The Mommy Wars!

mommywarsWe have all seen them and some of us (guilty) have participated in them. The Mommy wars. The media incites them, and then they sit back and watch while we go at each other. We spout out our proof positive methods on things ranging from breast feeding to home schooling, and tear down any other mothers that don’t have the same exact opinion that we do.

If you don’t breast feed you don’t love your children.

If you breast feed in public you are offensive.

If you home school, you want your kids to have a life without friends and no social interaction ever. You also probably make your own clothes and butter.

If you don’t home school your kids, you must want them to die in a school shooting, be forced to eat the unhealthy food they serve and only be taught to pass tests. Oh, and you have no religion.

If you let your kids sleep in your bed with you, you can’t control your kids and must give in to their every whim.

If you don’t let your kids sleep with you, you’re a monster and probably have them chained to their beds.

If you were able to drop the baby weight soon after (less than 2 years) having a baby, then you are motivated and healthy, but also body image crazy and self absorbed.

If you haven’t managed to lose the weight yet, and your kid has started school, (mine is in 6th grade), then you’re lazy and unorganized.

If you work outside the home, you should have never had children in the first place!

If you put your kids in daycare you must want them to be neglected, and learn about gays and sex at the age of 4.

If you stay at home with your kids then you must not be a high school graduate, have no skills what so ever, have no real ambition of your own, and wrap yourself in your kids lives.

These are just some of the ridiculous Mommy Wars we all read about. I hate them. I see them posted on the Today show website, GMA website, local news, even CNN. Most of the time I roll my eyes and don’t even read the article because I don’t want to read the comments. I don’t want to see how women are ripping each other to shreds. But other times, I just can’t help it. I click on the story and get sucked in. I even find myself typing out a commit to someone who didn’t do things the way I did or has put down the way I did it. A few times I hit post, and just add fuel to the fire. Other times, most of the time, I hit delete and move on.

The truth is, I’m a mother of 2 kids, (hence the name on the blog), I have done some things as a mother that worked and I have done some things that backfired in my face. There have been times I liked trying to figure things out on my own and other times when I was ripping my hair out that I needed help. I don’t know everything. I will never know everything. I am not an expert at being a mother and I do not pretend to be. My kids are 11 and 7, and I still learn new things every day. I struggle. I need advice. I need support.

There are ways to help each other without ripping into each other. We can offer opinions or advice and not make each other feel like crap in the process.

We have to support each other. Being a mother is hard. Making a person inside your body, then getting it out of your body (drugs or no drugs,…another Mommy war), taking care of it, teaching it a few things, and trying to make it a good person is hard. We need help. Doing it alone would be awful. I need the help of friends, other mothers and fathers, teachers, coaches, preachers, and other children. (Watching or listening to kids talk is a great source of inspiration) It really does take a village. Just because you chose to do things with your kid that I don’t do with mine doesn’t make you better or worse. It just makes us different.

I am a firm believer that we all do whatever works for us. I see friends post things all the time and I want to scream and virtually shake them. They complain about something they could have control over but let the kid run the show. But unless they ask me for advice or help, I keep quiet. I try to keep quiet. Sometimes I fail and for that I apologize.

If your things work, good for you. I applaud you for finding a parenting thing that works. But that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.

All I am asking is to take the advice from Dalton, (Patrick Swayze) in the movie Road House and “just be nice”. You can give your opinion without being bitchy or ripping someone else up.

Please know that the media loves it. They put these stupid things out there to get us going. They know there tons of moms out there who can’t hold their tongues and love to argue. They want us to rip each other apart. So don’t. Don’t play into it. Try, try, and try harder to restrain yourself. I know it’s hard. Like I said, I fall for it myself sometimes. Thankfully I have friends that call me on my stupidity and pull me back in.

Not that your opinion is stupid, but arguing with a computer screen is stupid. You are not changing opinions by ranting on a computer. The women that read these articles and comment already have strong opinions. They already have a plan, they either breast feed or don’t, they either put their kids in daycare or don’t. You aren’t going to change minds. All you are doing is adding fuel the fire and it doesn’t need it.

