then please, tell me to relax.

It seems like such an innocent phrase. Never really bothered me back in the day, but once it started to take us a little longer than “normal” to get pregnant, I started to hear that phrase a lot, and it ANNOYED THE CRAP out of me. Even if I was in a perfectly relaxed state, I still heard about it:

“Oh, it’s probably just because you do so much, you need to slow down and relax.” “Don’t get stressed out it hasn’t happened yet. You just need to relax.” Fast forward a couple of years and a fertility clinic later and it turned into, “Just relax! As soon as you stop thinking about it, it will happen.” “You don’t need to go to that clinic, you just need to relax.” “All you need is one quiet night and a bottle of champagne. Just relax and Voila!”

Are you effing kidding me?!? Don’t you think if I wasn’t so hopped up on drugs and hormones that I wouldn’t love to down a bottle of wine right now?!? I was relaxed when we started trying. Are you, with all of your medical degrees, seriously telling me to just relax when my life is nothing but hormones, needles, pills, stirrups, temperature charts, doctors, and timed sex like it is a 9-5 job? Just relax, huh….

I get that they are all very well-meaning statements. But, at least in my case, that was the last thing I wanted to hear from anyone. It always so annoyed me that people (who, of course, had no problems at all having kids of their own) felt like they knew so much about me, my body, and our lives as a couple that they really thought that “relaxing” was the only problem. Been there, done that, DIDN’T WORK.

At the height of my drug regimen, I seriously thought I would rip a tree right out of the ground and jam it down the next person’s throat who told me to relax. It got so bad that I didn’t even want to be around “normal” people anymore. It just took up too much energy to try to stay polite, smile and nod my head like this was the most genius advice I had ever heard and certainly why hadn’t I thought of that before? It was just too draining. I didn’t have enough energy left in me to deal with that too. And if I wasn’t supposed to be getting stressed out, then certainly removing myself from that stressful situation must be the way to go.

I was lucky enough to finally be blessed with my baby, but that phrase can still drive me up the wall. Now it tends to gear more toward other aspects of my life. Apparently, my happiness isn’t enough – I seem to be much too busy for other people’s comfort. And if I happen to admit that I’m tired, it certainly couldn’t be because I’ve been chasing after a 2-year-old all day. It must be because I just need to relax. Not quite sure how that works with a toddler around, one that I just want to soak up every second with, but apparently that’s what I need.

Maybe I do, but please, leave it to my yoga teacher to say it.
Deep breath….

The Reminder of the Holidays

It’s amazing how the holidays can add to your own personal emotional roller coaster.  On one hand, it is a great way to forget about some of the stress of planning for a family. There are a lot of other things that you are forced to concentrate on – getting the right gifts, decorations, parties, planning, travel, dealing with family, heartwarming movies and stories, the magic of the season.

On the other hand, the holidays are a time for children. They’re the ones that get to believe in Santa Claus.  They’re the ones that we help create the magic for. If you’re Christian, we celebrate the holiday in honor of the birth of the infant Jesus Christ. The baby who would change the world. When you’re at those holiday parties, often, everyone else’s children are there too. The discussion focuses on what they’re doing for their kids for the holiday.  The kids are talking about what’s on their lists. “Watch it, Santa’s watching,” is a term heard everywhere. When it comes to gift time, the kids open first. The kids have the huge stack of gifts.

If you have to travel, you realize that everything revolves around the family members who have kids. The timing of events, the days of travel, who’s house you go to, even the rooms where everyone sleeps are based around those with kids.

Frustrating when it’s never you, isn’t it?

New Year’s comes around and everyone else can’t wait to get rid of their kids for a night so they can go out and party the adult way. When that ball drops and the two of you kiss, the only thought on your minds are, “God, I hope this year is it.  This is the year it’s going to happen for us. What I wouldn’t give to have my baby with me right now.”

It seems like no one understands. And how can they really, unless they’ve been in the same situation as you?

I know I felt it more than usual this year.  Other years, I still had a lot of hope. The holidays weren’t a really big deal.  This year, it hurt more than usual. I guess because we’ve been trying for so long now.

I’m not saying that I don’t still have a lot of hope.  Because I do.  In fact, maybe even more. But I’m also more frustrated, and maybe that was part of it. The holidays have always been a magical time for me, even in recent years. So I know that despite what seems like kids being thrown in my face, I still have to hold on to that magic. I still have to enjoy that New Year’s kiss, and I still have to wish on the sparkly ball, or that sparkly star in the sky that this year IS going to be the year. This is going to be the year that changes everything!

Here’s to a hopeful New Year for all of us! (I’m tipping my pretend glass of champagne to you)

Happy New Year!