Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Morning Circus

     Hi Mamas! I am finally finding a few moments to check in and get some writing done. Yesterday was a bust for the blog mostly because I live in a circus and have no time to complete a thought let alone compose a piece of writing. It didn't help that my toddler hijacked my iPad and made it impossible for me to write.
    As I was scrambling around yesterday morning I answered a call from one of my besties. Now usually I know better than to try to chat at 8:40 and would have called her back. I was feeling confident in my multitasking skills so I took the call. We were chatting about some of our usual mom topics when I tripped over the baby, who is two and no longer a baby but I fear he will always be know as the baby. Anyway, I tripped over him while I was running around trying to get dressed to run out the door. The reason for this mishap was that he was in the middle of the floor coloring. No big deal right? Wrong...very huge deal! He was using the iPad screen as his canvas for his baby work of art. He had chosen glitter crayons as his medium of choice.
     Horrified, I grabbed the iPad and went running, pants-less, to find something to clean it with. The baby started screaming because I disrupted his art session and I felt a mommy meltdown brewing because "I have to leave the house right now, I am not dressed and I have to clean this iPad and pray that it is not broken". Amazingly, my friend and I continue to carry on our chat despite the chaos in my home. Only mothers can do this by the way. It is an acquired skill that only moms can understand, execute successfully and tolerate. Any way, she happens to be one of the most amazing and brilliant women I know and she insists that I hop online and write up these antics to share because they are too hysterical to keep to myself. The rest of our chat kind of goes like this;
     "Mama, I would love upon love to be able to find a moment to share this insanity with the other mothers out there, but I can't at the moment. I am standing here half dressed with a screaming midget at my feet trying to remove glitter crayon from my iPad screen." "Don't you have a cover on the screen?" "Sadly, no I don't because I can't find a moment to get one. Do you have any idea how to clean crayon off without rubbing too hard. I don't want to scratch the glass. How about Windex? The darn glitter is stuck to the glass. As aggravating as this it, its got nothing on the 45 minute battle I had with my 4th grader last night." "Why did you battle with him?" "Well, 4th grade math is becoming increasingly more complex and when I try to go over it with him, he freaks out insisting that I am wrong. I explain to the child that I learned this a long time ago and I also have a background in teaching so I can certainly help him. He insists that I don't know how to do it and that I'm not doing it the way his teacher taught him. As I read the question I begin to fear he may actually be correct but I will never let him know this. I assure him that he is being ridiculous and that we will call daddy to explain that mommy is correct. I actually need to call daddy because I am totally confused now and daddy is the math genius around here. The child storms off because he thinks I am doubting him. He should only know I am doubting myself and actually have no idea what the hell I am doing anymore. My husband answers the phone and of course he figures the answer out in seconds. Annoying!!! He confirms my son's answer is correct. Fantastic...Apparently the 9 year old knows better than me. The worst part is I still have no idea how they arrived at the correct answer."
     At this point my friend who is driving into the city to work had nearly wet herself from laughing so hard at the circus that is my life.  I laugh too...if I don't laugh I will certainly cry...A LOT! I may drive myself to the nut house. She chokes through her laughter, "YOU NEED TO SHARE THIS CRAP...IT IS HYSTERICAL!!!!!" So, I am sharing the insanity, the circus act, the moment to moment happenings that my life with 4 boys creates, with you amazing mamas! I am late for preschool again. I am standing here in my undies with crying toddlers while scrubbing glitter crayon off my iPad, kids who need coats and shoes on with a clock that keeps ticking in full blown mommy meltdown. Mortified at the reality that is my morning, every morning, I tell my friend that this is the "easy" part of my day. The day really begins at 3:15 when all 4 boys are home and I have to go head to head like a battling bull over the really hard stuff like math word problems that I can't explain. Actually, it is 3:14...the bus is pulling up. I gotta run...I have to brace myself for the rest of my day. It's not easy at all...but I know that I am blessed and I know it is so worth all the sacrifice. I know you get it...we are moms...we are all in the same boat...we get it! Keep up the great work mamas! P.S. The baby just colored his face.....

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

At Least It was Toothpaste

Rushing as always to beat the clock and head out the door. The babies are crying for help with thier shoes. I ignore them and figure I will steal another moment so I can brush my teeth. I sure know how to spoil myself. Hmmm no adult toothpaste in the bathroom. Ninja Turtle Bubble fruit it is! At least it's not Desitin this time. I say it's a win! Gotta run! No time to change my pajama shirt!
Have a great day mamas!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday I wish you were Friday!

