In order to be a good mom, you need to love your kids, care for them, provide for their needs, and show them you care. Understand they they have their limits just as you have yours.
You’re not a bad mom if you want some quiet time to yourself. And you’re not a good mom just because you don’t ask for that time, or you prefer not to have it.
But you also need to take good care of yourself in order to take good care of your kids. If you’re not in a good place physically, mentally, emotionally, you might have a difficult time caring for someone else. Especially when they might be able to see that.
Children are intuitive. They know things. They sense things. My kid knows when I’m depressed. She’s especially loving on those days. I check myself before I problems affect her or our relationship.
There is no such thing as the perfect mom, but I’ve met and experienced some pretty darn good ones. Well all have our flaws. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try our best.
HappyMother’s Day to all my mommas. New Moms, old moms. Moms that are biological, moms that aren’t.Step moms, bonus moms. Adoptive, Mom-in-laws. The aunts and grandmas who are raising someone’s babies. There are all kinds of moms.Out there. And I know someone thinks you’re a good one, even if you don’t think you are sometimes.
I have a complicated relationship with religion. I always have. I’ve said this here before, I’m sure. My parents were never religious, although my mom had her “deep thought” moments. If we went to church as children it was an infrequent occurrence, and I don’t remember my parents being there. So religion was not something part of our upbringing, nor was it something outwardly encouraged.
I grew to question more than believe. There were a lot of things in my life that led me to this, mostly inconsequential to anyone but myself. I question more and more as I get older.
I also don’t hate, judge, or question others in their beliefs. In fact I’m a little bit jealous of their faithfulness and dedication. Unless you’re the faithful for appearance’s sake, but not in your heart.
But I can without a doubt admit that there have been a handful of times I have prayed to God or thrown a thought or hope into the universe and even (lard people don’t come for me) prayed to my mom.
Here in good old temperamental Kentucky (the earth lately tbh) it’s been raining cats and dogs and cows and ducks for days now, resulting in dangerous flash flooding and water in the roads.
I drive a little old (literally old) 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Me and that old girl have been through some schtuff, so I ain’t trying to throw hate. But she be light and if you’re not careful and you hit a centimeter of water in the road the wrong way she will fly off into outer space.
Tonight on the way home from work, the pouring rain reduced visibility to darn near nil, and there was a conservative estimate of an inch or so of water in the road a lot of the way (I might have caused a tidal wave to hit Japan in some places). Needless to say, I was SKURT. It didn’t help that my ARCH NEMISIS THE BIG SANDY RIVER was to my right for 75% of my drive (that’s another blog post).
The point I’m so wordily trying to make here is that I may or may not have verbally dictated a request for leniency in the matter of life or death unto an entity that may or may not be God and/or my mom.
The basis of said request entailed my desire to live for the love of my life: my daughter. Also included was a not-promise-but-an-acknowledgment of my own responsibility in keeping myself alive. I’ve made promises of “I’ll be a better person” or “I’ll pray more” or “I’ll dance naked under the pale moonlight” before and I’m no good at keeping promises. Or dancing. Or nudity. Gross.
But on that long, slow, mentally taxing drive home I kept telling myself and who/whatever was listening that I just wanted to see her face. I mean my husband is cool and all but he knows she’s number one. “Please let me see her face. I need to be alive for her” was my goal.
Now, I know normal people wouldn’t have been afraid for their lives, but I’m not normal, clearly. I also have anxieties and fears that are irrational and I accept them and we’ve bonded. Not really they just won’t leave me alone.
“As I’m writing this it’s still pouring rain AND THERE ARE WEIRD SOUNDS OUTSIDE so, anxiety, clearly here to stay.”
Me, suffering silently 2020-?
As I was saying, I have irrational fears, not excluding the fear of dying in some way related to my car. I said we’ve been through a lot and there’s still more to come.
So I drive home, slowly, and tightly gripping the steering wheel, wanting nothing more to make it home alive to my sweet child. I cannot help but “tell” myself and this mystery audience that I suppose only my heart knows is there, “if you help me make it home safely, I will try to keep my end of the bargain, and continue to live.”
That doesn’t mean I wanted to die, nay. I fear death, heavily. I just wasn’t trying really hard to not die.
I Did Live
Unless I’m writing this in limbo, I clearly made it home to my daughter, whose first words upon seeing me were, “did you bring me something.” I did baby. I did.
When I pulled into the driveway and put the Old ‘Balt (that’s a thing I call my car sometimes) in park. I took a deep breath as I waited for the rain to lighten up before I got out. It didn’t.
