Thursday, December 23, 2010

Today it Hit Me!

**OK all you Facebook an effort to increase my "followers" I am having a contest.  If I get to 10 followers I will randomly pick one follower to recieve a $10 starbucks card). If you are a Facebook lurker create a google account and become a follower. It is easy.
K and I were sitting having a wonderful lunch together. We were sharing our usual chat back in forth, where I chatter away and he grunts back.  I was watching him in awe. 11 short months ago he was a newborn who needed me for everything.  Now he is sitting in his high chair enjoying a sandwich and water, not needing any assitance from me.

When he was finished I got up to take him out of his highchair he reached up to me for a hug. I leaned down and kissed his forehead. Then came the waterworks. I had the ugly cry.  Actually is was more like a sob.  The sob of someone whose heart is being ripped out by someone who doesn't even weigh 18 lbs.  It hit me like a tonne of bricks that in just 1 week he will not be spending his days with me.

I love my job.  I am lucky for that. I have been ready to go back for some time, but perhaps that was because it wasn't "real" yet. Today, I realized that in one week our lives are about to change again.

He will be in a home daycare that I feel is the perfect fit for him. There are lots of other kids, 2 adult eyes to watch over his misisons and is close to home. However, no one will ever look at him like I do.

They won't watch him in awe at the little things (like sorting his toys).
They won't snuggle him and kiss him like I do.
They won't know that the smacking he does with his lips means that he wants a bottle.

I worry.  What if they don't find his antics endearing but rather annoying?
What if they don't see his curiousity as a wonderful gift and ask him to "fall in line"?
What if they don't like him?

Today, I want to run away with my baby.  Anyone know of a circus that is hiring?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Declaring Abstinance Month

I was reminded today that I haven't posted in some time. I was also reminded that Adventures from Mommyhood is good "I'm bored" reading. This got me thinking. Of all the things to do when the weather sucks and you are sitting at home...

Poof! I have the inspiration for my next post.

I am declaring March/April Abstinance Month!!!!! First of all when the you have just about had enough of winter and that one rogue snow comes in late March...please resist the urge to stay in and "keep warm" with hubby! Don't do it!!!!

With Kingston, we didn’t bother ourselves with little details such as proper birth control, birth-dates and potential birthday disappointments. Why would you in the throes of passion? But had I, I certainly would not have chosen the month of March to conceive. In fact, from now on, I shall be instituting a National Abstinence Month during March and beg you to join me. Why? Do the math. March conception equals December baby and December babies just plain suck.

I’m sorry if you are a December baby, it’s nothing nothing personal, but you suck. And you know it. You have my deepest sympathies.

Much as parents may try not to do the whole combined gift thing, it’s pretty inevitable. There are only so many new toys a kid can handle and it’s just too much to give an abundance of presents a few days or weeks apart. Plus, it’s so freaking expensive– who can afford all that crap? Kids end up spoiled enough with the holidays alone- adding a birthday to the mix is just too much. And, much as we try and make the day all special and exciting, it ends up part of the holiday season blur.

And it’s not only the parents of the child– it’s other people as well. It sucks to have to schlep children in the freezing cold to birthday parties. Everyone is snotty and exhausted and too burnt-out to feel much like celebrating. There are no decent options for party locations since it’s too cold to be outside and the mere thought of having a dozen stuffy kids rolling around on plastic blow up toys is hardly appealing.

December babies suck.

So, are you with me? Come March, let’s remember what we’ve learned and save future generations years of grief. We’re doing it for the children, after all. I believe they are our future.

Post script: Kingston decide to arrive 2 weeks late making him a January baby which is almost worst. Sorry, buddy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What are you good at?

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So, this week has yet again been filled with activities and get-togethers. I have been reminded what incredible people I have in my life. At the end of the day today I sat back and thought "what have I done to deserve these kind of relationships in my life?"

You have all heard enough self-doubt and now, maybe, it is time for me to recognize what I do well. Aside from hosting a mean fajita night ;)

What I do well is...LOVE.

When I love you, you know it-you feel it. I am not shy about expressing my love. I am not shy about telling you why I love you so much. When I say "I miss you" I mean it. When I say "I can't wait to see you" I am truly excited. When I hug you my heart wraps around you.

