It has been almost two weeks since both my kids are off at school and at the end of the day I still wonder where all my time goes (in the last 10 days it is just now that I am finding time to write this blog post) and how to get it back. For my son it is the first year being school where he goes off by himself and I get a little over 3 hours of kid free. After I drop the kids off I take about 40 minutes for myself and take a walk to add some gentle cardio on to my early morning run. After that so far I have been taking on the big projects that I have been putting off for far too long; sorting through my clothes then my kids, donating and selling clothing and other items causing clutter, organizing the house and trying to figure out organizing long term. Plus getting ready for my kids birthday party; more on that next week. I encourage everyone to find time to purge and donate/sell the items you don’t use anymore. So how am I going to go forward and make sure I make the most of the two hours that are flexible. Each week plan on sitting down on Sunday night and looking at the week ahead for variables then making sure I spended one morning cleaning the house (at least an hour), give at least 30 minutes each day to my Usborne book business, spending a morning keeping the house decluttered, a morning for myself and at least an hour for food shopping.
The word vacation changes meanings when you become a parent. Getting ready for the beach is like playing the amazing race. Sun blocking my children is like trying to baptize a cat. Taking your kids to the beach is the best! They are happy and stimulated. It is quite wonderful. But now that you have babies there are some extra tasks added to your beach day. Let me illustrate this for you.
How 25 year old me had one beer at Sandy Neck beach:
"Hey honey, can you get me a beer." Thank said "honey"
Open beer.Drink beer.
Re apply sun block.
How 29 year old me drinks one beer at Sandy Neck beach:
It's 4th of July weekend. Husband is the driver of our ship. So therefore you decide to enjoy an adult beverage at the beach. But finishing a beer now seems like a daunting quest. It usually goes a little something like this.
"Hey honey, can you get me a beer." You then walk in the complete opposite direction to follow your 2 year old down the beach. Scoop him up. Realize every one needs lunch. Feed the monsters. Go to put the baby in the outdoor high chair. Realize he has crapped his pants. Pull him back out of the high chair. 2 year old continuously repeats. "P-U Jack! Dirty. Dirty." This always makes you laugh. Okay, so you aren't the most mature mom. So you say back to him, "Oh man dirty baby is right!" You both laugh.
The baby hates laying on his back. He continues to buck and wiggle as much as he possible can. His butt needs diaper cream. The wet bathing suit/poop combo is rough. Your 2 year old tries to pick up the dirty diaper. You lunge at him and set the baby free in the process. He starts crawling as fast as he can away from you down the beach. Completely naked. You throw away the diaper. Go capture your naked baby. Husband says, "okay let's divide and conquer." He takes the 2 year old down to the water. As he is walking away you say, "Hey? Where's my beer." Husband dear had put it in my beach chair cup holder. It's warm. That was disappointing, but not as disappointing as the warm sensation you start to feel run down your side because your naked baby is peeing on you.
Fast forward, you know the drill. Dunk him in the ocean with you. Clean that bum up. Dry him. Powder that butt. Judge yourself the whole time you use baby powder because while you were pregnant you read on baby center that you shouldn't use it on babies anymore. And I am all about the healthy living for my homies, but has baby center ever hung out with a baby with diaper rash? How would you feel if your butt was raw from sitting in your sandy poop. So with my Mom guilt running high, I did what any good mother would do. I held up a towel shield halfway across his body. I think to myself, "good compromise. I try and make sure he doesn't breathe it in, and he gets to have a delightful feeling butt. Win-win. "
Well actually, I didn't say that to myself. I said it out loud to my baby. Because that's my life now. I'm always chatting it up with small humans who either can't speak back to me yet or rambling random strings of words at me. But that doesn't stop me from chatting it up with them. That's how they learn! Duh. Listening to you use words. I did used to read books out loud to Ben when he was a baby. When I got tired of having a one sided conversation. Now back to the beer at hand.
Once you get everyone situated again. You walk over to that cooler and say, This Mom is going to have one beer, Damnit! You aren't even sure if you want one, but you've told yourself that you need to relax. I feel like I'm always on high alert 24/7 these days.
This is my 10 month old. He 24 lbs of mischief.
So you've got the husband with you. You are going to drink this beer and relax. You crack open the beer and take a sip. Your 2 year old is now shoving your 10 month old away from him with his beach shovel. You hop up. "Hey hey hey. You be nice to your baby. Do you want to go in time out?" He says, "Ya! one! two! free!"
