Time flies when you’re having…. work?

I’ve always worked hard. And then I had my daughter. I was a single mom before she was even born. Which threw my ambition into overdrive. I was determined to work and make the best and do the best and provide the best. 

Now my daughter is so close to entering kindergarten and I feel like someone else raised my daughter so far. Day cares, babysitters. I feel like I wanna quit all my jobs and sit home all day every day with her. I see moms on social media talk about their successful ventures with at home business and how it’s allowed them to be home and I see other moms who have never had to leave the comfort of their own home to work at all. (Lucky!). 

And I know other moms who do work but are still with their child’s father. So weekends are fun time!! Not me. She goes to her dads on weekends. So I work all week and say goodbye to her on weekends. 

I feel like a drill Sargent all week. Get up. Get dressed. Eat. We gotta go. Then I pick her up and head home and it’s relax. Eat dinner. Bath. Bed. No real adventure. 

I just wanna let mommas like me know that it’s ok to feel forgotten. It’s ok to feel like second fiddle. And it’s ok to be sad.  But it’s not ok to stop trying. It’s not ok to give up. It’s not ok to blame. But it’s ok to be frustrated. I feel like sometimes the instagram and Pinterest topics don’t fit “us” in anywhere. How the fuck am I supposed to google “kid doesn’t know her last name but thinks she is old enough to drive and refuses to acknowledge she isn’t a cat but scored really high in tests art project”???

I learned yesterday that my kid scored as high as possible on her state testing for her age, except… she doesn’t know her last name!!! 

How did that get forgotten. How did I forget to do that? I taught her how to fold wash cloths. I taught her how to feed the dogs. But the kid doesn’t know her last name! And she is three but if you ask her she is 6 and a half!!! 

Keep going moms! No matter the situation. Remember to take what little time we may have and utilize it the best way possible. 

Cheers momma!

Life lessons from my kid 

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All I need to know about life I learned from my three year old:
1. Dream big, or small… just dream!

2. “Poop” isn’t a four letter word – everyone does it. 

3. Mud is fun. 

4. Laughter really is the best medicine. 

5. A kiss and a hug are the best apologies. 

6. Flowers, plaid, stripes and camo can look cute as hell altogether in an outfit. 

7. Grandparents rock! Don’t take them for granted. 

8. Sing. Even if you don’t know the words. Or tune. Just sing!!! (Same goes for dancing)

9. Spitting food you don’t like out from your mouth onto someone else’s plate is always frowned upon. 

10. Just because I laugh when tickled doesn’t mean I enjoy it.

11. Question authority. Especially when you have a valid point. You’ll be amazed at who you trip up!

12. Enjoy your baths. Someday you’ll be too big to splash around. 

13. Even if you’re a tiny person in stature, speak your mind like a giant if it’s something you believe in. 

14. It’s ok to cry when you are upset. 

15. Push limits, not buttons. 

16. It’s ok to be proud of yourself for what may seem like the smallest of milestones to others. 

17. Routine can suck. But it’s ok to be in one. 

18. Ask for help when you need it. But first try to do it yourself. 

19. Listen to the music that makes you happy. Regardless of its popularity. 

20. Have an open mind, willing to learn, and appreciate. 
Zoey you have taught me so much more than listed here. I can only hope I’ve returned that favor.

Confessions of an Un-momly mom (this post says “fuck” a lot)

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I’ve complained many times how difficult it can be to find “mom friends”. I am finally finding out why thats the case. As soon as your child’s life is publicly announced, you become (wether you like it or not) suddenly thrust in to the “Mom Club”. These strange conversations start happening between yourself and other moms about shit you literally NEVER cared about before: bottles, clothing, detergent, breast feeding vs formula, co-sleeping- the list goes on and on and on.

Now while being a mom is definitely my biggest accomplishment to date, it doesn’t solely define me.

 I hate feeling compelled to “just LOVE” the Pinterest craft ideas you shared… but I fucking hate crafting. A lot. I really hate it. Maybe some moms see a craft idea and envision little giggles and cotton ball snowmen and finger paint turkeys or whatever but not me. Nope. I see that and instantly get a headache imagining the hot glue gun malfunctioning and my kid screaming herself into a tantrum because the popsicle stick fell on the floor. No part of that interests me. Now, I’m not a completely selfish mom- I will suck it up from time to time and do activity books and make some cookies with my kiddo. Doesn’t mean I’m loving it. But she is. Usually…

Also, if on more than two occasions I’ve seen another mom in public and done the whole “yeah! Absolutely let’s get together for a glass of wine and chat and get the kids together sometime!” But haven’t done it… I don’t want to. I don’t want to share opinions on Chablis or Chardonnay or Malbec… in your kitchen… while our kids argue over some dumb toy 3 feet away. Sorry! Unless you wanna sit in your Jammies with me, while I have a cheap domestic beer, (you can have your wine just don’t fucking talk to me about it) and listen to old DMX and pantera albums- it ain’t fuckin’ happening. 

