mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “Mother”

Not my best blog, but at least I wrote something :)

12BS_CD_Shadow_jpg

12BS_CD_Shadow_jpg (Photo credit: WiseWellWoman)

Day 8 of my New Year’s resolutions [(1) end unnecessary drama (2) write everyday] and I must admit, I have done a bang up job of blowing both of them. Isn’t it amazing how you can completely screw something up without even trying? I can only imagine how much more I could have f’d them up if I had put a little effort into it.

Since I can’t seem to stop my addiction to drama I figured I would spend a little time on the writing. I went into work early (again), with the intention of writing a blog and maybe drafting an article to send out to some magazines. I was feeling pretty good when I left the house. Humidity was low so my hair looked good, I was wearing a new necklace from Anthro (on sale!) and there was no traffic.

Then I pulled into the parking lot and it was like BAM! All my positive energy was sucked right out of me. You can do it…you can do it I told myself all the way to my desk.

I sat down, logged onto the computer and stared at all the out-dated photos I have hung up all over my cube. Hmmm, I should really take some of those down and clean up a little, I thought to myself while waiting for the computer to warm up.

Checked my work email, checked my Yahoo email, checked Facebook (mind you I had done all this on my phone 10 minutes earlier in the car) and logged onto Wordpress.

I clicked on mommy&everything (hmmm, maybe I should change that name?) – dashboard –  new post and then nothing. I swear, I could hear the crickets in my head that is how empty it was. WTF again I have NOTHING to say? How can that be? I live in a house with 4 boys all of whom have started school and taking the bus and I have nothing to write about? God I suck!

I sent some emails, read People.com, checked my phone again (do you see a pattern with my addictive personality) and then back to WordPress. Still nothing. Ugh.

I attempted to write something about autism but lost interest after the first couple sentences so I went on to Amazon to check out the Kindle Deal of the Day. Funny, I was actually at work and doing any of the real “work” on my desk had not crossed my mind.

Before long it was time to take L to his first day of pre-k at his new school. I was meeting my aunt (a/k/a “the nanny”) at 9:15 which left me plenty of time to get L to class by 9:30.

Imagine my surprise, as L and I strolled hand in hand down the hallway, to see the classroom door locked and all the kids and teachers inside (most of the kids were crying since their moms had left). Oh crap!! I got the time wrong. Instead of being 10 minutes early, we were now 20 minutes late.

We got inside and I apologized profusely to everyone for being so late. It’s fine, it’s fine they said while giving me “that look” while they attempted to soothe the screaming kids. Luckily L found a puzzle he liked and was fine when I left.

However, all the way back to work I berated myself for being such a “super” mom. This is typical me-type behavior. I can’t just brush something off or accept I made a simple mistake. No, instead I rip myself apart and tell myself how much I suck (really healthy right?). I blame myself for EVERYTHING because I am my own worst enemy. Seriously, there is nothing I can do right for myself.

When I see myself doing this I want to kick my own ass. WTF is wrong with you?? Stop the pity party and knock it off already! I want to scream at myself.

I guess I assumed that once I turned 40, the skies would part, harps would play and I would be zapped with self-confidence and self-esteem. No longer would I blame myself for things that were not my fault or apologize to people for no reason at all. Instead I would be confident and walk with my head held high and not care what others thought of me.

How funny is that?!

I keep telling myself it’s baby steps. So maybe I didn’t turn 40 and magically turn into some super, confident wonder woman. However, maybe I am not appreciating all the little steps I have taken lately, steps in the right direction.

I started a blog which shocked the hell out of me (and my friends and family). I was able to advocate for my son with his ASD, I asked for a pay increase at work and I got an article published in a real magazine.

Wow, that’s not so bad for 18 months. No, I didn’t find the cure for cancer or start a new, fabulous career but I am trying. I have to keep reminding myself it is all about the baby steps and someday the baby steps will pay off (fingers crossed and knock on wood).

