Sssssshhhh…I have a secret to share. Some days, I am an absolute hot mess. I smile big and try to look put together by matching my shoes with my shirt or something cute like that (woo hoo!), but essentially I’m running on fumes since we still co-sleep with our wiggly and extremely chatty 4-year-old (By the way, I have no idea where he gets that from! Wink wink.). And I harbor guilt because we always seem to be a few minutes late no matter how early I start getting us ready to leave. Also, sometimes deep down I guiltily question how I didn’t end up living in a shack on a beach somewhere in Florida.
I know I am not alone, and that being a hot mess at random times is just a part of life. It provides some comfort; like Hey, mamas, we are all in this together! Sometimes I feel like when another mom’s child is crying or screaming or throwing a tantrum at the store, and when she and I make eye contact, it’s like we just know that we both get it. It’s the universal “look” from one mama warrior to another, like, “Hang in there…you can do this! Chin up, tiger! GET IT TOGETHER!”
And part of me wishes at these very moments we could do something cool, like grunt and chest bump, or go get our nails done together and drink wine, or go on a free shopping spree sponsored by all these stores that put loads of kid-magnet candy and tantalizing toys right by the darn registers, but whatever, the supportive look works, too.
Anyhoo, every mom has a confession (or six), whether it relates to their house cleaning habits, their child’s nutrition (c’mon, we know food bribery exists!) or their organizational skills (or lack thereof)…
To the dirty, the crazy and to a little of the old nitty gritty, here are confessions from this stay-at-home mom!
1) I feel guilty.
Mom guilt is SO real, but I wish it wasn’t so prevalent…or so silly at times. Like, I don’t ever look at Pinterest. Should I? Should I have pancakes ready every morning in the shape of my son’s favorite Thomas the Train characters? Should I be bringing his preschool friends colorful and precisely cut themed homemade crafts each week since I’m the class mom? Should I just bake more often and more, um, cutesy thingies? Or delicately cut up and arrange fruit into beautiful doves or unicorns? Sigh. Mom guilt.
Anyway, then there is the more serious intrinsic questioning: Am I a good mom? Does he get enough veggies in his diet? Is he going to bed early enough each night? Am I letting him watch too much YouTube (he totally needs to wear that one t-shirt: “Just a kid that likes to watch other kids on YouTube”). Is he going to turn out to be a genuine person with good manners and consideration, or is he going to be a spoiled little expletive? Eek! I do recognize my mission as a mom…
2) The struggle is real some days.
By 7 a.m. one recent morning, I had an e-mail from a parent complaining about the participation schedule for preschool, I had accidentally dropped my cell phone and shattered the screen for the second time in three months and I peed myself while doing double unders at the gym. That was all pre-child presence; the day only got more interesting from there as my 42-pound boy begged me all day long during errands to pick him up and carry him because he was too tired to walk, my dog pooped in the living room and my hubby got home before I could hide the packages on the porch from the UPS man. I know in the grand scheme of things I am that magnificent word we see pop up quite a bit–blessed–but I also know that some days are definitely better than others.
3) When we are late, it is not always my child’s fault.
Ok, so most of the time it is because of him: Looking for shoes that he buried in a pile of Legos, him not ready to go because he has a morsel of food to finish in his marathon eating session or him yelling at me from down the hall, “MOMMY! I NEED YOU TO WIPE MY BUTT!”
But sometimes I do take five extra minutes basking in the peace and quiet and the absolute fantastic fabulosity of the shower! Or I am texting or Facebooking or Instagramming. Or all three.
4) My child’s nutrition is mostly good, sprinkled with poor.
I am totally guilty of handing my little man a mini glazed donut (or two) on days we are running late. Oopsie.
What is ironic is that I have really honed in on my nutrition over the past year, and I know what healthy eating looks like. So it would make sense I would pass the positive eating traits on to my child…IF he weren’t so stinking picky! Sometimes it is so difficult to face food battles every day; he is stubborn and I cave in to easier options at times because it has been a long day or it is too draining to engage in a food, um, discrepancy. And then there are some days where I have made him three different meals in one setting; all of which he didn’t touch, leaving me hanging my head in shame. Who would ever have guessed the intense culinary complexity posed by such a little person?