I would love, just once, to see an article about another Mommy war and when I click on the comments there are none. Zero. Just 14 thousands likes, but no comments. One can dream. mommy-wars1

First Day of School 2014-15

After a very long summer, saying goodbye to family and friends in Virginia, driving across 6 states to my husband’s new duty station at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri,….my kids finally went back to school! As you know, this is the best time of the year for me! Shane of course didn’t want his picture taken.

 

1 He gave me one good one in the front yard,…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2   and I took anther as he walked to the bus. I hated riding the bus as a kid. I was picked on and I always sat right behind the bus driver, who never did anything about it. I wanted to go to the bus stop and take pictures too, but I knew I couldn’t do that without embarrassing him. So I bit my lip, and watched him walk down the street. He is the oldest, but he is still my baby. Starting a new school in the 6th grade,….I did the same thing when I was his age. I wanted to go with him and be with him when he went to class, but I had to let go. But I knew I would waiting on the porch when he got home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hailey on the other hand, did her usual first day of school photo shoot for me!

 

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It wasn’t until she got to school that she started to look a little nervous. At first she didn’t want me to walk her to class, but after we got there, she said, “Mom, don’t leave me yet.” We walked to class, and she held my hand the whole way. I remember the feeling of starting a new school after my parents divorced when I was 12 years old and I moved to another state. My heart broke for her. It would have been so much easier for her (and me) if her big brother was in the same school, but with 4 years apart that will never happen for them. 8

When she made it to her class room, she saw her teacher and was told to put her stuff in her locker, which she was very excited about. I asked if she was ok and she said, “I think so.”  I wasn’t convinced and wanted to stay with her as long as she thought she needed me. But then she said, “Ok, one more picture and then you can go.”

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I knew with this smile, this was my sweet girl and she was ready. I wasn’t ready, but she was,…so she gave me a hug and I let her go!

 

 

Happy School Year!

Road Trip

On July 9th my family and I started our long drive to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. My husband is in the US Navy and he will be stationed there, working as an instructor, for the next 3 (maybe 4) years.

We started out at 6:30am and headed North toward West Virginia. I had warned the kids that this was going to be a very long drive. I told them they needed to be prepared to be in the car for hours. I charged there portable DVD players, packed movies, made sure both had games downloaded on their tablets, I bought coloring books, a “Where’s Waldo” book, 6 different card games, and a few activity books for each of them. I figured they would sleep a lot, but I wanted them to have things to keep them busy.

12My first, “How much longer?” or “Are we there yet?” came about 4 hours into the drive. My daughter had already started to get antsy. I told her we had quite a bit longer to go and she seemed ok about it. Well it helped when I told her we would be stopping for lunch sometime. At this point it was only 10:30 in the morning, and I was sure we weren’t stopping until after noon, but she didn’t need to know that. I figured she would go back to sleep and she did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I told my husband if it was at all possible I really wanted to stop at the state lines and take a picture. I am a scrapbooker and I wanted to document the trip. I knew it was too much to ask to have him pull over and actually let us go do something touristy in every state, so I settled for the state line signs. But I added that if there was a lot of traffic or it was just in a bad place, which most of them are, not to worry about it.

7We hit West Virginia maybe around noon. My husband very abruptly pulls off the side of the road and I panicked thinking something was wrong. Then I saw the sign. This was the only sign I was actually able to stop and take a picture of.  There wasn’t a lot of traffic at this point and there was somewhere to pull off the road. That wasn’t the case with any other sign.  Personally, I think there should be a sign that warns you about the state line sign ahead. So yes, I am admitting to you that the rest of the pictures in this blog entry are a fraud! But they will still be included in the “Road Trip” layout of my scrapbook.

