Category Archives: Motherhood

Cards

Mother’s Day cards scare me

a little, when they proclaim

that I’m the

most marvelous mom ever,

that I might not be able

to live up to that

mom-card-cricut-gold-foil-jen-goode

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Morning Cuddles Are The Best

unmade-bed

There’s nothing sweeter

than the little wee one who

wants nothing more in the

world than to just cuddle with

his dear Momma

 

Don’t Give ‘Till it Hurts

It’s easy to feel stretched thin. The kids, the dog, work, family. Time for chores? For shampooing the rug and dusting the tippy tops of the valences? Forget it. There’s never enough time to do it all. In The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” Gosh, he must’ve been a working mother in a past life, or maybe just looking on the inside my head. Or maybe it’s just a part of the human condition. How many days have you felt like you couldn’t catch up, like a hobbit on the brink of collapse?

The problem with or maybe the cause of all this is that I like saying yes. I like doing for others. It feels good. Giving, helping, accomplishing-feels pretty darn fabulous. Selfishly I like to be the person doing it all. Seeing your efforts sparkle in someone else’s eyes is priceless. That is, only if you aren’t stretched so bad you can actually take a second to see it.

Sometimes we miss it. Sometimes when you go past the point of what you can take, where the giving is painful. Times when there’s not enough of you to give.

It’s been said, “don’t give till it hurts, give till it feels good.” Most days I want to throw my hands up, but every once in a great while I can say that dammit, I did something today that was amazing.

Today I had that sort of day.

I feel lucky I got to witness a special moment of someone else’s joy. Today was a good day and the thinness didn’t feel so buttery.

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I’ll For My Children ~ Poetry Challenge 2015

'Mother and Child Reading,' Mary Cassett

‘Mother and Child Reading,’ Mary Cassett

I’ll not be perfect

I’ll make mistakes

I’ll tell you the truth

I’ll always love you, my children

I’ll always be human

I’ll try to recognize my faults and improve

I’ll try to be true to myself

I’ll try to do what I know best

I’ll try to give you better

I’ll try to find balance

I’ll always comfort you

I’ll lose it

I’ll hug you when you’re sad

I’ll protect you

I’ll let you down sometimes

I’ll be your hero at least once

I’ll learn as I go

I’ll try to teach you what I know

I’ll get frustrated

I’ll forgive you

I’ll let you mess up and then we’ll talk about the right way

I’ll lose my way

I’ll make sure we figure it out together

I’ll let you figure out what’s right for you

I’ll let you get away with things

I’ll make you hate me sometimes for your own good

I’ll always be your Mom first

*This poem is part of my 2015 Poetry Prompt Challenge, if you want to play along, join in, do the prompts and I’ll post your link on my blog. Today’s prompt is “Write a Poem that begins with a proclamation.” I decided to take it to the next level and make all the lines a proclamation.

 

I’m Not A Perfect Mom, But I Play One On The Internet

I am told all the time that I am a great mom by people who don’t even see me mother. They see a version of me that I post online.

Probably most of what I post, or what anyone posts are the highlight reel or sometimes the gag reel. The funny, the cute, the carefully angled photographs or Instagramed shots of the kids playing and ever-smiling in-between cropped out stacks of laundry and dirty dishes. A smidgen of what is going on.

I often go to bed feeling bummed about what I hadn’t accomplished each day. Yes, the mother you call great feels like they can’t possibly measure up. I feel like I’m failing my kids when I am not the faultless mom who can compare to the perfectness that is going on with everyone else’s lives. Who, if I think about it, no doubt is only posting their very own highlight reels and greatest hits of what’s going on in their own lives. Even though I know that, I can’t help shake the feeling of inadequacy. I don’t pinterest the most amazing things for them to do, I let them play video games to unwind, and whatever I do, I’m not ever doing enough. It’s akin to thumbing through fashion magazines and wondering why we can’t look like that. We know they’re airbrushed, but something in our heads still tells us we should strive to achieve that physique.

There’s just this weird disconnect between what we do, what we say we do, what others see, what they believe we are up to and reality.

