Thursday, October 10, 2013
AWOL; Busy just being a Mama! (Project 365 Writing/Photography Challenge; Post #24)
Complete exhaustion is getting old. Really old. I'm sorry but I'm just being honest. Some days I get discouraged that I'm not "that Mom" that you hear of so often these days on blogs or the impressions you get of what a mom should be like on Pinterest. And then I occasionally find one that reminds me that my daily life is normal; that life as a mom is never "perfect". It is not always homemade bread, whole natural foods that the whole family loves, clean dishes and a shiny kitchen. It is not a always a mom who happily says that she can do "it all" because sleep is optional and she thrives on burning the candle at both ends. Don't get me wrong, it is sometimes those things, and some moms can thrive on 5 hours of sleep each night (but that's not me!). Yes, of course, we all try to feed our families healthy food, and we always try to give our families all of ourselves and more, because that is who we are. We are always trying to do the best we can for our families.
Here is what my real life has been lately. Going to bed to late, and yet still getting up at 6:30am because I know that if I get up (and get Boy up) much later than that, then he won't take a nap, then he will be over-tired come 5:30pm and fall asleep in the living room. I transfer him to his bed and he sleeps all night; but it is the next week of naps and bedtimes that we pay for that one missed nap. That being said, he is a very busy boy with a growing brain who likes to talk to all his "friends" instead of napping even on a good day. Breakfast consists of Honey Nut Cheerios and milk, then Cream of Wheat or pancakes or dutch baby, or french toast. Lately, lunch has been pepperoni and possibly yogurt then goldfish and frequently more cheerios. Then dinner is canned tomato soup to which I add grated cheese that I get in a 5lb bag from Costco, more pepperoni and goldfish, topped off with homemade peanut butter cookies (which have regular sugar and white flour and butter or margarine and Skippy). He quit eating applesauce last week and hasn't eaten oatmeal or scrambled eggs in months. He loves Fruities (Beechnut or Parent's Choice) provided they don't have pears in them; something about the consistency of pears is bad, he never has liked them, and believe me, it's not for lack of me making him eat them!
But here's the thing, those issues of what he will or won't eat and how many naps he actually took this week are not what life as a mama is all about. Those are of course important factors that every good mama works on, but they are not the defining moments. Being a mama is reading him a story only to have him completely change the subject and start pointing out the various animals on the back of the Golden Book, complete with awesome "ephant" squeals. It is getting out the alphabet puzzle and seeing that he knows where all the letters go, even though he gets sidetracked halfway through putting it together. It is him hearing a firetruck and saying "Whas dat?" several times until he makes the connection between the sound and the sound his Mickey firetruck makes and his little face lights up as he understands. It is him saying "Tank ou, nor welc" when the fast food guy hands us the bag that he knows contains frys for him--he has started adding "your welcome" after "thank you" because we always say it to him so he thinks he is supposed to say both phrases together. It is when I take him to bed at night and he says "chair, hold?" and then when I sit he curls up his little legs and snuggles up with his head under my chin and chatters as he tries so hard to stay awake and I try to tell him it is time for ni-nites and then I fall asleep before he does. It is the way he gets sooo excited when Papa gets home from work, and immediately wants to be picked up so he can chatter and then wants back down and starts telling Papa about his animals. It is the way he will run into the kitchen or whatever room we are in and say "Hi! Whatcha doin'?" every 30 seconds. It is indeed just all those little wonderful things that we enjoy every day and can easily be forgotten if we get bogged down in the minutia of what he "should be" eating or how much he "should be" talking or whether he "should be" potty trained.
He is growing and learning each day, and in the blink of an eye he will be a teenager and blink again and he will be a Papa and we will be grandparents. You see, I am realizing (and yes I'm also preaching to myself here) that each day we must focus on the happy things, the fun things, the things that make us smile. Then we can truly be content each day and be ready and refreshed to face whatever eating and sleeping challenges may come. I will probably always be a little exhausted as long as I have little ones running around, no matter how good my routines I develop. No matter how experienced I may get over the years with the picky 2-year-old phase, I will still encounter days that make me want to throw up my hands and just give them cookies for breakfast. But that's okay because that's just part of what real life is like. For most of us mamas, anyway.
And now I will head back to finish up some kitchen work and promise to try to return in less than 10 days next time.