Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Girlfriends: They Get Better With Age

When you are a teenager you’re lucky if you have one, two or possibly three girlfriends you can actually call real and know that they are in fact your friends. Of course as a teenager this means they are not going to steal your boyfriend or even a boy that you like who will never actually be your boyfriend.  It also means they will have your back rather than talk behind it and it means that they accept you for you, which in and of itself is a huge task for teens.  I have to say I was one of the lucky ones. On the day I graduated high school I graduated knowing I had three…that’s right three girls who had my back no matter what.  Now that I am older (let’s not calculate how much older) I appreciate girlfriends more than I ever have.

Girlfriends are like wine and cheese, they get better with age. Sure when you are a teenager you think you need 875 friends in order to feel important, but as you get older you realize perhaps three or four really is the perfect number.  The older you get the more you need your girls. Yes even if you have a husband, children, a boyfriend, a partner you still need your girlfriends.
Your girlfriends make your other relationships better. They make you better. As you get older your girlfriends are like air…you need them to survive.  As a mom there are days that I could just pull my hair out. I know. I know. How hard can it really be right? It’s not that it’s hard in a I dig gravel by hand and throw it in a ditch all day type of way or I do quantum physics that our government depends on for the latest in space travel type of way so ease off all you mommy haters. It’s more of a holy crap I haven’t talked to anyone over the age of 5 in three whole flipping days, and I haven’t showered in….AH CRAP WHEN DID I SHOWER, type of way.  It’s hard in an I have to get to work and our kid is sick AGAIN who’s staying home type of way. It’s hard in a how am I making this meeting and the parade at school type of way. It’s hard. It just is. The days can feel long and would I change them? No. Would you change them? No. Would I do them without having my girls to call when I need them? Would I be half the mom I am without having my girls to laugh with, cry to (and not a sniffle but instead the ugly snort snot all over yourself cry) and just talk to? Hell no and neither would you! Here are the top ten reasons you need those girls around you.

1.       A girlfriend will laugh with you at things that your significant other thinks are utterly ridiculous. Holy crap I walked around with baby poop on my forehead all day long and no one told me. I want to cry. What are you laughing at?! Okay it is pretty funny. Fill my wine glass and let’s laugh about this for at least an hour.

2.       Who else can you bitch to about that one random chin hair you suddenly have? Okay teenagers laugh all you want but one day this will happen to you and when it does you will need a girlfriend to talk to about it.

3.       Your husband wants to know why you’re “too tired”. He should probably just ask your girlfriend because the two of you talked about it over lunch while the kids ran around chasing the dog. It went something like this. I am so flipping tired. Oh god me too! Why do the kids never stop? I have three deadlines this week and no sitters. I have to clean the everlasting mess that is this house and apparently everyone is hungry in this house. All. The. Time. I get into bed at night and I feel like I just ran a marathon that I didn’t train for properly.  OMG the marathon! Is that this weekend? Crap.  I have so much laundry to do. AHHHHHHHHH!

4.       Who else will stop you from crying and somehow make you laugh about the fact that NONE of your clothes fit you after having a baby (What the what? Why don’t they fit? I had him three days ago?) After  my first son was born I got in the shower and looked down at my belly and instead of crying I started hysterically laughing because seriously in all the books I had read no one told me about the bowl full of jelly that would be my belly. There was not one celebrity magazine that showed this jiggle wiggle. What the what?!

5.       There is nothing you can’t say to your girlfriends. I mean nothing.  You just had a kid. You want to talk about your cracking nipples? Fine. You want to talk about how you may have been that person who pooped on the delivery table? Great! You want to talk about how you feel sad and overwhelmed? Hugs and support are waiting. You want to talk about how the dog you once loved is getting on your ever last nerve ever since you had your baby? Fine and no judging FYI! You are having trouble getting pregnant? Hugs, wine, tissues and shoulders are waiting. You’re still single and want to talk about your awesomely fun weekend out? Please tell us every detail…slowly.