Reality is I do my best. I am not perfect. I feel like I screw things up all the time. Actually I know I screw things up all the time. I know deep down, or at least I need to convince myself that I’m not really that bad if I just shut out all the excess noise. The blah blah blah blog posts about what you should and should not be doing, how what you’re doing is too much, not enough, not mom enough, damaging and inadequate. It’s impossible not to internalize that guilt that ends up weighing us down. It’s a vicious cycle of swallowing the inadequacy pill and regurgitating our very own version of a false sense of perfection that we all fall victim to. My kids love me anyway. And in the end I hope that I was enough.

perfect

Stop Downgrading Our Work By Mommyifying It

When we say things like “Mommy blogger,” and “mom-fessionals” (professional moms) we work to undo what feminism tries to combat. It defines our work as other. And less than. It’s condescending and cutesy. It’s the pink is for girls mindset for professionals.

Women often get typecast as mommy bloggers or work-from-home-moms, working-moms, or whatever because it also has it’s merits marketing wise. “Mommy blogger” as a brand sells, even if many if us don’t write about our kids. But how can we strive to be taken seriously if we cutesy up our talents by having to define it as a “mom-job,” instead of a job well done. It’s like Roger Maris with that unofficial asterisk beside our work because we’re not playing the same game. We put an asterisk by our work when we phrase our writing, our work, and our positions by defining it not by the work itself, but by the fact that we do it despite being moms.

I’d much rather be called a social media influencer or writer, period-than to be dubbed a mommy blogger or social media mom. and if and when I go back to work, I don’t need to be labelled a working mom. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of being a mom. It’s the most important job I do. And my job of mom comes first, yet it doesn’t need to diminish the fact that I can do work that stands on it’s own two feet. It implies that our only value is being a mom- which is far from true.

Plenty of men work from home. Plenty of men blog or write or sell things, yet we don’t feel the need to box them in or to daddy-professional their titles. How about if I didn’t birth you, you don’t need to call me mommy. Own your motherhood ladies, but it doesn’t need to necessarily define and diminish your other accomplishments.

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Pieces of A Mother’s Heart

I just got a chance to check the contents of my son’s backpack at 10pm this evening and I find out there’s a surprise pajama day tomorrow. So I sigh as I dig through two different piles of dirty clothes to find his favorite pair. The fleecey Skylander one’s that I just recently bought for him. The one’s he jumped for joy about when he got them just because.

And then I log on line and read that a local boy, only ten years old, that accidently got trapped under a snow tunnel yesterday has died today from his injuries.

And my heart breaks. And feels guilty at the sighs I made just 5 minutes ago about silly simple tasks that scatteringly make up my life. Any mom’s life. And my heart aches for the mom of that precious ten year old boy who probably has presents already wrapped from Santa waiting to be placed under the tree that will never be unwrapped by that little child. My heart aches that instead of digging through dirty laundry to find her son a pair of pajamas to wear, she will have to sift through dirty laundry to find clothes that may never be worn again.

Life isn’t fair and life is precious and life is tragic and life doesn’t make sense sometimes.

I sit here and think about the shit things I did today. How I yelled at my son to hurry up and go to the bathroom and get ready for bed because I was tired of the day. The long day with them that some parents long for. This mom will now long for a son to dawdle in the bathroom, and long for him to talk back and run around and not want to get his teeth brushed.

I feel uncomfortable when tragedy strikes and people proclaim that they will hug their babies tight that night because you never know what could happen. Some moms won’t ever get to do that again. My stars, that breaks my heart just to pieces.

th

Fighting Wars, Doing the Dishes and a Lesson on Order of Importance

My two sons were battling each other with their Civil War Army Guys on the kitchen floor and my oldest anounces to me, “I found a popcorn seed on the civil-war-toy-soldiersfloor.”

“Well pick it up,” I respond.

“But Mom, I’m in the middle of a war.”

“Well, I’m in the middle of doing the dishes,” I say.

(It’s the age-old battle of me not doing something for him that he can do himself).

“MOM! War is more important than the dishes!” He insists quite adamantly.

I found his last words kind of funny, and at the same time, it opened my eyes to see that the things they do are really important to them.

