Tag Archives: motherhood

She Says… Mother’s Day, Times Two

Even though my Mother’s Day started and ended with cleaning up puke with my bare hands, I daresay it was one of the loveliest, sweetest, most special days for me and my little family. If you had asked the pre-kids me if that was even possible, I would have said, “NO WAY”.

But it is.

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First things first, I have these two beautiful baby faces to gaze into all day. And Benjamin’s cute face, of course. And Schnitzel’s cute, furry dog face. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I adore these three (and the dog!) so hard that sometimes it seems that nothing else in the world matters.

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I remember on my first Mother’s Day (with a kid outside of my belly) that I write about how having a baby had changed me. It transformed me. It made me a better “me”. More understanding, more thoughtful, more gentle, more patient, more present, more organized. After that, I kind of thought the transformation was complete. The shift from pre-kids “me” to post-kids “me” was made.

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But now, on my first Mother’s Day with two sweet babies outside of my belly, I can honestly say I have grown into myself in a way I didn’t expect, even three short years ago.

Motherhood has seeped into every nook and cranny of my heart and blown up like a balloon until I thought I might explode from the power of it. I have felt the unmistakable bliss of true, unconditional love. Twice. I have felt the overwhelming (yet futile) motherly urge to protect my boys from unavoidable sadness and the familiar pain of unkind words. I have felt the turn of the sharp knife of guilt in my belly, making me doubt the tough decisions that I have made as a parent. I have felt the impenetrable bubble of my family’s laughter while sitting around our dining room table, laughing until we’ve forgotten which private jokes we were even laughing about in the first place. I have spoken words in what feels like a secret language with my boys, knowing that they know what I mean to say even when I can’t find the words to say it out loud. I have felt the firmness of their little heads under my chin as I cuddle and rock and sway and hold, long after they thought they needed me to. I have locked eyes with my partner, my husband, above the boys’ heads, acknowledging the perfection that we have created and how lucky we are to be able to bask in it every day.

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Motherhood has continued to change me every day since that very first Mother’s Day.

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It has given me the confidence to trust my instincts. To listen to my heart. To NOT listen to those who are not worth listening to. To know that I’m raising my boys to be kind and generous and to give really good hugs. To know that I’m trying my hardest to support them and help them grow while respecting their individuality.

Being a mother has made me grow into the person I always wanted to be, even when I didn’t even know it yet.

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The journey is far from over. And maybe Mother’s Day will be my personal, yearly marker to take stock of how far we’ve come, as a family. How far I’ve come, as a mother. And to look ahead, to the future. To all of the changes yet to come. To all of the joys my family has yet to experience. To the sadness and the pain that we wish we could be spared, but alas, we cannot. It’s all ahead of us. And we’ll move forward as a unit, my three boys and I. And I know that we will continue to change. To grow. To be better.

Every year, I hope to be more “me” than the year before. And I hope the same for my boys.

She Says… Enjoying the Now

I feel like I write so often about the hard parts about having a toddler. The annoying things. The behavioral challenges. The “problems”. So, this Mother’s Day, I just stopped thinking about the little things I want to change/correct/alter/fix, and the milestones I’m looking forward to in the future, and just enjoyed where we are right now.

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We’re in a sweet, sweet spot right now. Owen is a doll.

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Sure, we have our outbursts of “NO!” and tantrums and tears. But overall? Overall he is hilarious. And cooperative. And follows the rules. And eats and sleeps like a champ. He has opinions, but is beginning to understand compromise. He’s charming. And smart. The connections his little brain is making about the world surprise me every day. His voice melts me.

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It was a sweet, sweet Mother’s Day. And the littlest one in my belly made it all the sweeter.

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I know things are about to change a lot for our family. But I couldn’t be happier about the timing of the wee one joining our family and the little person Owen is turning out to be.

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I am so thankful to be their mother.

She Says… Pucker Up!

For the last few months, Owen has sweetly obliged when we’ve said, “Can we have a kiss?”. He demurely offers his forehead to be kissed, like the queen offering the back of her hand. But the other night while I was drying him off after his bath and cuddling his warm body wrapped in his hooded froggy towel, I said, “Kiss!” and planted one square on his lips.

He giggled and said, “Mo! Mo!” while doing the sign language for “more”. More kisses, please!

I kissed him again. He squealed with delight.

