Category Archives: Children.

Stories of parent torture.

Jealousy.

So, I’m sitting here, in front of my computer which may or may not be disgustingly dirty, and I may or may not be slightly tipsy from a margarita that I may or may not have put too much liquor in, and I’m listening to my husband be….well…fantastic. He’s been patiently paying attention to and listening to the kids for over an hour, which if added to the other couple of hours today that he’s done this is like, a lot of hours. Especially considering how much Rowan can talk. Seriously, if Rowan ever prefaces something to you with, “You know…” get comfy, y’all. Really fucking comfy.

Perhaps it’s because I am starting a full-time job tomorrow. One that has already consumed much of my time, albeit in a flurry of distracted, pieced-together, late night–early morning moments, hair-pullingly unorganized moments, but nonetheless, I will, for the first time since the kids were born, be leaving them in the care of, well, my husband. And I’m jealous.

In all fairness, John has been taking care of the kids a lot since they were born. He’s a hands-on parent, and genuine in his desire and interest in child-rearing and co-parenting. In fact, what happens tomorrow is something that he and I have been wanting to do for years. We’ve talked about that elusive job that would never turn up, allowing us to switch roles so that he could be with the kids, and bond with them the way I have. And TA-DA! Captain elusive job landed on my lap, and here we are: T minus 14 hours until we manage to reach a goal we never thought possible.

So why do I feel so shitty?

I don’t know, friends. I’m sitting here thinking that it’s not because of the job, but more because of the connection. Right now, in the other room, I can hear John shouting in a super-hero-announcer voice (seriously, there is a superhero-announcer-voice): “AH! Help! The SEA DRAGOOOOOOOOON!” and I think, “well, that’s it for me.” Because I will never, ever be a convincing enough super-hero announcer. And in the interest of keepin’ it real, I can assure you that I hate imaginary play. It’s so, like, fake.

And he’s so patient. And RIGHT! He’s right like, 98% of the time! He makes good decisions, and can answer the boys’ questions in a very succinct and not psychotic way, like I do! He’s loving, but firm and fun, too! Dear SIPNEL! I’ve married the perfect man! What was I thinking?

It seems really sudden to me, the change. And so I am frantic that it’s because I am working more. Will the boys only lean on me for comfort and softness? Can I still connect with them without annoying them? Why do I suddenly not know how to make them happy? I can hear the huff that will come in the next few years from Rowan. In fact, yesterday he actually said to me, “Oh, Mama. You bring nothing but trouble” when I accidentally broke his Lego car. And I swear to you, I felt us separating . . . and a part of me totally agreeing with him. I’m a total troublemaker.

I don’t want to be melodramatic, but I’m feeling inadequate as a mother after years of feeling pretty fucking adequate. Is it age? Natural distance? Gender? Or that John is just more awesome, and tolerant? Shouldn’t I be pleased to have a partner who is so loving with our kids? So interested? What the hell is wrong with me?

Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’ll pass. Maybe the foundation that I laid is perfectly aligned with what John is providing them with now. Maybe I’m just over-analyzing it all (no shit, Sherlock), and I should just trust that we know what we are doing, and that things are alright. That my kids will grow up knowing that gender doesn’t define roles. That women can do anything, and that men can, too. Maybe John will rise up out of this an even more amazing man, and finally for the first time in his life stop thinking that a piano will fall on his head if things go well. And let’s face it: maybe, just maybe, I’m drunk.

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Filed under Children., Confessions., Love & Marriage.

No More Babies.

Sometimes a girl’s just gotta write because a girl’s just gotta write. She’s got to do it for the people. And, let’s face it, she’s gotta do it for her own sanity. That’s why I started this blog, actually: to rescue my mental health from the brink. And it worked! I have complete mental health! Squeaky clean! And yet, I still enjoy the same sort of cleansing feeling that I experienced in the first year of writing, although, truth be told, things have changed.

I’ve become pretty busy, in case you didn’t notice. So busy in fact, that I now go weeks between posts. I have to force myself to sit here and write, because just like a junkie falls at the feet of their addiction, this is mine, and I am falling at the feet of it, because I know I will feel better after. In the past, I would write when I felt that my children were stealing my soul, or perhaps that they were tiny little terrorists (Al-kid-a?) sent to wake me up just as I had entered REM.

