Day 2,043 of Being a Mom

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June 2017

I worked all day. At a job that pays our bills and is the next stepping stone on my path to where ever. I was so excited to take my boys to the store. I had a plan. We were going to eat there and get our new clothes and then and only then as long as they were good, we were going to get a new toy. I haven’t bought them a new toy in a while and I was so excited.

Eating went ok. “P” fought us on not eating his pizza and getting upset about not getting any pretzel but he is a toddler. We made it to the toy aisle and both boys of course wanted the most expensive item. I had to say no quite a few times. I also had to remind “O” that they were only getting one toy. I wanted them to be happy that we were doing something different and that we were actually getting a new toy. That one toy would be enough.

After a few tears, no I should say tantrums and after several threats of not getting anything, “O” decided which toy to get. “P” however was indecisive and I eventually had to pick for him. The toy I picked was the one in his hand and was not the one he wanted after all.

After all that, my good deed went unnoticed. I felt worse than before. I told myself we will not be going to store again. My surprise for them did not go well.

Once we got home the poor behavior continued. At least from my eyes. I felt like in one hour it was nothing but yelling or battling with a 2 y/o and 5 y/o. That excitement I had a few hours earlier now gone. Now frustration, anger, stress, and confusion overwhelmed me. What am I doing as a mom? Going to the store was a difference in our evening routine. However, most nights are still exhausting. I get the boys from school, we then get home and I tell them to go play while I make dinner and during that time the battle starts. They fight. “P” is whining about having a snack and “O” wants to ask a billion questions. My mind is half listening to them, half cooking dinner, half unwinding from work, half thinking want am I going to do when the boys go to bed. Do the boys need a bath? I really need to fold laundry. I really need to organize our closet. I wonder how the weather will be this weekend, and what we can do this weekend.

I think you get the point… 🙂

Self doubt about parenting takes over now. I don’t play enough, my mind is constantly wondering. I am selfish in the sense that I rather watch a stupid video on Facebook instead of read a book to my son. I try to figure out how I can do all the things for me first and then my boys. Do I put them first…enough? I am not that kind of mom. Is that okay?  I plan things to do. As I did with the failed trip to the store. I think of ways I want my boys to get involved with other things. I make sure they are dressed and bathed and teeth brushed. I make sure they have a great school and that they are health. I do not get on the floor with them I do not run around. I skip reading a book before bed sometimes and I choose to just tuck the boys in and not sing to them because I am exhausted. I lose sleep worrying because my boys are acting out. I feel guilty because I chose to not be with their dad and have a separate life with them because I felt it was better for all of us. I read articles on how to be a relax parent, how to deal with whining and sibling rivals. I try to do yoga to get myself to relax. I tell myself its okay to focus on myself sometimes because if I am happy then I can work and be there for my boys in a better way.  I feel guilty for all the things I do and I don’t do. I tell myself I will do better the next day. That next day has come and gone.

That night as I tucked “O” in and yes was planning to skip singing a song, he looked at me and said “mommy I will be better tomorrow for you”. My heart sank, my eyes just stared. I  couldn’t breath. I did not know what to say,

All the guilt, all the pressure, all the self-doubt bubbled over. Tears fell from my cheeks.

When I finaly could speak I laid with him, ” “O” you are amazing, mom worries and that makes her cranky sometimes. Mommy is also working on how to do things and I just want you to be happy and appreciate what you have and what you get. I love doing things for you and with you. His little statement made me realize that yes this is the hardest job, being a parent. It made me realize though that I can do it and I will figure it. That I am learning and I need to also teach. It is a lot but I can be there for my boys but they can also be there for me. To teach me.

That night I sang to both my boys.

Now I stop and breath before bedtime and I adjust me. These little humans just need their momma to stop and relax and want her to give a few minutes of calmness. Once I think about it, what they need daily is not much. I tend to make it a bigger deal.