By now, hours later, the rain has indeed lightened up, I can barely hear it now, and my tiredness is getting to me. I’ve not stayed up this late in a very long time. But I need to get this all off my chest before I go to sleep. I need to document what happened today, so there’s a least some written record of it.
I WILL Live. Period
I won’t be afraid of my heart exploding, or a heart attack, because I will try in earnest to stop drinking caffeine, my only drug of choice. And I will be able to climb stairs without feeling like death (except for that fear or stairs-you guessed it, another post). I will lose weight, even if I don’t want the flappy skin side affect.
And I will be happier, because I will either find a better job or get back into teaching.
Oh and I will also try to document my “journey” right here. So, y’all get to deal with my bonkers self ALL. OVER. AGAIN. Maybe WEEKLY even!
Thanks for reading!
My kid asked me to tell her about her brain and heart before going to sleep tonight. And she said something about “the little thing in my brain and what it does.” Has she been chipped and is self-aware?
From the time she was old enough to lift her tiny little hand my daughter had a thing about rubbing people’s noses and faces to fall asleep-especially mine. Now she’s four and a lot stronger and has a habit of pinching my nose closed, and hitting it. Not hard, but noses are tinder.
As hard as we try to break her she still picks her nose and eats it. Gross. I’m afraid she’ll get laughed at one day.
She’s super smart and loves to learn. I blame Daycare and YouTube Kids. I helped a little too. She’s got a good brain and learns fast.
Except for potty training. We’ve had lots of ups and downs. But maybe we will get there. Maybe.
She’s my whole world and I wouldn’t change a single moment with her. Not the poop, the nose slaps. Not the late nights or early mornings. Or those first six months where she barely slept at night and I was *this close* to jumping off a bridge.
I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t have another either. But I wouldn’t change a thing about the one I got!
I often have days where I want to stop. Stop. Give up. Quit. Throw in the towel, give up my seat. Give away. You know?
Today was one of those days. I didn’t have enough. Enough people, enough money, enough time, enough energy. I felt like I was messing up around every corner. And it was the busiest day. That made everything worse.
I stopped to do something and someone needed me. I had lines I had to shorten, and not enough people to shorten them. Get them down and they filled back up. Thought about doing something that I needed to do, I got pulled away.
I feel like a failure.
I feel like I’ve let everyone down.
Struggle. Struggle. Struggle.
When does it stop? When can I stop?
But now I’m home, two hours after my shift should have ended I’m crawling into bed. Next to my sweet one. My heart. My sunshine. She’s asleep but I can snuggle.
Snuggle snuggle snuggle.
And for a few hours I can pretend all is right with the world.
This is Pepper. She’s almost eleven years old. She’s normally an outside dog. But she got in the house today when a storm was rolling in. So we kept her in. She’s fluffy, so it wasn’t until today that I noticed that she has lost a great deal of weight.
It reminds me of her mortality and that she won’t be around forever, even though she’s been a huge part of my adult life. She’s been a part of our family for as long as my husband and I have been married. She’s outlived two other dogs. She’s escaped the safety of the fence to go exploring many times, and still came home safe.
She enjoyed her time inside and received her first bath in ten years. She noses through the garbage, she ate cheese and gravy. She played with children and took a nap in my bed when she was soaking wet (the bed is still wet).
We are going to be transitioning her in slowly, she can be indoor/outdoor. She will get to be lazy some, gain some weight, and we’ll take better care of her.
She is my Pepper dog, my pepperoni, my first “kid” and she greets me every day when I come home from work. There have been one or two days where I was afraid when she didn’t come out right away, but I’ve always gotten to hear her bark from inside the garage (she’s had free reign of the garage since she was too big to squeeze out the gate).
If I ever came home it she weren’t there to greet me, I’d be heartbroken.
When my husband and I first started dating, I was a broke college student. In our many conversations and in our many dates, I told him, “when I graduate and start working, I’m going to get myself an iPod Nano.” This statement really dates me, but at the time he’s just purchased himself one and I loved it. And I couldn’t wait to be able to get myself things.
You see, growing up we weren’t always able to get the unnecessary things we wanted. It was more or less “do you need it”. Sure, there was Christmas, and nothing made my mom more proud than being able to get us the things we would want. But I was never upset or angry because I didn’t get what I wanted. I understood.
Okay I might have had my moments. But I never resented it and always got over it. Eventually.
So, being college educated meant that when I was employed I’d be making good money, and could provide for myself. So coming up with things I wanted that I’d be able to have was like a game for me.
