Showing posts with label Dear Weary Mom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dear Weary Mom. Show all posts

The Heartbreak That Looms In My Future

Why do they have to grow up so fast?

My kids are growing by the second, before my eyes.

At the end of the school year my cute little boy was wearing a 5 t perfectly. Today we tried on one of his favorite shirts from last year and guess what? It wouldn't even fit over his head. I spent an hour sorting out his clothes, making a pile of things he has outgrown. I spent about another hour crying into his cute little t shirts. Sobbing on his pants that are now several inches too short to wear.

Feeling like a hot mess, rolling around and wailing into outgrown clothes. Feeling small and helpless. There is no way to stop it, he is going to keep growing until one day he outgrows his need for me. I realize; Yep, there is true heartbreak looming in my future.

Harper is almost 2 now. She is getting so tall, her hair is getting so long. A beautiful child that girl is. Her little giggles send chills up my spine. Like something I have longed to hear, like a bell ringing in my heart. And guess what? She is going to crush me someday. She will keep getting taller. She is prettier every day. Maybe she will crush a handful of other hearts on the way and we can all start a support group?

Summer is winding down in my part of Ohio. The nights are turning cooler and the leaves are showing signs of changing color, and as the seasons turn from summer to fall, I must prepare myself for the changes I will see in my kids. The changes I know are coming but I dread.

Someday, I will sit down to write and Roo will be like 9 and Harp will be like almost 6.... they will be different than they are today. They will be like new people. With new interests, different opinions, and a style of their own. Someday, I might be thrilled to discard some outgrown clothes in favor of something that reflects their increasing maturity.

Growing Up, oh why must they grow so fast? Why can't I keep their hands small, and their need for me strong?

Knowing I can't keep them as babies, I must enjoy these moments while they are small. I must let the toys take over the house during epic play sessions. I must let them need me, and I must embrace their need for me. If we are close now, and I am constantly reinforcing that bond, then maybe I can avoid the heartbreak that looms in my future. Maybe they won't need me when they are grown, but maybe they will still want me around. Maybe, if I can live in the moment with them now, they will never stop wanting to tell me about something fun they did, or about their interests, hobbies and ideas.

Dear Weary Mom, I Want To Potty Alone

Dear Weary Mom,

Guys, I want to use the potty alone.

How many times have I uttered those words in the past few years? Maybe the past few days would be easier to count. I say that a lot anymore.

The situation goes something like this every day:

I tell Roo 'keep an eye on your sister for a minute please?'
I start for the stairs.
Roo asks "Are you going to the girls room?"
I say something like 'Yes honey, I have to potty.'
He says "Are you going to the girls room to poop?"
I beg ' Please, just watch Harp for 35 seconds. I will be right back.'

I charge for the stairs, running up them like a fire is chasing me. I take them 2 at a time, finally, bladder near bursting I am near the door.... I hear little feet hitting the stairs faster than my mad dash. Before the door can close, there he is.

I say something like 'Roo, please go watch sissy?!'
He says "Harper is coming. She's right there!" He points around the corner, she laughs, I sigh.
'Guys, I want to use the potty alone...' Both kids are laughing, thrilled with this game of racing and meeting up in the bathroom. Roo declares 'This isn't a potty, its home plate.'
I say something like 'Yep, this is home plate! Now run on to first base!' I am dancing the pee dance at this point. As I finally can begin to pee, it feels so good. Better than sex pee, the plight of the woman who cannot ever enter her own bathroom.

Harper laughs as she tosses shampoo and the like in the bath tub. She jumps on the scale. She dances.

Before I can finish Roo and the dog burst in. Roo is laughing, the dog looks dejected, I hear my husband on the stairs... He says "Roo said that you and Harper were pooping."

Oh my God. People leave me alone...

I wash my hands and look at my husband. I mumble something about privacy, needs to use that room just once alone. What if I did have to have a bowel movement? Why is everyone talking about it?

Later in the day, all over again. I tell my son, "I want to go alone." He says "But why Mom?" Like I just stomped on his heart.... his big blue eyes essentially kick me in the stomach. I want to say a number of things, like I like using the potty alone. I don't like the dog in there and you always bring him in. I don't want you bringing the little one into the mix...

But I don't. I instead inquire why he would want to come. He says "I like being with you!"

Those words moved me. They moved my heart, they moved my feet up the stairs and they moved me to allow this little boy the chance to pester me. I was a captive audience after all.

At bath time that night, he told his Dad "Mommy will shower with me." I told Roo, "I am sorry honey! I have to put Harp to bed. Daddy will bath you."
 Big eyes fill with tears "But Mommy, I need you!"

My husband is frustrated that I cave and shower with Roo. But, he obviously needed that time with me. As he is getting ready for bed, he says "Close my door and sleep right here Mom!" Pointing to my side of his bed. I see how close to nodding off he is, so I snuggle him close to me. I tell him "Roo, you are a good boy. And a good friend." He sighs a dreamy sigh and replies "I am a good boy and a crazy friend!"

As he drifts off to sleep he holds my hand. I think about how many times I have muttered about some alone time lately. I think about how many times I have been grumpy over using the restroom alone. I promise to stop and savor this season when I am in such high demand, because someday, my son will run in horror at the thought of us both being in the bathroom together. He will be frustrated when I want to hang out in his room. Someday he will be a teenager, learning to navigate this life on his own.

This gave me insight on how to react to my children. While I think time alone is healthy for parents, I think that time spent cherishing the moments is far more healthy. I don't want to be that mom that looks back in 20 years on fond memories of using the potty alone. I would rather have the memory of a 5 year old boy with his eyes shining, so blue they are mesmerizing, who follows me to the girls room every time I go, just to talk to me.

I am not a perfect Mom. Lord, my flaws are overlapping. But, every time I pray, I pray for patience, for kindness, to be a better mother, to make sure my kids know I love them to infinity. Maybe giving up my privilege of private potty use is one of the ways I can love them to infinity, or maybe it is just one of the perks of motherhood....

Dear Weary Mom : A Victory To Be Treasured

Dear Weary Mom,

So we meet again. You might wonder where I disappeared to. I will warn you, it wasn't anywhere a Mom wants to be. I had moved into the restroom to get my son potty trained once and for all.

Roo is 4 and a half. Yes, nearly 5 dang years old. He is smart, adorable and I love him, but for two years now I have felt that the pull ups needed to go.

Roo can pee in the potty like a champ. He makes his mother so proud of his good aim, infrequent "Oops!" calls for dribbles, or misses. He is not above cleaning up his dribbles so mommy doesn't have to d it {SO GOOD My boy is!}

But guess what. The #2 situation was another story. He wouldn't. He knew when he had to go. He would change out of his big boy undies and find a pull up or resort to squeezing into his little sisters diapers, he would hide in his room, stinking up the place. Then he would say "Mommy clean  me!"

