Mom's Corner

This is just a phase…they won’t want these things forever

So I’m sitting on the couch with my husband and settling onto the couch when I hear “mommy?” for the umpteenth time… The first time was around 8:30. Then 8:47. Then 8:52. Etc, etc.

This is just a phase.

This is just a phase.

This is just a freaking phase.

My toddler has been an independent sleeper since she was 6 months old. We hardly have any issues with getting her to bed and her staying there.

Until recently.

Maybe she’s still hungry. Alright, here’s a snack. Maybe she’s not ready for bed. Okay, you can play a little longer. Or….maybe she just needs me. Okay, let’s go in your room together and I’ll put you back to bed. I laid her down started brushing my finger across her face as she rubbed her eyes, tickling her back like I do for her sister, humming a song, until she points to the space to her left and says “Mommy, too?” She wanted me to lay next to her. So that’s what I did. I climbed into her crib and curled up next to her. She slid her little arm under my neck and hugged my head against her body.

And it hit me. Hard.

I realized I have not laid down with her to put her to sleep since she was 6 months old–she’ll be 2 next month. I laid there and watched her slowly blink away the day as she played with my hair. I did that until I noticed she was starting to fall a little deeper into her slumber and decided to get out before I ended up waking her as I did it later on. So I got out and stood by her crib and repeated my earlier actions. I brushed my fingers across her face. I tickled her back. I glued my eyes to her little body. I watched the rise and fall of her chest.

And I cried.

I cried because I feel like I lost a year and some change putting her to bed and leaving her to self soothe, rather than basking in the moment. I watched how beautiful she looked while she so peacefully lay there, slow-blinking, and then shooting them back wide open to make sure I’m really still there, then slow-blinking them shut again. A step that she repeated over and over until she gave into sleep.

I stood there and soaked it all up. The way she picked her nose until she was almost asleep and then switched it up to her hands behind her head flipping away at her earlobes instead. The way her hand fell down to her stuffed monkey to make sure it was still there after she closed her eyes for the night. The way she said “Mommy?” when she sensed me backing away.

The way I succumbed to her needs and laid on the floor by the crib with my arm between the rails and held her hand until it was limp and her breathing heavied.

When she was out for the count I carefully tip toed away, I closed her door, went straight to my husband, buried my face and I cried even more. Why didn’t I do this more often? Why did I wait this long? Why haven’t I done this sooner?

I feel like I robbed myself that time because she is so easy at bedtime that I didn’t even think to do it. I was so focused on her being an independent sleeper that I missed out on those peaceful moments for so long. I wanted to rewind time and snuggle her more and for even longer. She was breastfed until 6 months old when I started working again so I would normally come in, feed her to sleep and go back to my bed–and she and I were okay with that.

Or at least I thought I was until that moment. I pride myself in thinking I soak in many of these little moments, but clearly–at some point–I slipped. Maybe I feel like being at home all day with her compensates for missing other things. Maybe I am so eager to be able to sit in silence and read a book, fill an order, or watch a show without distractions. Maybe it just became so routine, it didn’t cross my mind until the recent events of her escaping her bed/room that I just laid her down, did our kissy/peekaboo/hair in her face routine, and kiss her again, that it didn’t occur to me that she’d crave for me to stay with her until she fell asleep.

I mean I do it for her older sister a lot of times–but she’s also old enough to ask for it.

And I know that I want to embrace these moments because just as quickly as I wish this phase away of her constantly getting out of bed… gone will be the days she actually wants me to. So until then I’m going to remind myself…

…This is just a phaseshe won’t want this forever.

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Mom's Corner

Motherhood— Nature’s calling? Or straight up Nature?!

I see a crack of light and the silhouette it creates accentuating the beautiful gift God has provided me with– my oldest daughter… who creepily whispers my name early in the morning as she stands motionless in my doorway. OH. MY. GOSH. Why?! That’s right–school… and it’s picture day. That crack of light capturing her silhouette was my eyelids refusing to open as they were reacting to the bright light my daughter turned on.