I can not guarantee that I will stop beating myself up for things or stop allowing certain people to make me doubt myself. I will, however, promise to work on it and be more conscious of it.

I am a work in progress right? If I do happen to catch myself doing this I will take the advise of Olympia Dukakis’ character from the movie “Moonstruck” and SNAP OUT OF IT!

The Husband’s Mother

Wedding rings Português: Anéis de Noivado / Ca...

Wedding rings Português: Anéis de Noivado / Casamento (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ahhhh the stories and blogs I could share with you about my mother-in-law!! I could fill volumes of books about the woman who gave birth to the husband. It is a complicated relationship between a wife and mother-in-law. The MIL is the first woman in a husband’s life. She was his g0-to-person, the one who nursed his boo boos and chased away the monsters from his bad dreams. She raised him and made him into the man that he is today.  

It must be hard to then be “replaced” by a wife. I know a  mother can never be completely replaced but when a wife comes into the picture, she suddenly becomes the go-to-person. She is now the one the “boy” shares his hopes and dreams with, the one who will support and comfort him and eventually create a family with him.

How can a MIL not feel some sort of power struggle with the wife, especially if the wife is the first one among her 3 sons?

Welcome to my world.  I have been with the husband for 15 years, married for almost 12. He is the oldest of 3 boys and was the first to get engaged and married. To say his mom and I have not always had the best relationship would be putting it mildly.

In the beginning it was great, we were as sweet as pie to each other. We would laugh and tell stories with each other and even buy each other little gifts for no reason. I desperately wanted this woman to like me, maybe love me, and think that I was THE BEST thing to happen to her son and family. I tried my best to live up to her expectations of a “good wife” but I don’t think I ever met them. Honestly, I don’t think anyone could, including herself.

Our relationship can best be described as a roller coaster ride, with extreme highs and lows. I thought once I had kids our relationship could change, now she would have grandchildren (4 boys no less) to spoil and carry on the family name. Things have changed but it is not the bliss I dreamed it would be. With kids came LOTS of unsolicited advice which was not always appropriate. 

After all these years I would like to think that the MIL and I have reached a level in our relationship that comes with some comfort, respect and civility.  I know that she is not going anywhere and by now she knows that I am not either. We both love her son and her grandchildren and know that they will always connect us. It is not a perfect relationship but it is what it is and I try not to complain too much (try being the operative word) but no one is perfect right?

When the husband and I got engaged my MIL would sign my birthday cards love. When we were newlyweds she signed my birthday card The Husband’s Mother and Father and this year my card (which was early) simply had my in-laws first names on it with no signature whatsoever.

At first I was HIGHLY insulted and complained to my mom and Mrs. Jeter. How could she not put anything after all these years, not even a fondly??  I whined.  Mrs. Jeter and my mom both told me I was asking for too much and that I should just be happy to have gotten a card. Wasn’t it better to not have some fake “love” or “fondly” attached. They were right but I still huffed and puffed and threw the card on the counter. I even tried to start a fight with the husband over it (very mature of me I know).

Now as I sit here (when I should be working) I think it’s fine that she didn’t add a fake signature. I need to really accept our “relationship” for what it is and be done with it. Life is too short to waste time and energy on things like birthday cards and now that I am approaching 40 I need to let it go. One day the boys will have wives or partners and I wouldn’t want them to fight over me (even though I am THE perfect mom!).

That being said, please cut me some slack because this is WAY easier said than done and it will take LOTS of time!!!!!!!

Honey, I “forgot” to feed the kids lunch today

French bread sandwich with fries.

French bread sandwich with fries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t leave the husband alone with the 4 kids all that often. There are food-shopping trips on a Sunday or a Target run but that is never more than an hour or two so it’s not a big deal.  If I know I will be gone longer I try to do as much as I can before I leave (feed/dress kids, crock pot, etc) to ensure it’s an easy day for both the husband and me.

