Category Archives: Motherhood

not ready to be mom

*Just found this in the archives from last month and realized I’d forgotten to publish.  Thankfully, for the most part my title of mom is gone.  PHEW.  Back to mommy!!!*

Recently, my middle child has taken to calling me “mom”.  I can’t handle it.  It’s too soon, he’s too young.  The title of mom is reserved for more mature days ahead…as in teenage years when my sons can look me straight in the eye or tower over me with their intermittent low and high voices…those are the days of mom.  In fact, “mom” will be their title for me for the rest of their lives…so I’m holding on to mommy with a strong grip.  I can’t let go yet.  I’m not ready to be mom.

Sometimes I fake cry and beg Regan to call me mommy and after a little bit he relents with the cutest alllllrighhhht and I get one or two mommy’s out of him until he goes back to mom.  I shouldn’t take it too personally because he calls Bart dad, Josiah is now Jo and Maya is My.  Perhaps he is realizing there is no need to waste syllables in his little world at the moment.  I hope it doesn’t last long.  And Josiah hates it too.

Admittedly I wrestle with my kid’s changes.  I LOVE when they sleep through the night, but I hate seeing them grow out of those tiny clothes.  I LOVE when they can do stuff independently, but I still love that they need me.  I LOVE when they are potty trained but…um… nope, nothing I miss there.  I LOVE when they can’t talk but then I really love when they start to.  I LOVE when they are big enough to walk about without me, but I miss slinging them on my hip with their head snuggled in.

So for now, I’m hoping “mom” is just a glitch in the matrix…a casualty of pre-k…and one that will disappear until later years.  I wanna hold onto mommy for a little while longer.

never have i ever…the explanation

shocked_faceI loved the reaction this post got yesterday and decided I would offer some explanation since clearly some people thought I was exaggerating.  Hehe…

I’ve never used one of those giant awkward car shopping carts before.  3 years ago, when we moved back to new jersey I naively thought grocery shopping would still be the enjoyable thing it was.  Yet, after repeatedly sweating profusely while trying to not run into every single person and speed crazily through the aisles so as to look like a native, I conceded that food shopping in the midwest is much more my style.  I think fondly of the days of strolling down the empty aisles, reading food labels with no stress of angry eyes staring me down as I slightly blocked their raceway.  So for reals…the idea of trying to wrangle an even bigger cart around jersey peeps?!  Forget about it.

I’ve never taken all 3 of my kids to any store together, ever.  This is true, I swear…and I don’t ever swear.  Much thanks to my dearest husband’s very flexible job and the invention of grocery delivery services (read: PeaPod) I have steered my nerves way clear of the mess that is 3 small kiddos surrounded by a-lot-of-things-they-cannot-have aka: a store.  Actually true story- up until Josiah was about 3 he didn’t even realize that we could buy things and take them out of a store.  He’d literally just touch stuff on shelves and then return each item, no questions asked- like it was a museum. ha!

I’ve never played kids music in my car.  This little confession dates back to my single days when I’d ride with moms in their cars and die a slow death listening to the most annoying of kid’s music.  It was like nails on a chalkboard.  Truth be told, I like some kid’s music and being an elementary school teacher in the past, I sang my fair share of it… but I figure- it’s my car, I can pick the music.  And the beauty is- our kids love our music now and they don’t know any better.  Win/win.

I’ve never bathed a child 2 days in a row.  If you don’t know me well, then you don’t know my struggle with bath time.  What started as a save-the-afro-hair thing turned into a baths-are-too-much-work thing.  It’s sad, but I just hate baths.  Showers will be implemented asap- I’m thinking first grade is a great time to initiate that.

I rarely feed my kids lunch.  No, I don’t neglect them- promise.  I think this started when Josiah began eating baby food.  Behind lost sleep and potty training, feeding baby food to infants might be my least favorite thing about parenting.  Sooo in an effort to balance my distaste, I just fed baby Jos two meals a day… and since Regan came just a year later, I kept on doing it.  To this day, for the most part, my kiddos eat a good breakfast usually and then snack until nap time.  When they wake, it’s a snack until dinner time.  Whenever I have babysitters I try and remember to tell them no lunch is needed, but I get weird looks sometimes…so we have, on occasion, pretended the lunch exists in our children’s lives.