6.       You need girlfriends who understand you. Even the crazy parts of you. I may have an issue with cleaning, as in I do it too much. All my girlfriends know this about me. Do they make fun of me? Hell yes! Do they still love me? Absolutely. I may have a girlfriend who feels the need to read every depressing and horrific story she comes across online. She then shares these nightmares with her girlfriends. Do we make fun of her? A little. Do we text her hours later telling her the story is haunting us too? Hell YES! We understand each other.

7.       No matter how old you are and how clean you claim to eat you still need a night every now and then when you throw caution to the wind. You need a night when all your girlfriends come over and they all come with a bottle of wine. You break out the cheese, crackers, crudité, dip, organic corn chips, and grapes (because you’re almost 40 and you have to keep it classy). Two hours into your gathering you’re breaking out the vodka, Doritos and Ben & Jerry’s and the laughs are worth every single calorie and then some!

8.       No matter how many times you ask your spouse if your outfit looks good you will never quite believe him the way you will your girlfriends. They are always honest. Always.

9.       Through your successes and your disappointments no one is there as consistently as your girlfriends. They will greet you with balloons and wine on your big promotion. They will come over unannounced and let you cry on their shoulder with no words uttered about the reason for your sadness. They will drop it all. They will drop it for you.

10.   According to data women out live men by 10 years. Who the hell else are you going to sky dive with, travel to Tuscany with and spend your last ten years laughing with?  Your girlfriends that’s who!

So you see girlfriends really do get better with age and I’m pretty sure the best part of aging with your girlfriends is that the themes all stay the same…wrinkles, flab, wine, cheese, accidental poop stories and uncontrollable laughter. 


*This post is dedicated to all my girls*

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Uninvited House Guests

I’ve always heard about those guests who show up unannounced. No phone call, no text, not even so much as an email asking if you have any plans that may hinder them thinking it’s okay to just show up. I have heard about them. To be honest my family isn’t the show up unannounced kind of family. There is usually always at the very least a text and we live around the corner from each other. I guess living around the corner from your family gives you the guarantee that no one will be showing up with a suitcase and no departure date.

At least that is what I thought. This happened once before but to be honest it was 3 years ago and I guess I forgot all about it. Time has passed and I got too comfortable. I didn’t think they were coming back. I forgot how they show up unannounced when you least expect it and then it happened. BAM! They arrived.  This is no ordinary arrival though. They show up out of the blue when you haven’t seen or talked to them in three whole years and you’re expected to be prepared. You are expected to have the food they like, the drinks they enjoy, their favorite television shows lined up on your DVR, and don’t even get me started on the daily activities to fill their time.

It’s like living in a pressure cooker. The worst part is not only did they show up with suitcases but they showed up with boxes and it pretty much looks like they are moving in permanently. Last time they were here they stayed for 9 long months. When they left I could still feel their presence for months. It was horrible.  I walk on egg shells around them. One minute they are completely happy with your hospitality the next minute they are throwing a fit that this is in fact the worst place they could possibly have to stay.

I am spending my days hoping that the breakfast choices are up to par, the crusts on the lunch sandwiches have been cut properly and don’t even get me started on the dinner menu. It doesn’t seem that I can please them in this arena, not yet anyway.

I spend my mornings making sure the house is clean but to be honest I might as well be throwing flour into a fan. They are such slobs. They take things from places and move them into other places. They leave things everywhere.  If I move something into a place they don’t want well holy hell I will hear about that for hours.

It’s not easy living with house guests who show up unannounced, don’t tell you an estimated departure date and are completely irrational, irritable, and impossible to talk to.

