Tag Archive: Moms


I have done a few posts like this previously: my relationship with hats, my relationship with lipstick… Today is my Relationship with Selfies! And, per usual, it’s complicated!
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Like most people, when the youngsters (you know you’re getting older when you use the word youngster) started taking and posting selfies, I thought it was stupid. I would roll my eyes and make judgments. But, my thoughts on the subject are evolving right along with me and my journey.
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My epiphany and motivation to write this blog came from my friend and business partner’s latest blog about HER journey. You should read it.

There is a lot of self doubt out there for women, mothers, people that are in the business I am in, and -I guess- just human beings in general. We are always worried about what people are going to think about us. What will they say?!? I used to never wear lip stick because I thought other people might think it looks stupid. Well that’s stupid! My lipstick only effects me and the people I am kissing. If you don’t like it, that is an issue for you to work out. Same with my career choice. I am doing something, that for some reason, makes people uncomfortable. Same for me when I first made the leap. But now I’m locked in, sure of my choice, and comfortable wearing it around town.
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What does this have to do with selfies?!?

Well, before if I took a selfie, I felt like I had to justify it in some way. Or, apologize for it. I worried that other people would be mocking me or rolling their eyes behind the safety of whatever screen they were seeing me on. But I’m evolving.
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I take selfies for lots of different reasons. Sometimes it’s because I’m trying to show what I am up to or what I’m using and loving. Sometimes it’s because I want to be in a picture with my kid. I will NOT be the mom who looks back at pictures from the past and is missing from the memories! I will be there front and center with my family. Sometimes it’s because I think I look nice. Moms especially know how hard it is to make yourself look nice when you have so much on your plate every GD day.

But most of the time, it’s because I’m happy. I’m happy that my body feels happy and healthy. The happier my body feels, the more it shows in my face and on the outside. I am happy with where I am at in my life journey and I feel like it is shining out of pores! When you work really hard to get comfortable and happy and hopeful and peaceful, you want to show it and share it. I lived a life of self doubt and worry and insecurity (still do sometimes); I don’t want to anymore. I want you to come with me too. We waste so much time worrying and not enough time taking care of ourselves and taking chances and taking naps and taking hikes and taking selfies!

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Btw- I DID feel pretty stupid taking all these pictures in the parking lot at Starbucks before I came in to write this! Wonder if anyone saw me??? Guess how much I care though?

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FullSizeRender (9)This morning I was reading a blog post about a mom who got fed up with snacking and it sparked an old feeling inside me. I have talked about snacking before, I have ranted and raved about snacking before, I will talk to anyone who will listen to me about snacking before, but I need to bring it up again.

Our snacking is out of control! Grown-ups and children but this post is going to focus on our kids.

I’ll never forget the time I had to run into Kohl’s really quick to grab something. Maybe a 10 min. trip. I had my daughter with me and the second we crossed the threshold with her stroller she asked for a snack. She not only asked for the snack, she just assumed there was one coming. Like I have a magical snack dispenser in my purse that shoots out pretzels and yogurt covered raisins. When I told her I didn’t have anything, she made my trip to the store much less pleasant. But, it’s not her fault- it was mine. You see, it’s easier to give kids snacks. If they are busy with cheerios, they aren’t whining. They aren’t crying in the car if they have Teddy Grahams. But what is that teaching them? Instead of looking out the window for 15 minutes and observing the world, they are digging for more cheap carbohydrates in a plastic bag. At the store, instead of having polite conversation with mommy and smiling at strangers, they are looking down into cardboard-like ‘gold fishys’. Instead of learning that sometimes they have to behave, even though they are bored, they are self soothing with junk food.

And, even if you are pretty strict with snacks, you have to be like a mom-ninja to avoid all the sugar crap that is being offered to them around every turn. Bank- here, take a hard candy. Hair cut- here take a lolli pop for acting like a human child should act. Grandma’s house- I only gave them 3 donuts with their chocolate milk this morning. Here take a 100 calorie pack of cookies for the 20 min drive home. (Sorry Mom- but you know I am right.) Birthday party- I know we just ate cake with electric blue frosting, but here is a goody bag with more candy for later. Sports activities- The kids stood out in a field being yelled at to pay attention every 3 minutes for a half hour. Let’s replace all those electrolytes and carb load! It’s madness!