I started to have fears, would I be changing a pull up when my son was in college? He would have to go to a local school, something within an hour of me so I could go to help him when needed...

I talked to doctors. They all said he will go when he is ready. Encourage him, don't push him. Be patient.

Patience... oh, great. I have so much of that!

Well anyhow, nearing his 5th birthday, he is officially a potty pooper!

Last Saturday I woke up to hear "Oh no Mommy. Uh oh." He looked terrified. I asked him "Roo what is wrong?" He said "Mommy....clean me?" Just waking up I said "You need to potty?" He said no, but I got him into the restroom. Within a few minutes he had completed his task! We were so proud of him!

I thought it was a sleepy coincide at first, but sure enough, he has gone to the potty every time he has had to go for 5 days now. I have had to really coax him, as he wants to revert back to a pull up already. But, nonetheless, am one proud Mama! Way to go Roo!!

I will be honest, lots and lots of bribery happened. Roo got Frozen on dvd, The small story set for Frozen, hot breadsticks at his request. $1.15 for his bank, all in nickles. He often times will do something like clean off the table for me and say "Want a nickle! I cleaned!" This time it was "Niclkle Please... so we stocked up on nickles, He is still working on that bribe too. We have agreed that if he continues to use the potty next weekend we will go swimming. Bribery... not a single doctor recommended bribery... but it works for me. I am now down to one child needing diaper changes and my 15 month old is interested in the potty too. She will plop her little booty on it and sit to read. I have a hope she will be much easier to potty train.

Deary Weary Mom, if your little ones are potty trained Hooray for you! Please leave a comment and tell everyone how you trained for success.  If you are still battling the potty mama, just relax. Someday it will happen. Trust me!

Jelly Bean Infused Rum for the Weary Mom

Thanks to Blue Chair Bay for hooking me up with the goods to create this fun drink!

Have you ever had one of those days that seemed to be the day that wouldn't end? The day where everything goes wrong, everyone is fighting, the mess is never ending and your patience wears thin?

Ladies I had that day... over and over again last week. To the point that on Friday night I said "TGIF" as I had a really fun shot of Blue Chair Bay Rum with a twist.

Jelly Bean Booze? Oh yeah!

You know, Easter was not long ago. Do you have jelly beans in abundance? We sure did. This inspired me to make Jelly Bean Infused Rum.

You will need:
15 orange jelly beans
2 shots of rum- I used Blue Chair Bay.

Place the jelly leans in a plastic container with a leak proof lid
Add 2 ounces of rum
Seal, stash in the cabinet and walk away.

I waited for 6 hours before placing the container in the fridge for a few moments.

When the kids were in bed and I was finally able to unwind I took the 2 shots. They were fun and fruity and a great twist on a much loved White Rum.

After I drank the rum and I ate the 15 jelly beans which were colorless... but they had soaked up alcohol and gave me a little kick.

I felt the stress melt away with most of my cares. I don't recommend getting intoxicated all of the time, but Dear Weary Mom, sometimes you have flat out earned a drink! This is the drink to try as it will soothe your weariness away, at least for an evening!

Stories, Strangers, and Chance Encounters

People come into our lives for a reason. Some people will teach you a lesson, or inspire you. Others will break your heart. Then there are people that will show you what love means, make you smile, or tug at your heart strings. The best people to cross paths with are the ones that inspire hope.

Several years ago, a text message came through to my phone that was a) slightly offensive and b) very revealing. I knew that this was not meant for me right away and responded to the effect of "wrong number". Apologies came in a moment later. I shrugged it off and went about my day. I get wrong number calls and texts from time to time. Who doesn't?

Later that night, a text from the same number came in, again with apologies for the not so nice phrase the original message included. I assured the person on the other end that it was okay, I was not offended. The next afternoon, again, a text from this wrong number. The question was in reference to what my opinion of the texter was now that I knew his little secret.

Now, I am not one to chat up a wrong number. But for some reason, this was different. When you learn something revealing about another person as soon as you encounter them, the rules of conversation don't really apply. My guard was down. I felt comfortable enough with the person on the other end of the message to become facebook friends, but as you know, life moves pretty fast. Before long I had lost my cellphone at the hands of my cute little boy, I no longer had the phone number of this oddly acquired new acquaintance. From time to time he popped up in my news feed, but that was it. It didn't appear that we were destined to be bosom buddies or anything.

Fast forward to Valentine's Day 2014.

I was having a rough day. I was overextended, the kids were both fussy because I was throwing off the routine and rushing around, trying to get Roo ready to go to the Valentine's Day party at {Mr.}Adam's work. I was feeling especially weary. My husband crushed my ego. I gave him a card with the most romantic quote ever inside and he shrugged it off, giving me the idea he had forgot about Valentine's Day. When the baby went down for a nap, facebook beckoned. Mom's chance to unwind.

As I was scrolling to see what my pals were up to, I noticed a status update from Kyle R. Oh, yeah! The wrong number guy. The words that I read did not tug at my heart strings... they nearly severed them. I am not one to let my emotions get the best of me for the record.

Well, I see sweet and heart warming tales day in and day out on facebook. As is the standard, I gushed "aww".  I sniffled a little. I went on with my day. But I kept thinking about that status update. It really touched my heart.

After a weekend of coming back to that update from the wrong number guy I started thinking, this guy is the kind of guy that chicks dream about. He seems friendly, kind, witty, bright, he seems to be one of those rare guys that I thought didn't exist other than my husband. This guy can inspire hope that there are good people in the world. This guy can instill hope for the Weary Single Woman. There are great guys out there! Guys that are kind, courteous, intelligent and cute!

I had the chance to ask the wrong number guy a few questions. Ladies, let me introduce you to Kyle. Be prepared to swoon a little.

"Kyle R."


Kyle What are your hobbies?
"I have little money, and entertain myself with virtually no "fun fund." Writing (poems, lyrics, short stories), going to the gym (for health/stress relief), Netflix marathons, random road trips, open fires, dancing like nobody's watching. I enjoy Ohio State Football, stand up comedy, wine and good conversation with close friends. And anything I've not done before."

What is your philosophy on life Kyle?
"Life is easy, people make it complicated. Eat, sleep, breathe, love. The rest just keeps the scenery interesting.

"Smile ‘til your cheeks hurt
Laugh ‘til your sides hurt
Love ‘til your heart hurts
Then do it all over again".

How do you spend your days Kyle?
"Studying mostly, as I'm currently a biochemistry major. Driving a delivery truck pays the bills and gives me time to think. There's a little black notebook on the dash I scribble in constantly. I make it a point to have a real conversation with a complete stranger every day. Everyone has a story to tell."