The Terrible Twos have arrived. They have arrived on a clear cut mission and they have no intention of leaving anytime soon. I can tell you this much, they are by far the worst house guests anyone could ever have. Having them here requires way more patience than humanly possible, a full bottle of Advil in the house at all times and of course wine. If the Terrible Twos Family show up at your door I wish you luck.  They are going to settle in quickly so be prepared.  You will not be able to get rid of them until they are good and ready, trust me on this.  
I can tell you however that they will get tired of your house at some point. They will pack up their things and be on their way. You won’t even realize they’re gone right away but once you do you will feel ecstatic. You will feel that way until their cousins the Horrible 3s family knocks on the door but don’t worry you will probably get a 3 week break to recoup some sense of sanity…if you’re lucky.
                                     I said I wanted ham & cheese not PB&J!!!
                                   Do you have MORE cake?! OH you better!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Motherhood Monday-Holding On While Letting Go

Today Karen of Baking in a Tornado joins us for Motherhood Monday. She's at a crossroads in her Motherhood journey, with one son off at college and another son in his last year of high school. It's funny how life comes full circle at times and it sounds like that's exactly what it's doing for Karen right now. People are always saying to enjoy the moments because the years fly by. After reading this beautiful post by Karen I know that it's true.
Karen is a former Director of Social Service and Retail Buyer, now SAHM to two teens. She’s still serving and buying, just with the money going out instead of in. She started baking to feed the hordes of teens who’ve made her basement their home, and continued when she realized it relieves stress. She blogs, shares recipes and vents at Baking in a Tornado. Karen’s been featured on the websites Mamapedia, Scary Mommy, Generation Fabulous and Treat a Day and is published in the Life Well Blogged series and in the book The Mother of all Meltdowns. She’s currently working on two future books. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook (trust me she posts some delicious recipes).

Holding On While Letting Go

Holding on and letting go. Two completely different concepts, right? But right now I find myself trying to balance them both.

I have two boys, teenagers at this point. One is a freshman in college. The other is a senior in high school. I’m not sure how this all happened, I just know that old cliché “time flies” is a cliché for a reason.

My boys are a little more than a year apart in age. So when my older son was born, I had a year alone with him. He was a baby and it was time I treasured.

There were instances after my younger son was born that I felt a little guilty. My older son had time where he was an only child, time to bond alone with mom that my younger son would never have. My younger son would have to share me from the time he was born.

Of course bonding doesn’t work that way. He may have an older brother, and he may not have had time alone with mom, but the beauty of bonding is that it doesn’t have to happen in a vacuum. It happens organically on a solid foundation of love and nurturing.


The boys are opposites in every way. Looks, temperament, interests, personality. I love this about them, they are each individuals. They’re wonderful in their own ways, and trying in their own ways as well. When they were little and were jealous of the others’ strengths I’d always tell them “you don’t have to be like him, I already have one of him, you be you”.

Fast forward to last year. My older son was a senior in high school and my younger son a junior.  It was a tough year. You’ve heard of the “terrible twos”, well the teenage years are the terrible twos on hormones, with a driver’s license and YOUR car. Older son was more of a handful for a vast number of reasons and really pushed every one of my buttons he could find. I’m convinced he even manufactured a few I didn’t know I had.

I have to admit that I started blogging and venting and maybe even hiding now and then. And yes, I even started the college count down. On any given day of that year I could tell you how many days till he started college. It’s possible I even had that countdown down to minutes.


I won’t say that I wasn’t relieved to drop College Boy off, I was, but there was comfort in knowing that he was only an hour from home.

I also won’t say that I don’t miss him like crazy. I will admit that when Hubs and I did actually leave him, I texted him for the first time before we even pulled out of the dorm parking lot.

But I went home to circumstances I hadn’t thought about all those years ago. It had happened. I had a year alone with my younger son.

It’s completely different from that year I spent alone with my older son. This younger son is in many ways my baby, but he’s also in many ways a grown man. He’s got his own friends and his own life, but we have time together as well. He’s applying to colleges and, I say through my tears, it looks like he will end up at one far away. But no matter what the plans are, just as I did with my older son all those years ago, I’m treasuring this time alone with my younger one.

