Thursday, April 30, 2015

DAY FOUR: Finding the Fun

Sometimes things aren’t always how you pictured they’d be—OK, most often things aren’t ever how you imagined them. HA!

Moving has not been exactly what I thought it would be. When we first moved, there were seven of us living at my parents’ house—thankfully they had the room and the patience to accommodate all of us. We had these giant family dinners every night—my mom, my dad, my brother, my husband, Liam, Connor and me all around the table. Yes. Every. Single. Night. My mom would make party-sized meals for our wild brood. And sometimes (most times) when Liam couldn’t keep his knees off the table or when Connor was screaming just to hear himself scream, I knew I had to ride it out because even though they were not perfect, or what I had thought our dinners would look like (cue a child squirting ketchup across the table) I knew these were special dinners and shouldn’t take them for granted.

Oh and now that I was able to be home during the day, we kept the kids home too—and it was terrifying! For the last five years we had taken them to daycare and school at 830AM and picked them up at 6PM. Now they were there ALL THE TIME. The first Monday morning after making the move, I remember looking at Liam and thinking—oh, you are still here. OH, YOU ARE STILL HERE, what are we going to do today???? Being with them 24 hours/day was scary enough, but trying to figure out how to do that while my family looked on was overwhelming to me. I wanted to to be able to handle everything, so I forgot to look around and see that my parents, my brother and my husband were there to help ME help them. And once I figured that out the fear evaporated and I started to see the joy in each day with my kids.

And being a WFHM (Work From Home Mom) continues to be a unique challenge that has been harder to adapt to than I thought it would be. Sure the “Working Mom Guilt” is a little lessened by the ability to physically BE there. But it can also amplify the stress—because I am here, I am their go-to person even if I have a project due. So when I have a deadline looming and I am wishing Connor would stop circling me like a shark, I try to stop take a deep breath and remember how lucky I am to be the one to that’s with him each day, to get him his snack and play with him—and I try to remember how it used to break my heart when I couldn’t do it when we lived in NY even if it is making me crazy right now. Plus, there is the added hustle of freelance that’s not so glamorous. I’m finding it even more of a struggle lately because I am somewhat limited to only off-site work. But hey, later today I will be getting Liam off the bus—and that moment makes up for all of the late-night/early morning writing

So sure, it’s not what I thought our life would be like here, and I still have more to say but my 20 minutes are up and I need to post. So I will conclude by saying, yes, it’s not what I pictured but as long as I remind myself to take it good-moment by good-moment, it might turn out better than I ever could have imagined.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

DAY THREE: Soccer Mom vs. Stage Mom

Do you ever have a moment when something just hits you? That was me a few days ago…
I was at Liam’s music school talking to his teacher and told her how happy he is lately. His school teachers have noticed it, my parents have noticed it, we’ve all noticed it. And while yes, it probably stems from him finally feeling settled in MA, but I believe a lot of credit belongs to the program at Tiny Tunes.

The teachers there are experts in building self esteem—I mean they have 4 year old children singing alone on stage with a microphone, I know many adults who couldn’t do that. I think it’s the nurturing environment and you-can-do-anything approach that has helped my son turn this year around. One of the teachers there told me once that singing in a group can be an emotional experience, you are breathing together, you are making music together and I think that connection is something he has felt since his first class back in September.

We tried soccer—he spent most of the games playing with the net. So when we asked what he wanted to continue with he said all he wanted was Tiny Tunes. We were a little reluctant to give up team sports, but I am only just realizing he’s already found a new “team sport”. He is part of a group that’s working together, he’s being supported by them while also encouraging his fellow teammates and being cheered by his “coach” for his effort and achievements on and off the field—umm, stage.

It’s that courageousness, that leadership that we hope our children gain from sports, right? And I am seeing those qualities emerge in my child. His focus is sharper, his attention to detail is stronger and his heart is open. What more could I ask for?

So from this newly crowned Stage Mom to the talented creatives at Tiny Tunes, thank you for helping my beautiful boy shine, in and out of the spotlight.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

DAY TWO: The Good, The Bad & The Bribe

Connor sleeping in a shopping cart
I had the supreme delight of running errands this morning without any kids. Yes, you read that correctly—no kids!

And yes, it was just as glorious as it sounds—I hit six stores in less than two hours, I forgot that was even possible, it was like seeing a unicorn right there at the mall.

And all this unbridled joy was after yesterday when I took Connor grocery shopping and he fell asleep in the cart, see the pic and love it because it was just too cute. I thought I hit the jackpot then, so today was just unreal.

OK onto the point of today's blog...

Whenever I reached a new place, I happened to park next to a mom with one or two little kids. And each time I heard the same speech that I give my own boys when we pull up to a store, “hold my hand, this is a parking lot, yes, if you are good in the store you can get a ____.” We usually offer an extra 10 minutes of TV or iPad play or even a sweet, like a cookie or a couple of M&MS. Today there was some of that, but there was also some “bigger prizes” being offered and you knew that mom was at the end of her rope.

I smiled at one woman and her daughter after she delivered “the speech” to her little lady and she said, “it’s awful what we have to do.”

I couldn’t shake that comment, especially after I saw MANY moms doing the same thing—bribing their kids to be good. And yes, I know that kids “should” be well behaved in public—and at home—and there shouldn’t be the need for the bribe at all. But let’s be real, they need a little incentive at times—just like adults.

So, you know what? No, I don’t think a little bit of bribery is all that bad. I wonder if it can actually be a way to teach our children that in order to get “rewarded” we must present ourselves in a certain manner, while also illustrating to them that sometimes it takes “work” to get the prize. It's lesson for life, not a way to get through the store faster. You can’t be loud and crazy or throw a temper tantrum when your computer crashes in the office, you need to work hard, help your team and be respectful of your boss in order to earn a promotion at your job.

So to that woman in the parking lot: Don’t feel bad about offering your daughter a treat in exchange for good behavior—feeling good knowing you are teaching her that to get a reward, she has to earn it.

With that, I am going to reward myself for this fabulous post with an ice coffee.

Monday, April 27, 2015

30 Days & Counting

It has been forever since I have written, I mean look to the left, the last post was January, tragic. I was struggling with how to get back into it when I remembered a friend of mine did something once where she had to write every day for 20 minutes and publish it, no excuses.

I feel like this could be an awesome exercise to get myself back on the blog. So for the next 30 days, I will be writing for 20 minutes and posting without looking back—I am a little terrified, maybe you should be too! These posts will be unedited and probably all over the place...

I am also trying to make some other positive changes to my routine. We are FINALLY in our own house and I realized as I was unpacking that I left something vital in NYC—working out. It was probably in the pile of stuff we tossed on the street on the day we left. I felt OK about it at first because I picked up couch surfing, ice cream and carbs to fill the void.

But that all ends now! I am putting down the spoon and picking myself back up. Just call me Bridget Jones because it’s all getting documented—brace yourselves.

For today’s adventure I tried a new Tae Bo DVD—yes, I love me some Billy Blanks don’t judge, the man is a genius and he tells you so at the end of the workout. It was hard to wake up before the kids, but I told myself it is harder to walk around feeling the way I have been. So Billy and I worked it out this morning and yup, you bet there was a point where I nearly died, but hey that's the price you pay after months of chocolate and chips, right?

OK, so a confession, I may have just stopped and used 6.5 minutes to take the perfect “before” selfie for this post. So there it is to the right, soak it in—that face is going to change, and it hope it will be for the better.

But before I go, I ask you, is there something you have been putting off? Something you want to do?
Feel free to join me on this 30 day journey—it’s going to be epic.
OK...  I am hitting the button—POST!