I ugly cried.   Leave a comment

Today was my first day back to reality…and it kind of sucked.  I love my job and the people I work with, and if you have read some of my other posts you’ll know I am afraid of being a permanent SAHM, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be sad.

I only got about four hours of sleep last night.  I was tired this morning, and am beyond exhausted as I type this.  The morning went fairly smooth as I had all of the bags packed and ready.  I told myself I’d do the same tonight and have everything ready for tomorrow, but I’m so damn tired I can’t even fathom getting up off of this couch.  I had a lump in my throat the whole time I was getting the boys ready this morning.  I dropped the boys off at their sitter’s house with only one tear shed.  It was only after I was alone in my car that I cried…or should I say, wept.  To make things worse on myself (I suppose I’m a glutton for punishment), I played Allison Krauss’ Baby Mine and Chris Medina’s What Are Words and those two songs made my cry even harder.  I did manage to stop crying long enough to reschedule a dentist appointment and I had actually pulled myself together by the time I arrived to the parking lot at work. However, as I was walking into the building, I realized it was 9am and this would have been about the time my toddler and I would have been having breakfast together.  And, I lost it.  I cried for my buddy.  I missed him so much at that moment. I missed my little baby’s snuggles.  I even missed my dogs.

I was already in the building at this point so I kept on walking to my office.  Most of my team was standing near my office and they had decorated it with bright balloons and streamers.  It was wonderful.  And what did I do? I ugly cried.  Right there, in front of my entire staff.  Mascara running down my face and snot running down my nose.  How embarrassing.  Who does that?!  My team was so excited to see me and had even planned a breakfast pizza party.  And I cried like a baby.  I had to apologize to them and let them know I was happy to see them all and I promised I was excited to be back at work.  They all knew the truth though…how could you not?  Luckily I have a very understanding, sweet team, and I don’t think they’ll hold it against me.

So, I made it through my first day back…barely.  It was painful, but tomorrow will be better.  And, by the end of the week, I am hoping to have my new normal.

Working is best for me, and I’m a better mom because I work.  However, I can’t type this without admitting I am also jealous of some SAHMs I know…I wanted to be them so badly today. But, it will all be ok.  Tomorrow, I will be prepared with waterproof mascara and tissues.

Off to bed.  I plan to post in a few days about what has become of my dad here recently.  Let’s just say I’m a true believer in karma…   My poor parents…so naive to not realize that what goes around comes around.

Goodnight!

All the best,

Someone’s mom

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Same epic poo, different kid, different attitude.   Leave a comment

We had a long day yesterday.  We traveled to another city to do a little outlet shopping  (LOVE Carter’s and Motherhood Maternity outlets!) and for a family reunion.  Shopping was quick and chaotic.  I bought a few nursing shirts at Motherhood and then took my little man in there to nurse him.  Love that they are a nursing friendly story.  Their fitting rooms are nice and big with benches, but they have curtains for doors, so the rooms are not quite as private as I would like.  While I was nursing my little man, he had an epic poo.  A very noisy, large amount of poo.  It went EVERYWHERE.  I was a bit embarrassed because I know the people right outside my waiting room heard as I heard giggles from them.  I tried to stifle some of my own laughter as I’m not quite sure how the Motherhood people feel about me changing a poopy diaper in their fitting room.  So, the little man got a fresh diaper, full tummy, and outfit change.

The crazy thing about the situation is that the exact same thing happened when I was nursing my firstborn in that same Motherhood, in the same fitting room, at the same age.  What are the odds of that?  What’s more, the weather here yesterday was chilly, very rainy, and very windy…SAME weather as the day of the first epic poo…two totally different seasons…

Yesterday was different though.  I laughed at the epic poo instead of freaking out.  I did what I had to do and was much more prepared.  The first time it happened with my firstborn, I accidentally smeared poo all over the fitting room bench, and had nothing to put the nasty diaper in.  I had just one clean outfit with me for my firstborn and got a little poo on that so the poor little fella had to wear a poopy outfit all day.  Yesterday, I had a plastic bag ready for that poo diaper, several outfit changes, some sanitary wipes to help remove the poo from the soiled outfit, and a much different attitude.  It’s amazing to me how much more relaxed we can be with the second child.  It is even more amazing how much more love we have in our hearts.  Like the Grinch, I think my heart grew three sizes the day that my second son was born.

Sure, I still worry just as much (probably more) and I’m not always laid back about things.  I still have a lot of anxiety.  But yesterday, I realized that I was able to laugh at a situation that I couldn’t laugh at when I was a new mom.  I suppose I’m just more confident and prepared these days for situations like epic poos and I think I’m making a little progress toward becoming more optimistic and happy too…

The epic poo wasn’t the only crazy thing that happened yesterday.  The family reunion we went to was at the world’s WORST restaurant.  It was awful.  The food was some of the worst we have had and the service was even worse.  We got there a few minutes later than the rest of the party and we were told by the waitress we needed to order immediately or our food would not come out with the others.  Who cares??  But, she made us order right away.  I hadn’t even sat down yet.  I mean, we were still getting the high chair set up.  So, the husband and I each ordered a steak…and we were so hungry and SO disappointed.  I had trouble getting the steak knife through mine.  😦  Before we could finish our meal, the waitress had already come and taken away the bread and cracker baskets, the butter, and several other condiments from the table.  Now, this place was 4 to 5 hours away from closing time and not busy at all…no need for them to be clearing our stuff before we were finished. Oh well.  My husband and I had a great time laughing about it all while we were finishing dinner.  We joked about hitting up a burger joint we saw on the way in and a Ben & Jerry’s to get my Late Night Snack once the reunion was over.