Take a look at Pinterest and do a search for Fun Snacks for Kids. Ugh, not only do we not need a snack every hour, we certainly don’t need homemade ‘sushi’ made from a tortilla, chocolate spread, and a banana. (seriously, I just searched it to see what would come up and it was my worst nightmare). I get it, once in a while that is cute… But, your kid should be able to just eat a frickin apple once in a while. Besides, if they only eat sandwiches that look like Teddy Bears, how are you going to sustain that.

All that said, there is a time and place for snacking. Of course there is. I am not depriving my children. But, let’s be careful about what message we are sending. You don’t get a cookie because you didn’t throw a tantrum in toys r us. I expect you not to throw a tantrum in toys r us. You don’t get graham crackers to get you thru the 1/2 mile walk around the block. Your young, healthy body can more than handle that level of exertion. You don’t get crackers because you are bored at the store with mom. Use your imagination. Children that eat when they are bored, turn into grown ups that eat when they are bored.

It is not healthy for kids to maintain a high level of sugar in their little bodies all day long. Cereal, yogurt, dried fruit, cookies, graham crackers, gold fish, juice boxes are all FILLED with sugar (and if they don’t have a lot of sugar they turn into sugar in their blood stream immediately). I don’t want to get heavy into the science, but it becomes very hard for kids to control their mood and their behavior when there is a constant up and down in blood sugar or if it is always high.

So, let’s put an end to this. Take a stand against sugar with me! Go cold turkey. Your kids will be fine. In fact, they’ll actually be hungry at dinner time.

FullSizeRender (4)The other day, as I am getting ready for work, I looked down at the shit-show that is my bathroom sink. I mean, every surface covered! Makeup, bobby pins, hair-styling waxy stuff, face lotion, you name it. And this is coming from someone with no hair that wears little makeup! As I am noticing all my ‘stuff’, my husband walks in and swipe swipe- deodorant, brush brush- clean teeth, kiss kiss- off to work. Jerk. So, I decided it was time to write down my thoughts on the ridiculous double standards our society has for men and women.

Makeup:

Men- Good job on that face! Don’t change a thing…seriously!

Women- You better fix that shit or no one will ever love you. We’re gonna need you to spend about $1,000 a year on ‘product’. Men like you to be pretty and soft.

Clothes:

Men- Pants? Check! Shirt? Check! Brown shoes? Check! Black shoes? Check!

Women- Follow trends, but not too closely. Dress pretty, but not too flashy. Show some skin, but don’t be a tramp. Oh, and get some shoes that push you up on the balls of your feet and walk around like that all day. Men love that.

Reproduction:

Men- Yay sex!

Women- Periods, cramps, pregnancy, stretch marks, delivery, breast feeding, and default parent for the rest of your life.

Parenting:

Men- Where’s mom?

Women- Mom, mommy, mom, mommy, mama, mama, MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hair:

Men- Having hair in places where your hair grows is not only awesome, it’s manly! Don’t change a thing.

Women- Even though that is where your hair literally grows out of your body, you’re gonna need to fix that shit. Preferably by ripping it out by the roots with hot wax. Wait wait… you’re not done -turn around and bend over this table.

Sounds about right. Did I miss anything??

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Are you like me?
Mommy Monster

Kids, no kids

IMG_4413In my vast experience I have come up with these differences between having kids and not having kids:

No kids: Wow, last night was fun. I better sleep this one off.
Kids: Wow, what was I thinking last night. Better get ready for a morning full of mother fucking Dora on repeat.

