Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What the HELL am I doing HERE

I think the title says it all. I'm sitting here typing with one hand and holding the breast pump with the other. God help me if I tip the contraption onto my keyboard sending a rush of breast milk everywhere. Like it's not already humiliating enough that everyone in my office knows what I'm doing in here when my door is shut. I don't care what anyone says, breast feeding mom's who have to pump at work are secretly snickered about--just like the smokers are persecuted by non-smokers for taking daily "smoking breaks." (Kinda different in that smoking kills you, but it's the only example I could think of right now.)

I wish so much that earlier in my life I would've grasped the concept that money REALLY isn't everything and that happiness is the most important. My life has been driven by a paycheck. I am fortunate enough that that decision has helped our family stay afloat during these turbulent financial times. I know that there are people out there right now struggling to pay their bills and feed their kids. I know this and yet I still I can't stop the relentless patronization of myself for being stuck in a career that, to say the least, is boring. It's not like I'm not busy, because I am. Every single day. It just lacks any sort of mental challenge. I keep feeling guilty for not simply embracing a constant thankfulness for just having a job. I will definitely acknowledge that I am lucky to be working, but when did wanting to be happy become such taboo? Is being happy now considered a luxury ticket item reserved only for the wealthy and well deserved?

Right now I should be working on a quarterly report that is due in, oh, 25 minutes in order to meet the mid-west time cut-offs. I'll finish it on time because I don't have the option not to. I've become a master of procrastination because losing any time on work that is not a necessity is an obscene notion to me. The old me would work on a report a few days in advance to make sure everything was perfect. The new me says "Screw it!" I'll get it done in an hour and honestly no one will know any different.

I don't know why I'm so pissed off today. Maybe it was missing the baby take her first steps. Maybe it was the fact my kids have been acting terrible --not an exaggeration-- and I can't be there to be the law, or just maybe I've gotten old enough to realize when it's time to say "Uncle." I keep waiting to live the life I want and I've come to realize I may not really know how to do this. I think the "waiting" is the problem. I think I need to be a do'er. Writing this blog keeps me barely holding onto the do'er concept of another life that doesn't seem so impossible.

Off to finish my report, play the lotto and find my path...

Monday, September 28, 2009

So Close...

Some of my biggest regrets in my life are missing those special "First's" with my kids. Now I don't miss these events because I haven't been a good mom or because I don't care enough to be there, I miss these moments because I can't be there. The reality of it is that I have to go to work. Trust me, if there was a way around this I would have found it.

My 10 month old baby has just started to get her footing. She's standing and reaching and doing all the typical things a baby does just before she takes those first steps. I've been begging her (and the gods) to please, please, please don't let me miss those first steps. This past Friday, I walked in the front door and was met by my mother-in-law, who watches the kids periodically, and she said "I can't believe she's walking!" "Yeah, she's getting close" I said. "No, she's really walking." I must have gone into denial because I said "Yeah, she's been taking a step here or there for a few weeks now." "No, I mean she's really walking" she said. Then I got it. I felt the blood run from my face and my stomach churn. "Really?" I said. "Watch" was all I heard and next thing I knew, my little Itty-Bitty took several steps to embrace my legs. If my mother-in-law wouldn't have been there I would've cried...

I was so f-ing close. It was Friday. It was the day before my birthday. I missed it by hours...

Over the last 6 years I've missed stuff. It's just inevitable, but this time was the last time I'd miss a baby walking. It's the end of something special; an era over. My sweet little Addie is my last baby. There, I said it out loud. I know that she is the last even though I have wild fantasies about just one more. When I had just the 2 kids I knew in my heart the magic number was 3. If I had 3 I'd never feel like we shorted our family. Truthfully, I'd do 4, but there are too many stipulations that would need to be met in order for this to be a consideration--like winning the lottery, not working, getting my husband to buy on to it....you all know how this goes. I know it's the end.

I promised my husband if he gave the green light on 3, I'd never beg for 4. Sometimes I wonder if I only want 4 because I want one last chance to see everything I've missed with the 3. Like, between 4 kids you get a complete set of 3 kid memories....I know it's sick, but maybe??

All I know is I missed something big. My husband said "Well, aren't you excited to see who she grows into next?" Uh....No. I like her just the way she is. I don't need her to grow up. The other two grew up and I swear all they do is either yell at me or each other. I have yet to meet a baby who isn't from the top of their sweet heads to bottom of their curly toes, perfect. I'll take the baby :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Day Off

I took last Friday off to work in my son's preschool class, which he claims is the "greatest day" of his life--goof ball. I love doing it because it gives me a chance to see him be in his own domain with no pressure from his siblings or I. He has a chance to just "be" which is rare for him at home. His older sister thrives on teasing him and his little sister attacks whatever it is he's playing with. My favorite is when he gets lost in play, then remembers I'm there. He scans the room for me and when he finally finds me he displays the most perfect, happy, genuine smile I've ever seen. It almost makes me cry...