Well, Mr Man beat me too it.
Our first Christmas he surprised me. And if I remember correctly it was in a box, in a box. He bought me the iPod Nano. I was shocked, surprised, excited, and told him over and over that he didn’t have too. It’s a lot of money for someone you’d been dating for less than six months.
We eventually got married (he proposed with the second thing I told myself I’d get once I got my first post-college job: a Nintendo DS). And I eventually got a job, just not in the field I went to school for. This time I did but the thing I wanted. An iPod touch.
I gave the Nano to my mom thinking that since she liked music she could learn to use it and have a slew of songs to listen too while cleaning. I’m honestly not sure if she ever used it.
She died nine months ago, and I miss her terribly. I miss her nagging and griping and laughter and “I love you” and her cooking and her smile and her hugs and, well, everything. But my sister was recently helping my dad by going through some of Mom’s things and guess what she found.
That tiny iPod Nano.
I brought that bad boy home and, not only does it have songs I forgot about but also solitaire and sims bowling and best of all, pictures. Of her.
*normally I will not share photos of myself or my family here, but this is special.
I love and miss you silly woman, thank you for being such a good mom and hoarder and never throwing anything out.
I just had a panic attack when I realized one day I might not have this quilt.
I’ve covered up with the same quilt for the better part of 20 years. I can’t remember exactly when I got it, it was in a bunch that my grandmother sent us, and I chose it. She made it, by hand, and it’s been my comfort and my go-to for most of my life.
I recently happened to notice that the seams holding two patches together had come undone. I don’t have the skill myself to repair it the right way. Thats when I realized that I will likely one day have to put it away.
“What in the world am I going to cover up with then?!” I thought. For a moment, I couldn’t comprehend that there were other blankets in the world. Ones I own already, ones I could buy.
This quilt isn’t perfect. It’s not fancy or expensive or costly. But it’s mine. It’s dried my tears, kept me warm, comforted me after bad dreams. It’s currently keeping both myself and my child warm. When I asked her, as I do every night, “What blanket do you want?” She didn’t want the monkey, a new addition from her grandmother, the Paw Patrol, Unicorn, or the white one. No. “Share yours, mommy.”
True love is sharing a blanket when all you want is to burrito yourself with it.
And this blanket has been through a lot on its own. Back and forth to college, moved with me when I got married, and then to our new house. I wanted to bring it to the hospital when I had my kiddo. But, I figured it would be cumbersome to bring home with an infant.
Once, when I’d left it home during college, I came home to find burn holes in the corner. You see, my cigarette smoking brother preferred to sleep in my bed, as opposed to walking the 5-10 extra feet to his own room. And one night he fell asleep with a cancer-stick and burned a hole in my beloved quilt.
To say I was upset would be an understatement.
But, I was glad that the patches were basically polyester (I think) and mostly just melted silver dollar sized places, instead of cotton, which might have done more damage. Also my brother lived, I guess.
So I was willing to let it go, and keep the holes as a reminder. But, sadly, the fabric backing had been wearing pretty thin for quite some time, and I already had trouble keeping my foot from going into a hole. It was so bad that the batting inside the quilt was falling apart. I often woke with my foot tangled.
So I begrudgingly took the quilt to my grandmother to repair. I had it in my head that she could just patch it. But as a grown adult with minimal experience with fabrics, I now know better. She ended up removing everything from the topper and replacing it. And not only was the backer a different fabric that the original but she’s trimmed out the burns!
But I was grateful not only that my quilt was back to useable condition and that my foot could no longer hibernate inside it, but that my almost 90 year old grandmother was not only willing but able to repair my treasured quilt.
While my quilt has held up pretty well (old-fashioned handmade craftsmanship) over the years, my grandmother, however, has not. For several years now, she has been in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. I will not go into details, but I’m sure the perils and heartache of this terrible disease are wildly known. And to be honest, it’s been years since I’ve seen her. She’s gotten worse over those years, and I know that, if she were in a place for it to matter to her, she wouldn’t want our memories of her to be tainted by anything.
I dreamed of her last night, in her old house, just the way it was when we were little, the smells the food the stories. She was happy and doing what she did best (besides, sewing, gardening, spoiling her fat chihuahua) making sure we were fed and taken care of. Great, now I want cat head biscuits and gravy!
My quilt will always be important to me. Falling part or perfect condition. It’ll keep me warm, comfort me, and it’ll do the same for my girl. We will use it until it falls apart.
Who knows when that’ll be. But nothing will replace it.