No kids: Oooh, we should check out that new restaurant. (and then you go the following week)
Kids: Oooh, we should check out that new restaurant. (and then you go within the next 36 months)

No kids: Ew, poop is gross!
Kids: Did the baby poop today? I’m worried, yesterday it was _______ and ___________ (insert very graphic words to describe poop colors and textures). What’s for lunch?

No kids: I’m in the mood for starbucks….(and then leaves to get starbucks)
Kids: I’m in the mood for starbucks… but there is no f’ing way I’m getting the kids f’ing dressed with coats and shit for f’ing coffee!

No kids: Hey babe, wanna do it on the couch?
Kids: Hey babe, wanna do it when our kids are away at college in 16 years? (winky face)

No kids: I love a long hot shower on a cold winter morning….
Kids: When is the last time I showered?

No kids: What do you want for dinner? ‘Let’s get sushi!’
Kids: What do you want for dinner? ‘Have whatever you want. I finished off the kids’ hot dogs and I’m not hungry any more.’

No kids: We should do a vacation this year. What about Mexico?
Kids: There is no way I’m taking these assholes on an airplane! Dells?

*Those are my adorable nieces and nephew. Taking up my poor sister’s entire king size bed. 🙂

That’s right, two-year-olds suck. I know this isn’t news to many of you, but it needs to be said. It needs to be shouted from the roof-tops. There is a very good reason they are called the terrible twos and my daughter might be trying to kill me. Okay, maybe not kill me but certainly trying break my heart and crush my spirit.

First of all, let me be clear. I love her desperately. She is quite possibly the most adorable creature to walk the earth. blah blah blah. Back to her being the worst.

Do you know what 2 year-olds do when they don’t get their way? Scream. And not just scream, like lucky-my-windows-didn’t-shatter scream. By the way, do you know what they do when they DO get their way? Scream. Yep.

Do you know what 2 year-olds like to eat? Nothing. You know how when they are babies and learning how to eat new foods and you can pretty much give them anything? That stops at exactly 2. I miss the baby who would dunk her broccoli in her blueberry yogurt. Last night she told me “I don’t like chicken, I don’t like cheese, I don’t like an-thing!” Oh, and she followed that up with screaming.

Do you know what they do when they drop something in the back of the car when you are driving and can’t reach it? Scream. And if they are not screaming they are doing that weird hybrid between whining and crying that is worse than screaming.

Do you know who has zero regard for their own safety? You guessed it- 2 year-olds. My daughter is reckless! She might be pretty now, but if she keeps falling on her face I’m going to have to buy her a hockey mask. By the way, whoever invented coffee tables- Fuck you!

Do you know what my 2 year-old monster did to me yesterday? She was throwing a fit (shocker) and I was croutched (crowched?) down next to her trying to calmly reason with her. She put her hand up to my face and pushed me away with her palm. She is lucky I have been practicing my conscious breathing (and drinking a lot of wine) lately.

Did you know that 2 year-olds can do everything and nothing by themselves? They insist on ‘me do it!’ but are completely incapable of actually doing it. I know, parenting experts will tell you that this is an important part of their development and this is how they learn. Well that’s great but I actually am expected to be on-time occasionally. My daughter has landed on her face twice getting down from the car because ‘no no no mommy, me do it’. By the way, if you don’t let them do it themselves, they scream.

Do you know who can’t control where they vomit? 2 year-olds. Do you know where they like to vomit? Not in the toilet or the bucket you scoured (scowered? Why is spelling so hard?) the garage for. They like to puke on the carpet, the couch, or mommy/daddy. My daughter also likes to pee on the carpet. The other day she sat on the potty for 15 minutes and then peed on the walk from the bathroom to her room to get the diaper. F’ing 2 year-olds.

And lastly, do you know who is a waste of cuteness? 2 year-olds. Why a waste you ask? Because they will not let you take their picture! They either make the ridiculous cheese face, look away, or frown. I took like 746 pictures last weekend and I think I got two that she is looking at the camera and smiling in a non-psycho-baby way.

Oh, and I resent her for her super model hair.
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I think, after 5 1/2 years, I have found my sweet-spot of motherhood.