Now it has become part of our nightly ritual. Big, fat kisses. Usually he presses his lips together so they make a straight line and then smooshes his face right into mine. It’s really more like a head butt or like he’s trying to give me a fat lip. Sometimes he opens his mouth for a wet, sloppy one. Often he grabs his tiny arms around my neck or squarely on my cheeks and holds my head down so the kisses don’t stop.

I know someday he will regret that I told the internet about this, but Owen loves kissing his mommy on the lips.

Oh, did I mention how much I love kissing him too? Because I do. More than I ever thought possible.

As of now, I’m the only one who has been on the receiving end of these sweet little gifts. Daddy still gets the forehead. It’s our special little thing.

She Says… Sardines and Vomit

That about sums up my Sunday.

Motherhood, I have learned, is a really good lesson in how to get over your own fears and hangups for the sake of someone else. It doesn’t really matter that I hate killing spiders… I do it anyway. It doesn’t really matter that I didn’t particularly want to get up in the middle of the night several times for several months in a row when I heard that little cry… I did. It doesn’t really matter that sometimes I want to park my butt on the couch and watch “Modern Family” episodes all day… I can’t.

Moms just have to step up to the plate, put their big girl shoes on, and do it.

This weekend I conquered two fears.

Vomit: As a child, I was that kid with the super sensitive gag reflex who would throw up if I saw someone throw up. Or even heard them throw up. Or even heard a sound effect in a movie that possibly sounded like someone throwing up. While my mother held back my sweaty hair and patted my back I remember thinking, “How will I EVER do this for my own child?!”. She always said, “You just will”. And you know what? It’s true. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle not to throw up in this case. I felt that familiar urge, but I had just enough self-control not to blow my “tough mom” cover.

There is only one other time in Owen’s life that I can remember having to deal with vomit. And I mean real, chunky, smelly vomit. That was the time I gave him Poly-vi-sol drops when he was a baby. That was the first day I realized the vast difference between spit up and vomit. It’s never really been an issue, and we’re long past the days of needing a spit up rag, so I left the house on Sunday with a spare diaper, some wipes and a sippy cup of milk. Traveling light, you know? Owen chugged his milk in the car (mistake #1, in hindsight). When we were almost to our friends’ house, I hear him burping in the back seat and he started to fuss. That’s normal — he still HATES his car seat, so there’s always fussing when we’re in the car.

We approached a stop light a little too quickly and Benjamin made an abrupt stop. The motion must have pushed Owen’s little tummy over the edge, because out came all that milk. And the rice chex and peaches he had for a snack. And a lot of other, uhh, chunks I won’t describe. All over his shirt. Right into the crotch of his jeans. Right through the seat cover and into the buckle so that it squished all over the seat.

I climbed into the back seat and started wiping up what I could. But the smell. Oh, the smell! We opened all the windows and I acted like a big girl and wiped it up and kissed his little brow while Benjamin drove on. Yuck. I won’t say it was easy, but I will say that my mom was right. You just do it. It doesn’t really matter how much you hate vomit.

Sardines: On another note, in an effort to get Owen to taste and try tons of different foods, I know it is important to offer him foods that I dislike. You know, not allow myself to put my own food hangups on him. There aren’t very many foods that I dislike; I’m pretty adventurous and I’ll try just about anything. Generally I like it. However, for most of my childhood I HATED fish. The smell, mostly. Fish sticks and tuna fish were just about the most disgusting foods I could think of. Blech. Since then I have grown to LOVE fish (but still not tuna fish!), and often make Owen tilapia or salmon or cod. I have heard how healthy sardines are for you, but just could not make myself buy a can. Disgusting — slimy little fish squished into a can? Maybe it’s because I hate tuna so much, or maybe it’s just a hatred of that fishy smell, but sardines were on my “I’ll never eat” list.

Until yesterday.

In the name of healthy protein and fats, convenience (since they can sit in the pantry, which is really helpful on those crazy weeks when we just haven’t had time to go to the store), and getting over my own crazies, I bought a can of sardines. I peeled back the lid and that same pukey feeling came over me, but I forged ahead. I took out the bones (which grossed me out far more than the smell, if that’s possible) and put a few chunks on Owen’s tray.

You know what? He LOVED them. Gobbled. I’m not gonna lie — I did NOT share in this fishy feast! Baby steps, people. I’m pretty proud of myself for getting it in my shopping cart and opening the can.

What other fears can I conquer?! I’m on a roll!

What “fears” or hangups have you gotten over since having a baby?