Month: September 2015

How Do You Do It?

How Do You Do It?

Things have been obnoxiously crazy around here since I’ve made the switch from stay-at-home-mom to working mom.

Finding my new normal has been a challenge. I’ve been waking up at 6 AM so that I can try to work on the blog and some other writing projects before my shift starts…which, if I’m going to be honest, hasn’t worked out so well. Most days I don’t even hear my alarm, so it’s closer to 7 before I’m out of bed, which makes it difficult. It’s hard to just jump into my day, so I find myself just staring at the screen for an hour before I have to get dressed and get my daughter ready for the day. 

Once the workday is done it’s time to get dinner made, take food to Almost-Husband, and try to squeeze in some housework before The Princess and I go to bed. I have been able to work in some blog stuff, mostly on Periscope, but I don’t feel like I have been able to put as much effort into this project as I would like and it’s driving me nuts. The days seem like they are just going by in a blur and before I know it the weekend is here, which on the one hand is great. Who doesn’t love weekends?

The thing is, as much as I want to use my weekends to catch up on all the things I can’t get to during the week, by the time it rolls around I’m exhausted and I don’t want to do much of anything. Once I get all the housework caught up, I’m too worn out to focus on my writing or my music, or to spend time with the people I care about. I’ve also picked up every germ the kids at daycare bring in, so my drive has been even smaller as of late. In fact, I spent all of last weekend in bed with some sort of cold or flu thing and I’m still feeling under the weather. 

My daughter is also having some problems adjusting, which makes it all the more difficult. She’s not sleeping well, she’s regressing in the potty-training department, and has developed some attitude problems. Suddenly, she has no listening skills and is even more defiant that normal. It’s been a struggle and I feel as though I spend most of our time at home yelling and putting her in time out and it’s not the way I want our relationship to be. 
With all of this craziness, I’ve found my depression and anxiety issues have bubbled up again, which makes it all the more difficult to navigate through these waters. 

Still, I’m trying to remain positive. 

I’m lucky to have a job…and an easy one at that. Even though I’m not getting everything done that I want to on a daily basis, I’m still making a little progress. I love our home and knowing that we can keep ourselves afloat. When my child isn’t being a little tyrant we share lots of laughs and love. My almost-marriage is stronger than ever. Almost-Husband will be moving to the day shift soon, so I’ll have more help at home. There’s no shortage of things to still be grateful for.

I just need to find my groove.

So, I thought I’d ask all you more seasoned moms for any advice or tips that might help make things run a little more smoothly around here. I would love to hear all about it in the comments! 

Can We Just Pause Life? I’m Not Ready To Have A Preschooler!

Can We Just Pause Life? I’m Not Ready To Have A Preschooler!

Last night, after my daughter had fallen asleep, I sat cross-legged on the floor in my living room with a pile of shopping bags in front of me. In my hand, I held a black Sharpie and suddenly I felt like the mommiest mom who ever mommed.

With a deep breath, I dove into the task at hand: writing The Princess’s name on all her school supplies. Crayons, markers, glue sticks, water colors, folders, pencils…one by one I labeled all her things and arranged them neatly in her backpack.

Her first backpack.

I’m not going to lie, I cried a little bit.

Remember how I told you I’ve been sappy lately? This whole starting preschool thing took that to an entirely new level. I have the feeling it’s going to be even worse when she starts kindergarten!

It seems like my daughter turned into a big girl overnight and I’m not quite sure I’m ready for this. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit excited for this new adventure. And honestly, I think I’m going to look forward to this routine every year. As a kid I loved going school shopping and putting together my backpack. I was always so excited to get to use my new stuff and, truth be told, I still get excited about notebooks, folders, and pencils. I know, I’m a little weird.

Although I had a rough time socially, on the whole I loved school and I hope my daughter does as well. Of all the things I want for her, the most important thing for me is that she is happy. Seeing as how she’ll be spending the majority of her time in classrooms from now until who-knows-when, I really want her to enjoy her time there!

