i am that mom.

5 May

I am that mom.

a mama. a mother. a parent. a role model. a failure. and a super hero.

I am that mom who wasn’t sure she wanted kids because I was afraid I wouldn’t know what I was doing.

I am that mom that now knows that making it up as I go along is an acceptable parenting philosophy.

I am that mom who firmly believes her life would not be better without kids.

I am that mom who can’t imagine not hearing giggles or picking up toys or kissing boo boos, but sometimes gets exhausted by it all too.

I am that mom who believes her children are entirely better humans than her, but also knows that she may have had something to do with that.

I am that mom who breaks the rules when they need to be broken to maintain sanity, happiness, or just to make things a little easier.

I am that mom who believes in teaching her kids manners and courtesy and kindness and compassion and letting them know that they are so very important in the world, but the entire world does not revolve around them.

I am that mom who tries to focus on the positive things my kids do even when I am exasperated and cleaning up thrown food and finding lost mittens and trying to ignore the mounting pile of dishes in the sink.

I am that mom who does not parent by shame or guilt, but also doesn’t think my kids deserve an award for doing every little thing that they should be doing.

I am that mom who posts too many pictures and stories about her kids on FB because they do dominate my world.

I am that mom that tries not to judge other parents because I never know what they are going through.

I am that mom who sometimes can’t remember the last day I showered or if i cleaned the bathroom or when my son’s day to share at school is.

I am that mom that tries to smile every time one of my children walks into a room so they know just how happy I am to see them.

I am that mom who struggled with infertility for years and finally got pregnant through IVF with twins and was petrified and simultaneously excited the entire time I was pregnant.

I am that mom who wants nothing more than to stay home with my kids and watch them grow and change and step into their own selves. But when I am home with them for too long I often feel like running away and hiding. And then I feel bad about for feeling that way.

I am that mom who leaves the house in a shirt she slept in and pants she wore yesterday just to ensure my kid is at school on time.

I am that mom who is sad when one of the kids cries when she leaves, but also secretly enjoys it because it makes her feel important and consequential.

I am that mom who lingers in the kitchen to drink my coffee standing at the counter for an extra moment of peace.

I am that mom who cries when my children are out of control and I feel like I am failing them. And then laughs because I can’t find the answers I so desperately seek and I realize that they may not even exist.

I am that mom who apologizes and admits my mistakes to myself, my children, my friends, and my wife.

I am that mom who takes pictures of my child’s antics before telling them to stop.

I am that mom with children obsessed with fruit, but somewhat ambivalent about vegetables and I don’t push it.

I am that mom who occasionally gets frustrated at my kids for behaving entirely their ages and then feels bad about it. 

I am that mom who used to run marathons and now spends most of her time running after her kids and couldn’t be happier. Most of the time. 

I am that mom that sometimes desperately wants my kids to go to sleep so I can get a moment of peace, but once they do I want to go in and pick them up and feel their sweet sleepy breath.

I am that mom who wants to feed my kids only healthy nutritious organic foods, but sometimes resorts to boxed Mac n cheese and fish sticks and apple juice and realizes that is okay.

I am that mom who was a vegetarian before I was pregnant and now eats chicken and feels guilty about it.

I am that mom who cloth diapered my twins for 9 months because I thought it was good for the children and the environment and then said screw it when every diaper change turned into a WWE wrestling match. and I don’t really regret the switch.

I am that mom who loves to read with her kids, but some nights just wants them to lay down and put themselves to sleep without a book or a struggle.

I am that mom that makes promises to herself to change things, but often acknowledges that they just aren’t possible right now.

I am that mom who gets exhausted thinking about all the things I should be doing for my family and myself and my job, but am not and then feels like i should step up to the task but doesn’t.

I am that mom that puts my needs last and will do anything and everything to protect my children.

I am that mom who looks at pinterest and laughs and wonders what people have time to do these things. and secretly wishes I was one of them.

I am that mom who sometimes gives in and let’s my kids watch one more tv show, play one more game on the iPad or watch Cars twice in one day just so i can breathe and sit quietly for a few extra minutes.

I am that mom who feels bad that I work outside of my house, but also secretly enjoys the chance to escape some mornings.

I am that mom who is jealous that my kids behave better for the nanny than they do for me.

I am that mom that sometimes lets my kids snack on crackers and gummy bunnies and banana chips and doesn’t worry too much about making dinner.

I am that mom who has a full-time job, but doesn’t have full-time child care.

I am that mom who sees a therapist and sometimes cries when an appointment is cancelled or I can’t make it due to a sick kid or other life happening.