I’ve never taken any kid clothes shopping, for anyone.  I love shopping for clothes and ever since we had kids, I’ve loved shopping for them more than myself.  But, confession…I mostly shop online anyway and the idea of taking my three into the Gap makes me so tired I want to take a nap.  I seriously cannot imagine how that would be beneficial.  They don’t know what a mall is yet, and I’m completely okay with that.  I just realized that I will be taking my oldest to the Uniform Shop this month but only so I don’t end up buying him high-water pleated pants.

I’ve never taken them to a movie theatre.  I actually don’t think this is all too crazy of a confession.  My oldest is only five anyway, and is pretty sensitive to anything even remotely sad or bad on film.  But also have you ever sat down to relish a good flick in the dark only to hear a baby crying or a kid whining…over and over?  I’m not sure how that’s fun for the parent or the kid.  So, I’m holding out for Finding Dori– summer 2016.

I’ve rarely taken them to restaurants…it’s just.not.worth.it.  When Josiah was a baby we rarely hesitated to enjoy a meal out, but I can still picture that one meal that ended it all after Regan joined our family.  He was probably a few months old, and we brought my parents to the Cheesecake Factory.  I think we got through about half the meal before Regan woke up crying and I was forced to tragically miss my meal entirely?!!?  What the what?  That night I vowed, no more restaurants with kids for a long time.  To me it’s not worth the price for the stress…trust me, I love me some take out…but fine dining with little ones is for the birds.

I’ve never cooked dinner for more than 3 nights in a row.  I used to love to cook.  I remember getting married and trying all sorts of recipes and getting creative and inventive and then BAM.  First baby arrived and I didn’t even know how I would keep myself alive, what with my being so selfish and all.  There was definitely no love for cooking anymore.  I go through spurts now, but I’m just not usually inspired.  I love the idea of family dinners and I do dream about creating that reality every weeknight, but for now, it’s hit or miss.

I’ve never had a regular cleaning schedule at my house.  I’m sensing a theme.  Ha!  Can you tell I don’t like doing something that I have to do?  I recall vividly being a new mom and hearing about how this friend of mine was structuring her days now that she stayed at home.  She designated Monday for laundry and Tuesday for food shopping and Wednesday for cleaning and so on…I was jazzed- thinking it would alleviate my monotony and endless desire to lay on the couch when I wasn’t needed by a tiny human.  Nope…instead it gave me figurative hives, thinking I had to clean a toilet every Wednesday.  Never stuck.  Oh well.

I rarely take them to parks.  I used to take Josiah to the park in Missouri.  All he ever did was swing in the baby swing, but it made me feel like a good mom that I was “getting him out”.  Lol.  Granted, we lived across the street from a park, so it wasn’t that big of an effort.  But soon after Regan arrived, I found parks to be cumbersome.  I couldn’t be in two places at once.  Then we moved to New Jersey and I decided that “park” would translate as “beach” to my children from then on.  And it has been wonderful.  We go to the “park” even in the dead of winter and it’s peaceful, I can sit quietly and stare at the waves with no fear of kids falling or having to endure small talk…and we’re all happy.  However, on our recent trip to Oregon, my kids adored the park there.  You should have heard Regan on the swings…it was like he’d tasted a little slice of heaven.  So cute.  Maybe that’s where he and I will go on our dates…if only I could find an empty park.

How’s that Aaron?  Two posts in two days.  Setting some kind of record…

never have i ever… mommy style

Sometimes people seems amazed that we have three children so young and usually comment about how awesome I must be to handle them all.  HA!  While I will take some credit for keeping them alive, Jesus gets all the credit for who they are.  Most of the time I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster and am just doing my best to hold on.  But here’s a reality check…I don’t do it all.

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I’ve never used one of those giant awkward car shopping carts before.

I’ve never taken all 3 of my kids to any store together, ever.

I’ve never played kids music in my car.

I’ve never bathed a child 2 days in a row.

I rarely feed my kids lunch.

I’ve never taken any kid clothes shopping, for anyone.

I’ve never taken them to a movie theatre.

I’ve rarely taken them to restaurants…it’s just.not.worth.it.

I’ve never cooked dinner for more than 3 nights in a row.

I’ve never had a regular cleaning schedule at my house.

I rarely take them to parks.