     Woke up while it was still very dark to a little minion yelling at me that he wants to "go downstaiz and watch Mickey"! What? Where am I? What time is it? Oh right, it's Monday at a glorious 5:15 AM. Why won't this child go back to sleep! Grrrr....my head is splitting and I need more sleep. The minion he doesn't care. He wants Mickey! I want to cry!
     Up and moving slow, head still splitting, now all 4 boys are awake thanks to the screaming Mickey obsessed minion. "Mom, I want waffles. He had more than me! I want cereal. I want juice. Where is my book? I want Mickey! I don't like this cereal. He is being mean to me mom! You smell like poop. You look like poop. MOM!!!!!!" My head is splitting even more now. Didn't these kids get the memo that it is way too early on Monday morning, post Super Bowl? I hate Monday's! Going to need some serious motivation to make it through this day...this whole long week! Whaaaaaa!! Advil...need Advil. Not sure the usual pep talks I give myself will work today. I need more today. What are my blessings? It helps when I name them...lets do this together! Name a blessing to help get through Monday! Name as many as you can think of! Right now I am feeling blessed to have Advil and coffee! Gotta run because the minion is screaming for Mickey with no clothes on and have to get to preschool by 9! Hopefully I get to brush my teeth...
     Dig deeper mamas! Happy Monday!
   

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl Sunday for Mama

     Today is the long awaited Super Bowl and in my testosterone dominated home, it's a very big day! The boys have been pumped since morning. They can't wait to eat, cheer, yell at the TV and of course, eat some more. Everyone wants to eat and eat and eat yummy football friendly foods. So what does that mean for mama!?
     Super Bowl Sunday is not the same relaxing day for mom as it is for my guys. Mama has to plan the menu, go food shopping, and along with all the regular chores including the never ending laundry piles, yours truly gets the great honor of preparing and serving everything. The cherry on top is the cleaning and scraping up of the food off of the floor...again. Mom didn't get to see Lady Gaga perform the National Anthem. I heard she was fantastic! Mom didn't get to see the half time show either. I can hear the fire crackling in the fireplace, the boys playing catch with the nerf football and the cheers coming from the living room. I wish I could get in there and enjoy these moments with them! I want to kick my feet up and sip my glass of Pinot Noir that has been waiting for me for two hours. I start to grit my teeth and feel annoyed. It is NOT fair! I want to relax and hang out too!
     As the feelings of frustration continue to brew, my boys come running in the kitchen while I clean out the sink. "Mama, that was the best dinner ever!! Your the best mom in the world! Come watch the game mom!" I immediately forget my frustration and feel so happy and blessed that I provided my boys with a meal they loved so much! It makes me happy to know they are enjoying this day and making memories together. I will forget the hours in the kitchen but I will always remember thier happy little faces! They will always remember the yummy meals mom made for the game! I may not get to relax, but I get to enjoy my men! That is mama's Super Bowl Sunday!
Cheers mama's!!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mama Be Kind to Yourself; A Letter to My Former Self

Dear New Mama,

     I have so much I want to share with you about this journey of motherhood. Things you could never know about unless you experienced them or learned about them from someone else. First and foremost, you must always be kind to yourself. You are human and you are not expected to know everything or how to do everything. You will make mistakes, you will forget, you will get frustrated and you will want to give up. You will also succeed and have triumphs. You will teach and discover. You will question everything, doubt and exhaust yourself. You will laugh, cry, marvel and be amazed. You will judge, you will regret and you will be more exhausted than you can ever imagine. You will at times feel you can't do this mother thing and pray for help...answers...sleep.... You will put millions of tons of pressure on yourself to be the best, most amazing mother ever created and to in turn, raise the most perfect child  who has the perfect everything.
     I want you to know, New Mama, that you do not have to do this job alone. You are not the only one. Most of us moms feel or have felt like this at one time or another, if not most of the time. You do not need to be "Super Mom" because we are not super human. We ARE HUMAN. Period. We are imperfect. We are allowed to not know, to screw up, to give up, to be tired, lazy, selfish, and busy. This journey is such because it is unscripted. It is unknown and different for every parent and every child, even within the same family. It is a learning process. This tiny baby you have is going to grow, change, develop and turn into his/her own person. You have to learn all about this child and he/she has to learn about you. You have to get to know each other. This relationship starts at birth and evolves over the course of our lifetimes. We must grow, learn, change, adapt, accept, assimilate, accommodate, forgive, love and more.
     Mama, I want you to know that you are already an amazing and talented mother. It's not because of the "perfect" things that you do for your child or how well you do them. Your a perfect mother for your child because he is YOUR child! He was given to you because only YOU can be his mother the way he needs. Your are an amazing mother because of the love you have for your child and the way you love him. Because of the strong desire to to whatever it takes to do your best to care for him. Your child is loved and supported and guided. Your child will love you because he feels your dedication and love. Your child doesn't expect a perfect mother, he already thinks your perfect. Your child forgives you when you mess up and also learns from you. The times when we show our imperfections are the truly wonderful moments of parenthood. These are the times when we can shine and do the most good. We show our kids we are human. Imagine if we held our kids to the same perfect expectations to which we are holding ourselves? They could never measure up because no one is perfect. How damaging that would be for them. Then why do this to ourselves?! We can teach our kids so much through these flawed moments. This is when we teach how to communicate, admit shortcomings,  how to problem solve, express our emotions properly, how to forgive, love and be flexible.
     Mama, if I can leave you with a few tips, I think they may help you. Be flexible and patient. "Rome wasn't built in a day" Go easy on yourself. Your not supposed to know everything. It would be weird if you knew everything. Don't hold yourself to ideals, weather they belong to you or someone else. You are YOU, and that is it! Please avoid judging and letting yourself feel judged. No one lives in your home, body, heart and mind and you do not need to answer to anyone. Ever. Have faith always. Enlist the support of your fellow mothers. We really do "GET IT" and we all want to help and support each other. You are so far from alone and you should always speak your heart even if it means admitting that "this is hard, not what you expected or that you need help". We all need help...all the time. Let people help you...they want to. "It takes a village"! We aren't designed to raise our children alone. Most important, do not ever loose sight of yourself mama! It is so easy to get caught up in the constant sacrifices of motherhood that we forget to take care of ourselves. We put our needs, wants and joys to the side. Sometimes we feel guilty when we miss or want to do those things we enjoy. You have to always keep sight of YOU because you forgetting your needs will interfere with your ability to be that amazing mommy you strive so hard to be. You need all of yourself to feel whole. Your child deserves to know all about incredible, amazing you. Yes, you are a mommy, but it's one part of you. It doesn't define you. You are amazing just as you are!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Embracing Chaos

