Everything Will Change

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Milestones. A  milestone is a significant and important event in someone’s life. People of all ages experience milestones throughout their entire lives. As babies and children, life is a whirlwind of turning points and breakthroughs. It’s one of the most beautiful and rewarding things to witness as a parent, seeing your children succeed. Whether it be lifting their tiny bobble heads as infants, watching them get on the bus for the first time as kindergarteners, or seeing them stand at the alter or their wedding…the overflowing pride never ceases to exist.

With overload of happy emotions comes that gripping pain in your stomach that never makes much sense. Why are these incredibly joyous moments in your child’s life attached to a pain you couldn’t possibly put into words?..Why, for every tear of joy is there another of sadness? Is sadness the correct description? If I knew, I’d say so..

Let’s face it, we all, at one point or another, have wished our kids back down to a 8lb bundle of soft wrinkley baby. We’ve also dreamed of watching them crawl across the never clean enough floor for the first time once more…

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know whatcha got till it’s gone”…Yes, Joni Mitchell, it does. And I wish I could take a Big Yellow Taxi back into the past and grip those moments a little tighter.

That’s it though… Grip as tight as you can to each and every second of each and every day that you have with you children.. at any and all ages. We’re not allowed to keep them 100% to ourselves for 100% of their lives… Why?  Screw you Sigmund Freud. It is what it is. Love them with everything you’ve got forever and enjoy the perks out of all the various stages they will go through.

Life is too short. So lets perk up the quality, verses quantity, and enjoy it. There’s way too much to be grateful for.

I Don’t Get It…

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Insanity can be defined simply as abnormal behavioral or mental patterns. “Normal” implies conformity to common standards. What are the common standards of parenting? Please let me know when you find out…

It sometimes feels like life just couldn’t possibly get any more hectic. Your plate is over-flowing, your ducks couldn’t stay single file if you paid them, and your ability to care about said chaos dwindles daily. Scary huh?

Are we, as mother’s, conforming to what’s “normal” in the world of parenting? Is insanity normal?… Must be because we certainly thrive on it.

Kids yelling…crying…begging…asking…demanding…pleading… They’re hungry, they’re tired, they’re bored…. they’re difficult. Nature allows us to evolve from the carefree years of youth into the stressful, yet fulfilling, world of parenthood.

Why do we do what we do? The piling of more and more obligation and task, I mean. As if your home wasn’t crazy enough you still pick up that second job, still attempt a hobby of your own, get a puppy, try to thoroughly clean your house…. what have you.

Truth is, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Imagine your life before all the “insanity” began… Pretty boring… Let us all accept that crazy is what makes it work. As chaotic as it is and as jagged as the puzzle seems, it all fits together perfectly in the precious world that is your family.

Kids Say the Darndest…

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It’s a good morning. A morning that you are actually able to sleep in. Nowhere to go, no one to impress. No rush.

So, you’ve been in that in between state of slumber for a couple hours. Not out cold, but not quite awake. That wonderful state of limbo where you are conscious of the fact that you are relaxing and managing to still be in a horizontal position at 8am. Ahhh…. Life is good.

Then, the pitter-patter of little feet approach. You can’t help but smile being that you have had more rest than you’ve seen in months….you’ve gotta get up at some point. You have yet to open your eyes but feel your child’s tiny hand on your arm tapping you. As you slowly let the light in, the most precious face in the world greats you. “Good morning, honey”, you say with a grin. In anticipation for a huge ‘Good morning Mommy’ hug you extend your arms only to hear in response “Mommy, you need your makeup on”….

Yep…

“I know sweetie, thanks”… That’s about all you’ve got to say at this point. Who knew that on a day where you were under the impression that you hadn’t a care in the world, you would be judged and insulted by your toddler first thing.

Getting up, you are now faced with the dilemma of whether to put some makeup on or not. Nothing like feeling insecure around a 3 year old. You hear your own mother in your subconscious mind saying “a girl should always look her best”…

Ehh… half ass a little makeup application so your kids will get off your back and carry on. Our children get so used to routines and things being a certain way, they often express themselves when something is different and especially when it’s not to their liking. Don’t even think about getting a haircut, Mommies….

You’ve got to give them credit, most adults don’t speak the truth often enough so kudos to our kids. Look at it in way where someone is bringing out the absolute best in you. I did need some makeup on!

Home, Sweet Home.

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In a hectic world of non-stop running and working, it is important to take a day now and again to recharge.

You’re constant. Your kids are constant. The household is constant. Constantly something to do. Life in general leaves little time to kick your feet up and breathe. Your kids are in the same boat as you are, whether they realize it or not. Daycare… school..play dates…we’re all a bunch of busy little bees. Well, bees sting when stressed.. Let’s try to avoid the pinch and burn by designating a day, as often as possible, to take it easy.

