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.

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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

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.

Life change

Making lemonade: A recipe for life. 4 steps on how to take the NEXT step!

I’m making lemonade.

Because you know why? My good friend Life has thrown some lemons my way… aaand I’m feeling cliché, so there’s that.

No. This isn’t an actual lemonade recipe. Rather a recipe for how to find the good in the bad.

I know I’m not the only one out there who feels this way. Some unexpected hurdles have been placed in my way but since I decided on making lemonade versus throwing them back at Life and asking for chocolate instead, I will be making the best of it. Here goes. Hope this helps someone.

Planning what to do next

Hurdles are inserted in life as a means to make your path from point A to point B a little more difficult. When you approach one, immediately your brain processes how to get past it. There are a few options: over, under, or around. And there isn’t a right or wrong way. Just get past the darn thing and move along! This part was easy for me. I already had all these ideas “made up” in my head that only other people do and I’ll never get to but really wanted to! So you know what?

I’m doing it. With help, that is!

Whatever it is you think you cant do. I assure you, you can. Which leads me to this…

Find what motivates you

Whether it’s a person or people, a movie, a quote! For me, it’s the means to still be able to provide for my family in a way that I am happy about doing. My husband has assured me I can do this with obvious adjustments in our spending habits.

I also picked up the book “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. I’ve heard amazing things about it. The tag line flat out says

Stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be

It’s like it was written just for me!

Be realistic!

I know I basically just said shoot for the stars…

but I didn’t say you’ll land on the moon. Not right away at least. (And if you do! Good for you! But if you’re like me– I have terrible aim, and my depth perception is whack so I’ll probably shoot for the stars, and maybe clip a cloud and then come back down from my high and try again soon.)

In fact, there will be all these things in your head about how awesome your ideas are and how exciting this new adventure will be! And they are! But don’t think you’ll: become a millionaire overnight, go viral in a day, have everyone you love support you. You’ll probably lose money figuring out what works best, or you may not be targeting the right audience to go viral, and then you’ll have people who you swear will support your ideas and then come to find out… they don’t.

“Failing” is okay

Just make sure you keep “failing” until you make it! I know for me personally there will be a lot of trial and error but that is something I am expecting so that I am not surprised when it happens. You may not fail! (lucky!) but just in case you do… it’s totally normal. I fail at many normal everyday things all the time. I’m formally accepting it as a personality trait at this point. *wink*

So look, I’m no professional. But I get it. I understand that there are things you want to do that you think you can’t. It won’t always be easy. Just take the leap! Give a shot. Because you’ll never know if the what if’s will ever be the I can’s.

The hurdles will always be there. Get over, under, or around them. You’re a grown ass woman/man, you can do what you want!

Please note: There is a possibility that this recipe may turn out sour for some people. Even for me. You can always leave it as it is, dump it and start over, dump it and go back to life without lemonade, or add sugar! Whatever you do. Be happy with yourself.

Mom's Corner

What I think my toddler wants – a poem by me

a poem by me- Ashley Cincotta

Mama, mama, can’t you hear?

I’m wide awake, let’s play!

Time to get up out of bed,

Lets get on with this day.

I’m hungry! Feed me now! Or else,

I’ll lay down on this floor.

No! Not that, or this, or that,

You know! I’m wanting something more! Continue reading “What I think my toddler wants – a poem by me”

Mom's Corner

Mom failing: Tooth Fairy, Santa, Easter Bunny- What NOT to do.

So you know Santa? How about the Easter Bunny?… Tooth Fairy?

I think my oldest does, too… Or she thinks she does. So I’m going to write this in the order of the ones she still believes in, to the one she now [unfortunately] knows the truth about, and what I did wrong.

[Not so] Pro Parenting Tip: Remember the lost tooth. (I know, silly right?)

The one I’m currently struggling with is the Tooth Fairy. She’s at that age where she’s looking more like a hockey player than my sweet girl. She lost her first tooth over a year ago when she was away from home so I didn’t have to deal with it then, but the first tooth she lost with me was when we were on vacation.

Mom, how is the Tooth Fairy going to come if she doesn’t know where I’m at?!

Good point, kid. We’ll save it away and tuck it under your pillow when we get back home. Long story short, the tooth never made it under the pillow and she ended up losing another one before that one was remembered and she was mad that she was jipped. Found the tooth in our luggage months later, put it under her pillow, she got a dollar.

