Thursday, April 28, 2011

SOS is for Save Our Sanity

My husband was away on business for six days. I was left with two kids for six days.

Six. Days.

Six days without adult conversation. Six days listening to whining, checking homework and breaking up fights by myself. It's surprising I have any sanity left. It doesn't matter if you have a full time job, or work from home, or you are a stay at home mom, it can be draining. And if you are a single parent, this is your regular day.

When my husband returned, I asked sweetly, "Do we have any plans tomorrow?"

"No? Good. I need to get out of here. For a few hours. Sans children."

Sometimes, the days turn into weeks, turn into months and I forget when the last time was that I had a break. Not a vacation. Not a date with my husband. Just a break. For me.

AKA....Alone time. AKA.....Me time.

It's important. It's NECESSARY.

Parents...I implore you. Make some time for yourselves. Don't forget to take care of you. We all need a break from the dependency. A moment to breathe. And think. You can go shopping, take a drive, go to a coffee shop and read your favorite book. You could take a blanket and lay out in a local park with your iPod and some sunshine for company. Spending money is not the key.

Having time to yourself to do something that you enjoy without the pressure of chores, demands or other interruptions is vital to keeping your life balanced. Make the time. Don't feel guilty about dropping the kids off with a friend or a relative. The time you give yourself is time to recharge. Without it, you may be more likely to yell at the kids more or get upset over insignificant issues.

Taking care of yourself is not neglecting your children. Taking care of yourself makes you a better parent. More tolerant, more rational. Too much stress can have a physical effect on you. Don't allow your selflessness to harm you in the long run. You are deserving. Your happiness is just as important as your children's.

A 30-day blog tour is being arranged for May, the month of Mother's Day. Let's celebrate moms!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Birthday Girl

I was thinking about what to write about my Emma Lily for her birthday post. The day came and went and I couldn't decide. Do I whine about the fact I had to be induced to get her here? Like get to the hospital the night before and spend the whole time strapped to machines? Nah. I'm sure plenty of women have been through the same. Maybe I'll share some of her hilarious quips. Like the time she said that her life was ruined because I gave her fresh parsley. But, then again, I've shared plenty of those on Twitter.

So, what then?

My son was an easy baby. He's a pretty easy kid still at 11 years old. Emma, on the other hand, is already her own person at the age of four. She was her own person before she was born. I was sick the whole pregnancy. She had to be forced out. The only good hospital photo taken was one where she was giving the one regret in life is not having that one printed. I should have known it was a sign of what was to come.

She was pretty easy in the way that waking up in the middle of the night was quickly resolved, but her precociousness was creeping up on me in the meantime. Once she began crawling, it was obvious she would be a troublemaker. She'd head for whatever direction we did not want her to go in. Today, she still is. She tries to fool us. She says things that we can't even begin to comprehend how she would know. I can only imagine what her teenage years will do to me.

Although, underneath all the trouble, the mouthing off, the hijinx, she's an incredible energy. She bounces like light off a mirror. Her grin is always mischievous. Her hair is always a mess. She makes demands and she throws fits when they aren't fulfilled. Then she does something helpful like getting a new box of tissues for the bathroom. I have a four year old that knows how to put a new roll of toilet paper on the holder. She has tender moments where she brushes your hair back and asks for a hug.

When I look at Emma, I see possibilities. I see a million things she could be. She's emits the drama of an actress, the creativity of an artist and the cunning of a con artist. She's beautiful and difficult and challenging. She's so full of life and my one hope for her is that she always remains that way.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Birthday Boy

Twelve years ago, I was a carefree 21 year old. I worked at a daycare during the day and as a waitress at a local bar at night. In my free time, I bounded from pool halls to concerts to late night diners. There were hours of time spent surrounded by friends having in-depth discussions about solving world hunger or who really killed Tupac and Biggie. Our beer bottles could be heard clinking until all hours of the morning.

And then one day, I was pregnant. The collage of emotions felt overlapped and overwhelmed me. It wasn't time. I wasn't ready. How would I do this? Everything is going to change.

With each passing month, I grew closer to him. I remember the kicks. I relished the tumbles. It was an easy pregnancy; I had no difficulties or illnesses the entire term. I sometimes wrapped my arms around my growing belly, not just to support the weight, but in an attempt to embrace the child I couldn't wait to hold.

My due date came and went. I was ready. I was exhausted. The weekend came and I spent the day walking as much as I could. And at 10pm, when I felt the first twinge of a contraction, I knew he was on his way. After a few hours of waiting, I tried to get some sleep. And after a few hours sleep, I awoke, knowing it was time to get ready to leave for the hospital.

At 4:20pm, he was finally here. I cried. I swooned. I laughed at the scrunched up faces he made. Mostly, I realized that this wiggly bundle was now my life. And with every day that has passed, he has never ceased to amaze me.

In eleven years, he's crawled, walked and spoke. He's created, destroyed and discovered. He makes me angry and he makes me happier than I've ever known. I'm proud of him in more ways than I can count. And while I fear the unknown teenage years ahead, I know that he'll be amazing. Just as he always has.