We finish dinner and head out to leave, pack the kids up in the car, turn the key, and nothing.  My car will not start.  Yay!!  Luckily my resourceful husband and brother we were able to roll it down a hill, pop the clutch and get it to start.  That sounds easy enough, but my husband did get hit square in the forehead with the back of my car during all this…not quite sure how that happened…  I did freak out for a second wondering what we were going to do with the kids, how much was this going to cost,  blah blah.  But, then I realized, I could choose my own attitude about it.  So, I laughed…and it felt pretty good to laugh about it!  I knew that it would all work out no matter what.  And, it did.  The car started, we got it home, and it started right up this morning.  Fingers crossed it was just a small glitch in the matrix 😉  In the past, I would have bitched the entire way home and talked about how we can’t afford to fix it, why does this happen to me, blah blah.  I’m pretty proud of myself for not letting that kind of word vomit escape from my mouth yesterday.

The drive home was another crazy adventure.  We had terrible storms through our state yesterday.  We drove through the worst downpour we have ever been in.  My husband was fighting the 30 to 40 mile per hour wind gusts that were trying to blow us all over the road.  It was extremely scary and all I could think about were my two little boys sleeping peacefully in the back seat.  We were under a tornado watch too so had our eyes peeled.  If you read one of my earlier posts, you’ll know I’m terrified of storms and tornadoes, so this situation was extremely stressful for me.  I was so tense my shoulders were hurting.  It was quite an adventure to get home…  We dodged branches and fallen power lines in the road.  We passed several neighborhoods without power.  Surprisingly, everything was fine in our neighborhood.  What a relief!

A few minutes after we get home (and it’s late at this point, 9:30ish) my mother-in-law calls and tells me her house does not have power and that she, my father-in-law, sister- and brother-in-law and their child, have not eaten supper.  Then she asks if we’ve had supper.  I reply yes.  Then she says, “Well we need to eat supper” in a very stressed out crazy way.  All I said was “ok…”  I had no idea where she was going with all of it until she then said, “well we need to eat supper and if you have power we would like to come there.”  Wow.  Ok.  At first, I did freak a little.  The house was a mess because we didn’t clean up before we left that morning, we had just come in from our long-ass day and were trying to get the boys to sleep, and I was exhausted.  But then, I remembered that I could choose my attitude, so I chose to joke with my husband and laugh about it.  And then it became funny…fun even.  I actually had a great time with our little impromptu dinner party.  In the past, I would have bitched, saved face with the company here, and then bitched some more.  I’m proud of myself.

Overall, the husband and I laughed about the whole day when we finally made it to bed at midnight.  Between the epic poo, terrible service and food at the restaurant, the car not starting, the worst storm we’ve ever driven through, and the crazy-ass surprise dinner party at 9:30 at night, it was a day for the books.

As I type this, I’m 50 minutes away from being officially done with my maternity leave.  Although I know it’s for the best for so many reasons, I am still very sad to be heading back to work tomorrow.  I am going to miss my little men more than I can even put into words.  My toddler is my buddy.  He’s been my little best friend these past 12 weeks.  He’s grown up so much right before my eyes.  He is an amazing little man.  Not even 18 months yet and he knows about 200 words, he can tell me what he needs – “I pood, hungy, thirsty, brush my teeth…”  (No hungy is not a misspelling, that’s how he says it – so cute!).  As I type this, he is spending his third night in his toddler bed in his new big boy room.  It is a bit early to be putting him in a toddler bed according to some doctors and books I’ve read…the recommended age is around 2.   He has done absolutely wonderful though and has slept almost the entire night without a sound the past two nights.  Anyway, back to leaving them tomorrow…  I can’t say that I will not enjoy adult interaction and my me time in my car like I’ve mentioned before, and I won’t miss some of the frustrating days I’ve had when they both have been a little grumpy and needy, but I will miss the hell out of them.  I’m so jealous of my mother-in-law because she now gets to see them for the 40 to 50 hours per week that I’ve had them.  She may be the one to see my little baby roll over for the first time, to see my toddler learn a new word or say his first sentence, and she’ll be the one having breakfast with my little buddy.  And, missing those moments sucks ass.  Instead of enjoying my coffee and oatmeal with my little men, I’ll probably be eating on the run while commuting to work.  It sound very depressing as I sit here and type this.

It’ll be ok though.  It has to be.  I have no choice…a) I have to work to pay the bills, and b) if I were a permanent SAHM, I may go crazy and end up like my mother.  It’s just going to take me a few days to accept that everything will be ok.

For now, I’m just going to keep sitting here with my little baby on my lap fast asleep, and listen to my toddler sleeping on the monitor.  I know I am so lucky to have had these past 12 weeks with them, and I am truly grateful.

Tomorrow, a new chapter begins…  Time to turn the page.

Goodnight.

All the best,

Someone’s mom

I’ll take the extra pounds.   1 comment

I’m pulling my hair out.  Literally.

I’ve reached the postpartum stage where a woman’s hair begins to fall out.  Yay.  If you know me, you’d know that I cannot stand loose hair.  It disgusts me.  I’m not quite sure why, but I just know it’s not for me.  I’m the friend who will pick loose hairs off of the back of your shirt.

During this part of my postpartum period with my firstborn, I was pulling out handfuls of hair in the shower every day for a month.  I’m assuming I’m in for the same situation this time.  I am absolutely without a doubt NOT looking forward to it.

I’m having a very tough time with my body image right now.  I still look about 5 months pregnant.  I have at least 20 more pounds to lose before I’ll feel good about myself again.  I have the world’s darkest stretch marks on my tummy, and my bellybutton is still brown and sort of resembles an old piece of leather.  I go back to work next week and I’m not even quite sure what I’ll wear.  Sure, I have some great nursing tops from Motherhood Maternity…many that I’ll be able to wear to work (they make it so much easier to pump at work).  It’s the pants situation I’m worried about.  I suppose I should do an inventory of my closet tomorrow to make sure I have a couple of pairs of dress pants that look decent.  I’ve been putting that off for the past few weeks because I know it will make me sad.