What constitutes the perfect day?
"Funny you should ask, as I have a formula :) Most days are perfect. A worth while day is supported by four moments, or “columns":

1) Laughter. For one moment each day, make a total stranger laugh--and laugh with them.
2) Charity. For one moment each day, commit to a selfless act for a total stranger--with a smile.
3) Risk. For one moment each day, put yourself out there with something to lose--but also something to gain.
4) Spontaneity. For one moment each day, live entirely within that moment--then act."

Tell me about your relationship with your parents Kyle.
"My childhood was practically perfect. We grew apart in adolescence, mostly due to poor choices on my part after leaving for college. At times we didn't speak for months on end. Nowadays, I call them at least a few times a week. I still don’t believe I understand how much they love me. Though, to be fair, I’m not sure if they understand how much I love them either. "

Kyle, that was the sweetest facebook update ever. What made you pull over?
"It was late afternoon on a holiday Friday and the road at least eight lanes. Looking around at all the cars full of people, I realized no one was going to help her. After all, they had places to be. A few were even laughing at her predicament. However, it was mostly the longing way she stared into the branches, as if she couldn't accept it had actually happened. To the onlookers it was a balloon, to her--I assumed--it was a whole lot more."

Have you helped strangers randomly before?
"As often as I can, as the second pillar suggests. I saw a unique opportunity during the Atlanta Icepocalypse a few weeks before… check my Facebook post from January 29th."

How did you feel when you heard the balloon was for her late son?
"Perhaps there is an afterlife, and angels exist there. Maybe they show up when we're helpless... but I can't know for sure. I’m yet to see this happen. In their absence, I believe we all have the chance to be angelic--if even just for the little things. There is a winged pendant around my neck every day and night to remind me that sometimes people need to be saved, need to believe, and need someone to give them a reason."

What is your view on relationships?
"We're all responsible for our own happiness, but it seems there is a kind of happiness that can only be found in another. Most of what I know is based on observation. It's the long and happy marriages that fascinate me. From what I can tell, honesty breeds humility, humility breeds passion, passion breeds sex, sex breeds trust, trust eventually becomes love. And in the end, love is all you need."

How is it that a guy like you is single?
"It's been a long time since I dated. Around 2009, the Kyle you know today was a selfish, arrogant and dishonest prick. My actions burned so many bridges that some weren't even mine. There was one young woman who believed in me, but after years of repeatedly betraying her trust even she walked out of my life forever. She hasn't spoken to me in years. In some ways, I guess a part of me is still waiting on her. This is what I do know: until I've undoubtedly become the man she always knew I could be I've no business finding another. If I do meet someone, I expect it will be serendipitous--perhaps a chance encounter in a coffee shop."

(Stop Swooning Now!)

I am a married woman, but that doesn't mean that my faith in men in general doesn't need to be restored. After being out in the world and interacting with the public, believe me, I have met some guys that have that effect on me, you know, the cringe at the sight of them effect. I bet you have too. It never fails, every time I am involved with the general male population I thank my lucky stars for my husband.

But... that worries me. What about my daughter? Is she destined for some greasy haired guy that plays video games all day and has no concept of conversation, etiquette or respect to sweep her off her feet? {Instant Headache}. No, there are great guys out there still guys like my husband Adam and my pal Kyle {the wrong number guy}, to influence future generations.

I hope you enjoyed reading about a very kind and sweet eligible bachelor that I am honored to call a friend these days. Please, go away from this article with  2 things:

1) Hope that there are still good people in this world, that there are guys like this out there for the single weary mom, and for the mom like me that worries about what kind of man my daughter will fall in love with some day... (Geez lady! The baby is 4 months old! It will be okay...but just in case. How can we freeze Kyle so that when Harper is about 22 she can meet this guy?)

2) The inspiration to follow Kyle's lead. Buy a coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks, help a stranger in need, make a difference in someones life every day. Everyone has a story to tell. Take the time to listen.

Dear Weary Mom: Biore Strip Bonding Experience

A few weeks ago my husband came out of the bathroom holding a box of Biore Strips I had in the medicine cabinet, he asked "Can you use one of these on me?" I was feeding Harper, taping a page in a book that has ripped while Roo said "Uh Oh. Oh no. Help!!Oh no!" in his most panicky voice, the dog was barking at the door because he had scratched to come in about 5 minutes earlier. I looked up and said "They are easy, wash your face, don't dry it. Peel the clear plastic off, stick it on, press it down, then wait..." I handed the book to my son, rushed to the door to let the dog inside and continued on to get pajamas for Harper, who was still having a bottle on the go style. Let's be honest. I don't have time to put a Biore Strip on me, let alone Adam.

Later on that evening I asked him if he had a blast removing black heads from his nose. He said "Oh, I didn't use one..." in that way that could become a pout at any moment.  He wanted me to do it for him.

I had mixed emotions. A part of me is flattered that he wants me to help him with such a simple task, but then again the other part of me said Pal, I spend darn near every minute of my life helping others. From the second my eyes open in the morning and usually until my eyes close at night, I am busy. Helping others. I am caring for the baby. I am caring for Rolf, I care for both cats and both dogs. I take care of every detail and chore in our home. I spend every moment I can get working to help other people rock their blogs. Are you really borderline pouting because I didn't drop the baby, let the dog bark and let Roo have a meltdown over his book so I could do this simple thing for you?

That flattered helpful part of me wanted to jump up and meet his expectations, but I had just got the kids to bed, gave the living room a final cleaning of the day, fed the cats and loaded the dishwasher. I was tired. After 14 hours of parenting, cooking, cleaning and oh yeah, I had actually worked that day and was due to get back to it in 8 minutes, I felt selfish. I felt like that 8 minutes was mine. I earned it. I deserved it. I had spent an entire day working. I was paid with good night hugs and kisses. At night I tuck my kids in and trade in my mommy hat for my working woman hat. I work until I fall asleep at my computer. A few nights I have been so tired that when I drift off I wonder if I might be dying because I feel dramatic and seriously exhausted.

So yeah, that 8 minutes I had to sit down, flip thru the paper or sit with my eyes closed, or text a friend was something I needed desperately and that I wasn't giving up. Not even for marital bliss. My husband then said something like "I don't know how to do them. I need help. I might mess it up..." He went for his gloomy and helpless attempt. I wanted to tell him to read the box. There are instructions. You can do it.

But I didn't. I nodded and said "I see." I picked up the paper and scanned it, knowing how few of my 8 minutes were left. I went about my normal evening schedule. I worked until I was nodding off at the computer. I gave my husband a goodnight kiss and headed off to bed.

