Ok. I’ll admit it. I kind of love our Elf on the Shelf. I know, I know…as a beaten-down mom with an endless checklist of things to do I should … Continue reading The Life & Times of Chippy the Elf
Pizza and waffles. These are currently the only 2 meal options my 3-year-old finds to be acceptable at this time. And not just any waffles. Eggo Nutrigrain Blueberry waffles. And … Continue reading Pizza & Waffles
Martha Stewart I am not. Princess of Pinterest? Hardly. I am, however, capable of making a simple cake from a box mix. Or so I thought. Last week was my … Continue reading Eat Your Heart Out Martha Stewart
Ok. So maybe this title is a little bit overstated, but not by much. They are evil dipped in adorable, topped with sweetly mispronounced words, and sprinkled with a dash of bat-shit crazy. “Mommy, I want more ‘camel-lope’ please.” (That’s cantaloupe to you & me.) Immediately followed up with a psychotic tirade of frantic warfare when said ‘camel-lope’ is all gone. Whoever coined the phrase ‘terrible twos’ apparently never met a 3-year-old. That, or they decided that ‘terrible’ was simply just not a strong enough word to describe the rage-inducing, tiny vein in forehead bursting task that is raising a 3-year-old.
Maybe I’m just too fresh from the drama to be objective about this age group. Perhaps if you ask me tomorrow I’ll proclaim that it’s one of my favorite ages because they really start to communicate with you and their personalities really emerge and some other b.s. that I really mean at the time. But not today.
Today began with the 3-year-old climbing into our bed at about 2:30 in the morning and kicking me in the face. Did I mention she was wearing shoes? Why, you ask? Because apparently footwear is very important to her (even when she’s sleeping) and I have lost the ability to argue with tiny humans about why wearing shoes to bed is a bad idea. But I digress. Needless to say it was not a restful night of sleep.
The morning brought with it whining. OMG, the whining! Just sitting here thinking about the “whiny voice” is raising my blood pressure. You see, dear reader, whining is the primary form of 3-year-old communication. I feel fairly certain that the devil himself employs a whiny 3-year-old to be Hell’s receptionist.
All of this whiny fun was then followed up with a trip to the dentist where lovely threenager refused to allow the hygienist or dentist to clean her teeth. The dentist was able to get as far as being able to count her teeth before making the very wise decision to try again in 6 months.
Lunch was equally as enjoyable. I had the nerve to serve her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She used to love peanut butter and jelly. Not today. Today I may just as well have served her dog poop on pasta. Pretty sure it would have gotten the same reaction. I made the poor dear take a bite of her sandwich. She refused to swallow the bite and as we were loading into the minivan for big sister’s dance class she must have accidentally choked on the sandwich a bit. Next thing I know she vomited all over the back of the van, on her sister, and on herself. We were a tad late to dance class today and my minivan now has a faint barf smell to it.
The afternoon has brought with it more whining, some crying, fighting with big sister, and (just when I’m about to completely lose it) some sweet little gesture to remind me there really is a good little person in there hiding under all those very big 3-year-old emotions. Not all days are this bad. Some days she’s a perfectly sweet little girl. But today? Today she is a threenager, and so mommy drinks a glass of wine.
Do you have a threenager living in your house? What is the most psychotic thing your threenager has ever done?
It dawned on me the other day that I’ve been in the “mom business” for nearly 5 years now. (Seriously?? I swear she was JUST born!) Since joining “team mom” I’ve had my share of ups and downs. There have been times when I wasn’t enjoying my role as a mother as much as I knew I wanted to and the way my children (and myself!) deserved. Life is far too short to be unhappy (especially when you have so many things to be happy about!).
So I thought about some of the little things that have helped me to become a happier mom. After some thought, a few scribbles in my notebook, and now the clicking of my keyboard; here is a list of the top 5 things that have contributed to my being a happier mom!
- Buy good bras! Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly the secret to happiness, but it’s more of a metaphor about how you take care of yourself. Two pregnancies and nursing two kids for nearly a year each can take a toll on the ta-tas. Bras were an afterthought for a few years. When I was finally ready to hang up the nursing bras I realized that I had absolutely no idea what my new bra size should actually be. My advise; get yourself measured, buy the correct size, and spend a bit extra to get the good bras! It’s a small thing, but as moms we tend to put our own needs on the back-burner in order to put our kid’s needs ahead of our own. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, don’t forget to treat yourself sometimes too. Buy some of that make-up you want, put on that cute outfit sometimes “just because”, and BUY THE GOOD BRAS!
- Get out of the house WITHOUT KIDS! Go out with girlfriends. Leave the kids with your husband, meet friends for dinner, have drinks, talk, reminisce, bitch, gossip. Never underestimate the power of a girl’s night out! It really is good for the soul. Also, make dates with your husband. I know not everyone has a ton of extra money for sitters. Get a neighbor to watch your kid for a few hours or find a Parent’s Night Out in your area. Many churches offer them and it’s a great (inexpensive!) way to carve out some one-on-one time.