But, in all my current self loathing, I realize one very important fact.  I am blessed. I know there are so many women out there who have trouble conceiving, and my heart aches for them. My husband and I are extremely lucky as we were able to get pregnant with both of our children on the first or second attempt.  Our babies are healthy and developing wonderfully.

So, I’ll take the extra pounds, hair falling out, and stretch marks.  I’ll take the sleepless nights, the spit up all over my clothes, our couches, and our bed.  I’ll take the chicken that was thrown in my hair tonight at dinner.  I’ll take the countless hours spent washing bottles, sippy cups, and the high chair.  I’ll take it all, for I know I am undeserving of the adorable little boys I have been blessed with.

I’ll take it all, and I’ll love the hell out of my little babies 🙂

Goodnight blogosphere.

All the best,

Someone’s mom

Temporary stay at home mom, and that’s ok with me. *Warning-uncomfortable story.   Leave a comment

Two kids, two stints as a temporary stay at home mom….otherwise known as maternity leave.  My second “vacation” as many ignorant people around me prefer to call my time off is coming to a close.  Back to being a slave to the man next week.  I have mixed emotions.  I love my children.  I have sincerely enjoyed this time with them.  I have had this awesome opportunity to really get to know my toddler.  We have breakfast together every morning, practice flash cards, play with his toys, and snuggle before nap time.  Who wouldn’t love that?  I’ve of course loved being home with my newborn, but he’s just getting to the point of smiling and interacting and actually being awake for a good portion of the day.  His personality is starting to shine…right when I have to go back to work.  Maybe I’ll go ahead and get preggo with kid #3 so I can have another vacation to bond with my second son.  😉

Back to the mixed emotions.  I am sad and I imagine there will be a few tears shed on the way to work next week.  But, I’m also relieved.  You see, I like adult interaction.  I actually like my job and the people I work with.  I am looking forward to my long commute.  That’s right, I said looking forward to it.  That is when I have me time.  I get to play my music as loud as I want, or have complete silence.  I get to catch up with friends on the phone and actually hear what they are saying without kids screaming in the background.

Over the past twelve weeks, I’ve been responsible for most of the care of the children, almost all of the care of the house, and most of our dinners.  Normally, the dinner thing is not my cup of tea.  I don’t mind cooking, but I’m not that great at it.  I can follow a recipe, and sometimes I can even make the recipe my own and actually come up with something edible.  But, I have burned hot dogs in the microwave and overcooked a chicken breast so much so that the dog wouldn’t even eat it.  My husband makes fun of my cooking (I know that makes him sound like an ass but it’s actually kind of funny.)  So, I am looking forward to giving the dinner portion of our day back to him next week.  I am also looking forward to him picking up some of the housecleaning.  I am tired of vacuuming and more tired of being the only one in charge of laundering the 400 tiny pieces of clothing my sons go through each week.

I have started to wonder here recently that if I’m happily looking forward to my commute, giving up cooking dinners, and giving up some of the care of the children and the house, would I really make a good permanent SAHM?  Sure it’s been great not to stress over my job these past 12 weeks and it has been even greater to spend time with my kiddos, but I have had days where I have questioned if doing all of this permanently would really be good for me or my kids.

Wondering this about myself makes me reflect back to my mom’s years as a SAHM.  She stayed home from the time I was born until I was around 11/12 years old.  She did everything while my dad worked.  If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’ll know that she was not that great of a mother.  I am now wondering if the fact that she was home with us five to six days per week without adult interaction, without anyone praising her for her work, without any money to be able to even get out of the house, made her crazy?  I am wondering if the same thing would happen to me?  Would I eventually lose my mind and treat my children like shit because I would be so unhappy as a SAHM?

I know that my mother dealt with a lot of issues related to her own mother and father abandoning her as a child, and honestly, I don’t think she ever actually dealt with the issues.  I think the fact that she bottled them up inside caused her to go crazy.  I think she developed severe anxiety and jealousy issues due to her mother and father leaving her, whoring around, and basically not being involved in her life for many years.  She had to hear stories about how her own parents were sleeping around town with other people (much younger people I might add), staying out at bars, and basically living single lives as if my mother never existed.  I know that she too also had to endure physical and verbal abuse from both of her parents.  I feel sad for her and her childhood.  I know it was tough on her, but one would believe that she would have taken the opportunity to harness that negativity, turn it into something positive, and give her kids the best life she could. Maybe she did give us the best life she could.  Maybe she treated me the only way she learned how to treat children.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever know exactly why she treated me so miserably because she will a) never admit she did anything wrong, and b) she’ll never ever talk about it.  She goes about her life now pretending that she was an awesome mother.  I am 100 percent positive my step-dad has no clue about what really happened behind closed doors when I was a child.

In analyzing why my mother treated me the way she did, I think it has to do with a) the fact that her own childhood was shitty and she never dealt with her feelings toward her own parents, b) she was a stay at home mom who wasn’t appreciated and barely had any interaction with the outside world, and c) because my dad was a terrible husband.  In one of my earlier posts, I talked about how they cheated on each other.  That’s bad enough.  But they took it to the next level.  They hit each other all the time.  The called each other every name in the book.  I have a ton of memories of them fighting.  They fought at home, in the car, out in public, everywhere.  They were violent.  I have many memories of my brother and I sitting in the backseat of our car, my dad in the driver seat, and he and my mom yelling and hitting each other while we are going down the road.  I remember being so frightened and my brother and I screaming at them to stop.  I can still see their arms raised in the air hitting each other.  I can see my dad pulling her hair and her crouching in defense.  I can still hear my dad saying he would kill my mother.  I can still hear my mother sobbing.  Worst of all, I can still hear my precious little brother crying out of fear.  He was five years younger than me and so innocent.  Thankfully, the fighting would end though as soon as we pulled up to our destination.  They would put on their game faces and walk in the store, my grandparent’s house, wherever our horrible car ride had led us.  I should have said something to someone.  I should have done more to protect my brother from it.