Today a friend laughed at the obscurity of the way that I tell Kingston I love him. I scooped up that little man in a playful moment and held him close and told him "I love you today". It does seem strange when I put in print but here is where it comes from in my heart. I love him today. I love him everyday. But, if I tell him I love him "today" and say it everyday, he will know that no matter what he does in a day I love him each of those days. (Plus my mommy said it to me)

The second chapter of this post is about letting the people in your life know that you love. To me it is important to not just say the words but perhaps think about why you love so much. Be specific. try say something more than "I love you". Imagine what it would feel like to hear why someone loves you.

I also wanted to share something a little more intimate. I am good at expressing love and appreciatation for people. Here is the text that inspired this post:
Nat <3s K said: Well my love. U r sound asleep. I just wanted you to know how much we all love you. Blue is so grateful that you always think of his feelings and love him even when he is naughty. Kingston says he loves you bc u think of things mommy doesn't (like making sure i hae comfy clothes on instead of jeans). Gosh, that kid adores you. And I love you bc you created all this for us (and you look so damn handsome sleeping next to me. Have a great day. Love, your family P.S. Happy Thursday ;)

What would it mean to someone you love to wake up to a message like this?

How do you express your love for others?

Lastly, but most importantly...What are you good at?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We are ok!

Today was an ordinary day. But something truly momumental happened.

I was sitting in the doctor's office fretting about how much weight K has gained, how much he has grown and what dreadful percentile number they will assign him. it was another opportunity for me to doubt my instincts and abilities as a mother. It is truly a scary moment when the doctor looks at you and says "5th percentile". It feels like another judgement. It feels like a grade for raising your baby. What I hear is "95% of moms are better than you".

However, as we sat in the waiting room my little man was being as charming as ever. He was showing off how he could walk and clap. He was smiling and waving at the nurses. He was giggling at the boys playing with cars in the corner. He was trying to steal the Nintendo DS from the girl beside us. He was being Kingston. I thought nothing of it. Until, in the midst of the chaos and activity my little boy looked up at me and rested his head against my chest. My normally "on-the-move tornado" simply wanted to take it all in, in the company and comfort of his mommy.

I felt it. Deep in the core of my being. I AM A MOMMY! We are doing this-its working. We are going to be ok! It was at this precise moment that I felt the gravity that Kingston really does assume that his mother is capable of protecting him from anything the world has to throw at him. He would rather the company and protection of my arms than the excitement of the toys and people in the waiting room.

His calm was absolute. It was the kind of calm that only comes with complete trust and confidence. That someone was me. He has absolute faith in me (and in that so should I).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Men are from Mars

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The rhetoric about why women and mothers judge each other has raged on long before I was even considering being one. I will shamefully admit that I judge other moms. Poor "Mrs. Whiteskirt" has been the recipient of much of that judgment as of late.
We judge their appearance, the cleanliness of their house, their parenting choices, and even the weight of their child. We do it mercilessly.

I will now consciously take a step away from referring to mothers as the collective and simply speak for myself.

I see a mother who has a clean house and think “she must spend hours each day cleaning while her baby sits in his crib”.
I see a mother who is perfectly put together, a la Mrs. Whiteskirt, and think “she must have tons of debt to be able to buy those clothes”.
I hear of a mother who is bed-sharing with her little one and think “poor husband isn’t getting any action”.
I see a baby who is obviously more robust than dear K and think “poor thing is over fed”.

It’s cruel. It’s mean. It’s childish. But I just can’t stop. This must be why I constantly feel judged. I know that if I am doing it, others must be too.
I am lucky to have 3 women in my life that I don’t feel judged by. I don’t care if they come over and see my saggy post-nursing bra-less boobs. I don’t care if they see my kitchen is a mess from last night’s dinner. Funny thing is, these are all women that I have met since becoming a mommy. And for these women I am beyond grateful for (it is quite liberating to have a messy house MMS battle). Thanks LO, TM and KC!

But this debate could go on about my own insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. Instead, I am writing about whether or not I really care!
Truth be told, I do not care what other women think. If I dig deep into where my insecurities come from, there is only one person that I care what they think. There is one person that I long for acceptance and acknowledgment from (no, this is not “my daddy is an asshole” diatribe). Worse part of it, the person that I most long for acceptance from is the least likely person to provide me with the words I need to hear.

I ache to hear my husband say I am beautiful. I long for my husband to praise my accomplishments as a mother. I wish for him to say that he is so glad he chose me to be the mother of his baby. I need him to thank me for the things I do to keep us going. Unfortunately, this is not the man I married.