- Take time for your hobbies. Whatever it is you enjoy doing and rejuvenates your wary soul; do it! Reading, blogging, refinishing furniture, scrap-booking, running, yoga. Find what you enjoy and leaves you feeling refreshed and do it. Being a mom doesn’t mean you can’t have interests of your own outside of your kids. I’ve seen this too much and I’ve DONE this before too. Nothing will make you more miserable than not allowing yourself a personal outlet.
- Music! I recommend that occasionally you should listen to the music of your youth at ignorant levels. Extra points for singing along at the top of your lungs and dancing. Even more bonus points if the song is explicative laden. Usually I have little ears around me and it tends to affect what and how I listen to music in the car & at home. That’s why sometimes you might pull up next to my minivan at a red light after I’ve dropped my kids off at preschool and hear Beastie Boys or Rage Against the Machine blasting at irresponsible decibel levels. Deal with it.
- Be grateful for the blessings in your life. It’s hard to be unhappy when you choose to focus on all of the good things in your life, both big and small. One of my favorite people, Dennis Prager, says, “Yes, there is a ‘secret to happiness’ and it is gratitude. All happy people are grateful, and ungrateful people cannot be happy.” There have been days where nothing seemed to go right and it was a struggle to find a happy place. But then I would notice that I was outside and it was a gorgeous day with white puffy clouds in the sky. Or that I had a coffee and it was exactly what I I needed in that moment. Look for all things, big and small, to be grateful for.
What are some of your secrets for being a happier mom?
About a month ago I published a blog post highlighting all of the ridiculous crap that comes out of my mouth when talking to my kids. It’s truly one of the many marvels of motherhood. You might have been the coolest most eloquently spoken woman before having children, but then you have kids and suddenly find yourself saying ridiculous things like, “Did you get all the poopy off your booty?”. You can read that blog post here: https://secondratemom.com/2015/08/14/boobs-boogers/ But I digress…
This week I would like to write about the mind-numbing gems that fall out of the mouths of my babes. Let’s be honest; little kids are basically just miniature drunks with Tourette Syndrome, amiright? My kids are no exception. They have a particular affinity for anything boobs, boogers, and butts. So basically I’m raising a couple of female frat boys. I’m not really sure how that happened, but I can tell you that it makes life interesting.
So over the course of the last week I decided to keep track of the Top 5 most disturbing and bizarre things that my children said. (Please note; these do not make me proud. Kids are weird. And gross.) Without further ado, I bring you the Top 5.
- “Mommy, I just sniffed your butt!” (Disclaimer: I believe she was pretending to be a dog & greeting me in the appropriate canine manner….but still.)
- “Do mermaids wear underwear?” (Valid and thoughtful question, actually. I believe we spent some time pondering the logistics of mermaid underwear because, you know, life’s burning questions and all.)
- “Mommy, I love your boobs.” (I really have no good explanation for this one. I believe I said, “Um, thank you.” and then quickly changed the subject.)
- “Mommy, your tummy is just like jello!” (This phrase was uttered by my oldest daughter as she was so kindly patting my tummy. She may or may not have been immediately removed from my will…)
- “Mommy, your boobs are so squishy!” (This gem came from the youngest child as she attempted to feel me up as we were sitting on the couch watching tv. Really, kid? Hands off the goods!)
What is the most bizarre thing your child has said to you lately? Please, let me know mine aren’t the only tiny weirdos out there!
Today was the first full day of preschool for my kids this school year. After a brief appointment this morning I had nothing planned for the remainder of my child-free afternoon. I typically have lists of to-dos and the 5 hours they are both in preschool 2 days a week are usually crammed full of productivity. But today I did nothing.
Don’t get me wrong, there is no end to the number of things I could have been doing. There are always things to be done around here. There is always laundry and dishes and cleaning and errands and countless other things that require my attention. But today I did nothing.
Instead of my usual productivity, I ate a leisurely lunch without interruption. I wasted time perusing Facebook. I allowed myself to get sucked into an episode of Property Brothers on HGTV. And instead of feeling gloriously liberated by an afternoon of purely selfish laziness, I felt guilty. Guilty that I was doing nothing when there were so many things I could be doing. Guilty that while I had the opportunity to be lazy today my husband is working hard to support our family. I was even feeling guilty that I wasn’t enjoying my lazy time because I was too busy FEELING GUILTY! How ridiculous is that?! Feeling guilty about feeling guilty!
The truth is that every now and then we all need a break. I’m exhausted. You probably are too. And while I’m certainly not going to make a habit of squandering my valuable time by being lazy, some days just call for it. There are many days ahead for me to do all the “stuff”. But today I did nothing, and I can make peace with that.