Good Morning

sunrise

We love our children. We love them ridiculously. In fact, we love them so much it’s astounding.

That being said, there is (like many blogs before have addressed) a necessity for quiet and alone time. We most often associate these rare moments with a date night or when we finally accept the help our family members have been offering for years. Down time to get housework done, run errands and what have you. Anyway, typically the down time occurs during the day or after the kids have gone to bed.

Let me start by saying, I know, understand and completely acknowledge the fact that sleep is a precious gift not to be taken for granted. BUT, there is something to be said about the calm before the storm. Getting up in the morning before your kids can really kick off the day right. The birds are chirping, the sun is rising, the house is quiet….Coffee takes better hot, I don’t care what you say, Starbucks. There’s an easing into the day that sets you up for success.

A normal morning, your kids are jumping on top of you or shaking you into the state of migraine. “Wake up, Mommy!” This isn’t a good way for anyone to begin their day. You can barely keep your eyes open and haven’t quite found your bearings enough to pack the kids lunch. Was that ketchup or strawberry jam you spread on top of your children’s peanut butter and no clue sandwich…?  Hmm..

Point is, dip your toes into the cool water of day and slowly glide in. Whom ever said that just jumping in makes it easier was crazy. You can shock your body so many other ways throughout prime time parenting, save it for later. The herd will stampede their way in soon enough.

Mother nature is gorgeous, especially when you have the chance to absorb her. Give it a try, give yourself a chance, make a change. Get up early…. I said it…. You’ll be surprised.

How to Put Things…

scale

Perspective. The definition of the word, according to Oxford’s Dictionaries, is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

All of us have different perspectives on the many challenges and responsibilities life throws at us.. some better than others.. Anyway, putting opinions aside, it is important to try and balance your perspective realistically.

In reference to parenting, pick your battles. It’s important not to make a big deal about the small things and just as important to do the opposite when it counts. Life is like an act of existing on a balance scale. When you feel yourself teetering on the edge, you know your perspective is off. Do something about it. Set yourself right. It’s as important to your children as it is yourself to keep an essence of equilibrium in your life.

Can’t pay the cable bill until next week? Then simply pay it next week. It is what it is. Next week arrives, still can’t pay? Cancel the damn thing, there’s never anything on anyway. Did your son just break the new toy you purchased for him hours ago?…. Sucks but there’s not much you can do about it now..  You live, you learn. Buy him the cheap toys or get a second job. Better yet, a great perspective would say teaching your kids to care for their toys or they won’t have any at all might be the way to go.

The point is that life isn’t an emergency all the time. Statistically speaking, the odds are on your side that things will be alright. Get a grip, hold your grip and don’t loose sight of what really matters.

 

This Is It!

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It’s here ladies… The single day set on the calendar to specifically celebrate us. Mother’s Day.

All jokes aside, silliness will return with the next blog, this is an important day. Mother’s Day is a holiday to recognize the hard work we put forth day in and day out, all year long. Not only is it about honoring the work we do but the  love with give as well. Although it comes naturally to nurture and love your children, it takes a whole lot of love to keep up with the tasks of motherhood.

We most often are putting our own needs aside (the back burner is a very comfortable place for Mommies) and constantly making sure that our family has everything they need. We wouldn’t want it any other way!

Well not today! At least for the most part… Mother’s Day is a day for us to try and sit back, relax and soak in the rewards of being a Mom. Extra kisses and squeezes from your children are the best gifts you could hope for.

Along with enjoying the celebration of ourselves, we also commend our own mother’s, mother’s in law, grandmother’s, step-mother’s and anyone who we honor as a maternal figure in our lives. Thank you Mom. Thank you for everything. There aren’t enough words (I’m sure we all agree) to express the gratitude for everything you have done. Examples set, indisputable support, life altering advice, devotion like no other, and simply the LOVE given.

Happy Mother’s Day to every single Mother that is, was, and will be.

Schmutz

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You finally did it. You purchased yourself a new shirt. Granted, it’s most likely either off the clearance rack or under 10 dollars to begin with (revisit “To Buy or Not to Buy”) but you took a baby step forward to acknowledging you’re still a woman that needs to be decently clothed once in a while.

So, you have a birthday party to attend. Naturally you decide to wear your new shirt. The process of getting dressed is most likely interrupted a few times. You’re pulling pants up… a giggling toddler is attempting to tug them down… Anyway, point is that you are, at least from the waist up, wearing a new outfit and want to glance in mirror at this phenomenon. “Hmm… not too shabby.” Feeling like $999,999 bucks, you gather the kids and head out the door.

You arrive at the party, scramble to get the kids out and make sure everyone is situated. Booger check…straighten shorts…tie shoes…fix hair…everyone’s in order. Well, almost everyone. While prepping your children to enter the party looking crisp and smart, you notice a spot on your new shirt. Schmutz… That unidentified spot dead center of your chest that sticks out like a sore thumb. You can’t, for the life of you, figure out where, what, or how this mystery dollop made it’s way onto the new shirt you finally purchased for yourself…”What the heck?!”

