Browsing Category: Parenting

The Mediocre Mother

Feeling like a mediocre mother

mediocre mother

I used to think I was mediocre at everything. Remember the movie Napoleon Dynamite? Just like Napoleon, I felt, “I don’t even have any SKILLS!”. Granted, at least I wasn’t quite the dork he was (though my brothers may disagree), but that had no effect on the perception I had of myself.

the mediocre mother

I never had any desire for a specific career, at least not since my dream of becoming a ballerina fizzled around age 7. I wanted to be a mom, and that’s all I could come up with. I always thought maybe I was simply lazy, and settling for the only thing I had a mild propensity for – housekeeping.

I got married and had a baby. And I still felt mediocre. I had another baby and got worse at my housewife job. With two kids, it became harder to keep up with the house, my appearance, my healthy homemade meals. I was doing what I had always wanted to do and I sucked at it. Maybe I was crazy and it wasn’t for me…why did I want this in the first place, I asked myself? Why would I have not one, but TWO kids? Was I nuts? This was hard work and I obviously wasn’t the greatest at this mothering job. I’m neither patient nor organized. I get lazy and discouraged.

Then I realized…I am not lazy (at least not all the time, ha!). Everyone gets discouraged and everyone has their shortcomings. When I want something, though, I go for it. If I am passionate and determined, I’ll do the research, and I’ll give it my best effort. And just because my house is a mess sometimes, or even most of the time, does not mean I am a mediocre mother. I have a laid back approach to motherhood and life, and that’s cool. Some people are way too uptight and stressed all the time. So what’s better, having a messy house, or being stressed to the max about cleaning every nook and cranny?

And since when is devoting your life to the development of small human beings mediocre? My career of choice may not be glamorous, but my daughters know they are loved. I don’t miss a single minute of their day (but oh boy, some days I wish did, though! Haha!). For now, I am their world, and they are mine.

To say I don’t have “skills” is a gross understatement. I may not be skilled in the way that successful professional career women are, but I bet a lot of them can’t bake a pie or knead a loaf of bread, either. As silly as it may sound, those things really do bring me joy, and I hope that if you have a job in the workplace, it gives you joy, too. We all need each other. I need you, the skilled doctor or nurse, when I’m having babies, or the pediatrician, who provides my girls with a health assessment and care when they’re sick. And maybe you don’t necessarily ‘need’ me, but I have services to give as well… I can offer you my friendship, I can make you a meal (if you like flaxseed, beans and spinach), I can be your sounding board because I just love having an adult conversation!

I realized this past week, I’m not mediocre because I can’t perform brain surgery. I’m not lazy because because I don’t have a “career”. My chosen path is challenging, both mentally and physically. My career is my kids, and in 18 years, it will be over. I’ll need to look for a new job. I’ll experience ’empty nest syndrome’.

But my title will always be “Mother” and my kids will always be loved.

dark-pink-heart-hi

Now it’s your turn-

Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up to your own ideals? Tell me in the comments below!

The Sacrifice of Sanity

sacrifice of sanity over craftime

Yesterday, I learned something new.

I learned that mothers not only sacrifice their bodies, half of every delicious thing they eat, and any semblance of quality free time by themselves or with their spouses, they also sacrifice their sanity.

Yes. That’s what I said. The sacrifice of sanity.

As for me, I officially lost my sanity over craft time yesterday.

What I thought would be a fun, diverting activity quickly turned into chaos. My 3 year old was constantly asking for help, wielding large scissors because we lost her kid-size ones, and affixing no less than 9 feet (I’m sure) of her brand new sparkly tape to a small card meant to be sent to Grandma but in the end was much too cumbersome to fit in anything but a good size box. Even if the card wasn’t so thick and heavy, the large pool of glue she blobbed on won’t dry ’til next August.

craft
This was the beautiful finished work of art!

My 20 month old daughter applied sticker after sticker, stood up in her booster to reach more (nearly giving me a heart attack every time), and knocked over 12 things in the process as tiny paper snowflakes slowly drifted to the floor, which I’d foolishly just swept. My very vocal sweetheart would yell things like ‘blue, blue!’ which could mean anything from ‘glue’, to any color crayon, to something that is actually the color blue. When this bumbling mother couldn’t figure it out, her shrieking would escalate until she collapsed into tears. Because whatever it was she wanted, she had to have it, or her craft would not be complete.

Finally, I covered my face with my hands and let out an agonized cry.

I promptly decided we’d had enough fun crafting for the day. Sent the little one to bed and made some coffee. With Bailey’s.

I actually thought I could multitask while the girls crafted (having not learned from previous experience). What happened instead, was that I had a million different chores started and not a single one was getting done.