Today I was meeting a friend for lunch and I knew I would be gone at least 3-4 hours. It was a sunny Saturday so I figured the husband would just play around with the kids outside most of the morning. The boys were THRILLED that daddy was home from work today. I dressed the younger kids and made sure everyone had breakfast before I left.

Lunch was great. It was so fun to be out with another adult who is funny, smart and interesting. We chatted away about everything from playdates to baby showers to whether a bridesmaid dress can ever be re-used (NO!). Apparently we were having a little too much fun because after 2 hours, our waitress (with the bright purple eyeshadow) told us we had to leave because we were taking up her table (you can imagine the tip that remark earned her).

I was in a good mood on the way home and decided to stop for margarita mix. I texted the husband to see if he needed anything. Thinking he would say beer you can imagine my surprise when I got this as a response

yes, lunch for kids

Huh? It was 2pm, how  could the kids not have eaten lunch by 2?! My blood pressure rose as I drove home after making a stop at DD for munchkins (the lunch of champions). The kids ran up to me and the munchkins like they had been on a deserted island without food or water for months.

I thought I would try a new approach with the husband. Instead of pouncing when I saw him, I handed him an iced coffee and asked how his day was. As he sipped the ice coffee I asked how exactly it was that the kids had not eaten, by now it was 2:30. His response was very matter of fact, Oh, I forgot and they wanted to wait for you to get home.

Ok here is my problem, how do you “forget” to feed 4 boys lunch? Maybe if the kids were infants the husband could forget what time a bottle was due or that the baby could have applesauce. However, when you have 4 boys who range in age from 5-2, how do you just “forget” to feed them? The husband remembers to feed himself. I met him when he was 30 and he was not starving by any means. He remembers to feed himself  lunch at work and he is capable of getting a beer from the fridge so it can’t be a physical problem.

I started to worry that there was something wrong with the husband.  He is older than me, could he be losing his mind? Can you get Alzheimer’s at his age?  Worried I confided in my friends and was SHOCKED by what they told me.  Their husbands do the same thing – they “forget” to feed their children, and even change a diaper, while they are out!

OMG it’ s an epidemic among husband and fathers!! What should we as moms and wives do? Is there a pill they can take or a class that will “remind” them to feed their children? Do we try to get a government grant to study this problem and see if there is a cure?

I am going to think about this a little more. I guess for now I will just have to prep the kids to remind daddy to feed them if mommy isn’t home, after all the kids NEVER have a problem telling me that they are hungry/thirsty. I’ll keep you posted on my progress

Oh no mommy’s sick

A box of Scotties tissues

A box of Scotties tissues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It started Sunday night, that scratchy feeling in my throat and a slight headache. No, it can’t be, I must have drank too much.

Monday morning the alarm went off and my head felt like it weighed 50lbs. I forced myself out of bed thinking a hot shower would make me feel better but it didn’t. When I went down to the kitchen and realized I had no appetite for coffee (gasp!) I knew it was official, I was getting a cold.

When the husband or boys get sick I go into Nurse Noodle mode. I pour the oj, wipe the noses (the kids not the husband) and dole out the ibuprofen. I am there to get blankets or change the movie in the dvd player or even bring a special snack. It’s a mommy’s job to take care of everyone and make them feel better. But who takes care of mommy when she is sick?

All I wanted to do on Monday was take a nap on the couch but try explaining that to 4 kids home from school. My attempts at napping were met with L pulling my eye lids open, J asking for red juice and the twins asking when lunch would be ready. Afterwards there was dinner to be made, clothes to be washed, pajamas to put on and kids to tuck in. Life can’t stop when mommy is sick.

On the way home from work today all I could think about was getting into my pj pants and covering myself with a warm blanket. The kids had other ideas. The 4 boys greeted me at the door, all talking over one another about their day at Bounce U and asking when dinner would be ready.

The husband brought me home soup from the diner and just as I was about to put the spoon to my lips in walked L asking for a spoon and some of my soup. His brothers soon followed asking to go outside and ride their scooters. Ugh, no one cares when mommy is sick.