Yesterday I spent the day with my mom. She had an appointment with a doctor about an hour away from home and needed a ride. Being the lovely daughter I am, ha, I provided said ride.
I hadn’t driven myself in the area before, but am really the only one able to take her, so I was happy to help. Plus I spend the day with her and nothing beats it.
On the road we talked about many things, including chapped lips (the most annoying thing in the world). We were discussing everyone’s favorite remedy, the Chapstick brand, and I was telling her how my favorite was the new Shea butter Green Tea and Mint.
She mentioned that she’ll always love their grape flavor. She said she loved it when she was young and my dad alway brought her some. It reminded her of her youth.
I remembered she’s mentioned it before. And that over three years ago, when she’d had major bowel surgery, I’d bought her a tube, although she was mostly intubated and sedated.
But I wanted her to have GOOD memories.
So I messaged Chapstick.
It shows that they’ve seen it, but they’ve yet to respond. Truthfully I expected an automated form reply thanking me for contacting them and telling me they’d get to be ASAP.
Let’s see what happens. Ball’s in your court Chapstick!
Ps: I’m not expecting much. Thought I’d give it a shot!
We don’t live far from each other. I talk to her every day.
When I was a kid (because everything before college graduation was childhood) I’d write her letters. Sometimes it was little notes telling her “good night and I love you” sometimes they were longer. My sister and I used to sneak and clean the house while she slept (in those days she was a much heavier sleeper and we were night owls) and I’d leave her a note.
When I went to college they were mailed but fewer and less frequent. If she wanted to send me some money she’d fold it up and put it in an envelope. But she always felt weird about just sending money. She always said she loved me.
She’s been in the hospital since January 3rd. It’s her lungs and they won’t release her until she’s breathing better, which is difficult considering all her issues. But she’s doing better.
She said something, that first night. She said she’d never smoke again.
The emergency room doctor wanted to intubate her. He said she’s struggling to hard to breathe that she’s slowly wearing herself out, and eventually she’s be too tired.
She was less than thrilled. She’s been incubated before and almost didn’t come off it. So they tried something else this time, a bipap (cpap?). The doc said it was a “long shot” and if it didn’t work, then we’d have to go the other way.
Luckily it worked. Though she’s still not where they’d like her before they send her home, she is doing much better and for that I’m grateful.
When my mom is sick she has stages, regardless of the illness, she goes from (1) knowing she needs to be there, (2) feeling better and getting hopeful she can leave soon, (3) getting antsy, (4) wanting something salty to eat, and (5) getting frustrated and wanting to leave ASAP.
She’s been through all these, though I think she’ll be stuck there a little longer. Right now, though, she’s missing my dad. He’s been sick himself with flu, and his just gotten to feeling good enough to go back to work. She hasn’t seen him since Tuesday the 2nd, excluding Wednesday morning and when she saw him for a few seconds when I picked her up to take her to the ER.
Though she’s close to me at her current hospital, I can’t see her everyday, between work and a sick toddler myself. But she knows I, as well as my sister, would be there every day if we could.
Tonight, before I got off the phone with her, she asked me to write her a letter. Because she hasn’t gotten one in a while. She also made sure to tell me to tell “her bug” she loved her, multiple times. Her Bug was running circles around the living room while holding my video camera. So we didn’t get much out of her.
But I got busy, like I always do, and didn’t get around to writing it. The only reason I have time to write this blog at 11:45pm is because I’m using my iPod and laying in bed.
But I will write my momma a letter, and I’ll fill it with whatever I think will make her smile, or feel better. Because I love making people happy, especially her.
I am the mother of a three year old who amazes me every day.
I have written stories that people are actually excited to read.
I was the first person in my family to graduate college.
I’ve had the same job (and done well) for almost nine years.
And nothing has made me prouder recently than hearing my mom say “I will never smoke again.”
Granted she’s 61 and just now affirming it. And she had to feel like she was dying to say it. But she sounds sincere and determined, despite the C-PAP/BI-PAP/”scuba mask” machine on her face.
For years she has been fighting with smoking related issues (COPD, emphysema) gradually making her daily life more and more difficult. For decades we have begged her to quit smoking.
But it took another near death experience to convince her. I’m okay with that.
My mother has raised her own four kids, helped raise some of her eleven grandchildren, helped care for several more kids who were not her own. She’s a major part of so many lives and those lives would turn upside down if she were to leave us.
And if her quitting a 40+ year habit would only add a few years to her life, then, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure sure has all the support she needs.