Friday Morning Cups : A 2 for 1 on Motherhood

IMG_6071Before I was a mom I never thought I would be the mom who said: “Send (insert:caffeine,wine,junk food, etc) it helps” (In my case it’s tea and It totally does help).

▫️Before I was a mom, I never thought I would be annoyed at my messy house (I mean the kids are living, making memories, etc). 

▫️Before I was a mom I never thought I would celebrate the idea of using the bathroom in peace (I totally knew this whole everyone in the bathroom would be a thing, but that solo celebration is also a thing).

▫️Before I was a mom I scoffed at the idea of making separate sides for children (I don’t make a full separate meal, but I do occasionally make two different sides, while offering all options, just to ensure my picky toddler eats something at dinner).

▫️Before I was a mom, I thought that after becoming a mom it wouldn’t be hard to get back to husband and wife (don’t let this scare you, it’s not HARD per se, you just have to make it a priority because it is so so important. 

▫️Before I was a mom I had all sorts of ideas about TV time, technology, etc (which I actually still maintain most of those same ideas ☺️)

▫️Before I was a mom…The list could go on and on of things I thought, ideas on how I would parent, how I thought life as a mother would be. Then I became a mom. 

▫️That’s the thing about motherhood, you have all these ideas and principles in your head…and then it happens. You are handed your child and it gets real. While your overall principles stay the same, your approach, the way you talk, the little things you do everyday. New things annoy you, old things fade away. And if you decide to have multiple children? Your parenting approach and style change to meet the individual needs of each child. 

▫️So have your ideas and overall principles about how you want to parent, try to stick with them as you parent, but know that the minor details may change here and there. That every child is different and will have different needs. That it’s ok to say, how I had planned to parent isn’t what is working. It is ok to shift styles as you figure out what your child needs. Once you find what works for you and for your child, it’s magic…or at least magic with a side of what gets you through the day. 

IMG_2124.JPGI’ve said it before- I like a clean house. I strive for a clean house 97% of the time (the 3% being the time that my kids are awake and trashing everything 😅). A clean home makes me calm (no joke). What I really pride myself on though is my kitchen. I strive for clean counters, floor, dishes in either the washer, drying wrack or put away. Perfection in my kitchen is heaven/less stress to me. BUT (and this is THE BUT of life really), there is a time and place for that. 

☕️Yes, there are dishes on my counter. Yes, I was in the process of clearing breakfast and handling my kitchen after a meal. But if I hadn’t turned around. If I hadn’t bent down. If I hadn’t taken the chance to just be with these two and have a mini pile up/dance party. Then I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t have this picture. I wouldn’t have these smiles. It may sound dramatic and over the top, but it’s true. 

☕️Our children want us. They want us to watch, to play, to talk, to be with them. While we see all the mess around us, see everything that needs to be done, see the work that needs to be done, they just see Mommy and Daddy. So turn around for a minute. Have the dance party. They may not remember every little thing, but they will remember the overall feelings/picture they had. And you will remember. And there will be smiles. Giggles. Happiness. 

A Different Kind of Tired

If you follow me on any of my Social Media you may have already picked up on this, but the past few weeks have been no joke. They’ve been rough. It hasn’t been anything inherently bad, just routine life, but it’s just been a constant of life that’s stretched me thin.

Before we get too far into this, I did take a little “break” and did some self care that I haven’t really been able to get in, so I will not be so stretched thin and can “recuperate” a little. I am doing so much better now, which is referenced at the end of the post.

 I was talking with my husband one night and I found myself saying “I’m just so tired”. This was a pretty good sign to me as to where I was at. How I was feeling and what was going on. His response though? “Why don’t you go to bed then” A logical response to what I had actually said, but I knew that going to bed wasn’t really the answer, just like being physically tired wasn’t what was wrong. Yes, I was physically tired, and yes, going to bed would have probably helped, but it wasn’t the larger issue.

There is a different kind of “tired” when you are a mom. The feeling of just being so worn out emotionally and mentally. We say tired because with this feeling we can feel physically tired, but the root of that is really just our mental and emotional state. It usually comes at a point when we just simply need a break from “being a mom”. We need to have an adult conversation, an adult beverage, or -honestly- an adult only restroom break.

Being a mom (and a parent) means being constantly there when your kids are there. Yes, there are times when we step away and do dishes, or write, or read, or make food, but honestly there is always a part of us that is paying attention to our children. Keeping an ear out for what they are doing, keeping a side eye on what toys they are playing with, making sure that they aren’t destroying the house or hurting each other or getting into things they shouldn’t be into.

That alone, that divided attention, trying to do two things at once (keep the kids happy, and maybe cook some food, do some dishes) is exhausting by itself. And sometimes, being a mom is not the only thing we do. It may be the most important, but often times we are also wives, employees, business owners, or have some other commitment going on that we need to do.

Not only do we balance motherhood, partnership, work, we are also actively maintaining a living space and trying to take care of ourselves. Even with the help of our respective partners, it all adds up. And, at some point, we get tired. Not just physically tired, but emotionally and mentally worn out. We collapse in a pile in bed or on the couch and just lay there. We revel in the peace that is the house after the kids go to bed, the nightly chores are done, and there is a quiet that we haven’t heard all day long.

