NaBloPoMo 2014 Day 26: I Feel Like Sorry


(Cross posted from my Mommy Blog – “I Have a Forever“)

There are days – many days – when I feel like I should say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I’m constantly tired and only good for sitting or lying on the couch after Elizabeth goes to bed.

I’m sorry that I get distracted by my toddler when you’re talking (whoever you are, whether in person or on the phone). I really am listening to you and interested in what you have to say.

I’m sorry that portions of my house are messy. I can only do so much in a day and I just didn’t get to that one room.

I’m sorry for the repetitive meals. They are quick and easy and something all three of us will usually eat without a problem.

I’m sorry that I have to say ‘no’ to plans out more often than I can say ‘yes’. It’s not that I don’t want to go or do things with you. I really, really do.

I’m sorry for the times that I say to my daughter, “Get off me!” because I’m so inundated with the little personal space invader that my skin is starting to crawl.

I’m sorry for feeling like I should feel sorry. I’m sorry for not being the confident “I can do anything” woman that society (or at least part of it) wishes for all mothers to be. I’m sorry I’m not a Pinteresty SAHM with all kinds of crafts and cleaning hacks and design tips.

I am just a mother with a small house that never seems entirely clean, a rambunctious toddler that can turn on the sun with her smile, and a hard-working husband (teacher and pastor) whom I will never be able to thank enough for all he does.

A friend of mine shared this article this morning, I am entirely thankful for its honesty and truth. I agree with it wholeheartedly, though I am definitely one of those mothers that often feels guilty for wanting time to myself. But I’m working on it.

NaBloPoMo 2014 Day 17: Snow-Capped Joys


Today was my daughter’s first day playing in the snow. It’s her third winter, if we want to be technical but her first time playing in the snow. When she was born, her birth ushered in the heaviest snow as of yet that winter. I spent that winter mostly indoors with my new little infant. The following year, the winter was one of the coldest on record. So I kept my one-year-old inside for the most of that icy winter.

This year, winter has settled itself into our little part of the country quickly. The temperatures are already supposed to dip into the single digits within the next few days, so I decided to take advantage of what will be the warmest day this week and take my daughter out into the new-fallen snow (we got at least two inches last night). So I bundled her up in coats, boots, hat, mittens, and scarf and out we went into the snow, her first real foray into the white stuff. The sun was bright and the world was pristine and clean. Rogue zephyrs played in the air, swirling snow from trees and rooftops into dancing shapes. The cold air hit me like a sudden kiss and took my breath away. Bizzy held tentatively onto my hand as we started walking on the driveway but, by the time we got into the yard, I let her go to find her feet on her own. It was powdery and blowy and we walked through the sunshiny snow over the patio and into the back yard, feeling it crunch beneath our boots and I watched my daughter examine it with wonder. The first time she put her hands into the snow, she held them up as if holding something ethereal and divine. Her cheeks were appled and her eyes pretty little half moons from the smile hampered only by her pacifier, which she soon relinquished to me in favor of laughs and smiles as she tromped off into the snow.

First time in snow 2014

NaBloPoMo 2014 Day 8: Two and on the Move


Today was my daughter’s 2nd birthday picture session. We decided to do it early (her birthday isn’t until next month) and get it out of the way before the Holidays get busy. It was a vastly different experience than last year because now, of course, she can move and run freely. So keeping her on task for the pictures was rough, coupled with having to switch studio rooms back and forth as they were needed by other photographers. Just another testament to her growing up. But, all in all, it turned out well and fun was had, as you can judge from below. Many thanks to the hubby for the help with wrangling.

