Anyone who knows me knows I have been working on a book for over a year now. Progress has been slow to non-existent. I was under the false delusion that I would have all the time in the world to write during my 12-week maternity leave, but boy was I wrong. The truth is I hardly wrote at all during that time, or after.
There's too much to learn and adjust to after pregnancy. Not to mention figuring out the whole new mom thing. Every moment I had was devoted to bonding with my daughter and recovering from my over 27-hour labor. Physically and mentally I was just not prepared to write a grocery list let alone a book.
When I went back to work the mom guilt was real. To this day I still have a hard time leaving Shelby with a sitter if there's something I need to do that can't involve her. I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of times I have left Shelby with a sitter excluding days that I need to go to work. If I'm not working, she's with me, and writing with a little running around and finding things to put in her mouth, is nearly impossible.
When Shelby was an infant, it was difficult to get household chores completed because she was either eating or wanted to be held, constantly. Then she got a little older, and it became a game of chase as she was always crawling towards outlets or pulling on electrical cords. Now she's a full blown toddler and can't be left alone for even a second because she's nosy and will get into any and all of the nooks and crannies, even the ones I think are super secure.
Don't get me wrong the book is still in the works, it's going to happen eventually, but right now I needed to find a more manageable way to commit to writing so, I plan to make at least one blog post a week. It's good for me to write, it keeps me sane, and it's one of the only stress releasers I have. A stressed mommy isn't good for anyone, especially not for daddy.
To help remind me to slow down, enjoy the moment, and focus on whats important to me, I bought these sweet little bracelets from Wegmans. They're by a company called Natural Life, and they're super simple. I probably could have made them myself but again, who has the time?
I bought two, one with a turtle charm and the other a key. The turtle reminds me to slow down, to take things slowly, and to cherish the moment I'm in. The key reminds me to always look for new opportunities because nothing is impossible, and doors are opening all the time. I may not be following my ideal path for my writing dreams, but I refuse to give up.
I also added a namesake bracelet I found at the Hallmark store with Shelby's name, of course. It serves as an even bigger reminder of why I do all I do and to push myself to do more even when I think I can't.
Life is too short as it is and most of us rush through our days like we don't all have an expiration date. As the expression goes; "Enjoy life today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is never promised." (unknown)
So I had all these big plans for this weekend. I was going to finish another chapter or two for the book. Clean up the house. Put all Shelby's clothes away that no longer fit her, and do some weeding in the yard. Yeah. None of the above happened.
I mean, I did do some spot cleaning, but our house needs a deep spring cleaning. By this point, you would think I would have come to accept the fact that plans such a deep cleaning of the house don't happen when you have a 15 months old tornado living with you. I did learn something this weekend, though. I have never asked or shown Shelby how to wash dished or put away plastic bags once I've unpacked groceries, she's way too young, right? Wrong!
Shelby and I were in the kitchen on Saturday unpacking groceries and other miscellaneous items. She was after a small plastic bag, with paw prints on it from the vet's office. I gave it to her only to watch her open the cabinet where we keep the plastic bags (aka kitty cat poop bags) place the bag in the cabinet with the other plastic bags, and close the door. The kid is a sponge. A Sponge I tell you!
Of course, I got the video camera(aka my phone) and recorded her doing it again for proof. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Then on Sunday, Mother's Day, Tim was outside mowing the grass before we headed out to make the rounds, Shelby and I were in the kitchen. I was washing dishes and Shelby was pestering to be picked up, "uppie, uppie!" For fear she was going to pull my pants down I pulled a kitchen chair over and let her stand on it while I continued washing dishes. All of a sudden there was a little hand handing me dirty dishes to wash. (ʘ_ʘ)
What's with these little kids!? They don't want to take naps and here this little girl is, 15 months old, who should be running around playing, but she'd rather help me wash dishes. Kid, you have your whole life to do chores and trust me, there will come a day when you will long for a nap and you won't be able to take one. Stop growing up so fast!!!