I cross the rocky terrain that is my living room to reach my destination. The end is in sight (or the beginning, really, for that matter) and I can almost reach the coffee pot… I make it! But not unscathed by my surroundings as I stepped on a giant LEGO aka “breakfast” that my toddler “made” for me and put ever-so-sweetly in a bowl in my path to the kitchen.

I close my eyes for a [milli]second and listen to my surroundings. I take in the [not so] faint calls of the wild. The monkey’s howl, the lion’s roar, the cow’s moo, the cat’s meow, the sheep’s baaa, the frog’s “bibbit”, and the toddler’s cry! I hear the sounds of an endless flowing river that is Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol babbling in the background… and I mean never ending and unfortunately somewhat catchy.

The coffee hits me at the same time as my hangry child’s stomach decides to scavenge for a ‘nack. So I plot my escape to the bathroom with a decoy of distraction with piranhas goldfish in a cup over by the couch and I make a break for it! But I am not fast enough. The toddler catches up with me as I’m trying to close the bathroom door and in fear of frightening the toddler and hurting her fingers I give in. She sits there feeding me piranhas goldfish as I do my business –she doesn’t take her eyes off of me.

My nose senses something’s gone awry and knows it’s time to capture the toddler and put her in a new net that catches her waste that is the diaper. But she knows what’s up. So I make my way into her room, grab my tools to clean a bottom and I see her. She lurks around the corner thinking I can’t see what she’s up to. So I back up out of her line of sight and I wait silently. I hear her steps as she creeps closer and out I pop with a playful roar and I tickle her to the ground. It’s all fun and games until she crocodile rolls away with remnants of poo on her rump. Not today, tiny human! Not today.

She’s fought long and hard and is ready to give in. But not before she pulls on my pant legs, plays with her food, pulls her sissy’s hair, fights with the floor, cries out for “douche“–which I translate as juice, colors on sissy’s homework, eats her prey dinner, gives me kisses, and says “nigh-night“.

Finally. Time for myself. I sit, close my eyes, and listen. No more roars, “bibbits”, or cries. No more rough, LEGO-breakfast terrain to trench through. No more secret passwords I mean…terrible, new-age math homework. No more toddler-chaperoned trips to the bathroom. No more hugs. No more “I love you mom“s. No more bodies in my arms to snuggle.

The day is done. My heart is full. And even with the chaos-clad days I have I still want to wake those sleeping beasts for just another kiss.

But I know what awaits tomorrow so for now I’ll take my rest.

So as the light closes on the horizon that are my eyelids– I sleep.

Mom's Corner

Momming with Tattoos

I wish I could say that in this day and age that its almost part of the norm to see a mom with tattoos. That the bad stigma that comes along with them has worn off.

While I have intentionally put myself in that position, I am still surprised that people still associate them with being unsuccessful, being trashy, bad parenting, or having been to jail (okay, no one has really said this one to me but the stigma is out there).

I mean haven’t your parents taught you to not judge people by the color of their skin?! Mine just happens to be multiple colors and pain inflicted. *shrugs*

I get it. Some people don’t fancy the concept. That’s fine! But I have never met a tattooed person who looks at someone without tattoos and hear them say  Why don’t you have any tattoos? How boring” (however… my seven year old has asked my niece why she only has one tattoo).

I started getting tattoos as soon as I turned 18. They all started off not visible to the eye when fully clothed, and slowly, as I crept into my mid 20s started bringing them to light (daylight, that is). See, my parents cannot stand them on me and my sister. It’s fine on everyone else! But not their beautiful, perfect, children. I remember the first one I got on my arm I made my sister tell them– at this point, I was 25 and had an almost 4 year old, and had been in the military for 6+ years–yet I was still petrified of their reaction.

Moving forward, since that tattoo I have added two more to said arm and have also added another child to my life. I have 16 total (tattoos, not children), my bigger ones living in the dark. Most of the questions I get are mainly “did that hurt??“, “Why did you get that one?“, or “I bet you hate covering them at work“. That last one isn’t a question but it is one I get a lot, and no, I wear t shirts, flip flops, shorts or hoodies to work… they don’t care about my tattoos.