The kids are in bed, except L who is watching me type. Finally I am in my pj pants, under my blanket debating if I have the energy to make a cup of tea. I hope this cold doesn’t hang around too long. It can’t I am the mommy of the house and I have things to do. Besides everyone knows knows that if mommy is sick no one is happy – most of all mommy.

Welcome to the club Newbies!

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Image via Wikipedia

My office had a bit of a baby boom this year – 3 new mommies since January (all boys btw). First, I would like to congratulate the new moms and welcome them to the mommyhood club. Second, I would like to take this opportunity to pass on some things that I have learned in my 5+ years of being a mom. “Newbies”, this is the insider scoop, stuff you wont read about in books. Some of you may read this and say Oh my…no, however, in time you will become a believer. (This list is in no particular order)

1) If you have gained a total of 15lbs your entire pregnancy, please do not tell a seasoned mom that you are “huge” and will “never get back to my normal” size. I gained 80lbs, 50lbs and 50lbs with each pregnancy so I think you will be fine.

2) The baby you give birth to in the hospital is NOT the same baby you take home. Hospital babies are trying to adjust to the bright and loud world outside your womb, therefore, they sleep, stay swaddled and are perfect creatures.  M (my “oldest” twin) was the ideal newborn during our 4 days in the hospital (he was a c-section). I remember begging him to wake up to eat or so that I could admire him and take pictures. Well the M that came home with me cried the entire car ride home and didn’t stop for the next 3 months.

3) Tired will take on a whole new meaning to you. Yes, you have pulled an all-nighter or partied all night at a club but that is NOTHING compared to the tired you feel one week into mommyhood. In fact, there are no words to even describe it properly, it is just something you have to experience for yourself.

4) When family/friends visit you and your newborn, don’t start proclaiming that you will have the baby on a strict schedule by 3 mo. When you tell a seasoned mom this we laugh. We may not laugh in front of you but we laugh in our heads and as soon as we leave your house we call our other mom friends and laugh like crazy! This is also true for when you tell us that you will not: allow the baby to sleep in your bed; rock the baby to sleep; pick the baby up each time he/she cries; allow a pacifier and/or thumb-sucking and get the baby to sleep in its crib by 8 weeks old.

5) Please don’t chastise a seasoned mom for giving their child non-organic food (this includes snacks and fruits/veges), juice, soda (gasp), fast food, chocolate, processed nuggets, cookies or frozen pancakes for breakfast.  Moms want to feed our kids healthy and nutritious foods but life happens and you do what you need to do.

6) Don’t “tsk-tsk” the mom in the grocery store who does not have her child in a cart cover. I am guilty of this one. The twins were my first(s) so I had all the new mommy gadgets (of 2006 they have changed since) and could not wait to break them out of their happy, little boxes. We would go to Target or BJs and out came the cart covers – no way would my child’s skin touch those filthy seats. Fast forward 4 kids and 3 years later and there I was in BJs watching L put the strap from the cart in his mouth AND I had no wipes! Life happens.

7) Television and dvds are not the enemy, they are friends! Embrace “Baby Einstein” dvds and PBS, Sprout and Nick Jr. Had it not been for Baby Einstein, I would not have taken a shower or vacuumed the house the first 6 months of the twins’ lives.

8) When seasoned moms get invited to your baby showers we LOVE to look at your registries. It is fun to see all the new gadgets and “essentials” available at Babies r Us, stuff we managed to live without 2-3 years ago. However, we also like to critique some of the items listed. Don’t get me wrong, I remember agonizing for weeks over the type of bedding the twins would have. Everything had to match/coördinate and it was imperative that I bought the matching bumpers, quilts (with their names and birth dates embroidered), sheets, valance and rug – I also bought this at Pottery Barn Kids and it cost more than my mortgage. Guess what? The twins didn’t sleep in their room for the first 6 mo (thank god for the swing and bouncer) and the quilts didn’t get used until they were 2. Sure I would “make” the cribs when company was over but seriously, infants don’t need a pillow and sham for their crib.

