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Night After Night, Day After Day

Written Tuesday night.

It’s 9:30 pm and I woke up 5 minutes ago on the floor of my kids’ bedroom. It was 8:30 when I took A1 and A2 upstairs for bed, A3 was already asleep, they brushed their teeth then fought over the stool to reach the sink. We settled that by seating one child on the steps of the bathtub “look there’s water here too, you can brush your teeth here”, of course they got water everywhere and wet their socks, we lost more time trying to find the perfect pair of socks because two year olds feel the little strings touching their toes and only one out of six pairs of will do. Finally get them in their room, ever since we moved A3 out of the walk in closet A1 and A2 have been sharing a room. They get in bed and then “please stay a bit”, they always ask me to stay and lie down for a while, and so I do. I must admit, as tired as I may be, that is one my most blissful moments of the day, that and giving A3 her last bottle of the day while sitting on the rocking chair.

I make such an effort to try and seize the moment, but it can be hard. Sometimes I watch old videos and I wonder where my mind was and how I missed what was happening right in front of my eyes. Lately, when I recognize a moment, I try to capture it in my mind with the most details possible from visual details to thoughts and emotions.

Last time I did this was a few weeks ago, we took the kids to the park and there was so much snow yet the swings were still up. We put A3 and A2 in the baby swings and A1 and I were on the regular swings. Jack was pushing the little ones, and all were singing and shouting. It was just one of these perfect moments. I grew in a house right across a park, and so I’ve spent a lot of time on a swing, even as a teenager it was where I went to think. So one day I’m 16, going oh so high, holding tightly onto the chains, closing my eyes, imagining that I am flying. And when I open my eyes, 15 years have passed and I’m still on the swing, except this time I am surrounded by these children, and this wonderful man, it is a beautiful sunny day and life is beautiful.

Once again I have shifted off topic and don’t even know what the initial story is, I need a moment to go back and read…

Oh ya, putting the kids to bed… oh this is going to be a long post….

So they ask me to stay, then A2 asks for a story, always the same story, the three little pigs and always the same part, when the wolf burns his butt going down the chimney. She doesn’t want to hear the rest, only that part, so we start at “the two little pigs ran into their pig brother’s house of bricks…” once that’s done, she always asks for another story, and it’s always the same one “goldilocks and the three bears” and always the same part, she only wants to hear about how goldilocks broke baby bear’s chair. Come to think of it she only likes the burning and breaking… what the heck? How did I never realize?

So then when story time is over I try to leave but they ask me to stay some more. And how can I refuse, one day they’ll be teenagers asking me to close the door on my way out of their room. So I stay a bit more, and sometimes I fall asleep. And this time, I fell asleep and forgot that I’m at the edge of my daughter’s bed drooling on a pink and purple lady bug pillow. I don’t know what I was thinking, I just know I woke up on the floor. I got up and started heading for the door when A2 asked “where are you going?” now you might think of me as a hypocrite, but as much as I love being with my kids, sometimes I have to put a limit. So I told her a little white lie. “Mommy’s going to the bathroom to do caca, and I’ll b back when I’m finished”. Of course I used caca so that she doesn’t expect me back in 30 seconds and hopefully falls asleep while waiting for me. A1 clearly understands this concept and is aware that it’s a lie to keep A2 from throwing a fit, we’ve had a talk about it. “You know when mommy says that she’s going to the bathroom and that she’ll be back? Well, truth is…”

It’s a similar scenario every night ever since I’ve been back at work. By the time we finish work, pick up the kids, feed them, change them and bathe them, we are finisheeeeeed. I usually wobble out of the girls’ bed room after they’ve finally fallen asleep and literally crash in my bed only to wake up a few hours later to remove my bra or socks and pass out again until that dream crushing alarm starts again at 5:15 am. Day after day, night after night.

Oui, c’est la vie. But what can I say other than, just go with it and all will be well.

All that matters is that we are happy, we are healthy, we are grateful.

 

 

 

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Stop Pretending: Truths about parenting

Baby asleep in mom’s arms, family of four on the beach, kids playing in snow while parent sip on hot chocolate, beautiful clean and organized baby rooms, dinner at the dining room table with the kids… All images that depict the family lives. Or should we say family lies?
In reality the baby’s screaming in his moms arms for the whole night because he has colics and all she can do is wait 10 weeks to 10 months for them to pass, she’s sleepless and hormone packed, her life has just taken a spin and nobody has warned her about any of this.
The family of four on the beach can’t afford to be there in the first place, they went through hell and back trying to pack diapers, formula, food, sand toys, toys, dvds and they are doomed because they forgot to bring the favourite blanket without which baby won’t sleep, mom and dad haven’t had a single moment to themselves, now on top of everything they have to make sure their children don’t eat sand or get sun burns, everyone got diarrhea, and the kids got fever, they visited most of the country’s clinics, and they swore never to take the kids on vacation again yet they’re going to try again every year…. But that one picture they took…. That one moment everything was under control… That’s the pic the whole world get’s to see. Where’s the picture of daddy carrying 8 bags , 4 towels and 2 life jackets, on the burning hot sand while mom pushes the stroller trough the sand shouting ” I think there are lawn chairs available way over there”.
And the kids playing in the snow… Playing for 2 minutes and a half while it took you 20 to dress them. The moment you sit down you’re child is knocking on the door ” snow touched my wrist” because snow will forever get between their glove and jacket sleeve and make you wish you never even bothered.
We don’t know all this until we know, we innocently look at catalogues and see beautiful baby rooms, take the time to set them up while we don’t know that the moment baby gets teeth they’re going to chew that expensive Wooden crib to it’s core, the bed sheets will never ever really match because of the times you are going to change them because of pee and poo stains , the three drawers in the set are not going to be enough and that darling room will look like a plastic bin warehouse by the time you’re done sorting out the 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months an have to start all over once you realize that the tag really means nothing about the size and that you always have to eye it.
And dinner at the dining room table … Funny joke! The dining room table might as well be disassembled and stored away for the next 8 years, because the truth is you will be walking around behind them with their supper in your hand trying to get a spoonful through whenever they’re distracted enough. And if they happen to sit at the table there won’t be any room for you because they’ll bring half their toys along with them. If you’re one of those who thinks ” my kids won’t be like that” you’re going to be especially fun to watch as a parent.
It is how it is, and it would be much easier for moms to cope with all of this if they were warned about it .
Lets just stop pretending and just start being.
Be honest, be proud, be happy.

