Baby Weights

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Baby Weights

I hate laundry.  In my college years,  I considered garments with a quick douse of Febreze to be meet-my-boyfriend’s-parents clean.  I had a closet full of underwear for the time between visits to home, when I could dump my overflowing tent of laundry on my mother and receive a lovely mountain of clean, folded clothes by the end of my visit.  Well, my friends, laundry Karma has come to collect.

I am tumbled dry by the amount of laundry my family of four produces.  I look around at the end of the day to find four of my son’s outfits completely soaked and laying on the deck… with the dog on top of them.  There are balled up socks on the couch, clean socks have found their way into the dirty laundry, and smelly socks sit on top of my clean basket.  Before I know it, my poor boy has to wear my daughter’s frilly polka dot shorts to bed and my daughter is wearing shirts with sayings like “Handsome Bubba” printed on the front.

I tend to stuff as many articles of clothing into the washer, dryer, and “to be folded” laundry basket as I possibly can for time and space efficiency purposes.  This makes the basket reasonably heavy. You can turn this never ending chore into a weight to hold during multiple exercises without taking any time away from your necessary tasks at hand!  Getting an ample amount of walking steps within a day is an important part of exercise, but if you add a weight, it challenges you a little more.   Try this week’s momlife-adapted exercises for three different body parts:

WASH, DRY, LIFT

CALVES: When you are lugging the basket of freshly cleaned (and inevitably slightly wrinkled) clothes upstairs (or across the house if you do not have stairs), pause on each stair (or step you take) to do calf raises.  Stand with your heels off of the edge of the stair and rise up on your toes, then back down. You can do one each stair, or challenge yourself to see how many per stair you can handle.

HAMSTRINGS AND GLUTES (BACK OF THE LEGS AND BUTT): Use the “standard” laundry basket hold (like you’re holding a beach ball with handles) and skip a stair (or two if you have long legs) with each step. Starting with one foot on the first stair and one on the third stair, bend your knees keeping your upper body straight (like you’re trying to pick up a onsie that fell off of the top of the overflowing basket without spilling any more clothes). Take the bottom foot and put it on the fifth step and repeat the lunge all the way up the stairs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             ARMS: Multiple loads of laundry in a day can be daunting, but you can turn them into an excuse to workout different parts of your body. If you hold the full basket above your head while you walk it from place to place, especially the stairs, it will engage your shoulders.

There are days when I would rather take each stray article of clothing I see and reunite it with all of the stepped-on-out-of-place toys at their final resting place in the garbage can.  I stop myself by thinking of the hassle it would be to pack the kids up to go buy more clothes and by using the weight of the task to my advantage.  Wash, dry, lift… sip… sip… sip… glug.

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“Skim Parenting” in the Name of Football

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“Skim Parenting” in the Name of Football

Ladies and Gentlemen, the time has come!  Football Season is upon us.  If you are a woman who does not like football and has a football man, you, all you do, and all that needs to get done will be pushed to the bottom of his priority list every Saturday and Sunday.  Prepare to be ignored.

If you are a woman who is a football fan, the exact outcome will happen.  You will get stuck with the “To Do” list, making it harder to watch your game.  If you are a parent, the “To Do” lists become more important and distractions more demanding, which makes it nearly impossible to participate in Football Season Saturdays or Sundays.  I, being a football fan and parent, have dwindled my “To Do” list to the bare minimum on game days, which leaves me with one main “must”: Ensure the children remain alive while keeping them from distracting my attention from the television.

After we became parents, my husband and I went through the five stages of grieving for our B.C. (Before Children) football days:

Anger:  We were angry that our friends without kids didn’t understand why we couldn’t just sit at a bar all day with kids in tow.

Denial: We did manage to attend a couple of bar gatherings when our first kid was still new and able to stay asleep while strapped in the car seat.  We simply slid the seat under the booth and made like we didn’t actually have a baby at a bar.

Depression: We were positive that we would never be able to go to a game or watch a game at a bar again… and I cried about it.

Bargaining:  We promised our friends beer and food if they drove all the way out to our house to hang out with our slobbery kid and distorted versions of ourselves that had been diluted from exhaustion and added responsibilities.

Acceptance:  We bought a bigger flat screen television and upgraded our cable to include NFL Ticket.