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Day 1,159 of Being a Mom – a perfect parent

January 2015

So I am that person who loves to do research and I Google EVERYTHING. So it is only natural that when I became a mother, I researched everything that has to do with babies and children and “how to be a mom”. I am the first to see a post and think, yes that is me or that is a good idea. I have to share it with everyone. If it wasn’t for Pinterest of Google, I am not sure what I would do. By researching everything, I try so hard to be a perfect mother. What does that mean exactly? Well, I am not sure, but I have researched it.

The other day I read the following post and I even shared it.

“Mommy will you lay with me?” – when your children want you to lie down with them at night November 18, 2014 By Becky (Your Modern Family) http://www.yourmodernfamily.com/mommy-will-lay/

Nothing against Becky and I TOTALLY understand what her intentions are…But thanks for making me feel guilty. In fact I feel guilty a lot from what I read; No Yelling articles, No T.V. articles, How To Love…,How to Live…, How to be….articles. Yes, I can choose not to read these.

Anyway I have a confession. Besides me doing all my reading and research, I don’t know what I am doing some days.

I lose my control. I feel guilty and I cry. Some days I cry more than my children. But I try to be a perfect mom. P  is going through a phase where mom can’t be out of sight. This morning he laid on my bathroom floor screaming just so I could take a quick shower. Sorry, kiddo mommy was smelling a bit ripe.

I don’t think you will find that technique in any book or article. I try so hard to establish a loving and learning household. But… We watch TV and we yell and sometimes I would like to look at Facebook or Pinterest than read the same book for the 5th time. I want to sleep just ten minutes longer, even though I am needed (there is a really good post about being needed (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/megan-morton/mommy-somebody-needs-you_b_4900686.html)

And yes because of those articles I feel guilty. But… We are only human. I am trying and that is all I ask from my boys. We do have days full of arts and crafts and ABCs and 123s. And days full of imaginary play, forts and all. But on a Saturday, when I have worked so hard all week, we might have a TV day. This doesn’t mean we don’t read books or we don’t play outside. Oh and we use the iPad. In fact, O loves it and we play games together, but he also plays it by himself. I also tell him it is okay to play by himself. This does not mean I don’t play with him though.

Is this all really wrong? I am trying to make my boys perfect little boys and then perfect little men and then perfect men.

Who knows what that means?

I really want my boys to grow up and be happy. I don’t want them to stress about anything (might be a high expectation). I want them to be kind and to listen and to communicate well. I want them to dream big and to just try to be all they can be. I want them to know they are loved and they can come to mommy for anything. I want my 3-year-old to be proud of himself, even if he refuses to go number 2 on the potty. I want him to know that he is so smart and creative. He can do anything, as long as he tries, but if he can’t do something, I want him to know he can ask for help.

I want all moms (and dads) to know that being the perfect parent is the parent that tries. Just tell yourself every morning that all you have to do is try and it might all work out and be perfect, or it might not. Just try to be a mom (or dad). Try to also balance time for yourself too.

No one is perfect, but you can try to be.

Day 1,313 of Being a Mom

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June 2015

I have rushed this experience of being a mom. I have rushed the hours and the days. I wished for nap time. I count the minutes when breast-feeding or putting my boys to bed. Why? My mind is running at full speed. Everything and everything is playing itself out as I give baths or as I sing lullabies. I am not all there with anything and I cannot remember the last time I was fully engaged with something or finished something. I am still on day 10 of a 30 day ab challenge that I started 28 days ago. I promise myself all the time that I will follow through on things and finish things. I will be more engaged with things. I will try harder. Each day I tell myself to try harder. I have to take it a day at a time. When I become a mother it was hard at the very beginning.

I became a mother on November 23 2011. It changed me forever. Yes, all moms say that. But it is true. Your life will never be the same once you are a mom. You will love it but you will also hate it (strong words I know), and I think moms, over anyone else, think about the what-ifs. In my opinion though, it is OK to have these thoughts, It makes you appreciate and even see things from different perspectives. You will drive yourself crazy but thinking about all of it, what-ifs and all, is important. As a mom there is love but there is fear and guilty. Patience comes in time too (this concept I work on EVERY day).