I’m not so sure she really cares about that one because it’s money, but she hasn’t said she knows its me— yet.

[Not so] Pro Parenting Tip #2: When they get older, keep it simple…

Do NOT go overboard. I know its totally not the time of year, but Christmas only six months away. This year is halfway over! Here’s my next mistake.

So I thought I was being this super proactive, awesome, mom by taking a picture of my living room on Christmas Eve and “photo shopping” Santa in there (it looked legit!), and doing that PNP (Portable North Pole) App where Santa talks to your child through a customized video for your kid (that app is awesome!), and by taking her to see Santa at the mall. Exceeeppppt she’s seven, and she’s picking up on small things like “That Santa’s beard isn’t real“, or “That Santa was fatter than the other Santa” and my favorite “Why are there so many different Santa’s and who was it that came into our house on Christmas eve!?

Yeah, explaining that Santa is only one person and that he has soooo many helpers around the world to help him do his job was a hard one to explain. He’s magical, he’s everywhere, he’s always watching. But even Santa needs help.

If you’re going to use anything and they’re a little older.. use the PNP app. You can make multiple videos ranging from Santa calling to make sure they’re behaving or to tell them they’re doing awesome, to having Santa tell them what they need to work on to remain on the nice list, to a video on Christmas Eve. When Santa told her she needed to work on her attitude the horror on her face was so real.. SO for now this belief is still alive and [barely] thriving.

Mom FAIL. I did too much!

[Not so] Pro Parenting Tip #3: The Easter Bunny might not seem like a BIG deal, but he is.

To be honest, I don’t even really remember exactly what she said but it was along the nature of “I know the Easter Bunny isn’t real“… But I do remember saying “You’re right… Mommies and Daddies help make Easter fun, we buy [the things], and we do [the stuff] to make things fun for our babies” (or something close to that).

Instant regret crept it’s way into my heart as her face sank. She sat on the couch and tried to silently cry. My brain started pinging…

But she just said she knew!“, “WHY did I say that??“, “Can I retract my statement??

How do I fix this?

She wanted to believe, she really did. She wasn’t asking for the truth she was seeking confirmation that he was real. So I held her, and being that in my household we believe in God, I told her what Easter is really about. (Of course before I calmly explained that to her, I frantically texted my dad asking what do I do?!). I was sad that I just bursted her bubble. I know they’ll all figure it out one day, and I really thought she had… for the Easter Bunny, anyway.

So if you have an inkling that your kid still believes or wants to believe, don’t do what I did.

I learned this from an old co-worker of mine and our new motto in the house is “If you believe, you will receive“.

I don’t care how old they are.

 

cheers!
ashley

 

#coffeemom

 

 

Mom's Corner

Mom’s cup of coffee- A relatable short story.

Its 6:07am (yes, exactly that) and my alarm goes off.

I snooze it.

Then again at 6:11, 6:16, and 6:21am.

I snooze each one.

This morning I was able to. Both baby sitters I have, including my backup, were unable to watch my youngest. Lucky me. No, really. Lucky me. It’s a rare occasion I get to be home and “bum it” with my kids (yet its hardly ever really bumming it).

7:15am. I hear my youngest chatting away in her crib, and thats my cue. I get up, start the coffee, and head to her room. Exactly as I expect, she’s peering between the bars of her crib and her changing table. I see the smile in her eyes as I enter the room and make my way to her. Her eager arms reaching out to me, I swoop her up.

I missed you last night“, I say kissing her cheek.

We wander to the kitchen with her weight on my hip and an arm around my neck. A waffle for breakfast- her favorite.

Mo nom-ah nom-ah!“, she squeals.

I pour a cup of coffee, add my creamer and we sashay to the living room. We sit on the floor at the foot of the chaise with my legs out in front and her on my lap. She leans back against my chest as she devours her waffle.

Mommy left her coffee¹.”

She doesn’t care. She’s snuggled up with mommy bobbing away to Paw Patrol. So I wait.

Finally she runs off and I get up to get my coffee. Its in the same spot, just lukewarm now. So I top it off with some from the pot.

Pitter patter, pitter patter. “Mo nom-ah nom-ah!“, she goes again. This time its for her Sippy (which is also Paw Patrol). So I put my coffee down² and reach for her cup and fill it up.

We walk back into the living room and she has me chase her into her princess tent, and we play.

Am I supposed to say no to this?!