This morning, I felt my heart swell up with pride as I helped her get around for the day. She was so excited to wear the pretty dress she had picked out and to finally use her new backpack. She was ready to bound out the door a good hour before we had to leave!

The day went much more smoothly than I had expected. My girl is a bit fiery and is determined to do what she wants, when she wants so I was a bit worried about her ability to follow directions. I was also a little concerned about her crying, since we’ve been having issues with her not wanting to part with me at daycare.

However, those fears were put to rest after I talked to her teacher at lunch. I was overjoyed to hear how much of a big girl she was!

When we got home The Princess opened up her bag and retrieved her folder, excited to show me all the things she made. She talked and talked about how much she loved school and her friends and I couldn’t keep the big goofy grin off my face.

My girl is growing up!

As sad as I am to acknowledge that my baby is no longer a baby, I am looking forward to see what changes this new adventure brings. Watching her learn and grow is always amazing to me. One day I’ll read over this post and wish I was back in this day, probably when she is starting high school!

Until then, I’ll just soak up all these wonderful moments.

My One And Only You

My One And Only You

Sometimes, my child drives me nuts. She’s loud. She’s mouthy. She has no respect for rules or boundaries of any sort. She does weird things. She throws fits over insignificant things, like me not allowing her to carry around a sock full of marbles at daycare. She can be a royal pain in the ass.

In short, she’s just a tiny version of me. And, all told, that’s pretty awesome.

This may sound strange, but sometimes I forget she’s a tiny person who is just learning how to be an acceptable human being. I can be quick to get agitated at her behaviour and often find myself counting down to bedtime so I can get some peace and quiet.

Tonight, however, she’s lying beside me on the bed, watching some god-awful Youtube videos and I can’t help but be amazed at this little wonder. She’s getting so big so fast and is becoming more and more independent by the minute. She has her own thoughts and likes and dislikes. She’s a far cry from the helpless baby I brought home almost 3 years ago.

I forget that, too. Sometimes, those days seem to have been blotted out of my mind. I’m so focused on the moment that I can only see the rambunctious toddler before me. It’s like someone swapped out my precious infant for a big kid when I wasn’t looking…and somehow I didn’t even notice!

But tonight, I see the baby I cradled so lovingly in my arms through all those sleepless nights.

It started this morning with a picture my mom posted on Facebook. How I longed to hold that baby again!

After we took Almost-Husband back to work at the end of his lunch break, “Only You” by The Platters came on the radio and suddenly I was transported back to that time. I remembered singing this song to The Princess when she was brand new. “Only you can make this change in me, for it’s true, you are my destiny…” Those words had meant so much then, and my eyes teared up as I sang them again.

Although this is a song that is, most likely, meant to convey romantic love, it resonated so deeply with me as I experienced the insanely powerful love that a mother has for her child.

My life was a mess before she came along. She made me want to be a better person. She gave me a purpose.

Tonight, she is fiddling with my ear as I write this and I know she is tired. She has done this since she was a nursling and I know that one day she won’t rely on this soothing mechanism. The thought makes me a little sad, but it also fills me with an odd sort of joy. One day, she won’t need me so much. She may not even remember these little habits or the countless times I’ve comforted her in the last few years. But, as the years go by and these tiny moments add up, she’ll know, deep down in her soul, that I have always been–and will always be–there for her when she needs me.

She may not understand it now, but she really is the light of my life. In between all the yelling and time-outs and craziness that accompany our day-to-day life, there are these sweet moments and they make it all worthwhile. Each hug, each kiss, each “I love you”, every tickle fight and story time, every time she does something silly and makes me laugh…all these things mean more to me than anything else ever could. They are memories I’ll cherish forever.

For all the strife, motherhood has turned out to be the sweetest gig I could have hoped for.

10 Things I’ve Learned From My Job (Thus Far)

10 Things I’ve Learned From My Job (Thus Far)

Work. The other 4-letter word. The thing that I am very clearly not cut out for.

In the past couple weeks, my little family has been struggling to adjust to my new role as a working mom. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, and I’m still trying to figure out how to utilize my time effectively so that my writing doesn’t fall by the wayside and my house doesn’t constantly look like Toys R Us exploded in my living room.