“Easy”?!… Does this word even exist in the vocabulary of a mother? Not naturally but make it so. Force it.. encourage it… work it.. make it happen. Technology has an amazing way making parenting a little less trying. Whoever said that using the T.V. as a babysitter was poor parenting, doesn’t have kids. At least not in modern day. Much like McDonald’s or Pizza Hut, parking your kids in front of some kind of technological, WIFI accessible device is okay in moderation. On these days planned to refresh your family, you have a free pass, get out of jail free card, whatever you want to call it. You are justified.

So sit your butt down with your kids. Have a Disney marathon. Watch all the Avengers stand alone movies and still wonder where is Black Widows….?  Anyway, do what you can to assemble everyone in lazy mode. Enjoy the home you work so hard for. You’re paying with bills, you’re cleaning it all the time..why not stop to admire and appreciate the roof over your families heads.

Don’t feel guilty about allowing yourself some time to slow down the fast pace of today’s world. We all need it. Sidney J. Harris said it best, “the time for relaxing is when you don’t have time for it”.

Call me Tink.

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Mother’s are like fairies. Are we delicate, flawless, and sparkly?.. No.. and we certainly don’t wear cotton balls on the tops of our shoes… but we are more like these tiny mystical creatures than one may realize.

Think about all you do in a day. Think specifically about your routines and the necessities that can’t wait until tomorrow. Think about the givens and the come naturals. Let me paint the picture..  Much like Tinkerbell or Vidia or whomever, we perform tasks and jobs completely unseen. This is actually pretty incredible seeing that we are NOT the size of a grasshopper. Sometimes it sure has heck feels like we must be.

Back to the specifics.. your families packed lunches waiting on the kitchen island ready to go in the morning… breakfast prepared and set on the table awaiting consumption…  the laundry miraculously washed, dried, folded and placed in drawers….the fluffed and straightened couch pillows that always sit just right… the liter box that is always scooped… the dog poop that isn’t in the yard… the bills that appear to pay themselves….the dishes that are always clean in the cupboard… the dinner that brings everyone back together in the evening…. These are some of the many contributions mother’s supply to their family, sight unseen. And let’s not forget how often we are speaking and no one seems to be listening to a word… Are they hearing jingle bells or what?…

It is very easy to get lost in the abyss of invisibility and forget that we are so needed. All these things we do, we do out of love and we are loved for it. We instinctively take care of our families the best way we know how. We don’t need medals, badges, money, or certificates… the hugs, kisses, smiling faces, and love of our family is the greatest prize of all.

Worry.

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Worry is a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems and it is an emotion, related to fear, that we are too familiar with.

Mothers are in a constant state of worry. Whether it’s your kids, bills, job, husband, parents, siblings, friends, pets, house, car…. I could carry on for a while… it’s difficult to seek relief.

You get to a point in your life when you are able to come to terms with the fact that there is always going to be someone or something that you are worried about. In relation to your children and family, the worried you comes from a place of love.

We all handle the anxious feelings differently. Some of us express it through anger while others become very sensitively emotional. This is part of the reason we feel and also appear semi-insane to others at times. If you are an angry worrier (yours truly) you need to tread lightly. Most often those around us are not the cause of whatever it is you are worrying about so let’s try not to add fuel to the fire. On the other hand, there is a time and place to loose your shit (pardon my french) and you are justified to do so. Just try and be aware of which time and place that actually is. Now the criers of Worryville also need to keep it together. There are likely to be people that are depending on you that need you to stay strong. Grab a tissue, blow your nose and let’s do this.

The best way to look at it is, the fact that you have these situations presented to you that are the cause of your worry goes to show that you have a lot to be grateful for. Whatever is it that is worrying you, matters to you. You can remind yourself that this IS a good thing. If you didn’t give a hoot or didn’t have a care, you would be a pretty lonely person.

 

Sanctuary

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It is important for all of us, especially those of us under a lot of stress, to have a special place to unwind. Kicking up your feet in the kids playroom that’s surrounds you with the chore of yet another overhaul doesn’t quite cut it. Or when you pass out on your children’s bedroom floor because they wanted you to stay with them until they fell asleep isn’t exactly what we had in mind.

Take it from a Princess. Not just any princess, Disney princesses are onto something here. Ariel, she has a hidden cave filled with all the things she loves, dingerhoppers, snarfblats.. you name it. Elsa created her own castle for crying out loud. And let’s not forget Belle’s ability to get lost in a book.

What I am trying to say is that you need to have a special place that is yours alone. It may be your sun room, bathroom, office, Adirondack chair under the willow tree, or, like Belle, a book that takes you to another world, these places are paramount.

Yes, you are a Mommy. You’re a great mother that dedicates her every breath to her kids. Reward yourself for that. Give your children the finest gift of all, a recharged Mom. A mom that doesn’t miss a beat (most of the time) and can handle any and every thing the day has to throw at her. Also remember that you are still a woman. Crazy thought huh?! You DO exist behind your stained t-shirt and mom jeans.

