Some days…

I don’t know if I’ve really clarified, but I work from home.

It’s created a whole new set of challenges (not job related..)

I knew when I took the job I would be busy. It wasn’t going to be a lounge around on the couch, snacking and watching TV day after day kind of job.

But I also think I wasn’t realistic in what I pictured either.

I thought I would at least have a clean house. Clean dishes, clean laundry. Perhaps a well balanced, home cooked meal at the end of each day.

Some days I look around and I realize the house is messier than it ever was when I didn’t work from home. And that, dear readers, is discouraging.

Some days, the scan calls start at 8:15 and don’t stop until 6 or 7. Some days, trying to catch up means I skip lunch. (I actually skip lunch A LOT.) Some days, I wish the little could stay at school just an hour later because her coming home while I am on a call means an even bigger mess. Some days, I look at the clock and realize my hair is a mess, I’ve skipped make up again and find myself feeling deflated. It’s hard to be motivated to look and feel professional when you aren’t actually going to see anyone that day.

But some days, I do manage to run the dishwasher and get a load of laundry done and it feels like a small victory.

Some days we even manage to get our homework done, and a reasonably well balanced dinner prepared before the Daddy person arrives home from work.

But those days are few and far between.

I was never a stay at home mom, but I understand those expectations are very similar. I was a stay at home mom for 8 weeks of maternity leave and then I jumped back in. Working full time with an infant and later a toddler was always challenging. Now that I’m a work from home mom with a Kindergartener and I’m still struggling. I expect too much from myself and too little from the two people living with me. I would love a spotless home. I would love to have less clutter. I would love to feel totally in control and capable.

And some days (rare days) I look around and I appreciate the mess. The mess means we have enough and often times we have too much. The mess means I have a happy child who has a million ways to stimulate and entertain herself (yet most of the time she relies solely on her wonderful imagination – teaching her students, or hanging out with me.) The piles of laundry mean we will always be warm when it’s cold, and cool when it’s hot. The cat and dog hair mean I am surrounded by love, even if my people are not home. The frozen pizza for dinner may not be the healthiest thing but it means our tummies are full and we have more free time for each other.

Some days, I am just so grateful for this time in our lives. Hectic, stressful, challenging. Beautiful.

Mom on strike.

70 degrees in January.

Look at me … blogging twice in two days! Hell must be freezing over. Well it might really be. An artic front is coming in tonight. That’s the beauty of west Texas. On Friday we were sitting in our driveway making all kinds of beautiful creations with sidewalk chalk. A cold front (I guess) blew in last night and an “artic front” will be making an appearance tonight with a lovely wind chill of -1.

The past few weeks have been stressful. Holiday stress, work stress, first BIG break from school stress. I have been having migraines. I can’t decide if it’s the weather or if it’s stress or a combination but I am not a fan.

And on top of that I am just feeling downright unappreciated.

You know the saying – if momma isn’t happy, no one is happy?

That doesn’t usually apply in our house.

In general, momma is the one doing all of the doing.

Since I started working from home I think I’ve really created unfair expectations of myself. Not only am I on multiple phone calls every day, e-mailing constantly (I should add my e-mail stopped sending e-mails on Thursday definitely adding to the stress!) documenting and generally saving the world – I also feel like the laundry and dishes should be done, the fridge should be stocked, the house should be spotless. My kiddo should come home from school healthy and happy and ready to do homework. Dinner should be ready at the same general time each night and everyone should love it.

Reality is this. I am lucky if I get one load of laundry done every couple of days. And I definitely have been known to start the dryer a few extra times to save my sanity. Some nights dinner is sub par at best and not that healthy. My kid destroys the house between arriving home from school and homework. Homework time is often a fight. She’s in Kindergarten and has homework every.single.night Dishes remain in the sink until the morning (and it drives me insane) but a girl’s gotta get some sleep some time!

It’s also unfortunate that I often wake up an hour before I need to, although this might be a good thing because it gives me some quiet time before everyone else is up. And it gives me time to get some coffee in me before my husband wakes up and inevitably every morning needs help locating his keys, his hat, or some other asinine item he should know the location of.

