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adventureswithemelia

Even on the Bad Days

Being a parent is… interesting. Some days its just as you always dreamed it would be; the days that are filled with sunshine and happiness; smiles; hugs; and a warm, fuzzy feeling. Those days where you just can’t get enough of your perfect little angels are amazing and magical; but there are other days, less perfect days, that come with parenting too.

There are days where nothing seems to go right, days where every decision results in screaming fits and tears, where no matter what you do or try you just can’t seem to win. These days are the ones that really test you. Every parent has them sometimes, some parents have them more than others.

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of these days. Everett is getting to the stage where he’s begun testing us, trying to figure out what he can get away with, which often results in tantrums because we won’t let him play with the scissors or eat crayons, and Emelia is at the age where she thinks she can do everything herself. She’s becoming her own person which is great and incredible but it also leads to its own breakdowns sometimes.

These days are hard. They push me to my limits and there have been times where I’ve contemplated running away because all of the screaming and fighting just drains you, physically and emotionally.  But even though these days can be beyond tough, there are still moments that make it all okay. There are moments, in between the yelling and the arguing, that you get to catch a glimpse of those perfect little angels you know and love. When you’re having a bad day, or even a string of bad days, these are the moments that you need to cling to, because even on the bad days, they’re still your kids, they still love you and you still love them.

Don’t let the bad days get the best of you, don’t give up, don’t run away, because you might miss out on those moments that make it all better.

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Don’t Lose You

Do you ever sit and think “How did I get here?” How did I become this shell of a person; this woman who is solely “mom”? How did I lose every other part of myself?

I find myself asking these questions a lot, mostly on the days where I feel overwhelmed or worn down; the days where Everett refuses to eat or Emelia refuses to sleep. I think about who I was before kids, the interests I had, the friendships, and I wonder what happened to that person.

I know what happened, I had kids. I had kids, and I stopped doing things for me. I stopped taking time for myself to do the things that I loved. I had kids and my priorities shifted from myself to this tiny human that needed me for literally everything. This small, innocent little baby that needed me to keep them safe and warm and fed, so I put myself on the back burner and that’s where I stayed.

Slowly, I forgot who I was outside of “mom” and now sometimes it seems like I won’t ever remember. Everyone says to take time for yourself, and you should! You definitely should, because if you don’t you might lose who you are. You might lose what makes you, you and that’s not fair. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to the little ones that you’ve sacrificed yourself for. Those sweet little babies that you put before your own needs deserve to know the amazing person that you are, all of it! They deserve to know that you’re a great painter, or that you love to hike, or whatever is special about you. And it will make you happy!

Taking time for yourself might seem selfish, I know I struggle with it a lot. I can always think of at least 10 other things that I could be doing and there’s a twinge of guilt, but then I realize that doing what I love makes me happy and you shouldn’t ever feel guilty about doing what makes you happy. I mean, you’re still going to feed those babies and you’re still going to keep them safe, so why shouldn’t you take some time for you, too? Don’t lose yourself because then you’ll just waste time wondering where you went, and that time can be spent in far better ways.

Supermom

We all know those moms who seem to have it all together. Their hair and makeup is flawless, their clothes are stain free, they do all of the Pinterest projects and their kids look like the stock photos that come with the picture frame you bought but never put a real picture in so you keep it stashed away with all of its comrades in the closet. Then we know the moms who look like they may or may not have an animal living in their messy bun; the ones who forget the extra diapers, wear the same outfit multiple days in a row because they haven’t done laundry, and have a sink overflowing with dirty dishes. Take a guess at which category I fall into. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the first one.

I’m guilty of being Mom Type 2. Sure, sometimes I try to get my shit together long enough to be Supermom,  but 90% of the time I’m just too tired. Tired because my 3 year old still doesn’t sleep through the night consistently. Tired because I have a night owl and an early bird. Tired because oh my god who gave my kid sugar at 8 o’clock at night?! Seriously, who? I will cut you.

My point is, even if you aren’t the mom who seems to have it all figured out, you’re still a good mom. My kids are still loved, clothed, fed. My kids are cared for and happy. They don’t care if the house is messy or I haven’t put on makeup in who knows how long. The only one who cares is me. I am the only one who looks at that other mom and wishes that I could be more like her. My kids don’t look at me and think “I wish you’d brush your hair once in a while.” Instead, when they look at me they see the constant provider of snuggles, healer of ouchies, banisher of monsters. To my children, I am Supermom.

Saying Goodbye Too Soon

I grew up in Beavercreek. I went to school there, I made friends there; I lived my life life there. I knew the same kids from kindergarten to graduation. Together we became adults; we celebrated together, played together, loved together, we started our lives together. Then we graduated and went to different schools, moved to different states, made different friends. We grew apart and lost contact, but we still held each other in our hearts. The people that I grew up with will always be special to me, even if I haven’t talked to them in years.