I am that mom who looks in the backseat of her SUV and thinks “oh my – I have three kids. How did that happen?!”

I am that mom who catches vomit in her bare hands and sleeps on hardwood floors and holds feverish children and wanders downstairs to get tylenol and cold face clothes at 3am.

I am that mom who thinks 8am is sleeping in.

I am that mom that sometimes gets excited when she gets a free hour to clean something.

I am that mom that suffers from insomnia and has running lists of things to do and ways to fix things running through my head. all the time.

I am that mom who suffered from postpartum depression and still feels guilty about it and wonders if my babies will forever suffer because of it.

I am that mom who took my twins out in a snow storm in January on the first day I was home alone with them to prove to myself I could.

I am that mom who got up at 3am to do dishes when my twins were a few days old because I wanted to just feel normal.

I am that mom who planned a family trip to disney with 13 month old twins because i was so worried my 7 year old would feel neglected with two new babies in the house.

I am that mom who dislikes how her body has morphed into something else entirely post- childbirth but doesn’t do much about it except get angry and sad.

I am that mom who sometimes has only coffee and wine all day long and then wonders why she is so hungry at 8pm.

 I am that mom that broke her kneecap when my twins were ten months old, drove myself to the hospital, and then refused crutches since I knew I would not be able to carry them if I had to use them.

I am that mom who wakes up at 5am to go for a run before everyone gets up so I can steal a few minutes of me time.

I am that mom that has one child who has always been so incredible and insightful and kind that I feel like it has almost created a set of impossible standards for the other two to live up to.

I am that mom who loves being close to my children, but sometimes would be happy if no one touched her for a few days.

I am that mom who wants to be able to understand and negotiate her children’s different and divergent personalities, but sometimes wishes they came with an instruction manual.

I am that mom who now is willing to carve out time to vacation with my friends without feeling too guilty about leaving my kids for a few days even though it took me four years before I spent a single night away from my eldest.

I am that mom who too often feels like she is juggling plates and wonders when one might drop.

I am that mom that will buy clothes for her kids and sign them up for sports and gets them new books and toys but stresses over buying herself a $25 shirt.

I am that mom whose only birth plan was to have healthy babies.

I am that mom who should be more involved in her child’s school but gets overwhelmed by the politics, the overly involved parents, and the plethora of misbehaving children.

I am that mom who needs a night out with my wife to just reconnect and feel like a woman again, but has no idea when she might get it.

I am that mom who holds my kids and myself accountable, even when it means I am the one who has to leave a good conversation or not go somewhere I want to.

I am that mom who went through labor, pushed for a few hours and then had a c-section.

I am that mom that feels like I am failing a lot of the time.

I am that mom who does laundry and dishes daily, but only vacuums ever few days and only dusts when expecting company. 

I am that mom who wants to get rid of everything to eliminate clutter, but still looks for the perfect toys and books for my kids every time I go out.

I am that mom who is easily intimidated by other parents and their kids even when I know I shouldn’t be.

I am that mom who had a massive hemorrhage, was knocked out, had several blood transfusions, and barely remembers the first few days of my twins life – including when their big brother met them.

I am that mom who wants other mom friends, but doesn’t want to be defined only as a parent.

I am that mom who loved being home every day with my babies, but knew she needed a break too.

I am that mom who rarely asks for help, but usually knows when she needs it.

I am that mom who doesn’t offer advice unless asked because I’m not sure I have any of the answers.

I am that mom who makes mistakes, says the wrong thing, loses her temper, apologizes, feels horrible about it, and wonders if I am ruining my children. 

I am that mom that has no extended family within a 700 mile radius and has a tough time trusting anyone else to watch my children.

I am that mom that makes snacks and meals and cleans up and works and tries to keep some semblance of order, but acknowledges that sometimes good enough really is good enough.

I am that mom that gets down on the floor to build Lego towers or do puzzles and eat pretend food. I am also that mom that sometimes says no I can’t play right now.

I am that mom that tells stories and reads books when she is exhausted and laughs at jokes that don’t make sense and researches her children’s questions.

I am that mom who worries when her kids are sick or hurt but doesn’t obsess.

I am that mom who can be calm and in control in a crisis.

I am that mom that sometimes plays games or checks email on my phone when I should be paying more attention to my children.

I am that mom who is consistent and set in her ways, but is willing to make changes on the fly to avoid chaos or a breakdown.

I am that mom who doesn’t cry over spilt milk. Unless it is thrown on the floor. Or poured on the newly cleaned carpets.