My point is, kids are little sponges. Now, more than ever I understand that my reactions, and actions, will directly impact my daughter. How I respond to and deal with a situation will translate into a learning moment for my daughter whether I intended it to or not. I never showed her, nor asked her to put a plastic bag away, just like we've never asked her to help pick up the dogs dishes after they've finished eating. She watches us, sees how and when we complete a task and then mimics us. She listens to the words we use, and the context in which we use them, and though she may not have verbal skills that coincide with her comprehension skill, she understands so much more than she is able to communicate.
Watching Shelby grow, I see more and more the validity of the statement; "children are a product of their environment." Children are a blank canvas, and the adults in their life are the paint brushes that have the ability to paint a beautiful picture if they use the right strokes and colors.
Now, that nap I was telling Shelby she would one day want but not be able to take? Yeah, I'm going back to day-dreaming of that nap...
When you become a mom, there are very few things that scare you.
BAAAAAAHAHAHAHA What a line of malarkey that is! EVERYTHING scares you! Car rides make you nervous. What if you get into an accident with your kiddo in the car? Going to the park makes you nervous. What if they fall off the slide and hit their head, or what if some creep is there watching the kids, specifically your baby? Even things like going to the doctor's office can make a mom super nervous. Your kids not sick, but they have to go for their wellness check during the peak of flu season. All those little monsters running around sneezing and touching everything in the waiting room and you're supposed to take your healthy baby to sit in the same germ-infested space!?
When you first arrive home with your mini, you worry about things like SIDS or if they are eating enough. You worry about if they have enough layers on to keep them warm, or maybe they are too warm. Are they sleeping enough, or maybe a little too much?
Then your baby starts to grow which only makes your worries grow. You worry about things like a leg getting stuck in the side of the crib, or how much pain they might be in because of those dang teeth. You worry if they are getting enough stimulation or if they should know more words than they do. You worry about them choking on a piece of food, or if they are getting super hormones from the cow's milk you've been instructed to give them.
So much to worry about, so little time.
My biggest fear is my child suffering a medical emergency while I sleep soundly in the next room. Of course, we have a baby monitor and her room is literally right next to ours, but if she doesn't cry to alert us to an issue, how are we supposed to know she's okay?
My biggest fear almost came true last night. I woke up this morning at 9:30 AM. Shelby normally wakes up between 7:00 & 7:30 AM. Sleeping until 9:30 AM is highly unusual. I flew out of bed to check on her. She heard the door open and immediately stood up in her crib, but her hair was wet. She had vomited ALL OVER her crib. She never cried out, never made a peep to let us know something was wrong.
I scooped her up and headed to the bathroom for a tubby. I set her down in the tub and she immediately sat down, like she was too dizzy to stand on her own accord. She tried to stand up a few times but immediately sat back down. Then it hit me; she had fallen the night before and hit her head on a lego block. She had only cried for a few seconds before moving onto the next adventure, but none-the-less it was a hit to the head. She also has been sick with an upper-respiratory nightmare complete with a flemmy cough and massively runny nose.
After drying her off, a quick dressing, and a nice big sippy cup of water followed but a medley of different foods to entice her to eat something, I called the pediatrician. As I was on the phone, Shelby could be heard yelling "birdie, birdie, birdie" in the background. Clearly, my child was not phased, not nearly as much as her mother was. Doctors orders were to keep a watchful eye on her. Anymore vomiting or dizzy spells and we were to head to children's hospital for evaluation.
Thankfully, all seems to be a-okay. She's eating like a little piggy and playing like the little Rambo baby that she is.
What they don't tell you when you are going to become a mom is just how much time you will spend worrying about things that are seemingly out of your control. Maybe they don't tell us for fear that no one would want to be a mom. But I can tell you that a full day spent worrying is so worth the love and joy she brings to my life. I wouldn't trade mommyhood for anything. My Shelby AnnMarie is the light of my life and my whole world.