When I had my first son, I was so sick afterwards. I wasn’t just tired. I wasn’t just scared. I was sick. They say it was my epidural, a slight complication. All I know is I missed him being born. I mean I was there in the room. I did the work. I remember thinking to myself how I want to hold him and kiss him once he entered this world. I wanted to take it all in.

But I didn’t. I was sick. I just laid there. As someone place him on my chest, I remember how big his hands and feet seemed to be. I barely held him. Everyone said he was perfect. I held him briefly. But I didn’t kiss him or smell him or take him all in. I laid there.
I don’t remember them taking him to clean him or weigh him or do all the test. I don’t remember who held him first or who said what to me.

When it was time to move to my next room I passed out. I don’t remember how we got to the next room and I barely remember the night. The whole experience was not how I planned. I slept through visitors. I was so frustrated with breastfeeding and I felt so alone. Was I postpartum? No I was just so sick. The experience took such a toll on me. My whole body ached. My brain was gone and all I wanted to do was sleep. All I wanted to do was be pregnant again  and change the experience.

It took longer than I had planned but I finally just slowed down and looked at him. I really looked at him. I had this baby. I had my son. He laid on the Boppy sleeping. Scrunching his nose. Sleeping. Wrapped tightly in a blanket. My fears where gone. Yes I had no clue how to take care of this baby but I was not fearful. I was not scared. I was just lost in the moment for the first time. I finally got to take him in. He smelled so good. His skin so soft and I just took it one minute at a time. He had so much hair and yes, his hands and feet were big but they were perfect along with everything else. He was peaceful. He was so content for this one moment and he wanted me.

I felt bad though that I was not there for him during his first hours of life. I was so sick and out of it. I was not there as a mom or even a person. It was as though my brain and soul left. And now as I just relaxed and watch my baby breath and sleep and crunch his nose, I cried. How on earth could I have not been there in those first moments? I promised him right there that I would be present and in the moment. That his mommy will try so hard to always be there for him and that everything will be okay. That we will help each other. That there will be good moments and bad but we will take it all in together.

It has been a bumpy road but I have learned so much about myself all because of my son. I have realized how strong I am and I also have learned my limits. This little man of mine has no clue what he has done.

Day 1,480 of Being a Mom

December, 2015
Follow up from Day 1,220

I had too.
For more than one reason.
I am now working part-time.

My life is so different and I am also working in a completely different area then I ever thought I would. In this past year, my life has been flip upside down and stomped on, but more to come on that.
I am just grateful that my boys are healthy and happy.
If you would have told me a year ago how this would all play out, I think I would run for the hills. I would think there is no way I could handle it all.

But I did…

As life has challenged me before I am realizing how strong I really am.

 

Day 1,699 of Being a Mom

June 2016

I went in to wake O up for school this morning, but instead I laid with him. He curled up next to me, his head on my chest, arms around my waist. I took a deep breath in and relaxed. He is always asking for me to lay with him and today I took a few minutes to do so. But it only took a few minutes for my mind to start racing.

What do I have to do at work?
Did I pack lunches?
When will my husband be home tonight?
How much longer could I lay here before we are late?

I then started thinking about how I am always with the boys but I am not really.

“Mommy look at this cool thing”
“Yeah cool honey” I answer without looking up from the dishes I am putting a way.

This is my routine. I am not engaging with my boys. I am worrying too much about work, lunches, chores, bills etc. I am running all the time. And when I do try to relax and take a moment, my mind does not allow me. I try to count to ten. I try to breath but relaxing is not coming easy. Oh how I want to play with my boys. Oh how I want to just lay down and read with them or watch a movie or talk with them. Or just engage with them.  I am going and worrying and thinking so much. I am also yelling and disciplining and cleaning after them.

I just need to relax.

You know those articles that tell you to just stop and enjoy the little things, that kids grow up too quickly. Yeah. They are true. Relax. Take it in. Some stuff can wait. I need to tell myself these things. After I forced myself to lay with O for maybe two minutes, I told him we do need to get up and get ready for school. A surprise to me but our morning did go smoother. It seemed he just need a little quiet time with his mom and that made he listened, do what he has to do and he was relaxed.