I am that mom with crayon marks on my walls and Lego pieces shoved in drawers and corners and matchbox cars under foot and baby dolls without clothes strewn about and books missing pages and tiny hand prints on nearly everything. 

I am that mom who can come up with a diversion quickly with some masking tape and cars or magnets and a cookie sheet, but isn’t ashamed to pull out my iphone and hand it over to assuage a screaming child either. 

I am that mom who always feels like I should be doing more, but can occasionally cut herself a little slack and realizes that I could also be doing much less.

I am that mom who saves for my children’s future and wants them to be whoever and whatever they want once they safely have a college degree in hand. 

I am that mom who believes in second chances and fresh starts and do overs. 

I am that mom who holds my children close, but knows they need a little room to become their own people as well.

I am a cab driver. A cook. An encyclopedia. A towel. A confidante. A friend. An authoritarian. A cleaner. A dancer. A worker. A chaser. A lawyer. A jungle gym. A high fiver. A negotiator. A fist bumper. A writer. A nurse. A hugger. A lap to sit on. A shoulder to cry on. And so so much more.

I am superhuman and subhuman.

I am that mom. 

 

we are still here. are you?

24 Apr

I want to have something to say. something meaningful. something that makes people think or question or whatever. but really we are just rolling along. lots of hurdles. lots of laughs. the days are so fast. and sometimes painstakingly slow. two has definitely thrown us for a loop. such strong feelings and outbursts. cindy lou is her in utero personality exemplified on the outside. nonstop. running. climbing. jumping. yelling. she is our “spirited” child. or explosive child. or the sweetest little thing ever. I go from thinking she needs an exorcism. to wanting to clone her. she is intense. and focused. it will serve her well no doubt in the future but right now quite honestly it can be very difficult. trying. heart wrenching. and infuriating. she throws things. has tantrums for 10-30 minutes. and is dead set on what she wants. I love her tenacity but abhor her outbursts. by nature I am a quiet person. more observant and willing to express myself in written word. or intimate conversation. and I understand that a two year old doesn’t get that. but really she is so much more than I ever anticipated. and I love her to pieces. her newest thing is to grab your face and say very sweetly what she would like instead of yelling. I think she knows it is harder to say no then… good thing she is cute.

mr. magoo. much quieter. crazes organization and order in general. our little clean freak. he is obsessed with cars. the movie. and wants to see it all the time. more verbose. with this cunning sense of humor. he gets it. and knows when he is being a jester. he randomly gives hugs. and asks to cuddle. rather than demanding to sit on your lap (like his sister) he sidles up next to you and asks for a hug. a kiss. to snuggle. my sweet sweet boy. so much like hook. except for his nearly OCD cleaning tendencies. hook definitely does not have those.

and hook. my boy. so sweet. so gentle. so loving. I never thought I would be negotiating arguments between an eight year old and a two year old but truth be told they all need equal attention at those ages. two years olds are obviously more physically demanding but eight year olds need and deserve your attention. your time. your focus. hook is too forgiving. too sweet. too willing to accept whatever. he is a great kid. and an amazing big brother.

so that is us. right now. I would post pictures but this is my work pc. yup work. I do that. for 40 hours a week. some from home. some out of coffee shops. or libraries. really it is absurd and an incredible opportunity at the same time. if that even makes sense. a lot o exhaustion but hopefully some free flow income to get us out of here and to where we want to be. and the kids love our nanny. and her daughter. they are learning. and having fun. it’s good for all of us right now.

unfair

6 Feb

as parents we are tasked with teaching our children that there are so many things in the world that are not fair. that there is not always equality. or justice. or reason. and all too often as adults. and as parents. we are reminded of this as well. as the world stops spinning for someone. we find ourselves stunned. and grasping for words. and understanding. where there is none. no explanation. nothing that will make it okay. ever.

yesterday an amazing little boy who fought courageously with his mothers beside him succumbed to the ravages of leukemia. i cannot even begin to imagine the pain his moms are experiencing. but i hope in their grief they know that their little BG changed so many lives and will never be forgotten.

unfair doesn’t even begin to describe it.