So yes, I was tired when I said that and yes, I did go to bed, but it wasn’t (and isn’t ever) a simple fix. It took a couple days for me to get out that “tired” feeling. A couple days of easy weekend-ing, having my whole little family together, and getting a blissful few hours kid free. That was what I really needed and when we started a new week, it felt as if I was back in action.

Restoring Order: A Lighthearted Short Story About One Tired Mom

The alarm clock chimed 6:00AM, as it did every morning. Playing a classical medley of strings and piano to gently nudge the sleeping mom awake. Morning had come too quick once again. After a late night, a non sleeping baby, and an early alarm she was tired before the day even began.

She did her morning yoga flow and was starting to feel better. More “with it”. Trying to save a little time (as she could hear the soft murmurings of her older son waking up), she stopped into the kitchen to put the kettle to boil.

Tea was her savior in the morning. The workout or yoga session started her off in the right direction, and the tea just put everything over the top. To hear the whistle of the kettle, the splash of the water being poured into her teapot, steam rising up, and then a few short minutes later that beautiful rich colored tea being poured into her cup—this was the way to start her morning. Not to mention the caffeine that would curse through her veins, and, as she sipped her tea, she would slowly emerge from the sleepy fog of her brain.

After setting the kettle to boil, she headed back to her bedroom to get ready for the day. Makeup done, tended to her-now full awake- two year old and then quickly did her hair. All this time (about 30 minutes or so) she didn’t hear the whistle of the kettle. After getting her one year old ready, it occurred to her that she still hadn’t heard that whistle. Thinking maybe someone had pulled it off (as family was in town) she quickly finished up and hurried back to the kitchen.

Stepping into the kitchen- it hit her. The smell of something burning, the no steam, and no whistle from the kettle that was sitting on the still hot burner. The kettle had been placed on the burner empty and the interior (and exterior) had simply been overheating for nothing.

Devastated, she pulled the kettle off, turned the burner off and wondered if it was ok to use or not. The outside had gone quite dark and rusted burned in some spots, the interior a questionable shade of burned brown. It smelled cooked. Damaged was the final determination of her beloved kettle. A new one would need to be purchased. In the meantime, she would have to figure out some other way to heat her water.

In her search for a new tea kettle, she came across a sure beautyf of a kettle, but due to the specifics that she wanted she would have to order it online. This meant a couple days without a kettle! The kettle was ordered and all she could do was wait.

She used the old Keurig that they had saved for family visits, and things were ok. A kettle isn’t the only way to heat water and it wasn’t the end of the world, but she missed that whistle. She enjoyed making tea with the kettle and her teapot. In some ways it was a little ritual she had set up for every morning and the Keurig water just didn’t do the same justice to her tea.

But, oh! The kettle came faster than expected and in just two short days, order was restored to their house. That first whistle from the new kettle instantly made her day better. All was well.

Authors note:

So first, this is a completely true story EXCEPT for the “soft murmurings” of my two year old. When he wakes up, he takes maybe a minute or two to stretch in bed and then he is out that door and off to the races. Very rarely does he have a “slow” start to the morning.

Second, I totally know that this wasn’t an end of the world problem. It’s definitely not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things and I totally survived (and realistically could survive) without a kettle for a couple days. We have an old Keurig that is used by family when they come to visit, or I can simply heat water in a sauce pot on the cooktop. It just is different (if you own a kettle and use one regularly, you know what I mean). I was totally fine and I recognize that this was the definition of “first world problem”

Third and final note, this was meant to be taken lightly and humorously. I thought it was quite funny that a simply tea kettle caused an “uproar” of humor for me and figured I would share in a funny manner. I hope you enjoyed!

Sunday Evening Chat (aka supposed to be Friday Morning, but I missed it)

As moms (and parents in general), we’ve got some pressure.

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The pressure of raising a being who is entirely reliant on you. The first few years are like nothing else. A baby needing you 24/7, then a toddler demanding your sole attention at all waking hours. It seems like the days are never ending (even though they say the years are short-which they are).

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The pressure of putting on the “facade” of a “happy, beautiful mom with her happy beautiful children”. The pressure of constantly feeling “on” all the time.

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The pressure of a clean home, ready to greet visitors, friends and family alike, and then the pressure of feeding and hosting those visitors.

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The pressure of needing to do all the things for all the people all the time. Of constantly needing to feel like you are handling everything, taking care of everything and everyone. Making sure everyone is happy, healthy, and fed.

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Finally, the pressure not to complain. Not to talk about how hard it can be. To only share the good, the positive. To put a smile on and brush any problems or struggles under the rug. To talk about the problems is to be ungrateful, to be airing stuff that just shouldn’t be talked about. This is just what t is to have children and deal with it.

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Some of this pressure is just being a mom (the children are reliant on you after all and there are things that we have to do as mothers), some of this pressure just comes from who we are as a person. Some of this pressure comes from outside voices. Voices who judge us for who we are, what we do, how we handle ourselves and our family.

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All this pressure is bullshit and insane. But it’s there.

