Tag: being a mom
To the moms of kids with special medical needs, I see you. I see you in this quarantine, trying to hold it all together....
Thrown into this new lifestyle, I am trying to listen to ALL the advice. Social distance, wash your hands, don't hoard toilet paper, make...
I have been Zooming all week. Staff meetings, department meetings, morning meetings, read alouds for my kids, a special 'happy birthday' for my son, and my favorite — happy hour. Zoom happy hour has become a regular part of my day, when I carve out time to enjoy a drink (or more) and chat with friends. These calls have been vital to my week and help keep me sane and grounded each night.
I often feel like I am misunderstood. Friends will comment on how well I am managing the difficult parenting situation I have been given. They see my strengths, and though I see them too, I also see the work. The energy — both emotional and physical — that parenting has taken. I see the missed opportunities my kids have had because of my fear of not being able to handle a situation.
See, things have changed a lot. Parents of young kids these days can be distracted — myself included. We have a lot going on, and technology and social media have created an additional burden on us despite all the ways they have made life easier. In part because of all the information we have available, we are constantly judging ourselves. Moms in particular struggle with comparing themselves and their parenting abilities to those of everyone they follow on Instagram or are friends with on Facebook.
Being grateful is a simple attitude with a profound effect. It reminds me of the good in my life when days are full of chaos and tantrums. Being grateful begins with me, ends with me, and allows others to get the best version of me — the thankful one.
It doesn't matter where — school, daycare, soccer practice, swim lessons, a birthday party, Nana's house, vacation. It could be the most exciting trip to an amusement park that we've been planning and talking about for months. We are always late!
Me? Oh, ya know — same old, same old. I’m working a little more than I’d like — probably around a hundred or so hours a week. I mean, they want me to work more but I’m like, “No.” I draw the line at 110 hours. Like, that’s it. I’m on this project where I have to push this giant rock up a hill, and every time I get close to the top it rolls back down. Like, by design. I don’t know who scoped this thing. It’s fine, but whenever I ask the project manager what the end date is she bellows, “This is your eternity,” in this really low, spooky voice, which is totally not helpful.
So you wave that hand-stitched, hand-dyed, quilted, embroidered, bedazzled flag, my Pinterest Mom friend. And when you see that look on my face as I survey your bounty of homemade gloriousness, know that’s not judgment or criticism. That’s wonderment and pride in you for what you’ve made, as well as a big helping of gratitude for you sharing what you’ve made with me. Because you know damn well I’m taking a slice of that cake.
Whether your meals are on a couch at dinner time, at the counter in the morning for breakfast before school, or on a picnic blanket for dinner at the playground, do it together. Find your normal, make it a priority, and stick to it. It doesn't matter what other families do. Do what works for you.
And you want to go on a road trip? Not sure if you need one pack and play or two? Heck, bring three. You’ve got room. Going to the grocery store? Go ahead, buy the 80-pack of toilet paper. No problem. And speaking of toilet paper, tired of stopping every 10 minutes because someone else has to pee? Or dealing with accidents because they couldn’t hold it until the next rest stop? Throw a little potty in the back and pull over when one of them needs to go. You just cut two hours off your travel time.
When all else fails, we come back to my standby — laughter. Kids are just funny. And at the end of the day, I laugh way more as a mom than I ever did before having kids. (Sometimes that's so I don't cry.) But most of the time it's because the greatest unexpected gift of motherhood is how much I really like my little people.
I’m sorry that you have to sit on a counter with a baby bottle and a sippy cup that somehow has a wad of silly putty adhered to the side of it. You will likely meet your eventual demise at the greasy hands of a child. One of them will bumble across the kitchen holding you — full of milk — then trip on their own feet and send you flying to the tile floor. You will shatter and die, and they will not understand why their otherwise iron-souled mother will burst into tears.
Dinner, bath, and bedtime — the witching hours. The time I am casually watching the clock, anticipating bedtime. The time I am typically on my own. My husband does not work a typical 9 to 5 schedule, like many others. He doesn't have Saturdays and Sundays off. He isn't home every night.