But see, things have changed: I don’t have a baby. At my house, I have full-fledged humans. They say things like, “Mama! Luca just showed me his butt!” or, “If you don’t let me play Angry Birds on your phone I am going to tear this house to pieces!” Basically, it’s like The Godfather at my house. But it’s better. Better than what, you may ask? Better than having a baby.

Stupid babies.

Now, before I continue, I must say that it’s remotely possible that I am suffering from PTSD. Or, PTIDSFFFYSD (post-traumatic I-didn’t-sleep-for-four-fucking-years stress disorder) and because of this, my opinion may be skewed. That said, I think I am right on the money when I say that having a baby in the house? One that belongs to you? And doesn’t do much of anything except manage to shoot their poop so far across the room that it hits the wall? Well, it’s really freaking hard.

I look back on myself as a mother to my first child, and I cringe. I was so far out of my depth, and at the same time I was so convinced that it was what I wanted: motherhood. So convinced that it came as a devastating shock to me that I was miserable as a new mother. You know, I don’t think miserable is the right word for it. I think it was more that I was paralyzed. To the, er, three people who came over to my house that year, I am sure I appeared to be swirling down the drain of stay-at-home motherhood. I never went anywhere with Rowan that wasn’t the park down the street. We spent so much time at the house that I could feel myself understanding and relating to people with Agoraphobia. And at the same time, I began to realize that I had absolutely no support system.

My bad.

None of my friends had kids, and we lived 40 minutes away from family. I had no babysitter, and a husband that worked 40-50 hours a week. I was so freaking lonely that, well, I went a little crazy. Joining a moms’ group helped me a bit, but at the same time it left me feeling oddly disconnected from myself. I met so many nice women, but it brought me further and further away from my sense of self as a human, with an identity apart from being a mother. The discussions about kids, diapers, breasts, poop . . . and the almost automatic discussions that highlighted our kids and what milestones they had reached, well, as nice as they were to have, they terrified me. I felt trapped in a role that I didn’t want to embody completely, but it seemed expected of me. So, I clung to the women who laughed when I said things that were a bit outrageous (who, me?) or who laughed readily at themselves—and me. I clung to the women who dared to talk about books, music, politics, and movies or who generally felt as I did. And I started cheating on the moms’ group.

And now I see it all so clearly. I suppose that as more time passes, I will see it clearer still. When I hear about new moms struggling, I get it. I get it so hard. I want to go to their homes, strap the kid to them, open the door, push them out, and lock the door behind them. I want to tell them how there really are other people who can watch their children for a few hours—and that these people really want to keep the child alive, so, no worries. I want to tell them that even though it feels strange at first to go from caring for a child all day to having sex with your husband, give it a go. Really. And that asking for help is, well, hard. It’s really hard. But it’s a step in a healthy direction. I want to tell them to tell the truth to other women. If being a mom is hard for you, or not what you expected? It’s ok to tell people your truth. You aren’t admitting anything—because admitting something means that you feel you are doing something wrong. And you aren’t. Women who find motherhood easy or simple are medicated. I bet you, like, five bucks.

I want to tell new mothers so many things, but worry that I will sound like a tool. I want them to know how it gets better, easier, transformative, fun, hysterical, interesting, challenging, inspiring, emotional, loving, mystifying and amazing. When it’s hard, it pales in comparison to what you’ve already made it through. I want to tell them to call me, but let’s face it, I’m busy. But for me, the one thing that I want to tell them, because it worked for me?

I want to tell them to write.


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Filed under Children., Confessions., Women and friendship.

A Psychological Exploration Of My Muffin Top.

I used to think I was fat. Mind you, I was 14 when I most adamantly thought this, but still. I was a child. I thought it and felt it and wholeheartedly believed it. I shopped at Lane Bryant, and when Sinead O’Connor came on the scene with her oversized dresses, I felt I had found an appropriate style to match my believed girth.

In high school, when I was dating the dickiest dick of all the dicks, I spent the entire relationship being systematically brainwashed by him. It was your classic verbal abuse, and now, with the perspective of over 20 years, it was also the fact that he was just a total douche bag. Obviously, he did nothing for my self esteem. Well, actually he did: he crumbled it up and set it on fire, but I’ve been to therapy and come out the other side, so he can suck it.

