Monday, September 01, 2014

School Is Starting!

The kids start school tomorrow.  This news makes me want to dance like this:


Too much?

Don't get me wrong. I have a couple of feels about it. Brennan is starting Kindergarten, and Liam is starting Early Childhood Special Ed. My baby gets on his very first bus tomorrow.  That's huge.

But mostly, I'm excited. Like, really excited. Like above dancing excited.

I remember reading homeschooling blogs, back in the day, and reading expressions of sorrow for mothers who were happy to say goodbye to their offspring on the first day of school. I mean, that's why these moms were homeschooling, so they would never have to be without their babies. There was an implied superiority. (Or maybe a really overt we're-so-much-better-than-them attitude).

I should add, not all homeschooling parents are like this, in fact most are not.

Well, let me tell you, I was so stressed out by the time we stopped homeschooling, that I have never been so happy to have one less responsibility on my plate. If some homeschooling moms want to feel superior because they want their kids there all the time, they can have that feeling all they want. They can swim around in it. I'm good with it.

I'm going to be grateful for the school routine, ant the way my kids are thriving in their respective schools. And I'm just going to keep dancing.

*****

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Motherhood Can Be Lonely

 photo 9135Stressed-is-Desserts-Posters_zps57d303e6.jpg
Image from 3sidesofcrazy.com and what she's making looks delicious! 
I want to write about all the ways that motherhood can be lonely and isolating. But to tell you the truth, the list is long, and just plain boring. Who wants to hear all that?

I mean, we've all been there. When you're trying to figure out life with a newborn and you're exhausted all the time. So, you're not going out to concerts and shows, like you used to when you were carefree.

Or when your toddler really has to be asleep by 8 o'clock, or she hits her angry zone and is just impossible. So you're not going out for drinks with friends anymore, and you wonder if she might be 18 before you see adult type people again.

Or even better, when you have kids with special needs, and your friends don't understand anymore, or worse, don't want to. It's painful for them, and to be honest, sometimes it's painful for us too. Especially when your friends have kids the same age, and you can see all the things that your child could be/should be/would be doing, if it weren't for this issue. Then you feel like even your mom friends are a million miles away.

I'm kind of there again, right now. I feel like my house kind of falls apart if I'm not there and on top of things. And my friends all seem to be ridiculously busy. Jobs, kids' schools, extra-curricular activities, it's so hard to find time that we're available, and not stressed out.

So, here's what I've learned. Most of us are going to have times where we feel lonely. But we can't live in that place. It's sucks, and it won't help us be better at home.

We have to figure out what we want. What will help us? Need a regular chat with a friend? Ask them. Need to have coffee with someone? Ask them. Can't go out and need someone to come visit you? Ask them.

Because, it turns out, we have the right to ask for what we need, too.  Granted, your toddler may not understand if you stamp your foot and say, "But I want Starbucks without you!". But your girlfriends will. They'll understand completely. And I don't know about you, but I need my girlfriends.

So grab a glass of wine, or cucumber water (because it's amazing) and call your girlfriends. Mine recharge my batteries and remind me that I am more than just an arbiter of pint-sized squabbles, and the keeper of the pantry lock code. Which I am. I'm so much more. I'm also the folder of laundry, and fixer of broken things.

I'm amazing. And so are you!

*****

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

To My Son On His 5th Birthday

5 years ago, today, we met for the first time. It was a really special day. It's a shame you can't remember any of it. I mean, I'll bet you don't even know how awesome I looked after I'd been in labor for hours and your dad and the nurse had to catch you. I'm just going to tell you that I looked fabulous. Almost as good as you, in fact.

Of course, that's my Brennan. You just can't wait for things. You just had to come when you wanted to, doctor be damned. You haven't changed much, in that regard.

You were born into a big family, and sometimes I wonder if that was the best or worst thing I ever did to you. I hope you know that you are surrounded by love, every day. Even if sometimes the people who love you, are taking your toys.

Right now you are somewhere between being a little boy, and a school boy. You like to call it being a "medium" boy. You are still all snuggles, and sometimes fall asleep on the couch in the afternoon, after explaining to me that you don't need a nap. I love all the snuggles you give, and your charming smiles. I hope they don't go away too fast, as you discover the fun of being a Kindergarten Kid.

Right now, your favorite color is pink. And what you wanted for your birthday was a doll stroller. Which you got, by the way. Along with a new doll who drinks from her bottle, coos, and even makes sleep noises.

You love her so much, you've named her Margaret, and have spent all evening fussing over her. Seriously, all evening. You actually intimated that I might not be holding her right. And child, let me tell you, I've held a few babies. I've got this. It was hard to convince you to hand her off to someone else so that you could blow the candles out on your cool Batman cake.

I think you're going to be an amazing daddy someday.

I have hopes for you and dreams for you. But really, they don't matter. What matters to me is that you find your hopes and your dreams, and that you follow them, whatever comes. I hope you know that you have a small army of brothers and sisters, not to mention your dad and me, who will be in your corner always. And someday, I think you'll have an amazing partner, too. If they love you half as much as we do, we will love them, and will consider them family.

You have a wicked sense of humor, and you love to make us laugh. You do, too, all the time. I think you're going to make lots of friends when you start school in a couple of days. Just remember, be a good person. Be nice to people. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Some people will love that, and will look out for you the way you look out for them. Some people won't, but that will be their loss, and not yours.

You have a temper, and sometimes an attitude. Try to remember not to let your attitude keep you from the things you really need. Like when you're so mad about being hungry, that you don't want to eat. Seriously, it doesn't even make sense. Stop it.

But keep loving people the way you do. You have a big heart, bigger even than your smile.

I'm so glad I have been your mommy. Let me tell you, Medium Boy Brennan, five years have gone by way too fast.

I love you, I love you, I love you. Happy Birthday, Monkey.

(And because I've been blogging for a million years, here's a link to his birth story, for anyone interested)

*****

They grow up too fast! If you liked this, would you mind clicking the link below? Just clicking it, registers a vote for me, and improves my ranking, making me easier to find. Thanks so much, you're the best!
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