Parenting is so not fun

I remember vividly telling my mother that I was going to be a mom.  It was on Mother’s Day 14 years ago (WOW, is that possible? Apparently, I got pregnant when I was 6).
I was SO excited. I was about to have my first child, I was head over heels in love with the father of my baby and ignoring ALL the red flags about what a bad choice he was.
My mother looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, ” Well you have officially ruined your life.  Your life is over.  Everything you have dreamt of accomplishing is over.  Time to focus on someone else for the rest of your life…”
At the time, I thought she was being over dramatic and kinda rude…  And then I figured my sisters and brother must have really messed her up and she was quite bitter about it.
Flash forward 6 years, and I found myself in the same predicament.  I sat down with my mother and told her I was gonna have a little girl.  She said, “well, now you have two.  One of each and they don’t come in any more kinds, so no need to keep trying…”
Before you judge my mother, know she was an awesome mom.  Not perfect by any means, but still very awesome.  She taught me everything I know.
And what I know is being a mom isn’t fun.  It is hardwork.  My children are a blessing and I am honored that God chose me to be their guide through this crazy journey.  But the journey isn’t fun.  It has been FUNNY at times, like when my son put his underwear on his head and danced around when he was little, but mostly you aren’t allowed to talk about those times because they are SO EMBARRASSING MOM!!!
Motherhood is not for the weak.  I did give up many of my childhood dreams to take care of their needs.  College has been put on the back burner so many times, because of lack of sleep, or time with them, or because I always had to work full time to fill their bottomless stomachs.  I wanted to move to the coast and be near the ocean, but once you have kids you are tied to another person for 18 years and cant make most of your own decisions anymore.
Nobody tells you that kids grow out of their clothes every season.  Every season replacing every outfit and shoe they own, and girls need dozens.  Black dress shoes, brown dress shoes, sneakers, boots, rain boots, snow boots, flip flops, sandals, no toes sandals…
Nobody told me that there would be days that you just cry because you literally have to be in two places at once.  Why is her drum concert in the middle of the day??  I don’t have vacation days left because I used them all through the flu season.
Being a single parent is even harder.  When the other parent walks away and wants to live their own life and stop back every once and awhile and enjoy the wonderful children you are growing, it is hard not to be angry.
When your ex isn’t supportive of emotionally raising healthy kids, it is even harder..
When my ex decided he didn’t want to pay daycare one month because I had said something disrespectful, I had to sell my kitchen table so I could continuing to have daycare to go to work.
Parenting doesn’t get easier either.  My son has now hit 13 and doesn’t feel I have anything to teach him or offer him other that a sandwich (or 3) and a new I-phone.  He still needs new clothes every season but he isn’t dancing around with underwear on his head anymore..  He isn’t really putting in as much effort into this relationship as I am.
I ran into someone today and we talked about our children.  He said he had 5 kids, and instantly out of my mouth came, “I am so sorry.”  He laughed because he knew what I meant and what my mom meant all those years ago.  Having kids isn’t fun, it is a huge  job with lil to no pay and no vacation days.  Wouldn’t change my choice to have kids if you offered it to me but wish I would accomplished more of my dreams first.  Because they all went in the backseat when I saw their beautiful brown eyes twinkle at me for the first time.
I hope they don’t need to know about the sacrifices I gave up for them.  But I sometimes think what will I tell them when they tell me they are going to have a lil one of their own?


Moms got your back.

