My kid is a worrier

There are things that make his mind race and keeps him up at night. He can make something out of nothing. In the biggest way possible.

He’s a stay inside the lines, rule follower through and through. Which I have a love hate relationship with. I love that he values structure and respects authority and the rules. BUT, I also know that structure gives him great anxiety. He strives to meet expectations so much that he’s exhausted from trying so hard. Even with my best attempt to tell him over and over that when he gives his best, I could never be disappointed. Even with my constant reminders that nothing he could ever do could jeopardize my extreme love for him, he worries.

He worries about failing. He worries about approval, and being liked, and is extra sensitive when kids laugh. He worries about forgetting things and missing out. He worries about his family and their health and safety. He takes words so literally and to the extreme sometimes. So much so that it makes his mind race a marathon and brings him to tears. And although it rarely happens, he worries about getting in trouble.

As much as I want him to follow rules, have good manners, and achieve greatness; it has never been in my mama heart for any of that to cost him his happiness and contentment. So I continue to speak softly and calmly in hopes that those vibes transfer to him and bring him peace. I continue to practice self-talk with him and teach relaxing strategies. I continue to provide the tools to problem solving so that he’s able to work through struggles on his own.

And then, in the quiet space of my own mind, I lay the mom guilt on thick.

Could I have protected him better?

Could I have made him feel more at ease?

Did I say too much and put ideas in his head?

Did I not say enough to comfort him?

Did I give him the right tools to problem solve and recover on his own?

Parenting is hard sometimes because we often have to step back and let them process, learn, and work through problems on their own. As hard as that is, those are often the most important lessons.

We give them the tools to work through the struggles and the messes in their lives. We can model and show examples. We can offer problem solving tips and pass along encouraging thoughts.

But the heartbreak of a mama’s heart is that it’s ultimately up to them to process and to overcome.

And so, my kid is a worrier.

And his mama’s heart breaks whenever he is stressed.

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Facts you should know about this book

Facts you should know about this book

  1. This book would not have made it to the print form had I not traveled to Nebraska this summer to meet the most inspirational group of writers at Her View From Home.
  2. My family and friends believed in me and my passion long before I did.
  3. My kids watched a lotttttt of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so that I could get this thing done.
  4. Zero. The amount of dollars I need to make off this book to make it worth it. My kids are holding it in their hands. It’s on the bookshelves in their room and reading it makes them smile. No amount of profit can make me feel better than that.
  5. It’s here! It’s done! And it’s something I’m so so proud and honored to present to you!

I can do this life without him

I can do this life without him but I really don’t want to. 

My husband travels. The lengths go in waves. Sometimes it’s just day trips. Sometimes it’s weeks at a time. But each time I’m running our home solo, I’m reminded that I can, in fact, do this without him. 

The world still turns. 

The kids still throw fits. 

The kids still do their amazingly cute things. 

I can do all of this without him. 

But I really don’t want to. 

Not only are my hands fuller, my bed emptier, and my head more exhausted when he’s away, but life just isn’t nearly as sweet either. 

You see, he makes the bad days not so bad and the good days even better. We do not always see eye to eye. We do not have the perfect marriage (is there even such a thing?). But life sure is better with him by my side. 

Sure, there’s one less person to clean up after. One less person to cook for. One less person’s laundry to fold. But I’d gladly take on those extra tasks to have his bright light in my every day life. 

There are just some people that build you up. My husband is one of those special people that just make life better by being around them. 

So yes, I can do bath time on my own. I can wrestle the alligators that are my toddlers to get pjs on at night. I physically can do it all on my own. 

But I really don’t want to. 

Because it’s much more bearable with him to laugh about the mess and the chaos of life with. 

Yes, I can get the lunches made and the backpacks packed. I can make it to all the carpools lines and after-school activities just fine on my own. But man, it’s so much nicer to share that with him. 

So when he’s gone, life just isn’t as sweet until he returns.

I can do this life without him, but I really don’t want to. 

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I’m not a baby anymore

“I’m not a baby anymore.” 

He reminds me of this often. 

He’s not wrong. He’s definitely not a baby anymore. 

We traded in the infant seat. 

We took down the baby gates. 

We donated baby clothes and wondered into the big boy section at target. 

There are no more high chairs around my kitchen table. 

There’s no more need for the infant bath tub. 

Those baby food spoons are long gone. 

As much as he reminds me he’s not a baby, that he’s actually a big boy now, he will always be my baby. Even though he’s asserting his independence more and more, and minimizing his need for me. Even though he no longer needs to hold my hand to keep him from falling, and sometimes, he’s even embarrassed to do so, he will always be my baby. 

He will be my baby when he packs up his room and moves away to college. He will be my baby when he walks down the aisle and has a baby of his own. 

No amount of years, no life change can make him be anything other than my baby in my eyes. 

He will always be a baby to me. 

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How do moms find time for self-care?

Backpacks are packed. Lunches are made. Water bottles are filled. Hair is brushed. Shoe laces are tied.

We’re out the door…shockingly on time.

Until the youngest has pee dripping down his legs and into his freshly tied shoes.

Awesome.

Back inside. Change the clothes. Meanwhile, the other two are no longer corralled, and no longer dressed. The middle is digging in his backpack for his snack that is supposed to be for snack time at school, but he has decided he needs right now instead.

Fantastic.

And this is a typical Tuesday. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the week.

So where, in the chaos, does a mom find time for herself?

How does one find time to “self-care” as I’ve seen this the new buzz word swarming around the internet?

Because here’s the thing.

As moms we serve our family before ourselves. More times than not. Plates are served on the table and littles are asking for helping #2 before our bums even hit the seat next to them. Coffee is never hot. Luke warm would be a gift but it’s almost always cold. I often make a meal out of what’s leftover on the superhero plates on the messy table.