Their fights at our house were even worse.   There was more room I suppose for things to really get ugly.  I cringe at remembering how I felt when I started to hear their voices raise.  I would always silently pray that God would make them stop arguing as soon as they had started.  Sometimes I would just sit in my room and listen…I was afraid to go out in the hall because I knew if one of them saw me, I would be dragged in the middle of it.  I remember one time I was brushing my teeth one night and a fight started.  I got in the bathtub (even though I had already bathed), turned on the water, and held my head under the running water so that was the only thing I could hear.  Listening to the water, I cried and asked God why was I in this family….how did I get so unlucky?

Many times, I would go to my little brother if I could get to wherever he was without them seeing me.  I wanted to protect him from it…I needed to. If he was in his room, I would turn on his tv or radio loudly so he didn’t have to listen to it.  I would shut and lock his bedroom door.  I was afraid.  Many of their fights were about us.  I am fairly certain they did not agree on anything when it came to parenting us.  Out of the many fights that were about my brother and I, most were about me.  My mom would lie and say I did something to my brother or to her, and my dad wouldn’t believe her at first.  She would get angry and claim he loved me more than her, then it would escalate from there.  She was insanely jealous of me…and I had no idea why.  I wasn’t even that close with my dad.

Their fights would start with yelling, and then came the curse words.  They called each other every name in the book…over and over again.  Then, the hits would start.  First my dad would shove my mom and then she would fight back.  Then, he would punch her, throw her into a wall, and drag her down the hallway.  Please keep in mind we lived in two not-so-big houses, so all of this was happening within a few feet of my brother and I.  Sometimes their fights would end with one of them leaving, my mother locking herself in a room and crying, or with them coming after me.  See, if the fight was about something my mother said I did and my dad not believing her, he would eventually either believe her or appease her by beating me.  I remember him coming in to whatever room I was in and asking me if I did so-called bad thing.  I would say no because most of the time I had not done whatever ridiculous thing my mother had made up, but he would then call me a lying, ungrateful bitch and beat me.  As I got older, I would fight back, but I was always overpowered.  My dad is a big guy with several years of police training.  He can whip some ass if necessary.  Sounds pretty f-d up, right?

Reflecting back on these fights has also reminded me of the sense of false peace I felt once the fights were over.  When the house was quiet again, I would feel relief and a slight sense of normalcy.  If a few days had passed without any fighting, I remember thinking that perhaps it was over…  Perhaps they truly loved each other, maybe even made a promise they wouldn’t fight anymore.   Perhaps my prayers had been answered.  But all too soon the violence would start again, and I would be reminded of why I hated my life so much at the time.

One of the worst fights they ever had almost ended with me calling the police.  I look back on this particular one and wish that I had called the police.  How embarrassing would that have been for my dad, Mr. Law Enforcement himself, to go to jail for domestic abuse?  At the time of this particular fight, we were living in a very small rental house.  My brother and I shared the same room and a bed for a year.  I was approximately 9 years old.  I am fairly certain my little brother slept through this particular fight, although I have no idea how he did.  I cannot remember what they were arguing about, but it got out of control quickly.  There was slapping, punching, yelling, things being thrown around…  I remember laying in the bed listening to every word and praying for it to end so I could sleep.  I remember feeling so afraid.  I pulled the covers up so that my head was halfway covered.  If they did come in our room, I wanted them to think I was asleep.  (To this day, if I’m alone, I still sleep with the cover halfway over my head…I suppose it’s a source of comfort for me.)  As the fight progressed, I heard my mother open the cabinet in the kitchen where my dad kept one of his guns.  I thought for sure she was going to shoot him.  Instead, she yelled at him and said she was going to kill herself.  She went outside on the back porch with the gun.  Her sobbing was so loud I am sure the neighbors (who were half a mile down the road) could hear it.  My dad pleaded with her, told her he was sorry, said whatever he could to make her come back inside.  After what seemed like hours, she did come back in, and they made up…and had sex.  They slept on a pull out sofa on the other side of the wall of the room I slept in, and I could hear it all.  I was truly disgusted.  Disgusted at their fighting, the fact that my mom threatened to kill herself, and the fact that they were having sex and I could hear it.  How could they act like that just a few feet from their children?  How could they think we actually slept through that shit?

The next day, as I got on the bus to go to school, I felt so alone.  No one knew what was going on at my house and I could never tell them.  I looked around at my schoolmates and was jealous out of my mind of each of them.  Surely, none of them had to deal with things like this.  I imagined them to have awesome parents who loved them to pieces.  I imagined they had fun family dinners together, played games, watched tv, played outside together.  I imagined my schoolmates having childhoods I could only dream of.

If you read my post from two days ago about raising my voice at my toddler, you’ll know that I’m scared to death of turning into my parents.  In analyzing my mother’s situation {(a) the fact that her own childhood was shitty and she never dealt with her feelings toward her own parents, b) she was a stay at home mom who wasn’t appreciated and barely had any interaction with the outside world, and c) because my dad was a terrible husband )} and comparing it to my own, I already have thing “a” going against me.  But, I find solace in the following facts.  I am dealing with thing “a.”  That is what this blog is for.  I am only a temporary SAHM, so thing “b” is not part of my current equation.  And, my husband is the complete opposite of terrible, so thing “c” is out too.

I will not let my kids have the same memories I have of my parents.  I just won’t.  It’s not fair.  They have done nothing to deserve that kind of life.  Sure, my husband and I have fought.  We’ve had very heated arguments that I regret…arguments that remind me of my parents.  We haven’t had one of those in a very long time though, and I will do all in my power to not let our differences escalate out of control…especially in front of our children.  I don’t want my kids to be afraid of us, or embarrassed by us, or feel lonely and depressed and jealous of their classmates’ lives.  I want them to feel happiness, and love, and know that they can count on my husband and I for anything and everything.  We should be their protectors and their safe haven from the rest of the world, not the thing they are most fearful of.