I married the strong, silent type. And I love him for it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Addiction

I have a friend, who as a teacher, had the summer off with her kids. At the beginning of the summer she posted, on Facebook, a picture of her kids on the beach and labeled it, “Day 1 @ "Beautiful' Beach!” in her photo album titled “69 Days of Summer 2010.” As the summer progressed she posted pictures of fun activities such as Water Country (twice), bowling, Chuck E. Cheese, parades, snow cones, fireworks on a boat, Mediterranean Cruise, and well, you get the picture. All the while, I was doing my best just to get through the hot summer days without major incidents.

This isn’t the first time that a friend’s post on Facebook has made me feel less than adequate. Much like I used to feel when I was growing up and I would read YM with all those perfect girls who had great hair, gorgeous skin and skinny legs, I was feeling imperfect all over again. Except now it was bigger and worse somehow. When it was just me, the only one I had let down by not being perfect was myself. But now, I had a whole family to let down. Not to mention what all the other moms would think if they knew that I wasn’t as perfect as they were. There were pictures of fun family vacations, while mine turned out to be a disaster. Of course I would still try to get one or two “perfect” pictures to post on my own page so everyone could see just how great my family was too. But still I didn’t get it.

Then, one day, I told my teacher friend how great of a mom she was and terrible I was to not have done such great things with my kids. She laughed out loud and said that they were only a handful of days and all the other crap that happened over the summer didn’t make her profile. And so I laughed too. What I slowly started realizing is that most people try to paint the rosy picture of their lives that they show you on Facebook. No one wants you to know that their life is crap 90 percent of the time. Every now and then you will see a post of a mom complaining that she is serious need of a glass of wine. But you will almost never see one that talks about the terrible fight she had with her husband last night and how she almost threw him out. Instead, you will see her post her wedding picture and thank the most wonderful man in the world for ten years of wedded bliss.

I am pretty sure I am not the only mom out there who has faced Facebook depression. The problem with this type of social site is, although it is public (for the most part), most people treat it as a private little scrapbook. People talk about how great their girls’ night out was, while others see that and realize they weren’t invited. It’s worse than high school when you only knew about the snubs and ‘perfect’ people for a couple hours a day. Now, 24 hours a day, you can log on and feel inferior.

And then there is the creepy, Facebook stalker syndrome. Okay, I know you have been there. This is where someone (maybe you) feels like they know you simply because they are a friend of your friend. I have seen it happen personally when with a friend at the mall, I ran into another friend and introduced the two only to have one of them make a comment about how she knows who she is because she sees her picture all the time on Facebook. Another time a friend of mine made an update that she was headed to the Post Office to get her passport. I happened to be there the same day and crazy enough, I knew exactly why she was there when I ran into her. I know when people are hung over, when they are on vacation and when their kids win a basketball game.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook and Twitter and all that stuff. I am definitely addicted. I have it on my Blackberry and upload pictures of nothing to share every chance I get. They have helped me stay in touch with friends and cousins that I might otherwise have lost touch with long ago. Sometimes life is so busy that I don’t talk to my local friends for days, but I still know what they are up to. I wouldn’t give it up, but maybe I need to read it with more of a disclaimer in my head like, “The events depicted in this site are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.” Then I will realize that Facebook is like looking at a snapshot, a frozen moment in time that doesn’t usually tell the whole story. It’s a guilty pleasure much like magazines at the grocery store checkout.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Musings of the 4am Feed

It's 4am and I hear the whimpers of Little Man calling for me over the crackle of the monitor. I groggily thank the stars for the extra hour that he gave me this morning, but also for the fact that he is calling for me now.  Let me first admit that this particular wake up has never bothered me much.  In the recent weeks of attempting to sleep train K, I have been quick to line anyone up to the firing squad who suggests that I eliminate this early morning bottle. I have tried to take the advice of well-intention friends and experts to let him cry it out.  It only ends with both of us crying and tired. But, I digress.

The 4am bottle creates a peaceful silence, and ever-growing bond between K and I.  There is something about his slow breathing, the way we look at each other, the way he strokes my face as he enjoys that precious 6oz. Most significantly, it's about the conversations we share.  Yes, sometimes we have nothing to say to each other and I resort to singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and two nights ago may have been stuck so lowered myself to singing a sloppy rendition of Eminem and Rhianna. I digress again.

This morning's musing were of my hopes for this Little Man.
I hope that he always holds his head high with humble confidence.

I hope that when faced with difficult decisions that he knows himself well enough to make the right ones.

I hope that when he doesn't make the right choices that he has surrounded himself with people that will help carry him.