Which leads me to my years in therapy, from my late teens into my early 20’s. I went to therapy. I got angry and talked about it. I’m pretty sure there was wailing and thrashing about. I talked about all of the reasons I wanted to swallow a bottle of pills. I burned letters from the dickiest dick of all the dicks, and in the end, I got strong. Strong enough to venture out, therapy free, and enter my life on steady (albeit, not perfect) footing.

And then I went through a stage where I was constantly surrounding myself with white light and positive affirmations, so that I stopped using the word fat at all, deeming it a “bad” word, right up there with hate. I burned sage to clear the negative energy and I read Creative Visualization, by Shakti Gaiwan, approximately 1.7 million times. I worked so hard for years to change the way I thought about my body. It took active and total conscious thought, and it took backslides into pints of Ben and Jerry’s and forgiveness the next day, but I accomplished my goal. I was able to turn those negative thoughts into acceptance, and even appreciation for my physical self. (I say physical self because, let’s face it, I don’t suffer from a fragile ego when it comes to my personality.)

And then. Years later, I had sex with my husband, on purpose, while ovulating, and BLAMMO. Babies. Then, I had sex with my husband again, on purpose, while ovulating one year after the first BLAMMO. Not to brag, but I’m the pregnant lady that got through both pregnancies without a single stretch mark. Go ahead, give it to me, I can take it. Just to make you want to scratch my eyes out even more, I have to admit that after my first baby, I got wicked skinny. I swear to GOD that breastfeeding is the best weight loss plan on the planet, and if it wasn’t creepy, I would breastfeed someone until I died. But see? It doesn’t matter anymore whether or not I got stretch marks or wicked skinny, because what I did get is basically a skin flap. A fairly large skin flap, or as my husband likes to say, Dunlap’s disease, because my stomach done lapsed over my belt.

I’ve had two C-sections, but it was the second that did me in. Things got, and stayed, squishy and malleable. But because I’d had surgery and my nerve endings were sliced, I have no feeling in my lower abdomen anymore. And it’s like, as Luca so kindly pointed out to me, having, well, a whole other boob.

“Mama? Do you have three boobs?”

I think that for all of these years with kids I believed that eventually, through no true effort of my own, my body would just return to its previous appearance. I can assure you (as if you needed me to) that this will not happen. My muffin top has started completing tasks. It knocks things off tables, it turns things on and off, it accidentally dips into whatever liquid is at stomach level. It broke a glass once. It’s basically a pesky child, all on its own. It has its own freaking agenda, and it’s a whole other thing about being a mom that I need to accept.

Years ago one of my friends had a tummy tuck and I judged the living shit out of her. There. I said it. I just didn’t get it! And now friends, I do. I get it so hard. This is it. This is my body. I can lose weight, nurse until I die, and firm things up if I want, but this is how my midsection will look forever. ForEVER. And it just occurred to me. Like, recently. Because I am really, really slow. So now, after all these years, I am back to low-self-esteem Sarah. And it sucks. Fashion has changed for me (something I greatly value), my confidence is wavering, and, truth be told, I don’t feel attractive.

But I’ve been here before, and I’ve made it through. So, back to affirmations, and white light. Back to being a dirty hippie who wears deodorant, because it’s polite. (Hey! A rhyme!) Back to believing I’m beautiful, just the way I am.

And maybe, just maybe, in the meantime, someone will create a magic pill that eradicates muffin tops for all.

Something other than tequila.

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Filed under Before Children., Children., Confessions.

The Submarines Are Coming! The Submarines Are Coming!

This is a little embarrassing to admit, which should give you an idea of how serious it is, since I rarely feel embarrassed by anything. But here it is. You be the judge.

I’m scared of submarines. Not the sandwiches, you do-do, the vessels. It is a strange fear, I know. Especially since I live in the desert, and there is little risk of me ever strolling down the street and running into one, but last I checked, fear isn’t usually rational. Right? Right? And just to lay it all out on the table for you, I’m actually terrified of submarines. It’s not that they make me a little uncomfortable, it’s more like if one appears on the screen in a film (because let’s face it, that’s the only way I am going to be seeing a submarine. Right? Right?), I have to leave. And my heart races, and I feel very much like I may vomit up a lung. It’s your classic anxiety.