I had an amazing son 5 1/2 years ago and my delightful daughter 2 years ago. I have loved them with every ounce of my being since then, but, if I am being honest, I didn’t enjoy every moment.

If you’re a mother, you know you can’t take 3 steps without a stranger telling you to enjoy every second when they are young. And, half of these women follow that up with some kind of passive-agressive threat like ‘soon he won’t hold your hand like that’ or ‘tomorrow she’ll be a high-maintenance teenager’ or ‘eventually he’ll stop returning your calls and you’ll be all alone’. Yikes! I could have done without that last one. But, they didn’t enjoy every minute and either do I.

When we first brought my son home I was terrified, I struggled nursing, and I couldn’t sit down for 3 weeks. Didn’t enjoy that.

When my daughter was young I felt trapped in my house because getting everyone out the door and ready felt like too much work. Didn’t enjoy that.

When I was on maternity leave, I would sit and pray for the time to move faster and hope my husband would come home just a little early today. Didn’t enjoy that.

I wasn’t good at bonding with babies. I was bored. They don’t talk, they don’t have personalities, I don’t know what they want…. You see, I am not one of those moms who can just stare contentedly at her baby in her arms for hours. I am not the kind of girl that goes, “awe…let me hold your baby”. I like to enjoy babies from across the room, or better yet- through photographs. It’s not that I don’t like your baby, I just don’t want to take care of it. I know some of you are thinking- That’s the best part! I get it. In Will’s terms, it’s just not my favorite.

Does that sound horrible? Am I the only one? I’m not all evil though, I swear. Keep reading…

So, back to the sweet-spot. The other morning I was home with the kids and it was LITERALLY perfect. My daughter wasn’t being a terrible two year old, my son was as sweet and affectionate as ever, no one was rushed, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, yada yada yada. It was everything you think motherhood will be before you have children. I was helping Will work on some kindergarten prep work, sipping coffee, Ellie was dancing happily to her magnetic fridge toy and prancing around the house, I had made a healthy breakfast that no one complained about, I think you are getting the picture.

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This time, I was looking at the clock and wishing it would slow down. I knew my work day was coming and I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to interupt the magic of the moment.

Later in the day, when I had a chance to reflect, it all kind of made sense. This is my sweet-spot. My children say funny things. They have little personalities. They play with me and each other. They are also independent enough so that I can have one G-D moment to myself now and then. Every day I think of new cool things we can all do together: tennis, foods, games, back yard camp outs (more to come on this after the weekend). It’s fun! It doesn’t seem like work any more.

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I don’t know what to expect next. I don’t know if I’ll keep finding new sweet-spots along the way; I’m guessing yes. I do know that I won’t enjoy every moment, but I will try not to feel guilty about that and I’ll be grateful for the time, and continue to love these kids with every ounce of my being.

6 a.m. alarm buzzes, get ready for work, kiss kids goodbye by 7 a.m., and then race to work. Fast forward to 3:30, jet home, play with kids, cook, eat dinner, go for a run (if I am lucky), bath times, kids in bed. At 7:45 I sit down for the first time, spend an hour or so with the hubby, read, and grown-ups go to bed. Repeat.

This is my life. So, do I have it all? No!

Only in America do we have these extreme ideas like ‘having it all’, ‘finding the one’, having ‘the perfect body’, and ‘living the dream’. Not only do I think these things are unrealistic, I think that they are dangerous. Having it all is not attainable because it is fiction. If we spend our time trying to get to a finish line that doesn’t exist- we never stop running! The problem is that someone is always going to have more, or have it better, or have it easier. The grass is always greener and those damn Jones’ are very hard to keep up with. If we are always looking for that next upgrade, whether it’s our cell phones or our homes or our marriages, we will never be satisfied. Now that is an unpleasant way to live- always feeling like there is something better just out of your reach.