My class graduated in 2009. That was six and a half years ago. My classmates and I are all in our mid-twenties, still so young. Some of us are starting families, some are still finding themselves, some are still in school, but we are all still so young. We should have so much time left. Several months ago I got the news that my class had lost one of its members. It was hard; we shouldn’t be losing people, not yet, not for a long time.

Today we lost another beautiful soul. My Facebook timeline is full of people saying their goodbyes to this man that we all knew and loved, sharing pictures and memories, some from years ago. We aren’t old enough to be saying goodbye yet. This shouldn’t be happening. We should still have decades of memories and stories ahead of us, but that isn’t always the case. Both of these men were taken far too soon; it isn’t fair, but the universe isn’t always fair. Sometimes you lose people too early, great people with kind souls and warm hearts. I will never see them again, they will never make me laugh or smile again, and that’s just how it is now. It’s hard. Life is painfully short, don’t waste it.

Forever and Always

My darling Everett, I am so sorry. I’m so sorry that I cried when I found out you were coming, and that they weren’t happy tears. I’m sorry that I continued crying throughout the pregnancy. I’m sorry I wasn’t happy, I wish I had been, I tried to be. I’m sorry that I wasted that time that you were growing inside me, and those first precious weeks after you were born, mourning the way my life had been before you. I’m sorry that when I held you, I didn’t feel the all consuming joy that you deserved. I’m so sorry for all of it, but please know that I love you so much!

I love your sweet little smiles and your silly gasp of a laugh. I love that you always want to be with Momma and follow me with your eyes when I walk around the room. I love how strong and happy you are, even when you aren’t feeling good. But most of all, I love that you filled in this piece of our family that I didn’t know was missing. I thought we were complete; your dad, sister, and me, but I was wrong. I didn’t know that there was an emptiness here, but now I do.

You came into the world and gave me the best gift I never knew I needed, and for that I will be forever thankful to you. You are my miracle and I will spend the rest of my life trying to be the best mom I can be for your and your sister. I will do everything in my power to make sure that you never have to feel unloved or unwanted, because you deserve better. I love you both so much and I will do all I can to show you that love. I’ve wasted so much time already, and life is short, I won’t waste any more. You are my handsome little man and I love you forever and always.

I’m Where I Need To Be

Back before I became a mom, I worked. It was never anything impressive; there was Yankee Candle and the Buckeye Room, an alteration shop, a call center, and a gas station. None of these jobs were brag worthy, but I was making money and contributing to my small family, and some of these jobs I thoroughly enjoyed! They weren’t careers, but they worked for me at that point in my life. About halfway through my first pregnancy, I had to quit my job. I didn’t want to quit, but I was so tired and I just couldn’t keep working in a poorly ventilated building, with no A/C, in the middle of a North Carolina summer.

Being a stay at home wife/mom is definitely a different experience. Instead of spending my days at work, I spend them at home. A normal day consists of waking up and taking care of the baby before I take care of myself. If I’m lucky, Emelia will sleep long enough for me to put Everett down for his first nap and have a little quiet time to eat, get dressed, and maybe get a little housework done. Usually though, that doesn’t happen. Typically, Emelia will wake up right as Everett is going down, meaning it’s time to feed her, brush her teeth, get her dressed, and tame her crazy bed-head. Then she’s ready to play hide-and-seek or “chase” which is literally us running in tight little circles over and over until I feel like my hip is going to pop out of place.

By the time Everett wakes up from his nap, I usually still haven’t eaten or gotten dressed. This goes on until Everett goes to bed around 6 o’clock. At the end of the day, after both kids are asleep, I finally get time to care for myself. My life revolves around caring for others, specifically these two tiny humans that I made. It can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. There are days where I dream of getting away, just for a little while; dream of truly being me again.

A few weeks ago I got the chance to go back to work; I interviewed and the company loved me. I had longed to go back for so long. I missed being out in the world, talking to adults, contributing to my family. I was excited when I got the call about the interview, but as I drove home afterward that excitement left. Instead I started dreading it, dreading leaving my kids, dreading putting them in the care of someone else. I had always said that I wasn’t built to be a SAHM, it just wasn’t for me. I wasn’t good at it; I got frustrated constantly, I hated being stuck at home, my house wasn’t clean, I hardly cooked. I was meant to be in the workforce.

I always felt lesser staying home. I felt like others looked down on me, like I was mooching off of my husband. He works so hard and I just took care of our kids. Just took care of our kids. How ridiculous is that? I had it in my head that raising my children wasn’t as important as getting a paycheck, that my contributions didn’t count because they didn’t have a monetary value. It took me almost getting what I wanted and had dreamed about for so long, to realize just how important a role I play. I am the primary caretaker for these little creatures; their main source of entertainment, love and affection, and care. I feed them, bathe them, kiss their ouchies and give them their much needed snuggles. I’m in charge of laying the groundwork that will shape them into the adults that they will one day become.

