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children

Motherhood, in the quiet, mom, wife, parenting

Embracing Motherhood in the Quiet Moments ~ Those few and far between moments of motherhood when I can drink in the love of my children and fully cherish my role as mom. In these quite moments of mothering, as I lie here between my two little girls in bed; both holding a hand, cuddled deep into me and making me the center of their universe. I inhale the sweet smells of their childhood and grip their tiny sticky hands more tightly than I should and exhale with a sigh of appreciation at the gift of these two creatures. How I want these moments to last forever. Before I had my girls, I never realized how dynamic the mother/child relationship actually was.

Embracing motherhood means finding bliss in the mundane.

I look at my 6 year old, lying to my right, and I see a 16-year-old looming. I can feel her childhood slipping through my fingers. As she lies there in her slumber, her angelic face relaxed, no sassing in sight, I can lose myself in that small face forever. She is so pleasing, imaginative and clever, the type of kid who simultaneously amazes and inspires you. She looks at the entire world with a child’s naïveté and wonder.

My sweet girl is the kind of child who leaves random sticky notes for me to find with  “I Love you Mome” written on them in the endearing handwriting of a child. I always seem to find them just when I need them the most. In many ways, she is my savior. How I wish I could protect her from the hurts of the world and from the cruel realities and injustices that exist beyond our doorstep.

Soon she will be taller than I am, but when I look at her, I always see the tiny newborn that they placed into my arms on the day that I became a mother. The day that my life changed forever. I may barely be able to carry her off to bed any more but I will always carry her in the space that she occupies in my heart. It was made for her. For as long as I take breath into my lungs, she will reside there.

Embracing motherhood is finding awe in the ordinary.

My 4-year-old, lying in bed to my left, with her night mask on, looking like the world’s sweetest sleep bandit. How I wish I could keep her small forever. She brings joy to my world on a daily basis and I am eternally grateful for being allowed to be her mother. She is so strong, sensitive, and loud. Yet, shy when meeting someone for the first time. She is refreshingly, near brutally honest. This is one of her most endearing qualities. She becomes more and more like me every day. When she was born she was so round and full and now before me lies a waif like angel. She was once dark and covered in curls, now she is ethereal and light. She is ever changing and ever surprising and certainly, keeps us on our toes but she is like the air that I breathe; she sustains me. She gives me hope and happiness just to see her smile. She makes the world a better place just by being in it.

In this moment, I realize that I need to be more present. These moments of motherhood are moving by quickly, years are passing like days and before I know it, I will not be able to lie here at night and watch them sleep; hear them breathe, know they are safe, fully employ this honor of being their mother. Motherhood has made me a better person in the world. I’m not afraid to say it out loud, my daughters are my greatest accomplishment and joy. I know that may sound antiquated but as I lie here looking at their tiny faces, so gentle, peaceful and perfect; I know that I have changed the world. I have made a difference. These girls are a gift to the world. They are the change that I want to see in the world.

These quiet moments of motherhood inspire me to embrace all that I have been given. How has motherhood changed you? How has motherhood inspired you to go after your own dreams?

Motherhood makes Ordinary women ExtraOrdinary

 

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Mommy,parenthod,motherhood

Things I wish I knew before becoming a Mommy ~ As I continue to grow older with each passing year, I gain wisdom. Wisdom that I wish I could text to my younger, hotter, thinner, dumber and less appreciative self. I wish I could have honestly told my Pre Mommy self how hard being a hands on, in the trenches Mommy would be and also how absolutely heart filling, soul lifting and empowering it could also be. Here are a few things every woman should know before becoming a Mommy.