Instead of trying to achieve the un-achievable, I propose, we focus on being happy. Just happy; simple as that. Now, to do this may take some creative thinking, but we can choose what to focus on. We may not have control over everything that happens in our lives, but we certainly have control over how we let the circumstances affect us. I am constantly telling myself, “re-frame….re-focus”. Whenever something irritates me, when I don’t have what I think I want, and when someone else is affecting my happiness, I just change my focus. I (try to) learn what I can from the situation, focus on what I DO have in my life, and I move on. I know, easier said than done.

I might not have it all, but I have enough. In fact, I have a little bit of everything. I have a job that makes me happy, but it’s not the biggest and best paying job. I have a handsome husband of five years. We don’t get a lot of fancy dinners and fabulous vacations, but we love each other. I have a social life- not much of one- but it counts! I have great friends and the world’s best sister. And, I have 2 beautiful children that make me smile every day of my life. I can’t believe how much those sticky little monkeys make me melt. But, even with my babies, very often I have to tell them no; that they can’t have it all either.

So, like I said, I don’t have it all, but it’s enough to make me happy. Although, I will admit that when I am reading my son his story and he looks up at me and says, “Mommy, I very love you” it sure feels like I have it all. That is, until- 6 a.m. alarm buzzes….

 

*This was actually submitted for a little contest and since I didn’t win, I thought I would share it with all of you. Who needs money for writing anyway???

Related post : Mommy Enough (pressure)?

The Mommy Martyr

Mommy Martyr: the woman who continues to sacrifice her own health, happiness, and therefore sanity out of commitment to her family. She is often heard saying things like, “I don’t have time to work out, I have 3 kids!” Or, “The only books I read anymore are about potty training” Or “Why would I need to put on make up? I only go to Target and then home again.”

This of course is my definition, but I think it works. And, I tell you, there are a lot of them out there! Now this is not necessarily a good or bad thing. Anyone who plans to have kids should know that raising children requires sacrifice- no doubt about it. Mother’s are in a unique position with maternal instincts, societal pressures, and a permanently guilty conscience. I believe that no one but a mom could truly know how this feels. However, the martyr identity can quickly become a problem when the Mom forgets or chooses not to care about herself. Did we get the self-sacrifice gene along with our 2nd X-chromosome?

The problem with this way of thinking implies that mothers that do NOT make every possible sacrifice are somehow not doing a good job.

I used to argue that I didn’t have time to exercise but somehow my husband was making it to the gym 1-2x/week to play basketball. Well, we both work full-time and we obviously both have 2 kids. So, why did he have time and I didn’t? He’s not a jerk who thinks he’s more important. He was encouraging me to do something.

Why are we doing this to ourselves? We are either 1- Being selfless in the truest sense of the word, or 2- Playing the victim and using our mommy-ness as an excuse. Both are unacceptable!

In the first scenario, being selfless literally means having little or no concern for oneself. Your children are going to learn about self-worth and confidence from you. Do you want to teach your daughter that her identity isn’t important as long as everyone else is happy? Do you want to teach your son that he should expect his wife to make constant sacrifices for her family? And, as I’m sure you have heard on Oprah, you can’t take care of others if you cannot take care of yourself!

In the second scenario, playing the victim is even worse. You probably don’t even realize you are doing it. I didn’t! What did I get out of being the victim? I got to hear my husband say things like, “You’re the best mom” and I heard other people say “I don’t know how you do it all”. And, best of all, I got a believable excuse! I can tell you it is a hell of a lot easier to say you can’t work out because of your kids then to actually work out.

Are you getting a little defensive right now? Do you feel like I’m oversimplifying? I probably am, but my point still stands. I said it before in my ‘grind my gears’ blog, but your life is filled with what you are committed to. If you commit to living the lifestyle of the martyr, that is what you will become. Having kids IS hard! No one is going to argue that. But, kids should also enhance your life, not stop you from living a full, happy, healthy life. Take some control make a list of things you would like to do more (i.e. read, work out, see more movies, hang out with girl friends, start a blog!, etc.). Once you have the list make a plan, ask for support, and do it. I’m still a work in progress, but at least I am moving in the right direction now.