I may not get a W2, but my job is important. I am right where I need to be at this point in my life.

Why I Worry

When Emelia was born, I worried about her. I worried that she would get sick, or I would drop her, or she would stop breathing in the middle of the night. I worried because I loved her so much; more than I thought it was physically possible to love someone. With Everett, I still worry about all of those things. I still check on him throughout the night when I should finally be getting some much needed sleep. I still panic every time he feels the slightest bit warm. I still worry that I’m not making enough milk for him and that he isn’t gaining enough weight.

With Emelia I worried because I loved her so, so much. The thought of something happening to her brought tears to my eyes and made me sick to my stomach. I love Everett just as much as his older sister, and while I worry because of the love I have for him, I also worry for another reason.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I was less than thrilled to say the least. I hate that I felt that way, but unfortunately it is what it is. All I can do now is just do my best at loving him and giving him the life that he deserves. I didn’t love my son in the beginning, as much as it pains me to admit, but I love him now.

I worry about Everett because I love him, but also because I feel like I don’t deserve him. I feel like something bad happening to Everett would be the universe’s way of punishing me for all of the excitement and love and happiness that I didn’t feel until way too recently. Punishment for all of the times I cried because I didn’t want another child. Punishment for hoping it all was just a bad dream. I worry that one day I’ll wake up and find out that it really was a dream, that I was never expecting a second child, that Everett was never born. I worry that now that I’m finally happy it will all be taken away from me. I worry that I’ll get the punishment that I try to tell myself I don’t deserve.

Mommy, I’m Gonna Grow Up Soon!

“Mommy, I’m gonna grow up soon!” Emelia says as she looks at me with her big, beautiful eyes. She’s excited, she loves the idea of growing up and I can tell that she wants me to be excited too. I am, I’m excited; I’m excited to see the person that she grows into, to see what she’ll do with her life and how she will impact the world. But I’m also wishing that time would just slow down, even just a little bit. It seems like yesterday she was this tiny, helpless baby and now she’s a rambunctious 3 year old. She sleeps in her big girl bed, decides what she wants to eat, uses the potty; she’s not a baby anymore.

She’s growing up right before my eyes and I love to watch it. Every day she learns something new and forms new opinions about the world around her. She’s evolving right in front of me and it is incredible. I love the sweet, caring, funny girl that she’s turned into and I’m excited for all that comes next. But it’s all coming too fast. She doesn’t need me as much as she used to; she doesn’t need me to hold her 24/7, she doesn’t need to breastfeed anymore, she doesn’t need to fall asleep on my chest. She’s a big girl now and it fills my heart with joy, but I also miss that tiny baby that she once was. I feel like I’m going to blink and all of a sudden she’ll be graduating high school or getting married. Before I know it, she’ll have a little Emelia of her own.

Parenting has been the happiest and best thing that I have ever done, and it’s also been the most heart breaking. I watch Emelia play and use her incredible imagination and I’m immensely proud of her, but it also tears me apart a little bit. I don’t want her to grow up and start her own life; at least not yet. I want her to stay as she is now; my loving little 3 year old who gives me kisses every morning because she thinks they help me wake up and says that I’m the best mommy in the world. I’m not ready, I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready.

“Mommy, I’m gonna grow up soon!” Yes dear, yes you are, but please don’t rush. Take your time because Mommy isn’t ready yet.emelia-and-mommy

Day Drinking

Before my kids were born I spent a lot of time in bars, clubs, and parties. It was rare for me to spend a weekend at home by myself. I wouldn’t say that I had a drinking problem, I knew my limits and I didn’t need to drink, but I did regularly enjoy a night of partying with friends. Living in a military town with not much in the way of entertainment and a large percentage of the population in their early 20s, drinking was pretty much what people did.wine

Since becoming a mom, I’ve seriously cut down on my drinking; I mean, I’ve pretty much cut it down to a non-existent level. I can’t remember the last time I finished a bottle of wine before it wentdoug-drinking flat, and I really can’t remember the last time I got drunk. I’m pretty sure it was the week before I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, so Valentine’s
weekend, 2013. Wow, that was a long time ago. Anyway, since my daughter was born I haven’t had time to drink or party like I used to; most days I hardly have time to shower and brush my hair. The majority of the time I don’t even think about drinking, I have other things on my mind and I’m not a kid anymore so getting shit-faced just doesn’t have the same appeal as it once did, although we had some pretty fun times back in the day.

Well, you know what? Emelia has a cold, Everett has thrush and wants to nurse but screams every time I put him on the boob, and the damn cat won’t stop knocking shit off the table. My boobs hurt, I’m wearing the same outfit I’ve been wearing for the past 3 days, and I’m out of chocolate. I’m about to pop open that bottle of wine I’ve had in the fridge for who knows how long and start day drinking. Because parenting is hard and I’m going to lose my shit! So cheers to any other day drinking moms out there!

cheers

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