On that note, I also noticed that I’ve broken one of the first promises I’ve made to myself and daughter. I promised I would always make it to school functions, chaperone field trips, and bake pies and shit (pretty sure “and shit” wasn’t in initial promise) for bake sales to benefit whatever good cause it’s for. 

I have made it to ONE school function, I’ve NEVER contributed to the bake sales, and I’m lucky to pick her up on time let alone take the day to come with you on a field trip. And for that I am sorry. I’m guessing the PTA isn’t holding a seat for me in the near future!

Trading recipes: here’s my secret- whatever works! Seriously, usually I’m   cooking dinner with one hand while answering emails and phone calls with the other, and intermittently putting my boss on speaker and setting the phone on the bathroom sink while I wipe my kid’s butt and the minute rice is burning! That’s my reality. I may share photos of my dinner in fb, “pre-consumption”, but you never see the leftovers because it was inedible. 

Screen time limits? Ha ha ha. I LOVE MY TELEVISION!!! And thankfully so does my kid. Because sometimes it’s the ONLY way I can vacuum, cook dinner, feed dogs and cat, answer last minute work emails, Start laundry, feed the fish, set up coffee pot for next morning, did I feed the fish?, water plants, empty dishwasher, switch laundry, (is that fish fed?), take out trash, return and make personal phone calls so my loved ones don’t think I’m an asshole, and pay bills. Oh, that fucking fish!!! I always forget him, poor guy!!! That screen time rule goes right out the window unfortunately. 

Leggings. Oh leggings!! Let me be the first to say that every mom I’ve seen in their cute leggings and sweaters and boots pulls off that look. And that’s awesome. I bought ONE PAIR and it still sits with tags on my dresser. Never worn. And most likely never will be. I am VERY aware that I resemble a late 90’s has-been Delia’s magazine ad, but dammit I like my flare jeans, and they fit! I also still have a ridiculous hoodie collection and love rocking the “t-shirt over the long sleeve” look. I will destroy your “girls night out” group shot and stick out like a sore thumb. Plus I don’t have a personal instagram, snap chat, or an accessible twitter account (because I lost the password). So, I guess, #lame #oldlady

I guess all this being said… I sometimes feel like I am failing at “momming”.  But realistically, my daughter is smart, witty, opinionated, and full of wonder and awe. She amazes me constantly. And if fitting in with society’s perception of a “good mom” is the only way to be one, well then I’m terrible. 

But I do know that my husband, my FEW close friends, and my relatives, are always respectful of me as a parent. 

Being a mommy with a social life is tough. It’s really tough. 

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After having just turned the big 3, my little Zoey began sounding like a recording mashup of myself. 

I will tell her “pick your toys up!”

And she will respond “where’s your manners, mom?!” Which makes me immediately lower my voice and say “please”, and “thank you”.

When I kick my shoes off in any room other than the kitchen she sweetly reminds me “that’s not where shoes go” and she is right, they go by the door. 

When I stub my toe or spill my coffee and involuntarily  and loudly whisper “shit!” Or “god dammit”, she pipes up with “please don’t say that!”

She’s like a 3 foot tall, 30 pound adult… she’s well spoken, well read, and well versed in etiquette for the most part. (She thinks farts are hilarious and releases them without shame).

Isn’t it funny that we all say “when I’m a parent I will (insert laws laid down here)” and then we are parents who teach rules and regulations to little fragile minds only to have them remind you of your hypocrisy? 

I’m very glad she is retaining the things I’ve tried to teach her as a mother to a daughter… but sometimes I have to sit back and admit that she catches me breaking those exact laws I laid down for her. 

The real question becomes this:

Do we say to ourselves and them “we are the grown ups, so we get to do those things!”

Or do we try to follow suit with what we’ve taught them? 

I mean obviously they can’t drive, only grown ups can, they can’t have booze, we claim that! 

But toddlers are more socially polite than most adults! We should all live more like our toddlers… minus the public farting!

Stand up or sit down!

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Standing up for yourself (if you’re anything like me) has always been difficult. But suddenly, you have a child, and then your brain kicks in and yells “don’t just sit there- stand up for your kid!”