Our emotional journey to acceptance has led us to spending our fall Sundays at home working on our abilities to entertain the children without them noticing that our attention is not (for once) on them.  Over the years, we have gone through a variety of techniques: “You watch the first half, I’ll watch the second half” was nixed when my husband missed the Browns’ only touchdown of the season (I’m just kidding, I’m sure there were a few more…) because it didn’t happen during his allotted half.  “We’ll just DVR it” was short lived because friends and family insisted on texting updates.  We finally came to a decision that it is both forgiven in the Parenting Handbook to forgo Football Season Sundays as enrichment days, as well as perfectly acceptable to simply keep them busy and happy by any means necessary one day a week (We must choose between college and pro football day, but we will take what we can get!).  In honor of the skim milk Pumpkin Spice Latte that I can enjoy while watching my calories, I call our Football Sunday parenting game “Skim Parenting”, because I can enjoy my fall sport while “watching” my kids.

The hardest part of Skim Parenting is collecting enough activities for your arsenal to keep the little ones busy for the entire game.  Furthermore, it becomes more difficult if you have children of different ages and skill levels.  You must have back up ideas for when your first string activities are not holding their attention or require more of your assistance than you anticipated.  Any seasoned parent knows that anything with a WiFi connection is the easiest option for zero-work child care.  That being said, when the movie is over, you need your phone to set your Fantasy line up, or their faces surface from the Kindle looking for the next activity, here are a few from our tool belts that may give you some precious time to sit, drink, and watch:

GIVE THEM THEIR OWN CORNHOLE BOARDS

A big part of a football gathering for us is playing Cornhole.  You will find, though, that kids mess up the flow of your toss when they run in front of you and trip you.  Also, it makes it incredibly difficult to keep score when they take the bags off of the boards and hide them… in the garbage can.  The easiest solution for this is to get them a cheap set of boards that they can spend their energy ruining.  For whatever reason, carrying the bean bags from one place to another is good for about 30 minutes of entertainment, and if you teach them how to slam the bags into the holes, that buys you 15 more.

Extra tip: Act like you really don’t want them to touch the bags.  This will infallibly make them want to play with them more!

Just when you go to add up your points, you find that the two you sunk in the hole have mysteriously disappeared. #kidsruincornhole

If you are feeling particularly motivated (You’ve had too much coffee or decided to drink a Red Bull to get pumped up for the game), allow me to offer a more involved option to set your mind at ease about your parental status:

WHOLE PARENTING OPTION:  Have the kids help you make their own boards and bags on a predetermined craft day during the week.  I found some you can make with empty diaper boxes (if you’re not already using them as a recycling bin for your wine bottles) and old socks (or socks that have somehow lost their partners forever in the laundry abyss)!

 

HAVE THEM RUN ERRANDS

There is a small window of time when the kids are young when nothing pleases them more than doing favors for you.  Use this to your advantage during Game Day and send them on errands around the house.  These could be meaningless trips (“Hey, buddy! Can you do me a huge favor and run to the top of the stairs, touch the railing, walk back down, then do it again?”), or you could put them to good use (“Honey, can you please put this bottle in the recycling bin, then go get a dog towel from the laundry room for the spill on the carpet?”).

Extra tip:  If you put the beer somewhere they can reach, you can have them bring beers to your friends.

get me a beer

WHOLE PARENTING OPTION:  Plan out a scavenger hunt with clues that the kids have to follow for various prizes around the house.  This only works, of course, if they can read.  If they cannot read, you can have pictures of rooms/spots around your house where they should look next.  If you’re going to choose this more involved option: 1. Thanks for making the rest of us feel subpar and 2. Put the pictures on index cards and laminate them so you can reuse them for future Sunday Funday hunts.

PUT THEM TO WORK

As I previously mentioned, “things that need to get done” is not an item on a football fan’s priority list for Football Season weekends.  This leads to a build up and overload of those “things”.  If you are in a region where Autumn means falling leaves, a big, tedious chore on this list is raking them out of your yard.  This is the perfect opportunity to teach your children the value of hard work!

Tape off a section of the yard and tell them to pick up all of the leaves in that area and put them in a designated bag.  When the area is clear, they can have a reward (ice cream is usually the winning motivator).  If you have multiple children, tape off an area for each of them and make it a competition.