 

Mommy,parenthod,motherhood

Being a Mommy Changes Everything

  • If you have a luxury item that you just have to have… a snazzy pair of Louboutins, a Berkin or that hot new Burberry coat…GET IT NOW! That extra money in your pocket, is never “extra”. Soon you will have to save it. You WILL need it!
  • Sleep is the most important thing in your world. Nap, often. Sleep in. Cuddle your partner. Sleep sideways. Linger in bed doing the crossword as the birds sing on a Sunday morning.
  • Enjoy the silence. Quiet will never be so quiet again. Just be. Still. Silent. Look at the sky and imagine all the endless possibilities of the world.
  • You are never going to look this good again…EVER. Never. Run naked through the streets. Stay naked. Jump on trampolines. Show your belly. Show off that derriere. Appreciate the ebb and flow of that body. You are more gorgeous than you can appreciate right now.
  • There is no such thing as perfect Mommy or even a perfect person. It doesn’t exist. Don’t even look for it. Don’t try to reach it. Just be the best version of you.The one that makes you proud to be alive and happy with your place in the world.
  • Pamper yourself. Get your hair cut, dyed, highlighted. Style your hair. Go for a massage. Pedicure. Manicure. Get that facial hair waxed and those eyebrows threaded. Put on make up. Be beautiful.Feel beautiful. You are beautiful!

Being a Good Mommy is hard work

  • Enjoy your food. Eat it slowly. Chew it. Enjoy it while it is still hot.Try new things. Savor the flavor and texture of everything that enters into your mouth.Soon your Mommy fare will be shared, luke warm food, usually leftover on a child’s plate.
  • Try everything. Have no fear. Live your life with no regrets. No one ever died wishing they had tried less or worked more.
  • Love like your heart has NEVER been broken.Dance like no one is watching. Sing at the top of your lungs.Live out loud!
  • Enjoy your solitude. You will NEVER be alone again. Take long baths. Read books.Turn the radio up as loud as you like. Watch rated R movies. Go shopping.
  • Enjoy your partner. Go on dates. Whisper sweet nothings. Linger in one another’s arms. Hold hands.Kiss long and often.Look into their eyes. Don’t rush anything. Abide within the moment together.
  • Be prepared to love someone more than you EVER though possible. Be prepared to love someone so much that it hurts. Take the love that you have for the person that you currently love most in the world, double it and then multiply that by infinity…that’s how much a Mommy loves her baby.

Mommy; the hardest job you’ll ever Love

*I originally published this piece on Moonfrye back in October but I am super sick today and I’m sure many of you did not get the chance to read it.I think every woman needs to know these things before they become a Mommy.

 

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Parenting, unsolicited advice, I can parent my own kids

How to parenting advice ~ Parenting without unsolicited advice or intervention is something that I am happy to do. I love my kids. I had them because I wanted to be a parent. I don’t need anyone else, no matter how well meaning their intentions may be, stepping in and grabbing the parenting reins. We all get our fair share of “how to parenting advice”, sometimes by people are not even parents,but how many of us had had someone actually step in and flex their how to parenting muscles?

how to Parenting, unsolicited advice, I can parent my own kids, children,moms

Kindly STFU, I can parent my own kids. NO how to parenting intervention needed

We are in a situation where we are currently living with the Big Guy’s parents. It is very generous that they allow us to live in their house while our house is on the market. It really is and I truly appreciate the sacrifice they are making. We tried the whole commuter marriage for two years and Sunday’s just became too much to bear. But lately I see the lines becoming blurred. It’s slowly but surely evolving into a too many cooks in the kitchen scenario.

I’ve noticed my MIL raising her voice a little more at my kids lately. She’s taken it upon herself to tell a 4 and 6 year old that they need to help out around the house more. What? 4 and 6, people not 14 and 16. They already set the table, help load the dishwasher and feed the dog. This seems like a lot to me, aside from picking up their toys. After a particularly aggressive conversation between her and the girls my husband stepped in and reminded her of their ages. She responded ,”Well, I just thought I’d teach them some responsibility.” Is she implying that we do not discipline them or are too permissive in our parenting?

How to parenting interventions are Most always Unwanted

I can feel the judging eyes and impatient stares when the children misbehave. I feel like my every parenting move is under scrutiny. How do I stop this? I ‘ve tried the firm yet gentle approach but my efforts seems to go unnoticed.

Sitting at the dinner table the other night, I watched in muted shock as she scolded my children for not eating everything on their plate. I am trying to teach them to eat until they are full and then stop. I have rules that they have to eat certain amounts of fruit, vegetables and milk. They are never obligated to finish carbs. In fact, I prefer they not. But she stepped in and reprimanded them for NOT eating the 3 helpings of carbs in its entirety.