So live life like you’re a Princess. Pretend you wake up in full glam or even have the time for that kind of application. Rock a ball gown or two from time to time but most importantly find, love and appreciate a sanctuary for yourself.

Be M.I.A. ladies… Mother’s in amelioration.

Extraterrestrial

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On the rare occasion you are out, alone, no kids, no husband.. just you…do you ever get the feeling that you are from another planet? Ok, maybe not so much an alien but some kind of socially awkward out of towner?

Let me explain. You’re sitting at a Dunkin Donuts waiting to meet up with a potential employer. You ordered a coffee just because you feel an obligation to do so… you are in a coffee shop after all. You look around at all these “kids” on their cell phones and I-pads and wonder when you went from one of those “kids” to the weird lady sitting in the corner obviously trying to blend but failing immensely. You feel like an alien.

It’s odd how we become so routine and enthralled with our children and family life that we almost forget how to be a sole human being existing in a social environment. And how ironic that we yearn for some down time and a moment to ourselves but yet want nothing more than our children when we get it.

Verdict? Temporary insanity…aka Motherhood. We often don’t know what we want or when we want it, for ourselves anyway. Ask us what are kids have planned for 3 Saturdays from now, we can tell you exactly what, where, and how the day will be structured. We will probably even be able to tell you what outfit they’ll be wearing.

How do we survive being a mother that can’t mother at the moment? Take a breath. Like riding a bike, remember how to communicate with a fellow adult and release yourself of your mothering duties for however long necessary. You’ll be back to pulling your hair out in no time.

Explanation for this desire to E.T. phone home? You’re a good Mother. Simple as that. You love your kids and you devote every second of yourself to them..and that’s awesome. Keep it up Mommies!

Nighty Night…

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Aches…pains…cramps… charlie horses…stiff neck…sore back.. take your pick. You’ve barely survived a night where your children ended up in bed with you.

The sliver of mattress offered to you on these long and frustrating nights is barely enough for your cat to find comfort on. How do your sweet little babies manage to triple in size during the wee hours of the night?… And let’s not even try and figure out how your hubby remains unaffected by it all.

Vertigo and the indentation of your body in the bed must go hand in hand because your silly kids can’t seem to grasp which direction a normal human sleeps.

Aww… they’re so sweet when they’re sleeping…..  in their OWN beds. Don’t feel out of line when the urge to throw an adult temper tantrum arises from these sleeping arrangements. Jumping up and letting our a loud and growly “UGH” is completely normal.

It’s important to place your anger properly. It’s not your kids that are really boiling your blood… it’s their father. Jealousy is most likely the cause of this because Mother’s can’t imagine such an uninterrupted nights sleep. Must be nice…

So, you finally hear the birds chirping and realize you’ve made it to morning. The sun will be up soon so you might as well get up and try and baby your body back to its normal achy state. Everything in moderation.

As you limp toward the bathroom you turn back and glance at your sleeping children cuddled up together with Daddy. Suddenly every pain and aggravation from the overnight seems to disappear. Look at your beautiful family. Who could ever ask for more.

So Mommies, when your awoken in the night by your kids shaking your arm like an earthquake, and they ask if they can sleep with you…. remember in the morning you’ll have made a beautiful memory and it’s completely worth the  insomnia.

Surely Unsure

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Life’s difficulties do not discriminate. It doesn’t matter who you are or if you’re struggling in one area of life already, nothing about you is untouchable. You may have a newborn baby, a difficult teenager, an illness, financial struggles, or rocky roads in general, you are still susceptible to yet another weight on your shoulders.

There may be times that you feel like it is an impossibility to even imagine things working out. “Everything happens for a reason”. We hear this expression often in life and sometimes it’s easy to believe. On the contrary, it can also sound like a crock of you know what. How can you tell the difference? Well, you can’t. At least not until you discover said reason. Things become clear when you are finally opening the new door you were seeking after the old door shut in your face. Another expression.. “when one door closes, another opens”.

It all sounds lovely and encouraging but it’s hard to find that other door in most cases. Hide and seek isn’t quite as much fun as it used to be. All we can do is our best to stay positive and focus on all the things in our lives that are wonderful. Our children, first and foremost, are the #1 reason to stay on an optimistic path. They are precious miracles that provide living proof that everything DOES happen for a reason. Embrace them and life will fall back into perspective. Not only do our children naturally set things right again, but we have our loved ones (family and friends) that offer so much support and understanding it makes it practically impossible to feel alone.

Rock bottom only gives you one option and that is to climb.  So strap on your harness and get moving. Wallowing isn’t appealing and certainly does nothing for you. Rally your troops and dive in. Seek, conquer and destroy!