Extra tip: The bigger the section of yard, the longer it will take them.

raking leaves

WHOLE PARENTING OPTION:  Make a checklist with pictures of the different kinds of plant life in your yard and have your kids match them and check them off as they clean them up.  For added time, you can put a picture of a different leaf on each of how ever many bags you desire and have them sort by leaf type!  If the little helpers can read, put the tree or plant name on the list, too.  Science lesson.  Boom.

BEER BOTTLE BOWLING

Sometimes, you just have to work with what you have in your immediate surroundings to entertain your Mini-Mes.  Save your friends empty drink cans or bottles and set them up for a bowling game in your yard.  Grab any ball you have around (I know you have at least one of every kind around the house.  You’ve probably stepped on two already today!) to roll the bottles down.

Extra tip: If you teach them once how to set it up, they can do this activity completely independently.

beer bottle bowling

WHOLE PARENTING OPTION:  I know that you’re thinking, “With a name like ‘Beer Bottle Bowling’, how can she find any good parenting in this idea?”  Prepare to be amazed:  Have the kids count how many cans/bottles are in each row and how many total.  Addition!  When they knock some over, they can count how many are down and how many are left.  Subtraction!  When you’re teaching them to set up the game, have them notice that it is shaped like a triangle.  Geometry!  Lessons in Mathematics = Whole Parenting.  Nailed it!

We love our children and hope that one day they will grow up to be well-rounded, properly adjusted, functional members of society.  We, as parents, all work toward this goal as much as we can.  The rules of the skilled game of Skim Parenting says, “Hey, six out of seven days a week is a very healthy dose of Whole Parenting!  Call day seven ‘Independence Day’ and let the kids show what they know!”  Tomorrow is Sunday.  Kick your feet up, finish your pumpkin drink, and have your daughter grab you a beverage.  Its game time.

Baby Weights

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Baby Weights

Over the past week, you have been sucking in your belly and squeezing your butt together.  Undoubtedly it felt weird at first, but now you find yourself noticing your core more and sitting up straighter.  For this week’s exercise, keep that squeeze that you’ve been practicing (like you have to pee but the only bathroom around is outside of a country gas station in a dimly lit corner and it gives you the “uh oh” feeling) and try this:

SQUAT, PUSH UP, SIT UP, REPEAT…. OR DON’T.

Start with one (yes, only one, no matter how easy and pointless it seems) repetition of each of three moves that will target where baby aftermath usually resides: One squat for your butt and legs (Apparently, motherhood gives us the gift of cellulite!  Isn’t is magical?), one push up for “continuous wave” syndrome in your arms, and one sit up for the empty baby carrier.  Make sure you stick your butt out when you do your squat and sit back into your heels like you’re hovering over that disgusting toilet at your favorite bar in college that you know hasn’t been cleaned in months. Do this multiple times throughout the day. Since it is only one repetition of each, it will take three seconds, so you can sneak it in on your way to the bathroom or take three seconds off of your shower time.

If you want to challenge yourself more, complete two sets of the trifecta back to back.  Want to sweat?  Go back in for a third set.  Keep in mind that you decide how many sets you do within a day,  so it is customizable and schedule friendly.

Each day, add one repetition of each exercise to the routine.  Day two, you will do two squats, two pushups, and two sit ups one more time than you feel you can handle throughout the day.  By the end of the week, you will be doing seven of each in a row, which may be enough for you to begin to work up a sweat.  A life hack that I have discovered about exercise repetitions:  The faster you do them, the sooner you are finished.  It is both a mathematical certainty and extremely motivating.

As the days go on, you will find that these three exercises are becoming increasingly easier and you will feel the drive to complete more repetitions and sneak in more sets wherever you can throughout the day.  At day 33 (Just a short month away!), all you have to do is three sets in a day with one bonus repetition of each to reach 100 squats, 100 pushups, and 100 sit-ups in one day!  It is an incredible accomplishment that is absolutely reachable no matter your fitness level in the beginning, or time and energy constraints!

