Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grateful 23/02/12

Whew. Last week was busy and this week the kids are off school. Which means mom is 'on'.

The pros are getting to sleep in and not having to pack lunches or be stuck to a routine. Also, we've had some fun with friends this week. Which is awesome. The Babe and I are often rather hermit-y on our own. Sucks not to have transport.

The cons are of course, the bickering and arguing and whining. Yesterday one of my kids got a special play date which you'd think might help. It only made the other 2 whinier.
Today was much improved. Playing at the park and then at home with friends. We all feel better.

I came across this today via Design Mom.
Read it and have a good laugh. Read the comments too. Then read a few more posts just for fun.
p.s. I loved and miss my mini van.

Other ways I am lame.
I make my kids listen to various Glee soundtracks with the same relish and enthusiasm that my mom 'made' us listen to the Carpenters and Simon and Garfunkel.
(underage listeners should not be listening to Rhianna or Dora - Glee is my happy medium)

I have never taken my kids to see a play or live theater or an art gallery. Even though I love to do those things.
I have taken them swimming even though my bathing suit is ugly and a pool full of kids is gross.

I feel pressure to have my kids' friends like me. I didn't really buy into that in high school and I don't think of my self as being superficial or terribly insecure but I still feel the pressure. I've been burned by a few play date moms and now I want people to like me. What the heII?

Oh and I am constantly on my kids to be nice to each other even though I fought like crazy with my brother. Siblings work really hard to be irritating and know how to really make you feel it. I want them to just suck it up and get over it.
Maybe this is payback.

(if none of this makes sense, read the link. honestly, it's worth the few minutes ;))

And now back to my original post, a few things I am grateful for:

1. Watching my four year old run in her boots and snow pants is ALWAYS entertaining. She kind of bubbles and bips along. Or climbing/falling in the snow. I call her baby bear. She's roley poly and happy and funny and cute.

2. Avocado nirvana. I wish they were easier to come by in this country. As it is, we buy them unripe (and often expensive) and then try to wait the perfect amount of time so they are ripe and perfect before becoming black and gross. I've recently had a batch of perfectly soft creamy lovely avocados. They make the best smoothies.

3. Conversations with adults. I've had a chance to be a little more social this past week (birthday parties, funerals, kids off school, etc) and it has been a treat to see friends/family and even acquaintances I don't always get to spend time with. Lucky me. I know some great people!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Grateful 15/02/12 Valentines

1. Since yesterday was The Bug and The Bee's 7th birthday it always takes me back to their birth. So tiny and sweet and foreign and scary! I can barely believe they're 7.
7 years!!
Before I had kids I didn't get so much what people were always going on about. Of course your kids get older. That's how it works. But at times it felt like they would be tiny and helpless forever and now they are SO BIG. Tall and smart and silly and full of so much life and energy. So. Much. Energy. (if I could just find a way to capture that energy they could probably light up an entire village)
I have plans for a 'proper' photo shoot this year. So hopefully more to come. In the meantime I have cupcakes to bake and games to plan and all that sort of thing for a small party at the end of the week.
But in the mean time I am just so full of love for my healthy, bright, funny, creative boys. I heart you on Valentines day and every day!

2. I am grateful for my husband. He's still the funniest, sexiest man I've ever known. And he knows where to get the best chocolate.

3. I found out yesterday that a lovely friend of mine passed away in her sleep the night before. I hadn't known her for years or spent a ton of time together, but she was the kind of person you get a feeling from. You felt her warmth and love.
She was a wife and a mother and a friend and I'm sure many other things. I think the worst kind of loss is that of a mother. No matter how old you are, your world is not the same without her.

When someone famous and troubled passes away strangers/fans/admirers all mourn the loss of such greatness.
This woman quietly went about her life, serving her family, her community, her friends without fame or fortune. She was humble and hard working and fun and full of love. It's truly a tragedy that she is gone.
I'm thankful to have known her. I'm thankful that I still have my mom. I'm thankful that my kids have a mom. And I pray for her family.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

On Mommy Guilt

There seems to be a common theme among my friends lately (my real friends in real life, some of whom blog and some do not) and that is huge guilt over their inadequacies as mothers. Mommy guilt. I don't think you could find a mother who didn't experience it in some form.
No matter what she is doing or juggling or how much success there is always a feeling of not doing enough or not being good enough or that somehow our children are suffering or are being wounded with deep life long scars because of us.
My own list of inadequacies and shortcomings goes up and around the block and then trails off into the woods somewhere...

My point is that I know these women.
Not every intimate detail of their lives, but I know their character. I know how they sacrifice and give up their time and energy and work for their children and families. They make meals from scratch, they study and ponder how best to feed them, they home school, they take children to endless appts and doctors. They fight for their rights and fight for their children to be treated with decency. The have husbands who work long hours or away from home. Most of them have part time jobs or health conditions to juggle. They do fancy birthday parties!!

And yet they (we - the collective or royal 'We') all feel like it's not enough. It's kind of like we're all in some wild reality show where we're given crazy challenges but we can't stop beating ourselves up for not completing each one without stumbling or getting our feet caught along the way.

Sometimes when I need to give myself a pep-talk I try to see myself as I would see my child. I don't expect them to be perfect (well, maybe once in a while I hope they will be) and it hurts me to hear them beating them selves up for their mistakes or shortcomings. How could they possibly
get it all right? What would be the point if they did?

And so I would say to them (and to me and to you) I know you're trying really hard. And even if it's not your best effort every single minute of every day, I know you want what's best for your kids and your family. And it takes everything you have. And it's not easy or fun to juggle all the things you are responsible for. And when you have a difficult day or week just take a deep breath and keep going. And the next day will be better. Or the next after that.

Give yourself a break. And look for those moments when you can see the progress you're making. They do exist and you are making progress.
What you're doing is extraordinary. No one else can do for your children and family what you do. Even if they don't appreciate or know it yet. You are extraordinary!
And think of the funny stories our kids will have to tell when they grow up!

(We are the only ones who feel bad if they eat fast food, or get notes from their teacher - the kids are FINE. And they forget stuff ALL THE TIME. Why aren't we allowed to forget things sometimes??)

I have a new found appreciation for pain these days. Pain is an indicator. It gets our attention and makes us look at something we may have otherwise ignored. Even as a parent pain sometimes points me in a direction I need to focus on. However self induced pain and suffering just makes more misery. End the suffering!!

And if you haven't read these already you might find some inspiration/a good laugh here:
End the Suffering
Chronos vs Kairos

Much love to you my friends!