Lil bear was exceptionally rude to me today.  How does one go to bed at night with kisses from his mom and snuggles and wake up and hate her??
Everything I said and did this morning was met with disdain.  And finally when I took him to school, when we were trapped in a car together, he really let me have it.
“You are ALWAYS running late, I’m tired of it.  I would just like to get to school early sometimes!!  If you could just get up!  Geesh, mom, it isn’t that hard.  You need to be up by 6:30 so you can get my lunch made before you drive to school!!”
I just stare at him.  The monster I have created…  I am not going to argue with him.  I am not ruining both our days by spewing the hate and anger back on to him.  I just want to know why?  Why don’t you see all that I do, I do for you.  Why don’t you see that I voluntarily do this because I love you?  And that love is so special.  And if you knew how much I loved you and did for you..You would never raise your voice to me.  You would not speak so harshly about me.
He got out of the car and slammed the door.  No goodbye, no thank you and definitely not any love…
I thought about my mom all the way home.  I was not an angel to my mom and I won’t pretend that I was.  But I tell my kids now that I put no person above my parents.  They did an awful lot for me.  And I rarely acknowledged it then so I will acknowledge it twice as much now.  If that phone rings and it is my parents, I am taking that call.  And we will talk as long as they want until they say they have to go.  When my mom calls me up and says she needs xyz….I got you mom.   And I would NEVER raise my voice to my parents now.  I may not have honored that when I was lil bear’s age though.
I get home and there is an email from LB..  “I forgot my IPAD.  Please bring it to me. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE”
And now you call in a favor?  Oh honey, the things I would like to tell you.  You don’t have any favors banked!!  Now you want to be super nice so I will help you?!?!
I don’t remember my mom ever bringing me anything up to school when I was younger.  Maybe that is because I was an exceptional child who never forgot anything.  Or maybe it is because I don’t remember all she did for me.   I am going to say it is the first reason..
But I do remember when I was in high school; my mom and I had a lot of issues.  I was all grown and didn’t need anything from nobody..Except some food in the fridge..and maybe heat..and a place to sleep, and a phone..LOL   But I took all that for granted, sound familiar?
I remember one day in science class, maybe junior year, we were going over our homework.  A girl that I had been friends with in middle school, but we didn’t hang out in the same crowds anymore, came over by me and asked if I had my assignment done.  I said yes and she asked if she could copy it.  It was real simple multiple choice stuff so she started quickly writing down the A,B,C’s down the paper.  We both looked up and saw the teacher walking towards us.  We were caught.
He told us both to go to the front of the class, where he began publically scolding us for what we had done.  And then he said something to her that still stings to this day..
“I would expect this from Sara…But I wouldn’t expect this from you.  You are a cheerleader and know better.  Why would you share your homework that you worked so hard to do with someone who obviously doesn’t care or know enough to do it on their own??”
I had done the homework!!! It was mine!!  You could clearly tell I was the one holding the finished product while hers was only half done!!  And he had just announced that to the entire class??  What do you mean you expect that from me??  I had never ever been caught cheating before this moment or after it for that matter!!  The only time I had been in trouble before this moment in high school was for reading a Cosmo in Algebra.  (I got a detention.  Really?  I was learning about stuff I would actually use one day!!)
I went home and told my mom what had happened.  And she marched right up to the school and let them have it.  My momma had my back.  I was probably not nice to her that day and maybe the day after.  I hadn’t realized yet that I should be nice to her.. I knew she had me.
I grabbed LB’s iPAD and headed to his school and dropped it off in the office.  He won’t thank me today or tomorrow.  But one day he will.
As I was walking out of the school another mother saw me and asked if I too was dropping off something left at home this morning.  I smiled and said yes I was.  She said “I thought about not bringing it up here to teach her a lesson..But then I had mom guilt and next thing I knew I was in the car.  Cuz that’s what moms do.  They got your back, right?”
Yes they do.  If only we were nicer to them every once and awhile.


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My Baby Bear is in the back seat talking to me about her day.  We are on the way to school and have been awake for about an hour and half.  I reach for my coffee and realize I have already drank it all.  I feel exhausted.  I look in the mirror (gasp) and wonder why I leave the house looking like this.  like something out of Tales From the Crypt.  I quickly look back at the road..
I am only part way listening to her, if we are being honest.  I am already thinking about dropping her off and then zooming off in the rocket ship to get to work.  Grab a cup of coffee and start the day.
*Don’t forget to email lil bear’s teacher.
*And transfer funds to my husbands account.
*And call the dr.
*And what should we make for dinner tonight?
I am brought back to reality by a glorious sound.  My daughter’s laughter.  It is not a huge chuckle..  It is a little giggle like she has a special secret.  It sounds so precious.
I ask her what is so funny as I look in the rearview mirror and see her face and just.stop.
The look of PURE JOY is across her face.  Do you know the look?  She is lit up, rosy cheeks. a twinkle in her eye and the biggest smile.  She is down right giddy.  What could she have possibly said that brought her so much pleasure?  I haven’t bought her anything.  It isn’t a special holiday, a weekend or even Friday.  We have no special plans that day or really any day coming up.
This is just a random mid-week morning in March in Wisconsin. We are on our way to school.  What do you  have to be so happy about??
And then she tells me. ” Oh, mom.  I was just thinking what I was going to do at recess today.  We have two playgrounds. I was thinking maybe I will play on the big one today.”  She stops and smiles.  “But sometimes they chase you and tag you over there!!!”  AND she giggles all over again. “Or maybe, I will take my coat off because we get hot and run around with my friends and pretend to be fairies!!”
I kiss her on the cheek and she exits the car, off on her new adventure.  She skips up to the school door and turns around and waves at me and blows a kiss.  She disappears inside.
I am sitting alone in the car. And I am afraid to admit to you what I was feeling.  I am jealous.  And a little mad. and very sad..
I can’t tell you the last time I felt that way about ANYTHING!!! And definitely not something so small.  Maybe when we first got engaged.  I was giddy.  I smiled constantly.  But that is a BIG lifetime event..  Not just a Tuesday game of tag.
I am jealous. I don’t know how to find that Joy out of everyday things anymore, if I ever did.
My daughter has always had a special relationship with God.  She tells me she talks to him, or more importantly He talks to her.  She used to look at a sunset  and say “God made it so pretty for us, mommy. ”  Once, when I scolded her for using Jesus’s name as an exclamation she went to prayer and asked Him if he minded.  He said He didn’t….