Well this has back fired. That's his new thing. He is going to be two years old next weekend and he's outsmarted me already. If I say "Do you want to go in time out?" He says, "Ya! Goes over and sits on the little wooden bench and starts counting.. One. two. free." What am I supposed to do with that? He hops up and looks at me like, "slapping my brother was worth having to sit on a wooden bench for 20 seconds. Nice try lady. But he tried to grab my dump truck. No bueno."
Having the boys so close in age has made me a referee pretty quick. Much quicker than I thought. The baby is now in Ben's world. Pulling himself up on the play kitchen as well. So about 75% of what big brother has said this week is, "mine!" His two year molars seems to be cutting through. He is… hmm.. how do I say this nicely? Um, basically the last two days he has been acting like satan's hand puppet. He really is such a great kid. I've been so fortunate how mellow he is and happy. But teething has it's own set of rules. Or lack their of. And sadly, sometimes siblings get caught in the war path.
You defuse the situation.
Now they have both turned and noticed that I am talking. So therefore everyone starts to be clingy to Mom. Which DON'T GET ME WRONG, I would LOVE a group hug. Snuggling is my jam. The only problem is that they both get pissed that the other one is one my lap too. They cry and shove each other. Sometimes pull my hair. It's real and it hurts. The beach is so fun, but damn, kids get tired. I think it's funny how their eyes become so different. When your a Mom, you just know all their faces. When Ben gets tired he gets silly and clumsy. He often hurts himself. Walking into a coffee table or whatever gets in his way. He is a good sleeper, but does not do well operating when his tank is low. Tired is a evil look on him. He gets very demanding. It makes me laugh. Well you gotta laugh or you'd cry! Haha. Welcome to Motherhood. So back to that delicious beer you are going to drink today?? You throw the baby at someone who's children are 6+. Their memories of babyhood are precious now. Do they want another baby? Oh heck no. But they gladly will snuggle yours and feel their ovaries give a pump.
Then you send 2 year old with Dad again. Husband dear says, "What should I do with him?" You reply, "Something away from me." He laughs. You laugh. He and Ben scurry off to go play in their own little world. You stand there and watch them in the water. Really trying to take in the day. Taking a moment to pause and really enjoy what a great time you are having with your fam. It dawns on you that you should be reflecting your fortunate life with your cold adult beverage in your hand. You grab your beer from the cup holder on your beach chair. It is warm. Gross. You throw it away. You open a new one.
You say a friendly hello to whoever is sitting on the cooler. The baby hears your voice and perks up and starts grabbing you. He has the best smile. You grab your smudgy baby, your new cold beer, and you snuggle into your beach chair. The baby has pooped again. Are you kidding me smudge? Is it really necessary to poop this much? So I change him. We start playing around. I'm blowing on his face because we all know that a babies biggest weakness is wind. He's belly laughing. His laugh is outstanding. No sound has ever made me happy so fast. It's impossible not to smile. Your loving on your baby is interrupted by him kicking over your beer that you had sat in the sand in order to change him. All pours out. Can covered in sand. Throw away the full sandy beer. Look at the cooler. Someone interrupts your train of thought to ask for a drink. Of course dude.
"Would you like milk or water?" "Ya"
Okay then, dealers choice.
Get drinks and snacks for every body. Reapply sun block. Make sarcastic comments to your Mom friends on the beach. Take pictures that you have no idea if they are coming out good or not. It's all darkness on your phone screen, so you just hit the button a few times and hope for the best. Build a sandcastle. Cover my feet in sand at the edge of the water. Snuggle a teething kid cause he needs extra love this particular day and you are just the Mom for the job.
Ultimately, you just give up the dream of one cold beer. You have now wasted the better part of a six pack in your attempts to drink a beer. Gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run. Did you just start singing that song in your head? The Gambler by Kenny Rodgers! Obviously you should go on YouTube right now and play that song. You can't help but dance around a little bit.
Well I guess I'll relax when I'm dead. Or when my children enviably become too cool for me and embarrassed by every thing I say. Either way. Most fun things are a lot of work when you have small babies. But in the end, it's worth every minute of running up and down your stairs to pack bags for everyone. Because playing on the beach with people that you love best. That's pure heaven.