I only escalated my own stress and deprived my girls of a more enjoyable experience. When will I ever learn?

Next time, maybe I’ll just forget the chores and we can all craft together.

 

A Weekend of Momentous Moments

We just finished up a big weekend at our house! Not only was it Halloween, my oldest daughter got her ears pierced, and I wrapped up my church fundraiser featuring my small business! I was excited to announce the winners for the Mystery Hostess rewards, and excited that we raised $250 for our building fund. Plus, people got safer products without harmful chemicals for their household! It’s a win all the way around!

momentous momentMy 3.5 year old recently overheard my friend and I discussing the momentous occasion of when and how we came to get our ears pierced, and also when my friend got her little girls ears pierced. Next thing you know, that was all she could talk about. She wanted her ears pierced like her little friend. We’ve talked about it for months, but I was always able to push her off. Not this time. I sucked up my hesitance and fear, and the whole family headed off to the mall. I went first, and got a third piercing in my ear. I got cold feet when I saw the piercing gun and said, “I can’t do this” (I hate needles!). The lady told me, “Just smile”. So, with my daughter watching, I pasted a big fake smile on my face. Ow! It was over, and then it was my brave daughter’s turn. She knew it would pinch, but nothing could prepare her for the pain. When the piercing went thru, her little body jumped and her mouth made an ‘O’. It was heartbreaking! But she was so brave and refused to cry. I, on the other hand, had a hard time holding back the tears. My poor baby.

IMG_0409For Halloween, my daughters were characters from, “The Wizard of Oz”. My oldest loves the movie, so when I found a Dorothy costume at a yard sale, I knew she had to have it! It was actually a slightly risqué adult costume, but for only $2.50, my mom and I decided to take it home and try to alter it. We were both slightly nervous at the prospect, but it turned out marvelous and was pretty easy to do! I also had to buy some red sparkly shoes from Target, but they were inexpensive and can be reused for Christmas! Wanting to keep with the theme, I borrowed a lion costume from a lady in the local MOMS Club chapter I belong to. After a trial run in the costume at a neighborhood event where everyone seemed to think my little lion was a boy, I pinned a pink ribbon to one ear. One old man still called her a ‘little guy’ and gave ‘him’ some candy. Oh well. She’ll never know.

So, tell me-

How did you react when you got your daughter’s ears pierced? Was it as nerve wracking for you as it was me?

And what clever costumes did you come up with for Halloween?

The Importance of Taking a Time-Out

The Importance of Taking a Time Out
Sometimes, even adults need a time-out.

Last week, my hubby and I took a trip to Mackinac Island in celebration of our 5th anniversary. The entire trip (including our fun detours, outlet mall shopping, and visiting my brother-in-law and his family) was less than a week long, but it was so relaxing!

Time-Out trip to Mackinac Island
Re-Enacting a scene from “Somewhere in Time”

Our time alone gave us the opportunity to re-connect without the 3 year old saying, “Excuse me, EXCUSE ME! I SAID, ‘EXCUSE ME!!'”(Bless her heart, she’s trying to be polite.), or hearing the 1.5 year old cry.

Absolutely priceless.

My mental health was beginning to show signs of wear and tear, judging by my irritability and lack of patience. Yes, I admit it. I was mean, and nasty, and at the end of my rope. Now that I’m back and fully refreshed, I just hope my loving patience lasts…my children are much more entertaining and adorable when I am not so stressed! I have enjoyed them so much more this week than I did before our trip!

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I’m often tempted to be jealous of my friends with family (aka, built-in free babysitters) in the area…but I fight the feeling and remind myself that I’m just building character and becoming a stronger, more resilient person. When I’m not being impatient and irritable, that is. Yes, my kids are sweet, precious miracles, but parenting is hard, and often, it just plain old sucks!

Sometimes I’m afraid I will offend people with my frankness in saying how difficult parenting can be. But what I really want other moms to know, is if you feel like you’re drowning and can’t handle one more night of the bedtime routine, or clean up one more plate of spaghetti dumped on the floor the very day you *finally* got around to washing it, or lovingly quiet a sobbing child with yet another ‘owie’, or calmly handle one more outburst, you’re not alone! 

Trip to Mackinac Island
Romantic Carriage Ride…sort of…We shared the ride with another couple (strangers) to save money!

All parents need date night, to step back and breathe, to have blessed silence, and peaceful conversations with their spouse. It is good for your marriage, and good for your children. Hopefully, someday they come out with Rent-A-Grandparent for transplants like me! I don’t need a therapist to maintain my mental health, I need a granny on call!

If you want to read more about our getaway, where we went and what we did, check out my guest post over at Family Vacations US. I am so excited-it just went live this morning about two hours ago. Thanks so much to Allison and Terri for letting me guest post!