So, in an effort to remove anything I can from the equation that equals emulating my parents’ behaviors, I will not be a stay at home mom.  I will work hard at home and at my job, and I will work knowing I am providing a good life for my children.  My temporary stint as a stay at home mom is ending, and I’m ok with that.

All the best,

Someone’s mom

Baby names…the struggle…and a little advice.   Leave a comment

Today I am going to shy away from writing about the crap that plagued my childhood.  Although it’s therapeutic to write about, it also brings me down and makes me sad and angry while I am reliving it.  I’ll continue to write about it because I’m already convinced it helps me to let it go once I hit “Publish” but I’d like a day that’s mostly free of negativity today.  I have to go back to work in 4 days and I’m already sad enough as it is 😦

As you know we have two boys.  Their names are mixtures of various family members names and we picked names of individuals we wanted to honor.  I love their names.  They are good, strong, and  unique.  Not unique enough to the point where they will be made fun of, but unique enough that they will probably be the only ones in their class and/or grade with that name…and I like that.

When I was growing up, there were always others in my class and grade level with my name.  It was never unique.  My middle name was, but not cool enough to be called by.  My parents chose a first name they liked that was evidently popular at the time I was born…but its popularity did not last long.  I even had other kids at school tell me they didn’t really like my first name. I didn’t really mind my name but I played along with them in order to be a part of the group and discussion.  I remember telling this group of girls that I hated my name…but I didn’t and don’t hate it now.  Oh the silly things we do to be accepted when we are young.

Anyway, so when I was pregnant with both of our boys, my husband and I really struggled to come up with names.  We didn’t buy baby name books, but we did search around the Internet looking for popular names.  We put together various name combination and would write them out, say them out loud, write out the initials, etc.  I had always been a fan of honoring other family members and naming our sons after people we love, and my husband was mostly on board with that idea too.  He in fact came up with my first son’s name after months of us struggling to come to an agreement.  We both had names we liked but could not agree at all.  He thought the names I chose were guaranteed to bring on a lifetime of teasing for my first son, and I thought the same about the names he had picked out.  We were even to the point of analyzing initials to see if our kid would be made fun of for whatever three letter word his initials spelled.  Finally, one day he said the name out of the blue…and it was so obviously right.  For months, we had argued over the name to the point where we didn’t even know if we would have on picked out by the time he was born.  We ended up naming him after a couple of family members and continued a lineage of first, middle, and last names (in the same order), and it is perfect for him.  He’s the spitting image of these particular family members so I know in my heart it was meant to be.  I just wish my husband and I hadn’t argued so much trying to figure it out.

When I found out my second baby was a boy, we went through the same thing…only worse.  In fact, we didn’t even have his middle name picked out until right before I went into labor.  My husband had one name combination he wanted after some family members on his side, and I had just one first name that I wanted to use desperately to honor a very important male family member who did so much for me growing up.  We both had boys’ names picked out and we both wanted our names because who knows if we’ll have another boy down the road…this might be it.  My first son is named after my husband’s family, so my sweet husband let me have the first name for my second son that I wanted.  Although, he would tell you that he let me have the name so I would stop bitching, but I digress.  😉

Now that both of my sons are here, I’m really proud of the names we chose.  But, I think all of us moms feel that way.  My sons could be named Blanket (sorry MJ – may you RIP) and Pillow and I would still love their names…because those names are attached to the two most precious things in my life.

It is amazing how our children give life to their names.  In one of my earlier posts I wrote about how I didn’t necessarily bond with my first son while I was pregnant and even though we announced his name before he was born, the whole concept that this little unborn person with that name would soon be part of our family was difficult for me to grasp.  But, as soon as he was born, I realized his name was perfect…the same with my second son.  It just feels so right.  It’s a weird feeling to describe but I’m sure the rest of you parents out there can understand what I’m trying to say.

I do have some advice when it comes to naming your children.  First, don’t argue with your spouse over it too much.  Pregnancies do not last forever – just enjoy it.  Even though it may not seem like you’ll ever agree, your child WILL have a name (you can’t leave the hospital without it). 😉  Second, write down all of the name combinations you are considering, then make more combinations out of your original combinations.  Third, write out their initials…and sound them out. I thought my husband was crazy about this, but do give it some thought to make sure you are not setting your kid up for years of ridicule from his classmates.

Remember that the names that are popular now may only be popular for 10 years or so.  In the same thought, family names may also never be popular.  I am a proponent of using family names, but that doesn’t mean I would name my daughter Mildred if that name existed in my family (Disclaimer – I apologize to anyone who is named or likes the name Mildred.  It’s just not my favorite.  I’m sorry.)   If you are really struggling and do not like fad names or family names, think of historical figures and celebrities – you may get some inspiration there.  Pick up magazines at the supermarket and check out people’s names.  Peruse some of the free historical books on Kindle and browse the chapters for names.

Make sure you give your kid’s middle name the same attention as the first name…I think they are equally important.  Remember that your kid may want to go by his middle name in the future, so make sure it’s one you and your kid can live with.

Lastly, a good friend of mine gave me great advice when my husband and I were struggling to decide. She said to come up with three names that we both like and then go outside and shout each one of them several times.  Conclusion – pick the one you don’t mind yelling over and over and over again 😉

Would love to hear some stories about how you chose your children’s names.

