I Can Finally Admit I’m Not Good At Being A Mom…Or At Least That’s The Story I Keep Hearing In My Head

Now that it’s over I can finally let you in on my big secret.  I’m not a fan of Mother’s Day.  There could be a lot of reasons for that — I don’t love being “celebrated”, I don’t love being forced to do things in the name of being “celebrated” when I really just want to go to a yoga class, or maybe because I feel torn as a mother and a daughter.  Or it might be because I’m super lazy and lame.

But if I am being honest, I probably don’t love Mother’s Day because the journey to motherhood has been a rocky road for me.  I struggled to get pregnant the first time, I was in the hospital with the “Royal Disease” (hyperemesis gravidarium) during my second pregnancy, and I flat-out sucked as a new mother with my first.  I couldn’t get him on a schedule, I couldn’t get him to stop crying unless he was being pushed around in a stroller, and I couldn’t get him to sleep…ever.

But that has changed.  I hit a stride when Gavin turned one and then a year later, Chloe was born as one of those mythical “easy babies,” so I haven’t really had a tough time as a mother in years.  Yet I still identify most with those first really hard months.

Today I have a feature up at Mommyish talking more about this strange feeling I just can’t shake.

I’m Convinced There Is No Comfort Zone In Parenting

Since suffering through that impossibly difficult first year with a challenging baby, I have never really allowed myself to get into a groove as a mother.  This isn’t a sob story about how kids constantly change and ruin your perfectly laid plans. I gave up those expectations years ago. I have learned to really go with the flow in practice. Yet in my mind, I find myself always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Four years and two kids later – despite many more good days than bad – I constantly wonder “when is it going to be like that again?”

Read more on Mommyish…

And don’t forget, I publish a news story with a parenting angle every weekday at 9:30am (today I’m jumping for joy over the fact that someone asked “that question” to a man).  Like the WTTM Facebook page here to get my newest news piece in your feed every morning.

Book Fair Momfoolery

Gavin’s school is holding its annual book fair this week.  I love a book fair.  Walking into a room or hallway transformed to display all sorts of stories exhilarates me.  In preschool you will find big pink books, small open-the-flap books, books that pop with color or sparkle.  I love every bit of it.  Or did.  Until this year when I was the victim of some book fair momfoolery.  What’s momfoolery?  Oh, that’s when you thought you had it all figured out, but your kid schools you in a major way. Continue reading

Of Course My Kids Are Perfect

I’ve been so busy running my mouth about writing and finding your identity in motherhood, not to mention the general mish-mosh stewing in my brain, that I haven’t said much about my kids lately.  You were beginning to think they were perfect, weren’t you?  Well, you’d almost be right.  They are preoccupied with their still-new-and-exciting Christmas toys, the cold weather is an invitation for all low energy activities, and my winter born children are far away from the half-birthday disequilibrium (as set forth by the amazing Louise Bates Ames) as possible.  It’s been as if my kids have transformed into real-life angels left over from the holiday season.

Until my daughter decided it was high time to raise some hell. Continue reading

Just Wait Elizabeth Banks, Two Is So Much Better Than One

All my life I had wanted a big family, 3 or 4 minimum.  That was before I experienced parenting first hand.  After the challenge of being a first time mother I was honestly thinking that might be it. Having one changed my mind on having more. Then you know what happened?  We had another.  Having two children is the most rewarding experience of my life.  Yes, it beats getting in to my first choice college, receiving my juris doctor, landing my dream job, and then leaving it to teach yoga.   All of that pales in comparison to seeing my two children interact on a daily basis.  Watching them share secrets, steal hugs, and laugh together is heartwarming beyond words.  Overhearing my know-it-all first-born try to explain potty etiquette, or math, or the minimum safety requirements for jumping on mommy and daddy’s bed – and watching his reckless baby sister take the time to really listen – makes me laugh, tear up, and swell with pride all at the same time.  For some people, having one child is the right choice.  But if you are on the fence and feeling overwhelmed by first time motherhood, I am here to tell you to go for it and don’t listen to what Elizabeth Banks is saying.

I wrote at length about this topic today on Mommyish:

I Could Barely Handle One Kid, But Two Is Easier

Go out of town, get rewarded with angel children

Some of you who know me or follow me on Twitter might have heard me complaining about Ian being out-of-town on business last week.  I complained a lot.  The kids seemed to sense that something was up and they acted accordingly —  you know by treating me like a wounded wildebeest surrounded by a pride of lions.

Thoroughly prompted and prepared, Ian “graciously” “agreed” to take the family reigns for the day yesterday.  I needed a freaking break like it was nobody’s business.  So he woke up with the kids, fed them something that I assume could pass as breakfast, got them dressed and took them out to the park.  They giggled as they put on their shoes in assembly line fashion.  They happily waved goodbye to me as they headed to the playground.

Twenty minutes later I received a text with this photo:

And then this one:

Playing so nice together

And this one:

Calm, collected, contemplating how much he loves life

When they returned nearly three hours later everyone was all smiles.  What the what?

Five hours and they seemed to be more jolly and bonded than ever before.  Yet every day during the week, the moments were all about survival.  Each 24-hour cycle was a medley of meltdowns, mutinies and maladies.

Let me give you a rundown of a typical day:

1.  Bouncing on my bed as I cook those little ingrates homemade pancakes and anticipate who will draw first blood.

2.  A seven minute wordless meltdown over the shirt I picked out for Gavin.  I used the time to put together extra snacks.

3.  Throwing shoes and socks as I try to get them ready to go outside.

4.  Chloe attempting to run away from me on the street anytime I let go of her hand.

5.  Gavin insisting I hold his hand anytime I hold Chloe’s hand, which means I have to push the double stroller with my torso.

6.  After a perfectly lovely playdate and appropriate warnings that we would need to leave in X amount of time, Gavin running away from me and hiding under his playmate’s bed.

7.  Standing on the backseat of the cab on the entire ride home from said playdate.

8.  Jumping up and down in the bathtub.

9.  Declaring they are starving (grunts from the baby, high drama from the boy) exactly 8 minutes before bedtime.

10.  Further delays of bedtime by Chloe asking for another book and Gavin needing his covers and some water.  I wanted to scream “Hey, maybe you wouldn’t be so dehydrated if you didn’t demand a full blanket when it’s August and 82 degrees in your bedroom!” but instead I just fetched the requested provisions.

By 9pm I was in a pile of my own mess – food, toys, tears, sweat and probably some urine.  There were a lot of tears.

But then after their ideal Sunday I thought, “maybe the kids have turned a corner?”  Maybe they are learning to enjoy the routine we’ve discovered in our new neighborhood?  I woke up this Monday morning full of hope.

Maybe I’m a naive dope of a mother.

Look at these two. They are certainly plotting my destruction.

“Wait, don’t let her see us smiling,” they conspire.

Does this happen in your house too?  Do your kids save the really evil stuff for mommy and act like perfect angels with another family member?

“Victory! She is cracking – asking strangers on the internet for help!”

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