I feel like my hands are tied because of the situation we are in and I really prefer not to be homeless. How do you tell your MIL that her, assumed, well meaning how to parenting interventions are stepping on your parenting toes? I know she loves them and she’s a good parent, after all, she did raise the Big Guy and he’s pretty freaking amazing. But these are our children and we are the only authoritative figures that should be parenting our children. I appreciate wise how to parenting tips from someone who’s been there already but I feel we can parent effectively all on our own.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she is doing this to be nasty or undermine our parenting or even intentionally. I just think she thinks she is doing what is best. She’s a fixer. If there’s a perceived problem she fixes it. I am more concerned with the effect that it is having on the girls. They are getting confused about who is in charge. My 4 year old told me the other day that is was Grandma’s house and she makes the rules. Which we all know is true except for when you live at Grandma’s house. In any case, Mommy and Daddy always have supreme reign over the children. Even worse, I am afraid that going from being the visiting, doting Grandmother who loves to spend time with them to the Grandma who they see every day and she reprimands and has no patience for them may hurt the relationship between her and our girls.

Am I looking a parent resource gift horse in the mouth or am I right in feeling like my parenting skills are being questioned? We all know how hard it is to parent in the first place, try doing it with your every parenting move being under a microscope. Has this ever happened to you? Has a parent or well intentioned family member or friend stepped in and parented on your behalf, without your permission? What did you do? How would you handle this sticky how to parenting situation?

No how to parenting assistance needed

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Sizist, Adele

Sizist, Adele

According to the Urban Dictionary, Sizist ~

The belief that body weight, size or type accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular body weight, size or type is superior to others.

A couple of years ago my 2 year old told me, upon seeing a Victoria Secret Angel commercial, “Mommy, when I grow up I want to look like her.” I was a bit taken aback. But then I thought, she’s 2! 2?

Surely, she’s seeing pretty colors on a beautiful girl dressed like a fairy. Yeah, I can see why a 2 year old who spends her days playing dress up would want to be a real life grown up fairy. It’s an easy leap to make for a 2 year old.

I didn’t think about it again. Until now.

It was one of those pieces of Mommy guilt that you put in your back pocket and wait for it to hit you upside the head at a later date. How could I explain to a 2 year old that the girl on the commercial was not real. She was a product of youth, lighting, and airbrushing? It would have been completely above her head. I knew we’d be revisiting this subject again.

Am I unwittingly instilling a sizist attitude in my girls?

My goal; to raise healthy, intelligent, happy girls who were self-confident in the skin they are in. A concept completely lost on myself.

I try to avoid the pitfall of asking “Does this make me look fat?” of the Big Guy in front of the girls. I feed them healthy food, I keep them active and I make the focus health not weight. It’s not them it’s me.

It’s my responsibility, as their mother, to guide them into a healthy lifestyle without deprivation; to lead by example. Unfortunately, I’ve not been a consistent example. I’ve been pulling the “watch Mommy workout and eat healthy” then I get stressed and it becomes “Do what I say, not as I do!

Without saying anything about body size, they see me constantly struggling to be thinner and they are forming their own opinions. I’m afraid that my girls are perceiving that there is something fundamentally wrong with not being the girl in the commercial.

Yesterday, upon seeing an overweight woman on television, my 4 year old announced “Mommy, I don’t like that woman. She’s fat! I don’t want to be fat!” Then she grabbed the skin on her tiny stomach.

I fell off my chair. A thousand questions flooded my mind.

Am I raising a sizist?

Why is she thinking about this? What’s wrong with being overweight that makes her NOT like someone simply by their size? Is she worrying about her own weight? Has she heard me say something about my own weight when I thought she wasn’t paying attention? Are my body issues genetic? Can you inherit eating disorders? Am I raising a sizist?

My head was spinning. All I could hear is my blood rushing through my body.

She.thinks.I’m.fat.