And like it or not, I’m finding myself living that dichotomy:

Holding on

while letting go.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Motherhood Monday~Homework Struggles: Parent vs. Teacher

Homework can be one of the biggest struggles between a parent and a child. As the parent we want to help, but how much is too much, and what if they don't want our help, but need it. Today Bonnie Frank (a.k.a. Lady Blogger) joins us for Motherhood Monday to give us the perspective of both a mother and a teacher. I grew up with a teacher for a mother and now that I am a mom I can only imagine how hard it was to separate the two...especially when it came time for homework. Bonnie is here to give us moms some much needed tips when it comes to making homework time a lot less painful.
 Bonnie Frank (a.k.a. LadyBlogger) has a Master's Degree in Education and is a former teacher and college professor who has taught hundreds of elementary, middle school and college students. Bonnie has two teenage sons and is married to a man she's been with for 32 years.  You can read more of her thoughts on her LadyBlogger website ( and on FacebookTwitter,  Pinterest and Google +.  

Homework Struggles: Parent vs. Teacher

I've worn both parent and teacher hats for the past 17 years and I understand the struggles that homework can cause among parents, children and teachers.   The idea behind homework is that kids should have an opportunity to practice what is being covered in class.  Today, some teachers implement a "flipped classroom" model where students watch instructional videos at home and class time is used for questions, review and introduction to the next lesson. In either case, kids have something to do at home...
    **On any given day, the following question is heard in homes of traditionally schooled and homeschooled kids around the world:
       Scenario #1: "Mom/Dad, can you help me with my
 What do parents and teachers think when they hear this  

I want my child to succeed in school.  My child needs me and I don't want to let him down.  I'll just show him 
the way that I know how to do it.  It's much faster and easier than today's "new math" anyway. 
Note: This parent is feeling insecure about his parenting skills and/or the child's academic abilities.  Having the child go to school with the homework completed will make the parent and the child look/feel better.  

Homework is the student's responsibility.  This parent has already graduated from ______ (fill in child's grade here) and no longer needs to prove that he/she can do this level of homework.
Note:  Teachers need to evaluate the child's abilities.  When parents "help" with homework, it leads to arguments between parent and child as well as a message to the child that s/he is incapable.  This is no help!

I have been the parent in scenario #1.  I know what it's like to see your child struggle, cry, yell, throw things and quit when attempting to finish a homework assignment.  I also know the parental frustration and child's look of helplessness when he tells you, "That's not the way my teacher told me to do it."

No one wants a child to fail--not the teacher, not the parent, and especially not the child!  But interfering in your child's time to practice his/her skills and knowledge is a clear message that s/he is incapable in your eyes.  Moreover, rather than helping, it is actually impeding your child's success.  Your child will not learn to succeed unless you let him.
So what's a parent to do? 
     Scenario #2 "Mom/Dad, can you help me with my homework...?
   How the parent and teacher respond to/reflect on this question:

"Look at the assignment again and if you still have questions about it, call (not text or Skype) one or two of your friends from the class and see if that helps.  If that doesn't work, try again and if you are still having difficulty, email (not text, call or Skype) your teacher, let her know the steps you've taken to get your assignment done, and ask to arrange a time (before school, lunch, free periods or after school) that the two of you can meet and you can get some help."

"I am so glad that __________ (fill in student's name) emailed me (not texted, called or Skyped) about the homework last night.  It is clear that s/he really tried to complete the work and was responsible enough to let me know right away rather than waiting until the beginning of class the following day.  This shows that s/he cares about the assignment and takes responsibility for his/her learning.  I really wish more of my students were like this."

Note: Parents who homeschool their children may need to say "I'm wearing my mom/dad hat right now, not my teacher hat..."

The question in scenarios 1 and 2 were the same
, but the reactions to that question were very different in each scenario.  As with anything else in life, although we cannot control what happens, we can control how we react to it. Showing our children that we believe in them and their abilities is crucial.  This doesn't mean that our kids must figure out everything by themselves (remember calling friends, emailing/meeting a teacher), but it does mean that they need to take responsibility for their own learning.  If the situation arises where the student requires assistance on a regular basis and a tutor is needed, the tutor should not be the parent.  A parent's job is to parent.  (Even if that parent also homeschools his/her children.)  There are loads of tutors out there including Education majors at local colleges and universities looking for (free) practicum hours!