I hope that he always brushes his teeth.

I hope he loves with wild abandon.  To not put up walls and guard himself from potential heartache.

I hope that when he does experience heartache, that he knows where to hide the dimwit that did it to him.  I will hunt them down ;)

I hope that he is quick to forgive and doesn't let grudges take over the goodness of his heart.

I hope he always finds a place in his heart for the underdog.

I hope he always comes home for the holidays (laundry, empty wallet and no gas in his car and all).

I hope he wears clean underwear.

I hope that he doesn't always chose the easiest path, but instead chooses the right path for him (in the words of a fellow blogger) "bumps and all".

I hope that he always wants to chat with mommy even if it is 4am and he is hungry. (Even though he hasn't had much to say these past 9 nine months). 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Storytime and Supermom

It’s one of those days where I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I’ve got on clean pants, makeup, and my hair is up. I remember brushing my teeth and actually getting the toothpaste to foam before having to spit it out and race towards the child who likes to gnaw on laptop cords.
The diaper bag is packed, the rolls are neatly tucked into a Bella Band (oh yes, I still wear one – judge away), and my house is semi clean for a slight “Oh! I already did the dishes” pick me up when I come back home.

I am ready. We are ready.
It’s story time at the library.

Heading out, I am confident. I look and smell clean – so a win all the way around. My child is neatly dressed (much better than me, which seems to be the norm these days).
I take my place in the library circle next to a mom who looks like me – no frills, semi awake and just glad to have made it out the door sans barf. We smile wearily yet happily at our little ones as they eye each other up. Her child also looks better than her. Perhaps it’s the new clothes they get every 3 months. Perhaps it’s the 2 guilt free naps a day.

We clap, sign, sign, pat, and roll our way through the half hour. Books are read, songs are repeated. I’m chatting with the new mom next to me. I feel happy to have made a friend. I feel content with myself.

Then I see her.
The Perfect Mother.

Perfectly, impeccably dressed in a crisp blouse and a WHITE skirt – we both stop and look as she gracefully does the motions – towheaded child in her lap also waving along. Her hair is completely in place – curled and poofed to bounce around her face. Her child gazes up at her in adoration as mine heads for the plug in on the wall.

She simply beams Ultra Motherhood. There isn’t an ounce of fat on her – perhaps she is the nanny? And yet, I know this isn’t true. Her legs are toned and tanned, her smile is white and everything she says is met with a nod from all the other mothers in the group. I have on Lulu track pants to hide the paleness of my legs (akin to a dead person) and the obvious departure from all things Gillette. The ring on her finger semi blinds me from across the room.

I am jealous. I feel suddenly inadequate as a mother – heck – as a human being. I feel the urge to throw up a little in my mouth – but realize that then I would smell like throw up. So.
We all head out the door. She places her laughing child into a $1,500 stroller as mine screams and throws himself backwards against me. We head down the sidewalk, and I marvel at the whiteness of the skirt. I wouldn’t make it out the door in that thing – she made it to story time and back spot free. Also, that skirt wouldn’t fit over my thigh. Notice the singular use of thigh.

I am stuck behind her as we walk to our cars. She chats with her friends about a new BMW, an addition to their home for an aupair, her husband finishing his residency at the local hospital. I remember we are out of dog food, and there is wet laundry in the washing machine. Oh craptarts, where did Iput that dirty diaper on my way out of the house? And I bet I left the formula out again and the dog is likely enjoying a great morning snack (which I will begrudgingly but quietly clean up later because my husband has told me 100 times not to leave out Formula).

Feeling more and more insecure, frumpy, fat, and disgruntled with my life, I arrive at my car to put my child in. I think about naptime. As I buckle him in, he looks up at me with big eyes. And smiles. Then pats my hand.
My eyes fill with tears as I realize how silly I have been. And judgmental – because I almost hated someone simply from their status in life.

And while it would be so easy to end this with a, “She’s probably miserable and in a lot of debt,” that wouldn’t be fair. She might have $50 million in the bank and be a blonde Mother Teresa.
It’s not about her. It’s about me. Being secure in who I am as a mother, as a woman, as a human being.

To Kingston, I am the perfect mother. But if I can’t see that, accept that for what it is, he won’t either one day. How can I reassure him that he is amazing, beautiful, and special if I don’t feel that way?

I’d also like to pass down to him the secret of wearing a white skirt all day while being a parent, but that’s setting the bar a little too high.