And we celebrate with baked peas


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I have a love affair with Aldi. I used to hate it, I admit. The first time I’d ever walked in I was sort of creeped out by how it was laid out, the murder mystery lighting etc. It was just not my favorite place to be. Aldi? I judged you. I admit. When we added babies 4 and 5, it was time to cut back on the groceries. I know that sounds counterproductive but what I am really saying is I needed to buy more for less. And with that came my affair with Aldi.

The problem with it is, toys. They sell a ton of toys. Bright beautiful batman and Frozen and Playdoh branded toys. And my littlest kids are AMAZED by it.

Yesterday though, we did good. We got up early, drove a chicken tray to the high school and then to a far away mall for a not so great haircut. We got there too early. My usual offense and so we walked around awhile in the empty mall. This is hard for Dexter who doesn’t like it when we change the plans. I say with every outing, “we are doing this then this and then this. We will (or won’t) be getting XYZ and when we get home, we will be doing _____ (insert activity to end the day)”. It works for him most of the time but what is hard to teach him is the “oops” moments, like getting to the mall to early or when he heard he was getting a hair cut and not Dixon. However, with a  little explaining, he did great. We got Dixon’s hair cut (bad bad haircut), we played in the play area provided by the mall and visited the toy store. We got a pretzel and I was able to buy Devlynn a swimsuit top without much complaining. We even managed to get into the car without event so I was worried about the big N and O when we finally got to the grocery store, my beloved Aldi and I had to reject the toy I knew he’d want. We arrived at Aldi, quarter in hand and walked to the carts. He popped in the quarter, smiling all the way. He picked cereal and fruit and maintained his happy but then, toys! Oh my Gawd, not the toys but he didn’t even notice. He instead said, “today was the best day ever!” And with that I was grateful for planning ahead, making sure he knew we’d not be getting a toy and for reminding him that our time together was the “treasure” and not the toy. We celebrated by sharing a bag of baked peas and counting how many popsicles we have left (we’re working on our numbers). We have good and bad days. More good then we used to. They used to all be bad. I don’t take these good ones for granted anymore.

I imagine it’s hard in his little head. Two years ago he couldn’t say anything he was feeling and I couldn’t help him and that made for craziness and anger. And I get it. I feel like two-year old him a lot. Trying to weigh what is worth saying to people. Trying to live by the rules of is it true, helpful, inspiring, necessary or kind. It makes it hard when people don’t live by the same rules. I imagine that’s sort of how he felt… hands tied without being able to scream at someone who hurt your feelings. When I take the time to think about what I want to say, it’s often not something that’s worth it. Do you hurt someone else’s feelings to let go of yours? I don’t know sometimes.

Words are tough. As are feelings. For big and little. But like my little Dexter, I’m learning, even if it took 20+ years, that sometimes,  you just gotta smile, enjoy what you have and celebrate “best days ever”.

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Wastelands of motherhood

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Why schools have a special field trip shirt I have to keep track of is just well, insanity. I mean I know why they do it. It keeps the kids clumped up in the same shirt. Easier to keep track of unless of course, you can’t find your freaking field trip shirt.

Which of course was me at 9:00PM, the night before the field trip.

We’d been at a year-end baseball party all night. Anxious and ready for some decompression, I nursed the baby to sleep and plopped Dexter in front of the TV hoping  he’d rest a moment before I could get him ready for bed. The bedtime routine is my least favorite thing of the day. Normally I bathe the babies, lotion the babies, brush their teeth, pajamas, a song or book and bed. It’s a miracle if I get my face washed and my own teeth brushed. I hate doing bedtime because I am so burnt out from the day, it just feels like one more thing I *have* to do. So, this night? It was already insane before my dreaded bedtime routine had started. I threw up my hands and proclaimed no bath, no lotion, teeth and bed and that’s when Drew came in.

“Mom, I can’t find my field trip shirt”.

Great.

It did not go well. I walked into his room, floor covered in shirts I’d asked to be hung up all week. Freaking rainbow loom rubber bands and dirty clothes everywhere and that goddamn shirt was nowhere to be found. And then, the baby who I’d just got to sleep came walking in, sobbing. And so began the yelling and the ripping up of rooms and me, rage filled, wanting decompression and rest, yelling at my 8-year-old for not being more responsible.

It was a nightmare. A pot calling the kettle black nightmare. And I yelled and yelled and finally found the shirt, crumbled up under a shelf in the most disgusting laundry room known to man. I threw it in the washer, apologized for being insane and put my kids to bed. It was 10:15PM.

All I could muster in text was, “I am a terrible mother” and “I just want to run away”.

When the baby woke up and wouldn’t go back to sleep at 3am. I just cried and begged for a break.

Right now I am in the Wastelands of Motherhood.