I wonder if this relationship she has is partly why she is always filled with Joy.  Or if it is because she is 7 and the world really hasn’t done her wrong yet..
Whatever the reason is it makes me sad.  Life is so hard right now.   And I am Jealous of my lil girl.  I am MAD.
I stare at her from within this pit.  It is so dark down here.  And she is smiling at me from the top.   How do I get to her?  How do I find that Joy?

8 years ago..

My husband made a comment to me yesterday that was pretty simple..
If you would have seen me 8 years ago….
We are newly married and only knew each other for a few months before we got engaged.
I thought back to 8 years ago.   Doesn’t seem so far back, but for both of us apparently it was a different person ago..
Talk about not a pretty time in my life.  8 years ago, I had just found out I had a blood disorder.  I was put on life saving medicine but was warned that I couldn’t conceive while on the medicine.
Well, my body took that as a challenge and I got pregnant.  I remember the day I found out we had stopped to pick up the test and grabbed lunch at McDonalds.  We got home and took the test mid day.  INSTANTLY POSITIVE.  (My ex ordered me to take another test because he felt the Shamrock Shake might deliver false positives… )
Although being pregnant is a blessing, we were very scared about what damage the medicine could have done to the development of the baby.  The first doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. I couldn’t deal with that answer so I found a specialist who was willing to work with me.  He put me on blood thinning shots every 12 hours, and ultrasounds every 3 weeks to keep constant watch on the baby’s development.  The three areas they were most concerned with were her heart, her lungs and her facial development.  I remember every ultra sound was nerve wrecking.  I would scan the nurse’s face for any glimpse of hope or despair. One time, they couldn’t see a heart valve and they sent us home and told us to come back tomorrow and hopefully the baby had moved position and it would come into view.  I barely made it to the elevator before collapsing in a heap of uncontrollable sobs.
My daughters father was very absent from me emotionally during this time.   He seemed to be pulling away from me more and more every day.  I was forced to carry most of this weight by myself.  He made himself seen at the dr appts but was not around for support between them.  I came to find out near the middle of my pregnancy that he was heavily involved with someone else and was being investigated for domestic violence against her.
I remember the constant emotional pain I felt.  Everything in life seemed wrong and hurtful.  I cried constantly.  I learned how to cry silently at my desk between phone calls.  I was so scared for my daughter and for me.  What would her life would be like, what her health would be like.  But also, what her home life would be like.  I had yet to figure out I could make it without him.  I was carrying the world on my shoulders.  Always a worrier, I ran every possible outcome through my head.  What if she was dis-formed or what if she had medical concerns I couldn’t afford?  What if I left him?  What if he got locked up?  What if all of the above happened at once?
My doctors urged me to reduce my stress; if not for me, for the baby’s health.  But that seemed like an impossible task.  My weight ballooned out of control as food was the only thing offering me any sort of comfort.  My doctor then put my on a restrictive diet as my blood sugar levels demanded attention.
I could not find comfort.  I begged for God to help me. To pick me up and move me away from my life.  Still too stubborn to ask for help to the people around me, I suffered in silence.  I still had more road to walk.  I was not at the end of this journey, but I was beginning to get very tired.

Ya, If you would have seen me 8 years ago….