Parenting is a tough job and the more we can allow ourselves opportunities to 
enjoy our children, the better (and more peaceful) our home lives will be.  I'd love to know your thoughts on the homework struggles!

Looking for a book that can help your homework woes?  John Rosemond's  Ending The Homework Hassle is a good place to start.  This book offers "step-by-step directions for implementing a successful homework management system."  Regardless of whether you choose to use his suggestions, Rosemond's approach provides parents food for thought. This book is available in paper form and on e readers.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"I Feel Fat"

The other day as I walked into our living room to pick up some of the 250 toys that had been throw about that afternoon my five year old looked at me and said “Look mom you should get that.” He was pointing at the television and when I realized it was some type of a weight loss product commercial a lump was suddenly in my throat. “Honey, why would mommy need to get that?”” Because it will help you lose fat and gain muscle. You know because you always say you feel fat. “Suddenly that lump turned into a giant boulder. Instead of feeling fat I just felt like a big fat failure.

Before I could say anything else my husband chimed in from the kitchen and said “Buddy mommy isn’t fat and it’s not nice to use that word when you describe someone.” I could suddenly see the look of confusion on the face of my five year old. After all he didn’t actually call me fat. He simply repeated the fact that I often call myself fat. A wave of panic came over me.  All this time I never thought about what my fat shaming or body issues could be doing to my children. Why? Why had I not considered that they may be soaking it in? Why had I not realized that they were listening to me? Why had I not noticed them in the room when I would say things like “Ugh if I don’t fit in a run soon I won’t fit in my pants.” Why had I not noticed them looking at me when I would ask my husband if the jeans I put on made my butt look big? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I never thought about it because I have boys.  I have often thought to myself that if I ever have a daughter I would really have to watch how much I complain about my body. The last thing I would want is for her to grow up with a warped body image.  I never once thought about what it could be doing to my boys.

As a society we have become so used to constant chatter about diets, weight loss, good foods, bad foods, the best workouts for better butts, arms, legs, abs and on and on and on that it doesn’t seem anything but normal to us. BLEH!!! I dare you to turn on a news program in the morning and last a whole hour without hearing anything about diet tips, the best foods for weight loss, how to cut out sugar FOREVER, jeans that make you look skinnier, taller, richer, anything but bigger.  Pull up Facebook at any given point in the day and try to avoid statuses about shakes, diet pills, powders, potions, new workouts, new workout gear, diets with no fat, diets with no carbs, no sugar, no solids, protein only diets, eating protein while running in place and lifting weights above your head diets.  You can’t. You would have to actually look away to not read anything about these things in your newsfeed. Oh and you can just forget standing on line at the grocery store. Every single magazine has something about diet; get a butt like celebrity A and legs like celebrity B. Maybe you want your left toe to be just as skinny as celebrity C in her last blockbuster. They hold the secrets to all of this and more.

Our kids are saturated by constant information about weight loss. CONSTANT! How do they stand a chance?  We have become a society obsessed by what we eat, what we don’t eat and what we do in between eating. There are so many commercials on all about weight loss it’s actually become absurd. The fat loss industry has taken over and I for one am over it. I am over the fat talk. I am over using the word fat in my every day life.