As an added bonus, you can do all three of these exercises in front of the television, which is great news right now if you’re a chick that likes football, or a chick that doesn’t like football who binge watches Netflix series on Sundays in the fall.  #orangeisthenewblack

Baby Weights

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Baby Weights

I spent over nine months at a time growing my babies as they made my body grow.  As I watched and felt my belly, feet, and anxiety seem to take on minds of their own, I looked forward increasingly to the days of their births when I could get my body back.  Clearly, my fellow mommies, we have learned that we do not reclaim our bodies that day.  In fact, the struggle remains for months into the future.  What our children leave us with when they make the transition from fetuses to citizens is a soft, squishy version of what we used to be.

Before children (In the era that I like to refer to as B.C.), fitness and losing weight was a different formula:  Workout, burn more calories than you consume each day, and let metabolism work it’s magic.  These still remain true, but what about all of the other factors that we have added to our lives that prevent the equation from being that simple?  Post pregnancy is ridden with hurdles that we must jump to reach our weight loss goals, or even just to feel comfortable again in our own bodies:

MORE FOOD 

There are a couple of common reasons that we eat more in “The Aftershock” (“The Aftershock”: Slang term describing an undefined period of time in a mother’s life beginning immediately after the birth of her child during which her mind and body are not her own and she must adjust every single way of life she knew previously.  See also: “Zombie Mommy”, “Postpartum WTF” ):

  1. We got used to “eating for two” and are slow to kick the chocolate-ice-cream-before-bed habit
  2. and/or
  3. We are breastfeeding and are fricking starving all of the time.

LESS SLEEP

We are so tired from late nights and early mornings that even the thought of working out actually makes us simultaneously want to cry and punch a skinny person in the face.

SHIFT IN SCHEDULE

Like your body when you’re pregnant, your schedule when you’re a mom is not your own.  The schedule of your time is allotted piece by piece to your duties for the family.  Trying to block off an hour to simply go to the gym seems unheard of when you’re adapting to the depths of added laundry, appointments, feedings, and errands. To quote Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, “…My get up and go must have got up and went…”…. And I’m willing to bet it didn’t go to the gym.

Whether or not these reasons are strong enough excuses to keep us from exercising in the eyes of others does not change the fact that this is the way life actually happens.  However, the sooner we get back on track mentally and physically, the sooner we can reclaim our bodies and get our sexy back.  So, how can we and our fellow moms in The Aftershock work with what we have to start this process?  I have lived through The Aftershock and come out on the other side.  I could not bear the thought of stuffing my doughy body into workout clothes to be seen by the people that hadn’t taken a year off from the gym, so I started doing exercises at home using body weight and other objects within my daily routine for weight.

Baby Weights will be a periodic posting to share some of the… inventive ways I began my recovery from Aftershock.  You will not have flat abs in a week.  You will not lose a pant size overnight.  I will never claim to an expert on fitness and/or weight loss… or anything, for that matter.  I will, however, attest that I started these moves with almost no motivation and it got easier.  At the very least, it helped me remember where my muscles were once located.  This week, I give you the simplest move of them all:

THE CONTINUOUS BATHING SUIT

Not one of us is fooling the other- We all suck in our guts and butts when we’re walking around in bathing suits.  Maybe this is the reason we are so tired after walking around at the pool all day, as opposed to prolonged exposure to the sun (as seems more scientifically likely).  The muscles you suck in when you are more naked than you’d like to be are the ones that get lost in the body cluster f@%& that is pregnancy and delivery.  You can strengthen those muscles all day while you are going about your crazy busy routine.

Driving your son to the doctor?  Sit up straight in your seat with your shoulders back, suck in your lower belly (it is easiest to get to this muscle by squeezing the Kegel muscle, too,  but just sucking in your stomach in general is perfectly fine), and pinch your butt cheeks together.  Hold it for as long as you can.  If you hold it for the entire ride, look forward to rewarding yourself with a drink later that night!  You can keep these muscles engaged during absolutely everything you do during the day from cooking to scrubbing pee off of the floor to folding laundry.  Hell, you can even suck in while you drink!

Easiest. Workout. Ever.

Stay tuned for more easy ways you can do what you’re doing anyway and make it feel like a workout!   #mommylifehack

Selfishly Keeping The Self

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Selfishly Keeping The Self

I first noticed it when I was group texting with a few of my college friends that live nearby:

“I’m so excited you guys can come over tonight!  We can throw something together for dinner and have a few drinky-poos!”