All the best,

Someone’s Mom

Don’t call your daughter the “c” word. *Warning-not nice words listed here.   4 comments

Today I gave my toddler a bath. Like most toddlers, he loves bath time. He would stay in the tub until his entire little body turned into a prune. While I was pregnant with him, one of the things I looked forward to was bath time with my little fella.  This led me to register for all the bath toys I could find…and our friends and family delivered. We have more bath toys than the bath toy aisle at Babies R Us. I have put most of them in the bath tub with him and there’s barely room for him. He could loves it. He plays with the little boats, arranges the Sesame Street characters along the side of the tub, and sticks his ABCs and 123s on the wall. I can’t even mention the word bath in this house without him freaking out with excitement. And, you best believe if we mention the word bath, we had best be preparing his water or holy hell will break loose.

Today was no different from any normal bath day for him. He was excitedly playing with all of his toys, trying to drink the water, and talking a mile a minute to his toys and me. I had my little baby in a bouncy chair out in the hallway so I could keep my eye on him. Halfway through my son’s bath, my little baby woke up and was ready to nurse…ahead of schedule (seems to be a theme lately – this kid must be HUNGRY). I turned around to grab my little baby out of his seat so I could sit on the toilet and nurse him while watching my older son play. As I was removing him from his seat, my back and legs became wet. I turn around and my toddler was laughing hysterically and has one of his little boat toys dipped in the water ready for another shot at mommy. He throws another round of water at me and it gets me and the little man wet. Instead of laughing, I got pissed. I raised my voice at my toddler and told him to stop it. Before I could grab the boat from him, he did it again, soaking the bathroom floor and a basket of towels and extra bath toys I have in there. I was honestly mad. I took the boat from him and told him it was time to get out of the bath and yelled that he was a bad boy. He then grabbed the wash cloth that was full of water and started flinging it around adding more water to the bathroom floor and my feet. I raised my voice even louder and told him to stop. Then, I realized, OMG, I sound like my parents. WTF is wrong with me? It’s a bathroom and it’s just water. He’s having the time of his life and I’m yelling at him before it.

So, I quickly apologized to him and gave him a kiss. Luckily, I do not think he was phased by me yelling at him…thank you God. I sat down on the wet toilet and nursed my son and let my toddler continue his bath time fun. I analyzed my actions. I cried just a little. What had caused me to freak out? I mean, I was really yelling at this kid for the most stupid thing. Then, I realized, this is something I’m going to battle my entire lifetime as a mother. I’ve unfortunately inherited a bad temper and the ability to freak out on a moment’s notice about nothing. Thank you Mom and Dad. Awesome.

Today is another day where I struggled between choosing the loving, kind, optimistic version of myself standing on one shoulder versus my parents who are standing on the other. In this situation, I acted like my parents used to when I was little. I flipped out on my precious little boy for nothing. It hurt and I didn’t like it one bit. It brought back a flood of memories that I don’t think I wanted to deal with today.

When I was growing up (between the ages of 5 and 16 or so), I have vivid memories of my parents screaming at me, beating me, screaming and beating each other, and cussing like sailors. I was beat for things that my little toddler did today. One time, my mom had my brother and I in the bath together (I was around 7 and he was about 2) and I threw a bath toy at him. I have no idea if I did it on purpose, but even so, I did not deserve what I got for it. My mom yelled at me and slapped me and I came back at her and told her to stop (you have to understand she did this on a daily basis and even my 7 year old self was tired of it and knew it was wrong). My dad heard what was going on, came in the bathroom, removed my brother from the tub, took off his belt, and beat me…naked. All the while my little brother was watching, crying. I had belt marks on me for days.

One time, I wet my pants in the middle of my bedroom floor, and was beat with the buckle side of the belt for that. Ouch. My mom threw shoes at me, and my dad chased me behind the bed and into corners and beat me with the belt. I can still picture the corner of my room and can still remember crouching down into the tightest position I could get to minimize the parts of my body that would be hit.  Now, I realize that many people believe in spanking children…to each his own. But, I was beat people. I was made to wear long sleeve shirts even when it was warm out to cover up the welts. In my book, this was not punishment, it was abuse.

Not only was I beat with the belt and hit with shoes, I remember a few instances of being pinched and having my hair pulled by my parents. And, one time, when I was 16 years old, I stayed after work and talked to some friends in the parking lot for 30 minutes and got home later than my dad expected me to, and I was dragged up a flight of 6 carpeted stairs so hard that the skin was ripped away from my kneecap. I was then dragged down the hall of my house and thrown into my bedroom….at 16 years old! I understand I was home later than I should have been, but I wasn’t doing drugs or drinking or any of the like. I was talking to some friends. My dad had even called my job and they told him I was in the parking lot talking to friends because they could see me. I did not deserve what I got. The next day we had family portraits with my dad’s new wife’s family, and I had picked out a shirt and skirt to wear. I still wore it and wore white hose with the skirt, and you could see the huge bandage on my knee. My step-grandparents asked me what happened, and my dad had already threatened that if I told anyone I would get it worse, so I told them I fell at work. I hated lying. I hated covering up my bruises. For years I wanted to tell what was happening to me, but I was always threatened by my parents that if I told, I would be beat within an “inch of my life.”  To this day, I still have no idea what that means, but at the time, it sounded awful and I believed them.

In addition to the physical hurt my parents bestowed on me, I was also hurt verbally. For as long as I can remember, my dad called me a cunt.  I can’t believe I even just typed that word.  It makes me sick to my stomach.  He called my mother and I that all the time.  I didn’t even know what it meant when he first started…I was probably 7 or 8 years old the first time I heard it.  7 or 8 – still in elementary school!  Who does that?!  That was the worst, but I was called every name in the book…all the way from ingrate to mother fucking bitch.  I’ve never written those words out before – it really makes me uncomfortable to do so.  I have that little knot in the back of my throat when I think about it.  My dad wasn’t the only one doing the name-calling.  My mom did the same thing, but for some reason it hurt worse coming from my dad.  My mom had always mistreated me, but there were times when I felt like Daddy’s Little Girl and when he treated me so.  I desperately wanted to be his little girl.  But I felt more like an inmate and he was the warden…which makes sense because he has been in law enforcement for most of his adult life.