I’ve had this fear for years. Recently, the kids discovered it, and now refer to submarines as “boatmarines” instead, which is so very, very kind of them. But even Luca seems dismayed, and has asked me why. “Why are you afraid of sub– I mean boatmarines, Mama?” I honestly don’t know how to answer him. I’m not a fearful person (Oh! Except I hate it when people touch me with their feet! Don’t ever do that.), and I would hate to think that I may be a bad example for my boys, but for the love of all things holy, fear has crept in. And now, it goes beyond my old fear of submarines. Now it’s something else.

I’ve been flying since I was a baby. I’m told that I was put on the floor—where you now stow your purse or backpack—and sent hurtling through the sky towards . . . well, I’m not really sure where I was going. I was a baby. And then of course, in the eighties, my parents’ divorce sent me once again hurtling through the sky, as an unaccompanied minor, from one state to another. We did that a lot, my sister and I, and I remember it fondly. It felt both ridiculously silly (or maybe I was just ridiculously silly, with freedom) and risky, which as a teenager, was awesome. Then of course we had the trip to France thrown in there. So, you see…lots of flying. And never once did I panic about it.

Until now.

Here are some brief details from our most recent trip to New York:

1. Flew out of Phoenix at 6 am, after spending a horrible, sleepless night in a hotel where we woke up at 2:45 instead of 3:45 because some asshole changed the clock.

2. Overpacked.

3. Talked a lot about how we always over pack.

4. Talked about how next time we should not pack so much.

5. Rearranged the luggage, 3 times.

6. Left 2 hours late out of Phoenix with too much luggage.

7. Were assured we would have no trouble with our connection in Chicago, since all flights were delayed.

(This whole trip was so riddled with travel issues that I can’t even begin to write about them all.)

While we were in the sky, headed to Chicago, I realized that I no longer like to fly. Actually, that isn’t right. My heart no longer likes to fly. Well, that and my head, and my central nervous system, and I suppose my endocrine system, since I sweat like a pig from the stress and anxiety I feel as I’m flying. It’s so very . . . odd. My body has taken my desire to travel completely hostage! AH! Hostages! Add fear of being taken hostage to the whole thing! Dear SIPNEL! I don’t ever want to become a hostage!

Alas, I am a hostage to my overwhelming fear, which brings a great shitball of irony to the whole mix.

Shitballs! Great! Another thing to fear! ARGH!

What is mystifying to me is the complete inability to control the fear that I feel. It’s overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. And it has greatly intensified since I had my children, because how on earth am I supposed to explain to them, as we plummet toward earth, why I thought it was a good idea to strap them into a metal death machine that is shooting through the sky at top speed?
Usually, while flying, I reach a point where I just sort of accept that, yep, I’m going to die. The plane is going to plunge and smash into the earth and I will burn up and be, well, dead. That’s just all there is to it. Once I accept that, I actually calm down a bit and make it through the flight. It’s completely ridiculous, right?

I hate that I fear anything. I want to be completely fearless in my life! The truth is, I’m just not. I genuinely don’t want to get hit by a submarine. Totes. And I really, really don’t want to be set on fire, ever. I certainly (clearly) don’t want to go down in a plane, and I would rather not be hit in the face, ever. I would prefer you never touch me with your feet. And I’d rather not find another (yes, another) band-aid in my soup. I’d like to get through life unattacked. I would love to never, ever have to see a clown hiding in a cupboard or other dark, gloomy space. But mostly? I would rather just be totally, and completely fearless.

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Filed under Children., Confessions.

The Guide To A Better, Moister Sarah.

Resolutions are weird. In fact, I think they’re sorta dumb, but at the same time, fun. Mostly because I can put them in a list, and I really, really like lists. The average person seems to have one, maybe two resolutions on their list, typically featuring weight-loss goals, insane physical-feat goals, and the occasional sobriety goal. For me, since I have no real desire to lose weight, will never run a motherfucking marathon, and have no problem with alcohol, I feel like my resolutions are realistic, and less annoying. Which is funny, because one of my resolutions (or just, you know, goals) is to be less annoying than usual. So, by simply making a less annoying list than, say, you, I have succeeded at one of my resolution/goals, which henceforth will be called: reso-goal.

