The Mom in Me

True Love

Today was one of those rough mommy days.  Vista was tired (she was up every hour or two last night, and couldn’t or wouldn’t nap today), cranky, and just generally whiny.  Which makes for a tired, cranky, and generally whiny Mom.  Funny how that works.

I deal with a lot of things really well.  Medical stuff, I take in stride.  Developmental delays are no big deal, because they can be worked on.  Cuts, bruises, blood, vomit, seizures… anything like that… I can do with my eyes closed.

But, you give me a whining kid and I will be clawing at the windows trying to escape in 5 seconds flat.  I cannot do whining.  I don’t know what it is about whiny kids that grates on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard, but I just do not react well.  It is never a good scene.

Enter my darling husband, Bil.  He has this amazing ability to completely tune out the whining and just deal with her.  (which is probably why he deals so well with me… trust me, the whining is an inherited trait for sure)

Luckily today he was able to come home an hour early and they are now playing outside, and apparently laying in the bouncy castle looking at clouds.  How awesome is that.  I’m on strict orders to stay inside, have a drink, and twitter and blog to my hearts content.

It is moments like these when I fall in love with him all over again.  And the days when he brings home a bottle of wine and some fancy truffles… yup, that’s love.

Because sometimes the greatest gift you can give a mother is an hour to herself and a good, stiff, drink.

Put A Leash On Your Kid!

If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s parents who have no control over their children.  Their kids are always underfoot and it drives me insane.  You want to yell at the kids “Where the hell are your parents?!?”.  I mean, is no one watching them??

Probably because karma is a bitch has a sense of humor, this pretty much describes my kid these days.

I was thinking about taking Vista to the zoo today, but the last time we went it was…difficult. She’s starting to want to walk around more and not be in the stroller, which is fine. But the problem is, she runs off constantly. And she HATES holding my hand while walking (entirely too much physical contact for her). So taking her to the zoo myself means I can’t bring the stroller (ever tried to run after a toddler while controlling a stroller in a busy place? Doesn’t work so well, trust me. And you get a lot of pissed off people when you almost run over their kids who are also running amok), which means carrying a very heavy 30 lb kid when she gets tired and doesn’t want to walk anymore.

51jv4ArrnRL. SL160  Put A Leash On Your Kid! Put A Leash On Your Kid!
I’ve seen parents with these kid harnesses (aka leashes for your children). I think it might be a good idea, but I just hate the fact that it screams “I can’t control my 2 year old”. Even if that is true. I don’t really need to broadcast that to the world. And I have a big mouth. So if some opinionated person happened to say something, I might just end up telling them where to go and the shortest way to get there. Anyway, I guess what I’m asking is this: Are there other options? Something I’m missing? Things that have worked for your kids?

So there’s the leashing issue. Out in the open. Now to find out if they sell muzzles for kids too. Definitely going to need one of those when she’s a teenager

Just Add Bubbles

Usually getting Vista in the bath tub is as easy as saying ‘bath’.  But lately, with the nice weather, she’d much rather be up and playing than getting ready for bed.  So tonight, our conversation went something like this…

Mommy: “Vista, I think it’s time for a bath”

Vista: “No.”

Mommy: “Uh, yes.  I think it is.  Bath time sweetie”

Vista: “No!”

Mommy: “Yes honey.  It’s time for a bath now.  Lets go”

At this point she slithered to the floor and proceeded to do the crazed “No!  No BATH!” squirm. (Could someone please remind me why on earth I ever wanted her to hurry up and start talking? )

Bil and I exchanged a look over the two year old temper tantrum happening below.  You know those looks where you can have a 10 minute conversation with your spouse in about two seconds?  Yeah, that look.  I sighed.  I was the woman that always swore no child of mine would ever act like this.  Feel free to laugh hysterically now.

I took another look at the wailing banshee on the living room floor.

Mommy: “Do you want bubbles?”

Instant quiet.

Vista: “Yeah”

And with that she picked herself off the floor, walked into the bathroom and started getting ready for her bath.

I need to find a way to remind myself, the next time she’s having a shrieking, screaming, raving fit about something, all I need to do is find a way to add bubbles.

Identity Crisis

How we identify ourselves (and our self worth) can be a funny thing.  I’ve found, for myself, it’s so often wrapped up in what I’m doing, rather than who I really am.

Before I became a mom, I spent 10 years working for the same company.  My life was completely wrapped up in it.  It was, in essence, my life.  And for various reasons it had to be.  It’s hard to maintain relationships when you’re traveling a lot.  And it’s hard to plan an outside life when you’re told on a Friday to book a flight for the next day and, oh, by the way, you’ll be gone for two weeks.  But that was the job.  And I enjoyed it.  It was interesting.  It was dynamic.  And it was me.

Most people knew me as ‘Jenn, who works for ***’.  It was a huge part of my identity. And it didn’t help that I was a workaholic.  Even on vacations I was expected to be available by email and phone.  But it came with the territory (and the money) and so I felt it was all worth it.

Eventually, I got noticed by some of the right people, and started on the fast track for upper management.  This is what I had worked those 10 years for.  Yay me!  Until that one morning when I woke up and realized that maybe this dream of being a VP at a major multinational wasn’t really what I wanted anymore.  I looked at my boss, and his boss.  They had no family lives.  They were so stressed it was affecting their health.  It was expected that they would be available all hours of the day and night.  And I knew that on my road to the big leagues there was going to be a lot of moving around the country and shift work involved.  If I ever wanted to have children, this was not going to work.

By this time Bil and I had been trying to start our family for a while (with little success).  He was convinced I needed to slow down, relax, and de-stress. So after many weeks of soul searching I handed in my resignation.  The plan was to take the summer off and then look for a new job in the fall.

I didn’t realize I’d spend the entire summer trying to figure out who I was.  What was my identity now that I wasn’t working?  How would people relate to me if I wasn’t that girl who worked at that company?  It was really hard. And I struggled with it.  I still do.

momcallingcardvista Identity CrisisAt the end of the summer, I found out I was finally pregnant (which came with a big dose of ‘I told you so’ courtesy of my darling husband).   So, rather than go back to work, I took the time to start my own business.  Then that became my new identity; Business Owner and Virtual Assistant.  Until, of course, I had my baby.  Then everything else was once again stripped away.  Oh, I still have my business, but now I introduce myself as ‘Jenn… Vista’s mom’.  And I like that title.  I really do.  In fact it’s one of my favorite identities so far.

But some days I’m still left wondering who I really am and whether I’m really only defined by what I do in life.

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