21 days

How many parents are marking off the days until school starts? 21 days until M starts 1st grade. 21 days for me to have her home and not in school all day for the first time. The other day, M and G were fighting all.day. long.  The fights were over everything.  M counted how many pretzels I gave G and then counted how many I gave her.  I failed. I gave G two more pretzel twists.  In that moment, I thought ” I can not wait until you go back to school. One child will be so much easier for me to deal with”.

Now-I am going to be real. I have thought this before during other incidents and accidents ( and I am human and will think these thoughts again)  Wishing away the child who was causing me the extra stress. Just needing to have a break from the constant ” Momma. MoMMMMMMM”, the screaming and fighting.

During todays early morning run, I was very blessed to run with 5 other ladies ( all moms). Boston Nancy has a daughter who will be a sophomore at college. As we were talking about returning to school, Boston Nancy became sad just thinking about her daughter leaving. 2 of the other moms have junior high aged children and then the rest, grade school and toddlers.

This run almost did not happen for me. I got up at 3am and posted on the group page that I was out and would run 4 miles later.  Sleep seemed to be my focus. As I lay in bed tossing and turning, I prayed and asked God what to do. After 15 minutes, I got up and got ready for the run. Driving to the run, I was regretting my decision. A few more hours of sleep was my focus. Once we started the run and we were all talking about our children and being moms, I had a lightbulb moment.  I little insight, forgiveness and grace.

Its ok that I do not love every moment being a mom. Its ok that I go to the upstairs bathroom  or go to check the mail for the 4th time in a day just to give myself a mom pep talk and to get my GAMEFACE back on. Its ok that I use the back up sitter once a week for a few hours just to have some 1-1 time with M to do things that we can’t do with G (2). Its ok to text my friend when I feel like I can not take one more minute of anything. Its ok that I serve cereal for dinner and have ice cream dates for lunch. Its ok that I nap with G naps. Its ok that I have not bought my single item on the back to school list or filled out any school paperwork.  Its ok if I choose not to join the PTA and get side eyes from all the other “better” moms. It ok that sometimes bedtime is at 7pm or 10pm. Its ok if pjs are worn all day long or I ask them to get dressed as soon as they get up.

I know it will be all ok.  God choose me- ME- out of all the other millions of women to be M and Gs mom. He trusted ME to carry them for 9 months. He trusted me to guide and to love them through this world.  God did not expect me to do this all on my own. He gave me an amazing husband, family ( my mother in law is an angel on earth.), friends, running, yoga and mediation.  God also has given me faith, hope, patience, and love. God also has given me strong coffee, wine and date nights out with my husband. All of these things make me a better mom and human.

21 days ( or the rest of my life) left to start being me- the mom I am supposed to be. Not the mom that looks good in pictures, Pinterest and in Parent magazines.  Me. Not the summer checklist mom (you know the one- the one who does “things”  just so we can say we done things this summer). Me. The mom that God made because he knew what M and G needed.

As Boston Nancy and I finished the run, I realized that before I know it, I will soon be counting down the days until my gremlins come home from school. I will now just start counting down the seconds until the “not so glorious” moments are over.

Today, I encourage you all to give yourself love and grace. We are all in this together.

The Sounds of Summer

{DISCLAIMER: To my dearest hubby and MIL (Grammy)… I love being a SAHM and I adore our little nuggets. The following post is just me using my not so funny/midwest Amy Schumer humor.}

“Moommmmmmmmmmmmm  Grant hit me. When is lunch. Why can’t we go to the pool? I wanna wear my Easter Dress. What can I do next? Can we have ice cream today? I don’t wanna read. Mommmmmmmmm Grant pulled my hair. Why do I have to go to the bathroom? Can I have screen time?  Can we leave the house? Why do I have to clean my room? Mommmmmmmmm Grant threw sand in my eyes…….

Mine. Fruit Snacks. No. Mine. Fruit snacks. No. Mine. Fruit snacks. No

This is my current sound of summer. M (6) is represented in the first paragraph and G (2 years old in 19 days) is the latter.

The day before M ended kindergarten I was on a summer high. I had images of glorious beach trips filled with the perfect amount of sun and breeze not dropped ice cream cones and a bird that attacked my head 3 times. Visions of bike rides with quiet content and nature filled smiles not fights over who gets to have the water bottle.  Dreams of blowing bubbles,  sidewalk chalk and picnics at the park. Instead, I am faced with my very own fight club, a never satisfying breakfast and without any official application or promotion that I am aware of, I am now a cruise director that must have activities planned for every waking second of every day (including back up ideas in case it rains).