A day off work during the week never really means a day off work for me. My iPhone blew up all day with email, I had multiple "I'm sorry to bother you on your day off, but..." calls and I had a hard time shutting down the "What did I miss" part of my brain that regularly keeps me up at night. My day with my son was penciled in so tight, that I had actually forgotten to schedule "pump" time which by the end of the day made me look like the porn mom walking around with my exploding bust line. But, what's another day of humiliation in the scheme of things, right? I got to hang out with my little guy all day and seriously, I'd do it again.

My vanity is so secondary these days to just being with my kids. It's taken some time for me to really get the big picture, but I'd pass on a swanky handbag and Jimmy Choo's all day long just to hug my kids longer, clean my house more and to breath more deeply. Now, I may go home to a mean pile of laundry and stinky diapers and question what the hell I just said, but at the end of the day I really know where I want to be.

Monday, September 14, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes...

To lighten up the day, here is a copy of the email I received from my daughter's first grade teacher:


So, we were brainstorming words that belonged to the "ap" family...nap,sap, tap...and then Emma raised her hand and volunteered the word "crap." One of her classmates said, "Oh, that's not a real word." Emma with a look of I know what I'm talking about argued saying, "It's a real word. You say it when you forget to bring something!"

Have a great weekend!

Ms. X

Not my finest parenting moment, but it made me laugh. If you read the last post, then you know that a good laugh was needed. It's amazing how one minute they can say mean things that crush you and the next minute they can say something that makes you love them all over again.

The Plastics

This weekend was a hard one for me. I can live with being a "Football Widow," but this past weekend everything came to a head. I am not a fan of Fantasy Football, not because I actually hate the game of football, but because it is not just ONE team you have to watch. It's all of them (which translates to an entire day of football). It usually takes me a few weekends to make peace with this, then I'm done. I'm going to let it go after this. My husband also coaches high school football and honestly I like that he does this. Their first season game kicked off on Saturday. I love that he participates in the community and sets a good example for our kids. My kids also love that he's a coach. They can't wait to go to a game and be able to head down to the field during halftime to tell the world this is my dad.

Every mother wants their kids to be proud of them, especially when it comes to our little girls. We want them to be as proud of us as we are of them. We like to think that we are setting good examples for them on how to be good happy people. Out of the blue this weekend while my daughter was just sitting on my lap she said "Mommy, I hope when I grow up I never ever look like you because you are fat." I was speechless. For the first time in my life, I didn't know what to say. All I could initially muster up was "That's not very nice to say" at which she added "When I grow up I want to look like my Auntie L because she is so skinny." Auntie L, as I'll call her, is my skinny little sister who I think deep down thinks that overweight people are to be secretly judged. She's never said anything to me, but I hear what she says in passing to the skinny and even younger sister of ours.

That last part iced my cake. It's not like she said it to be mean, because we were just hanging out. She said it because that's what was on her mind as she sat on my lap. Did my sister subconsciously or worse consciously veer her on this path?? My daughter and I talked about it again at some length, but I don't think she really gets the magnitude of what she said. It's not that she just said it about me; I could get past this. It's that she is beginning to view people as skinny, normal and fat. I remembered that after I had the baby last year she asked me "Why are you bigger than the other mommies in my class?" I should have known right then and there that it's not just the kids in class that are making impressions on the kids.

Today was my son's first day of 4's preschool. He was so excited to be there. Thank God for him because he still loves me just the way I am. As I dropped my son off this morning I watched some ( I say some, because I know that normal ones exist and they don't deserve to be generalized in this batch) of the SAHM's gather with their designer stroller's in tow looking way to glam for preschool. I did not see one chubby or normal mom in the group--and I looked hard. The first thing that came to mind is "There are the Plastics" which for any of you who have watched "Mean Girls" know what I'm talking about. I bit my lip as I felt my eyes begin to swell. I hope my little boy just goes on playing right past the nonsense.

My mind was racing this weekend to find a way to combat this. I'm pretty sure this stuff isn't coming from home since we've made a pretty big effort at our house to NOT use the word fat to describe people... but what if somehow it is?? Then I thought maybe it's where I'm raising my kids. I like to think where we live is pretty normal, but I know it's not. There is a lot of money surrounding us and even in these tough times there are no shortages of designer jeans and fancy shoes lining the pickup lines for kids. Maybe we should pack it up and move deep into the valley away from everything.