I am frustrated. I am tired. I want a glass of wine and a foot rub. I can’t have the wine this late because I need my blood pressure pill more and I doubt anyone aside from myself will rub my feet. I want a long bath in silence without a child or an animal coming in. I want 5 minutes of silence without someone or something needing me. I need me.

I wonder how long it would take them to notice if I stopped doing their dishes, their laundry, cooking. I suspect they would catch on quicker than I would like. I’m sure a few hours in, K would notice and make a very intelligent comment much wiser than her 5 years. Or her dad would come from work and have a look of disbelief that dinner was not happening. I might not be a great cook but at least I make an honest attempt most of the time.

I’m sure when our regular routine resumes on Tuesday and Katelyn heads back to school, I will start to feel better. I will get a better handle on the house and my e-mail will magically start working and my feet will learn to rub themselves.

A girl can dream.

 

/momrant

 

New year.

Every January I get the itch to blog again.

I started this blog in January of last year fully intending to blog regularly. To give myself the space to process my thoughts and to create a space for me. Sometimes being a mom and wife leaves little time for that.

And yet I don’t keep it up.

So here I am – trying again.

2013 was an incredible year. Lots of changes, lots of growth. A marriage, a BIG career change, our baby going to Kindergarten. Lots of changes, lots of stress, lots of love.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

With such a big year last year – it really makes me wonder what 2014 will have in store. We won’t be having another baby. There certainly won’t be another wedding. There hopefully won’t be any upheavals career wise. I don’t do resolutions. I know myself well enough to know I wouldn’t stick with any so I don’t try to set up myself up for disappointment.

Maybe it will be slow and steady.

I’ll be turning 30 in November and I suspect there will be some uneasiness with that approaching.

But until then I’m hopeful it will be smooth sailing.

30 days of thankful.

When I started this blog it was stemming from the idea of “30 days of thankful in November” where you post one thing you are thankful for each day. Some days it is easy, other days it is difficult.

Apparently 365 days of thankful was a little bit too much for me to handle. I have commitment issues, what can I say? But maybe… just maybe I can manage 30 days of thankful blogging.

Today marks November 1st. And the 30 days have begun.

My thankful on Facebook?

I’m thankful that it’s Friday.

That is all.

Seriously.

It’s been a long week.

I really need to dedicate some time to blogging. I’ve been anxious and tired and stressed and just yucky.

I need to create some space to process.

Rain.

We live in West Texas. We’ve been in a drought for years. When Katelyn was 3 she would pray for rain every day. It hardly ever rained.

We had some fabulous cold front blow in over night and it is absolutely flooded outside. Gorgeous, earth cleaning rain. And on a Sunday.

It couldn’t get much more perfect.

The past week felt like a whirlwind. I feel like I’ve gotten a handle on all of the negative self talk regarding my ability to be a mom.

And we go on.

In college I majored in Human Development and Family Studies. I took countless classes regarding development and behavior. Post college I immediately started working with Children’s Protective Services and a large part of my job was to assess children. I still do that in my new role. Sometimes I think it has greatly influenced the way I view my own child.

Katelyn has always been what would be called a “spirited” child. She didn’t sleep as an infant. She has always done things her own way or “marched to the beat of her own drum” as my mother likes to put it.

She’s different.

Sometimes I’ve overanalyzed that we’re dealing with the Austim spectrum. I’ve worried. I’ve read.

And some days I realize she’s perfect just as she is.

I’ve had to adapt my expectations of how I see her and how we parent her. I’m sure we will have to keep adapting as she grows older.

Today we downloaded a reward based chart and hung it on the fridge. We’ve tried things like this in the past but were not consistent enough as parents. One of her daily goals is listening. She’s had a rough day with it. Now that she’s realized she probably isn’t going to get a sticket she started yelling “You are both not fair!” and slammed her door. She’s sobbing in her room.

I am sitting here wondering if I should comfort her or if this is just a not pleasant lesson she is going to have to learn.

She is such an intelligent child. And she is so, so sensitive.

We have to find a balance somehow. I want to create limits without causing her to feel like she is inadequate. I am just not sure how to get there. Yet.

I’m hopeful by the end of the week when she does get to see some stickers that it will help her learn to make good decisions. We talk about good and bad choices a lot. And I have to remind myself she is 5. She is learning and changing every day.