A few days later while I was working he came into the room and had the Biore Strips in his hand again, with a smile he said "Wanna put one of these on me?" I said "I will make a deal with you. If you can give me 15 minutes I will use one with you." He nodded and went about his business.

When 15 minutes had passed I went to the bathroom to find him there waiting. He sat down and expected me to wash his face for him then apply the strip. I smiled and said "Wash your face please." I got the strips out of their packaging. I handed him one that was half peeled off and said "There you go. Sticky side down. Smooth it out." He looked a little annoyed but he did it himself. I put one on my nose after washing my face and I went back to work for a few minutes.

When my strip felt dry I went to find my husband. We peeled them off and said "Eww!" "Yuck!" "Gross..." together. To me, at the time it was ... normal, ordinary, just a moment in skin care. To my husband it was like a bonding experience. He laughed until he almost cried, he had a little out of his normal skin care pampering and he had my attention if only for a few minutes. He was happy.

Aren't guys funny? Boire Strips=Bonding.

Dear Weary Mom, I guess the point of this story is that sometimes I am greedy with my time. I give my time to others, to my kids freely, but then when it comes to time for my husband or myself I am greedy. Getting me to do something as easy as a Biore Strip with my husband took days. How long does that take to do? 15 minutes? I want to remind myself to slow down, not to take for granted the time I have but to spend some of that time without an agenda.

How do you balance work, kids, the house and your marriage?

Dear Weary Mom: The Box of Burdens

Dear Weary Mom,

It has been quite a while since I have had the time or energy to write an installment for this series. Life is hectic, the holidays are approaching and there are not enough hours in the day.My grandma is not well, I had a spat with my mother. I have been working a lot and feeling rather blue. Life is taking a toll on me I guess.

A few days ago I was feeling especially sorry for myself. I moped around the house, I cried for a little while. I pouted about my mom and our drama, I pouted about my grandma. I pouted about how everyone else gets to have fun, they get to go out to lunch or go shopping with the girls. I don't get to do any of that stuff. I am too busy being Mom, Wife, Daughter. I love love love my job, but I have been working 7 days a week since I had the baby trying to fit everything in.

I dried my tears on this particular day.  When I start feeling sorry for myself I have to step back. I have to look at life in a different perspective or I will fall apart. I have a method for pulling myself out of the worst funk in record time. I give to others.

I attacked my pantry like it was the most pressing task in my life. I organized, I took note of the expiration dates and I started pulling boxed and canned foods that we may never eat and I sat them aside for someone less fortunate. When I was done I had 2 large shopping bags overflowing with my offerings for the local food bank...But I still felt bad.

So I went into my closet. Maternity Jeans (8 pairs) went into a box. Then maternity shirts(7) went into a box. Old socks, clothes I didn't even know I had and beauty products I never use were singled out.

I didn't really feel better. But, my closet looked much better!

Into the kitchen I went again. Do I need 2 hand and 2 stand mixers? No, one of each went into the box. I really got serious and started tossing things in that box, like a bread machine that is missing a part, old coffee mugs no one ever uses, a spare coffee carafe.

I looked at my neater cabinets and the box. The box had more room, (it was a really big box! My son had been playing in it for days.) I realized that every time I put something in that box I felt a little better.

I filled up the box with outgrown kids clothes. When the box was full it was kind of heavy. Just like my heart had been. I was so glad to have my husband to help me take this box, filled with reminders of the excessive consumption to Goodwill. I had 8 pairs of maternity jeans in my closet... but I wore skirts and dresses every day.

When I evaluated things that took up space in my home, I reflected on the things in my life that were important to me as well. I felt grateful for what I have, and I felt that some items could improve the lives of others.

As I placed the bags filled with boxes and cans of food into the box I said a silent thank you for having so much in my pantry that I could share with others. I guess no one realized we even had the things we gave away. I know many other families struggle to keep food on the table. With the groceries I placed the burden I have felt with the holidays. Christmas really is a stressful time of year. Maybe the food we donated will make Christmas less stressful for another family.

As I found the courage to place my maternity clothes in the box I realized I was letting go and accepting my decision to not have more children. I had struggled with this for the past 2 months. Waves of regret and sadness would wash over me at any random moment. When I put the clothes into the box, I did so with the hope that another woman can purchase these lovely items for a very cheap price and that she will look and feel beautiful in her changing body. My childbearing days are over. I am passing the torch, but instead of doing it tearfully as I would have expected, I did so with a peaceful heart. I have 2 fantastic children. I am happy to have them. With the maternity clothes I placed the burden I have felt over my tubal ligation. I didn't want to have more children until I took the steps to insure I didn't. Then the finality of that last minute choice left me deeply troubled. Now I am ready to start coming to terms with it. Instead of feeling sad, I should feel blessed that I have 2 healthy and gorgeous children.

My son had to jump in the shot!
As I placed outgrown kids clothes in the box, I was thankful to have had the clothes for my children, and to have the children to outgrow the clothes. I know how hard it can be to keep your kids in clothes, they grow so fast! I hope that someone else can benefit from these. This was another big step for me because I had saved every article of clothing my son has ever had, thinking some day there would be another little boy in my family to wear them. When I was able to accept I am not having more children, I was able to start parting with almost 4 years worth of kids clothes. (My attic heaved a sigh of relief!) With the outgrown clothes I
let go of the burden I feel over misspent time. Roo will never wear a 0-3 month outfit again. He is ready for preschool. It is time to embrace that he is growing up and really isn't a baby anymore. It is time to enjoy him at every stage instead of pining away for the baby days with him again.

This cleansing spree was good for my weary soul. I took stock of the good things in my life, but I also touched on the bad things too. I came out of this box of burdens experience with a less cluttered home, satisfaction from giving to others and a good understanding on where I stand in this life. Somewhere in the middle.

Dear Weary Mom: Marriage

Dear Weary Mom,
Parenting is hard work. Mom is on call all of the time. Our days begin early, they are packed with work, chores, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring  and parenting. Sometimes it is hard to fit it all in 24 hours. In between the flurry of activity and the dream of being able to use the restroom alone, with the door shut, a woman has to find time to be a wife. Marriage is hard work too.

There are days that I don't really speak to my husband other than yes, no and I have no idea type of responses. There are days when I don't really look at him. Truth be told there are nights when one of us is so exhausted that we don't even kiss each other goodnight. Does this bother me? Yes and no. Yes, because I can recall being young and in love. 10 years ago we wouldn't have dreamed of letting that happen. We would wait up on each other to say our good-nights.  No because it becomes a matter of survival with a new baby. Sometimes the day has been so long that I nod off on the sofa and sleep the sleep of the dead. My husband wouldn't wake me up, he knows what a woman that is getting on average 3 hours of sleep a night is like (because he lives with me and that is the situation right now). Similarly I know he needs his rest as well. If he drifts off early I don't hold it against him. I just quietly crash too.