They. Don’t. Care.

My husband doesn’t care, my friends [might have an opinion] but they don’t care, and guess what? My kids don’t care, either. My parents… they definitely care but have lightened up immensely since my sister and I just keep getting them.

I’m a mom just like the other non-tattooed moms. I love my kids. I clean my house. I do laundry. I read bedtime stories, tickle backs, and watch their chests rise and fall just to make sure they’re still breathing.

I put the creamer in the cupboard and the coffee pot in the fridge on exhausted mornings, just like the rest of you!

I even put my kids before myself.

I have major “momming insecurities”. Especially when you decide to side-eye me with judgement, I may act like I don’t care… but I do. I feel it. I shouldn’t have to feel that way because of what you think a mom should look like.

I’m not your “stereo-typical” tattooed woman (if that’s even still a thing). I love country music, I two step in my cowboy boots, I go to church regularly so that means I don’t worship the devil, I have a clean [criminal not driving] record  (like very many other tattooed men and women), I have a professional career, and I am so, veryvery, sensitive.

I am happy with my tattoos. If you’re happy with not having any, I’m happy for you.

Lets start living in a world where where it doesn’t matter what people look like and start learning to get to know the person for who they are, instead.

 

cheers!
♥ 
ashley

 

#coffeemom

 

 

 

Mom's Corner

“I’m [not] a bad mom.”

Is this something you think to yourself? I do. Daily.

I’m a bad mom.

Today I gave my toddler snacks for breakfast until it was time for breakfast, but luckily for me she was still hungry. Today, I let my oldest have some of my coffee. Last week I yelled at my oldest for forgetting her chores for the umpteenth time.

I’m a bad mom.

Many mornings I just want to lay in bed until the last possible second and then I rush my oldest off to the school bus. “Hurry, the bus is coming”. “Hurry and eat your food, you only have [xxxx amount of] minutes”.

I’m a bad mom.

A few days ago I wouldn’t let my toddler play with the floor vent she picked up from its hole in the ground. Then proceeded to drop an f bomb within sounds’ reach of her innocent ears, as she slammed it on my toes in her fit of rage. [Not at her, just at the fact that it hurt like a mother].

I’m a bad mom.

Some nights when I’m exhausted from working 12 days in a row, when it comes to bedtime stories and back scratches, I skip pages, and fib about how long five minutes is. Then lay my youngest down half an hour early so I can save a little bit of what’s left of my sanity, hoping she puts herself to sleep sooner rather than later.

I’m a bad mom.

Because sometimes Nickelodeon is my babysitter… what makes me even worse is that sometime’s it Spongebob & Patrick.  

But the thing is… if I were really a bad mom– I wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for making my kids sad for telling them “No”. And neither would you.

I’ve come to the point where I’ve realized, frozen chicken nuggets, french fries, cereal, or cheese slices for dinner aren’t going to kill my kids. That turning on the TV to keep them preoccupied so I can get things done around the house (or even just so I can sit by myself for even just a few minutes), won’t brainwash them for the rest of their lives. That disciplining them when necessary isn’t going to traumatize them, but mold them into [hopefully] respectful teenagers/adults one day. Even if that means I feel guilty or get too hard on myself for it because their momentary heartbreak, really breaks mine more.

I feel like I can always do better or I should have done this or that. So I asked my oldest the other day, after getting frustrated for asking her to take her things down to her room for the millionth time (that I ended up doing because she “forgot”), “Are you happy?” She said “Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?”. The guilt that was weighing on my shoulders lifted from hearing that simple answer. I need to learn to let go of the guilt, not hold onto it and move on. My kids are happy, they are fed, they are well taken care of, and most of all they are loved.

I need to stop telling myself I’m a bad mom. So do you.

I’m not a bad mom. I am a good mom. I can always better myself, but I’m not a bad mom. Neither are you.

 

cheers to us and this whole parenting thing!