“That sounds great, but did you just say ‘drinky-poos’? You seriously need some adult time!” 

This message from my loveably honest friend hit me like a building block to the forehead. It had finally happened. I don’t know when it began, but my cool had been entirely overcome by (insert scary music) MOMMYDUM (GASP!).

“Holy moly, you’re right!” I admitted to my friend. “You see? I just did it again! Who says ‘holy moly’? Shit”.  I always swore I would stay cool no matter how old I got or how my life changed. I had watched as friends and relatives around me lost traits of themselves that were then replaced with obscure, unfamiliar acts. The popular drug dealer who lived across the street from me in college began posting professional portraits on Facebook of himself and his girlfriend wearing matching shirts! The people around me on a daily basis discussed the latest PTA meeting instead of where they were going out that weekend. When I tried to change the Laurie Berkner CD while riding in my friend’s car (with no children present), she made me wait until the song was over! I observed in curious panic as my surroundings and the people in them transformed.

At this moment, you are no doubt picturing an episode of The Walking Dead: Cool, fresh, hip people becoming twisted, gnarled shells of themselves when they start a family, then infecting everyone around them. This may be a good time to throw in a disclaimer. Please do not mistake the stories I tell and the pictures I paint to mean that I am not grateful for all that I have. I planned on being a wife and mother, and I knew it would be a life, game, and perception changer. I love my life dearly and find great joy in reading bedtime stories to the kids (and sometimes my husband who falls asleep first), knowing all of the words to the Frozen soundtrack (and singing them in harmony with my daughter), and sharing ordinary, everyday experiences with them in a way that makes them not so ordinary.

Are we good? Everyone settled down? OK, great- now that I’ve stated the obvious, we can get back to the reality of it all: I love my life, but where and how can I fit in the real me? The familiar “me” with whom I am comfortable, happy, and relaxed spending time?  The one who, at the very least, does not say “poo” as a suffix?

I’ve previously mentioned my theory on adult life: In short, we all have multiple pieces on a proverbial game board that we are required to play, and The Self is the piece that is most likely to get benched. All of the pieces that we play for the various motivations and excuses that we give are loud, demanding, and domineering while our “Self” pieces wait patiently until we can tend to them again. This is dangerous, for due to the necessity of the other roles we play, Mother and Wife being at the forefront, it is very easy, common, and sometimes seemingly expected of us by society to retire this piece all together.

What does it mean if I don’t want to retire this piece and forget about her? Am I selfish for keeping tabs on my Self? Many from the “Mad Men” generation (a.k.a. The Stone Age) would argue that by recognizing and taking time for our own, personal well beings, we are skewing our priorities and selfishly putting ourselves ahead of being mothers and wives. From the trenches that smell of dirty laundry and sour milk where I sit bedecked in poop, tears, crusty banana, and toilet bowl cleaner, I say to these dinosaurs, “Kindly shove that shit into the Diaper Genie.” My priorities are straight, and it is the failure to put The Self on the list of priorities that is skewed.

That being said, there is no denying that our lives are changing. It is an inevitable and not entirely terrible truth. If I still drank like I did ten years ago, my life expectancy would be much shorter. If I kept my sleep schedule from even five years ago, I would be a zombie with an ulcer from my excessive need for copious amounts of coffee and Five Hour Energy to get through the day (has that crap been banned yet? Seriously, it can’t be good for the body!). If I hadn’t decided to change, I would not have grown wiser and more experienced (and increasingly humble, clearly!) with each new phase of life. There are worse experiences than having more fun than my children at Disney on Ice, getting excited when a new Team Umi Zumi records on the DVR, or realizing that baby talk has taken over my typical jargon… I think.

However, there is no shame in finding a way to fit your Self into your present day life. My Self has done a lot for me over the years. My man and I met, fell in love, got married, and lived in our first house together over the course of eight years of just our Selves. If being a good wife is a priority, it helps immensely to have a good marriage. To keep a good marriage (even to sustain one, for that matter), it is just as important to foster who the two of you were as a couple in the easy years by putting time and effort into your Selves as it is to complete typical “wifely” duties (There is that dinosaur talking again!) like laundry and keeping the house and everyone’s schedules in order.