Here is my “Incomplete Because Some things Aren’t Any Of Your Business” reso-goal list:

  • See a Pearl Jam concert with my cousin Matt, who prefers to be called “Overlord.”
  • Moisturize so I look less loose. I’m assuming moisture has special powers.
  • Read more.
  • Watch less.
  • Stop telling embarrassing things to strangers.
  • Listen more.
  • Be less annoying.
  • Be more awesome.
  • Stop calling the boys “chicken” as a term of endearment. Eventually, it’s going to confuse them.
  • Stop pointing out how cute I am to people, as it may hurt their feelings.
  • Try to not turn every single thing into an annoying song, therefore being less annoying.
  • Look into girdles.
  • Buy a new bra. One that makes my boobs look less sad and dejected.
  • Stop burning/bruising/cutting myself. This could also fall under:
  • Slow the fuck down.
  • See some ladies that I love for an entire weekend of debauchery and purging.
  • Find a way to dominate the world with my blog.
  • Learn how to edit my writing, so the time between writing and posting is shorter. Much, much, much shorter.

So, there you have it. My reso-goal list. Realistic! Attainable! And requiring absolutely nothing from my quads, hamstrings or abs. Some of them, I think, are self explanatory. For example, “read more.” Needs little explanation, eh? Except of course, for the few of you that know me well and are thinking, “don’t you read, like, four books a week?” to which I must sadly admit, no. No, I don’t. I fondly remember the time when I did, but the children, as I am sure I’ve mentioned before, have eaten my brain, and thus, I read maybe one book in a two-week period.

The body stuff is pretty obvious. I mean, look at me! I look like a pale, tired, melting Italian.

I should also turn down the vanity, which I use as a way to deflect my true feelings of self. Clearly. Although, at times, I really do look in the mirror and think, “Who’s adorable? YOU ARE!”

Watch less. Now here’s the one that is hard to discuss, because it requires me to admit that, at times, I have been known to watch shows like Prison Wives or The First 48. I think about the why behind this, and what I’ve managed to come up with is simply that I don’t have the mental capacity for much. I’m a busy girl, doing a million things, and thinking all the time about these million things. Rarely do I get a chance during the day to zone out, and so, when I do get that chance, I don’t want to watch something I have to pay super-close attention to. So, I watch crap. And that is why I want to watch less.

Go ahead and commence your mocking.

Really, the two things I would love to do this year that require a little travel and expense are the ones I’m most excited about. I’m planning my second Woman’s Retreat in Sedona this year and I would tell you all about it, but then I would have to ask you to sign a waiver.

The other requires some information. See, my cousin—er . . . Overlord—is a fan of Pearl Jam. Well, let me rephrase that . . . my cousin fucking loves Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam is to my cousin as the Pope is to millions of Catholics. It’s been this way for more than half of my life, and his too, of course. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that, when Matt was in his late teens, early twenties, Pearl Jam was his life raft, and Eddie Vedder was quite possibly one of the best male role models for him at that time. I’ve always known this, and if you know my cousin even a little, you probably know it too, but last night John and I watched the Pearl Jam documentary, Pearl Jam 20, and it all makes sense. Not that it didn’t before, just that now it makes more specific sense. So, there. Now I HAVE to see a show with him. I would see it by myself, but it would be way less awesome, so, Overlord? Get ready.

One thing that isn’t on my list that maybe sort of should  be is to eat less pudding. But I love pudding. And if I stop eating what I love, I will become a bitter, sad, and angry woman. And since that would probably cause wrinkles, and I have already decided to moisturize more so I get fewer wrinkles, I consider pudding to be a kind of preventative medicine.

It’s the first post of the new year, all and I didn’t say the word vagina at all! May your year be full of satisfaction and understanding, and may the reso-goals you make for yourself be realistic and attainable, thereby cutting down on any self loathing that would occur if you don’t reach them.

Happy New Year!

Vagina.

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Filed under Children., Confessions., Women and friendship.

Happy-Go-Lucky.

I just threw my underwear into the toilet. I walked into the bathroom to take a shower (stop visualizing!), took off my underwear, lifted the lid of the toilet and threw them in. Now, I’m sitting here comforting myself with this mantra, “the laundry basket has a lid. The laundry basket has a lid. The laundry basket has a lid.” Because, well, the laundry basket does indeed have a lid, and a very distracted person (me) could easily confuse (although they are in different rooms) the toilet for the laundry basket. Because they both have lids.

Oh dear Jesus.

I’m a little distracted.