There are times when the day has been so long and emotionally taxing that I am not good company. After the kids are tucked in for the night, I just want to sit silently somewhere and let the quiet soothe my weary soul. I don't want to talk, I don't want to hug. I don't want to watch tv. I want to chill. There are days when I am so desperate for adult interaction that I barely let him in the door- I pounce on him and chat him up to the point of being borderline annoying. Do I run hot and cold? Yes, I do.

It took me a while to realize this, but even before the new baby came things were a mess with my husband. We allowed ourselves to be comfortable with each other, to stop trying. We have taken for granted that love between man and wife is not guaranteed forever. Unconditional love doesn't exist in marriage. You have to work at it to keep it going.

But, when your life is busy and you can barely find the time or energy to speak to each other how do you work on keeping your marriage healthy and strong?

We have tried a variety of things. We have scheduled time together. We have tried the kiss for 12 seconds technique. We have tried holding hands more, hugging and making notes for each other when there isn't time to talk for more than a minute. While all of those things are great and they do help reinforce a bond, they don't make it all better.

What does help a marriage stay strong and healthy? In my case busting out a board game once a week and having a friendly competition has helped immensely. We are able to relax and enjoy each other for a few minutes, this leads to conversation that is not about the kids, work or finances. Our bond is strengthened over a game of Bananagrams. Last weekend I stepped outside of my  normal bounds and shared a 6 pack with my husband (who told me how sexy it was to see me drink beer).

Drinking beer and playing bananagrams makes marriage better? Yes, it does. It is all about the little things. It is about stepping outside of your normal boundaries and keeping your spouse interested in you. In days past I had been wound so tightly, felt the weight of so much responsibility and been so overextended in my life that I had a routine, normal behaviors and a sense of predictability. When I started making time for a board game or a beer my husband was caught off guard. He couldn't read me like a book all of the time. I hadn't taken the time for play in years. He would have never expected me to drink a few beers with him on the weekend. He got to see me in a new dimension, a new element of me that reminded him of the girl I was before I became a wife and a mother. Realizing she is still there was good for me too.

Dear Weary Mom, how do you keep your marriage strong? How do you find time to be the amazing Mom that you are and be an awesome wife too? Don't you roll your eyes and discount yourself from the Amazing Mom/Wife title, (we all have those days where we feel discouraged!) because you are awesome. While women fulfill the role of wife and mother everyday, it doesn't mean it is easy work. It isn't. Mom is the glue that holds a family together.

If you had to give another Weary Mom one tip on how to have a great marriage what would you share? I say make time to play together! People seem to laugh a lot when they are having fun, and people that are laughing and smiling at each other tend to enjoy one another's company. I can't wait to hear your tips!

Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,

Do you catch yourself wishing the days away? I have been guilty of doing that for quite sometime now. I find myself wishing it were 4 pm and my husband would come home and help out because I am tired, or wishing it were the weekend, then wishing for Monday so I can rest. Wishing for summer to come, then wishing for summer to end... mostly I have been wishing for October so I can have this baby already.

In my endless wishing, I find myself thinking about things I miss doing and want to do once  I have this baby. I want a margarita, even though I hadn't drank any alcohol in months of getting pregnant. I honestly cleaned out the fridge and found a bottle of Margarita mix that had expired in November of 2012... I wish I could sleep on my belly, I wish I could pick my son up and hold him without it being awkward or painful. I wish I could lie on the floor on my belly and play cars or color with him. I wish I could sleep without waking up every 2 hours in misery from sleeping on my side. I wish my hips didn't hurt. I wish I could nap. I wish, I wish, I wish.

Tonight as I tucked Roo into bed and we lay there talking I realized that I have wished a good deal of time away.  A wave of regret washed over me. I lay there listening to the sweet voice of my 3 year old. I felt his little warm body nestled against mine and it dawned on me, so many days I have not been aware of what great things are happening, so many days I have missed out on truly enjoying life because I have been too busy wishing for the days to come.

I felt my eyes well up with tears, I felt my heartbreak a little. In the past 7 months or so I have wished time away. Time I will never get back. Time that was precious. My son will never be 2 again, but I spent the last months of him being 2 wishing for time to pass. He will never turn 3 again, I spent the first months of his 3 year old life wishing for time to pass.

I barely recall my anniversary this year. I was too busy wishing for fall to come to notice the day. I will never get another 4 year anniversary, the summer was a blur as I was too busy... wishing for another season.

I regret this wishing so much now that I am aware of just how bad I have been!

I vow to make the most of each day, to slow down and enjoy these moments before they pass and become a memory.

Dear Weary Mom, it is easy to spend your days wishing, wishing for a break, the week end, material things, alone time, a clean home... so many things! It is easy to forget to stop wishing for a moment and see just how good life is at this moment in time. It is easy to get wrapped up in self pity or our own desires. I know I have spent months in that situation of being completely wrapped up in my wishes, when really I should have spent this time savoring the new life growing inside of me, the excuse to slow down and enjoy my son, to just be happy to be alive.

The next time you catch yourself wishing for the days to pass, remember that these are the days of your life. Days you will never get back. While good things are in store in the future, there are lots of good things happening right now! We just have to stop, breathe and be open to experiencing them.

Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,
Some Days I want to pull my hair out, throw myself face first on the floor and kick and scream, lock myself in the bathroom, go back to bed and cover my face with a pillow and pretend I cannot hear my family demanding that Mom come to the rescue. I think we all feel that way sometimes. Being a Mom is a lot of work. Sometimes it is hard, sometimes it is discouraging. Somedays it is frustrating.

Today was not one of those days. Today was maybe the best day I have had as a Mom in a long time.

My son woke me up in the best way possible. He gave me a few pats, I heard him giggle. Then he gave me a kiss on my forehead. I opened my eyes and smiled at him, he was smiling at me, then he said "Happy!" Yes. To wake up to a sweet and happy boy makes a good way to start the day.

Our morning was nice. Roo was hungry and ate his breakfast without a fuss, then he was ready to play. He quietly laid down on the floor and got involved in a session of matchbox cars.

I had a doctors appointment this morning (please note I am writing this post for publication several weeks in advance in preparation of my downtime after childbirth), and my husband stayed home to help me out with Roo. He was glad to see Daddy was home. We took the time to bake pumpkin cookies per Adam's request as today was also his birthday.

I had a good visit with the doctor today. We have a week to go until Harper is here at this point and I am ready! To show my appreciation for my doc and his fantastic staff I went armed with tokens of affection for the exceptional care they have given me. It made me feel good to show these hard working people that their efforts don't go unnoticed by me. I am truly grateful to have been under their care.

