Why You Need to Read This Blog

As a mom and blogger I read a lot of stuff online. Some things make me laugh. Some things make me cry. Some things I don’t even finish reading because they are a waste of my time. Then there are some things that become so stuck in my brain that it’s just crazy. Recently, a blog I read did just that.

A friend of mine shared a post by Rachel Martin about why being mom is enough. I have to admit I’ve read and wrote plenty of these kinds of posts so many times before that I almost glazed right over it. But that morning as I was scrolling down my Facebook page, I was thinking about life and how sometimes staying/working from home drives me nuts. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and am happy with my life as it is right now, but sometimes I look at my “to do” list and think how pathetic it looks. When you’re biggest decision of the day is whether to cook mac and cheese or chicken nuggets for lunch, you begin to reassess your life and your choices. I didn’t need an expensive college education for that, now did I? Unfortunately, society makes women think there is something wrong with us if we choose to “just be a mom”. With that said, I decided to click on this link. I am so glad I did.

As I was reading it, I felt like Rachel had been in my house watching my every move because it sounded like a scene right out of my day. From the morning routine to the almost pulling your hair out by noon, I thought Oh my God, this is me! Although you know other moms are going through the same stuff, on this day, it was especially comforting to read her words. I felt like she was actually talking to me, telling me to just chill out and be grateful. It’s okay to just be a mom.

Through all the hustle and bustle of the day, it’s so easy to forget the little things that make motherhood enjoyable. Reading books, playing outside, playing dolls…I think you get the idea. We get so caught up with trying to be some type of supermom, that we forget that these little things are really the big things.

So, although I may not be making life altering decisions all day, the time I spend just being a mom really is enough…even on the days when I think it’s not. That’s why I found this blog so uplifting. When you stay at home with your kids you don’t have a fancy project to be proud of at the end of the week or some big paycheck to cash, and that can become depressing at times. But, you do have lots of hugs and smiles that really do mean a lot more, even if we forget them at times.

If you’re a mom in need of some words of encouragement, check out this blog. You’ll thank me later.

Tell Me What You Really Think

   Sometimes it really amazes me how nervy strangers can be at times. Here’s the story that got me all fired up…We were on vacation last week and my daughter was playing on the beach. She went over to a little girl around her age and started picking up some of her toys. After telling her to stop, the little girl’s mother invited my daughter to go over and play. Since my daughter is so friendly, (she can become BFF’s with a rock, I think she definitely gets that from her father) we walked over.

  At first, all was well. The little girls were playing in the sand. I was sharing some mindless conversation with this other mom. I can’t even tell you what we were talking about. That’s how unimportant it was. But,then it started. The girls got up to get some more water for their pails. The other little girl had her water shoes on as she walked to the water. My daughter did not. So, the other mom asked me if we had water shoes. I answered yes, but my little one doesn’t really like shoes, so she took them off. I got an “oh” and some silence. I really didn’t think anything of it. But then when the girl got up the second time, the mom said to me “oh, I really wish she had her shoes on.” She was referring to my little one. Strike One. I told her she was fine, if she had a problem, she would be screaming. She made it seem like we were walking on hot coals to hell. It was just a few rocks, toughen up lady.
  I was getting a little annoyed, but decided to stick around because the girls were having fun. Then this uncensored Momma asked me how many words my daughter says. I simply answered “a few.” Then she asked me if “we do” daycare. I answered that I am fortunate enough to have my mom and mother-in-law babysit while I work, so I don’t have to pay for daycare. Then she told me that once she sent her daughter to daycare, her vocabulary grew so much because grandma wasn’t “doting on her.” Strike Two. By this time I wanted to throw her in the ocean. Who the heck are you lady? You’re asking me so many questions and I’ve only known you for five minutes and hopefully we will never see each other again. During this whole time, I’ve kept the conversation light and impersonal, while she’s giving me advice and putting her two cents in…heck…she’s putting in a whole dime.
  I stood there and looked away as she got down on the sand to help her daughter build a “water wall”. My daughter must have sensed my frustration because she started to take her plastic shovel and scoop the wall away. The lady kept trying to build it back up. My daughter kept pushing it down. Build…push..build…push. This was getting fun. Normally I would have told her to stop. But, I just didn’t feel like it. Then the mother of the year said ,”oh let’s not push down the wall honey.” Strike Three. You’re out and we’re outta here. I mustered every nice bone left in my body and told my daughter Daddy was calling her and he wanted to go check out the pool. All I had to say was Daddy, and she dropped the shovel and we were out. Although I wanted to kick sand in this lady’s face, I simply said bye and see you later. Peace Out.
  Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not so open with my thoughts and opinions with complete strangers when it comes to parenting advice. If some of those words were coming from a trusted friend or relative, I may have listened. I would still have complained, but I would have listened. I just couldn’t believe how high and mighty this lady thought she and her kid were. Mind you, her daughter wasn’t reciting the encyclopedia while playing in the sand or quoting Shakespeare. I wanted to ask her where all those extensive vocabulary words were hiding. In the sand? In her water shoes?
  Although I walked away annoyed, there was a lesson learned. Next time I encounter someone like this on the beach I need to go grab the water shoes and throw one at the mom-zilla!