Google is my BFF

If you read my last blog post, you know that God waited until I was at my weakest before he helped me, before he leaned in and sent His girls to assist me.  There is a reason God has to go to such drastic measures to get my attention.  I would never have heard them otherwise.  I would never let down my guard long enough to let someone crawl in and see me needing them.  I whine and whine that I want him to help me but here is the the real reason I don’t hear him.
Because… I don’t like to ask for help.
I hate it. I DETEST IT. It hurts me in small inner places to ask for help. If you could see me right now I am violently shaking my head back and forth.  NO NO NO NO NO NO.. On any level really, but the bigger the issue.. the less I am going to ask for help.
Let’s take something really small perhaps.  THE GROCERY STORE. I get these emails about ways to eat healthier, and it includes foods that I have never heard of, like coconut flour tortilla chips.
So, I go to the grocery store and go through the ENTIRE store looking for these chips.  I check the chip aisle.  nope.  I check the healthy food aisle.. negative.  I check the fresh food, the baking aisle and the end caps, even the toothpaste aisle and no
An employee sees me, sees the look on my face and comes over and asks me “Can I help you find something?”  And do you know what my answer is ???  “no thank you.”  I can not admit to this person that I am attempting AND FAILING at finding something.  LB just stares at me like I have two heads..  “Why did you tell that guy you didn’t need help?  You have been complaining for 20 minutes about these chips!”  and I of course will shush him, so not to be overheard by the store employee.  I would rather leave the store without it.  And I will.  As I check out, the cashier will of course ask me, “did you find everything ok?”  And I of course will lie and say “yes thank you!!!”
Please tell me I am not alone by this!!!  Please tell me what vitamin I am deficient in that causes this brain response.
I am the same way when I drive, of course.  I could never stop and ask for directions. NOPE NOPE not ever.  I will get there eventually, but maybe not today.  The odds are in my favor that I will eventually find Beach Street!!  It has to be somewhere in this town.
The internet has been so helpful to a person like me living a lie that we know everything and do not need the assistance of others…  It allows me to ask  an electronic device without having to admit any weakness at all to anyone.  Just last week when I was in Target and couldn’t find  LB’s earbuds he needed for school,  I just went to their website and it told me exactly what aisle they were in.  So there must be more people like me out there in the world!!
Google is really my BFF, but don’t tell anyone.  She never judges me or laughs at my lack of knowledge as I expect others might.  “You don’t know where coconut flour tortilla chips are?? HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Really??  Hey John, THIS lady doesn’t know where the coconut flour tortilla chips are!!! Can you believe how stupid she is???”
I really don’t know where this fear comes from, but it is a fear.  A fear of being seen as weak.  And a wise man told me once that my need to be seen as strong actually BECOMES a weakness for me.  How deep is that?  It circles around and still becomes a weakness, my ultimate fear. And God has to find me through all this, all this brokenness and help me.  He has to wait until I am not paying attention, to where I don’t care who sees me, I can’t take it anymore, and then he sends in a lifeline.  Why do I make it so hard?  What would life be like if I just walked into the store, walked right up to the counter and said “Hey, I need some coconut flour tortilla chips. Can someone help me find them?”
…..if you are reading this, and I have EVER asked you for help.  Consider yourself very lucky.  Cuz that means I heart you alot and I trust you with my broken-ness