I just want to be the best mom I can be for her. I want her to grow into the incredible person I know she will be. I suppose I never realized that being a parent means that you grow and change with your child.

But on this gorgeous, rainy Sunday – we are growing and changing together.

Parenting is hard.

This morning started with a simple request… “Momma, can we go to that coffee place by Petsmart to get a drink?”

Starbucks? She thought so.

She had gotten up early and was ready early. I asked why she wanted to go. Because other kids at school take those kinds of cups to breakfast before school.

I knew we would be pressed on time but I am out of coffee at home and she asked so sweetly.

So off to Starbucks we went.

The moment we walked inside I knew it was a terrible idea. The line was too long. We only had about 25 minutes. I began to explain I didn’t think we would have time to get a drink.

And then it happened. The woman in front of us turned around and noticed Katelyn’s school uniform.

“Oh you must go to Harmony. My daughter goes to Harmony too. What grade are you in?”

And then her daughter came out of the bathroom.

Katelyn was so excited to see her friend from class. And all of my mom logic went out of the window.

“Well J is getting to stay in line Momma. We won’t be late.”

So not wanting to be that mom, I said we could see if it moved any quicker.

It did not.

J and her mom were ordering and we had 10 minutes to spare. I explained to Katelyn that she would have to eat and drink in the car because by the time we got to school breakfast time would be over.

And then it happened again. J ordered a cake pop and hot chocolate.

MOM! I want the same thing. Please, please, please. A cake pop? I mean… really. I tried to explain that hot chocolate is well, hot. And that it might not be the best idea. But J got it! I have to have it!

Against my better judgement – I relented again. J’s mom ordered some fancy drink that I have never heard of. We aren’t Starbucks regulars..

It took forever.

By the time we ordered it was 7:55.

By the time Katelyn’s hot chocolate was ready it was 7:58.

The first bell rings at 7:55.

SO not only did I agree to let my child have CAKE for breakfast. She was now going to be late to Kindergarten for the first time ever.

I lost it. I had a total meltdown in the car. The hot chocolate was too hot to drink, the cake pop tasted yucky.

I began to explain that sometimes Mom does know what she’s talking about. Sometimes Katelyn should consider listening.

She sat in her seat shell shocked.

We got to school. I walked her in. We had to go wait in line for tardy slip. She started crying.

I don’t know if the tears were from being late and not knowing what to expect. Or if they were from me acting like a child myself.

I probably should have started this blog with what happened Tuesday.

Katelyn woke up and was not feeling well. I decided she could stay home. The morning went by fairly quickly. She hung out and colored while I worked. The afternoon was a whole different story.

I was on the phone for no less than 2 minutes when she came out of her room proudly telling me “my hair fell out!” She had cut her bangs. In shock, I ran out to by huge headbands. Picture day is today. Her bangs are bad. I cried.

It’s been a rough week.

And I feel like a bad mother. I have not been as kind as I could have been. I have not been as loving as I could have been.

And this morning when I got back in the car after dropping her off – I cried.

Do all moms feel this way? I feel like I am second guessing everything lately. I feel like I am letting her down. I feel like I set limits and don’t stick to them. I feel like my bad decisions are creating issues for her. I knew Starbucks was a bad idea. I went. At one point she told me – well J is going to be late too. I told her I didn’t care if J was late, I cared if she was.

She looked hurt.

I know in reality I am not a bad mom. Most days I think I am a pretty damn good one.

But today I am going to sulk drinking my gas station coffee. I didn’t even order anything at Starbucks to try and save time. And I will throw away the hot chocolate because by the time I pick her up it will be gross.

And I will try to be a better mom than I have been tonight. And I will try again tomorrow.

And the day after that.

Because that’s the best I can do. Be a better mom tomorrow than I was today.

Lemon.

Today has been… yucky. 

I was up most of the night with an awful stomach virus. And I woke up in a haze this morning. I haven’t been able to get out of it. I’ve wanted to cry about anything and everything but held it together because my 5 year old has been clingier than normal. I suppose big life changes can do that to you. 

