Moms Are Still Women

Mothers have a tendency to forget that they’re women. They throw their hair in a ponytail and put on whatever clothes they can find that haven’t been spit on too much. They spend so much effort ensuring their children and spouses are so taken care of that they forget about themselves.

Don’t forget you’re a woman and you’re beautiful. Your spouse will love you no matter what, but don’t forget to love yourself. Take a few minutes to yourself whenever you can.

What I do? I do a little spa treatment while my little one is in the bathtub. I sit next to him on the floor and on a little breakfast tray, I will do my nails or brush my hair and actually make it look pretty. He loves that I’m so close, and we chat and hang out while he plays in the tub. Afterward, I feel so much better and the evening goes so much smoother, just because I gave myself some time.

Being Content with Myself

Between being a mother and having relationships, I’ve rarely gotten time alone to myself. My oldest lives with his father now and my youngest now splits his time between his father and I evenly now that he’s getting older.  So what the hell do I do with myself? Sadly, I have found myself vegging out in front of the TV for most of the time that I’m alone. Nothing sounds fun to do alone, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve begun feeling like I’m in a major funk. In the midst of some soul searching the past few weeks, I sat down and tried to remember what I used to do just for myself when I was younger. I focused on the ages of 16-18 because that’s when I was super single and had no children yet. Letting my mind wander back to days where there were no responsibilities and all I had to worry about was myself, I remembered so many things that I used to do. Being an old soul and a bit of a loner, this is what I came up with:

  • I used to read 600 page books in one day and couldn’t put them down
  • I would take long hikes in the woods with nothing but music (not even my phone or pager)
  • I spent hours laying out in the sun with music AND a book
  • I would throw a football or baseball around with a friend and talk
  • I thrived on going rock climbing alone, for hours
  • Now that I’m in to golf, I could go chip and putt by myself with my music and my thoughts

I’ve spent quite a bit of time alone without the boys lately, and it’s been so lonely. But the more time I spend thinking about everything I used to do for myself, the more excited I become at the idea of being alone. I don’t know why I’ve forgotten how much I loved reading or hiking, but perhaps the longer you spend being a mother, the more you forget about yourself. We all need alone time, and maybe now is my chance to spend some alone time to think, reenergize, and love who I am. I have written my list in my phone, and I am hoping that I can keep adding items to it as I complete them. 

Always remember the person that knows you the best is yourself. Never let anyone take that away from you and definitely don’t forget to take better care of yourselves mommies. We have a tendency to give until there’s nothing left. Make time to rejuvenate your mind and bodies so you have much more to offer others. This is something I had personally forgotten, and I can vouch that it’s not a great place to be in your life. 

What do you do for quality alone time?

Sleepwalking Through Life

Do you ever feel like you’re sleepwalking through life? Taking the necessary steps to continue on with what you must? Attempting to give your children everything as you struggle with just the smallest of responsibilities and daily activities? I’ve never pegged myself as someone that is capable of being depressed, but if I’m being entirely honest, I can’t think of anything else this could be.

I am definitely in a funk. Definitely need something to happen in my life to make me feel like everything isn’t going wrong. I need some good to come out of all this negativity. If it doesn’t, I don’t think I’ll be able to get out of this funk I’m in. Any natural herbs or tips to help me out? This is all new to me and frankly, I don’t like it one bit.

Why Single Mom’s Don’t Cry

We wake up before dawn. Our thoughts riddled with the worries of the day before we even open our eyes. Sometimes, it’s as trivial as worrying whether we’ll have enough time to make coffee before taking the kids to school. Usually, it’s whether we’ll have enough money for food and rent that month. The exhaustion kicks in before we even make it to the restroom. Hunched over on the toilet in the dark, relishing those two minutes of silence and peace before all hell breaks loose. Our backs, minds, and feet hurt. Then we realize we’ve just woken up and there’s no sense in thinking about bedtime just yet.