I keep reading this blog posts with titles like “Dear mama, you’re not alone” and “To the mama who’s about to crack” and I nod my head and hit the share button, because I get it. All the 1000s of blog posts about finding your tribe and relying on your friends and I just feel so fucking alone in it. Because my wall keeps out my tribe and my brain keeps telling me I don’t deserve one. And I am so, so tired of feeling like that.

I’m tired of being tired of bedtime and being screaming mom because I know I will never get these years back but I think I’d enjoy these years a lot more if I wasn’t much more than a glorified nanny/taxi drive/world’s worst housekeeper. And I don’t even know how to answer anymore when someone asks me what they can do. Because I don’t know. All I know is I just want to feel human again. And I miss being something other than their mom and his wife. I used to be me. Now I am not. But if I was totally honest with myself, I don’t even know who I am.

Two more weeks of school. We’ve a very full June but I am hoping some of the freedom that comes with summer, will help calm things down. I am hoping that I can get back into a better routine of dishes and laundry and that I remember to clean the bathroom more often than I am now. It needs it and would probably keep my less crazy. I hope downsizing the stuff will help and that I can get outside more. Even though literally every walk ends up with crying… either Dexter or me. I hope that they don’t fight all summer or expect me to drive them all over God’s green earth. The thought of that makes me a little nutty, I will admit. I feel like if I could get out from behind the eight ball, I might not feel like I am gonna suffocate at any moment.

Do other mothers feel like this? Do all mothers feel like this? I wonder a lot. We’ve been to so many new houses lately. All decorated beautifully, landscaped and clean and my house looks like a frat house lives here part-time. How do they keep up when I can’t? I don’t have a job for God’s sake. I want perfect gray walls and a smiling family photo from the 19 countries we’ve visited in the last year. But I realize, that’s not our life. I think I am gonna need to take some time to mourn that.

Grass is greener they say. I get it. Because it does look very green. I know it’s not though and is often just grass colored paint. But these days, I’d really like to use a AC Moore coupon for my favorite shade of green.

It’s gonna get better. It will. All I can do is hope, pray and keep going forward.

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

This is my life #BehindTheBlogger

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This morning when I woke up at my typical 5:00am, I almost forgot it was still a school day. We’d spent the weekend doing summer stuff. Baseball, movies, kickball and BBQ. My kids were all home. My pantry bare but my heart full. Even if I managed to clock in 12,000 steps without even so much as walking my much-loved, neighborhood lap. Spring baseball has wrapped up; both boys out of playoffs in the first round of cuts. It seemed like a short season. But I enjoyed it. Walking in circles around the ball field. Taking turns with Kevin so that we could keep the baby happy and still watch the games. We spent our lives watching our children. Every day, every moment, I think about them and what they’re doing. We’ve been to the art shows now. Each is having their field day, end of year projects and fun-filled field trip. School is almost over. Days will need to be filled or not, whatever we decide. There will be more summer baseball for at least one of the kids. I’m excited for that and worried for the other. Waiting for the elation or the broken heart. I’ve mapped out things we can visit, if there is time and I am gonna master packing a lunch. This is my life.

Many moons ago I never thought I would have children. I didn’t even think I would marry. I didn’t really even like the idea of a boyfriend, let alone a husband. But when the line showed up on that test, after I got over the initial fear and anxiety, I dreamed of this future. Of PTO and of soccer games. I thought of holding and loving this tiny creature and knowing and breathing and being this life. When Devlynn was born, I took in deep breaths of her scent, the sour sweetness of a newborn and thought, with joy, this is my life.

As we’ve added children, I have changed as a mother. I am not sure they’re all good changes and in the most recent years my ugly and losing battles with anxiety and sadness have probably not made me the best mother. And I struggle profoundly with not being good enough, smart enough, rich enough. Enough enough. But everyday, I give what I can and I try to bite my tongue and only speak words that are helpful and kind. I want to stop yelling. I want to be good, for them. Because they are my life. Some days are harder. When Dexter comes sobbing down the stairs before the days even begun. When the baby thinks he’s a newborn again and wants to nurse ALL.DAY.LONG. When one has struck out an entire game and another, didn’t know a rule and “lost it all”. When one sat the bench or got their heart broke, it’s hard. It’s hard to live this life. When they have questions about why they can’t go on vacations three times a summer or why it will take me almost 3 years to save for Disney. It’s hard. And I feel down and I think, “this is my life”. My life of not being able to fix it, my life of not being able to give. Of not having enough.

But then there are days of goodness and joy. Turning new corners, learning new things. Achievements. Making the teams, getting a piece in the show, pitching a no-hitter. There are giggles on the playground and there are long walks and there is sand filled summers, even if we don’t sleep over night. There are new words out of previously silent mouths and babies who think that tables with tablecloths mean birthday parties. There are so many things that I worth working towards. There are so many minutes, hours, days and weeks of good. There is a yard full of broken water balloons and family drawings on the black top. And I think, wow, this is my life.

This is it, my life. 5 little wonderfuls. Full of ups and downs. They are my life.

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.