I’d heard of the “Mirena crash” and convinced myself I was tougher than that. But maybe not. I’m hopeful in the next few days I will feel myself. Or maybe even a better version of myself once the hormones level out.

Tomorrow marks the first day in a new chapter. I’ve been excited but tonight I am just incredibly fearful. I told Sam earlier that it’s either going to be really good or really bad. And I really have no idea which way it’s going to go. I’m looking forward to a new challenge. Learning new things and approaching social work in a new way. But I also miss my kids and co-workers. I was so overwhelmed that I was definitely not doing a good job so in all honesty my leaving was probably the best thing for everyone. 

So tomorrow I will wake up, wake Katelyn up, pray that drop off at school goes smoothly and come home. To start something new. 

Maybe tomorrow will be better than today.

#Girlproblems

Aside

“Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.”    - John Wayne

 

This quote was about as far as I got in a post yesterday. So much for daily blogging!

This post will be full of lots of TMI so beware.

I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in 2004. I’ve had two surgeries, multiple ovarian cyst ruptures and even a stint with early menopause when I tried Lupron. It has, at times, been a mess.

I was told at 19 I might not have children. I was told that it would likely take a lot of medical intervention in order to do so. So imagine my surprise when we found out Katelyn was on her way, despite endometriosis. Despite the cysts. And especially despite the birth control I was religiously taking at the time she was conceived.

My pregnancy was hell. Hyperemesis (I lost 37 pounds the first trimester and threw up so much I once blacked out,) lots of bleeding and bed rest early on, topped off with pre-ecclampsia and more bed rest in the third trimester. She made her debut in an emergency C-section way and I didn’t get to see her until she was almost 10 hours old. It didn’t really end there though. My blood pressure never got better and I’ve been on high blood pressure meds for a little over two years now in order to keep it under control.

So – our baby making days are likely over. About 6 weeks after she was born, I got a Mirena IUD. The OB who did the C-section was also the doctor who did the IUD insertion. After it hurt like hell, he finally remembered I had never dilated. Oops. Other than the misery of that day – we’ve had a decent relationship. The IUD and I, that is.

And here we are 5 years later – and it was time for that thing to go. I started getting more nervous as the removal day approached and finally yesterday it was time. I’m 99% sure that my uterus began having panic contractions the night before. It was not pleasant.

Much to my surprise – despite the annoyance of being there longer than I had wanted and the fact that disrobing and stirrups are never a fun experience – the removal was literally over before I was sure it had started. I was surprised in a good way when the guy held it up for me to see.

He was ready to crank my cervix back open for another 5 year run when I politely told him no. 2 years ago I had an ovarian cyst rupture that landed me in the hospital overnight. I’m pretty sure my hormones are not really where they need to be. No more IUD for me.

He got excited and asked if we were planning on trying to have another baby. Nope. Did you have problems? No, not so much. But I do feel like my uterus deserves some time off that doesn’t involve a foreign object taking up residency in there.

I went back on Depo. I was on it for several months while I was in college and not only did it help the Endometriosis calm down, I gained weight! I am about 25 pounds underweight right now but that’s a whole other blog post.

It might have been a big mistake however as soon as that needle pierced my arm. The nurse began freaking out and I got the distinct feeling my arm was wet. Oh it was. Wet with blood all the way down to my fingers. I had to lie down and they literally had to wrap my arm to get it to stop. She started trying to blame my blood pressure meds. Sorry – I’ve had about a thousand shots in my life and never (not even on my meds) have I bled that much.

I made it home and despite some general crampy discomfort last night wasn’t so bad. Maybe in a few months, when it’s time for another shot I might be ready to give the IUD another go. But until then my uterus is pretty content just worrying about herself.

 

 

First Day!

We survived the morning!

We did it! We survived our first drop off at “big school.” Bags of supplies in hand (why was I afraid we would be the only people carrying in plastic bags?!) We made it to her classroom, found her chair, put on her name tag and let go of the 20 pounds of supplies we brought. We walked to the cafeteria and met up with her class and went back to the classroom. They sat on the rug and I was glad I was not the only parent who was really struggling with leaving. Several moms and dads hung around the door with me. Some were already in tears. I managed to not cry until I got outside and into the car. And then I proceeded to sob like a baby.