 

Day 1,220 of Being a Mom

March 2015

If you had told me three years ago that I would be a stay at home, I would say you’re crazy. There would be no way I would work so hard on my Master’s degree and give up on the Job I always wanted. No way!

But…
I did

I am a stay at home mom of two wonderful, full of energy, spunky boys, who have amazing personalities and keep me on my toes. They drive me crazy too.

I play with superheroes. I change diapers, and I get paid in hugs and kisses.
I have great days, and I have not so great days.
I could not handle it all. I could not handle a career and motherhood.
It was a very hard pill to swallow. It was hard to give up my one identity.
But…

I am okay.
I am surviving.

I know right now things have to be different from what I planned.
I am a stay at home mom.

I do not have my career right now, but I am also learning about myself. I am also watching my sons grow. I could not give that up. Because you do give up some things as a working mom. I am now realizing that as I watch “P” learn new things, I cannot remember my oldest doing those things. When I was working, I had to rely more on others. I had to stay strong while at work knowing my son’s caregiver was taking care of him when he was sick. I had to balance time to go to doctor appointments or school appointments. I lost a lot of sleep and patience. I could not shake the guilty feeling that I wasn’t always there. It was taking a toll on me. On my job. I found my mind wondering, and I was not devoting as much time to my work. The pressure and the stress was unbearable, and I felt like no one understood. I constantly had to learn how to balance life and work.

When “O” was born, I had no clue what I was doing. I was so uptight, and I had this image in my head of how this baby should be. How life should be. After three months, I went back to work, and I was exhausted. I struggled to balance it all. I sacrificed a little bit from work, from being a mother, from being me, from my marriage, and from my life. I never did find a balance. And then, I got pregnant again.

My emotions, stress level, and the pressure I was putting on myself was insane after I had “P”. When I went back to work, it was different. My perspective was different, and my priorities changed.

I had to make a decision.

I could not handle my job and these boys. I felt guilty when I was home, and I felt guilty when I was at work. I was not enjoying either.
I gave up my career. I had too. It wasn’t fair, and it was so hard to do. I just started that career path, and it became so hard so quickly. I could not have it all.

It is so hard to think about and honestly being at home is so hard. I miss my income, my adult interaction, being part of a team, having my own purpose or identity.

No one said it was easy, but no one ever tells you how hard it will be either.

I compare a lot too. I see these moms who can work and their children seem perfect, and they do all kinds of activities. I also have no clue how a mother goes to the store with more than two or even more than one child. How? The other day I saw a mother who was pregnant walking around Target with her two toddlers. Everyone was so happy and shopping. How?
The truth is I look up to these women. All of them. I look at all the moms in life, and I take bits and pieces to model after.
Each day is a challenge that I try to overcome. Some days are easier than others. Some days I miss working so much and other days I am working so hard to teach my boys new ideas, kindness and love.

It was a long, painful decision-making process but only I could make the decision. I did have the support but only I could really make the choice to change my life and to realize I could not handle it all and to realize it was OK. To realize it is OK that I cannot handle both my boys in the store by myself without having a panic attack (I have only done it once). That it is also OK to compare but to realize those mothers also struggle and have bad days.
It is also OK that my career is on hold right now and that I am good at being a mommy and someday the next part of my career will happen.

 

The Beginning of…

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So I have entered this world….of blogging.

Commuter Perspective is a creative writing blog, for me to just simply be creative and share my thoughts.

I have been writing my whole life. I always had a diary and re-reading some of those entries from when I was 8 years old crack me up.

It started when I was in 3rd grade. My teacher was Mrs. Marston and it was the best year, so good I still remember it today. I was introduced to creative writing and wrote some silly stories like “Bubblegumland”, and “A Toucan Goes to Hollywood”. From that day I knew I would write a book, of some kind. I think a blog is a good start. So this is my attempt.

I hope if you visit that you enjoy it!

– Aimee