Britt is a Beach bum, Mom, Wife, Sister, Friend, Coach, Wanna be Photographer, Special needs advocate, Library enthusiast, Yogi, Mom blogger. Britt lives in a barn on Cape Cod with her husband, two toddlers, and stinky black lab. You can read more of her adventures at You're Somebody's MOTHER.Or if you have a short attention span, follow her on Instagram @somebodys_mother
I always envisioned that being a stay at home mother would consist of perfectly executed macaroni crafts and a spotless house and a wonderfully, well rested mother. Clearly, I must've been drunk when I had these thoughts because that is not what is going on in my house. Not now. Not ever. I have two small boys, Carter and Max, who are a day shy of being 18 months apart. Now by "small" I mean that Carter (my baby) will be a year in almost a week. I know, I know, clearly I have a death wish and should have a drinking problem by now. I love staying home and raising my dudes but, it is far from being all puppies and rainbows. It has actually taught me some very, very deep life lessons.
1. Don't be so judgy.
I was always the first one to gasp and say "oh my gawd. I would never!! How could she?" Listen unless you are in the persons exact situation, which by the way is super unlikely, back the eff off. You wouldn't like it if the shoe was on the other foot!! Have some compassion and empathy for your fellow mommy!! Shit is hard! We all do the best we can and have different ideas of what the best is for our families. So unless it's gross negligence, can it sister because I'm pretty sure you are far from perfect and don't have a lot of room to cast the first stone.
2. Shower time is sacred time.
Showers are the one time I am left completely alone and can relax.....so what if I'm in there for 45 minutes, leave me alone! I just need a minute to not be needed and clung to and screamed at and asked for something. I just want to shave my legs for Christ sakes. I looked forward to my solo shower just to sit on the floor of the tub and blank out. So if you disturb me and get a jail house shank fashioned out of a tooth brush lodged in your thigh don't act all surprised! Fair warning.
3. I will never, ever be THAT mom.
You know the mom that does all the amazing Pintrest projects and posts them to Facebook and makes every snack so it's organic and does every imaginable play group and class with their children. THAT mom yeah it's just not me. I have come to terms with this and mourned the death of my inner Donna Reed. I play in the mud with my kids and go on bug and salamander hunts, let them drink from the hose and I don't hover at the play ground, I (gasp) let them fall and learn from that digger....with in reason of course. When they need help they ask for it. I want them to be able to be free thinkers and realize when something may not be such a sweet idea. Belly flopping off the couch onto the hard wood floor is one of those ideas just for an example of the shennanigans my kids pull off. For me it works. I can't protect them from everything all the time. I don't allow them to stick objects in outlets or run with scissors....ya know that kind of stuff. And when I've had a long night with a sick baby, yes I let my toddler have a G Dammit cookie at breakfast just so he will shut it for 2 minutes so I can pee or put on a clean shirt. Don't get greedy mommy!
4. You will no longer have personal space or boundaries.
I am the only female in my house and as awesome as that may sound, there are some interesting questions that my 2 1/2 year old asks. For instance why Mommy's peepee is "all gone" or where my "boobies gone". You kid, they are gone because you legit sucked the life out of me...for 18 straight months. Now I have to save my allowance for a new pair. Selfish children. Oh and please don't think that I actually say this stuff to my kids. I don't and I mainly just have an all day sarcasm fest in my head. Lets face it, I can be kind of, shall we say, inappropriate for most. I haven't peed with the door shut or slept in my bed with out a little human in it for years and that shit messes with you.
5. Your kids will have to come second sometimes.
Ok, I am NOT talking about spoiling myself with a $300 purse or any of that crap. I am talking about mentally and emotionally taking care of me. I have to put my health first so that I can take care of my kids the way that they deserve to be taken care of. I go with out constantly and am always the last one on the list and I am perfectly ok with that. I feel that when it comes to my marriage and my own mental and physical well being, I need to be priority because if I am a hot mess then I am of no use to anyone!
6. It's a lifestyle. 24/7. End of discussion.
So here is the skinny: I grew up on the Cape and have lived here pretty much my entire life give or take 3 years. I am a stay at home mom of 2 little boys who are a day shy of 18 months apart. My baby will be 1 in December and my oldest turned 2 in June. In my pre-mommy life I worked in the medical field for over 10 years. I am really honest about what it's like to raise my 2 gremlins and try to find the humor and sarcasm in the midst of all the chaos. My boys and my husband are my world but I do get to "escape" and work a couple shifts a week outside of the home. I want to be able to give my take on being a mom, wife and woman in this crazy world and talk about the things everyone thinks but no one will say! I hope you enjoy!
to find your Self escaping the cage and flying away like the butterfly in this image?