It’s funny. When I was younger I remember thinking people were crazy when they talked about how fast time went.

Until I became a mom.

And now I understand.

I don’t know how my sweet, sweet baby is 5. How she is old enough to be in Kindergarten. How she is not my chubby cheeked babbling baby anymore.

How is she old enough for this?

 

So now I sit in a quiet house for the first time in three weeks. For the first time since my last day at work – I’m alone. It’s weird.

And a little too quiet.

I cannot wait to pick her up and hear all about her first day. The friends she made, details about the school. Such a monumental day in her life.

 

A letter to my daughter the day before Kindergarten…

Katelyn,

Tomorrow is such a huge milestone in your life and it warms my heart that you are still young enough to not fully grasp how your life is going to change.

Tomorrow – you will start Kindergarten. It will be the very beginning of many years of your life. School will be your first “job” and at times will feel never-ending.

The next 13 years will be long, tiring, incredible. And there are so many things I want you to know that your sweet 5 year old self will probably not fully be able to process and things we will talk about for the rest of your school years.

Like…

Stress. At times school will be stressful. I hope you don’t feel that stress for many years. I don’t remember feeling bothered by school until 2nd or maybe even 3rd grade. I pray that you will also enjoy the first couple of years and view it as fun. You are your mother’s daughter and I really hope my perfectionism won’t rub off on you in a bad way. I want you to work hard. I want you to give it your all. But I also don’t want you to constantly be your own worst critic like I was (and still am, sometimes.)

Mean girls. My sweet baby – there will be mean girls. There will be girls that don’t like you for any reason at all. There will be girls that you think are your friends that aren’t and probably never will be. Girls can be so cruel and I hope you won’t encounter this until much, much later. But I hope when you do (and you will) that you will know your own worth and that you will walk away with your head held high. I also hope that when given the chance – you choose not to be a mean girl. I hope that you will see the good in everyone. I want you to talk to everyone, get to know people, and form your own opinions. You are so strong willed and I hope and pray that you will stand up for people when they need it.

And it should probably go without saying that there will be boys. Some day you will wake up and boys won’t just be playmates. I hope this also comes way, way later. I hope and pray that when you do discover romance that it’s a beautiful thing and not a disaster. That you take your time in that aspect of your life.

And there will be friends. Friends that will be just like family, that you chose. Friends that will see you through all of the bad and the good. I pray that you find true friends early on like I did. Friends that never left my side no matter how bad things got. Friends I had when I was 7 that I can still count on as an adult. Those relationships aren’t always easy. There will be fights. But you will also learn which of those relationships are worth fighting for.

There will be failure. There will be subjects, tests, projects that just don’t make sense. There will be times when you just don’t get it. There will be a day when you wake up and realize that something you don’t get is really going to serve you no purpose in your adult life and you will feel better. Grades can improve so don’t let one bad one damage your self esteem or your eagerness to learn.

There will be bad teachers or other staff that are not so pleasant. Remember to try your best and know that you won’t have to deal with them for too long.

There will be tears. There will be laughter. There will be bad days. There will be days when you don’t feel good enough. Days that you feel left out, like the whole world is against you… but a whole new world is opening up for you. You won’t understand that now but education is everything. Tomorrow is the first big step in you making your mark on the world. You really can do anything that you want. We are so proud of you and I am so excited (and scared!) to begin this journey with you. It’s hard for me to process that our baby is old enough for school.

But you my sweet girl, are ready. You are so smart, so eager. You will love all of the fascinating things you will be learning. And we will be here every step of the way. We will be cheerleaders, we will be homework monitors, we will be a shoulder to cry on, and the crazy parents that show up to everything. You won’t always like us (and we know this and expect it) but we will always be there. I don’t know how it will feel tomorrow when I leave you behind but I do suspect there will be a few tears. Even though we’ve done daycare and Pre-K this feels different. I will be giving you to a less than perfect world and won’t be able to shield you from the occasional unpleasantness as much as I would like and that can be hard for any mom.

So tomorrow, we will walk hand in hand to start this journey together. And although I have to leave you, I will be with you every step of the way.

Love,

Your slightly emotional (and super proud) mom