9) Husbands and fathers very seldom hear the baby cry at 3am and will come up with every excuse imaginable  to get out of changing a diaper.

10) If you are the mom of a girl, please don’t EVER ask/tell a mom of all boys So…you gonna try for the girl? or Ohhhhh don’t worry, boys are so much easier than girls or my personal favorite when people see I have 4 boys Ohhhhh were you trying for the girl?

Again Newbies I welcome you to the club. It is life changing and the journey of a lifetime. Please do not be offended by my suggestions, I mean them all in fun (except #1 and #10). It is important that moms support one another because no one understands being a mom more than another mom.

Rejected by “the mommies” and I lived to tell

English: Logo of the band Rejected Español: Lo...

Image via Wikipedia

The weeks after the birth of a child, especially your first can be very lonely. When you first come home from the hospital there is constant stream of company. Everyone wants to help you and the baby and gifts and meals appear on your counter. As the weeks go by the company starts to dwindle, the husband and your mom go back to work and the only gifts you get are bills from the hospital.  Now it it’s just you and the baby – yikes!!

This was my life in June 2006 except I had 2 babies. I felt so alone. My work friends were busy with work and didn’t have time to listen to my funny baby stories. Friends who already had kids didn’t care if I was up all night, since they were up too, and they had their own kid(s) to deal with. The husband didn’t care whether M pooped or J had gas, he was at work. Ugh, never did my house feel so small (relatively speaking).

Then I remembered a nurse talking to me when I was being discharged from the hospital. She happened to live in my town and told me I should join her mommy group. It’s great she said, they will even make you a casserole. I was hesitant, not being much of a joiner, but desperation won out so I made the call to the mommy president.

I remember being so nervous when the answering machine picked up. Do I leave a message? What do I say? Suppose she doesn’t like me? ran through my head.

I waited days for a call back. It was worse than dating since mommies don’t have to follow the 3-day rule. Finally the mommy president called.  Her name was V and she was as nice as nice could be.  V told me how CUTE it was that I had twins. She asked if they were sleeping through the night (they were maybe 7 weeks at this point) and where I lived in town? This is great,  I thought, I’m in!

Not.  Do you work? she asked. Why yes! I went on and on about being on maternity leave and how my aunt was going to watch the twins when I went back to work in the fall. Her response (insert passive aggressive tone) Ohhhhh….our members don’t work.

Surely she was joking. It was 2006 was I the only person who had to pay for medical benefits?? Sensing my disappointment she told me I was more than welcome to take part in activities until I went back to work.  It was too late, they rejected me.  I was a new mom with 2 babies, 60lbs overweight rejected by “the mommies”.

Why don’t you join a twin mom club? my ob-gyn told me after hearing of my rejection at my post-baby appointment. Twins mom huh? That sounds easy enough. I emailed the membership coordinator when I got home and made arrangements to attend then next meeting.

Big mistake. The twins moms were like a sorority high on caffeine. They greeted me with forms to fill out and an explanation of the yearly dues (dues really?). I was also told about all the benefits of membership, the pizza dough fundraiser and mandatory snack duty. What?! I was 34 years old and looking for women to laugh and complain with. Maybe someone to enjoy a drink with (and not the kind that came in a box). Selling pizza dough was not exactly what I had in mind.

Time went on and me and the boys spent our “free” time strolling the aisles of Target or power walking at the park. Fall came and back to work I went. Working full-time and trying to raise twins left me little time to think about joining a club, unless of course, it was a sleep club.

Well that was 6 years ago and I am happy to report that I am just fine (again relatively speaking). In the years since I have made many mommy acquaintances and even a few mommy friends. Heck, I even joined a book club where we “discuss” a book for 10 minutes and then laugh and complain and drink lots of wine – it’s great!

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