Mama bear instincts flood through your veins at the very moment anyone questions your motherhood decisions. You realize you have decisions to make. And while many of them (let’s face it- most of them) will be shunned upon by the hippie mom or the soccer mom or the PTA mom or the “insert label here” mom, it’s doing the best for who you love the most. SO QUITE FRANKLY- fuck ’em!  

Yes I am that mom. The one with tattoos and a foul mouth. But don’t let that lead you to believe that I don’t censor myself to an extent around my kid. Don’t think for one minute I don’t have brains enough to teach them age appropriateness and manners. 

When I hear someone giving me grief about choices I’ve made for my daughter my first thought is to cry, but I’ve learned very quickly to stand up and say “my kid- my choice, my rules, my way!”

She is happy, healthy, smart as hell, cute as a button, sarcastic at two, humorous, and loving with the biggest heart you’ll ever see. 

Just because we don’t have money don’t think for one minute she’s not richer than most adults. She has grace, and cute little curls, and a family that loves her to the moon and back. 

I wish mommy shaming would end. Let’s all do things our own way, after all that’s what creates this great world we live in is variety. 

When was the last time you met a happy healthy 20 year old that didn’t learn to potty train ever? You haven’t. So stop. She will learn the way she learns and she will be just fine. 

So to all the mommies who feel the pressure from anyone else to change their parenting style- I say- if your kid is loved, healthy and happy, then keep up the good work. Stand up to those who mommy shame and give them a seat next to all the people who won’t matter in ten years. 

It’s a good thing. 

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It’s 6:30 pm. Well actually it’s 6:24,  who’s keeping track anyways?! (You all are. Stop lying). When we say we are gonna go home and hang out with our toddlers, what that really means is go volunteer at the most thankless job in the world. I drive to get her after working all day with this crazy idea in My head that we will color together, dance, laugh etc. I envision tickles and snacks that resemble Sesame Street characters (thanks for that proven failure, Pinterest!) and none of this is what happens. 

Instead I end up trying to entertain her, while I clumsily cook dinner, protecting her from the hot oven. In the meantime, I hear these following phrases belted out at me like a drill Sargent; “frozen!! Elsa!!” Or “mommy, juice!!!” Or “potty, come on!!!” And in the midst of it all dinner now has become charred. Which will have to suffice. 

But does she eat it? No. No way. It’s not something she enjoys apparently. Although she ate the same damn meal last week with no problem!!

I beg her to eat, knowing she will use the “I’m hungry” excuse at bedtime. Which is sometimes true because she refused to eat a whole lot. But mostly it’s just a guilt trip and a way to stay up later. 

By this time of night, she is convinced she has won. This is not an amicable hang out session. This is a war!!! And she has me feeling as though she could very well be correct in her feats. 

I suck at chess, but I’m pretty sure I’m a pawn, and I have to dig enough energy from within to make it through to the nighttime routine while plotting my next move. 

She’s too damn cute to get short with. But eventually I have to put my foot down. 

“Zoey! Eat, now please” 

And the tears roll from her big brown eyes and I sit robed in my “worst mommy ever” label.  

Ugh. 

Yeah. Me and Zoey went home to hang out. Ha ha ha. More like she got picked up by her chauffeur, catered to by her chef, waited on by her busser, and entertained by her jester. 

She’s not always a grump. I don’t want to make it sound like all I do is complain because I love her more than anything. But holy moly, there’s no time clock in motherhood.

It’s a good thing… That you’re so stubborn. And it’s a good thing you’ve got a sense of self. 

It’s a good thing I love you, miss Zoey! It’s a good thing…. And it’s a good thing that you keep me on my toes! 

Hot mess 

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There was once a time I took a generous amount of pride in my appearance every day: showering in the mornings, makeup, coordinating clothing etc. now I’m lucky if I get out of the house with matching socks, and maybe even brush my hair and style it in a cute little do. 

As a mom, “you ok? You look tired!” Is a common thing to hear from peers who have known you forever. On the other hand, people you’ve only known since post child bearing just assume you have always been deficient in some important vitamin or mineral and never ask. Meanwhile, you just forgot! You forgot that your makeup is going on 24 hours of wear and forgot that you may have actually worn those jeans two days ago… Shut up- don’t act like you haven’t done it. 

Being a mom is such a selfless job, that is, if you’re doing it right. Of course we need to take time to “doll up” once in awhile but ultimately it’s no longer about us! It’s about the “please put shoes on!” battle and the “why don’t you want to brush your teeth?” war. 

The mini vacation from the rear drivers side of the car to the drivers seat is golden. That moment you close the back door of the car and walk to the drivers seat is the deepest breath you get in the morning. But then you hop into the drivers seat and glance in your rearview mirror (which no longer faces the traffic behind you but instead is a direct view to the car seat) and see that smiling little face and you think “who cares about my reflection?! The most beautiful part of me is right there, right behind me!”