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A Helping Hand

***This story is a little graphic and not for those with weak stomachs.  I apologize in advance.

A long time ago, I was in a pretty bad spot in my life.  I had just found out my abusive fiance was cheating on me.  We had two kids under the age of 7 together.  I felt stuck, miserable and at one of the lowest points in my life.  I couldn’t leave him, there was no way I could do this on my own, right?  But I couldn’t stay and keep any shred of pride or dignity any longer…I remember every Sunday taking my two kids to church and sitting there in the pew waiting for a miracle and weeping silently to myself.
“Well, God.. Im here.  That is all the energy I could muster up today.  Please fix my life.”
Trying to get both kids up and dressed and then get myself dressed and presentable to the outside world BEFORE they became undressed or too tired to make the trip was HARD!  There were days that I failed miserably at this.  Little Bear (LB) would spill something and then Baby Bear (BB) would play in it and rub it in her hair.  You know for someone who hates to have her hair washed, she sure liked to rub things in it a lot…
On one particular day in January, we were struggling to get out of the house on time.  I was screaming at LB and carrying BB down the stairs..
“Get your shoes on!!!” Get in the car!!!”…  I’m sure you are familiar.
He was moving slower than a turtle and was about one minute away from having a complete meltdown himself.  I got them both in their car seats and buckled and ready to go!  As we pulled out of the driveway, LB turned to BB and took her toy and threw it on the ground..  She began to SCREAM, he hid his eyes from me and smiled to himself at a job well done.  She screamed all the way to church no matter how much I tried to comfort her. We pulled into church 10 minutes late.  I grabbed the baby, and my purse and LB’s book bag and headed into church while trying to calm her down and get LB to move just a LITTLE faster..
I remember church was packed that day.  I remember sitting closer to the front than I normally preferred.  I remember dropping into the pew,  I was exhausted.
“Well, God.. Im here.  That is all the energy I could muster up today.  Please fix my life… Please HELP me” I added..  I wanted him to swoop down and save me.  Rescue me out of this hole I had fallen into.  I wanted to feel his presence.  I wanted to hear him whisper those words to me “It is going to be ok”
But instead of those words, I heard the sound of BB dumping my purse onto the floor..UGH
I get on my hands and knees to try and shove everything back in my bag, when I realized I have forgotten the diaper bag in the car.  That is a mistake single parents can’t afford to make.  I can’t JUST go get it.  I cant send someone else to go get it.  So I prayed silently that she will not need it for just one hour.  Please?  PLEASE?
As if in direct response to my prayer, I hear BB begin to cough followed by that noise that every parent dreads..  She is going to spit up!!!  What do I do???  I have no blanket, no spit up cloth, nothing.  I just have…
I put out my hand and hope for the best..    I cringe as she spits up into my hand..  I have no idea how to handle this.  She turns her face away from me and vomits on the floor.  OH NO!!!!  Please God let me disappear. I whip my head back and forth to see if I can plan an exit strategy.. I began to angrily whisper to LB that we are going to need to leave NOW.  He, of course, is oblivious to what is going on and can’t understand why am I using such a harsh tone.  He begins to cry and falls to the ground dangerously close to the pool of vomit.
In the meantime BB has begin to vomit all over the pew.  I have never seen so much vomit from such a lil person!!! I now begin to cry..
I pick her up and just run.  Run out of the church as she just keeps vomiting.  I don’t know where I am going, I don’t care about my things, or if my son is following, I just run.  I get out of the service and I am sobbing.
And that is when it happened.  God answered my prayer.
The church door opened up and a beautiful woman emerged.  She embraced me, vomit and all and said she saw the whole thing.  She took my lil girl and began talking quietly to her while rocking her.  She offered to accompany us into the bathroom and help clean us up.
More women came out of the church to help me.  They offered to clean up the pew, stay with my son and gather up our things.  There were hugs and tears and so many stories of them going through similar things.  We were laughing as we introduced ourselves.  I explained I was new to the church and that beautiful woman invited me to join her bible study.  I explained I was a single mother and she offered free child care if I would come.    Another woman offered to meet with me and see if the church could come along side me and help with anything.
I didn’t see it at the time, but looking back, that is the moment it began to get better.    When God used other women, who had been where I was, and understood the look of desperation on my face and put out their hands to help me. To ease my burden.  He is faithful too.  He continues to put such beautiful people in my life and they continue to put a hand out in the middle of the rain and offer to help me up.

Do you love her more?