 

 

 

Have I ever mentioned that I hate driving next to 16 wheelers? No? Well maybe I should have mentioned that to my husband before we moved. Driving through the hills of West Virginia was like a nightmare for me. Twists, turns, ups, downs and 16 wheelers on every inch of it. I couldn’t get the speed right, and when I did we started up a hill and I had to hit the gas so my little car could make it. Not to mention that on every twisted turn there is a sign warning you not to go very fast, and also for the truck drivers to slow down because they could turn over. A sign I don’t think the truck drivers have seen. On every turn I panicked thinking the big truck next to me was going to fall over on top of me.

To top it off there were 2 tolls! I actually had to pay to go through this roll coaster that kept my stomach in knots.

6After we stopped for lunch somewhere after the hills that were definitely not alive with the sound of music, it was mere minutes before we hit Kentucky. Upon entering Kentucky it looked a lot like West Virginia, which looked a lot like Northern Virginia. That is until we hit Lexington. Again I wish we had stopped. The city looked like fun and it was very nice to see something besides hills, interstate, and fields. 9

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t look at the map my husband had outlined of the trip, so I really had no idea what states we were going through. But for some crazy reason I thought Kentucky was it before Missouri. The kids and I were so excited when we hit Kentucky. We thought this was the homestretch and we would be in our new state soon. I wanted to stop, but I was excited to get to our destination. I also figured that living in Missouri for the next 3 years, I would have plenty of time to drive back and forth and stop.

5At this point the kids were getting antsy, but they were still being good. Every once in a while I would get a “Are we there yet?” from Hailey, and when I said no, she would go back to sleep or take out her book of activities. It didn’t take very long to drive through Kentucky and I was shocked when I saw the Indiana sign. Even though I have already admitted to being a fraud with most of my pictures, these are the actual signs that I saw. I made sure when I stole these off the internet I stole the signs that I actually passed.

Indiana was well,…it went back to fields and hills. We had stopped for gas a few times and lunch, but other than that we had been in the car since 6:30 that morning. When we hit Indiana it was late afternoon. We were all getting tired. It was probably around 6pm when I called my husband and asked him “Are we there yet?” He informed me that according the GPS we had about 4 more hours to go. If it up to him we would have kept driving all the way. If we didn’t have the kids with us, I would have been all for it, but they were tired of sitting in a car, my butt was dead, and I was getting hungry again. So we stopped in Evansville, Indiana to get some dinner and spend the night. IN156A1

 

 

 

We were only staying for one night, but we took enough stuff in to stay for a few months. Each of us had huge suitcases, a separate suitcase for all of our toiletries, and then of course all of my husbands guns. Yes, instead of taking them apart and shipping them with the household goods, we took with us. He didn’t want to leave them in the truck, but I had some issues with taking what looked like an arsenal inside a hotel. So we put them on the bottom of the bellmen’s cart and loaded the suitcases on top. I hoped no one would notice. I don’t don’t think anyone did, or if they did they didn’t say anything.

IFThe next morning we got up early, got some breakfast and hot the road again. According the GPS we would be in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo by 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Indiana was a lot of green or brown fields, as was Illinois.

Things didn’t start to change until we finally hit Missouri. St. Lois came up fast. We went from fields of nothing to city just like that.

3The Welcome to Missouri sign was very small and I almost missed it. The city looked amazing and very exciting. I am so happy we live only 2 hours from it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just after we passed the Missouri sign, we passed Busch Stadium, where the St. Louis Cardinals play. I did actually take that picture!

 

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I saw so many things I wanted to stop and take pictures of or go and do. But like a child, I was just ready to be there already! We were finally in Missouri and I just wanted to get there. After the city, we went back to the interstate, and we started seeing those hills, and green and brown hills I had grown so fond of. It was about 2 hours after we left the city when we stopped again. This time, to show our ID’s to the gate guards.