More importantly, what does this mean for her? I don’t want her to be a sizist and I certainly don’t want her to grow up to be a self-loathing overweight person. I don’t want her to think someone is less than because of the size of their body. I spent the better part of 30 minutes trying to convince her that people are not to be judged by their size and shape but by who they are on the inside. How I wish people’s insides matched their outsides, life would be so much easier. Is she a sizist?

Do all kids go through a sizist phase?

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Mommy Kryptonite~That New Baby Smell

New Baby Smell ~ Kryptonite for the Mommy soul. Oh yes, I’ve got baby on the brain big time. I know I have pledged myself to the Just Say No to babies campaign. I have willfully closed for business. I have made the decision to close the doors on the baby factory. No more producing grade-A human beings. I know this. I am pretty excited that my girls are of the age where they sleep for more than 4 hours at a time ( usually), that there are no more diapers and ass wiping ( well, most of the time). I don’t particularly miss being spit up on or not understanding what my children are saying. But then something happens, like the birth of my brand spanking new nephew all enveloped in that new baby smell. You know what I mean; it’s like apples, fresh air and pure freaking love. Then you look at that face that melts your heart and short circuits your brain. This is when trouble happens.

New Baby, newborn, Newborn Baby

New Baby=Kryptonite

Then, the ovaries began to twitch – the brain to ditch and suddenly the hinges( of my uterus) started to unhitch. I think there are many of us Mommies who reside somewhere between Baby gotta have it land and Hell no,we won’t go there again newborn city (like New Jack City but not quite so violent). We stay there in a procreation purgatory until one of two things happens 1) we convince our husbands to get a vasectomy or 2) we go through menopause, either way, the inbetween time is dangerous. All it takes is one look at a smiling mug like this one below and we are doomed. One minute (ok 5 minutes) of unprotected wild abandonment and BOOM there we are in a full on shit storm of the delivery kind.

new baby, newborn, newborn baby

Dear Lord, this kind of cuteness should certainly be outlawed. My brain goes all fuzzy and the next thing you know I’m doing things that I promised myself I’d never do again like birthing a 15 inch human head without an epidural ( a la Alien), losing control of my bodily functions, and a menagerie of other things that nobody, not even your mama, tells you about pregnancy.

New Baby, newborn, newborn baby

New Baby Smell is clouding my Judgement

new baby, newborn, newborn baby

My baby +New Baby = Kryptonite of Epic Proportions.

Uterus is full on convulsing.For the love of God can someone please get me outta here before I do something stupid like have unprotected ovulatory sex. Yeah, that’s right, I said it. I know my body like a fine tuned machine and I know two weeks to the day of the start of shark week, fertility lurks. Must resist moments of weakness and smell of fresh out of the oven new baby. And damn it if my sister isn’t the picture of new mommy glow. I thought that was a myth! No fair. I most certainly did not glow. I looked like I had been run over by a Mack truck. Note to self: New baby smell comes with new baby and New baby is hard work ( even if he is so cute that you want to kiss his face off). Have you ever felt conflicted as to if you should have another baby? What do you do to stop the twitching ovaries and throbbing uterus? Or was new baby the new no baby? What tipped the scales in favor of new baby?

new baby, newborn, newborn baby

New Baby Kryptonite Never Looked so Good

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parenting

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parenting

akanemd

Parenting Techniques are like assholes..everyone has one!

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Mommy brain, forgetfulness. children

We’ve all heard of Mommy brain, right? You know that condition that makes everything foggy, forgotten and not quite sure if it’s really happening, supposed to be happening or already happened? Yeah, that’s Mommy brain. Hell, I’d bet my reminder list that most of us are in the throes of it at this very moment. Me, I’m convinced that I am probably on the verge of a full-blown case of sun-downers of the Mommy Kind. Shark week and a severe case of mommy brain seem to be co-existing in my life right now, running rampant if you will. I am not exaggerating when I say that if it weren’t for my head being attached, I’d have misplaced it by now. I have had some pretty near misses while experiencing my advanced stage of Mommy brain but some experiences stand out above and beyond the others in the humiliation department. Like this one…

Mommy brain, forgetfulness. children

Oh Mommy brain, why have you forsaken me?