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How do we handle this pressure? How do we make sure we don’t bottle it up and let it take over bit by bit? How do we manage? How do we make sure that with all the pressure we don’t break?

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Sometimes it feels like we are balancing on a tightrope with plates and cups stacked up high on our head. One wrong step and everything comes tumbling, no crashing, down. How do you do it? How do I do it? How do any of us do it? I wonder because we all do it.

Friday Morning Cups: Parenting Edition

***Warning- Language***

Boy oh boy. I haven’t done just a chatty post in a while, and I sure did pick a good day to just start typing away. It’s a Tuesday afternoon. I’ve finished work, and I’m now putting some touches on a couple of blog posts, responding to my own emails, and trying to get things sorted in the 20 minutes I get in between ending my work day and the boys waking up. My music is on and I’ve had a lot on my mind over the day. I figured I would sit down and kind of just word vomit for you. Lovely, huh?

Today was a test for me as a mother. As a person. It’s been a tough day. Not a breaking point one, no where near that, but a tough one none the less. I feel like there are days that you may not hit that breaking point, but are almost harder than if you were just to break. 

Our older son is at 2.5 and for him, it is just a tough age to be in. They have so much that they desperately want to say, so much that they want to express and no understanding or comprehension of how to do that. They are just starting to understand the range of emotion and feelings that they can have and for him, my independent strong willed loving child, he feels those very strongly. A lot of times in our home, and many many others I’m sure, all these feelings get melded together into one of frustration and anger which then leads to tantrums. This can be just as frustrating (and grating) for the parent as it is for the child. Imagine there are two people trying to help each other who are not speaking the same language. It is similar to that and yet much harder. 

All this to say that I struggle with the parent that I want to be and the parent that I am currently being today. I want to be the calm and collected parent who always sits down and talks through problems with her children. Who has that peaceful approach and can de escalate a situation without time outs, yelling, or a swift “go to your room”. Most days I am fairly good at being that parent. At being able to provide a combination of calm talking through problems and let’s go take a time out for a minute and calm down (without the anger of “go to your room”), but not today. Today I let myself down as a parent. 

Not an hour into the day, our older son had his first meltdown. They continued all throughout the day and I don’t think we hit a “good” stride until after nap time. He really just threw me for a loop today and I found my self just wondering what to do. I yelled a couple of times. He went into time out a couple of times. I don’t like feeling frazzled, or like I am just continually losing my shit, and yet here I am looking back at how the day went and realizing that I just did lose my shit, over and over again. 

Now let me be real about something, I know these days are going to come. Life is not sunshine and daisies, and parenting is not all the unicorns and rainbows in the world. It is hard, worth it, but hard. I know my son is probably not going to remember these moments, as they are few and far between. That doesn’t stop me from feeling like a turd nugget for yelling at him. I know that 2 is just a really hard age for children and parents alike. That doesn’t stop me from feeling like I’ve failed my children today. I say children because I feel as if I failed both of them. I was so thrown by my older son that it wore off on my parenting of my younger son, which I think I might even hate more than anything else. 

So basically, today was a shit day, with shit feelings, and I am over it. I am ready for tomorrow to be better. For it to just be a new day, with a new start. To let go of today and the problems, take the lessons I’ve learned and go in with a fresh outlook for tomorrow. I can’t change today, but I can try for a better tomorrow. 

(I know I wrote this on a Tuesday and it is being posted on a Friday. I can say that my Wednesday was much better and the rest of the week has gone swimmingly in the parenting realm 🙂 ).

The Case for Realness

Sometimes I feel like as Mom’s we feel like we have to spin either this everything is perfect facade or gosh this whole parenting gig is hard. And honestly, you’ll get judged either way you fall. On the “everything is perfect” side of things, you are told that it isn’t realistic or you’re not sharing everything. On the “everything is shit” side of things, you are told that you shouldn’t share those moments publicly, OR maybe you should realize just how lucky you are to have children. No matter what you share, you’ll be judged. 

So why do we try so hard to fall into one or the other? Why can’t we just all be real, 100% of the time? And why, if we all decide to be 100% real, can’t we all support each others choices?Why not put that judgement hat aside and just be a shoulder to lean on? And more importantly, why do we all put so much stock into what others think of us? We are all going through life and motherhood. What works for one, won’t work for all. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t normally post or share about the harder times, not because they don’t happen, but because it is hard to get away from wanting to feel like we’ve got it all together. Because it can come across as not loving motherhood in some ways to some people. I love being a mom, am so blessed to have our two boys, and that doesn’t change because I share the hard moments (and we all have those hard moments). The temper tantrums. The days where it feels like all hell will truly break loose.

In our house, some days are like the first picture. Happy, perfect days where we all get along and things are just good. Some days are like the second picture, where it feels like a never ending thunder storm. Most days are a combination of both pictures with good moments and a couple of harder ones. And sure, I don’t LOVE the hard moments, sure on the days where it just feels like a never ending temper tantrum I may post about it, but I still LOVE being a mom. You can’t take the good with the bad and I know down the line, I’ll miss when the thing they cried about was not being able to pull apart two legos or wanting that extra piece of candy they couldn’t have.