When I was a kid, I wanted a few things that were not to be. One, I wanted to be named Heather. Heather Miller, actually. Not because I knew a Heather Miller and envied her life or anything, simply because I liked the name Heather Miller, and felt it was a perfectly good name for a teacher. Which leads us to the second thing I wanted, which was to be a teacher. A teacher named Heather Miller. This seemed perfectly reasonable, and therefore I believed I could will it into being so. The third thing I wanted desperately (besides wanting to meet Michael Jackson and make him love me forever) was super-curly hair. I tried this on and off with various perms, but I never actually achieved it. I wanted natural, uncontrollably curly hair. In a bob. And to tell you the truth, I wanted this particular thing for a long, long time. In fact, if you could magically make my hair into a uncontrollably curly bob right now? I would totally take it.

Are you asking yourself what the hell this has to do with my underwear landing in the toilet? Patience, people. Patience.

Now that I’m all grown up (well, physically at least) I want things like, money so I can fix the broken window on my car . . . or rock-hard abdominals without having to actually do anything. I would also like a jet pack, but that seems reasonable. I would like at least two more hours in the day, a babysitter that doesn’t spend 80 percent of the time that she’s in my house texting, perfect posture, a luscious garden of endless sugar snap peas in my back yard, a massage therapist that comes daily to my home (which has magically grown another room, just for me) to work on me, and slightly longer legs—mostly so I wouldn’t have to lose weight, because the weight would then be more evenly distributed. While I’m at it, I would love to be able to have my thoughts translated into text and shot out of my brain and onto my computer. I suppose that I just have to wait a few more years and that may actually happen.

And then we have one of the things I’ve wanted the most over the last couple of years, since becoming a mother. Well, I wanted to not have to utter the phrase, “Luca! Don’t lick my eye!” but, that was not to be. Because he totally licked my eye. What I wanted more was to have my own creative life. At a certain point when you have small children, you look around at your life, to take stock, and realize that you have nothing that matters to or inspires you, besides your family. Of course, family matters and is deeply important, but for most mothers that I know, we long for something more. Something that identifies us as women, as independent individuals in the world, for at least 5 minutes a day. It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, but it is. And the longer you go without any sense of self, the more resentful you become. Or, to be more accurate, the more resentful I became. And then, of course, we slide into the terrible cycle of guilt for wanting more, and for not being satisfied by our children and partners. And then we long for more, and then guilt, and then more, and then guilt. It’s a horrible cycle of self loathing!

Recently, I had a moment of complete clarity. In it, I realized that I have been writing this blog for a year and a half. I’m a writer. I actually have time to do this! And my jewelry, too. I have been able to be visually creative and earn a little money doing it. It stunned me. When I was in the thick of it—the parenthood trenches—I never thought I would manage to make it here, to this point. I sit and write uninterrupted for an hour, because the boys are playing quietly with each other in the other room. Gone are the days of a sentence here, another sentence an hour later, two more the next day, making it take an entire week to write a post. That’s how I started, and I’m sort of shocked I didn’t throw my computer (or my children) off the roof.

And then, recently, just to make me feel both super lucky and as if a large piano may fall on my head at any moment, I got a job. You may want some back story if you are new to me, so check this shit out. Here’s where it get’s freaky. Two months ago, I said to my husband, “if only I could find a job in my industry that I could do from home for, like, 10 hours a week. But nothing like that exists! What am I going to do?” He shrugged his shoulders in compassionate commiseration, and we both just mulled over my predicament. Then, I get a message from someone who wants to talk to me about a job. For ten hours a week. From home. In my industry.

No shit.

That was a month ago, and I am now employed as a title-yet-to-be-determined with an amazing start-up business. More on that when the time comes, but for now, let’s just ponder the magical powers of the universe, shall we? Seriously, people! Ponder it! Ponder it! Ponder the magical fucking powers!

And so, I threw my underwear in the toilet because my life is so full! It’s so full that my brain is full! And my brain is full of things that interest me! And things that inspire me!  And, clearly, things that distract me. But that’s alright with me, because I’m happy, and I’m motivated, and I’m lucky. I just feel so very lucky.

My underwear? Not so lucky

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Filed under Children., Confessions.

Motherhoodious

I’ve been gone for a while, eh? You noticed, didn’t you? And you missed me. I know you must have missed me, because I would miss me. Seriously. Look at my face! You know what I’ve been busy with? Really boring stuff. So boring in fact, that I had like, no material. And I still don’t! But I could feel you missing me, so guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to write a really boring post about really boring crap.