Ok maybe it’s not that obviously stated or cheesy! But in a roundabout way that’s what happens. 

Who is this kid 

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Right when I think I’ve got her down to a science, my toddler becomes a stranger with whom conversation and negotiation become impossible. I thought I knew her favorite foods. And out fits. I thought I knew the best distractions and attention grabbers. But suddenly I know nothing all over again. 

It’s pretty incredible to watch her grow in such leaps and bounds. As adults, changes like that are devastating to our routines. And we become locked into “normal” and thrive in it. But not kids. Nope! Every single day they discover a new affliction and a new dislike. Their routines change constantly while we as their parents run around playing catch up. 

What brilliant little creatures! Zoey is so full of wonder and curiosity and awe. The little things we take for granted are her shining moments on any given day. Wether it’s coloring, or tracing her own foot, or watching me clumsily trace mine, or seeing a herd of cows out in a field, or admiring the Christmas lights on the drive home. She screeches with glee and genuinely enjoys these moments. And finds new ones to appreciate all the time. 

Being a mom has taught me to take a few minutes to reflect on the things I’ve given up on as an adult. And had given me reason to partake in things again such as watching cartoons, stacking different shapes blocks as high as I can without them tumbling, making dolls dance to nursery rhymes, and yes… Coloring. 

I guess as often as o throw my hands up in defeat with the thought of “who IS this kid?!” I also learn that I don’t have an understanding that great of myself either. There is some definite calming effects to allowing yourself to be in the moment. Whatever that moment may be. 

Thanks, kid! You’re teaching me torelearn  the beauty of the world around me, even though you’re still figuring out who you are too. 

It’s New Years 

So it’s the end of the year… The time everyone recaps their past 365 days. This year I’ve experienced deep painful sadness with the loss of a loved one, only to then experience enlightening joy with the relationship of my soon to be husband. I’ve made mistakes, and that’ll never change. I’ve learned a lot, and hope that will never change. Today is a reminder that you don’t have to wait until the new year to make changes.  I don’t have any resolutions. I have long term goals. Some will fail miserably. And I accept that. But that won’t stop me from trying. I’ve learned a lot. 

Ive let go of a lot. I’ve lost a lot. But I’ve gained a lot. 

Don’t flush a year, but go day by day. EVERY sunrise is another chance, another beginning, not just tomorrow. Stay safe and happy new year everyone!

2015 mommyhood

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I like to set the image for these posts in Black and White, because let’s face it, when it comes to parenting, it’s pretty much the only way i can get away with no gray area. It’s simple, and elegant, and resembles the opposite of parenting.

For every “solid” reason I give to my child for why she cannot do something, she finds a reason to be able to do it. For every stern look i send her way, she digs and comes back with a smile and a laugh, with a reason it’s funny.

It’s tough not to laugh a little when she smirks knowing damn well she is doing something she shouldn’t be. It’s hard not to want to cry when she refuses to put her shoes on for an hour and you’re already late to a potentially now fragile position at work because she also refused to eat breakfast, and really didn’t want to get dressed.

I sometimes feel bad for thinking there is possibility that because I have a child now that I will never be up for promotions, or opportunities that i may have been up for pre-child. I have been in the room before I had my daughter where I have listened to management discuss that some employees are great but “they have their hands full with the kids” so they may not be best for whatever duties they had been considered for. Now I know this is completely unfair, but it’s reality folks. Employers don’t advertise it, because it’s illegal to admit that is even an issue in regards to the workplace. But it is- in small rooms, in offices and in conference meetings alike.

This realization makes it even more frustrating, because as mothers, we try so hard to provide, and do whats best for our little ones. And this is not 1950, where our only contribution is cooking and cleaning the household ladies! Families are working more than ever, multiple jobs, by BOTH partners (when both are involved) because financially it’s necessary. But when was the last time a man at work said “I gotta take the day off, my toddler is sick”. Nope, its usually mommy’s issue. making her “unreliable”.

Nowadays, being a mommy is not only thankless, but more exhausting than ever. Our responsibilities have tripled, our stress levels are through the roof, and we are no more equals than we ever were, despite what we are being told.

I dont blame my daughter for this, i dont resent her for any of it, I dont regret having kids. I just really dont understand why the gray areas are constantly being undermined by the black and white of parenting duty.

So to the mommies who feel bad for wanting to cry when their overtired, cranky toddler has a meltdown about yogurt while you’re busting your ass to get to a job you cant even guarantee you’ll do anything with other than barely cover bills- it’s ok, and you’re not alone.