 

 

Welcome to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri! My new home for the next 3 years! 2

$38 lesson

My son who recently turned 11 years old asked for an Xbox one for his birthday. I told him $400 on a new game console plus games was way too much when his current Xbox still works just fine. My husband and I made him a deal, that if he worked and saved for the new xbox then we would buy him a new game to go along with it. Between chores and birthday money ( I had to stop the grandparents from just giving him the money), he had manged to save $180. The other day he asked me to take him to the store because he wanted to get a new game. When we saw it was $60 and he didn’t have enough cash on hand to buy it, he asked if he could use his savings. I told him it was his money to do with what he wanted but using $60 of it now would make him further in the hole towards his new xbox. He said he understood and bought it anyway. As soon as we got home he ran to his room to play the game and I went to transfer the money from his savings to my checking, and he came out and said “I can’t play it on my xbox! I don’t have enough memory!” I looked at the box and it stated on the box you needed at least 1G to play this game. He had deleted everything he could but still didn’t have enough room. His Dad came home from work and concluded he would need a buy an external hard drive to play it, thus using more of his new xbox money to play it. He didn’t want to that. We couldn’t return it because he had already opened it. So I tried to sell it on a virtual yard sale. First for $50, then for $45, $40, then lowering it to $35. Finally we had an offer for $25, less than half of he paid. I asked him what he wanted to do, and he said to take it. So we did. It was a hard lesson to learn, and as much as I just wanted to “eat” the money myself, I didn’t. He chose to buy the game and didn’t read how much memory he needed. He knows I know nothing about these things and since it was not purchase it wasn’t my responsibility to make sure it was going to work.

After we met the buyer and he was paid his $25, we went straight to the bank and he deposited the money along with his cash in his wallet. When we came home he went through his old games and asked me if he could sell the ones he didn’t play anymore. I posted some pictures and he has already made another $20 by selling 4 more games. When his dad said as soon as the grass dried out it needed to be cut again he jumped at the chance to help. He is back on his way to getting his new xbox!

 

I know I am dating myself when I say this but things just weren’t as expensive when I was a kid. My kids have become so use to getting everything bought for them that they have been desensitized as the value of things. I hate to say it but they don’t appreciate the things they have. If it breaks, ‘oh well, we will get a new one.’ If it is lost, ‘oh, well I will get a new one.’ My daughter has lost pieces to games minutes after opening it and said ,’ oh well, I didn’t like that one anyway.’ Ah,….no! I paid for that,….find it and find it now!!!! Had I bought that game for my son he would have just sat it to the side and said, ‘oh well, I can’t play it’ and that would have been that. But because it was his money it was different. It meant something. He lost $38 of money he had worked for not using better judgment.

 

The good news is, my daughter is now saving her money too. She took her piggy bank to the bank and deposited $49 worth of coins in her account and then came home to go through her stuff to see if she could sell anything. She says right now she isn’t saving for anything big, but she wants to have her own money so when she wants something she can buy it.

I told them I will of course continue to buy them clothes, shoes, and schools things. But if they just want something for no reason, they are going to decide if it is really worth it. Wants vs. Needs is a hard lesson to learn.
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Proud Mama Moment!

motherof2kids:

With so many of my friends posting baseball pics, I was reminded of this post.

Originally posted on mother of 2 kids:

My son started playing baseball at 4 years old. He loves it! But unfortunately he has never been that good. I know, I am his mother, and I am suppose to think everything he does is wonderful, but I am just being honest. When I signed him up to play in an “Athletic League” last year, I had no idea what I was getting him into. I mean, I grew up in this area, and I know how serious people can be about baseball around here. But these are kids,….7 and 8 year olds,…I didn’t think it got really serious until High school. Boy was I wrong! Last year he was one of the younger boys on the team, but honestly that didn’t matter. The other boys on the team, were getting triple plays, home runs, catching pop flies, and making double plays. I thought any minute the Tides, (our…

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The Perfect Mother

June CleaverThe moment we find out we are pregnant we all start making plans. For some of us starts even before that. We all think of our perfect little baby that is on the way and all the things we plan to do. We start thinking of how we want to be the perfect mother. We think of the things our own mothers did wrong and we never want to be like them. And then we think about how our friends with children are messing up their kids lives and we don’t want to be like them. We are going to breast feed, use cloth diapers, let our baby self sooth, sleep in their own crib, never eat fast food, punish them when they need it and stick with those punishments, never let them talk back or throw a tantrum, they will never be in public in dirty clothes and messy faces, they will never have drool or snot running down their faces, they will be potty trained by 2 years old, they will read by the time they can talk and be the neatest, politest children anyone has ever met in their entire lives. When our children go out in the world people will talk about how wonderful they are and ask us for advice.