My day starts out pretty early in our house. Up before the sun rises to get Lil Bear (LB) ready for school.  I spot him when I get down the stairs, and smile.  “Good morning LB,” I say.
“whatever mom”..
I just shake my head and move along.  Gone are the days where he smiles at me on a regular basis.  I am constantly irritating him.  Just by waking up and greeting him.  I want to remind him on WHY I am up 2 hours before I have to go to work.  But I don’t.  I start my morning routine, making lunches and starting breakfasts.  We have a pretty good system set up.  He makes my coffee, I make his lunch.  He starts my car and I drive him to school.  All of this is done with little to no talking.  It just works best.  He no longer wants advice on what to wear.  He doesn’t want to talk about the dreams he had last night or let me hold him for two minutes while I help him tie his shoes.
He nods to me that it is time to go and he walks out the front door. He will wait for me in the car.  He doesn’t want to walk out together.  That somehow irritates him too..
As I get ready to walk out the door, I hear a giggle.  I turn around.  And there she is.  Baby Bear (BB). Fresh face from her slumber, BIG smile.  She walks to me and snuzzles her face into my tummy.  “Good Morning, mumma” she says and shows me her toothless grin as she looks up at me.  And I can’t help but feel the love.  I hug her back and tell her I will run her brother to school and she should eat her breakfast that I put out on the table.  “ok, mumma”, she says and skips to the breakfast table..
I get out to the car and there sits sourpuss.  I can tell he is upset before I even get in the car.” Gosh, mom, you take forever!!! Im gonna be late and it will be all your fault!!”
I assure him we have plenty of time to make the two miles down the road, but he has already tuned me out..
A similar situation plays again that day, when I return from work.  Where BB is ecstatic to see me, hugs and kisses me and tells me great things about her day.  She has drawn me a picture of her and I walking in pretty dresses hand in hand.  She brings smiles to my face and joy to my heart.  I light up when I see her.. We go home together and walk in the house.  The front door is unlocked… How many times have I told him to keep that door locked??  He is laying on the couch with earbuds in, TV on and food bags all around.
The smile has disappeared from my face.  Now the tired old mom face has reappeared.
“Hi, LB, how was your day?” I manage.
“Whut, ugh fine.”  Don’t bother trying to get more out of him. That’s it.
I ask them both to start their chores while I start dinner.  They both whine about it but get started.  BB begins singing while she cleans.  It is a glorious song about birds and dancing and sunshine.  LB is slamming cabinets around, and muttering under his breath.
I serve dinner and we all sit down together at the table.. BB talks about her new spelling words and how cool is it that they rhyme.  LB complains that I have yet to buy him a new phone.  BB wants to know if we can snuggle after dinner.  LB wants to know if he can go to his room to be alone..
These situations keep repeating day in and day out, until one day LB asks me, “Do you love her more than me??  I see the way you smile at her.  You don’t smile at me like that..”
This is true.  Although, I know in my heart that I don’t love her more.  I know I love them equal but not the same.  She has her moments that I want to banish her and he has moments when I want to clone him.  But he is 13.  And she is 7.  And for now, the scale is unbalanced.  I don’t know if there is a way to balance the scale.  I pray that I am doing everything alright.  But it is hard to stay warm and soft when you are constantly pushed and offered the cold harshness.  I have begun to expect it and if we are being honest, sometimes I am the initiator of that harshness.

Tonight, when we got home from church, I had enough.  Do you know the feeling??  It was reaching a peak.  He kept making rude sarcastic comments.  Life is unfair and he hates this and hates that.  And he kept changing the radio station and yelling at his sister.  And then he drank all my water without asking and took my phone.  Long day coming to an end and I pull in the driveway and he yells at me not to shut the car off, cuz he wants to hear the rest of this song.  “Gosh, mom, is that too hard for you to do??”
And I felt it.  I felt and heard the snap.  SHUT UP!!!  DO NOT TALK TO ME IN THAT MANNER AT ALL!!! I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!”
The look he gave me.. oh, what had I done.  He was hurt,scared and ashamed. He brushed past me and went up to his room.  I prayed quietly and asked God to come upstairs with me.  I walked in his room and knelt by him.  With tears in my eyes I asked for his forgiveness.
He turned to me and wrapped his arms around me.  “It is ok, mumma.  I was pushing your buttons.  And I know I pushed you over the edge.”
“wait a minute!!”  YOU KNEW MY LIMIT??  And you purposely pushed me over it??” I smiled at him and tousled his hair.
“I’m sorry too, mom..”

We made plans to sleep in the living room together.  We got all our blankets and snuggled in.  He may have talked to me about school and issues with his french teacher and talked about his huge project due in History.  And I may have smiled.A LOT.
Every once in a while there is a break in the storm.  And the sun comes out and it feels warm across your face.  Just lean back and smile through it and absorb as much as you can to get you through the next storm.

A Day at the Beach

Today, when it is negative degrees outside, I look out the window and wish-no CRAVE for warmth and sunshine.  I let my mind wander back to the last summer and days spent relaxing in the sun.  Rose colored glasses, I assure you.  Yes, we did have days in the sun, but I guarantee you they weren’t relaxing…  Well one day last summer I remember vividly…..

One rare Saturday in particular, I found my self sitting on a beach, enjoying the scenery, watching other people’s kids play, thinking how perfect this beach is and then I thought to myself…I WISH MY KIDS WERE HERE..
Too late to take it back, I had already thought it.  I had two hours alone on a Saturday and I’m already thinking about my kids and how I wish they were with me.  And I looked through those rose colored glasses of mine, and thought how much FUN it would be to bring my lil bears here.

When in reality…..