64C

 

Breathing Love


Tonight, as with most nights lately, Elizabeth and I disagreed on the fact that she needed sleep. She didn’t nap today but fifteen minutes in the car so I knew she was tired, as well as all the normal signs being there (flopping on the floor with her blankie, rubbing her eyes and nose, going to the gate to be let into her room). However, instead of relaxing and letting me rock her to sleep, she began to fight me to get up and out of my lap and back to the living room. This was my second attempt at rocking her as putting her down in her crib to put herself to sleep resulted in her a) playing a game of peek-a-boo over the railing where she giggled when I told her to lie down or b) trying to climb out of her crib if I left the room and ignored her antics. So as I held her and she began to fight again and I felt the frustration start to kick in, I felt something in me just urging, “Tell her you love her.”

So I did. I kissed her forehead and told my little girl that I loved her.

And it urged, “Tell her again.”

So I did.

“And again. Don’t stop.”

As so I just began repeating “I love you” to Elizabeth, whispering it on every breath. Breathe in. Breathe out: “I love you.” Breathe in. Breathe out: “I love you”.

At first, it was an odd experience to repeat the same phrase over and over again, but then, as I did, it literally became a breathing pattern. And, also, I saw her relax and calm. Her fighting stopped, her breathing evened out, and those little brown eyes fluttered closed bit by bit. Soon, her paci half-lolled out of her mouth in that way that tells me that she’s long gone asleep. And yet I rocked and held her and whispered, “I love you.” It was hard to stop, I found.

Finally, I kissed her one last time, rose from the rocking chair, and laid her down in her crib, tucking her in with a stroke to her hair and a last-breathed, “I love you.” And that was that.

Now, I do not see myself as having the spiritual gift of prophesying or of being one who hears God clearly and pointed all that often in my every-day life, but I believe that it was God’s voice whispering to me tonight and telling me simply to remind my daughter, over and over, that I love her. Elizabeth is 20 months old, almost two, and she is showing it all the time. She’s adventurous and fearless but also willful and melodramatic and, dare I say it, a little bit spoiled. As a stay-at-home currently, I am her primary caregiver and that includes discipline. So I’m sure, somewhere in her toddler brain, it might seem like Mum-mum doesn’t want her to do anything fun or exciting, or maybe even that I don’t love her. But I do, more than I can say and, often, all I have are those three words: I love you. So, tonight, I believe that that urging in my heart and soul was God’s reminder for me to remind her that I do indeed love her. With every moment, with every breath, with every fiber of my being.

I love you, Elizabeth.

That Sneaking Feeling of Less


Warning: Vent incoming. Skip if you don’t want to read. This is intended for no one else’s edification/siphoning but my own. You’ve been warned.

.

.

.

Every day it’s something. Every day that I think I’m doing so well, I’m on the ball, and then someone says something or I read something and I suddenly feel…less. Less of a good wife, less of a good mom, less of a good woman.

I’m not perfect. I don’t get my decor and organizational ideas from Pinterest, I don’t do flashcards with my ten month old, I let her play with my phone (watch ABCs, 123s, and shapes on Apptivity), I watch TV and my daughter enjoys the news and talk shows, I don’t shop at the Farmer’s Market, my baby girl doesn’t take afternoon naps (they mess with bedtime and then she’s miserable), I don’t make chicken soup from scratch, and the list goes on. I am not fashionable enough to be an Elizabeth Street mom. I am not progressive enough to be called a hipster mom. I like being at home with Elizabeth better than I liked teaching someone else’s children; some might call that laziness or lack of professional/global vision. I haven’t kept up on my piano and flute practice and so my fingers are extremely rusty; some might call it wasting my talents.  I’m not as fit as I was before I was pregnant; according to the most recent viral trending photo, some might ask what’s my excuse (but that’s a whole other bag of worms; I’m actually rather glad for this lady in some ways).

There is so much that I am not that it sometimes feels like it overshadows what I am, and that’s hard. And it feels very painfully human, too. I hate feeling less. And no one does it to me but me. I know that. I don’t need anyone to tell me that. Doesn’t make it any easier to feel more. But tomorrow’s a new day and I’ll try to take a step forward again and find the joy once more. It’s really all I can do, yeah?