weeks and weaks

11 Jan

christ.mas came and went. i worked a ridiculous number of hours. in coffee shops. and libraries. m was off for a bit. a much needed reprieve for her from the insanity of retail management. so she instead chased toddlers for days on end. needless to say i think she was not entirely disappointed to return to work on monday… and we were all happy to have our nanny return. i have spoken before of the sleep issues we have been experiencing. i have assembled and disassembled cribs so many times at this point that i may be technically certified in it. we have tried so very many variations. and to be honest. both m and i were getting quite tired of trading off sleeping on the mattress on the wigglers floor. so after the pediatrician appointment last week i removed the cribs. and m cut their pacifiers. oh my. not the best plan. were they sleeping in their cribs. not often. and usually cindy lou would just climb into magoos and they would both stay there or magoo would sleep on the floor. but take them out. remove bokcase (weeks ago). all clothing from dresser. glider (weeks ago) and ottoman (even before glider). superman jumps were way too enticing. twins do indeed teach you the need to do things with an immediacy you may not have appreciated otherwise… but not having the cribs up was mayhem. insanity. no naps. at times no clothes. no diapers. no rest for the weary. and then little sleep at night. grumpy. angry. restless. hellions. running out into the snow shoeless. up stairs. over gates. etc. not exactly “fun”. so i rebuilt the cribs. as toddler beds. again. and bought railings for the side. still not helping. they jumped over them. around them. and generally ran amok. i saw our nanny out on friday night and pretty much begged her to return on monday. when she arrived i explained the situation more fully. mid-afternoon i sent her a text. and low and behold it turns out my nanny is a unicorn. magical. my children nap for her. without issue. she reads to them. lays them in their toddler beds. they actually stay in them. and they sleep. i don’t know who these children are. but i will take it. we are still having some struggles at night but significantly diminished. sleep begets sleep. and apparently unicorns beget sleep. thank goodness for amazing nannies.

hook enjoyed his break from school. we didn’t do a heck of a lot as i was busy busy working and mere was trying to herd the minions. but the boy is now taking not only snowboarding lessons but also guitar lessons (a gift from us for xmas). he started last week and he is loving it). he runs upstairs when he gets home to practice. i hope his excitement persists.

and that’s about it. there is so so very much more going on but i haven’t processed it enough to express it in a way that will make any sense to anyone. if that even makes sense.

2013 isn’t off to the best start. but it is bound to get better. lots of babies to be born (to be clear – NONE by me) and adventures to be had. and life to be lived. and laughter. and love. and good times with great people. you can never go wrong with that combination. always remind yourself what really matters in life. because it can be gone. in an instant.

wishing you all a magical and amazing 2013!

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holi-daze

26 Dec

christmas. with children is so different than christmas. as a child. different expectations. different views. anticipations. you see things through these eyes that sparkle and believe in mgic and happiness and the power of all that is possible. at least that is the hope. and at least for hook that is still true. the wigglers. meh. they still don’t really care yet. just another day. they woke up this morning to flashing lights and sirens. as did i. sadly our next door neighbors home was on fire. windows were being smashed out. the roof was having holes poked in it. beds patted down. seven children live in that house. seven. two families. it was 4:45am. and i was wide awake. smoke billowing out of their roof. and all i could think was where are they? where are the kids? what do they need? i came downstairs. looked around. assessed the situation. m came down as well. i made some coffee. admired the tree. juxtaposed to the smoke in the background. and the red and white lights flashing in my house. the wigglers were awake. i brought them down. they were uninterested in the tree. the gifts. balance bikes. anything else. just wanted to see the trucks. look out the windows. and once the trucks were gone i went to check on hook. the kids next door are his friends. they play in our house. we go to the bus stop with them. so i shielded him a bit. for the sake of christmas. we opened gifts. at first the wigglers wanted to open one thing and play with it. then they suddenly decided they wanted to open everything. all at once. and it wasn’t even 6:30am. exhausting. and amusing. all at the same time. hook was excited and pleased. legos. a guitar and lessons. books. ET. i took half the wigglers toys. stashed them away. to dole out later. too much. with a birthday. and xmas. nine days apart. a quiet day. spent in pajamas. with a nap. for most of us. a bubble bath for the twins. bed time antics. elf. and a magnificent dinner. time with my family. the ones who matter. and mean the most. merry xmas to all.

thinking of all those who have lost so much as of late. newtow.n. new york. next door. india. darfur. suffering all over. doing what i can. to raise good people. and make things right. one way or another.

