Friday, August 15, 2014

Play Play Play all Day Day Day

The end of the summer.  The end of the sleeping-in.  Well sort of sleeping-in, more like awaking without a set schedule.  Every night, the boys and I have a routine.  I kiss them goodnight and they ask, “So, what is the plan for tomorrow?”  And I start with the same thing, “We will get up, eat breakfast, get dressed…..”  then I have to figure out what we are going to do the next day.  When they were very little and on the days Little One was not in preschool last year, I would finish with “then we will play, play, play all day, day, day.”  There were many days this summer I said that also.  

Now that school is starting and both of my boys will be in school all day, I am…I am… that is the thing, I don’t know?  This will be the first time in 11 years that I will be without a child by my side for the majority of the day.  They both will be out of my care for almost 9 hours a day.  

I have been on a mission to find a job that can accommodate my new schedule. I posted this:  
...just to make sure everyone knew!    I interviewed for a lunch lady position at the school, which will not pay much, but the hours work.  I have started submitting my writing to publications in hopes of getting paid to write.  I am not there yet, but I got my first rejection, which actually made me feel pretty good.  It made me feel like a real writer.  I have been focusing on getting a job, mostly because, being home without the boys - while it will be wonderful at first - may just drive me batty.  

Since the day I laid my eyes on First Born, I began my mission.  I became a mom.  I did not know until that moment - seeing him, holding him in my arms - that I wanted to be a mom.  The Hub and I had decided to start a family.  We both talked about being parents, and what that would mean; how we thought our lives would have to change and how we would want to raise our family.   

Although I consciously made the effort to become a mother, I did not feel that I could do it until I saw First Born’s face.  His entrance into our lives sealed in me what I was put here to do.  I was put here to be a mother.  I finally found a fit.  I found something that I could be good at.  I am still striving to be “good at it,” as it is a continual process. But I am enjoying the process.  

When Little One was born I was already a mother, however being the mother of 2 was not something I was sure about.  I adored First Born so much, that I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to devote the time and love to another one.  I was proven wrong.  The love was not divided it was multiplied. Little One and his birth process made me so much stronger and Motherhood requires strength, courage and vigilance, to name a few.  

I am here to be their mother.   They made me who I am.  It is a difficult thing to admit that I did not feel like I had anything to offer the world until they came along. I don’t mean that in a bad way.  I did not know at the time that I felt that way, until I had something to offer.  That is the thing about parenthood.  No one really knows what they are getting into.  No one has any idea how they will react to or feel about being a parent, until it is thrust in their face.  Talk about trial by fire!  I am grateful that my boys have been what my life was missing.  Not just the joy they bring me, or the beauty that they instill, but the messy, crazy, headache inducing stress of it all. 

I am all in.  All my chips rest with my ability to raise these little monkeys into productive, happy, well adjusted members of our world.  I take it seriously, but laugh at it at the same time.  I can’t take myself too seriously, because I know I am full of faults and misconceptions.  I am fully aware of my “fake it till you make it” situation.  I push myself to learn more about raising the kind of men that will impart love and compassion into the world.  And as much as I want to get it right, I know that a lot of it is just a crap shoot.    

I guess my thought is: I have devoted the past 11 years to having my boys at my side.  It was a conscious choice that we were lucky enough to be able to make. One income and the pressure that involves is not easy.  But we make it work.  It is also not easy on my ego.  I have always prided myself in being an independent woman.  I moved out and took care of myself from the age of 19.  I did not depend on anyone, (except for that year that I moved back home after a bad break up, oh yea, that sucked!)  But I always had a full time job, paid my own bills and lived on my own.  It was a source of pride and accomplishment. Even after the Hub and I got married, we split everything down the middle.  

Fast forward 13 years and his paycheck is the only thing we have to “split” between a mortgage, loans, taxes, utilities, etc. Yes,  I have had sporadic jobs watching other people’s children, for which I got paid.  I have also worked at Little One’s preschool, as a lunch lady/teachers assistant, for which I also got paid, a little.  But, I have not brought home a normal paycheck for 11 years. The pressure that puts on The Hub does not seem fair, but he assures me it is. 

My job, my mission, was taking care of my boys and raising them.  It still is my job and my mission, but now I will have less hours in the day to do it.  Where do those hours leave me?  What is my ‘job?’  I need a purpose during that time.  If I stay home, I will sit and think about too much and I don’t need all that mess.  