Think you can’t do this??
Well, I KNOW you can, because I already did it. If I can do it, so can you!
So tell me: What’s your version of freedom?
Does it involve your heart?
Whatever it involves, tell me: Are you there yet?
If not, why not??
About Pamela As your Confidence Coach, I strive to help you grow your courage, build your confidence and tap your innate charisma. You need to work with me If you:
- don’t know how to use your own voice anymore - used to feel like you could do anything - wonder why no one listens to you - feel invisible most of the time - don’t have a plan for your future - can’t even imagine your way into next week - wonder when your goals disappeared like that - feel all bottled up like wine with a dry cork - wish you could just run away some days - hate living in an emotional battlefield or wasteland - can’t remember the last time you felt good about yourself - don’t know when someone last complimented you on anything - feel as if flirting was something you did in another lifetime - don’t remember how to have fun - This list goes on and on, doesn’t it?…
I know what it’s like and how to help because the same thing happened to me. Now that I have successfully gained courage, built confidence and tapped my own charisma, I can also guide YOU through the steps it takes to succeed and SIZZLE. Book your SPARK Session with me today. Email me directly at Pamela@ElasticityCoaching.com or visit my website at www.PamelaWills.com. Let’s talk.
Recently, I've been thinking a lot about the benifits of letting go. Why? Well, I've noticed that there are quite a few things in my life that need to be set free. These include (but are not limited to) the ridiculous amount of clutter in one of my closets; the dust that has accumulated on my furniture over the past couple of weeks; the pile of old books, CDs and DVDs in the trunk of my car, waiting to be donated to the library; the fabulous piece of theater I just finished working on with a whole bunch of talented new friends; the box hiding in a dark corner full of my ex-boyfriend's shadows; and last but not least, my Buddha belly! *sigh*
Why do I need to let these things go? Well, to be honest I see letting go as a sort of cleansing exercise. And I believe that letting go will help to clear space in my life for new projects, new inspiration, a breath of fresh air. Besides, I don't want to end up the subject of a "Hoarders" episode... Yikes, have you SEEN that show? Freaky.
In any case, letting go is very different from giving up. Giving up means stopping in the middle of something, not following through, walking away. Giving up happens when we are fearful or frustrated or overwhelmed or just plain done.
But letting go is something else entirely. Letting go involves a certain amount of trust that we don't need to cling to something any longer. Letting go happens when something is finished, ended, no longer necessary. Letting go makes me think of openness, willingness, lightness.
Some people have to let go all the time: Think of parachute jumpers or hang gliders! Imagine the amount of letting go they have to practice each time they push off. Then there are the tightrope walkers and trapeze artists: They must have to let go of tremendous amounts of fear, stress and limiting negativity each time they perform. And don't forget about actors: They spend their time bonding with group after group of fellow actors, moving from show to show, memorizing lines and cues for each show and then letting all of it go after each final performance and strike party.
As for me, I've decided to imitate a trapeze artist: Flexible, fearless, strong, adaptable, willing and able to let go as often as needed in order to reach my goals. Right now, my immediate goal is to let go of (at least some of) those items listed above before the end of February... Wish me luck.
How about you? What do you want or need to let go of? Old clothes that don't fit you or your style anymore? Out-dated appliances, TVs, computers or cell phones that could be donated to a needy organization? A worn-out relationship or friendship that takes more than you can give? A hairstyle that you know needs an update?
Whatever it is, I KNOW you have something hanging around that needs to be let go. You can't fool me! 0_O
Within the past few weeks, facebook posts from all of my friends started popping up talking about Pinterest. It seemed that every day someone would report they they logged in to Pinterest were obsessed and never came out!! This freaked me out because, if my friends have been dropping like flies into the Pinterest Craze, surely it was only a matter of time until I got sucked in.. so I have been holding back at "going there"
Today I finally decided to take a peek and I'm happy I did. It's a really cool idea and I can totally see how users love this site! Searching for things online can be so hard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all of the great things you find online! They have sections for decorating homes, book ideas, entertaining ideas, birthday party ideas and so much more. Not only can you post your own great ideas and finds, but you can also browse through other peoples ideas! What a great idea! And if I were a creative person, I would be all over this site!