Checking on the littlest one before heading downstairs, we remember a time when we slept that peacefully. A slumbering bedhead full of hope and joy, with nothing to terminate our dreams but the soothing voice of a loving mother that can’t wait to hold us once again. Those are always the memories we hold dear. Clinging to them like a life raft as we wait to be rescued.

We descend the stairs in angst, wondering what the day will bring us. One step at a time. The minutes will fill the hours, we know. Before we realize, the children are ready. All gleaming from head to toe. We look down at ourselves, grimy but presentable. Grabbing the car keys, we head out the door. On the way to school, the children busy themselves with toys and books as we painstakingly attempt to stretch math into making everything add up so all the bills gets paid. As we calculate in our heads, with no sleep, while driving; for a split second we honestly think we made it work. Until we get home and actually use a calculator. Then we realize we just need to learn to add correctly.

Unsure of how an hour after waking up, the house could look like the remains of a city after a tornado, we crawl around the floor, picking up toys, books, games, and food while the little one tries to jump on our backs to play. We don’t say no because this “game” is probably the closest we’ll get to playing with him today so we let it continue on. Our homes are somewhat recognizable so we sit in front of the computer to get some work done while the baby eats at his table and chair next to us. We cradle our breakfast (coffee mug) in our hands as we contemplate the piles of projects that need to be finished ASAP. After half an hour, the baby is done and needs to get out. We give him a bath and realize we need to leave if we’re to get to the babysitter in time for our second job.

Throwing items into his bag and running out the door, we make it just in time to drop the little one off and work a few cherished hours where we spend the entire time thinking that we have a list a mile long of errands to run that we’ll never get to. Getting off work just in time to pick up the oldest from school, we grab the baby and run home to decide what healthy options we have for dinner in an empty fridge because we simply don’t have time for grocery shopping. We throw something together, and while it cooks, we go back to the computer to try to finish the work from our first job. Before we know it, it’s dinner time. Everyone is fed and we forcefully smile as we explain for the millionth time why {insert the same crap as always here}. For us, it’s typically the reason why the oldest should help with chores and responsibility. As we feel ulcers starting to grow inside our tummies, we escape the moaning and complaining for a few quick seconds alone in the bathroom, only to have the door swung open by a grinning baby with aviators and one sock on. {Best way to get interrupted on the toilet by the way}.

Ordering the oldest into the shower and off to bed as we put the baby in pajamas for their bedtime as well, we guiltily can’t wait for the silence that comes once the children are in bed and the dishes are done.

Why don’t we cry you ask? Because we are strong. We don’t give up. We know that even in the hardest or loneliest of times, there’s a silver lining. We know that those precious moments with our children is what keeps us going, and being strong and brave for them is the wisest choice we can make. If we let them see us cry, we’re crushing their beautiful and innocent outlook on life. We see the problems and the anguish, but all they see is a mommy. Someone that loves them no matter what. They see a safe home and a warm bed. They are content with their life because we’re in it. Our children are our world, and we are theirs. Don’t let them see you cry. No child’s shoulders should hold the burden of our problems. And don’t forget how strong you really are, even if you don’t feel like it. We are resilient and beautiful. We have options. Always.

Shushing Children

I really must learn a better way to get my youngest to be quiet.

Our dialogue from this morning the second I woke up:

3yo: Mommy! I want to help you fix it! {carrying my small tool set}
Me: You can, but grandma is asleep, you need to talk quietly.
3yo: {louder} Grandma is sleeping?!
Me: {whispering} She is, and she’s very tired so we need to keep our voices down so she can get some rest.
3yo: {even louder} I have to go pee pee!!
Me: {still whispering} Ok! Better go potty!
3yo: MOMMY I WENT PEE PEE A LOT!!!!!!!
Me: {SIGH}

Fixing Stupid

It’s completely not up to me. One of the hardest things a mom has to accept when sending your child off to their father’s house. Whether it’s about childcare, sweets, or tv time. I have struggled with this twice now. Two children and two separate fathers. It’s not something you’re in control over, and it can eat away at you until it drives you crazy.