It was a cold day in January and I had an OB/GYN check up. I was at that point in my pregnancy where I couldn’t see my feet. Let’s be honest, I couldn’t see anything south of the topside of my burgeoning belly swell. Who knows what the hell was going on south of that border? But I had a check up, nonetheless, and there was no way I was going in for it without a little landscaping down below beforehand. I refused to look like I had a chia pet in a headlock. It wasn’t happening.

I stepped into the shower and almost immediately; I was trying to lift my belly out of the way, to just be able to catch a small glimpse of my lady bits. Oh ,my poor lady bits I don’t think I’d actually seen them since conception.  All I could do was feel my way. Scratch. Bump. Crease. Opening. Labia. Clitoris. Baby. I’m making a mental note of the lay of the land, as I go. After much panting, praying and contorting, I started the near impossible task. This was a dangerous endeavor, to say the least. I’m no Helen Keller. I’d never done this before. There was a huge chance that some very important parts of me could be permanently severed and left behind to circle the drain. *Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death* Hour of our death? Yes, this could have been at any moment. Can you imagine the amount of blood loss one could suffer if I she severed a lip? That thing’s attached for a reason. Sure it may look like it’s coming detached but damn it, it’s not.

Mommy brain, note to self..no lip left behind

An hour later the deed was done. I grabbed the mirror and when I lifted my belly, what was revealed to me looked very similar to a teenager trying to grow his first beard. Patchy with tufts of what looked like tiny Fu Manchu’s scattered all throughout my groin region. And not the tiny Fu Manchu’s that you might see on some hipster band mates, no these were the scary tiny Fu Manchu’s that you might see on a little person Kung Fu Master with a bad attitude and one eye. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I returned to the bowels of shower hell and after much effort on my part and a mirror that perpetually steamed up; I, finally, got the job done an hour and one freezing shower later.

I was so proud of myself.  I was going to walk into that appointment, drop trough, and show that handsome OB/GYN the most impressively landscaped vagina he’d ever seen on a woman that far into her pregnancy. Of that, I was certain. But wait; let’s take it to the next level. Why stop at just pretty? I grabbed the feminine hygiene spray and after a quick once over, I was not only impeccably groomed but I KNEW I smelled like a beautiful summer’s day. I got this.

After the exam was done, my doctor looks up at me and says, “Everything looks great and (with a knowing smile and a wink) very festive.” What the F*ck? That was inappropriate but I was a over cooked, over stuffed, waddling pregnant Godzilla in need of some extra attention. Hey, Big pregnant Girls need love too. Of course, I had no idea what he was referring to until I returned home. After a quick look in the mirror, to my utter surprise, what I thought was feminine hygiene spray was actually my 2 year olds Christmas themed Barbie spray. Yes folks, festive indeed. My hairless Chihuahua was now covered with green sparkly glitter spray. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a freshly decorated vagina.

 

*P.S. My birthday is next Saturday (9/25) and I would LOVE to reach 1000 blog followers via GFC by then. MY damn GFC was actually not working most of the past year so  if you loved this story, or you just love The TRUTH about Motherhood please consider clicking the GFC box and following me! Thanks. XO Debi