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I would keep going, but my brother really wants a published blog post and since I keep starting them but never finishing… that’s where the list will end for now.  It’s fun to see where people put their emphasis as they parent and I love to see how people raise their children in different ways.  You’d have to pay me a million dollars to get me to take my kids to Disney world, yet I’ve taken well over 30 flights with my kiddos.  And while many moms turn their nose up at beach trips, I long for more and more sand-filled hours in the sun and waves.

To each his her own.

Confessional #288

Remember when I used to post confessions of a mom, a mom of two and a mom of three?  I liked those.  Part of me liked airing my secrets and part of my liked shocking you all, even though I think I just made other moms feel good about themselves which is never a bad thing.  I think we could all use some lowly comparison sometimes since most of us fall into comparing to the mom or woman or angel that does it better than us, amiright?

So- for those of you who are new…feel free to look back upon my other confessional posts- I find them to be some of my favorites.  They should be under the tab motherhood.

*My 3 year old son is wearing his footie pajamas backwards because of an unfortunate decision he made yesterday regarding poop.  He chose to smear it on his walls, floor, self…probably in retaliation to the arrival of a lock on his door- from the outside.  Thankfully Josiah, albeit much younger then, had some poop playing days as well, and we remembered the beautiful trick of backwards pjs and ductape if needed.

*In keeping with the smearing theme- during Thanksgiving dinner the same unnamed child decided to play in the ranch dip IN THE LIVING ROOM.  We were hosting a big family…that’s my only excuse as to why ranch dip and veggies were left IN THE LIVING ROOM.  Darn myself.  While enjoying a delicious feast I looked over to see my son with white hands and thought to myself- “huh, weird, white hands?”   Thankfully I can say I did not scream or even alert the rest of the crowd, just Bart- and the ranch dip was extracted from the couch, the rug, and my lovely 3 year old’s body.

*Bigger than either of those prior confessions- that child has not had a bath yet, despite two major incidents in less than a week.

*I have always done my children’s handprints on their birthday…it’s December and I haven’t done Maya’s first birthday ones yet.  Her bday was Nov 11.  I will not succumb to the age old “3rd child” mentality- I have in so many ways but I refuse to give up on my future cool handprint wall idea.  I can do it.  I can do it.

*Josiah goes to school only two mornings a week but I still regularly think of reasons why he shouldn’t go each week.  It’s pathetic.  Whatever am I gonna do next year when it turns into 5 days a week?!?!

*I change Maya’s clothes almost every day- hooray for me!  She has so many clothes and looks cute in everything.  But the boys only get changed when their clothes when it’s actually necessary.  As in, we are going in public or they got too dirty to justify staying in said clothing.

*I look forward to nap time, and bedtime every single day.  And I’m not afraid to admit it.

*My boys eat more carbs than most humans on the earth.  So.many.crackers.  I am proud to say because of my husband’s strong will, we have banished nutrigrain bars (of which my boys would eat 4+a day each).  The sugar content is very high…but I will admit, I miss them.  I miss the ease of “breakfasts”.

*Here is perhaps the biggest public confession of all- which I am quite mortified by- we are not getting a Christmas tree this year.  I know, right?!!?  INSANE.  Me, the lover of all things Christmas, who vowed I would never NOT get a real tree the day after Thanksgiving decided no tree this year.  Basically, since I decorated earlier this year, and then had to put away all the boxes of decor before Thanksgiving (we hosted) I just couldn’t bring myself to pull some of it back into my house.  PLUS we will be in Washington for Christmas, thus meaning we’d have about 20 days with a tree before having to take it all down.  Also we have a VERY active one year old who, while she’s great at listening, would have to be trained not to touch the tree and I just didn’t feel like spending our 3 weeks of December doing that.  So… gasp in shock…our home does not have a big Christmas tree- it does however, have 3 mini ones and lots of trimmings in the hopes of still smelling the same.  NEXT YEAR THO- BRING IT ON.

*I did set up the advent pouches with the Bible stories and activities/treats to go with each day…but alas, I missed yesterday- the first one.

*We are not getting our kids anything for Christmas.  WHOA.  Don’t worry, other people are…

*I got a nespresso machine for my birthday and it might be the joy of my life.  Think keurig for espresso… lattes at my fingertips.  It’s glorious.

*I tried another Christmas card photo shoot.  I really should give up on this idea because it’s just a built in FAIL every time.

*I am too tired to continue, even though I have so many more confessions.

i will finish this post.