We’re getting there, slowly but surely. The Princess is starting to have fewer meltdowns and is beginning to make some friends, which is awesome. We still need to work on some basics, like not taking toys from the other kids and keeping her clothes on, but she doesn’t seem to hate it as much so I’ll call it a win. 

As I was making lunch for all the kiddos, I realized that I’ve already learned a few lessons from this experience and I thought I’d share them with you. 

1.) I am not a morning person…and I’m not really a night person either. Since starting my job, I’ve tried out a few different bedtimes and wake-times in order to figure out what works best for me. It appears that no matter what I do, I don’t want to get up and get moving in the morning. It seems that I need a good 3 hours of being awake before I can bring myself to act like a functioning human. It also appears that by 8 o’clock my brain has completely shut down, so most of my “active” time is spent at work. Which is good for my employer and the kids I work with, but bad for my creative pursuits.

2.) Mondays are awful. I know, I know, it’s cliche as hell, but it’s a cliche for a reason. After 2 days of running on my own schedule, getting back into the groove is hard–for me and for The Princess. Forcing myself to deal with the real world is a pain in the butt. Especially when the day starts on a bad note, like it did this Monday. After I’d overslept, my behemoth of a dog broke free from his chain, forcing me to chase him down the street in my jammies, which led to me stepping in dog poop with my bare feet, before going inside to change a poopy pull-up, rush around, and get to work. Mondays just need to stop being a thing. 

3.) Weekends are shorter than I remembered. Seriously, what happened? Before I had this job, the only difference between my weekdays and the weekends was that Almost-Husband spent more time at home. The days stretched before us and I felt like we had all sorts of time together. Now, it’s just a mad dash to squeeze in everything I can’t fit in during the workweek…not the 48 hours of downtime I was envisioning. 

4.) My immune system sucks. This past Friday, I had to call out of work because I was sure I was dying. After 3 days with a slight tickle in my throat and a runny nose, I woke up feeling like I was on fire. The Princess and I were both running fevers, my throat hurt like a son-of-a-gun and my ears were killing me…on top of some other aches and pains. So, off to the doctor I went. It turns out it was just some viral thing and I’m sure this is just the first of many bugs the two of us are going to pick up at the daycare. It turns out, kids are little germ machines and my body wasn’t prepared for that reality.

5.) Dealing with 3 kids under 2 isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. This just blows my mind. The two bigger ones play well together and it’s surprisingly simple to deal with one while holding the other. This may be because they aren’t mine and at the end of the day I’m going home with just my little goofball, but it does give me hope for the future. 

6.) My daughter is the jealous type. Yeah, that hope I mentioned a second ago? That goes out the window when I see her getting upset that I’m snuggling another kid. She seems okay with the tiny baby, but she’s not so cool with kids closer to her own age getting affection. One of these days she’ll understand that there’s enough love to go around, right?

7.) Meal planning is a pain in the butt (and boxed meals are still terrible). I’ve always been the kind of girl who makes homemade meals every night. Usually, it’s something pan-fried and smothered with gravy, but every now and then I get a little more elaborate. However, I’ve recently started making more prepackaged meals. They’re quick and easy, and after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is cook. I keep telling myself I’ll cook on the weekends, but by then I’m exhausted and just want to enjoy my days off. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss cooking. I also have to plan around the daycare menu so we’re not have the same thing for dinner that we had for lunch. My month long meal plans are now week to week, which seems obnoxious to me.

8.) Housework is the devil. I really thought it would be easier to keep up on the house if no one was messing it up all day long. I severely underestimated my daughter’s mess-making abilities.

9.) There’s about a million dollars worth of things I want to purchase with my first check. Like, for real. I keep finding things that I want to purchase and for some reason I keep forgetting that we still have to do things like pay bills and buy food. Still, I’m looking forward to treating myself a little bit.

10) Attitude really is everything. Yes, time is short and there are a lot of new challenges to work through as we adjust, but it goes much more smoothly if I keep a sense of humor about it and focus on the positives.

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