Child better learn how to cry and tell her mommy something is wrong instead of sprawling out all over her own vomit. She has her mothers tolerance for pain and discomfort, but she needs to learn that she doesn't need to be so strong, at least not yet.
I am such an old soul through and through, no doubt about that.
I was standing in line at Subway (my second home) and in front of me was what I thought was a teenager in white pants, a flamingo polo, white shoes and a man bun. He was yapping away on his cell phone while nervously snapping the button on his pants. He didn't bother to get off the phone when he placed his order. In fact, he was so distracted by his phone conversation that he asked for the wrong kind of sub & had to have the sandwich maker start over.
I wasn't a fan of his attire...or his man bun, but I was even more annoyed with his sincere lack of decency. Subway was packed. It was noon on a Monday, people wanted and expected a quick meal. Dude was not having it. He was either completely oblivious to the fact that he was holding up the line or he just didn't care. I'm going with the latter since he continued to talk on his phone, even after taking a quick glance to his right to see a line at least six people deep. What a wanker.
I never thought I would be one of THOSE people, but there I was thinking that exact thought. Even bigger shocker; "I'm only 28, man." HOLD THE PHONE!!! He was a year younger than me and I absolutely thought he was, like, nineteen. Twenty at most.
Dress me in a librarian skirt, set a pair of lined bifocals on my face and call me eighty. I mind-as-well open my kitchen windows and start yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off my lawn.
After making yet another blunder when picking out his veggies requiring the poor sandwich maker to pick off and throw out a handful of green peppers, he looked at me and smile. He received a very persuasive scowl and eye-brow raise as I looked to my right to hint at the growing line of people he was being a wanker too. He must have gotten the message because he finally told whoever he was talking to that he would call them back after he cashed out.
Don't worry, he promptly got back on his phone after cashing out and nearly took out a poor lady with the door when leaving. He was too busy, apparently, to look up and see her standing right outside the glass door.
Whenever I see an article highlighting the less than flattering statistics that apply to my generation of millennials, I always get a little defensive. We don't all fall into those statistics, but days like today & dudes like this dude at subway, they provide a stark reminder of just how self-absorbed my peers can be.
Hopefully, he was just having a bad day. Do better dude, do better.
In my next life, I want to be born a man.
My husband and I rarely go to bed at the same time. He's either busy watching a game on T.V. or engulfed in a riveting game on PlayStation. No thank you. I rather lay in bed pretending I don't have anything else to do. Sure, I could wash the dishes, or put Shelby's toys away for the umpteenth time but being a blob under the covers is way more appealing.
Anyways, Tim and I headed to bed at the same time the other day. Within seconds, and I mean seconds, he was sawing wood like a professional lumberjack. I seriously thought someone was cutting down the trees in our yard. How is it that he fell asleep so quickly? I mean I was EXHAUSTED, but someone forgot to tell my mind to shut the BLEEP off.
I can lay in bed for hours thinking of all the things that need my attention. Bills, household chores, our furkids, Shelby, work, what we're going to have for dinner, what clothes I need to pack for Shelby in the morning, what am I going to wear tomorrow, you get the idea, and just when I think my brain is getting tired it takes a drastic turn to nonsensical things. Things like feeling sorry for the person who had to wake up every morning knowing their daily purpose was to wipe the hinnies of royalty after they used the bathroom. Don't ask. The point is, there are way too many things to think about before actually falling asleep unless you're a man.
Also, why is it that a mans day off is just that, a day off. A day to spend on the golf course, playing PlayStation for hours on end, or just bumming around the house without really doing anything. But a women's day off is a day to catch up on housework, go grocery shopping, or do a million other non-relaxing tasks that make the "day off" anything but a real day off. And don't say "you choose to spend your day off doing those things," the reality is if moms don't do these things when we have the time (our days off), they will never get done.
So, I repeat, if I have another life to live, I want to be born a man.