I will miss having a little one at home, so much.
I will miss the little hand in mine as we walk outside to play.  
I will miss the little socks that get lost in the back seat of the car on the way to the grocery store.  
I will miss my one on one time with a new, little, exploring mind. 
I will miss the belly laughter at a favorite show. 
I will miss the snuggles at nap time.  
I will miss games of hide and seek where the 'hider' is always in full view. 
I will miss teaching them their ABCs, or how to count, or their colors.  
I will miss drawing with them or leaving messages for daddy at work.  
I will miss those tight-neck-squeeze hugs. 
I will miss spaghetti box trains.
I will miss sticky peanut butter and jelly kisses after lunch.

If I am home to ponder and think about all of that, the Zolft dosage will be doubling, sooner rather than later!   I need to keep myself occupied between the times that I am actively mothering.  Ideally, I could just write all day and get paid!  That would rock.  Anyone hiring?  But until that works. I will be the lunch lady or the playground assistant, or whatever else is needed between the hours of 8:30 and 3:30.   

Then they will get off the bus and most likely ignore me. But I will be here to be ignored, make dinner, take them to practice, and turn off the radio in the car when they start to talk about their day.  (Car talks are the best.)  I will be here to help with the homework, look over test scores and hear about their teachers. I will do the laundry every day (that just made me laugh out loud, cause, who am I kidding? That laundry will be done in 10-load spurts.  You know it and I know it.)   I will make them practice guitar and saxophone and any other interest they may have.  I will make sure they are showering and First Born is putting on his deodorant.  I will get them the coolest hair cuts and buy them new shoes every 3 months as they grow out of them.  It is still continuing and someday I will miss all of these things too. 

My boys are growing up. They will be out of the house all day, every day. When I kiss  them goodnight every night and they ask,  “So what is the plan for tomorrow?”   I will tell them.  

But I will look forward to a snow day or the summer break to say,   “Play, play, play all day, day, day,” and hope that that means as much to them as it does to me. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Day in a Mom's Life... Just Sayin'
We are always thinking five steps ahead.  Whether you work in the home, or both in and out of the home, mothers everywhere are on top of their game.  If they are not they are lam blasted by anyone who has an opinion.  

I have young children and watch other people's young children.  When watching my kids or others my first priority is, well, them.  If they want to play, we play, if they want to eat, we eat, if they want to go outside, we go outside, if they want... well, you get the picture.  

I do this, all the while, planning my next 18 hours.  I am clock watching for, 
Clockmeal time, 
diaper change time,
potty time (mine and theirs),  
snack time, 
nap time, 
homework time, 
laundry time, 
reading time, 
TV time, 
bath time 
and finally bed time.

As I am clock watching I am worrying:  
Did they eat enough/too much?  
Are they eating the right things? 
Did they poop/pee?  
When was the last time they pooped/peed? 
Are they they on target developmentally?  
Am I favoring one over the other?  
Am I creating brats, who always get what they want? 
Am I too hard on them?  
Do I expect too much/too little? 
Is my messy house a problem?  
How do other moms keep everything so friggin clean and straightened up? 
How can I expect my kids to straighten up if I don't?  
When can I get some "me" time?  
Do I deserve "me" time?  
Can I sneak in a nap?  
Can I sneak in a nap and not feel guilty?  
Do I hover over the kids too much?  
Can I let them watch TV for over and hour?  
What is with this attitude?  
Is my 7 year old really rolling his eyes at me already??? 
How do I  get my children to wash their hands/say thank you/share/be kind to others/feel less anxious/pull up their zipper/tie their shoes/eat their food, etc.?
While all this is going on in my head, I am:
playing Star Wars, 
preparing meals,  cleaning up meals, 
setting up paper and washable markers, 
cleaning up said paper and washable markers... Damn it! they really are not washable! 
Playing Play-doh, why does it smell like that? It has not changed since the 70s, is it toxic because everything in the 70s was toxic, right? 
Getting juice, no milk, no water, no "I WANT JUUUUUIIIIICCE!!!!!" 
Making appointments, 
planning vacations,  
researching pre-schools, illnesses, parenting skills, sexual predators in my area.  OMG! How scary is that!  There are just too many freaky people out there!

I have only cracked the surface.  I am sure there is more, but it is 11 o'clock at night and I have used up my blogging time.   So I hope you enjoyed my brain, or lack there of!

Oh yea, did I mention I have to maintain: 
English: Typical Sippy Cup Safari cupsa good marriage, 
a weight, 
an identity, 
my medication 
and my sanity.  

Just sayin’.