Not only that but we can certainly handle having a child and maintaining a house at the same time. The house will be clean, laundry will be done, dinner will be on time and of course we will still make time to go to the gym. We will never be “that Mom” at the grocery store in pajamas, hair in a bun,  and slippers. We will always be put together and take care of ourselves. We won’t be “that Wife” that lets herself go, complains all the time, resents her husband for not helping, and couldn’t care less about sex. We will be the same as we were before kids. We will get look good and keep up with ourselves so our husbands will still find us attractive and be sex queens in bed.

We sit back and rub our bellies thinking how different everything is going to be for us and daydream of our children walking across the stage to get his diploma from Harvard. We will be better than June Clever. June Clever didn’t have Pinterest or the Google to help her. We will have the happiest, smartest and most perfect kids in all the land!

Then you find yourself standing in a kitchen that looks like a bomb went off, with only 30 minutes of sleep, hair in a messy bun, random food stuck to our face, wearing the same sweats we have been wearing for 2 days now, trying to mash fruit or our homemade baby food, as the kid screams his ass off in the background because all this homemade baby food has given him the shits (again) and the cloth diapers are still in the dryer because you haven’t been able to do a load of laundry in days,……just as our husband comes home from work and asks “What’s for dinner?”

After a trip to the hair salon and Target, we realize that we have to do this our way. We can’t be June Clever. We should have never judged those mothers in the Walmart looking like death, with 3 kids, one who smells like poop, one who won’t stop running around and the other is throwing a tantrum on the floor. We can’t be the perfect mother, because the perfect mother isn’t real. We have to stop comparing ourselves to those moms who seem to have it together and just try to do the best we can.

I am not the kind of mother I thought I would be. I didn’t think it would be easy by any means, but I had no idea it would be this hard either. But I am not one of these mothers who thinks my job is the hardest job in the world. I am a Stay at Home Mom of 2 kids, 6 and 10. Both of my kids are in school for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. Our house is only 1946 sq. feet and I drive a 2012 Nissan Rogue. My kids have played baseball and soccer and my daughter takes dance as well. I am busy, don’t get me wrong, I am busy most days,…but some days I spend the day sitting in front of the TV watching all programs I have DVR’ed that week.

I go to the gym and even go tanning a few times a week. I have a “cleaning schedule” for my house and a “laundry schedule” for our clothes. I also find the time to sit in front of my computer and write books and 2 blogs. I think it would be fair to mention I have OCD. My OCD consists of schedules. I am a lot like a toddler in such a way that I need to have a schedule. I like to make lists. I need to know what I need to do so I can get it done.

Under no circumstance do I think my job is harder than my husbands. True, I don’t get time off. When he comes home from work his work day is over. My work day is never over. I get extremely frustrated sometimes and want to give resignation at least 2 times a week. I help the kids with homework I don’t understand myself, go to parent/teacher conferences and feel like a child in trouble, I schedule doctor’s appointments, maintenance on the cars, chaperone field trips, go to kids birthday parties with my kids, and make sure they have whatever they need for whatever they need it for. But I don’t think my job harder than my husbands or a lot of jobs out there.

But that is me. That is who I am. That is how I feel. I might be more organized than others on some days, and be falling a part and crying like a little girl when others wouldn’t on other days. I use to be “that mom” who would look and judge other moms. But I try very hard not to do that anymore.