When I returned I got to hear all about a trip to the park with Daddy and we grabbed lunch. Roo was cute, happy and sweet. We ran some errands together. This included a trip to the pet store where Roo and I checked out the cats up for adoption. He is really into cats right now. He was cute to watch. For his cuteness we went next door for a new utility ball, perfect for kicking around outside.

We were going to go to a corn maze, but an accident blocking the road kept us from continuing on. We spotted a rummage sale at a church and decided to hit it up instead. My son was lucky to find a big wheel there in good condition and for the bargain price of $5. How could I say no?

We took Daddy out for dinner. While we were in the booth my son showered me with hugs, kisses and cuddles. We giggled together, we held onto each other for long moments, moments I wish I could freeze and make last forever. Roo was a great dining companion today and ate his dinner without a fight.

When we got home and he had his bath and stories I asked him if I could lie down with him for a while, he patted the bed and invited me to cuddle up next to him. It took him a long time to fall asleep as he didn't want to let me go. I felt the same way and savored the moments of him touching my hair and face. Everytime he would start to nod off he would wake himself up and give me one more kiss. My hormones were in overdrive and I couldn't help but let the tears fall. I love that little boy so much.

There are days when he is a gobblin, when he causes trouble, disobeys and destroys our house. There are days that I am exhausted and I don't take the time to just enjoy him... but the truth is I wouldn't change him for anything. I love his rotten, mischievous behaviors. I love that he is healthy and able to misbehave.

Dear Weary Mom, there are times when our kids make us crazy. There are times that it all seems like a lot of work, that it seems to be fruitless... but those days make us better parents. When we stop and realize that parenting is not easy, but it is worthwhile. That even the worst days are to be cherished and savored because that day is only lived once. We don't get it back. Hold onto it. Appreciate that your kids can be rotten. That they can get under your skin and make you feel something.

I am not the best parent ever. But I try. I have been trying to appreciate my son for who he is, the good, the bad, the nutty. I wish I would have realized sooner that he is only small once. Each day he is older, he is a little different with each day that passes. Someday he will be too big to wake me up with giggles and kisses. Someday he won't want to kiss his Mom in a restaurant. Someday he won't hold my hand and want to look at kitties, but today he does and for that I am so grateful to have had this time with him.

Dear Weary Mom-Guest Post

Today I am honored to share a guest post for the Dear Weary Mom series from my dear friend April from the Saving for My Family blog.

Dear Weary Mom,
So I have been sick for the last couple of days, I went to the doctor and got some meds and he told me to rest and take it easy except that is impossible as a mother. I would have loved to rest but someone has to make meals and clean the house.

I just don't understand why when men are sick the world stops and nothing gets done and they get to rest all day and take it easy.

Why is it we never get to rest or take it easy?

Lately I have been trying to figure out a balance with blogging, housework, cooking, baking, participating in a clutter challenge, and spending time with the kids.I just can't seem to find enough time in a day to get everything done I want to get done.

I lay up at night thinking about all of the stuff that I need to get done the next day.

The kids are in school part of the day so that helps me get some of the house work done. I can't keep up with emails or think of topics to write for my blog.

I also go to sleep and think about if I spent enough time with the kids, quality time. It is so hard to spend quality time there are so many distractions, TV, other things to get done, or they just keep changing their mind in what they want to play with. Plus there is always outside the home activities swimming and boy scouts.

The days fly by and next thing you know it is bedtime. One thing I really enjoy is story time at night. Lately I have been having my son read me some of his books so he can practice reading.

The best feeling in the world is when they come up and hug you and tell you that they love you out of the blue.

It makes me realize on the days I think I am a bad mom that they think I am a great mom.
Have you find a good balance for everyday life? Wouldn't it be nice to just rest and relax.

Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,

Do you ever feel like people judge you based upon your appearance? Well, if you feel that they are you are right. People judge you if you are dressed nice, if you wear sweatpants, if your hair is too perfect or too messy. If you are skinny, people make assumptions about you. If you are fat, guess what they judge you for that too!

Harper will be here in days, literally. 2 more days! But, apparently some people can't tell I am ready to pop pregnant. I just look "Fat".

I have been taking my son for a walk every day I have the energy to do so. We walk for 1 1/2 to 2 miles each time. I know it is good for both of us to exercise and get out.

As we were on our last walk, my son was struggling with me. We were close to home (one street over) and he wasn't ready for the walk to end. At this point I cannot lift all 45 pounds of my son so I do the best I can to manage him without hurting myself or the baby.

As we were struggling along, This old lady comes off her porch and tells me "If you would lose some weight you could better keep up with your child."

I said "excuse me?" she said "You could lose 35 or 40 pounds. There is no reason for someone as young and with a small build to be so heavy."

I said "I am 9 months pregnant..."

Her face turned red! She said "Oh, I just thought you were fat..."

Dear Weary Mom, this made me feel so bad about myself. It never feels good to have a stranger tell you that you are fat, or insinuate that I am a bad mom based upon my size. Yes I gained exactly 35 pounds... but isn't that around the normal weight to gain during pregnancy?

If you can't tell a woman is 9 months pregnant by looking at her, then maybe you shouldn't say anything at all about her weight. Or maybe you shouldn't say anything about a strangers weight anyhow...

I wish that as a society we could get past appearance. That we could recognize that looking great or looking eh, or fat doesn't mean anything. Some of the nicest people I have ever met are not supermodel quality in the appearance department. Some of the most attractive people I have ever met are not nice people.

I learned a lesson today. I was guilty of judging people based upon appearance. I would really not go out of my way to speak to someone in pajamas in public before. But after being judged for being "FAT" I am aware of how it feels to be the object of unfair opinions.

Dear Weary Mom, be proud to be you. Be glad to be alive on this day and to be doing the best you can! If you are a mess, if you are perfect, if you are skinny or fat, it doesn't matter. It really is what is on the inside that counts!

Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,
I am so tired of being pregnant right now. I am counting down the days and relieved to see that I am almost done.  I can't get comfortable. When I sleep my hips, lower back and legs ache. I wake up sore and barely able to stand up. If I sit the same thing happens. When I stand my feet swell. My clothes barely fit. I can't give my son the attention he needs because I am so big, so tired and he is so busy.  I feel like a beachball with limbs.

I am exhausted all the time again. I catch myself nodding off anytime I do sit down, I require a nap shortly after waking because I don't sleep well at night. There is always housework to do that I am just not up for. I feel like crying at the thought of all that I should do, want to do, need to do.

