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.

Advertisements
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

To the Mom who…

To the new mom

…who thinks she has no idea what she’s gotten herself into. That feels like you’ll never know what a full nights sleep is like ever again. That never knew what your heart is capable of loving. Who has given up her body to create a new tiny body and is feeling self conscious about it. The ones who have tried everything to get their baby to stop crying and has to put their baby down and walk away for a few minutes. Who even though she wants to close her eyes from being up tending to a fussy baby for hours, still lies awake to watch the rise and fall of their baby’s chest.

I know.

To the working mom

…who wakes up at 6am to shower, get ready (maybe), make breakfast for her kids, get them ready for school, and then off to daycare. Who wishes she spent more hours of the day with the tiny people she’s made from scratch, than with people who would replace her if she died tomorrow. Who clocks out, picks them up from two different locations, goes home, makes dinner, tidies up (ish… or doesn’t) the house, maybe gets to eat her food warm with her family, then bathes and puts the kids to bed before maybe having time for herself or her husband.

I know.

To the stay at home mom

…who wakes up to human alarm clocks just to make breakfast that they asked for but really didn’t want. Who cleans dirty faces, hands and diapers all day. The ones getting sick, then better, then sick again because the other kids catches it–so clearly you need to catch it again too, because it’s only fair. The ones who clean up 3 or 4 times, just for it to look like a tornado hit right before dad walks in. The ones getting all “felt up” by kids and toddlers all day and then at the end of the day crave adult attention and communication or even just some peace and quiet to try and do the things you tried to do all day but couldn’t.

I know.

To the military mom

…who would put their lives on the line for their country even if that means leaving their families behind just so they can live a better life. The ones who make sacrifice after sacrifice year after year to do what the military tells them when the military tells them with very little say. The ones who say goodbye to their little ones for months that feel like years with an ache in their heart only a mother would feel. Who go to the CDC on base during their lunch to see their babies–even if they’re sleeping–and lay/eat with them because you miss them.

I know.

To the military spouse mom

…who also sacrifices a lot to be with and without her family. Who knows the true meaning of “It takes a village“–because without that village you’d lose your mind. Who leaves the rest of her family to support her new family in all their endeavors to come. Yet wishes her parents/siblings could be around her kids more often. The ones that hold down the fort at home because sometimes it’s impossible to maintain a career anywhere because you know in just a few short years you’re going to have to leave that career/company behind because you’re moving overseas.

I know.

To the mom of a child with special needs

…who work overtime as a parent of even just one child because patience alone is hard to come by some days. Who are afraid to tackle certain everyday tasks in public in fear an episode or health issue may arise. Who secretly wishes someone would volunteer to help her even just so she can do some laundry, without fear of asking in hopes someone doesn’t question her abilities as a mom. The ones that cry for their child because this world is an ugly place and no matter what you do there’s no escaping it. That cry because they feel like they’ve done any and everything they possibly can and it still isn’t comforting their child.

As a mom to friends with special needs children who has been there for them on their “bad days“.

I know.

To the mom who has it all figured out

…good for you. Just kidding! I wish I were you because.

I do not know.

And to all the moms

…who feel under appreciated, stressed to the maximum capacity, drained, alone, stranded–even if you feel like it’s all in your mind. Who get so fed up at times–just to look at their innocent faces and realize no matter how bad the times–it is all so worth it.

Just remember there’s a village of us out there who have either been there, are passing through, or know someone who has.

And we know.

Mom's Corner

Me, my kids, and a Chic Fil A bathroom stall–A story of my almost-meltdown

So today I ran an errand just myself with the kids, and since they were so good I treated them (okay, I treated myself) to Chic fil a. We ate, then the girls played and then let me tell you what happened.

Chaos.

My family has been hit with some kind of sinus/icky/head-cold, something. My oldest was the last to get it and the other day she had a pretty good nosebleed because she doesn’t know how to leave her nose alone. It was a posterior nose bleed so those look like you’re going to bleed out forever. WELL! It decided to happen again today while we were there and just about to leave. I told her to run to the bathroom and get in a stall and I’ll be in there in just a minute. So I got to the table, where I had just strapped my youngest into the highchair to finish up some nuggets before we left, packed up our belongings really quick, grabbed the girls’ shoes (yeah, she ran into the bathroom shoeless, but she was bleeding everywhere!) and rolled my youngest in her highchair to a booth closest to the bathroom. I opened the bathroom door and slid her shoes into the stall she was in, and then popped right back out to pick up my toddler to go and help out big sissy. I told her to open the stall door and let us in and OH MY GOSH.

Blood.

EVERYWHERE!

On the toilet seat, the floor, the toilet paper dispenser, dripping down her arms, the freaking wall! It just wouldn’t stop! I tried my best to clean it up as we were getting her face situated and just like trick birthday candles the blood just kept reappearing. I bet the people in the dining area were wondering what the hell was going on in that bathroom because all you could hear was flush, clunk, flush, “come back here!”, flush, door slam, flush, crying, flush, clunk, flush, screaming, flush, “get off the floor!”, flush… over and over..

My toddler was initially trying so hard to help her big sister by trying to get more toilet paper for her to dam up sissy’s nostrils. But since I didn’t want her covered in blood like the rest of the bathroom I had to keep telling her “No!“. Cue the crying and the tantrum-ing! I now had one kid covered in blood, and another kid covered in public restroom cooties! So not only was there blood everywhere but there were also little, itty-bitty, confetti-sized toilet paper shreds all over the floor.

At one point another lady came in and had to take a number two and the poor lady not only had to deal with the madness that was happening in the stall next to hers, but also with my toddler trying to join in on her potty adventures from under the stall walls trying to start up some baby babble small talk.