it’s beginning to feel a lot like…

20 Dec

insanity? thievery? pure exhaustion? or maybe all of the above. the wigglers are now officially two. last year it seemed so momentous. i think i my mind i have idealized it. we had a plan. and a party. and amazing cakes m made. and this year it was less hoopla and more survival. lets be honest – they don’t care if they have a birthday party. they would not know the difference. or maybe they would. but we have no family here. amazing friend – yes. and people closer to us than actual family, but the point remains it just seemed like too much. for some reason the past few months have been harder. perhaps because of the colder (but not really MN cold) weather and less chance to run amok. or the increased monkey climbing antics. or m and i both having an increased work schedule. but seriously i feel way more exhausted right now than i did last year at this time. or maybe that isn’t true. but i have just sufficiently blocked it from my mind. i was trying to make an appt today with my doctor for my migraines. i haven’t seen him in over a year. i was opposed to taking my preventative while bfing. but then when i thought i was towards weaning i asked for a refill. wish granted. but then magoo kept up the bfing for a few more months and the migraines were somewhat tolerable. anyhow. today i call and he is scheduled out a bit. what is a bit. until july. hmm. so i leave a message explaining i am taking the to.pa.max again. and don;t know if i need refills or followup or what. the woman said we haven’t issued you an rx in over a year. my how time flies. or evaporates or something…

lately i am working late. and wrangling monkeys unwilling to stay in their cribs. and up early again. to begin again. all of which i value. and appreciate. but it is wearing. exhausting. m works crazy hard to run 10 stores. and she is tired. and i am tired. and something needs to be tweaked because i feel like i am missing out on a whole lot these days. we upped the nanny hours (amazing how differently your children behave for others). and it is stilla struggle to get everything accomplished. provide each kid with enough attention. hook is incredible. so so helpful. and kind. and he gets short shrift because he is older. and responsible. and knows the wigglers require more right now. not fair but rality.

and this morning to keep things fun my car was broken into. i should not be surprised. and yet i was incredulous. only looking for electronics apparently. my cord for my work laptop gone (only day i have EVER taken it out of my bag). phone chargers. a few dollars buried under donation receipts (irony at its finest). and my sweet boys kin.d.le fir.e. hook won a contest at school and could pick between a DS.3 or a kin.d.le. he picked the kindle because he loves to read. devours books. was in the midst of reading book five in the box car children series. he was sad. but said not to replace it. he would ask santa for it. same kid who offered me this very device last week after magoo threw mine to the floor and cracked the screen. he has this beautiful spirit. absolutely incredible. we have amazing friends and family. near and far. they pulled together and offered help immediately. but really it is just stuff. not life changin. not traumatic. just replaceable stuff. and hook gets that. but is allowed to be sad all the same. m’s mom immediately pulled through and ordered a replacement. my SIL’s friends offered to throw in money for another. and my other SIL extended an offer to get a replacement as well. when bad things happen you need to focus on the good. i believe this holds true for something as simple as a car break in to the horrific tragedies in newtown. i haven’t talked about it because it is overwhelming. and sad. i know people in that town. i grew up close to there. used to visit my earliest childhood best friend there after they moved from across the street. devastating is an understatement. but i refuse to let us all be beaten down. and cower in fear. of course i want to wrap my kids in a bubble. keep them there. home school them through college and then pick their significant others (not really). but it makes you hold so much tighter when the fragility and impermanence of life is thrust in front of you in such a violent and tragic way. so yeah. we lost some stuff today. someone took it. i hope they use the money to feed their family. or buy gifts for their kids. or alleviate their suffering however they need too. does it make it okay? no. but it helps me to sleep at night.

i keep throwing pebbles out there. little acts of good will. a book of stamps to a waiting line in the post office. a donation of toys to good.will. or shopping for a homeless family. it all counts. it all matters. i have to believe people are genuinely good. and kind. and caring. sometimes they just need to be gently nudged in that direction….

Christmas-y crafts – updated

18 Dec

So yesterday I received a lovely holiday decoration from the ladies at lezbemoms. I will post a picture as soon as I get back home. check! It was a lovely gift and I feel fortunate that this exchange exists so we as a community can get to know one another and spread some cheer. And I think we could all use a little extra cheer these days in light of the atrocities going on around us…

xmas craft

The craft for my unlucky recipients (that admittedly looks like it was made by a 7 year old – Pin.te.rest makes me think I can be all crafty and stuff – I’m not) is sitting beside me on the car seat. Boxed up and addressed. It is going out today. It is. it is. hook scolded me this morning for not sending it yet. So so sorry for the delay but it will be there soon. I promise! And them you can heartily laugh and hope I never send you anything again. it has been mailed – ETA of Friday – late I know. bad bad Jill. whoops.

Pictures to follow soon.

And thanks for all the birthday wishes for the Wigglers. They have already assured me this year will be no easier than the last. But I’m ready for it… Please pass the wine.

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