I have boys.  The last thing I want is for my boys to grow up with a mom who is constantly saying she feels fat. I run. I eat healthy and I should feel good about my body. I’m going to be 38 not 18. If I don’t embrace my body now I never will. I want my boys to know that there is so much more to a woman than her body.  I do not want my boys to grow up calling people fat. I do not want my boys to grow up and be so superficial when it comes to picking a partner because I will never forgive myself. I’m going to make an effort to talk about the positive instead of the negative. I’m going to set an example that I run because I enjoy it, which I do, rather than have them associate exercise as just a means to burn calories. I’m going to enjoy ice cream with them in the summer and pizza with them on a Friday. Oh and on birthdays I’m going to have my cake and eat it too!  I’m going to allow my children to see me live life in moderation not in desperation.   I’m going to start loving myself instead of constantly focusing on the negative. The phrase: “I feel fat” is officially banned from this house.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Motherhood Monday-No One Told Me There Would Be Days Like This

Today Ashley Fitting of It's Fitting joins us for Motherhood Monday. She's talking about the days we all have...the ones where the only question we can ask is "Am I doing this parenting thing right?" She's not alone we all have our doubts and in the end we all realize we aren't as bad as we think we are. Motherhood...we've got this thing!
Oh the difference a few years makes...Where once she was a professional event planner and fundraiser in beautiful Southern CA, now Ashley Fitting is a full time SAHM in a gorgeous-in-it's-own-way, semi-rural cow town in Sonoma County. After a rocky start she learned to embrace the Green Acres, cooking, suburban farming and taking pictures along the way. It may be rural, but at least they have wine, right?
You can find Ashley on her blog It's Fitting as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course Google+
When you're pregnant for the first time you imagine all of these wonderful experiences that are to come. You imagine what it will be like to hold your baby for the first time, first steps, first words... all of the beautiful things that make up your first years as a parent. You know that it's going to be a rocky road, that there are things you don't know and that you'll have to learn by the seat of the your pants. (Have you read my posts on post pregnancy?? Try this Post Pregnancy Symptoms or Post Pregnancy Symptoms 2 for a little reality about the horrors of post pregnancy (*shudder*)

But you know that you'll figure it out, that everything will be fine and that you're going to rock as a parent...
But no one told me that there would be times where I think that I am completely.effing.this.up.
We have two little kids. We are trying to raise them to be respectful and kind, good to each other and their friends, aware that they are so very lucky to live a privileged life. We are trying anyway. But it's hard. And after one particularly bad day/week/month with my four year old I couldn't help but start to panic that I had done something wrong. Why did he delight in pushing my buttons? Why was everything a battle? Where was my kind sweet boy that used to snuggle with me and tell me how much he loved me?
Had I done something terribly terribly wrong?
My husband tried to talk me down off the parenting ledge as I cried and sobbed that I had made a monster of my 4 year old. That I had created this little hellion. That this was all my fault and I was a crappy parent. I had FAILED and he was only 4... what was the rest of our life going to be like if I sucked so incredibly bad at this?????

Um yeah. It may have been a particularly dramatic few days for us around these parts but my husband peeled me off the ceiling and calmed me down. No, I was not a parenting failure. I had not ruined my Big Kid, I had not turned him into a sociopath and he was probably still going to be a contributing member of society as an adult. We were just going through a particularly crappy patch of life. Let's face it, 4 is no picnic for us. And there will probably be times again in the future (the teen years? God help me) when I wonder where I went wrong.

The important thing was to stop and re-evaluate. We had a talk about tactics. About what was working and what was (obviously) not. And I tried to change myself and my parenting to adjust to the changes that were happening to him. He was growing up and becoming more independent and testing me all.the.time. But I'm the parent who's home with him and I'm the parent who can't take it personally when he tries to push my buttons to get a rise out of me.

Because even with those difficult moments in life, there are still so many times that we have dance parties in our jammies, or spend hours playing cards or Monopoly, or snuggle in bed reading books at the end of a long, difficult day. And underneath all of the snark, he's still there. My sweet boy who we've taught to be kind and gentle and loving and smart.
And I'm probably not a terrible parent after all.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Village

I've been missing from my blog recently. My Grandmother is very ill and in the hospital. As a family we have pulled together and made spending time with her our number one priority. Many of you have reached out to me on my Facebook page and I want to thank you for your support, prayers and well wishes. I am re-posting a post I wrote this past Mother's Day. To me it encompasses exactly who my grandmother is to me because without her wisdom, her experience and her love I wouldn't be half the mom I am today. This is for her.