You’re obviously furious. With yourself, the kids, the dog?… Who knows. Somewhere, somehow the universe turned against you and granted you with the ruin of a bi-yearly event.

At this point you simply give up. Now you’re back to the state of mind where you never buy anything for yourself, EVER. “I knew it…I knew this was going to happen!”

Is there any hope for victory over the schmutzmeister?… Nope. It is what it is (story of our lives). Rock the schmutz, own the schmutz. You’re mid life crisis will gift you with all the cleanest and best kept shirts you can imagine.

Much like the baby weight we’re still trying to get off and the stretch marks lining your stomach and hips, schmutz can you added to the long list of battle wounds that Mothers must bare. Hey…..schmutz happens.

Please Explain…

hankey

You did it!…  You finally potty trained your little boy. It was a long, hard and frustrating process but you can now officially stop purchasing diapers and pull ups. On top of that, the daily mess that poop presented to you is now just a bad memory. Or is it?

You may not be cleaning the messes you once were but your sons fecal fascination is appalling. Almost every sentence includes the words “poop” or “fart” and you can’t wrap your head around where the heck this is coming from….

My theory… it’s a guy thing. There’s little to nothing we can do, as mother’s, to change the progression from admiring Mickey Mouse to, now, Mr. Hankey. There’s only so much dookie talk a girl can handle in a day.

What do we do? Most importantly, DO NOT laugh! If you find your son’s farting armpit a little silly, don’t let him know it! Even the tiniest of giggles can cause for encouragement. Encouragement is the enemy here. We are trying to deter this kind of behavior so keep a straight face as best you can. Have at an attempt to discuss why these words and acts are not appropriate and why your child should stop behaving in this manner. As the years pass you will see that your teenage son most likely never heard a word of it but hey, it’s worth a shot.

Some things truly are in one ear and out the other…  Instead of fighting a battle you can’t win, try to deflect the dodo topic to an at home kind of thing. Schools, doctors offices, grocery stores, friends houses… their all off limits. Let’s pretend we have some manners here boys! Grin and bear it, Mommies. It is what it is.

Clocking in!

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We all know, as Mother’s, there are an infinite amount of necessary “to do’s” on a daily basis. No need to present the list, you all know exactly what I’m talking about.

There are a series of tasks that are required day in and day out as well as those “surprise, smack you in the face, forgot you had to do” kind of things. Bear with me…

Painting this image you can see a hectic household, a mother scrambling to get it all done, kids creating chaos, cat puke on the kitchen floor (discovered by your foot), and why not add a dog to the mix… Point is, there aren’t enough hours in the day to even put a dent in what it takes to make a home.

Now let’s talk about the Mommies out there maintaining employment elsewhere. What?! It can’t be physically possible… Doesn’t seem like it but somehow we make it happen. Whether the need and/or desire to work comes from an economical standpoint or you’re simply rocking your education and experience to make the world a better place, you’re exhausted. Parenting alone is enough to suck the energy from your inside out, now, running on empty, let’s go to work!

Consolation prize?… None. We’ve got the gold metal ladies! Pat yourself on the back and wear your prostration as a banner of pride. You are providing for your family in so many ways. Setting an incredible example for your children is reason enough to keep it up.

He Said, She Said…

20160408_112245-1You’ve finally sat down with a cup of coffee. I’d like to say a “hot” cup but you poured it 20 minutes ago so you’re lucky if it’s warm. Let’s start again…

You’ve finally sat down with a room temperature cup of coffee. You kick your feet up on the couch and rest your head back. You don’t even have the energy to try and find something to watch on TV, let alone attempt to reach the remote. The semi-silence of the house is more than enough to be grateful for. You can still hear the kids in the distance playing. Everything seems to be okay…

Ha! Who the heck are you kidding?! Okay? Things are rarely “Okay”. It’s a matter of minutes before the arguing begins. You hear your precious children’s voices go from giggles and cheers to yelling and screaming.

“It’s mine!”… “That’s not fair!”… “I had it first!”… “Stop it!”… And the ever popular “MOMMY!!!”…

Instinctively you want to yell back “WHAT?!” but try not to add fuel to the fire. A pleasant “Yes?” is the way to go. Even though you are putting on the performance of a lifetime, smile and sound happy.

You make your way to the play room only to be bombarded with accusations from each of your children. He said, she said… he did, she did… Your neck hurts from all the back and forth.

So how do you know, without having been in the room, who is telling you the truth? You don’t. Your motherly super abilities can come pretty darn close to knowing exactly what happened and how, but now’s the time to let your kids explain and to remind them of the importance of telling the truth. Your little guilt ridden child will confess without saying a word. If you’re dealing with a professional fibber, make like Finland and remain neutral. Settle the situation without ever really acknowledging who actually committed the crime. Apologies need to be given from all sides and hugs seal the deal, treaty signed.