Every week while I watch the news I hear about a new “Mommy War”. Moms arguing over breastfeeding/bottle feeding, sleep alone/ co-sleeping, public/home schooling, staying at home/working outside the home, daycare/home care, paying kids for chores/not paying them,….and the list goes on and on. Yes, I have opinions on all of these subjects, strong opinions. But do I think mine is the only one or even the right one? No.

I did what was right for me and my kids and my family. You do what is right for you and your family. Why can’t we just all agree that we are doing what is best what is best our families and that be the end of it. Why do we have to argue about it? Why do we have to make others feel bad for their choices? I am so tired of “Mommy wars”. We should all be supporting each other. Being a mother is hard. We are raising the little human beings that will taking care of us when we have lost of teeth and our memories. Being a mother is hard. All we can do is do the best we can do. So the next time you see a story about a Mommy war, and feel the need to shout at the screen or comment on the story,….make sure it is to support the mom. She might have 5 little ones at home under the age of 5, some in cloth diapers, and needs to make her homemade baby food,…and her husbands dinner.

Conversations with my kids

1Shane: Mom, you’re drinking a mountain dew, are you ok?
Me: It’s diet
Shane: are you ok?
Me: I’ve had a bad day
Shane: Because you were crying?
(I didn’t say anything, but I looked at him)
Shane: I heard you crying last night.
Me: I’ll be alright
Shane: I know you will, because you always are,….but Mom, it’s really ok if you’re not ok. You don’t have to be strong all the time. We understand.
(of course I started crying again, he went to the fridge and got me another diet dew)
Shane: here, you might this too.
then he gave me a hug,…

 

 

2I finally bought myself a desk chair! Hailey just came in and said, “Is your butt comfy?” I said, “yes it is.” She said, “good, because I like being the only pain in your butt.” I swear this child and the things she comes up with!

 

A Conversation with my daughter about boyfriends: (we were writing out her Valentines for her class)
Hailey: Mom, I really like this one boy in my class.
Me: Good, I’m glad.
Hailey: He’s my boyfriend
Me: Oh ok.
Hailey: Do you have a boyfriend?
Me: Ahh, no I have a husband,….your Dad,…remember?
Hailey: Yes, but a husband is not a boyfriend.
Me: Well true. So I guess your Dad is my husband and my boyfriend.
Hailey: Your boyfriend can’t be in your family! Your boyfriend has to be someone not in your family.
Me: We weren’t always family. When we first met we weren’t in the same family.
Hailey: Did you tell him he was your boyfriend?
Me: Yes, I guess I did.
Hailey: and then you married him?
Me: yes,…eventually.
(A few cards later)
Hailey: I like this boy too,…he’s my boyfriend too.
Me: Oh, good lord Hailey,…how many boyfriends do you have?
(she started counting on her fingers,….at 5,…I told her to stop and keep writing the cards.) Lord help me!

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Me: Ok kids, dinner is going to be ‘every man for himself kinda thing’, so tell me what you want, so I can make it.
Hailey: Um, I think I want some noodles.
(I start the noodles, and then go back to Shane’s room)
Me: Shane, tell me what you want for dinner.
Shane: I don’t know.
Me: Well you need to make a decision before I sit down to eat whatever I make for myself.
(go back finish Hailey’s noodles, wash some dishes, then go back to Shane)
Me: I am making myself a grill cheese sandwich, do you want one?
Shane: no.
Me: What do you want?
Shane: I don’t know.
Me: ok
(I go back and finish the dishes, sweep the floor, make some tea, and then make my sandwich, while I heat a bowl soup too. Sandwich is done, I get all my stuff to the table, then take out of the trash, and wipe down the counters. All while hearing nothing from Shane.)
The second my butt hits the chair, so I can eat my dinner,….
Shane: I think I do want a grill cheese sandwich.
( I roll my eyes, hand him my sandwich, and watch my soup get cold, while I get out the frying pan I just finished washing to make me another sandwich.)
Now I am just sitting down to eat my dinner again, and Hailey is ready for desert.
The kids need to go back to school before someone gets hurt.

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