So, back to today.  I didn’t call my son any names and I did not hit him, but I yelled at him…for something stupid.  It scared me.  I don’t want to be like that.  I will NOT do what my parents did to me.    I hated them for it, and it still hurts to this day to even think about it.  I understand that my son will need to be corrected and disciplined.  I’m certainly not going to set him up for a lifetime of doing what he wants and walking all over people, but I’ve learned from my experiences that beating your children and calling them names only meant for the scum of the Earth is not the answer.

My son is napping right now, and I plan to give him a big hug when he wakes up.  I love both of my sons more than life itself.  I’d die for them and I want them to feel so much more love than I ever felt as a child.  I do not want them to have memories of me yelling at them, calling them names, hitting them, or any of the like.  I do want them to respect me, and I believe they will, only if I show them the same respect in return.

I guess I should thank my parents for teaching me how NOT to parent.

Love your children.  They are precious and innocent beings.  Don’t take your time with them for granted.  It goes by quickly.  Don’t mistreat them, they will only hate you for it.

All the best,

Someone’s mom

Today, I chose selflessness.   1 comment

Today I am watching my little nephew again for a couple of hours while my mother-in-law runs some errands.  This was a last-minute request of her and I found out she wanted to drop him off at my house only about a half hour before she actually did.  For anyone who knows me, I don’t do last-minute.  I am a planner and organizer, and I need to know at least several hours in advance before anyone comes to my house.  Further, I had already planned my day with my two boys and the things I need to get done…like pay bills, laundry, and vacuum.  So, I felt highly inconvenienced and annoyed.  If you read one of my earlier posts about my nephew, he is also a very needy child, so I also felt exhausted at the sheer thought of spending another day with him.  I almost told my mother-in-law I just didn’t have time to watch my nephew and had too many things going on, but that would have been a lie.  I do have time and can certainly take a few hours out of my day to help her out.

My mother-in-law watches my children while I am working, and asked if she could be our primary baby-sitter when I was pregnant with my first son.  She is truly a saint.  She has taken care of her elderly parents for years, and practically provided full-time hospice services to both her own mother and mother-in-law before they died, all the while taking care of my son and his cousin all day Monday through Friday…oh, and she runs her own business!  One would think why I even hesitated for a second to help her out today and why I was annoyed by it considering what she does for me and others.  These negative, conflicting thoughts are ones that I need help getting rid of.  These remind me of my mother.

See, my mother would have been completely annoyed this morning as well, but would have called her husband to bitch about the situation and his mother, and then say yes she could baby-sit with a smile on her face.  However, she would then bitch to everyone about it later and talk negatively about the person that inconvenienced her to everyone she knew.  She would then try to get others on “her side” and agree with her that she suffered some sort of injustice for being asked to baby-sit last-minute.  You may be wondering how I know exactly how this situation would have played out…  I’ve seen it all before…many many times.

My mother has one friend…a friend she has had since childhood…a friend that does not live near her and does not see her or hear from her on a daily basis.  A naive friend that truly believes my mother has been wronged by everyone else she has ever known.  She used to have several friends, but by talking about them behind their backs and accusing them of doing wrong to her, they are no more.  She and my step-dad used to have good jobs for a business my step-dad helped start up and run for more than 20 years, but her negativity and big mouth ruined that and they were fired from their own business.  She used to have in-laws and my step-dad used to have a brother, but they are no more.  She single-handedly destroyed the relationships in the family she married into.

My mother does not like other women.  She could not stand my dad’s mother or my dad’s sister.  She is insanely jealous of all other women but she’ll never admit it.  She critiqued everything they did and swore they were trying to influence my dad into leaving her.  She drove a wedge between my dad and his sister that to this day has still not been completely repaired…and my parents have been divorced for 16 years.  She even had the audacity to talk bad about them to my brother and I when we were young children. C’mom lady, this was my sweet grandmother and the only aunt I had!  I am annoyed now remembering all the things she used to accuse my grandmother and aunt of doing.  She was so full of lies.

When she married into her new family, she started doing the same thing.  She critiqued the parenting style of my step-dad’s brother and his wife, specifically his wife.  She found every opportunity to bash her that she could. She was too fat, let her kids eat whatever they wanted, didn’t love them, gave them too much, gave them too little, didn’t bathe them, on and on and on…  I remember when we first started hanging out with my step-dad’s family, my mother would try her very best to bash her sister-in-law to me and to get me on her “side” and agree that my sister-in-law was a bad mother.  WTF.  My mother, the one who beat the shit out of me, called me every name in the book, treated me like her and my brother’s servant, and let a dog attack me, was critiquing someone else’s parenting style!!  Pure insanity.  Even on Christmas Day…they day we celebrate selflessness, kindness, acceptance, etc., my mother had the nerve to whisper things to me about her sister-in-law at the breakfast table…while she was in the very next room!  She tried to get me to agree with her that her sister-in-law had her daughter’s hair pulled too tight in a bow and a bunch of other crap about the children’s’ clothes.  I was so embarrassed and sad that I had brought my soon-to-be husband around that.

My mother’s sister-in-law did a fine job with her kids.  Everyone has their own parenting style.  Sure, she lets her kids eat junk food and run around like crazy people out in public, but she loves them and they know it, and that’s what it all boils down to in my book.  My mother talked so bad about my sister-in-law that over a period of a decade,  she drove a wedge so big between my step-dad and his brother that it will be never be repaired.  She convinced my step-dad that his brother and his wife were out to get them and that they are terrible people.  She used her words to ruin the relationship to the point that my step-dad actually faced legal action because his brother accused him of attempted murder about two years ago.