I’ve always been an overprotective mother. With my first, I didn’t let him have soda until he was 6 years old. I didn’t see the point, plus I knew his dad was letting him guzzle it down when he was over there. For years I would put coins and little toys in his Easter eggs because I knew sweets were common at his dad’s house. I forced a one hour reading time each night before bed because I wanted him to excel when he started school.

Mothers do so many things to raise their children the best way possible. Some think I go a little overboard when it comes to protecting them. The way I saw it, why would I poison my child’s body with sugar and soda when there wasn’t one study I could find that proved it was beneficial in any way?!

My current issue is that my 3 year old has to hang out with his evil cousin every afternoon at his grandmother’s house every week he’s with his dad. I admit, I don’t like most children, but this cousin of his has never been disciplined a day in his life, and it’s obvious. He’s 8 now, and all of his bad habits are rubbing off on my sweet, obedient little boy.

No matter how many times I have mentioned this to his father, he shrugs it off as unimportant. So how do I fix stupid? I respect his father, and know he loves his son very much, but it’s hard for a mother to watch as her son gets subjected to a child that has no respect for his elders, and gets away with everything. It’s so very hard to get him back just to see all of these bad habits come out in him.

The worst part? You just have to live with it. You can argue with his father until you’re blue in the face. Begging him to find different childcare. But the truth is, he won’t budge and your focus must turn to instilling respect, discipline, etiquette, common sense, and kindness in your child when you do have him so he can learn right from wrong while he’s away. Love your children. Respect them. And teach them so they make the right choices when you’re not there to protect them, because you simply can’t fix stupid.

When Giving Up Isn’t Giving Up

I will be the first to admit that when relationships get hard, I give up. I justify my actions by allowing myself to believe that the issues we have are never going to get better. I hold high a notion that men are intended to be my own white knight that will come in and save me from my own thoughts and expectations. I hold hope that everything will work out the way they’re supposed to, but what I refuse to admit is that what is “supposed to happen” is what I imagine in my overactive imagination. As you can imagine, I don’t maintain relationships much longer than a year or two.

As I’ve gotten older, I have spent a significant amount of time working on the issues I personally have with relationships. When problems arise, I have exercised patience and forgiveness to eliminate my fear that things won’t work out. Recently, I have been in a relationship with someone that no matter how much I try to “work on” the issues, I can’t help but feel that it just wasn’t meant to be. I could quite possibly have developed an ulcer from all of the options I’ve weighed. I had coffee with a friend of mine last night and laid everything out to him, seeking some form of objective advice. You know what he said?

Are you happier being yourself alone, or not recognizing yourself with him?

Of course, the answer is obvious, but even though I’m independent and college educated, I didn’t even think of it this way. I always made it about the issues we had or expectations that either of us had about the other. I feared that if I didn’t stay with him, I would see myself as a serial heartbreaker. I forgot about myself and my sanity. I forgot that it’s not about how I’d be portrayed or viewed but how I should feel in a relationship.

If you’re in a relationship and don’t even feel like yourself because you’re too busy trying to be who they want you to be, it’s not going to work. If being yourself isn’t good enough for them, then you’re too good for them. Don’t ever let someone try to change you or make you feel guilty for being who you truly are. Something else he mentioned was also very eye opening to me.

If you considered giving up, kept trying, and things still didn’t work out; it doesn’t mean you’re giving up. It means you tried your hardest and it just wasn’t meant to be.

He’s so right. I’ve been beating myself up for months trying to overcome problems that are simply unfixable. When you are too different or the love just isn’t there, it doesn’t make you a failure. It just means it’s time to move on. Don’t ever be afraid to work on a relationship, but don’t think you’re meant to be together just because you’re together. Sometimes it’s as simple as outgrowing another person or as difficult as not even recognizing yourself when you’re with them. But your happiness is just as important as theirs. Don’t jeopardize what you deserve… for anyone.

Love yourself, your family, your friends, and your community. The right person will come along. If they don’t, your life will already be fulfilled and more than likely, you won’t even notice.