Smile!… You’re on Candid Camera

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Wearing the many hats of motherhood is a lot to deal with. We are not just mommies, we are running multiple businesses all under one roof. Restaurant, cleaners, laundry mat, chauffeur, paramedic, therapist, referee, accountant, student, secretary, vet, dog walker, and plumber (hey, we have all plunged a toilet or 2). Not to mention the Mommies that are also working in and/or outside the home on top of Mommy duty. Is your head spinning yet?

Here’s the deal, as much and we want to smash our faces into a pillow and scream until our throats bleed, it’s not lady like. Put on a happy face girls! If you smile big enough you may actually start to believe that you are alright and you’ve got it together. Truth is, your kids need that from you. When Mommy’s not happy, no one is happy. You lead…they follow.

Give yourself some credit! Revisit the list above and acknowledge how much you are contributing to your family. You’re setting everyone around you up for success and in doing so you are a success yourself. Children live what they learn and working your ass off is setting an awesome example!

Keep smiling! There’s everything to be happy about. The pride you feel for everything little thing your children accomplish is returned through their admiration for you. Say cheese!!

Sleep Deprivation

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They say it is important that adults (ages ranging from mid twenties to seventy) get an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

What does this mean for mothers who reach nowhere near the recommended total? It means we are ticking time bombs. The possibility of explosion is almost guaranteed daily.  You would think that after years of sleep deprivation one would get used to the routine. No. If anything, it gets worse. If you’re missing out on say.. just 2 of the minimum required hours to be healthy, you’re only getting about 35 hours of sleep each week. Lets really think about this…

Your oldest is 10…That would mean that you have missed out on approximately 7,280 hours of sleep since having your first child. And that’s averaging low!

Take a stinkin’ nap Mommies! I know, I know, it’s almost an impossible task. But, if you don’t have to ability to clock out after the kids go to bed and head straight to the sack yourself, something has got to give.

All the help you are offered throughout motherhood… take some of it! Whether it’s your hubby, your mother, sisters, brothers, in-laws, cousins, grandparents, what have you, SOMEONE has told you to go lay down for a few. Stop refusing the help, close your eyes, and sweet dreams. Doing this will only benefit your kids. They need you in top notch Mommy mode at all times and dragging your feet like the walking dead doesn’t quite cut it.

It boils down to remembering that you are not a zombie. In fact, you are a living, breathing person that has little ones to care for. We are amazing but we are not super human and running on empty catches up.

So instead, catch up on some ZZZ’s any chance you can and be thankful so many loved ones have got your back!

…We’re sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed…

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The kids are occupied. Proceed with caution. If they see you passing their room, your plan is apt to be destroyed. You’re attempting to make a…. (wait for it)… phone call.

Can you imagine such a thing?… I mean, why should we be allowed to have 5 minutes of quiet time long enough to let our mothers know that we haven’t booked it to Abu Dhabi…yet.

And need I mention the fact that deep down we know hell is going to break loose at some point before the conversation is finished. Just imagine the person on the other end of line trying to communicate with you… rolling eyes, tapping fingers, sighing… thinking “why did you call me if you couldn’t talk?..”

The demands of our kids are ridiculously intensified as soon as they hear adult vocabulary exiting our larynx. Suddenly any and everything is an emergency. Brace yourselves. They can smell aggravation before you even know you’re aggravated. Best to remain calm, collected and appear to be available to them. If not, temper tantrums are likely to erupt.

In the case of a meltdown (theirs, not yours) DO NOT even think about trying to put them in a time out when your call is still in progress. Much like the talent of a Broadway play, your children will lay it on thick for the benefit of their audience. You will walk away from the episode having played the equivalent to David Hasselhoffs portrayal of Jekyll and Hyde.

Keep it together. Arguing with your kids only gives them more power. They say not to walk on eggshells with your children but rules are meant to be broken. Tread lightly, hang up the phone (you were insane to think it was going to go according to plan) and deal with delivering the consequences of embarrassing you in front of your mother.

Bigger picture… your kids are crazy about you. They love you so much that they loose all sight of right and wrong because you are distracted. They want your full attention at all times and who can blame them for that. Greatest compliment in the world, being so needed.

Be grateful and remember that your children adore you almost as much as you adore them.

 

Must…Have…Coffee…

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The enjoyment you get from a hot, smooth, creamy cup of coffee is an incredible thing. Especially the mornings first cup… your eyes roll back and a *sigh* is involuntarily released. “Today is going to be a good day…”

That feeling lasts about 8 seconds until your teeth are smashed into the rim of your mug because your kids decided you are a villain and must be destroyed! You’ve now lost a quarter of your mugs contents. It’s not the stained shirt that gets you…it’s the idea that precious coffee has just gone to waste.

So by the time you have battled and lost against “Mighty Gum the Great”, you seek to find that three quarter filled cup. (Optimism, Mommies) You’re pretty much guaranteed to have forgotten where the heck your coffee is. Don’t feel bad if a slight sensation of panic sets in. Try and remain calm, you WILL find it. Or, you can always pour another.

An addiction to caffeine isn’t anything to worry about… right? Although, it does say something when your coffee makers completion beep sounds, and your kids call out to you, “Mommy…your coffee’s done!”

