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A blank screen and some free time

I keep wanting to write. I have occasional thoughts of “Oh, I should write about that!” only to get busy, or forget about it, or waste the thought on FB instead. My writing has fallen very low on the priority list. I remember when I just HAD to write or I would go crazy. And now? Time flees my grasp, my kids are growing, and I’m not capturing life as I would like to.

It all goes by so fast and my memory is so horrible that if I don’t write it down, I eventually won’t remember it. And I so want to remember this time in my kids’ lives. In our lives. Even as it’s hard and crazy and messy and loud, it’s ours. And I have such a tenuous grasp on it all anyway. It floats through my fingers only to dissipate with barely a sound, a soft whisper of “You’re going to miss this when it’s gone,” before it really IS gone.

I’ve always been an observer. A recorder. Whether it was on paper or via camera, I had a compulsion to document things. If I don’t, then I’m afraid it didn’t happen. Why am I so desperate to leave a record, an “I was here!” for future generations to see? I guess maybe I always wished that I had found an old diary of a distant relative from years past where I could have a glimpse into what her life was like. Her hopes, dreams, loves.

I guess I want my kids to know that there was so much more to their mom than changing diapers, driving them to school, kissing scraped knees, or being their jungle gym. Don’t get me wrong – I love being that to them. But I am SO much more than that. I’m not quite sure what that is, because it’s tough to define yourself as more when you’re down in the trenches of mothering.

It starts by doing a better job of taking time for myself. I’ve been working a lot of hours recently and I haven’t taken enough time to care for myself, my relationship with my husband, or my friendships. I’m working on changing that. And it actually starts this weekend, by going out with a girlfriend yesterday and spending some time writing today.

I still have a lot of work to catch up on. That hasn’t changed. But I just have to know my limits. Wearing myself out isn’t going to help me work better, nor is it going to help the quality of my work. And with recent health developments, it has become even more important that I take care of myself. So it starts now. Wish me luck.

I am a hypocrite

My first son was born at a baby-friendly hospital. That sounds strange, doesn’t it. Aren’t all hospitals baby-friendly? Not really, by definition. It means that they support breast feeding and don’t offer formula or any type of formula-related freebies. They have formula on hand for when it’s needed, but they don’t accept it as a marketing tool. It is only offered when absolutely necessary. You won’t find any formula advertising there at all.

My second son was born at a different hospital. While the hospital supports breastfeeding and doesn’t give out formula-branded diaper bags, I did see some lids – for my pumped breast milk, no less – that were branded. And the OB and pediatrician practices were decidedly formula-friendly. This upset me greatly when I was pregnant. Even though my first son could have died waiting for my milk to come in & had supplemental formula until it did.

I didn’t want to see formula sponsored pregnancy journals or freebie bags with formula in them. One bag I was given was supposed to have info in it for me about registering at the hospital and other info. What I didn’t realize until later was that it also had bottles of formula in there. At first I was a little pissed. Maybe even a tiny bit outraged.

And yet? We’ve used that formula. Um, oops?

My second son, at almost 4 months has already had more formula than my other son EVER had. It has always been a convenience thing. When we traveled during the holidays, we would give him some if we couldn’t stop for a feeding.

We have also used it for afternoons when I’m out of the house and won’t be back in time for a feeding. Sometimes I have pumped beforehand and other times I didn’t. The formula is there for when I didn’t/couldn’t.

I am still a huge proponent of breastfeeding. It is my preferred way. But I’d be lying if I said my son is exclusively breastfed. He isn’t. And I do, to be honest, carry around a little bit of guilt about that. Maybe I shouldn’t. Or should. Either way, it’s there. And it is what it is.

What’s your dirty little motherhood secret?

Category: children  12 Comments

Behind the curve

We took our son for evaluation today. He’s 39 months old and still not talking. That’s a little hard for me to write. I try to act like it doesn’t bother me. But it does.

It does, because I worry. A lot. That I’m not doing enough. That working from home and having him here with me, instead of a day care or preschool, is hurting him. Holding him back.

I worry that I waited way too long to see about getting help. That he’s so far behind he’ll have trouble catching up. That it’ll follow him around, this inadequacy of his mother.

And he’s such a bright little boy, too. I don’t just say that because I’m his mother. He understands things that 5 and 6 year olds understand. I can see his frustration when he tries to communicate and we can’t understand him. And it breaks my heart. Daily.

On top of all that, while we were at the school, they had some sort of drill that involved a very long bell ringing. Like several minutes long. And then we had to go outside for a bit. It was close to naptime and the ringing had already agitated him. (Me, too.) And then the bell rang while we were outside. And it was. Really. Loud. And it freaked him out. Poor kid. Then it rang a second (well, third total) time and it scared him even more. Super loud noises have always bothered him. That was a sucky way to end his visit.

So now we’re under the gun to get him help. Quickly. To get an IEP in place and see if we can get him into preschool (which we can’t really afford) and get him caught up. Because regular interaction with his peers is what’s going to help him the most right now.

I just don’t know what to do. Except try to help my son. But I don’t know how. And it’s quietly killing me.

Things I Love: Melissa & Doug Grocery Cart

A few weeks ago I joined OpenSky. I wanted to be able to offer products that I’ve used and loved. And I like that they offer a variety of unique products. By using the OpenSky platform, you can purchase from the person who recommends something to you. I like that.

The first product I’ll be offering is the Melissa & Doug Grocery Cart:

Shopping Cart

Yes, that’s a picture of how full my son has filled his cart. He loves it. It’s the perfect size for him (he’s 33 months and 39 inches tall). He pushes it all over the house. We have taken it to the store as well. He was so proud of his little cart, although he did occasionally abandon it to check out something that interested him. It was easy to push even with a 5-lb. bag of potatoes in it. (Yes, we made our son push the groceries. What?)

One of the best features about this cart? The construction. It’s metal. The wheels are real. And it has a safety feature – if it gets filled too full, there’s a stopper that keeps it from moving any further. That way your kids can’t push each other around in it. See one of the legs/stoppers in this pic (there are three):

Shopping Cart

I thought I would feel a little pretentious taking my son to the grocery store with this cart. And you know what? I don’t at all. The joy he gets out of it supersedes everything else. Other shoppers didn’t do more than just smile down at him and his obvious joy at getting to help with the shopping. My son is at the age where he really wants to help, so I’m trying to let him assist when he can.

I’ve always heard good things about Melissa & Doug. My friend got our son a wooden puzzle from them and it was fun and well-made. So when I saw this product in the OpenSky offerings, I knew we had to check it out. I was not disappointed. I’m really impressed with the construction and safety features of this cart. And I’m sure we’ll get many years of use out of it. Once my son outgrows it, his little brother will be the perfect age to take it over.

Want it? You can get your own by clicking here:

Disclosure: I received a shopping cart so I could evaluate it before offering it in my shop. Opinions are entirely my own and not influenced by either Melissa & Doug or OpenSky.


Category: children, OpenSky  Tags:  2 Comments