I just went through and deleted ten different partially begun blog posts.  This is tragic, mostly because some of them were really good beginnings.  But, that’s all they were- and thus I’ve moved on.  It’s kinda sad because I want to remember this part of my life and feel like this blog will help me do that…but at the same time, the lack of posts will remind me as well- of days when I couldn’t even complete normal household duties in a timely manner and how most of the time I want to crawl back into my bed for a few more hours, even minutes of precious sleep.  I’ll blog again.  Maybe someday I’ll get a laptop and spend hours in a bookstore pecking away at keys to bring together some coherently deep thoughts, but for these days- it’ll just be sporadic at best.

Currently in my house at 9pm, I am hearing the voices of 2 out of 3 children from their bedrooms.  I’m refusing to bend to their wishes for attention, even though I’m sure as soon as I finish this sentence I will.  But no, then I remember why I just deleted so many partially written posts…I’m staying right here…at least for one more paragraph.

Sometimes I don’t know why God gave us three children, so close together.  I mean, I love them to pieces and can’t imagine life without them- or when I do, it’s very sad but quiet.  People give me looks when I mention the amount and ages of my kiddos but I smile because I know we are blessed.  I mean, it’s not like it was an accident that we ended up with these babies.  Adoption is definitely not in the same category as an “oops we’re pregnant” but either way, God is in control and we chose to say yes three times in three years.  Am I crazy?

On good days I read stacks of books aloud in fun voices and make up adventures about animals and dress my kids in clean clothes and maybe even venture beyond our house walls.  But on bad days I linger on my pillow for much longer than I should and drink more coffee than normal while telling my kids to step back from the coffee aka: my lap where the cup rests…smiles come slower and dvds get turned on faster… pajamas stay on for days.  I literally sing a made up song entitled “I NEED YOU JESUS”, which also happens to be the only lyrics as well…and I sing those four words over and over, sometimes prettily but most of the time rather angrily and loud.  My boys have been known to sing with me, which thankfully always makes me smile, and usually melts my cold cold heart.

Ground hog’s day is a term I’ve begun using at times to describe this season of my life, but when I can see clearly, I know it’s not ever the same day over again.  I get to spend my days with three beautiful little humans who are growing and changing daily.  It’s so stinkin awesome to have this front row seat.  As their mom, I get more hugs than any other person, I get more face time with each one than anyone else on this planet.  How did I get so blessed?  I LOVE children, and always have.  I’ve always dreamed of being a mom.  Back when I was teaching, I used to sit at my desk sometimes and think up who my kid would be like, based on the students in my class.  I’d assign traits like “jokester”, “adorable”, “quirky”, and “leader” to my imaginary son and it always made me smile.

Its funny how strongly I want my kids to go to bed some evenings, but how often I lay in bed later on with thoughts of grabbing one to cuddle.  I pity myself for not being able to have a break these days, yet where else would I want to be at this point in my life?  It comes down to trusting in who God is and who He has made me.  I’m believing that even in all my weakness, my children will know true love.  That is worth it- thinking about them hearing His voice and feeling Him close.

Lately I’ve been wrestling with being completely honest on this blog for fear of being judged.  Don’t ask me by who- I don’t even know.  But I suppose in the end, I want to stay true to my confessions of motherhood.  It’s not easy or gloriously beautiful every moment, but I’m changing and so is my family.  When people shake their heads as they see 3 small humans attached to me, I shake mine right along with them.  When they say they don’t know how I do it, I say I don’t know either.  But I do know.

Jesus.

 

 

confessions of a mom of 3

I have failed.  I loved doing these confession posts when Josiah was born and even after Regan joined our family but this time around I feel like I’m not even sure what other moms with three kiddos do…so I don’t know what is normal and what is confession-worthy.

I did realize that I still haven’t written out Maya’s birth story.  It’s on a long term to-do list along with those tasks that take hours or at least a lot of calculated minutes.DSC_0045

I spray every single piece of clothing she wears with stain remover.  Of course, we ended up using different formula for each kid…and this one happens to be the biggest stain maker.  So lame since Maya has the cutest clothes.  Thankfully the removal is going well.

I thought I’d be more excited to dress a girl…but in these days where it’s still cold and I’m longing for little rompers that show off her baby leg chub, I just keep putting her in zip up pjs.  Seriously I can’t stop.  When I run out of them, then I’ll put on an outfit or two…and a dress on Sunday…but otherwise it’s straight pajama clothing right now.