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Big and Braless

Big and Braless

Tonight was a special night. I got to watch a movie all by myself. I can’t remember the last time I got to do that, just finished watching Antwone Fisher, a biography movie. I cried so much my vision is blurry and I can feel my eyes swelling up, just what I need to look even more tired! I must admit my daily life is starting to show on my face, my neighbour randomly walked up to me the other week to tell me how tired I looked and come to think of it, everywhere I go people offer me a seat or something to eat with a worried look on their face.

It is true that I don’t sit a lot, and eating…well we’re on survival mode with that. I always tell Jack that when I’m old and these kids are all grown up all I’m going to do all day  is sleep and eat, just to catch up to these times. I warn him “I’m gona get big baby, real big!”

My skin has become very pale, and I’m starting to have circles under my eyes. But I never leave the house without my little 35 second makeup routine. Those who say they don’t have time for makeup need to try this. It literally takes me 35 seconds or less to look alive again. I’ve had endless debates with moms about makeup, but I believe a small touch is necessary, it’s not about being fake or superficial, it’s about basic maintenance. It’s kind of like wearing a bra, basic maintenance.

The only person who sees me without makeup or a bra is Jack.

Well … actually… Jack and … and the bus driver.

See, back when I was a kid I took the school bus to school and every morning I would watch moms bring their kids from the home door to the bus door in their pyjamas, and they were all always braless. I guess it was too early and they were in too much of a rush to put one on, I thought it was gross and I promised myself never to be that.

I have failed myself. I have become just that. I take my child to the bus every morning in my pyjamas with no bra.

I have to stop doing that at least before I become the real big grandma I promised myself I would become. Big, old and braless… it’s going to be priceless, especially that I would’ve called it 40 years before.

Well, this is a perfect example of a post that went too far.

Watch out for the next post “Important message to moms: Keep your nails short and real it’s a question of life”

 

bigandbraless

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Surviving Motherhood: Thank you for the Barbie up my…

Kids are in bed, the game is on and I’m lying down on the couch. I can clearly feel at least three different toys under me. The floor around me is covered in toys, the sink is full and there’s so much laundry to be folded that I don’t know where to start. Problem with all this is that I did clean the house today, I did dishes, even laundry but by the time the day is over  toys are back where they started, sink is full to the top again and there’s even more laundry to do now.

So what am I doing now?

I am exhausted, waiting for the game to end to spend some quality time with the husband. Got a good 15 minutes of meditation in the meantime.

What about the mess?

I’ll take care of it tomorrow, it’s a part of our reality and there’s no point in me fighting it.

Not only have I completely accepted the toys, the mess, the drawings on the walls, but I have also completely surrendered myself to the joy they bring me. I am so blessed to be surrounded with these loving children and I am honored to have the responsibilities life has given me. I work on myself every day  to be sure to be the happiest and strongest  I can be. These kids deserve a happy mom.

Gratitude is my main tool. Having children, among other things, can play with your hormonal balance and effect your emotions. Not only can it make you moody, but it can make you question your life purpose. Have I reached all my set objectives? Is this kind of life meant for me? What about my career? Am I going to be stuck here forever…? All these thoughts can creep up on us and blind us towards the blessings that surround us.

Gratitude, is step one.

Remind yourself of what you are grateful for. I do it all the time, out loud. I’ve now started to do it with the kids.

Do it in the car, in the shower, anytime, all the time. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Name all the people and things you are grateful for. Start with whatever is around you in the moment.

Thank you for a warm home, thank you for my health,  thank you for the love I have in my life…

Expressing gratitude brings you back to the now. Right here, right now. It takes you away from tomorrow’s worries and yesterday’s pains. Gratitude is your vehicle to the now. Not only does it bring you here, but it makes you happy.  When you are grateful, you automatically start emitting positive vibrations, a positive aura that will attracts positive things into your life.

The now is the only place to be. The future is in our imaginations and the past in our memories. The only time that truly exists is now.

Be grateful , try it. You will see, great things will happen.

So, what are you grateful for right now?

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