Keeping the urgency of the situation to a minimum will help the kids forget what they were so upset about it begin with. Encourage them to carry on and have fun. Try and sneak away to see if you can finish that now cold cup of coffee before the next outburst. Hey, maybe that’s where the idea of iced coffee came from!

Take a Chill Pill!

chillpill

In anticipation of a major event, important task, crucial appointment…what have you, we most often assume that we are going to be stressed beyond belief or that Murphy’s Law will rear its ugly head once again.

The list of catastrophes are ever growing in your mind prior to the day of importance. The night before… forget it… you’re lucky if you get any sleep at all. And for what? Because we have so little faith in the behavior of our children that we are blind to the optimism of the world? Yep!

Well, take a chill pill! We’ve all heard it before but have selectively chosen not to hear it.  Seriously, what ever it is.. coffee, alcohol, chocolate, yoga… your pick.. take it, do it, relax! Our kids have it in them to handle more than we are aware of. They WILL surprise you and you will have wasted hours/days of worry for absolutely nothing.

Life happens and we all have the ability to roll with the punches. We can learn a thing or two from our kids. Go with the flow and let things fall into place naturally.

We’re all in it for the long haul! Better to loosen up and breathe easy, your family will thank you for it.

Potty Time!

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Ahhhh… the sweet years of potty training…  The stuck in limbo phenomenon of having to choose whether the headache of diaper changes and their expense are less than the hassle it takes to train another human being on how to make it to the toilet in time. And who the hell are we anyway? Most of us can’t even giggle without letting a drop or two go and WE are supposed to instill the importance of no longer making pee pee in your pants to our children?… Blasphemy.

So what is the best way to tackle this milestone? Depends who you ask. First time parents are going to say that a strict structure and poo poo schedule need to be in order. Toilet training books neatly placed in the magazine rack next to the singing potty chair…..a chart with star stickers on the wall to keep track of progress and to encourage more….. special treats to be given after a successful trip to the bathroom…

Great plan! I envy you people. If you are a parent that is capable of this style potty training and can consistently stick with it, more power to you! For the rest of us and/or second, third, fourth time parents… Stick a pull up on the kid and hope for the best. Thankfully, if the potty trainee has older siblings, your job is a LITTLE bit easier. And I emphasize a “little” bit. If your dealing with a brother/sister combo, you’re going to have your little princess attempting to pee standing in front of the potty “like brother does”… Yeah…not very helpful.

It’s hard to decide if you want to encourage your child by allowing them to try big boy/girl pants for a day. In the back of your mind you are thinking about the added mess that will be attached to said encouragement. Number 2 smeared into a pair of training pants is a lot different than just dealing with an average filled diaper. Scrubbing the massive wet circle of pee off your living room rug isn’t quite as convenient as simply wiping a tush and applying powder.

What do we do? The answer is simple. THE BEST YOU CAN. Our goal, as parents, is to prepare our children for their adult years and using the bathroom is pretty important. Make it seem as fun as you possibly can and remember that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Added savings from not having to purchase diapers, wipes, powder and diaper cream can give you a little encouragement of your own.

Keep up the good work! Before you know it you’ll be banging on the bathroom door, yelling for your kids to “hurry up… Mom’s gotta pee!”

 

 

This thing called “Voot”.

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I just can’t handle it!

We are all crazy about our kids, right? So much so that we have difficulty finding words to express the overwhelming mix of emotions we experience when looking at our children.

Well ladies.. there IS such a word and that word is “voot”.  Back on July 31 of 2008, 2 young women added this word and its definition to our world wide webs urban dictionary (definition #3). Clever gals! There’s no doubt in my mind these women are mothers and use this word often.

As referenced in the link above, you may experience an uncontrolled grinding of your teeth when voot strikes. A smile so big that your face hurts is not uncommon either. These precious little creations of ours are just too darn adorable to contain any sense of normalcy. Why do you think Grandmother’s are so famous for pinching cheeks? VOOT!

Voot is an emotion that can strike easily and often. Pride goes hand in hand with voot when focusing strictly on our children. “Look Mommy, I finished the puzzle and I did it all by myself!”… “I helped my brother with his homework, Mom!”…The sight of your kids exchanging hugs and I love yous.. Or when your infant baby giggles while blowing spit bubbles. These are all examples of what will cause voot for parents.

As wonderful as it sounds, voot can also be a frustrating feeling. There’s a struggle to place the build up of energy in body. Your hands on your cheeks or clenching of fists in collaboration with a high pitched squeal leaves you feeling only semi-satisfied.

It is what it is. Our ability to produce the most incredibly cute, adorable, funny, talented, smart, beautiful and amazing kids requires we learn to cope with this interesting stew of emotions.

Let the voot in! Go with the flow, embrace the sensation and accept there’s no controlling it. The sum of all it is to love these incredible gifts = voot.