When she runs out of the room I go back to my cup-same one- but this time I dump a little out since the red light is still on indicating the hot plate is still heating the almost-hour-old coffee, and once again I top it off.

Thud, tumble, tumble. “Ma maaaaaa“. I abandon my coffee³ and scurry to her room. There’s no crying so I’m not in full sprint, but more of a brisk walk (think a 4-5 level) on the treadmill. She looks up guiltily as she’s moved her dirty clothes hamper and managed to unplug her nightlight/white noise machine and pulled it down from the shelf by the cord. I roll up the plug and stow it away until it makes its way back out for bedtime.

But this hamper she’s moved… its been tipped over, displaying the cootie-clad clothing from the week splayed out on the floor. It’s begging me to bring it downstairs to be washed- so I do it. I also bring another load up from the dryer and I sit on the floor and I fold. I fold and I fold until I remember I have a [probably frozen] coffee waiting for me. The light is off on the pot. The remainder of the coffee is no longer warm enough to make mine any warmer. So I open the microwave as a last resort and I reheat my coffee. *cringe*

img_4060
About to heat my coffee up in my Harry Potter mug. Note there is NO RED LIGHT ON on the pot

While its heating up I decide to throw in a pizza (yep, its lunchtime now). I set the oven to 450° and the microwave signals that my coffee is ready⁴. So I crack the microwave door while I finish putting in my pizza.

15 minutes passes, out comes my lunch and shortly after we both share my pizza. Once its consumed I stand up, wash my plate, and place it in the dishwasher.

I turn around…and freeze. “Sh*t, my coffee“.

I take it out, walk to the sink, and dump it out.

I look at a bottle above my fridge. Is it too early for wine?! I grab a glass and the bottle to open it up…

Ma maaaaa!”

…..maybe tomorrow.

this story is based on true events • (in probably every single house that has a coffee-drinking mom). I really hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed reflecting back on my day!

cheers!

 

#coffeemom

Mom's Corner

Goodnight, little one

Goodnight, little one”, 

I whispered as I laid you down for bed. You look up at me and smile with sleepy eyes before rubbing them shut, and I melt. Just when I thought I was ready for you to lay down and be out so I can relax myself, my heart pings with a longing to scoop you up and wish you’d lay peacefully in my arms. But you won’t. Your bed is your cue for sleep, not my arms anymore.

I turn on your nightlight and creep out of your room, then I look around. The remnants of your playtime remain on our living room floor. Your high chair, your snacks, the aftermath of toys from Hurricane Baby- its the calm after the storm. Some nights I gather them up quickly and put them away, but other nights I take my time. I look at the elephant that sings and picture exactly how it makes you spin and dance, and the itty bitty red teddy bear thats the size of my palm, that you somehow manage to squeeze into a hug- and I smile. One day I’m going to long to have toys and kid-things to pick up and put away. So I grab the lotion I used after bath and snap the lid shut, knowing just an hour or so before we “argued” over whether it was edible or not, and I put it away.

There are nights when I stay up to do laundry and I sadly put aside the outfit I bought you from what I thought was last month that you’re already outgrowing way too quickly, just to put it away for safe keeping in hopes we might be able to use it for baby number three one day.

I remember being pregnant with you and wondering how on God’s Green Earth, I was gong to love you as much as I love your sister. If my heart was even capable of any more love. Then you were born and my cup runneth over– you proved me wrong.

Through your tantrums, the biting, the hitting, constantly managing to get into things you shouldn’t be in, and trying to teach you right from wrong, I miss you when you go to bed.

So, many nights before I go to bed to lay with daddy, I sneak back in your room and I sit down by your crib. If I am able, while you’re sleeping, I’ll place my finger in your hand and instinctively, you grab it.

Then off to bed I go.

“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” —Tina Fey

 A poem by me, Ashley CincottaGoodnight little one“, I whisper
as I lay you down for bed.
Mommy will be in the other room
watching daddy sleep, instead.

That only lasts a little bit as she
she stays up a while to think-
About the toys I need to put away,
and the dishes in the sink.

So I put away the laundry
sadly laying smaller clothes aside,
wanting you small just a little longer
my heart, it breaks inside.

I sneak back in your room
and watch you sleep so peacefully.
It’s my secret form of comfort as
you’re growing right in front of me.

I sit there watching for a while
as my work is finally done.
Mommy loves you more than life, you know.
I whisper, “Goodnight, little one“.