You’ll love it…a great story that made the papers of the small town they live in (note – I grew up there and everyone knows they are my family – can you say embarrassing?). My step-dad’s family all live on what I call the compound in a small, rural county…about 500 acres.  There are three houses – my step-dad’s, his brother’s, and their parents.  My step-dad and mom were out in the yard one day doing whatever they do, and they noticed that my step-dad’s brother was out in the woods behind their house.  Evidently he was hunting.  My step-dad and mother decided that my step-dad’s brother should not be anywhere near their house and had no right to hunt near it, so they turned on the music in their big redneck truck very loudly and blared it in the direction of my step-dad’s brother.  He didn’t leave his post, so my step-dad decided to get a gun out and shoot toward the woods in the direction of his brother.  He told the court he was shooting at a groundhog and did not know his brother was in the woods, but I know the real story and they do not know that I do.  See, my brother was there with them at the time, and he told me the truth about what happened.  They however think I believe their ridiculous story about that my innocent step-dad was just shooting at a little groundhog and how dare his brother accuse him of trying to kill him.  Do they think I’m an f-ing idiot??  Do they think my brother wouldn’t tell me what really happened?  They have no idea that my brother is not loyal to them at all.

The whole thing went to court and my step-dad was charged with reckless handling of a firearm.  It almost went to trial but his brother put on some big boy pants and made the decision not to go to trial and to revoke the accusation that my step-dad was trying to kill him.  At the end of the day, my step-dad pleaded guilty to recklessly handling a firearm and was sentenced to a year of anger management courses and no contact with his brother’s family. The deteriorating relationship between the two brothers all started when my mom starting hating on her sister-in-law, and escalated so far out of control that the entire family does not speak.  My step-dad does not even have a good relationship with his own parents anymore because of the situation between he and his brother.  Kind of awkward considering they could all throw rocks at each other’s houses too…and there’s only one driveway…but I digress.

It is all so sad.  My step-dad (aside from having an open affair with a married woman while supposedly being a man of God) is a kind man.  He has always done everything he could to help out my brother and I  in any way.  He took my brother under his wing for several years and helped him find his own way in the world.  He gave of his time and money…when he had money.  After spending a few years with my mother, he has become a spiteful, sad person with no friends and now no family to lean on.  He is flat ass broke and on the verge of losing everything because my mom’s influence over him.  She has driven away any family and friends that he did have (because she hated their wives), and had a huge hand in getting them both fired from the business he had put many years and hard work into.  (In the type of business they ran – attempting to shoot your brother doesn’t really go over very well – ooops.)  He has been badly embarrassed in the community – to the point where an online discussion was created to talk about their family, the trial, the business they were fired from, etc.   He now works six days a week for a little over minimum wage and no benefits.  My mother sits at home.  Sure, I think she takes care of the house and the animals, but she doesn’t work.  However, she complains constantly about the fact that they don’t have money, that they need a new tv or new cell phones to keep up with the Jones’, that she wants to take trips around the world…but she is the biggest reason why they have no money!  My step-dad is a different man than I first met years ago.  He used to be very happy and optimistic about life and his business.  He had all of these great plans to keep the family business going and have my brother and I involved in it.  He wanted to buy a boat and a new house and do all of these great things, and now he is one more missed payment away from being in financial ruin.  When I do see him, he barely talks and there is a deep sadness in his eyes.  When he does talk, he’s basically telling my mom that “no, we are not getting a new tv because we can’t pay any of our bills.”  I feel really bad for him because if he had never met my mother, his life would be completely different.

Despite ruining their family relationships and financial situation, my mother still talks bad about the family when I see her.  Over the past year, I’ve counted how many minutes it takes her before she says something bad about somebody when I visit her.  It is always less than 30 minutes – always.  It’s almost like a game for my husband and I now to guess how many minutes it will take.  However, one thing has changed from years ago when she tried to get me involved.  I do not engage in the conversation.  I will listen, but never say anything back.  I will change the subject, even walk away.  I’ve been doing this for over a year, and yet she still talks about people to me.  Perhaps she has realized that she has lost a connection with me and is desperately pulling at anything she can to get it back.  I don’t know, but I refuse to engage her in negative talk.  It’s my little way of trying to get her to stop.  So far, it’s not working, but then again, I suppose that’s not my problem.

The crazy thing is, this sort of situation also rings true for anyone who happens to marry my dad – their lives are turned completely upside down, their credit is ruined, and their family relationships are strained.  Poor, unfortunate souls.  Seems like my parents were in fact meant for each other?  Too bad they didn’t stay together and just ruin each other’s lives instead of bringing others down with them.

Anyway, now that I’ve set all that up for you, back to my conflicting thoughts this morning.  See, I wanted to be angry and think “how could my mother-in-law ask such a thing of me so last-minute.”  I wanted to tell her no and I wanted to call my husband and bitch about her.  But, I didn’t, and I suppressed those thoughts.  You know how some people have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other?  I have an optimistic, selfless, kind, and loving version of myself on one shoulder, and my mother and father both standing on the other.  I am CONSTANTLY evaluating my thoughts and actions to ensure I am not being like either one of them.  This morning, I fought the urge to be a bitch and to act like my mother would have acted.

I will NOT ruin mine or my husband’s relationship with my in-laws.  They are wonderful people.  His sisters are two of my best friends and his mother loves me and treats me like her own daughter.  They have taken me in from day one and treated me like a family member…and even took me back over the years when my husband and I broke up because I acted like an idiot…and I will not let them go.  I certainly do not want my own kids to blog about me in the future and how I ruined their dad’s relationship with his family and ended up in some small town courtroom defending my actions against his family.

In my world, today was a small success for me.  I’m giving my mother-in-law a few hours to herself to get some things done, and my son the opportunity to hang out with his best bud.  I did it without acting like a bitch or telling my husband that his mom is intentionally trying to use me and inconvenience me.  I ignored my mom standing on my shoulder.  Today, I chose selflessness.

All the best,

Someone’s mom