My mom life isn’t for the faint of heart, anyway. My life has been one ToDo list after another. Lists written out, scribbled on a spare notebook, written nicely on an actual notepad or even in my phone. So. Many. Lists. SO. MUCH. TO. DO! Of course, the mom guilt is there. So much going on that I don’t have time to spend with each kid individually. Thoughts in my head like, “Will this one be a man-child living at our house when he is 30 years old because I am screwing him up?” Or, “Will that one hate me when she is older and think I didn’t care because I wasn’t able to watch that game because another one had dancing class?” So many variations of those thoughts run though my head now and then. That is, when the ToDo list isn’t running through my head.
I purposely don’t schedule much at all during the summer months because our time during the school year is so busy, but somehow those few short weeks always get filled up with events also. I do love having my kids around all day long in the summer, but by the end of the summer I have the occasional (ahem, often?) thought of, “I am so glad the school year is starting soon so I can get back to a routine and the kids are out of the house for a few hours each day!” Then, of course, I feel bad for wanting to be away from my babies. According to all the memes I see on Facebook, I know I am not along with these conflicting emotions.
My fall hasn’t been any easier. Right before school started we took a family vacation to Tennessee, which was great, and I am grateful for the get away, but it was still a little nerve wracking to return the day before school started. Since then, all 3 boys have had birthdays. Squeazel broke his arm the night before his birthday. That was fun, let me tell ya. The cast is coming off this week, yay! Giving this child a bath every night hasn’t been a fun task for all involved. But his laser tag birthday party has to be postponed. I was able to have the party for the other 2 boys without a hitch, thankfully. I did however forget about bringing in a treat for Gubba to his class on his actual birthday. Insert major mom guilt.
Right after that, Squeazel’s cub scout patrol had the opportunity to present a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier down in Washington DC. We decided to make a long weekend out of it. It was a great honor and a wonderful weekend. Oh yeah, last week the oldest called me early from volleyball practice telling me I needed to get her early because a ball hit her in the face and she was “slightly concussed.” Nothing like the conflicting worry about your child with a possibly head injury when she’s punished and you’re still slightly upset at her because a few days before she had a full blown teenaged, drama filled mood swing when it was discovered a school project wasn’t done in time and now there’s consequences. Appointment was made to make sure her brain is A-ok. Now I’m in full on planning mode for a sprinkle this weekend for a friend of mine along with a different friend and add in planning a sweet 16 party including DJ, catering, etc. in less than two weeks for my oldest. After that is the make up party for Squeazel and the weekend after that we are going on our first ever cruise as a family to the Bahamas! I can’t wait for that! Then, the fun of the holidays starts.
Add all of this into the weekly fun of cub scout meetings for 2 (soon all 3) boys, gymnastics for both little girls, karate for all the kids (except the youngest and the one with the broken arm), the occasional girl scout meeting and volleyball game, and dance class. My life has been me just trying to get through the day and try not to forget too much or anyone anywhere.
I’m just trying to be the best mom I can be, and it ain’t easy! The pressure is there to make sure dinners are healthy, the house is relatively clean, the kids get their homework done and that no one has a major meltdown while walking the isles at Wal-Mart. There’s always a basketful or pile (or 2) of laundry waiting to be folded and put away. Piles of papers reminding me of stuff that needs to be ordered or phone calls that need to be made. I always manage to be late to everything I need to go to. I missed the trike-a-thon at preschool 2 weeks ago because I had to pack for leaving for our Washington DC later that day. I didn’t get the chance to do any of it before then. When I miss stuff like that, the guilt hits me big time. I know I need to give myself a break, but it’s still hard. Raising kids in a world where it seems everyone judges one another for doing too much or too little is impossible! There’s no way that anyone can be perfect, yet I still try. I just wish as moms we would support one another more instead of criticizing each other trying to make someone look bad in order to feel better about ourselves. <— I’ve seen that first hand, so sad.
I try to make time for myself also so I don’t have major freak out moments. I have been trying to exercise 5-6 days a week for at least 30 minutes each time and eat better. I got myself a Fitbit and that has helped a lot to motivate me. I lost about 20 pounds since I started this chance of lifestyle and even motivated hubby to change. He lost about 30 pounds, which is so unfair, but he did have more to lose than I did. I have to admit, I love working out now. Its a great stress reliever and I feel so much stronger lately. I also have changed around the snacks we eat. More clean eating and snacks like peanuts, fruits and veggies. I hate how eating better costs more money though. As if our food bill wasn’t high enough already… I also recently ordered a started kit of essential oils. I am the kind of person that follows the philosophy that the human body isn’t meant to consume tons of chemical-filled foods and medicines and usually natural is best. If there is a way to do it naturally, I want to try that first. I’m not super crunchy, but since trying to be healthier, it’s been on my mind more. There are days when lunches are a more healthy peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread and then there are days when it’s hot dogs. I just make sure to get the kind without nitrates. I can’t be bothered to sit there and cut up cheese and pieces of bread into special shapes and julienne carrots or make fancy designs into the skin of cucumbers to dip into hummus. That’s just ridiculous! That food sounds yummy, but who has that time?!
The pressure to be the perfect mom is always there. I think for most moms. We want our kids to turn out to be good people that care about other people. We want our kids to be smart and have an easy time in school. Not struggling with homework or other classmates. We can only do so much and then we let them go. Hoping that we taught them enough about right and wrong and please don’t disrespect the teacher or tease the other kid when it seems everyone else is doing it. All of these thoughts run through my head in addition to my regular list. I try as much as I can to get through that list each day. The baby (I gotta stop calling her that, she’ll be 3 soon) has an earring in with the little stone missing because it fell out a few days after I bought them, but they stay in her ears and you can’t *really* tell, at least I hope. Getting to the store to buy her a new pair just isn’t terribly high on that list. Priorities, people. Right now there’s banana muffins cooling on the stove because I actually got a chance to make them with the bananas that were probably a day too far over-ripe. Shhhh… I’m sure they taste fine. (Why on Earth do my kids seem to go through 4 bananas a day so I have to buy two bunches every time I shop and then in a few weeks later when I’m used to buying that many bananas, they suddenly decide they don’t want them as often and now I’m left with several sitting in the fruit bowl. Then I buy one bunch and by the next day there’s one left. What gives?!) So I made the muffins because we had a period of I-don’t-want-to-eat-bananas. At least now that gnat I saw this morning will go away.