However, easy does not always equate to healthy, so it’s definitely on me to do better in this department. I need to put my mama warrior gear on and just do the darn thing, even when he is at his pickiest state.
5) Some days I have to give myself a pep talk.
If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right (lol), but sometimes I do have to stop to pray or give myself a pep talk in the middle of the day. This act of self-talk, self-pepping if you will, may or may not involve a mirror and/or talking to myself out loud. On the days when there is a fit or two, and I’m knee deep in laundry, drowning in mom land and longing for adult talk or alone time or some semblance of sanity, I pray and self-advocate. SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP! Yeah, that usually does the trick.
6) My texting has gone downhill.
I used to be SO good at initiating texts with friends and family. Now, I find I’m really good at responding, but not as good at initiating. I get caught up in all the details and activities of each day. I love my family and friends, I really do! I love hearing from them. I need to do better at reaching out first rather than always just responding; I don’t want them to think I’m not interested in their lives or that I don’t care enough to reach out first. Reciprocity is a key to harmony!
7) Our secret co-sleeping circus continues.
Do you know that amazing feeling when you crawl into bed, fall asleep right away, sleep hard all night long (you know, the type of solid sleep with drool!) and wake up feeling beautiful and refreshed? ME NEITHER.
All the giggles.
One of my previous blogs was all about our co-sleeping adventures with our little one. Six months or so later, things are about the same…a tiny foot on my face or a hand slap directly on my eyeball at 1 a.m. or random toddler talking at 4 a.m. (Paco the Taco is still alive and well in our son’s repertoire of stories! Yum…tacos!) My life encompasses inconsistent sleep, aching body parts from being pushed to a fraction of the bed and the realization that I may never know what it is like to truly sleep again. But, it’s ok…for now. As outlined in my previous blog, there are ups and downs to this lifestyle choice, and since we allow it to go on, we have to embrace all of the good, bad and ugly that comes with it!
8) I nap.
When I tell my friends I nap sometimes while my son naps, every time I feel like I need to preface it, or follow it up, with a “Don’t judge me!” I seriously cannot think of anything more beautiful to do for 20 spare minutes than to nap. It’s funny how when we were little, we resisted naps, but now as adults, we all complain about how tired we are. So, if I can get 20 minutes of sweet, sweet, glorious sleep, OH MY GOSH! BRING IT TO MOMMY! This mama loves her a good, drooly nap.
9) My child is spoiled.
Oops. Please see #10.
10) I am kind of addicted to buying things.
All things. Any things. Online or in person. Like, I go to CVS for medicine and come out with a new journal, a foofy pen and a toy truck for my son. I can’t help myself! It’s like I’m a failure if I go to the register with only one thing…weird, right?
Recently on the way back from a road trip to visit the grandparents, my son and I stopped at a gas station. For gas. Yet, that turned into walking inside the gas station to look for a donut that my 4-year-old would not stop requesting every minute on the minute of our drive since we left. I finally unleashed an, “Ok! We can get you a donut!!” (Oops…#4 fail).
This gas station was like a primo gas station of all gas stations, because oh my gosh, they had aisles and aisles of STUFF. Good stuff! Like purses and tote bags for me, and train sets and construction vehicles for my son. OH. MY. GOSH. I was giddy and thinking as the cashier smiled at me, “Just be quiet and take my money!” So $100 later, we had no donut (#4 victory!), but a new purse, a new construction vehicle set (it even makes noises!) and a collectible semi-tractor trailer toy. I was totally suckered in…they had me at “Welcome.” At least I remembered to fill up my tank with gas…
Anyway, I just might be on one of those “intervention” shows one day. Or Hoarders. Although, now that I think about it, I’m also OCD, so hoarding isn’t really something I’d be guilty of doing…yet. Tee hee.
Ultimately, in light of all these confessions (which were fun to reflect about, by the way), I think I just have to embrace that I’m definitely not perfect, and perhaps relax for once and enjoy the fact I’m not expected to be.
Oh, and through such reflections, I have come to realize I’m definitely not a Pinterest mom, but I do make one heck of an Amazon Prime mom. I’ll take it! (Literally, I will take one of everything please.)