Dear teenage daughter

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Dear Teenage Daughter,

I thought you were a boy when you were in my belly. I was convinced of it as a matter of fact. We would call you Max and you would play soccer and have almost black hair like my brother. Imagine my surprise when the tech said, “it’s a girl”. I bought pink suckers, tucked them into my Perkins apron and handed them out to everyone I knew.

When you were born I loved you. I still do. You cried though, a lot and I had no idea what I was doing and I worried that you hated me or that you were broken but one day you just stopped. And you looked like this tiny, happy angel and I loved you. I still do.

As a child you were happy. Very happy. You, always by my side, made me laugh. And you have always been kind and sweet and smart. When your first brother came, you squealed in delight and made the best big sister. When the next came, you fell into place as mommy’s little helper. By the time Dexter joined our family you were 12 and you welcomed him into the world with us learning both how beautiful and how brutal birth is but I will never, ever forget your face holding him the first time. Your instant love of him is still very apparent today. Now, we’ve added a fourth brother. The last and you will forever be our one and only princess. God knew we only needed one.

You’re now 16. Learning to drive and learning about the heartbreaks of mean boys and mean girls and mean self. I monitor a lot of what you do without you realizing it and I can see the pain you feel with each passive Tweet and I know that you worry you’re not pretty or smart or good. I see you struggle with friendship and with family and with your relationship with your dad and I try, with all my might to give you good advice and I often cry on your behalf when you are not looking and behind closed doors.

It was hard to let you turn 16. Not that I had a choice in the matter. But I wanted to put you in my pocket and keep you away from all that is high school. I wanted you to never feel the hurt of not fitting in or the worry of not being smart enough. I, in short, did not want you to be me at 16. Who wasn’t smart enough to finish and who, will regret for the rest of her life, never going to prom. And who will always regret never wearing a cap and gown or doing what normal high school kids do. I may push you too hard, I worry. To do good in school. To go to dances and to make friends. Because as an “old woman”, I have regrets I never don’t want you to have too.

I want for you to do all the things.

All of them.

Go to school and work hard but don’t forget you’ll only be 16 for one year. Break some rules and make mistakes but not too big, not big enough that they will affect you for the rest of your life. Go to the dance. Wear the most beautiful dress you can find. Pick it because you love it and not all your friends approveA. Feel beautiful in it and rock the beautiful outside that is so gorgeous but not nearly as beautiful as your inside.

Go to every single try out and sports thing and club you want to and if they say no or you fail, at least you can say that you tried. YOU TRIED. Good for you. There is nothing harder than trying scary things. It’s harder to just try then it will be to hear no. Trust me. I know. So play. Play hard and try. Try hard. You’ll never regret it. I promise.

Be boy crazy but not crazy for boys. Because it’s fun to have crushes and to date. It’s fun. But boys? They’re don’t make you who you are. No boy will make you beautiful or smart or kind or successful. Only you can do that and waiting for a boy to love you so that you can love yourself. It’s not good. Just love yourself. Because if you don’t start now? Loving yourself in your 30s is much, much harder. So, date them. Cheer for them. Be friends with them. But that’s it. Chances are you won’t meet your future spouse now and if you do? There is a real good chance he loves you enough now to wait for you.

You cried in my car this week because you’re afraid to grow up. Listen my little love. You don’t have to go anywhere until you’re ready. So while I don’t want you home at 30, you’re welcome there through college and as long as you need. Going to live at college isn’t for everyone. You can be too scared right now anyway. Because you’re 16 and you still have time. You are still a girl and there is still time to decide. You can stay home and you can go and I will do whatever you need to feel okay. Even if that means moving you in or out mid-semester. You can be home with us. We want you. And when you turn 30 and you have your own family and you feel like you need away. Come home. Because I want you. I want you to know, when you’re 30, I am still and always will be the mother who held you with every broken everything… from skin to hearts.

You are loved. From the day I “discovered” you to the day I am gone and forever. I don’t want you to be afraid but I know it comes with growing up. So I hear, to stroke your hair and listen and to stalk you twitter and questions when I am worried that you are down. I want you to feel safe and loved and when you are scared I want for you to always come to me. Always. Don’t be afraid to grow up. Growing up is great. Aside from the bills of course. I know that maybe it’s hard to see your family, who struggles and your mother who battles the sad and worry that’s your future too. But you should know, even with the struggle, I wouldn’t change a thing because I might not have you. And I might be sad but, you are never my sad. Ever. You and your brothers are what keep me afloat.

So my dear teenage daughter. Do all the things. Do them all with love. Remember you can come home and remember, please, through it all, I am always your mother. Make your life what you want it to be. Don’t wait for approval and don’t wait. Just do it. Do all the things. I cannot say that enough…

Love,

mama

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.

Oh the little pieces

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Today was a series of unfortunate events. We have a good life. I can’t complain but sometimes it’s like this ripple effect. The ripple of rotten. Starts with something as simple as a 4am wake  up and turns into a crap storm of just, what the ___! Today felt like one of those days. And there wasn’t even that much going on.

My reality is that of a woman who has not slept through the night in 16 years. You think I am joking but I am not. I’m not even exaggerating that much. Devlynn born into this world as the worst sleeper known to man, just set the caliber for who could torture me the most. By the time Dixon was born I realized there was no hope of sleeping till he was close to five. Even Dexter still night wakes. I’m tired. And most mornings one or both babies are up at the very latest, 6:00am and I try to beat them up so I have an hour to myself. Lately it’s not been working because much like this morning, a tiny voice wakes me and anyone else in the room. Up at 4:00am. Wide awake. And they are little enough that they still need me to get all the things. And most of the time it’s before I’ve brewed the coffee. I need to invest in one that auto brews but truth be known, I am not sure I could every begin to guess what time to set it.