Then there is the work I get paid for. I am trying to catch up but have been falling behind. I wish I could take a few weeks off but if I do, I lose my clients. Most of them are so sweet and understanding that I am ready to have this baby and that I am working as far ahead as I can, but then there are a few that are not sweet, not understanding. They don't care. They expect me to devote my life to them. I would love to quit working for them but I have a growing family and babies are expensive! I know that while the work is a pain I need the money too much to consider quitting with the holidays coming and a family to contribute to.

It all adds up to be a lot to deal with at times. It feels overwhelming. I keep reminding myself if I can make it another 9 days my daughter will be here, I will not be exhausted from pregnancy, just less sleep associated with caring for 2 children compared to 1. It will be worth it soon! Life will start to take on a new feeling of normal.

I have my worries about having this baby, which I know is normal. But at this point my worries are insignificant. I know she will be a great addition to our family. Rolf will love her, Adam will love her, and I already love her. I do worry about things though, like the time a new baby requires and my son feeling overshadowed by her and vice versa as Rolfie is time consuming too.

Dear Weary Mom, how do you manage it all with several kids and work to do? Do you ever have time for you? Do you ever feel exhausted and ran down? Do you feel plagued by guilt for feeling so tired?

I feel guilty for wishing these days away and counting them down like this. I know, it is just a few days at this point, but I have been doing this for months now. Counting down days and each one that passes is a victory.
Aren't the days of our lives to be cherished and savored? I can't wait to be able to savor the days again. To be able to rest, to be able to play freely with my son. To be able to sleep on my belly again.

Well, I am human. I err. I am flawed... I know someday I will look back on these days and wish I had held on to them like a treasure instead of wishing them to pass and counting them down. I guess it will be easier to feel that way once my daughter is here and in the flesh and not sharing my body with me.

For RO repair contact

Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,

For months I have felt like I am drowning in a sea of work, responsibility, reality and messes. I have felt like my house is never clean like it should be. My hair is always a mess, my family doesn't get the love or attention they need from me. I have felt like I don't have the time to be the best me that I can be.

I have felt guilty for longing for a break. I have felt guilty on the days I tried to just let it all go and not worry about folding laundry, washing dishes, running the vacuum.

I have felt guilty if I slack on my work as a virtual assistant, and if I don't take on the projects that I am offered.

I have felt angry of my husband who is not always the best at helping when I need it. I admit feeling jealous and resentful of him at times too. I am so ashamed of those feelings!

I bet some of you Moms out there feel the same way too.

Last week I took a leap. I have never relied on anyone to help with my son. We had a once a week, 2 hours at a time sitter when he was turning 2, but it was really just a way to help a neighbor's teenage daughter earn $10 a week for her own pleasures without straining Mom, who was out of work. She didn't really keep him busy, or help me do things around here. But I realized last week that I can't be the best me when I don't have time to try.

So I hired a sitter, she comes on Wednesdays for 2 or 3 hours in the afternoon so I can work, nap, or just be alone for a minute.

I wasn't hopeful that it would work out, but my son fell head over heels for her right away. He loved having her play with him, and I loved being able to sit down and work for 2 hours without distraction.

Does that make me a bad mom? I sure hope not, but I guess it is a chance I have to take.

Sometimes we need a break from our kids. We love them with all of our hearts, but we need time to be human and step away from the identity of being a Mom that can consume us if we don't watch it.

Dear Weary Mom, if you haven't had time for you in the past month, do yourself a favor. Find someone that can watch your kids for a few hours.  Go to a movie, get your hair styled, take a nap or read a book. It is a vacation for your mind, your body and your soul.

After I stepped away from my child for 2 hours I felt... better. I felt more patient, less stressed and much happier than I have felt in many years. When I stepped back into the role of Mommy 2 hours later I was happy to see him and he was happier to see me. Absence made both hearts grow fonder!


Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,

Do you ever yell at your kids? Or your husband? Or your friends, neighbors, co workers, or assorted relatives? I do. I hate that I stoop to that level sometimes and I always feel such guilt after I have yelled.

I yelled at my son today for being a kid.... in all fairness, he was being a kid who wouldn't listen and he was doing something dangerous, but still, yelling at him didn't make the situation better and it didn't make me feel better right away.

Roo can read between the lines at the age of 3. He is growing to be a bright boy. Anyhow, a source of irritation and or annoyance in my marriage is that I have not been able to attend classes for about a year now. I desperately want my degree! But, my husband is able to attend classes at Ohio State. This makes me feel... a little jealous at times.

My husband doesn't seem to appreciate the opportunity he has in going to such a great school. He doesn't understand how many people would jump through burning rings of fire to have that chance. When he starts complaining about his situation of going to college, I naturally get very put out.

Today he was complaining about one of his classes and how he isn't understanding the work, instead of trying to find a solution he starts talking about how can he get out of the class at this point. I remained calm and said nothing until my mind was as calm as my exterior, but my son caught on that this is going to make Mom grumpy, it always does.

After I had considered how I would say what I wanted to say (Which was- "Instead of complaining and justifying failure, why are you not going to tutoring once a week? If you are spending the time here trying to do the work and not getting it done, wouldn't it make sense to go to the Student Center and get help with the work so that you are learning how to do it right?") I approached my husband about it. Before I could turn around from saying my peace, my son was on the dining room table. This scares me! He wants to leap off of the table into my arms but I am a) not as fast on my feet as I once was being so pregnant and b) I can't be catching him like this! What if I miss and he gets hurt?!

I told him "No, honey get down! We don't stand on the table, we don't jump off the table!" I helped him get down. I stepped away to let the dog inside and within a matter of seconds he climbed up on a chair and was back on the table. Repeat the nagging about getting down. I help him down again and he climbs right back up. This went on for about 5 minutes. I laid the chairs on their sides on the floor to keep him from climbing up... he proceeded to drag a chair over and start to climb again. As he is back up on the table I just lost my cool. I yelled at him. It didn't do any good of course.

I was feeling frustrated at that point, so I also yelled at my husband for never being around to help out.

Then I yelled at the cat, who has made it his mission to remain under my feet at all times. I am always tripping over him.

Before I could even get the words out of my mouth with the cat, my son was back into trouble, looking to get me to yell again. I finally had to step away and go outside to take a deep breath. I felt out of control of my home and my family.

I swear sometimes I have better luck talking to the Chia Pet!

Do you ever feel like that? Do you yell and then feel bad? Do you feel like no one is listening, and if they are they don't care what you have said?

Sometimes it seems as if we are doomed. If we don't yell at our family, they could get hurt. It is not like we enjoy yelling and sounding like insane people (Seriously some of the things a Mom has to yell about are flat out crazy!) But if we remain silent who knows what could happen to those we love. We have to be the voice of reason, the warning sign, the police in a sense. It is not a fun job to have!

While I was outside taking my moment to breathe, I started to feel terrible. I leaned on the railing of the deck and sobbed. I thought... "My son can't feel loved when I am yelling at him like that."

