What did those kids do to that nice lady?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Count Your Blessings...

So, in case you didn’t know, I have two Children: Son, who is almost 6 and Daughter, who is 3 and a half.  (Going on 13.  She’s totally getting her period.  I’m sure of it.  That would explain so much.)   Having two healthy, happy children is a blessing.  A huge blessing.  Some days I have to remind myself of this as my two little blessings are toying with my mental sanity....and I just repeat to myself...Blessing.  Blessing.  Blessing.  But that being said, they are getting to an age where the light at the end of the tunnel starts to burn your eyes just a teeny tiny little bit.  They’re more independent.  They can get their own snack.  Play by themselves.  Brush their own teeth.  It’s these little things that make a huge difference in a parent’s life.  To not be so needed all the time; not that being needed by a child is a bad thing...it’s just all consuming...and until you start to eek out of those first few years of a child’s life...you don’t realize how needed you were.  

This being needed thing has been on my mind lately because it’s no secret to those who know me that I kinda sorta maybe think I possibly maybe kinda want another baby.  Maayyybbeee.  But, maybe not.  Ohhh....babies.  They are so sweet. And little.  And fresh.  Sure, they wake you up a lot, but it’s usually not too complicated to get them to settle down.  Feed them.  Hold them.  Love them.  They haven’t learned to use their armpit and hand as a farting machine.  In fact, they don’t even think that farts are funny, only that they feel better once they do fart.  They haven’t yet learned the sassier side of the English language; don’t know how to talk back; don’t know how to use a black sharpie as a weapon.  When a baby cries out, nobody stares at you in judgement; they simply keep oohing and ahhing and, oh, isn’t that baby so cute when he cries?  Babies.  Are.  Wonderful.

But when I think of having another baby, I have such mixed emotions.  Of course, I would never regret having a child, but, the third time around, you go in with eyes wide open.  The pregnancy.  The diapers.  The sleep schedule.  The breastfeeding.  That phase where your back is in constant pain from the hunch of holding little hands as they learn to walk.  (But, what a sweet pain it is.)  Just thinking about it is kind of exhausting. Do I want to do that again?  I think I do.  No.  I don’t.  I’m not sure.  Which means the door is open.  Unless it’s closed.  But there is a crack.  Do I slip through the crack or do I just keep peeking in?  I mean, The Offspring are doing nothing but getting older, same as their Mama.  What would it be like to have two in school and a newborn?  Would it be lovely?  Would it be more difficult?  Do I jump back in?  Do I want to do it All.Over.Again?  Yes.No.Yes.No.Yes.No.Yes.  

Clearly, I’m a very decisive person.

As I look at women with newborn babies, I try to remember that eventually that tiny, little, sweet, babbling baby will learn how to speak.  Loudly.  And scream NO! while snot and tears collect in a puddle on your freshly laundered shirt.  And those first few years of being so needed...they are hard.  But they are magical.  Most importantly I must remember that watching a child grow is a gift.  A privilege.  So for now...my two blessings keep me feeling very busy...very tired...but extremely lucky.  

And let’s be honest; sometimes I still really...need...my mom.  I guess that never really goes away.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Can I Get A Volunteer?

I may have once or twice mentioned the following facts:

1.) Walking into a room of strangers causes me great discomfort.
2.) This discomfort often causes me to swear while telling inappropriate stories.
3.) Moms scare me.

So imagine my level of anxiety as I walked into a room overrun with moms, most of them strangers, all of them appearing waaayyyy more savvy and smart and put together than me. I’m pretty sure the moment I walked into the room, I dropped an F bomb.  To myself, of course.  Nobody was talking to me.  (Because I was hiding in the corner like a scared little kitten.)  What was the purpose of this gathering, you may ask?  Well, here’s something that if you don’t have kids you may not know: the pressure to volunteer at your kids’ school, especially if you’re a Stay At Home Mom Who Clearly Has Nothing To Do But Work Out, is overwhelming.  I understand the need for the volunteers.  There’s no money, there’s not enough teachers, there’s too many kids, but sometimes it feels like a competition of Who Can Be The BEST Mom?  Who Has Their Shit TOGETHER?  And I often feel like I do not have my shit together...that everyone is in on something that I’m missing out on.  (It’s a lot like those awkward middle school years, come to think of it.)  But I’ve gone...light...on the volunteering in the past years, so I decided that I needed to step it up this year.  First year of kindergarten and all.  Can’t just spend all my time at the gym in Lululemon for goodness sake.  So, I took that number 2 pencil and I put my name down on that list and then there I was...at an Enrichment workshop with a couple hundred other moms where we were to be taught how to teach art to kids.  (Because, you know, kids don’t get art.  Or music.  Or gym.  Or anything that is fun and extremely beneficial to the rest of their lives.)

Walking into that room felt like the first day at a new school where everyone knows each other and you feel invisible.  I had to give myself a pep talk and man up.  Or Mom up, rather.  I strolled around, grabbed a cup of coffee, found my table.  I sat down, introduced myself to the woman sitting across from me and immediately began lamenting to her my insecurities in a curse-riddled monologue.  Lucky for me, she did not seem offended, she laughed, and caught me up on what exactly it was I was volunteering for.  As the table filled, it was obvious that most of these women were familiar with each other; they had older kids; they had been around the block; but I fell into an easy conversation with them because, as I had to remind myself, this is MY TRIBE.  This is not scary. These Moms are not scary.  I can volunteer.  I will figure out where that “shed” is with all my “supplies” are and I will teach the kids art.  I WILL BE OKAY.   

And while I will again experience anxiety as I walk into a room full of strange five year olds (I will do my very very best not to curse), I’ll just look to my own personal tribe, my Son, beaming with joy that his mom is there.