Now, I’m not complaining. I signed up for this. They’re mine even when they’re obsessively repeating, “milk please”. But I am still tired. Very tired. And tired sets a tone for a day no matter how you try to avoid it.

So tired mom sits down to work a little but no work gets completed because milk cups need filled and the wooden train calls and when friends are over we make pancakes. And then I yelled at poor Dexter over hot oil and bacon and the big boys tried to save him. And Kevin’s phone wouldn’t back up and wouldn’t charge and all I wanted to do was shower, work and run and errand before he went to work but it all went to hell in a handbasket and now, I sit here wondering at the same time how the day could of gone by so slowly and yet wondering how it’s 9:00pm.

It was one of those days.

It feels a lot like groundhogs days. Days for which I am grateful and sometimes pray would slow down but ground hogs day indeed. And with each repeat of the milk cup I wonder if I will ever stop being tired.

Will I ever get enough sleep?

Of course I don’t mean that literally but I can’t even explain what I really mean.

Each morning I try and start my day with the good. I try and take the time to nurse my baby as long as he needs and then tuck him back into our warm bed to dream of the things baby’s dream of. I remember every morning to look my little ones in the face as they sleep and wish each one a good morning. It’s the time of the day I hear about Devlynn’s school and what they’re excited about but often, by the time it’s time to go, I’m a crazy mom, upset we’re late or that I can’t find shoes or whatever. And it’s because I am just so tired…

I have to figure out a way to break the cycle.

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I am taking this week to think about ways to change the days. To make them less tired.

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This week will all be sunny. I am gonna try and take a moment to write every day about something that brings me joy. The more joy, the less tired. Right? So here goes, 7 sunny days. Wanna join me?

 

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.

Pinterest is ruining my life

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“I just want a cute house,”.

I have said this over and over to my poor husband. I have painted and pushed and rearranged and framed and painted and reframed and repainted and still, it doesn’t look anything like Pinterest. Ever.

Pinterest is ruining my life. It is. Plain and simple.

I bought that white chalk board from someone who upcycles. It was a steal. I didn’t have to mix the chalk paint and I would just slap that baby on the wall and wal-la… instant pinterest wall. Only it had a like a shelf attached to it when it first came home with me and it was so heavy that Kevin said he could never get it to hang on our plaster walls. Then I stepped on it and then I tore it off and that’s what I was left with.

It still says, “happy holidays” because whoever made it didn’t prime the chalk board before writing on it and I hung it before repainting it and ya. It doesn’t match. It doesn’t look cute and collage-y. It looks like I threw it up there and hope I could fake Pinterest fame until I could figure something else out.

Hang in threes it said. Lies. All lies.

I am not a house decorator. My house is always a mess. My mother’s house, well you could eat off the floor, literally but mine? You’re lucky to see it. This apple, well I fell so far outside the orchard that they call me and orange.

Eff.

imageThis is my media cabinet. We bought it about a month ago because I was tired of looking at the toys and DVD player and Direct TV box. I have no idea what to do with it. I don’t think I could bare the thought of dusting little figurines and well, I suck at this. It’s bad. For someone as “creative” as I am. My house is like a dungeon of sadness sprinkled with legos, fake food and Mount Laundry.

Someone please help. Someone please tell me it’s okay that my house doesn’t look like a Pinterest palace. Tell me that your house too looks like mine!

It’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? Hard to know what’s in and what is out and what should be at the top of my attention list. Who comes over to my house and says, “Oh girl, you are failing profoundly in the Pinterest reports cards of life”. No one. No one actually comes to my house. I cannot imagine that my single friend that does occasionally pop over, thinks to herself, “OH MY GAWD THERE ARE SNEAKERS EVERYWHERE!!!”

As if we don’t have enough pressure. We now have Pinterest too.

I’m starting to feel for those moms who have ranted on and on about the moms like me, who send the eyeball adorned pudding cups for Valentine’s. If you’re that mom? I am sorry I made you feel lesser.

Because the beautiful houses of my Facebook feed and Pinterest? They make me feel less.

I know, my own issue.

There is so much pressure to perform. To be the stay at home parent who not only holds a full time, sales job from the comfort of her perfectly clean couch but who also manages to look fucking hot AND read Little Blue Truck every single time junior asks.

It’s a lot of pressure.

I don’t know why I let it get to me. I don’t know why I care what my house looks like.
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This is the current state of my living room. Give or take a day. The spot on the couch? It’s from me scrubbing off the peanut butter. The peanut butter I screamed repeatedly to eat at the table. It may be 6 months before I get books on the bookshelf and that fish only got that pretty bowl because the other one was so filthy, I couldn’t stand the smell long enough to clean it.

I hate that rug. I hate that chair and my husband, the hermit, refuses to open the curtains.

I want it to look like Pinterest but right now I’d settle on it looking like home.

How can you teach your set in cement brain, to let go and realize we’re not all home decorators and it’s okay if all the colors run together like a kindergarten painting. It’s okay that there are toys and every single thing you own is decorated in peanut butter finger prints? How do you give up the Pinterest perfect and live with what you have, happily?

That damn comparison. The thief of Joy. Pinterest is ruining my life. And I am letting it.

 

 

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.