Then I walked back inside the house to find he is on the table AGAIN! With a huge goofy grin. It hit me then that being a parent is kind of like... insanity! We do the same things over and over again, expecting better results, but we never get them, so we resort to yelling. But, I realized something important, I might be yelling out of frustration at times, but behind that frustration is love. I love my family enough to yell at them, to keep them safe, to tell them I expect better, to try to get through to them on some level that talking in a normal voice doesn't.

So if you are a mom that yells, Dear Weary Mom, don't be too hard on yourself. You love your family enough to care, to show emotion, to speak up loudly when you need to. Your kids will be okay, assuming you aren't going ballistic day in and day out at the drop of a hat. They would be worse off if you became so indifferent that you didn't care enough to raise your voice every now and then.

Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,

Do you ever get tired of hearing about how perfect everyone else's life is? How well behaved and amazing their kids are? How supportive their parents and siblings are? How happy their marriage is? Well, I do! I admit that easily, all you perfect and happy people annoy me! My life is not perfect. In fact, there have been more days than not in recent times when I am in shambles, I am hopeless and ready to call it quits. I fantasize about just picking up the pieces of me that are scattered all over my messy life and walking away to find a fresh start in a place where no one knows my name or cares.

There are so many days in this life that I feel neglected, uncared for, and unimportant. Days that I feel like I may never get my groove back, and in all honesty I don't even know if I want my groove back. Days that I want to just quit. Give up. Move on to a new adventure. Or maybe even skip the adventure and just find contentment in being me.

I love my son more than anything, when I daydream about quitting everything and moving on to try life from another latitude, know he is always with me. My son is the part of me that always remains in place when all my other pieces are scattered about. Now, I admit my undying and unwavering admiration and affection for this kid, and sure I think he is amazing, but in reality he can be a brat! He doesn't always listen, he is going through a hitting phase and he wears me out. But I love him and wouldn't change him even if I could.

My parents are not overly supportive, or unsupportive really. They are just... disinterested I guess. My siblings? We try, but we all live away from each other and if it weren't for facebook we probably wouldn't ever talk to each other. My in laws... a nightmare not worth talking about.

My marriage is not perfect, in fact it is as far from perfect as possible. It has been getting to the point of downright dysfunction and at times I am ready to give up. Things started going downhill as soon as I began to feel and look pregnant. My husband doesn't seem to appreciate that I am growing a life inside of me and I feel like at times he resents my body changes and medical complications. Sometimes I have to remind him that he is not taking care of me and my needs, which makes me feel frustrated. I am grateful that he will listen and consider what I have said. He might not jump to change his behavior, but within a day or so he will have come around and do the little things that I want him to do, like holding my hand or rubbing my feet. When I am brutally honest, I hate that I have to tell him how to treat me at this time in my life. I hate that he treats me like I have changed somehow because I am pregnant. It makes me feel like when I have the baby life will be normal for him, but what about me and my feelings?

Days like today, I feel empty and discouraged. Do you ever feel like that?

Despite the grim outlook I have adopted in the past few months, I find hope hidden somewhere deep inside of me. I have hope that no matter what happens life isn't over for me. There are always going to be new opportunities for change, growth and happiness. I have hope that I can do this, I can see it through and I will only be stronger next week, month, year.

Dear Weary Mom, sometimes life hands you broken dreams, lemons and messes. It is how we handle these situations that makes us better people because of them. I am trying to remind myself that yes, things seem bad now... but there is always tomorrow, eventually it will get better and things will change again.

So, my life is not perfect. I am not the greatest mom or wife, or relative. I am not a great friend all the time. I am jealous and resentful of the perfect image others portray... But at least I can admit that.

Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,
How often are you made to feel like you are doing it wrong?

I get super annoyed with the competitive and judgmental nature of the majority of mothers and the judgment of non parents too. I was reading a blog post about how too much stroller time is bad for children, as it makes them fat. I felt like reaching out and slapping someone at that. Rolf rode in a stroller until he was 2 and a half... does that make me a bad parent? For keeping him safely contained and getting him out and about? According to that guy... yes.

With a baby on the way in 7 weeks, people are asking me if I will breastfeed as if it is any of their business to begin with. When I say "Well, I am going to pump for about 2 weeks to supplement formula feeding..." They go bananas. They tell my husband to put his foot down and demand that I breastfeed. They tell him he needs to be the advocate for breastfeeding. Luckily, he is wise enough to know to say "It is her body, not mine. She can feed the baby however she pleases."

When we are asked about childbirth I feel like screaming. I am having a c section, I had my son via emergency c section. People are quick to tell me that I need to find a new doctor if he won't allow me the joy of a natural birth. My doctor is a great one! He admits that they are not equipped to handle a VBAC and if I want one I can go to Columbus Ohio's Grant Hospital for the birth where they are equipped for that. I say "No, thank you a planned c section is fine with me."

Other people are quick to judge the mother that takes pain medication during childbirth. Why does anyone feel that it is their right to pass judgment on another during such a painful and exhaustive experience? It is called labor for a reason! If you don't want to feel the agonizing pain of birth then you shouldn't have to suffer to please a bunch of strangers. If you are willing to endure the pain, my hat goes off to you!

If I take Rolf for a walk and he is struggling to get away, he is fighting and I need to carry him home, people will say "Get him a leash if he can't behave." But, if I take him in the wagon or stroller I hear "He should be walking."

If I buy disposable diapers I hear how bad they are for the planet. But when I am using cloth, which I use both, I hear how gross that is...

If I scold my child in public, watch out! Someone will tell me "You shouldn't tell him he is being a bad boy, that will damage him!" Yet, if I ignore his antics someone butts in and tells me that he will never respect me if I don't discipline him...

Weary Mom, if you feel like you are doing it all wrong, don't fret or feel alone. I am your companion as I am doing it all wrong too. Trust me, I hear it enough from perfect strangers as well as people I know.  (Thank you to my husbands aunt for telling me I am a bad mother because I won't leave my son with a sitter or his grandma who I don't trust.)

What I have come to realize and understand is this: We do the best we can, we try our best, we agonize over the choices we make for our families. We will never please everyone. It is easy for people to butt in to the business of raising our kids. It is easy to offer unwanted advice, unhelpful comments and general meanness... because they aren't the ones doing the work of parenting your kids!

If you feel like you are doing it all wrong, don't worry. You are not doing it all wrong. Parenting is a process, we learn as we go.

If you hear from others how you are doing it all wrong, or what they did better than you, give them a smile. Remind them that raising your kids is your business, and it is quite rude to butt into the business of others. Tell them that you are proud of them for being a better parent than you are. I bet they will shut up and think twice about pestering another mother about how she is doing it all wrong.