Front Seat Rider

   I really thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Nope, I did see a woman holding a baby in the front seat of a minivan while approaching the toll booth to go over the George Washington Bridge. There was tons of traffic. People switching lanes everywhere, horns beeping, hand gestures flying. In the middle of all this chaos, that little baby unprotected in the front seat of that minivan.  In fact, everyone in the SUV along with me saw it too and had the same reaction I did. What was she thinking?
   When you become a parent, you take on a major responsibility whether you want it or not, and whether you’re ready for it or not. You are now responsible for another life. Period. That means it’s your job to protect that little person and be there for them in every way that you can. In my opinion, protecting them is not putting them in the front seat of your minvan with no seatbelt and no protection.
   We all know kids are supposed to ride in the backseat (or atleast most of us know that). The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends children stay rear facing in the back seat of the car until they’re two or until they’ve met the height or weight requirements of the car seat. Many states also have laws. Interestingly enough, I went to look up the laws in New Jersey, which is where we were when we witnessed this front seat ride that almost made me have a heart attack. Wouldn’t you know, New Jersey, like many states, requires kids up to age 8 or 80 pounds ride in the back, unless the car has no rear seat. Trust me there was plenty of rear seats in that minivan.
   I would love to know what that woman was thinking. She was no spring chicken, so I would assume she was familiar with the law, or atleast with common sense. Was she the mom? Did she bring the baby in the front because he or she was crying, hungry, lonely, what? Couldn’t have she just gone in the back with the baby? Why didn’t the driver say something? I don’t know. I’ll never know. What I do know is that I said a little prayer for that baby. I hope that minivan got to its destination safely so that little baby wasn’t the victim of someone’s stupidity.

Guilt of a Working Mom

   Merriam-Webster defines guilt as a feeling of culpability for offenses. This week I define guilt as a quivering lip and watery eyes of a sick child you leave as you head out the door to work as well as the utterly crappy feeling you have as you sit at your desk. At the first sniffle or cough, I will be the first one to call out sick and take care of my daughter. Unfortunately, the year got off to a rough start for my family health-wise, so I’ve used the majority of my sick time within just the first three months of the year. That’s lead me to ration the remainder of my days and feel like the worst mother of the year in the process. Even though I know she’s in Grandma’s loving arms while I’m at work, I still feel like I should be the one home with her.
   When I was growing up, I can’t remember a time when my mom didn’t stay home with me when I was sick. But, as we all know times were different thirty plus years ago. Moms have it tough today when it comes to the work-home balance. It’s an age-old debate, should moms stay at home or work? Can they do both successfully? Dr. Phil and Oprah have tried to dissect this issue like a high school lab rat, and even they can’t find the right answer! I can’t speak for the stay-at-home moms, but as a working mom, I can tell you there are days when it just plain old sucks, especially when your kid is sick. Some may say, it”s easy, just stay home.
Sometimes you can’t and other times you put so much pressure on yourself you feel like you can’t. I think the later is worse. Sometimes you worry about what your employer or co-workers will think.  Those without kids may think, oh here she goes again taking another day off. Any parent with a sick kid will tell you, it’s not a “day off”. A day off is a day at the spa, not cleaning up snot or poop and trying to translate what your crying child needs at every second. But,it comes with the territory.
   I think the guilt trip we put ourselves through as mothers is far worse than anything anyone else will do to us. At times, we try to be all things to all people and get wound up with obligations and what we think we should do. We forget to listen to our hearts and do what’s best for us. I know you would find me guilty of this one. Sometimes you just have to put down your keys and follow your heart and that runny nose for a day or two. But, sometimes following your heart isn’t so easy. What’s your take on it all?