Two days later, I got up early and began to make a list of all the things needed to get my family to the beach for a day of fun.   And began the HOURS of prep work..

  • Cooler packed with healthy snacks
  • Towels (and extra towels)
  • Swimsuits
  • Sand toys
  • Chairs
  • Sunscreen/ bug spray

My children made their way down the stairs.  I had breakfast waiting for them and a surprise!! We are heading to a new beach for the day!  Baby bear, which is USUALLY my optimistic bear, was very excited and runs upstairs to plan her outfit.  My lil bear however seems to need more nudging..
“I don’t wanna go, mom.  I will just stay home.”
“Stay home rather than go to the beach??  Why baby?  It will be so much fun!! You will see!  You can bring your fishing pole!”
“It is my choice mom!  Besides, I don’t have any bait to fish with!! Will you buy me bait??”
“Go outside and find a worm!!!  Just like I did when I was little.. My parents never paid for bait.. just ludicrous..”
I go back to packing and planning this huge event.  I have cut up all the snacks, bagged everything, packed the car, forgo the shower and put up my hair and put on my suit.
“Are you ready kids? Let’s get in the car!!”
“yay!!” yells baby bear as she comes down the stairs in her bathing suit and high heels.
“I haven’t decided if I am going yet mom!!” yells lil bear.  I find him, still in his jammies, in his bedroom reading.
“please, just come.  Bring your book and at least read on the beach..”
“FINE!!! But I am not bringing my suit!!”
“…or maybe bring it just in case, but you don’t have to wear it!”

He finally decided to grace us with his presence but makes it known that he was not happy about it..  He walked slowly to the car holding his book and suit acting as if we were going to school rather than the beach..  He grabed his fishing pole and begins to try and fit this in the car.  Ugh.. I remember this moment..
It won’t fit in the trunk so he put it in the back seat and hung it out the window.. he slammed the door and went back to reading his book.  I sighed and made a quick sign of the cross and got in the car, DETERMINED to have fun.  It was 90 degrees out and just as humid.
“lil bear, I need to close the windows.  We need to drive with the a/c on and we have an hour drive on the freeway.  Can’t have the windows open..”
“well, it doesn’t fit any other way and I am not going without it!!!”
“does it come apart?”
“NO!!  this is the only way it will go!! I cant take it apart, I don’t know how!  Maybe I should just stay home..”
“nope.. leave it.” I was going to get the kids to the beach and we were going to have fun.  I was sweating profusely at this point.  I started the car.  I blasted the a/c and it mixed with the hot humid air and played a dangerous game with my head and stomach.  I tried to keep from getting sick in the heat.  I would have turned the radio on, but the noise of the window open on the expressway made hearing anything impossible…yet somehow I could still hear the children fighting from the back seat.  I submerged myself into my thoughts and TRIED to tune them out.  We got to the beach in 50 minutes and struggled to find a parking spot.  My sweat spots were sweating it was so hot..  Around and around the parking lot we went with no available spots in sight.. I finally stalked a lady walking to her car,
“Are you leaving??” I asked her, she nodded.  My kids  freaked out that I talked to a stranger.
Omg, what will people think, mom??
I got out of the car and began to unpack the trunk.  Layers upon layers of stuff I put in my arms while screaming for the kids to get out of the car and grab what they need.  I had chairs around my neck and I was dragging a 200lb cooler of snacks, when I saw lil bear PUT THE FISHING POLE BACK IN THE CAR and grab his book and begin to walk to the beach.
“umm, you aren’t gonna grab that??  After all the trouble it caused?”
“nope,” he says..”you didn’t buy me any bait.  What good would it do me?”
I wanted to hurl the fishing pole into the woods.  I was barely keeping down breakfast from the car ride in the heat and  He also refused to grab his swim suit from the car.  He didn’t want to come to the beach, remember?? You forced him.. against his will. So he is just gonna read..  I dragged everything for 10 minutes down to the beach and set out the towels.  I grabbed a water bottle out of the cooler and looked for the kids.  They were both wading in the water, splashing in the waves, picking up stones and tossing them into the lake laughing and having fun.  Lil bear looks at me and says “I didn’t bring my suit mom!! I want to go in!!  Can I just swim in this??”
I nodded as I collapsed in the sand.  This was what I wanted.  I got my wish.  I was sweaty, wet, hot, cranky and covered in sand.  I had spent the last hour driving thru traffic to get to a packed beach dragging my ungrateful children behind me for this moment right here..  They were laughing and smiling for just a moment.  And it felt good.  It would only last a moment though. And then the next crisis or argument would ensue.  But in this moment,  it was worth it.  I jumped up and ran into the waves with them.  I wanted to enjoy this moment while it lasts!!