Then my toddler figured out how to open the stall doors because she watched me as I was leaving the stall to gather something with a little more durability, like paper towels instead of melt-in-your-hands public restroom toilet paper, with some soap! She also managed to smash her fingers somehow between the two different stall doors. Cue more screaming! And I had to keep apologizing as I was walking back and forth from the stall to the sink to another lady waiting on one of the two stalls to free up while this is all going on. Some luck she had–either a stall that was just covered in blood or a fresh stinky poo-poo stall.

But bless this woman’s heart, she saved my my sanity. My youngest walked up to her with tears in her eyes and her snot clad face, she looked up at the lady, waved, and said “hiiii” in the saddest voice ever. The lady bent down and just started engaging with her. She kindly told me if I’m okay with it she was willing to stand there and try and keep her company if she’d let her. Luckily my oldest’s face decided to finally clot and stop bleeding just in time. So I cleaned her up as best as I could, and sent her to the sink to wash her hands and face.

And I stood there, paper towels in hand, taking in the lovely mess that almost robbed me of my sanity and took a deep breath, cleaned up the blood from the toilet, walls, floor, etc, and blew all the toilet paper scraps into one measly pile and gave my last bit of effort to pick those up too.

I walked out of that stall (lady doo-doo was still in stall number two) and thanked that very kind woman for helping me out and that I was sorry she had to wait so long. She said “Honey, you’re doing the best you can, and you kept calm, us grandmas were once moms too, you know! You and your beautiful girls take care now.”

We were in that bathroom at least 25 minutes between the start of the nosebleed, to me finishing up my janitorial duties and finally washing my hands. I had so many eyes fixated on me when we walked out– arms full with a toddler on my hip, a bag of food and a drink in one hand, my purse across my body and a diaper bag on my back and escorting my oldest through the restaurant. But yet, thanks to that wonderful woman, I was not embarrassed, because I was doing the best that I can.

And that is all that matters.

 

 

Mom's Corner

My kids stayed with grandma for the night… and I felt lost.

So I turn 30 in 3 days.

…I mean 2 days (12:08am)

So my husband treated me to a night out. We went to a bar that had an amazing band and we went with a couple of friends we hadn’t seen in a while. And an hour into the night and I’m texting my mother in law to watch for my toddlers breathing because she was coughing funny earlier that morning. I wanted to enjoy my kid-free night so I waited for her response and I put my phone away.

I documented some of the night on Snapchat and didn’t do much else. We had a few drinks, played a game of bags (aka cornhole), and danced.

I looked at my phone again at 12:14am and replied to confirm that the kids were staying the night at grandmas house. We went home, watched some tv, and didn’t have to tiptoe or whisper.

But I did it anyway.

I was subconsciously doing mom things. I peeked inside my youngest’s room, I panicked for a quick second wondering if I forgot to go downstairs to read my oldest a bedtime story–until I remembered she wasn’t here. We aren’t used to having the house to ourselves. I’m not used to the kids not being around. I enjoyed the alone time with my husband. But I never felt so lost all at the same time.

I can do date nights. I can go hours away from my kids (although I do admit being away from my kids more and more the older I get, sucks!). But this whole overnight thing got to me. I love being the one who puts my toddler to bed and plays peek a boo with her blankie for a few extra minutes and kiss her little toes while she tickles her face with my hair. I love one on one time with my oldest while I tuck her in, read her a story and tickle her back. Or watch tv with her until she falls asleep with me on the couch.

That’s my job.

Yes I know. I know grandmas and aunties are fully capable of watching over my kids. I could not ask for better grandmas and aunties (and uncles) for my girls. But speaking of jobs, lately, working full time hadn’t been fulfilling. I had been looking left and right as to why that is and what it is that I’ve been missing out on. I have been home for a couple of weeks being solely a mom. A mom, a homemaker, a wife.

And I have never been so fulfilled at any other job as I have felt while being home with my kids being able to spend precious, frustrating, undivided, time with them.

So last night while I was out enjoying my husband and my kids were safe, playing with family, I was also missing my kids. I missed my mommy duties.

But I also missed having alone time with my husband. I already had a kid when we met. So we’ve never really had that “just us” phase of our relationship. He gladly, without hesitation, jumped into a relationship with us two and stepped up to be the man and father he didn’t have to be. We rarely get date nights so I am thankful when we get them.

The ugly side of this all is that no matter what I do I feel guilty. Guilty that I’m missing my kids when its just us on a date night, guilty that I don’t get to be with my husband alone more often, guilty that my kids went to bed without me, guilty that I even feel guilty at all!

So I felt lost without my kids. So what? I’d get lost in the chaos of motherhood over and over again just to be able to re-experience the exhilaration of it all.

So I need to let my kids enjoy their other family members so that I can enjoy some time with my wonderful husband. Guilt free time. I need to let them get to know their family better. It’s not like they dread it. They enjoy going to see everyone. They love playing with our family and their cousins. I need to give myself a break step back from mom duties, even for one whole night.

Wife hat, mom hat. One piled on the top of the other. I can do it. I can find my way through motherhood without getting lost.

Mom's Corner · Uncategorized

Planning and Parenting- What a book won’t tell you

Alright. Since I’ve already crowned myself The World’s Okayest Mom— we all know I didn’t plan a whole lot prior to my oldest joining my life journey. I tried a liiiiiitle harder with my second, but knew there wasn’t much more out there that’s changed in the six years since I had previously given birth. One of those things being my personality. If you want to know what real motherhood is like, ditch the books and follow a mom blogContinue reading “Planning and Parenting- What a book won’t tell you”

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!