     Sometimes it's quiet but those precious moments are fleeting and so very lovely. Most of the time it is just LOUD! Life in our home with four little boys ages 9, 7, 4 and 2 is, well, chaos! It's very organized chaos, but chaos nonetheless. Don't get me wrong. I truly love the life they bring to our home and wouldn't change it for a single second! I adore my boys and am always grateful to be blessed enough be a Stay-at-Home mother! It is never easy and it's all consuming of every single part of my being, but it is worth the sacrifice. It can be just a tad bit exhausting and stressful most of the time. Even the most patient of mothers can find it hard to make it through the day without at least one mommy meltdown. I tend to have several.
      The boys' energy is lively and adorable and they just NEVER stop. They crash, run, climb, jump, laugh, sing, cry, fight, scream, wrestle and more. They especially love to sword fight and anything can become a sword. They do this often. Actually, they do this most of the time, simultaneously. My boys love to get all revved up like this at homework time and then again, much to my delight, at bedtime. It is a daily struggle. We adore weekends.
     The homework shenanigans commence with the usual refusals and convulsive fits for which I have to brace myself. I can sense the torture. This part is not quite as cute as some of the other times they tornado around the house. These are the moments when I start to feel as though I am no longer in my home with my children, but I've instead been thrown into barn with noisy farm animals! If you have never tried simultaneously doing algebra with one child, while helping the other do literature responses, while teaching another about letter N, and yes the 2 year old throwing a tantrum at your feet because he wants to "pay dough", it is just as enjoyable as it sounds. Add to that the 9 year old who wants no part of your correcting his mistakes because he obviously knows more than you do about math. He may in fact be correct about that. Then the second grader cries because it's taking too long and he can't concentrate. I get it, neither can I.  The four year old spills his drink all over the table of papers, he starts screaming, the phone is ringing, dinner is burning, the baby is ripping up papers and sloshing in the apple juice with poop in his diaper and all you want to do is vanish into thin air.  Your gritting your teeth, holding your breath and feel your head start to throb. You still have to get through the rest of this, dinner, bath and the dreaded bedtime. Dear Lord, how much can I take? It's enough to make any sane person insane. In fact I'm quite sure that any day now I'm going to crack up and end up in the nut house. I'm not quite sure how I haven't checked in there yet. I mean this is insanity.  Maybe I should admit myself into the nut house after all. It would be a nice little vacation where I may actually get to sleep and shower regularly. That sounds amazing.
     I feel the scream rise in my throat and my meltdown imminent. I realize that to date, I have not cracked up. I have survived every single moment of motherhood thus far. Many of them have been enormously challenging, much more than this insignificant stuff. I remember the day I woke up with Vertigo and was so dizzy I couldn't sit up and was vomiting every hour. No picnic considering I was nursing a newborn and alone with him and the other three boys all day. I recall the time my 2nd child fell, broke open his chin and had to be rushed to the emergency room in an ambulance. I was alone with a 35 week pregnant belly and 3 kids. We all took the ride in the ambulance. There are a million other instances that I have survived that were incredibly challenging. I look to my faith and look deep within myself. This homework craziness is oh so frustrating but not impossible. Where are my patience? Breathing always helps too...as does wine. I can do this! I can dig deeper! I was made for this! This is my role and I have to be strong! I love my boys and they need me. I am blessed to be at home doing their homework with them! It may make me insane for the moment. It may be chaos, but I choose to embrace it! I am mom and I am still standing!