Take that!

So, I’d like to begin by saying that I have been learning a lot about myself over the last few years, what with the children, school for the children, the mingling of grownups at the school for the children, writing this blog and my usual code red level of self assessment. It’s all internal observation over here! And a lot of the time, I don’t like what I see. Not just the questionable things I am learning about myself, but measures that I place on them. It’s as if I expect my life to be super fabulous and unusual, and myself to be perfect in every instance, utterly unfazed by any chaos or difficulties. To be totally honest, I am realizing that I thought I was done growing.

And it isn’t just me specifically, it’s my life. The grand total of all that is my life. I find myself shocked at the predictability of it, and how typical we are as a family, and I as a mother. I was so lackadaisical about becoming a wife and a mother. I was even lackadaisical about staying home with the kids! Sweet SIPNEL! I was even lackadaisical about childbirth! So, imagine my surprise when not one of those things turned out to be simple! It’s even become a sort of refrain: “Why can’t ONE SINGLE THING be easy?” I say it, then I think about the starving children all over the world begging for food and I feel like shit.

Today I had to scoop the cat poop, because my life is a freaking laugh a minute over here, and while I was scooping it I actually thought to myself, “Wow, this new cat litter has amazing clumping abilities!” That is an actual thought that went through my head. I think I actually gasped at the total simplemindedness of the thought, but then I had to allow myself to consider the truth: this is my life. I excel at things like loading the dishwasher and folding sheets. And when, recently, I began the arduous task of thinking about things that I am good at as I ponder a career change, the list that I came up with involved things like, “great at multitasking, excellent at time projection, laundry . . .” and it is troubling me.

There are days that I begin to feel as if I am slowly turning into dust, and one day, when the totality of how much I have given over to my kids, my house, my husband, my friends, my commitments, and my job overtakes me, I will just blow away and have nothing of myself left. Dramatic? Maybe, but I really do feel that way sometimes. I want to be a mother, a wife, a friend, etc. I chose those things, and I want them, but at times I can see that at some point I’m going to need to go in search of myself again. I can barely keep up with the mundane part of my life, so there isn’t room for the fantastic, and in order not to drown in laundry and dishes, I have to keep it all going. I am never not obligated to someone or something and it has become so overwhelming, that I can’t really enjoy any of it. It’s just all TOO MUCH.

I’m pretty sure that this is how the phrase “I need a Spa Day” came about.

And the growing! Good God! The growing! I am seeing things about myself that have always been there, but now, because I am a mom, are highlighted with a freaking strobe light! They are really hard things to admit to myself because while I am realizing them, I am also seeing that I have always been this way and always had these quirks. They make up who I am, even if they are embarrassing or difficult to be around. For example, I am incredibly impatient, and lose my temper over things that are all about me having control. I’m not the worst control freak on the planet, but I am definitely on the spectrum. And I get it—as moms, we truly feel that if we don’t control the little things, our entire lives will spin out of control. I also get that we aren’t in control in the first place. It’s like we’re all tethered to the back of a speedboat, and we’re desperately trying to hold on. I get it, but I am still, unconsciously, trying to control the people and things around me. It ain’t pretty, but it’s the truth.

The really hard stuff is coming up more recently because, as I will soon blog about, I need to do some really serious thinking about my professional future. This requires me to be pretty honest with myself about my limits, my strengths, and the basic reality of my situation. I can see a million obstacles with great clarity (I’m a pessimist! Add it to the list!), and I can see absolutely no clear path to any other career. (Low self esteem! Add it to the list!) My sensory integration issues (the largest revelation so far, which may require its very own post) make certain things impossible to consider, and the physical issues that are pushing me out of massage are making other things impossible to consider. Adding to it all is the fact that I am a mother.

I mean, really. I’m a mother. Sometimes that just hits me like a ton of bricks. So it isn’t all tripping the light fantastic over here, and I may be overwhelmed, confused, bored, and having an identity crisis, but the simple fact is I am a mother. That’s pretty cool, right? I mean, really, I grew babies inside of my freaking body! Way cool. And then, once they were sliced out of me, I fed them with my boob! Way freaking cool. And even for all my realized flaws, they love me. In fact, they love me more than anyone—simply, purely and without judgment. And in the end, that’s enough.

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Filed under Children., Confessions.