The actions I take as a wife and mother are to ensure the safety, well being, and happiness of my family and those around me. I’m happy when I see that I have made the ones I love happy. This does not change the fact that I must tend to my other roles. All of my pieces must have time on the board for the game to run smoothly. There is a balance that must be decided in order to prevent fatigue and to ensure that all pieces remain relevant and “in shape” for their tasks.

Never forget that you are the glue that holds your life together. Take pride in your “mommydum” and all of the pieces on your board, but do what you must to make sure your Self gets some playing time. “Happy wife, happy life,” “When mommy is happy, life isn’t crappy”. No matter what you portray on Facebook, your life can’t be picture perfect until your best self is in the picture.  Now, go rinse out last night’s wine glass in the sink and pour a nice-sized drinky-poo.  All of your pieces will thank you.

allow me

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allow me

I look at my husband with frazzled hair and puffy eyes accented with dark circles and hopelessness. My sinus cavity resonates with the familiar sting of repressed tears. “I need a vacation,” I say, fully aware of how cliché this phrase sounds. These words pale in comparison to the urgency for a break that I am actually feeling, but I am so worn down and defeated that more pertinent words cannot be recalled.

My husband doesn’t understand.  The amount of face time he gets with “the bosses” is fleeting.  He sees them before he goes to work in the early morning and from dinner until bed, week in and week out, without being able to experience the circus that is my life: seemingly endless consecutive days working in the trenches, face to face with the Ruthless Rulers of the Roost.  It isn’t his fault that he doesn’t understand my daily regimen.  He has a team of co-adults working with him (all with an assumed skill set level and job description to define what is expected of them) to accomplish daily tasks, no matter how busy the business season becomes.  When your bosses are under the age of five, the skill set and realistic expectations are much lower. Damn near non-existent.

I’m the leader and the servant simultaneously and my job description is extensive, non-finite, and ever changing.  As perplex and confusingly important as that sounds, I picture myself as nothing more than a female Jeeves:  “Please, Sir and Ma’am, allow me to drive you from city to city for activities that I’ve planned for your enjoyment while you spill various liquids, crumbs, and toys in your chariot…  Allow me to clean that for you.”

My daughter actually calls me “Desmond” and pretends I am her coachman.  When we arrive at our destination and I help her down from her seat (“Allow me!”), she says, “Thank you, Desmond!” in her most snooty British accent.  Ouch, my pride.

“Yes, Your Highnesses, allow me to make your dinner and your bed, then allow me to remake them when they just aren’t quite what you want.  Don’t turn off your own flashlight, allow me to slide the switch for you, then take you to the store so you can watch me buy more batteries for the second time this week.   Allow me to fetch you a drink (if I can find the cup you hid of now rancid milk) and your shoes (if I can ever find where you put the other one).  By all means, don’t close the door behind you!  Allow me to chase and kill the flies that you let into the house.  Please, sit on the couch and allow me to clean up your toys, watch you dump them out, then pick them up again… in every room… ad nauseam.   And, Sir and Ma’am, it would be an honor if you would allow me to serve as your bidet and flush the evidence for you.”

The amount of thankless servitude that comprises my day is exhausting and tries my self esteem.  “One day,” I think, “they will learn how to say please”.  I complain, “when will they learn to get their own damn milk and get themselves ready to go somewhere?”, and “I can’t wait for him to be out of diapers!”

One day, I’ll be allowed to enjoy a quiet house.  I will have a peaceful life with many less hats of responsibility on my head to sweat under.  I won’t be a servant anymore.  They will be taller than I, think they are wiser than I, and won’t allow me to spend time with them.

Some day alarmingly soon, they will replace my advice with the advice of their friends, no longer allow me to make decisions for them, and go to college farther away from me than I prefer.  Maybe they will allow me to visit.  What I am allowed to do for them will diminish with every day, every lesson learned, and every added skill.

So, my beloved babies, please allow me to choose your outfits in the morning and take pictures of how perfect you look.  Allow me to mediate your fights about what show to watch, whose toy is whose, or whether I belong to one of you or the other.  I will cut up your food and wash and brush your hair if you allow me.  I will put cream on your cuts, burns, and butts, and as many Band-Aids as you want wherever you want them…even if you don’t have a boo-boo and just want to pretend in an effort to engulf my attention.