It’s Mother’s Day and I could get all sappy and mushy and write all about what being a mom means to me. I could, but I won’t, not because it doesn’t mean a lot to me because anyone who knows me or reads my blog, or my Twitter or my Facebook knows that I love my kids. They make me laugh, they make me cry but they make me who I am and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Instead I would like to dedicate this post to all the people in my life who made the transition from normalcy to motherhood better for me. To all those who have helped me, laughed with me not at me, cried with me, empathized with me, shared a glass or 8 of wine with me, and so on and so on.  I like to refer to “these people” as my village. I have always heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child, but I like to look at it like it takes a village to support a good mom to raise a child.

As moms we all need our village and it doesn’t mean the same thing for all of us but we all know who they are. They are the people we lean on. They are the people we complain to about our bad days and celebrate with on our good ones. They are the people you talk to about things you never imagined talking about…EVER. They are the people who tell you this stage will pass, or ask you how on earth you managed something so they too can do it. They are your people and without them life would be so much harder.

I remember when I had my oldest son. I was THAT mom. You know the one who had everything planned out. The one who thought well I’m going to have this adorable baby, come home get up every couple of hours blissfully breastfeed, go back to bed and get up, shower look great etc. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA do you hear that? Yeah that’s the universe laughing its ass off at my naivety.  I leaned on many after my stubborn attitude of I can do this myself subsided. I slowly started to learn that there were women in my life that had done this, done it well and they were there for me. I also learned that there were women in my life who were going through it with me and we were there for each other. There were women in my life that didn’t have children yet and guess what they were sometimes the BEST voice of reason for me. (They know who they are).

Being a mom is not all rainbows & butterflies, no sir. It’s exhaustion like you’ve never experienced, it’s poop on your face all day, no shower, yoga pant wearing trips to the grocery store for baby gas relief. It can sometimes feel like you are on an island all by yourself. Only it’s not a warm tropical relaxing island. No it’s an island with two screaming kids, no help, no time for sleep, no drinks with umbrellas island. The sooner you learn to invite other boats to your island the better.  When moms get together it’s always a good time. We make each other laugh. We make each other shout THANK GOD I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE. It’s invigorating. It’s how we survive.

There have been times as a mom that I have gotten into bed at night and thought to myself if someone had told me 10 years ago that, that was going to happen I would have bet money against it. There is something about becoming a mother that makes things that would have once been a big deal in life seem so small.  Shame? What is shame? I think I lost that when every nurse and intern under the sun was coming in to check just how dilated I was.  Since having my oldest son I have allowed my best friend of over 20 years to maneuver my boob in the hopes of getting my newborn latched on. (not something I ever thought we’d be doing together). I have cried to my sister and my mother on days I felt I failed as a mother. I have called my best friend from college in the hopes of her calm way of looking at life rubbing off on me. I have celebrated peeing on a stick and seeing the plus sign with my village of girls, I have celebrated baptisms, 1st birthdays, potty training, preschool graduations, and holidays with my village. I have cried and leaned on them through miscarriages, first fevers, trips to the emergency room and everything in between.

I have laughed until I cried about pregnancy stories, labor stories, feeding stories, potty training and all the funny stuff that comes along with this ride we are on. I have been rescued by my single girls for much needed girls nights out. I have been very lucky. My village consists of my sister, my mother, my grandmother, and my cousins (who are more like sisters) my Aunt’s, and my girlfriends, new and old. On Mother’s Day I am reminded of just how much these women mean to me.  They remind me that raising a child is not just about the family living under one roof. My husband and I make a great team but a team never has as much fun without a village cheering them on from the sidelines. My girls cheer me on, cheer me up, make me laugh, and allow me to cry. So on Mother’s Day I want to say thank you ladies, from the bottom of my heart thank you.