I just need to pee..

MOTHERS!!!  Do you ever want to throw your hands up in the air and say I GIVE UP!!!

Of course you do.  I have seen the movie “Bad Moms”.  I have seen the way the crowd reacts when, Mila Kunis, gives up.  We have ALL been there.  All the job pressures, Mom pressures, wife pressures and just being a person pressures..

You throw one more thing in the mix and it all begins to ToPPLE and we are ready to give up.  Why?  Because this is impossible to keep up for any length of time.

Let me share with you my most recent ToPPLING..

baby bear wasn’t feeling well. She is constipated.. I had to contact her dr and see when she can be seen..

Can you bring her in right now?” They asked
“Nope, I am not even WITH her right now… I am at work.  I work til 5pm.  Do you have anything like 5:30?”
“We have a 4:45pm.. And just so you know the dr is going on vacation starting tomorrow, so this is really the ONLY appt we have left this month to offer..”
THE PRESSURE!!  Ok, so I am scrambling in my brain to see how this all will work.  Moved meetings, talked to my boss.. whoops forgot tickets for the show tonight @ 7pm with me and the hubby..  This is gonna be cutting it close!!!

I zoomed (past tense of zoom??  Zam?) in my rocket @ 4:15 to get home to grab the baby bear and zoomed to the dr. office  ZOOOOOOM
I hit traffic… NOOOOOO  This couldn’t be happening to my PERFECT, no flawed plan!!!  But yup, dead stand still 10 minutes from the dr office.. Construction they had just started THAT day.. How could I have planned for that??  I called the Dr office and tell them I am running late.. Describe said construction, hoped for sympathy…  The receptionist seemed to buy it.  She will mark my chart!  She said please keep coming, we will wait for you!

I get there and TRY and get a sick 7 year old pokey puppy out of the car and into the building and up the stairs and down the hall(seriously??) where this receptionist tells me I HAVE MISSED MY APPT…  but I called!!!  She doesn’t see any note..

“I can show you my phone call log.”  Really has it come to this??  The Dr is not a movie star.. I had an appt.  I am slightly late (15 minutes YIKES!) and I planned on paying her.  She works for me darn it!  And I have waited more than 15 minutes to see her before…  She wagged her finger at me and lectured me on the importance of punctuality all the while I nodded and smiled but in my head I am trying to figure when was the last time I went to the bathroom cuz I feel like I am gonna explode!!!  Drink more water, they say!!  This is a stupid idea for women on the go.. That’s what I get for trying to be healthy..
Finally, the dr agreed not to punish my small helpless baby bear for her mother’s evil and indefensible acts and saw her.  They ran tests.. we waited for results… I still have to pee..
They diagnosed her, give me instructions and tell me to call in a few days if she isn’t better… I grabbed my daughter and flew down the hall, down the stairs, out the door, through the parking lot back to my rocket where we ZOOOMED home.
6:15 this gave me approximately zero time to get ready to go out tonight.  Luckily I planned my outfit in the car!! I ran around the house naked as I grabbed select pieces for my outfit, apply mascara while screaming “DOES EVERYONE HAVE THEIR SHOES ON????”
Loaded everyone in the rocket, ZOOOOMED to the babysitter’s. Kissed the children while the rocket idled and ZOOOMED off to the concert.  Get to our seats at roughly 7:25 breathe a sigh of relief…and realize I still have to PEE.  Held it for entire concert while gazing lovingly at husband..

2 days later, daughter is still not feeling well and the Dr on call (remember her Dr is on VACA ..lucky duck)  would like to see her …..  Am I a horrible person for saying no?  Can we come to some agreement over a treatment plan over the phone?  Like, I. can’t.  It doesn’t fit again in my schedule this week.  I still have yet to find time to pee…. I love baby bear more than pizza, but I have work problems, and wife obligations and personal issues that I have yet to even think about yet this week..

And I want to scream. I GIVE UP!!  Cuz that lady on the phone.. she is judging me.  You can’t find time to bring your sick daughter in to see the dr???

The moral of the story.. all you single people without kids.  If you have friends with kids, go to them, be with them, offer assistance  AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD watch their kids for a minute so they can go to the bathroom!!!