It brings me great joy when you allow me to be your chef, health consultant, counselor, gym teacher, psychologist, and nurse.  I look forward every day to being your speech therapist, library, abacus, maid, jungle gym, and referee.  Thank you for allowing me to be your chauffer, social director, paparazzi, calendar, and translator.   Keepers of my Heart, it is a privilege to serve as your advocate, conscience, lifeline, biggest fan, and closest friend.

 

On second thought, vacation can wait.  My children’s lives are my job and this is my busy season.

allow me

 

 

 

 

selective listening

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selective listening

Come here please.   Come here.  Come HERE!  Come here NOW!  Don’t run away from me!

 

 
No, honey.  No, no.  Mommy says ‘NO NO’.  Do you hear me??

 

 
Gross, honey, don’t eat that.  Babe, yucky, don’t eat that!  DON’T EAT THAT! I said DON’T eat that. Spit it out. Spit it out!  Spit that out RIGHT now. Spit. It. Out.

 

 
Get dressed, please. Please get dressed. GO get dressed. Go up to your dresser and choose something to wear. Why aren’t you dressed? Why are you naked?

 

Where did I put those cookies?

“Mommy, they in the door above the coffee pot.  You ’emember you put them there? So we not reach them? And ’emember last year when I a little baby you said if I a good girl, I have a cookie?”

 

sigh.

 

WWZM: Mother’s Little Helper

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WWZM: Mother’s Little Helper

Being a mom is a job with such an extensive description which hangs gapingly open for interpretation. This makes the position most susceptible to judgment and ridicule.  We so often get wrapped up in what the internet and naysayers tell us we are doing too much of, not enough of, or just flat out wrong.  It is easy to forget the people that we actually are and that there are many like us out there.

In the game of Life, the Mother is one of many pieces we play across our boards.  She is responsible for overseeing other pieces’ actions, able to mimic certain behaviors of all other pieces when needed (excluding The Self), and able to move in multiple directions all over the board.   Along with The Mother, we have many other pieces in play, including The Friend, The Wife, The Socialite and, the lowest ranked piece that gets the least amount of play, The Self.

When I added The Mother to my game, my Self was pushed aside, able to take a turn only every once in a while.  Starting this blog is my way of dusting The Self off and getting it back in the game.  I love to write and I find so much humor in my children, family, and daily situations.  This is my way to team The Mother and The Self together to create a well-balanced outlet for the crazy that builds up day by day.

It always comforts me to meet a mom who can laugh at her perfectly imperfect life and this blog’s purpose is to share that comfort with you. When you find yourself in desperate need of a break from your mom life, this is a safe place.  When you feel like you’re taking crazy pills, White Wine Zombie Mom will remind you that you’re not (and there are way more fun pills to take!).  CRAZY PILLSWhen Mom Guilt rears its ugly head, making you feel like you’re the worst mom ever and you have no friggin’ idea what you’re doing, I will tell you real life accounts of my daily screw ups that will make you feel better by comparison!  Just like that filthy guilty pleasure reality TV show that we all watch.

Think of this blog as your few minutes of therapy, like your time to sit with a friend and a glass, er, bottle…s… of wine and remember to laugh at the circus that is your life.  I got your back!  You don’t even have to remember my birthday or tell me I don’t look fat!

nice to meet you!

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Something terrible has happened!  I went to the liquor store the other day and didn’t get carded!  I was immediately thrown into a panicked state of reflection, bitter reminiscing, and desperate search for comfort in a grander meaning of life.  The first course of action I took upon returning home from this unspeakable incident was to pour myself a glass of wine.  Obviously.  Second, I logged onto my Facebook page to update my profile.  How much of me has changed?  Is there anything at all that is still relevant in this profile that I have not tended to in an embarrassing amount of time?  It was here that I came upon the following piece of work that I wrote back in my days of bright eyes, bright skin, and no children:

 

I want to:

SING! listen to music. camp. dance. well. not well. wear bandanas. feel pretty. accept compliments. give compliments to appreciative ears. and hugs to appreciative bodies.and unappreciative bodies in need. and presents to anyone for any reason. drink. get slightly too drunk once in a while. spend time on something someone i care about will enjoy. wear sun dresses always. lay outside in the sunshine. be excited about small victories: a good bargain, flip flop tan lines, a great song on the radio, a call from a friend. call old friends just to tell them I remember their old phone numbers. sing “happy birthday” on voicemails every year. reminisce. listen to new bands. share a new band with someone. listen to live music on a patio. go to a concert and sing a song with a stranger. go swimming in the ocean. surf. be good at surfing. rock climb to see the beauty at the top. think deep with someone who understands deep thinking. stop thinking sometimes. analyze the lyrics to a song. forget the meaning of the song and enjoy the melody. harmonize.in multiple parts. know every part to a song from every genre. make friends. feel good about myself. make my grandparents proud. be a positive influence on people around me. make people comfortable and happy. learn to play the guitar. sing in a band. find someone with the same top five movies as I. travel.out of country. live out of ohio. raise my children to be loving, giving, sympathetic, tolerant, solid, motivated, and humbly confident. learn. teach. light candles. curse cleverly. plant a kick ass garden.

 

Please, do not let me lead you astray.  I would be remiss in my duties as your newest friend if I allowed you to believe that this SARK greeting card reflects the true goings on of my life.  Two children, seven years of marriage, and three jobs later, let’s be honest…  Do you have your wine ready?:

I actually:

subconsciously sing out loud wherever I go. listen to music, but only in my head so it won’t wake the children. remember what a great camper I used to be, then decide that cabin camping with a hot tub is way WAY better. dance not well, except when I’m drinking white wine. wear bandanas to cover my greasy hair when I have forgotten to shower for three days. feel pretty accomplished if I get around to showering in a day. laugh nervously and respond in an inappropriately loud voice when given compliments. give compliments and hugs to confused and slightly creeped out bodies of strangers. give presents to anyone for any reason because I get free shipping through Amazon Prime, so I’m basically saving money. drink. drink a lot. drink a lot and often. get slightly too drunk once in a week. spend too much time on something someone I care about will enjoy then throw away to avoid being pegged a hoarder. wear sun dresses for the month and a half that Cleveland, Ohio weather allows, then move to exclusively yoga pants. am unable, the older that I get, to lay outside in the sunshine if it is too hot without getting dizzy and needing to take a break.  get excited about small victories including:  I have kept the kids alive one more day, I have found a bottle of wine in the back of the wine fridge when I thought I was out, and I remembered to shave my armpits. sing “happy birthday” on voicemails every year… until someone finally calls me back and tells me that I’ve been calling the wrong number. reminisce about the days I could drive on the highway with my windows down and blare Eminem while I am instead listening to “Let It Go” one more friggin’ time and closing up the car to avoid Child Wind Trauma, which I’ve heard is Social Service’s latest craze. listen to whatever keeps the kids quiet. share anecdotal mom pictures with my three friends, adding the subject “it’s funny ’cause its true!”. choose to sit on a restaurant patio so the kids voices won’t be as loud for the other patrons. go to a concert and sing a song with a stranger once a year, then wake up hung over for three days. go swimming in the ocean, but secretly fear what critters are lurking around me. have surfed. am terrible at surfing. climb the rock wall at the park to save my son from jumping to his death. think about how much time it takes to do deep thinking. never stop thinking… even in my sleep… about 17 subjects at once. analyze everything my husband says as if he is a deep thinker. forget what I was talking about in the middle of a sentence. am influenced fairly easily by whoever is around me. make people want to drink. play three songs on the guitar, all of which have four or less chords. sing in a band of toddlers with instruments made of paper plates and beans. haven’t watched my top five movies in 15 years. have zero stamps on my passport. am currently teaching my children to stop riding each other down the stairs and to refrain from eating the bird poop on the patio furniture. learn something new every day. teach the children whatever important life lesson I can while simultaneously cleaning up the dog poop from the carpet. light candles only after the kids are asleep so they don’t dump wax on my floor. accidentally curse out loud in front of the kids a lot. kill every plant I touch, except for weeds.  can’t kill those for the life of me.

 

Profile adjusted, wine bottle emptied, reflection complete!

#itsfunnycauseitstrue

Nice to meet you!

linds 🙂