Regardless of how I may be feeling about myself, all kids should know the joy of growing up without judgement; in a house where people love you for you and not for what you look like. They should also be focusing on happy and healthy versus skinny or fat. There is so much time in life to doubt yourself about the way you look and who you want to be...does it really need to start at 6!?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Running for my Life

I've had a cute little Nike+ attachment I've been meaning to add to my running for some time now. Last night was the night. It was almost dark, but I figured if I didn't go then, I'd never go. I need to really commit to myself to take time out for just me. I manage to take time off work for the kids, be home on time for whatever my husband has going and I never seem to make a little time for me.

My mortality has really been on my mind lately. I'm not old by any means, but I'm definately not the spring chicken I was 10 years ago. I've been thinking a lot about the life I'm living and the life I want to live. I want be around long enough to watch my children and their children and maybe even their children's accomplishments. I can't do these things if I don't take care of myself. I love my family, but I'm learning that in order to take care of them well, I need to take care of me.

I've found that a great part of my battle with food stems from my inability to waste. It doesn't matter if we go out to eat or if we eat at home. I can't just let food go in the garbage. I need to eat it so it doesn't get wasted. This totally doesn't make sense. I don't waste the food, but I fill my body with waste. Maybe this is a product of being forced to eat everything on my plate as a kid or maybe it's my dad's dinner time stories of starving kids in ethiopia that compel me to stock pile the extra food. Whatever the reason, I need to get past it. I watch my kids eat and when they're full, they just stop. I need to learn a lesson from them. I need to emotionally remove myself from eating.

That's where the running comes in. Running with the little Nike tracker was an interesting experience. I am not a fast runner by any means, but I certainly never thought I was a slow as the tracker said I was. I've always been a solid 10-minute miler. Last night I was a 20 minutes--seriously, couldn't I walk faster?!? I can really feel the extra 40 lbs I've been lugging around after this last baby. The good thing is that I'm so devastated after the run I can't even think about eating something. I'm going to try it again tonight. I need to remember that I'm not just running to look good, I'm running for my life.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Note to Self...

My battle with food is terrible. I have to remember, just because no one sees me eat it doesn't mean I didn't...I know, it's sick.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ode to Normal

Well the last few weeks have been crazy busy for me at work and at home, so posting anything has not been an option. Just as school started my oldest daughter came down with strep throat....ugh. I was so sure it was just the flu, but I heard a boy in her class had strep and I thought I'd take her to the doctor to be safe. I'm so glad I did otherwise I would've sent her back into the regular population to continue the spread of sickness. I was worried about the other kids getting sick, especially Baby, but the doctor said if we could make it a week we would be in the clear. This past Saturday marked one week and we celebrated a sick free house. I got a call from the Nanny this morning: my son is throwing up. So much for making it a week!

We had a nice easy long weekend. It of course ended much too quickly and much too abruptly. Saturday is my favorite day of the week. It's no secret that I crave the normal, so this weekend we just hung out and cleaned and gardened and played. Since I was home at 5:00pm, we actually got decent thought-out meals. The kids even spent the night in their new clubhouse with my husband. Life was good.

I miss focusing on domestic duties. Meal planning for example. When I was a stay-at-home mom I didn't hate it, but I definitely NEVER thought I'd miss it. I feel the same way about cleaning. There's something great about knowing a room is REALLY clean. I also love to bake and my kids love to participate, so it's a crowd pleaser. It give me something to focus on when I'm upset or frustrated. Cooking and cleaning blunt my anxiety about what our future holds. Food is love at my house...

In my plight to escape my body image, I tried to step it up a notch and went jogging with a friend on Saturday. I am still feeling the aches and pains of that decision today. I only jogged 2.7 miles, but I swear it felt like 15. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly your body can slide out of shape. I will press on...I can do this...just one foot in front of the other....who cares if the cars driving by see me gasping for air? I mean, not me...right?

The first day back from a holiday is always tough for me. I think it's tough for the kids too because they want me there maybe as much as I want to be there for them. I've given myself two years to get through this messy economy. At this point, I think I've got 1 1/2 years left. My husband and I have mapped out what we need to do to get me home with the kids and it's all I think about. I really want to stop playing the "Grass is Greener" game, but I can't. Having a back up plan gives me a sense of security, even if it's not realistic.

I'm fascinated by other mothers' plights. I talked to one mom this morning who now has a high schooler that still misses her and wishes she was able to be with her. I asked if she could do it again would she find a way at any cost to stay home. She didn't hesitate a bit and said "Yes." I could sell my house and move deep into the valley to a beautiful affordable home and be with my kids. What is more important: Where you grow up or who you grow up with?? I don't know the answer, but maybe some of you do...