If I can’t get to Maya fast enough and she’s sad, I use Josiah.  He has learned a plethora of ways to say her name in sing-songy ways so that she’ll stop crying and stare at him.  It’s great, unless he is yelling Maya the paya (which is his version of maya papaya) at the top of his lungs in the car.  Lovely.

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I THINK she is a thumb sucker…which is a bummer in that we’ll someday have to break that habit, but it’s WONDERFUL in the whole self soothing aspect of sleep.  So, I’m psyched!

I kinda wish she had a crib that was three times the size of a normal one.  She moves a lot when she sleeps and I think what wakes her up is when she gets stuck at the edge of the crib.  I’ve dreamed of a whole full size bed with railings for her.  heheh… don’t worry, I wouldn’t.

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One of the reasons I can’t wait to move is so we can have door frames and I can hook up the Johnny jump-up.  I think Maya will love it.  She’s a mover and a shaker.

I’ve never multi tasked this much in my life.

 

 

a definition of motherhood

Motherhood:  The continual process of laying down my rights.

Perhaps I think that by now, I should have this mastered…this whole giving up my rights for another- namely small humans under the age of 4.  Ha!  I am slowly understanding that this will be a life-long process.

One of my biggest missions in life is to be honest, in every season of life.  We, as mothers, get caught up in this big comparison game way too often…and mostly those comparisons are about how amazing someone else is.  Do we ever compare our failures?  Yes- sometimes, in jest, we admit to the occasional freak out when another mom is struggling but are we willing to lay it all out there?

I struggle a lot with selfishness.  I want what I want, when I want it, how I want it.  It’s a battle each day to let go.  Last week in my Beth Moore Bible study homework I was struck with one huge arrow to my heart.

Within the context of living a crucified life (having accepted Jesus as my Savior), there are many truths I believe.  The one that was highlighted to me so blaringly last week was entitled “You must forego your rights.”  Whoa.  Now, contrary to popular American belief this is not a bad thing, because we still have the best and only right we need- to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit.  I so often get stuck believing the lie that I can do things better and my way is best.  And while I still struggle daily with this, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that I cannot do it better and my way is never best.  This doesn’t often matter though, because I’m so bad at giving up control- aka: selfish.  But God.

What I realized through this study is that I usually just try to ignore my rights, suppress the desire to shower, to eat when I want, to keep my clothing clean…my right to alone time, quiet time, uninterrupted time…my right to be understood in this season, to be heard, to develop deep friendships, my right to have fun, to craft…and probably my most enviable right- to sleep.  I just shove those rights down into a large box in my heart entitled I-know-what-a-good-mother-and-Christian-should-look-like until I have no energy left and then bam!  My poor husband, my usual victim, gets a load of the most selfish grossness you’ve ever seen and then, if I’m lucky, I repent and start all over.  Gross.

Yet, hope is offered.  Change is available.  God didn’t just say “give up your rights and live a horribly difficult life”.  No, he offers a gift.  But in order to receive His gift, I cannot just ignore my rights…instead I must surrender them to Christ and ask Him to replace them with a supernatural work of the Spirit: with healing, with power, with wisdom!  What a promise!!!  I don’t have to just give it all up and live in self-pity for the rest of my life.  No, I get to have victory because it’s God doing the work.  Continually I am reminded; I have not because I ask not.  It’s not enough to surrender my rights…I have to ask Him to replace them.  Replace my wicked heart with His beautiful one.  He’s a kind Father and won’t force me into this-  yet He promises life to the fullest in Him if I will.  And the best part is that He loves when I craft and when I sleep…my desires aren’t bad, they are just prioritized incorrectly.  Surrendering them doesn’t mean that I won’t get to enjoy these things ever again… no, in fact, it means that when they happen, my heart will actually be grateful for them- which is a far better feeling.

I know that before motherhood, there were millions of times to put this into practice and perhaps I succeeded occasionally.  I love being a mother.  I always wanted children and now that I have them, I am so continuously grateful to Jesus for their lives.  But I refuse to live the lie that tells people- women specifically- that your life is complete once you have them.    Sanctification is the process with which God uses to purify us, to make us holy.  He uses whatever He wants to bring about this cleansing.  My hope and prayer is that I will surrender to His plans in this season of my life and say yes, every time.  Only with His grace, His power, is that possible.

Motherhood is my battlefield right now…what’s yours?