We may not think that their play is very important, but to them it is.  Whether his playtime was more important than my housework time, I’m not so sure, but I did concede and stopped what I was doing and threw the seed away.

Sometimes (often) we demand that our kids do the things that we want them to on our timetable. Usually things go something like, “come to dinner now!” Or “go to bed right now! I don’t care what you are doing.. it’s time right now!”

While they are pleading, “just one more minute, I’m not done playing this game,” or “I’m almost beat this level” or “I have to finish building my castle.”

(inset dinner time, bed time, teeth brush time, etc.)

Their toys and games and everything else they do is just as important to them, or in their minds even more important than the things we do and the schedules we try to go by.

Everyone has a busy life and it’s (surely to me) important to stay on schedule so our kids can wake up in the morning or eat when they’re supposed to, or get out the door on time, but it’s just as important to teach them respect and courteousness for other’s things and other people’s time and also importantly, their passions and interests.

Sometimes I don’t want to jump up and cater to their demands because I’m engrossed in something important to me.. just as our kids don’t want to stop what’s important to them. I don’t think it’s necessary to cater to their every whim.. but sometimes as a parent you just gotta understand that the things they do don’t seem like whims at all.

Manipulation or Good Parenting? Spoiler Alert.. I Think The Latter

Everyone is coocoo-ing about the latest viral “iPhone rules” that some mom blogger had written to her son when she gave him a cellphone for Christmas. You either love it or hate it; I’ve seen both reactions over the past few days. I’ve heard a bunch of people say the mom is humiliating and manipulating her son, treating him as an untrustworthy being without cause, etc. as she gets mom of the year award from Good Morning Whatever show on TV and their picture and story is being posted and reported in every social media site out there.

I do not love it when people exploit their kids on social media, but I think this is actually a great little set of rules by the said mom, I don’t see her as exploiting him AT ALL and here’s why:

1.) Mom bloggers exaggerate, they’re snarky funny beings, I would expect this sort of thing to pop up on any number of humorous mom blogs. I wouldn’t be surprised if she just made up the blog because it was funny. Newsflash, we do THAT all the time, it’s called creative writing.

2.) Kids are untrustworthy and make bad decisions. If kids weren’t doing boneheaded things like texting their private parts all over the place, then there would be no reason to put that in the rules. Unfortunately they are. Thankfully this mom has sense to teach him right from wrong.

3.) Dude, I don’t even have a phone that costs several hundred dollars, teaching kids the value of money and that it’s not unlimited is a great idea.

4.) I like her candidness. I believe it’s important to teach our kids how to act in plain terms. No shirking from the important stuff like talking about sex and anti-bullying. Props.

5.) Teach your kids manners. I have no doubt this kid says please and thank you on a daily basis. I know a few grownups that can take note of these great rules and stop texting in restaurants.

6.) It’s her kid. It’s her kid, great rules. Come back to me when she’s putting him in a dog cage or some screwed up crap like I see in the news about every other day.

Daddy Is Better Than You

When they say, “I wish Daddy could stay home from work instead of you,” it stings a little. When they say, “Daddy is better than you,” it stings a lot.

Maybe it’s just innocent kid talk. Taking their frustrations out on you, the one who’s with them a majority of the time. So many diapers changed. Boo boos kissed. That you have to be the bad guy simply by default.

Or maybe I do yell too much. Blog too much. Not linger at their side enough. Maybe I aren’t kind enough, don’t give hugs enough, don’t let them win enough.

Maybe terrible twos and fussy fives and sarcastic sevens are a thing. Maybe it’s a phase and it will pass. But maybe I’m just not who I ever wanted to be. Maybe all the parenting magazines in the world won’t make me better at being a mom. At being the favorite.

Maybe I do too much, push too much. Too much sunscreen, too much bike helmets and vegetables and not enough ice cream and stickers. Too much cleaning, not enough playing. Too much meddling, not enough singing. Not enough building castles, too much tv. Not enough laughs, too many stop standing on the couches.

Too many wash your hands, not enough mud pies. Too many walk or you’ll fall downs, not enough running free. Too many not nows, not enough spontaneous dancing. Too much shared time, not enough one on one.

Never enough.