Once they’re out the door to school, after whatever hurtles it took to get them there, floors need to be cleaned, dishes need to be washed, laundry needs to be folded. And every day the same song and dance is repeated. There’s simply no time left over once the check lists are complete.

School pick ups and soccer practices run our afternoon schedules.
Dinner, bath and bed never go as smoothly as I hope.

And once they’re tucked in bed, the house needs decluttering. The wet towels need to be hung up to dry. The prepping needs to be begin for the circus to continue the next day.

I’m not complaining. Please don’t misunderstand. I know how blessed I am to tend to this messy stage of motherhood. But aside from all the mom guilt I place heavily on my shoulders, I often add not making time for myself on top of that hefty load. I feel guilty when I don’t self-care, but then I feel guilty when I do, too. On the rare occasion that I do step away from my natural role as a mom, my heart often races with guilt about someone else picking up the slack so that I can have a moment to myself.

Often times I’m so busy putting everyone’s needs before my own that that’s nothing left to give at the end of the day. Even to myself. You see, makeup is rarely on my face. I sometimes have to stop and think about when my last shower was. I’m often in yoga pants even though I can’t recall the last time I was in a yoga studio.

But even if self-care is far and few between. I would trade my role as circus director for another other job in the world.

The chipped coffee cup

It’s a rarity these days to sip warm (never mind HOT) coffee. And you guys, I’d totally settle for warm. Most days I reheat one cup of coffee 8 times…and still sip very room temperatures coffee. So on the rare occasion, hot coffee hits my lips, it’s usually only if I happen to wake before my three little prince charmings. Occasionally, my husband and I are able to sneak out on our back patio before the rest of our house wakes. We treasure these few moments together, without three little love bugs crawling on us and between us.

So there we sat one morning, just my hubby and me and a coffee cup. It is during these coffee dates on the patio that we usually discuss our plans, dreams, fears, and goals. There I sat, legs pulled up in my chair, with both hands wrapped around my white coffee cup. It was then that I realized I had, yet again, grabbed the one chipped cup in our cabinet. It was a cup I had continuously been drawn to, even after several mental notes to trash it. Something in me couldn’t part with it, and suddenly there was a strange comfort in that damaged cup. The coffee inside still did the trick. It was in staring that this chipped cup that helped me gather my thoughts and find the courage to tell my own story. Holding that chipped, I decided to pursue a long time hobby of writing.

I doubted my abilities and my talent, but my husband didn’t. He handed me another cup of coffee in that chipped cup, and told me “go for it.” And so my writing journey began. Like many times before, he believed in me, even before I believed in myself. He loved me, in spite of my chips on the surface. In fact, he loved me because of them. He saw a spark of excitement in me that I hadn’t even noticed in myself because I was too focused on the flaws-the chips of my abilities as a writer. While I was letting the chips hold me back, he was asking me to use them for good. To be honest in my words of expressing myself. While writing about marriage and motherhood and how both can be messy, and crazy and hard, but also so gratifying and blissfully beautiful all at once.

I realized life is this way. Motherhood is this way. Marriage is this way. We are chipped just like that coffee cup. But these bumps, bruises, and cracks show character. They tell a story. None of us are perfect. If you are, I’m not your kind of people. Just because it’s chipped, or cracked, or bruised, doesn’t mean it’s broken. Good things can still come from it. Lord knows this tired mama of three needs her cup of coffee. And this beautifully flawed cup delivers that yummy goodness day after day.

That chipped coffee cup has become my favorite cup in my cabinet. Not because it’s perfect, but because it’s perfectly IMperfect. It was with that chipped cup in hand that some of my most treasured ideas have turned into reality. And it is in spite of my chips, flaws and all, that I have grown to be more appreciative and accepting of how I got to this perfectly flawed place in my life.

This isn’t my season for room mom

This isn’t my season for room mom

I have a giving heart. I do. I’m all for Teacher Appreciation week, and donating to the treasure box supply. I even love the fundraisers, and all that it teaches our little entrepreneurs. I delight in the holiday parties, and love the valentines parties, the 100 days of school events, Easter egg hunts, and the hand print hearts that come home in the Wednesday folders.

I’m not blind to the fact that our sons’ school run on giving hearts, volunteering their time. I know that room moms take a giant load off the teacher’s back, and they are oh so needed and greatly appreciated.

But in my current season, my giving heart is giving all it can to my babies at home. So during my season of littles, it’s simply not my season to be room mom.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve felt the tug of guilt on this mama’s heart at every meet the teacher when I leave that line blank on the sign up sheet at meet the teacher. I’d be an excellent room mom, too. I’m the crafty type. I’m the Type A, planner personality. But I also recognize that I cannot manage to do it all. Not well at least.

For now, I rush to the sign up sheet these awesome room moms send out because God forbid I get stuck with a hot dish for teacher appreciation week. I’m much better with the shelf stable napkins, that don’t have to be refrigerated or brought in at a specific time.

There will come a time when this season comes to an end. One day, I will no longer have toddlers running me ragged for 12 hours straight at home. I will no longer spend my days a slave to crumbs and tears, and nap schedules. Giving way for new adventures as a room mom. I look forward to my days inside my children’s classrooms. But right now, with one early on in his elementary career, and 2 others at home full time; it’s just not realistic to commit myself to hours of service to my sons’ teachers. If only I could be in two places at once.

There will come a time when all three of my babies transition to full time school, and I will love the opportunity to be the room mom during another mom’s season of littles.

When it’s my season, I’ll gladly pay it forward.

For now, sign me up to bring the napkins.