I have reached out to my squad- other mommas, really at this point, the mail lady and I are BFFs ( just to talk to another person over the age of .. just anyone) to plan at least “one a day” playdates to get us out of the house. Just getting out to the house is a task that requires a to-do list. Water bottles. Sunblock. Snacks. Lunch. Snacks. Diapers. Wipes. Fruit Snacks. Coffee for me. Change of outfits. Legos. Coloring books. Crayons. Cell phone. Keys. Snacks. Beach toys. Ball. Beach towels. Money for daily ice cream trip because I am weak. More coffee. More water. More fruit snacks.

Today  I have 3- yep you read that correctly- 3 playdates planned. During one of them, G is going to the drop in sitters for 2 hrs. M is going to a friends house to play.

My to do list for these glorious 2 hours looks like this: grocery store, go get new running shoes, clean the entire house, read a book, go get nail out of the tire, fix an amazing lunch to enjoy outside with lemon water because you are fancy, watch 1 episode of Scandal, nap, take the dog for a walk, laundry, bake some banana bread, perhaps a bike ride….

I will probably be able to do two things from this list- get nail out of the tire and grocery store. Woooohooooo. But- I have already thought of how to make both of these tasks mo betta.

The place I go for all car stuff has this amazing waiting room with FREE  keurig coffee. I will take my book and make myself a cup or 3 while the nail gets removed. At Aldi, I will take my headphones and listen to a new podcast while sipping lemon water because I deserve it and I am fancy.

Oh gawd- I think they are awake. Time to take a 2 minute shower and brew another cup of heaven.  God speed to all the humans that are home with the kiddos for summer break. I am with you in spirit and sending you all the good juju.

 

Mean and Nice. What defines you as a parent?

Wear your hat proudly, either way.

Sleeping in for me is a sailed ship.  The last time I was able to sleep past 8am (and that is being very generous) was probably 6 years ago.  That was before I was pregnant with M.  I can recall Saturday mornings spent hungover on the couch in our one bedroom, almost lake view, apartment.  We would get up around 11am. Order food. Watch tv. Take a nap. Shower.  Then head out to the bar again for a few pints of Smithwicks at our favorite Irish Pub. We used to think we were so very busy. So important. So very adult.

This morning I was woken up by M, peeking in our room, to see if we were awake.            ” Squeakkkkkkkk ” the door went. Shit.  Now I am up. My first thought on Saturday morning is, do I need to get out to get a quick run in or can I do it later, perhaps even tomorrow. I decided to rest today. Something funky is going on with my left leg. Now husband is up too. M crawls in bed with us. I log into Facebook to wish my irun4 buddy, Jacob, good luck on his pinewood derby today. I see something a nurse friend of mine posted as she asked her daughters a series of questions.  I asked M if she wanted to partake as well. M answered the questions for me and then for husband.  While some of her answers were funny and heart warming, a few of them really got me thinking.

When you are parents, you are somehow divide.  One is the “mean” one that makes the kiddos eat fruit, veggies, do homework, go to the bathroom, take showers, pick up toys, write thank cards, say please, apologize, share, get shots, go to the dentist, and just tried to keep the train for derailing off the tracks.  The other parent is the “nice” one. Nice parent gets to have all of the fun while the mean one, is again, trying to make sure the train doesn’t go off the tracks. I know later in life, the mean parent will be proud of the hopeful responsible, polite, little human that now is a productive part of society.

The mean parent usually also gets to be the one to provide comfort such as a hug, kiss, and holding until the world feels more safe. G is in teething toddler hell. Which means, I too, am in teething toddler hell. One minute he is happily playing and the next , tears for no reason what-so-ever.  Its like he is a hormonal pregnant person. Of course, I love hugging and holding G.  Wiping his tears. trying to distract with a squirrel outside or the 14 yr old beagle.  However, it would be nice to be able to “flip a switch”. Being a nice parent seems more carefree, more less responsible, more fun.

The fear with the switch being flipped is that the mean, now nice parent, would return to the mean parent the next to more laundry. More dishes. More emails needing returned. More of everything.  Its hard to let your finger off the trigger. The fear of “what if” and “shoulding” yourself, stops you.

Wearing my hat proud and loud as the mean parent, I have come to terms ( well, trying too anyways), with my role and what that means. Being the mean parent is needed.  The balance between good cop/bad cop is not a bad thing.  Kids require different traits.  Although M’s answers to these ridiculous Facebook quiz made me feel “less than”, I am enough to be her mom. I am enough to hold G and give him comfort. I am enough to obsessively check on them multiple times a night. I am enough to remind them of what it takes to be a decent human being. I am enough to keep this train on the tracks.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just remembered this morning asking M to pick up her room as it looked as if her closet threw up and G is crying for no reason.  Again.  < goes to put on conductor mom mean hat, proudly>

(this is G in a toddler teething crying fit)F8157D4D-1841-427A-87FF-720AE65707B153DB0627-25F0-412A-B4EC-2A1177D40913