I don’t believe in love. There… I said it. I don’t believe in the fairy tale ‘girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy asked her to marry him, they live happily ever after’ life that has been embedded into girl’s heads for generations. I might have at one time. A long time ago, possibly. Long before the drama of real relationships shattered that image. Before my ex-husband stood in front of our new neighbors, virtual strangers, at my daughter’s 5th birthday party that I worked tirelessly to create, and shared that he was in love with another woman and always had been. Marrying me had been a convenience. A way to have the image of a family life he thought he had to have. A way to be taken care of so he did not have to make any hard decisions on his own. Long before the photos of other women showed up on his phone. Long before he ripped the images of a happy, healthy family out of my head and tore it to pieces.
**Originally published April 12, 2011**
Yesterday was Monday. Tomorrow is Wednesday. But today is Tuesday. A day to get up, get going, and get things done.
Right after I have some coffee.
A day that all three kids are home – no preschool – and the laundry needs to have a dent made in it, the floors need to be attended to to retain their natural ugliness, and the bathrooms need some TLC.
Right after I have some more coffee.
The company, Rethom, Inc. is hiring for the hardest job of 2014. How would you like to apply? You don’t get paid, stand 135 hours a week, give up sleep for others and basically selflessly driven? Well, check out the application process and apply within! The benefits are AMAZING!
(Thank you to an awesome reader for this!)
See some test interviews from BusinessInsider.com!
Why not apply? I mean, check out the benefits!
While no health or dental insurance, no pension and no paid holidays are offered, this job provides infinite opportunities for personal growth and rewards. Emotional fulfillment and extraordinary impact on associate success provides a lifetime of purpose and meaningful connection.
Just check out these interviews below to get an idea of how you can get this fantastic job!!
See more applicants and see if you can figure out if you want the World’s Toughest Job!!
**Originally Published April 21, 2011 but the topic still stands today… sadly.**
I do not know why I watch the news. Lately, I suppose, it is because I need blog topics because I keep hearing stories that get my blood boiling and running for the computer. Really though, I think I am just more aware of the stories because my kids are getting to that age.
You know… where I have to let them go and trust that they will be OK.
I thought I might be OK with pre-school and elementary school. That things like guns and drugs would not come into play until maybe high school. And I may have time to learn how to deal with those issues by then.
But yesterday, a 6 year old boy in a part of Houston took a loaded gun to school where it fell out onto the floor, discharged, and injured him and two classmates. One a 5 year old girl.
**Originally Published April 5, 2011**
Bedtime in this house is challenging, to say the least. A constant dance of whose going to break first… the parent or the child… multiplied by 3. We know we have done it wrong and we know we are paying the consequences of our inconsistencies and spoiling.
So we expect it. Every night.
I wrote this on August 20, 2011 when my now 7 year old went to Kindergarten. My 4 year old, Megan, my youngest, will be signed up to go starting Friday. So.. I repeat these words as all three are now going to be elementary school next year. Hold me…
Monday marks a major milestone in our family. Our first daughter will enter Kindergarten. Our new five year old will head off to school, five days a week, seven hours a day.
Everything is ready. Her new clothes are washed and folded carefully in her drawers. Her new tennis shoes are shiny and white and lined up in her closet. And her school supplies, preordered and delivered to her classroom right before the meet the teacher last night, are sorted and accounted for in the classroom.
I try really hard, especially now as a single mom, to keep my patience in check when it comes to my kids. I really, really try hard not to yell at them, not to take my personal frustrations and stress out on them and to remember that they are just kids. Learning and messing up and challenging me and growing up are all in their job description. Just as teaching and forgiving and loving are in mine. But sometimes… sometimes I lose it. I used to brush it off as just ‘life’ when I was married and had them every single day. But now that I am single and have to hand them over to their dad a few days a month, not knowing if they will come home safely every time, I feel great guilt when I lose my cool. It resonates through me for days and last night… last night I sat in their room and cried.
I am always looking for new and exciting ways to discipline my kids.
There was the whole stand in the corner phase which meant I was being punished because I was standing in the corner holding them there.
The very popular “you get an M&M if I catch you being good” phase. That ended when I ran out of M&M’s.
I was in a particularly good mood the other day and wanted to reward my daughters for being my daughters. We threw out the soft sided pool that they had last year because it had cracked and frayed in the hot, Texas heat. So when I thought of something that was not wasteful or would be destroyed in no time at all, a large plastic pool – preferably one with the little slide – seemed like the perfect solution and still gave my girls that little gift that I was in the mood to reward!
I picked up the two girls that were in school and headed to Walmart. I had spotted the perfect pool out on their sidewalk the week before. Blue with red and purple trunked alligators, it had a slide but was not so deep that I had to worry about my kids not being able to stand up.
**Originally published 8/3/2011**
I am at my friends house tonight. We have eaten dinner, have had great conversation and our 6 kids have happily played – loudly -throughout the evening. We decided before I got here this evening that this would be a sleep over. That way, I could indulge in adult beverages and not have to worry about driving home.
I got the children into their pajamas, two hours late for bedtime, and curled them up on their respective couches to have some milk and, hopefully, doze off into a happy, tired sleep.
I gave Megan hers, filled Sarah’s with her allotted amount of bedtime milk and then filled Katie’s cup.
To which I added chocolate syrup.
To my friends dismay!
She asked, confused, if I was really giving Katie chocolate milk at bedtime.
It has never been my style to go after people who do dumb things. I have so much dumb in my life that it could be considered hypocritical. But sometimes, I just have to speak. Because the dumb is too big!
Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow announced her ‘uncoupling’ from Chris Martin. I did not care much – as I don’t about any celebrity couple – but I was surprised. They had been fairly low profile and seemed to have a stable life. I think they made it 13 years or so and had two kids. They even survived the ‘They named their kids WHAT?’ media attention that came when Apple, their daughter, was born. So, now that Ms. Paltrow is a single mom for the first time ever, I give her a little bit of slack. A single mom myself, I understand the adjustment period. But when I read what she said about her motherhood recently, my jaw hit the ground and my blood began to boil.
‘It’s much harder for me… I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening.’
It is time to take a stand in this country. This country of over excess, over doing it and overly ridiculous expectations. But we can’t make changes over night. We need to start small. Small like the over the top, extravagant birthday and other party staple called Goody Bags. You know, the bag stuff with trinkets that will get lodged in between the seats in the car to be unearthed a year later. The bag with the candy that the sugared up, I just got CAKE! child will insist on eating. The bags that come with controversy among mothers. I say it is time. It is time to take a stand and say Burn, Goody Bags, Burn!
Now, listen. I am not trying to ruin junior’s birthday party experience. Moms all around understand the importance of celebrating their little one’s birthday’s with family and friends. After all, we are so so proud of our offspring and love them more than anything in this world. Even wine.
But let’s break it down for a moment.
Here is a mom, or dad – we don’t want to leave them out! – who has worked tirelessly to create a beautiful party for their child. They have sent out the invitations, purchased the decorations, make or purchased a cake, payed the fees to host the party out of the home, spent the last three days cleaning their own home if it is at their house, and has spent endless funds on food, drinks and other little things for the kids to do. Like bounce houses, snow cone machines and more.
All to celebrate the magical day when their child arrived in the world.
They invite guests to come, snack, play and eat cake. The child opens gifts most of the time and then everyone just enjoys until guests start to leave.
So, why, if we are doing the party to celebrate one child, are we giving gifts to all the others?
The Goody Bag is a stress of it’s own. In this current culture of “I don’t have to RSVP!”, moms have to guess how many kids will be there, determine whether to create bags for siblings that tag along, determine what the budget is per bag and then stay up frantically stuffing the night before the party when she really should be sleeping.
Then we ADD to that the kids who actually get the bags. Candy we don’t want them to eat, toys that hurt like heck when we step on them, and the constant fight in the back seat of who got what. OR we have to deal with the children who did not get a bag because it was not their friends party – and the mom only planned for originally invited guests – crying loudly all the way home because they did not get one.
Goody Bags are useless, wasteful and send the wrong message to our kids. Giving is a precious value that should be done without the expectation of something in return. Kids should learn to celebrate each other without the constant looking at the table to see when they will get their brightly colored, stuffed bag. Just like adults do.
Unless, of course, the parent who started the Goody Bag trend was really actually quite intelligent and figured out that by handing them out, parents can actually get their kids to leave a party.
In that case. Let them be.
**Post by Beth M.**
As I scrolled through Facebook quickly before going to bed, I ran across an extraordinary confession from a mother. The realization that your little pitter-patters have turned into full-grown adult steps, ready to take on the world, hit me like a ton of bricks. Her words spoken from the heart, with all eighteen years of experience, bounced off my chest as tears formed in the corners of my eyes.
Yesterday, it is 109 outside – in the shade – and the melting Texas heat gave way to air conditioning and ceiling fans on full speed. And despite the kids having every toy ever made by man, the boredom factor set in quickly.
By the time the afternoon rolls around, it is time to give them some ice cold milk and put them in front of a show. The other alternatives just seem too harsh: make them clean the gutters, build me a fort of sticks… anything to keep them busy!
I tucked my three girls in, hit play on the DVD player and left the room.
It was an amazingly peaceful 5 minutes.
And then they wanted popcorn. And more milk. And cried when I said no more milk. And then squealed in delight when I gave them the popcorn.
But they never really settled. At least my oldest two didn’t.
I finally did put them to work cleaning the living room. Then instructions were to see who could pick up the most toys and put them in the respective rooms. Winner got bragging rights!
As the older two were fighting over which toys to pick up, I went looking for my two year old, who had been surprisingly silent.
I found her, curled up, hands tucked under her face, legs entwined, sound asleep on my bed.
I could not resist.
I climbed up next to her and watched her sleep.
She is so beautiful.
Her eyes were dancing to the rhythm of the perfect dream, her lips puckering in response, and her little hand jumping at an interval of impact. One side of her hair was matted down with summer sweat, her curls stuck to her little face, reminding me that it is time to have her hair cut once again.
I breathed in what is left of her baby smell. The lingering scents of a new diaper, the baby lotion that had not washed off with her playing in the water in the sink, and the unmistakable smell of baby shampoo, left from a morning bath meant to cool her off.
It is almost over, this time of her life that can be defined as baby. Technically a toddler, I soak in her chubby legs and dimpled hands, praying that the camera has caught her images enough that when memories are smothered in my mind, photos can bring them back.
And I let a saddened tear of time fluttering by, unable to be caught and contained long enough to appreciate it, slide down my face. I’ll miss having babies. I’ll miss this baby.
I have learned that before I know it, I will watch her head off to Kindergarten, cry in my lap over a broken heart, and watch her walk down the aisle to the start of her family. It will all happen tomorrow, in the blink of an eye, while I am paying attention to my oldest going to Kindergarten and my middle daughter learning how to write.
But yesterday… yesterday I pretended like time stood still. Like I had all the time in the world to enjoy what is left of this precious time.
Yesterday… I watched her sleep.
**Originally Published 8/6/2011**
My kids take me through a myriad of emotions almost daily. From laughter to frustration to heart warming love to just plain ‘How the heck am I ever going to get through this day?” But every moment is awesome. Even when I am on the verge of crawling into a lions den. Wearing BBQ sauce. [Read more...]