Friday, February 21, 2014

Finally Friday...

I haven't posted all week! I hate when life gets so busy that I don't have time to do the relaxing things I love to do. Although this was a crazy week, there were some highlights:

I ordered new make-up! I switched to Bare Essentials over the summer.  It's pricy, but I love how it makes my skin feel.  I was running low on eyeshadow, so I went back to my old kind.  Within two days, I had developed an eye twitch. Now it could have been stress, because I do have a lot of that. But when I went back to B.E..... no more twitching!  This is what I bought:

9 brand new eye shadows!
Keith was gone one night for dinner, so I decided to make it special for me and the kids:

Oh and there was (another) snow day, so we had a fun afternoon playing games and generally wreaking havoc on my living room:

How was your week?

Friday, February 7, 2014

And the balls came crashing to the floor...

I had a temper tantrum today.

It was much like the one my daughter was throwing at the same time. I, however, kept my pants on.  We were almost ready to walk out the door for school and work.  They had been less than stellar this morning - fighting with each other, crawling up the stairs because they couldn't walk up them, one was walking around with just one boot on because he didn't want to wear the other one.  The kitchen table was still full of crumbs from breakfast, my work bag was tipped over (and I was picturing my tomato soup spilling all over the inside...), and although she was dressed in her hat and coat, my daughter suddenly decided she didn't like the pants she had on.  They didn't fit right.  Of course, I told her, that is what I said 45 minutes earlier when she put them on. I told her then they didn't fit and she shouldn't wear them. And in her usual, independent way, she put her hands on her hips and told me I was wrong.  Who am I to argue with a 5 year old who obviously knows better than me?

So now it's time to go, and she's upset that her pants don't fit right. She kicks off her boots, lays down and starts to remove her pants... all the while screaming about it. (Side note - the twins had food dye yesterday at school for a special event.  This very behavior is why we don't allow food dye, but she told me they "had" to eat the gummy bears and fruit loops because they were there.)  Anyway, at that point, I lost it. I had my own tantrum (pants stayed on). I yelled. I cried.  I may have thrown the boot I was about to put on my own foot. 

Life's a juggling act. Some days more than others.  Today, when all my balls were in the air, they came crashing down with no one to catch them.  It's been a long week. I'm tired.  More so than other days, but I know why. Trekking into Chicago every day for jury duty. Deciding the fate of 10 men. Coming home late to a chaotic household. Dealing with my little mouse, hopped up on food dye last night (he came in the door screaming and went to bed that way). Arguing with my husband over what to get for dinner. Arguing with my oldest and trying to get him to study for two tests. That never-ending pile of junk sitting on my living room floor. The to-do pile at work growing larger each day with no time to finish anything. I could go on.

I wonder why I write these raw feelings, these private moments that all moms hide from others. No one wants to be the mom who yells, the mom who screams, the mom who can't keep it all together.  Maybe I shouldn't share these things with the world. Maybe, I'm sharing them with the hopes I'll get a hug from a friend. Or my husband will read this, and say "hey, instead of going out for a run, I should ask my wife if I can help around the house in some way."  And maybe another mom who had a temper tantrum will read this and feel just a little less alone, a little less ashamed, a little less sad.

Today was a bad morning, but that doesn't mean it has to be a bad day. Keira put her pants and boots back on. We all had a group hug (or a "sandwich hug" as Colin called it). We laughed on the way to school, and I gave extra hugs and kisses before they ran into the building. I checked my work bag, and my soup had not spilled. I was only two minutes late to work. It will be a good day, and a good weekend.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Without regret...

For some reason, this quote popped in my head while I was getting ready for work.

"...We must be beautiful, powerful, and without regret."

This is a quote from Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice.

Sure, when Armand said it, he was referring to vampires.  But can't it also be applied to mommies as well???

All mothers are beautiful. The very act of giving birth is an act of beauty and creation.  This tiny little thing was made by you.  He or she is yours to love forever.  But after birth, you are left overweight (well most of us are), with stretch marks and other such physical and emotional reminders of what had happened.  Maybe you even use your body to nourish your child.  You spent all your time focusing on your kids, you forget yourself.  Your life becomes one of schedules, and diapers, and feedings, and more diapers.  But you need to take the time for yourself.  You need to find yourself within the mommy that you've become.  Remember who you once were and bring back pieces of her.

All mothers are powerful. I can't even begin to explain how powerful you really are. 

All mothers should be without regret.  Moms are inundated with questions.  Concerns.  More questions.  Anxiety.over whether or not they are making the right decision for their kids. 

Did I nurse long enough? Did I nurse at all? Should I have? Why can't I just give formula? I work, I have to send my baby to daycare.  Does that screw her up? Does that give her better socializing skills? Or does that make her feel abandoned?  Should I homeschool? What's wrong with kids these days? Should I go organic with all her food? Oh no, I gave her baby food from a jar!  Am I going green enough? Do I spend enough time with her? He doesn't respond to timeouts - why can't I spank him? I was spanked and turned out fine. He's not developing as quickly as other kids his age? Should he be evaluated? Is he just a little slower than others? Do we need to label him now? Could he have ADD? Autism? A behavior disorder? Do we read enough books? Do the kids watch too much t.v.? How much is too much? Mommy just needs a break so she turns Sprout on. Can I take a break? Do I deserve one? Must I spend every waking minute with my children? Or it is ok to let them play alone? Unstructured? Unsupervised? Do I need to be a helicopter mom, controlling all issues that involve my child? Do I need to back off and let them make their own decisions???


Moms worry too much about what others think. What others feel is right.  I read so many blogs where the moms shop organic only, cloth diapers (twins, no less!), exclusively breastfeed for a year, etc.

I can't compete.

Do I even want to?

No, I don't.  I'm happy with my life, with my parenting decisions.  Just as you should be happy with your decisions as well.  No way is the right way. All mothers should be allowed to raise their kids how they want. Without being judged for doing/not doing something. 

I still struggle with things, but I am slowly learning to let the regrets go and focus on what really matters most.

(This is a re-post from 2010. 
But every so often 
I think back to what I felt when I wrote this, 
and today was one of those days.
 So I share it again.)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Morning Commute

The Morning Commute

Eyes down, they find their seats,
Take out their iPads and phones
And work on the ride.
The train squeaks and jolts,
But they pay no mind:
The unnatural glow of their screens
Lulling them to complacency.
I'm the only one looking out the window,
Watching sleepy towns and snow-covered landscapes blur past....
Before we even reach the station,
They pack their bags and line up at the door.
Swarms of us move quickly down the stairs and onto the walkway.
Briskly they brush past,
Searching for openings in the sea of men and women wrapped in winter coats on their way to...

As we reach street-level,
The crowd thins out some
And it's amazing to watch.
But watch carefully for falling ice from El train tracks, slush on the sidewalk and hurried people (eyes still down) rushing to get somewhere.
The crosswalk countdown goes fast, but I make it across before the cabbie lays on the horn and speeds through the intersection.

Ah, Chicago in winter.

The panhandlers and homeless mix with commuters,
Each one dressed in various layers against the cold;
Their breath comes out in steam engine-like puffs of smoke
And pigeons line the walkways, close enough to touch
(Although I wouldn't recommend it.)
My scarf has slid down
And the city wind rips at my throat with imaginary claws that still cause pain.
I pull my coat closer,
Quickening my step,
Only blocks from my destination.
The sunlight streaks from in between tall buildings,
Glinting off windows.
I glimpse bright colors in the sky.
Sunrise on Lake Michigan always astounds.
The bustling city is alive.