The point is, motherhood creates a new perspective on the simple things in life. We always have so much going on that something as small a mere sip of coffee means so much.

Hold on to the simple things. They are important and necessary for you to maintain a top notch Mommy performance. Your children will thank you someday.

 

The “Ahh” Moments

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The day is long… mentally and physically draining… There are ups and downs.. crying and laughter… Nothing compares to that moment when you are finally able to sit down, take a breath, and truly appreciate the chaos that is your life.

Sticky faces, pee pee accidents, play doh messes, dumped toy boxes, and missing puzzle pieces are only a few of the situations our children subject us to each day. And please do not forget to keep tablets charged! This is crucial to YOUR sanity more than theirs. The world WILL come to an end if youtube and netflix are unavailable to your kids. Your smart TV is not good enough… screen must be in hand and noses pressed to it, Mommies!

After the energy of household slowly begins to diminish, you are able to reflect on how many hours its been since you last ate. Then surprise, an “Ahh” moment when your children are cuddled together on the couch watching “Inside Out” for the 7th time, or you receive a random hug and an “I love you Mommy”, you are embraced by a feeling of understanding and overwhelming joy. These “Ahh” moments wouldn’t exist without your little hurricanes dominating most of the days hours.

Much like the poem “Wet Oatmeal Kisses” (author unknown) references, there will be a time in your life that the chaos you once pulled your hair out over is gone. It’s important to focus on how incredibly lucky you are to have been gifted with all the craziness.

Your children are here because of YOU and because of love made. We’re practically magicians! Thumbs up to us!

 

Involuntary Abstinence

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All parents are told when happily announcing they are pregnant with their first child that “having a baby changes everything”… Well, everyone was RIGHT…

It’s not just the first baby that flips your world upside down but also the second, third, fourth… doesn’t get any easier. Whether you have one baby or ten, odds are you aren’t spending much time in between the sheets (sleep or otherwise)…

How do you maintain passion in your relationship when you wake up in the middle of the night, reach for man only to find out that your sweet, cuddled up baby decided to nest down for the night dead center? Sad thing… that’s the best case scenario. Most times, you can’t even keep your eyes open long enough to give your hubby a good night kiss let alone anything else.

Solution? Be CREATIVE. Text messaging each other from across the living room isn’t weird at all, I promise! Even though odds are against any action, it can be satisfying to simply entertain the idea.

Think of the situation as a forbidden kind love. Overcoming obstacles to reach your goal can be as satisfying as the goal itself. Well, not quite but you get the point. There’s something romantic about all the effort put forth to finally have 10 minutes alone before the kids wake up from a nightmare. Every minute is gold!

Remember that there will be plenty of time to reconnect once you have an empty nest. Well, as long as you’re not too depressed, missing your kids, to perform… but that’s another blog entirely.

Finding the humor in the situation can be helpful. I mean, the very act that brought your little miracles into this world is now being put to the ultimate test because of them. Gotta love ’em!

Keep in mind, you WILL find the time. When there’s a will, there’s a way.

 

 

Mommy Mind on Overtime

Ok, so let me start by saying in the simple creation of this blog’s TITLE, I was interrupted twice by my children.

Mommies out there: How many of us wake up each morning with our minds on over drive from the night before. Sleep=rest?… Yeah right. Not when you’re a mother of all trades.

 

First thing… go pee. We are lucky if we are able to do this alone. Most times our children are either banging on the door (if you were smart enough to lock it) or they are standing in front of you asking questions, ordering their breakfast, requesting the DisneyJr channel, building the day’s itinerary.. take your pick.

Once they are fed, dressed and finally seem to be entertaining themselves, Mommy finally has a split second to work through the thousand thoughts sizzling through her head like poprocks.

Make coffee?… Shower?… Skip shower?…Get dressed?.. Make-up today?…Balance check book?… Work on college classes?… Presentation for work?… Wash dishes?…  The list goes on and on…

How do you tame the mind of a Mommy?…  Fact is, you can’t. And frankly, I don’t think you ever will. Even after your kids are grown and have families of their own, we will ALWAYS worry about our kids and… just plain worry in general.

How often so you hear people telling you to “take time for yourself”. Whether that be a bubble bath, mani/pedi, night out with the hubby, we are supposed to have selfish moments once in a while. Easier said than done. All the ideas suggested to help maintain sanity in motherhood sound good and well enough but I don’t think sanity exists after having children. We’re so crazy in love with our kids that “crazy” kind of takes over everything else.

So, round of applause to US! We are killing it. Gavin DeGraw wrote in his song Fire; “we are the champions, setting it off again, oh we on fire, we on fire, running our own campaign, doing the whole shabang, oh we on fire, we on fire”! That’s us, Mommies!

So when you remember to lock the bathroom door and have a moment of breaking down because you haven’t washed your hair in 3 days, remember that you are awesome and you’re on fire! Your family couldn’t make it without you and that alone is one of the most satisfying feelings and rewards of motherhood.

I would like to address that I know, and completely acknowledge, that the Daddys of the world deal with the same kind of parenting stress that I focused on today. My point of view as a mother makes me more confident in writing about the female perspective.

Hang in there, you ARE making a difference!