This is your vagina on Mommy brain

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We have this dog, Saffaron ( Saffy as we affectionately refer to her as) and she is almost 11. Now, she is not a tiny thing a ma bob or a golden noodle hybrid, she  is an adorable boxer. We love her like crazy and we have for the past 11 years but old girl is getting, well…old! This poor dog went from being the big guy and my first “baby” to being basically another  play set for our girls. Our girls mean well, and they think they are “loving on her” but Lord, if that is love..it really does hurt. But Saffy, old girl, she doesn’t miss a beat. She stands there, never growls or shows her teeth, and rolls with the punches. We protect her and intervene on her behalf..regularly but I know if it was happening to me and I was 77 , I’d be biting someone.
That being said, I am getting worried about the fact that sooner than later, Ms. Saffy will be leaving us for greener pastures. My girls really do adore this dog, she is their big sister. If I am telling them how much I love them..they always remind me..”Don’t forget about Saffy, Mommy!” I know when the time comes, little hearts will be severely broken. I am just trying to avoid broken psyches. I’ve been trying to , in the most simplistic way possible, explain to my daughters about death. Basically, I have explained that when a person or animal dies, they go to sleep and leave this earth. We won’t see them again on earth.They know about heaven and they are stoked that people who die get to go there and be well and happy. But sad that said person will no longer be with us. I am always careful to not say when people get old they die because I know Bella, she’d be watching the grandparents like a hawk.
I think I am over sensitive about the issue because growing up, we never really had to deal with death so I am not so good at it myself ( Hell, I’m afraid of how I will act when the dog dies. Shit, Saf better wait until the big guy is home to pick up all the pieces). Growing up, I seldom remember people or pets dying and I think it had something to do with the way my parents dealt  didn’t deal with the topic. For example, growing up we had a dog named “Pancho” ( yes, yes, I know..odd choice for a dog’s name:) for my entire childhood. Now,  you say, “Wow! That was one hell of a long life lived by this dog” That would be a  pretty fair assumption, but it would be wrong. Did I mention Pancho was a Shepard, a beagle, a spaniel,a terrier, a Rottweiler, and a couple different really cute mutts. Yeah, apparently if Pancho died or “ran away” my dad would just replace it…with whatever dog struck his fancy. We’d ask “What happened to Pancho?” And he would put the dog in front of us and say, “What are you talking about? This IS Pancho!” So let it be written, so let it be done. He was Papi so we just took his word for it.
Then there was my freshman year of college when my Grandma was dying of lung cancer. I’d speak to my Mom pretty regularly who was taking care of her, and Mom kept telling me that every time the phone rang, my Grandma would ask, “Is that Debi? Is that my Sug ( as in sugar..which is what my Grandma always called me..she’s from Tennessee that’s how they roll down there)” Anyways, I knew my Gran was sick but apparently not how sick. I went about my semester and right after midterms I came home for October break. The house is empty..weird, right? Finally, my Dad appeared. He made some chit chat with my friend who drove me home for break, even offered him some food. Once I could get a word in edgewise, I inquired, “Where’s Mommy? ( and the rest of my brothers and sisters for that matter and yes,I realize I was 18 calling my Mother “Mommy”.I still do..so what!)” My Dad:” Oh, They are in Tennessee at your Grandma’s funeral ( all very matter of factly)” WTF??? Me: “Why didn’t somebody tell me?(sobbing)” Dad: ” Your Mom didn’t want to bother you during midterms. Your Grandma didn’t want her to.” See what I mean? Totally not making me face death. I missed the funeral, the wake and never really got to say goodbye.
That’s how its been my whole life. I’ve been to a couple wakes but when it comes down to it, the finality of it all, I can’t do it ( “It” meaning the whole putting someone in the ground and actually saying goodbye). In fact, no one’s even insisted that I had to.  At this point in my life,the emotional collateral damage may completely destroy me. I know there will come a time(very soon) that I will have to face my fears, we have a couple Greats that are in their 80’s and I have to get a grip.These are women who are big parts of my girls lives so my girls will have to be given the opportunity to say goodbye. I can not deprive them of that because of my own phobias. I’ve found that once a family member dies, I just don’t go back to that city again. Crazy, I KNOW! It’s just that ,subconsciously, I know that once I go there and they are no longer there, I have to face the reality..the pain of loss. This is how it has always been for me. So, I am trying with my own handicapped sense of loss to explain this to my daughters because I don’t want them to be crippled by the fear  of losing their loved ones but to know it is just a small part of living and that dying is not the end but the beginning of another chapter. After all, isn’t it my duty as their Mother to prepare them for life? Part of life is dealing with loss and as painful and unversed as I am in dealing with it myself, I must find a way to navigate the situation so that I can make it easier on them,when the time comes that they have to deal with a loss.
This is an Eskimo Proveb quote that I find beautiful and reassuring. I hope to share it with my girls as a source of comfort as they grow into women and are forced to embrace the reality that no one lives forever.

“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of  our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

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