What I learned at the Park

Does anyone else get major anxiety when going to the park?!

Maybe it’s just me. I usually hope that it is just us when I get there, mostly because I don’t want to compete with the other moms.

The ones standing around in their mom groups in work out clothes and you ask yourself “did they really just go to the gym or is that for show?” I can get a little catty in my head and think …. “you know they just ate a huge candy bar before they got out of the car” 

They are seriously chatting about books and recipes and using soft voices when talking to the kids.

I stand back.
I use “soft voices” too, I don’t want them to think I am some sort of psycho… but how do you tell your dare devil 3 year old not to jump from the top of the playset in a calm voice!?SNLF5986[1]

I did the things you do at the park… I had the reminder about strangers talk, I brought bread to feed the ducks, I packed a picnic lunch and still I stood there feeling like the other moms were staring me down. So inadequate as a mom.

I laid out there lunch and I remember I didn’t bring a wipe to wash their hands, {just lay it out, have them eat and pretend you don’t notice}  but then I remembered that Alex sat a sandwich on the porch yesterday and I am pretty sure he went back later and ate it with mud caked hands.

Then the playground clears out and the anxiety fades and I remember why I brought them….
To play and get dirty.

I hate feeling like I always need to be better, like I am in some sort of “mom court” all the time. And if I don’t do something just right then my kids will grow up and remember the one time I took them to the park and forgot the bread.

I used to really beat myself up about not being that perfect mom…. but is there such a thing. We all mess up and shame on us if we ever make another mama feel like she isn’t doing enough, or doing it just right.

I am about 100% sure that Braxton was my guinea pig child. I know that I have “messed up” more with him than the others, but then I sit back and watch him and I realize that he is smart, kind, a great student, he loves, and seeks to be pleasing to others. So, I suppose that all those times I forgot the bread to feed the ducks and those times that I yelled across the playground not to push, helped him along the way.

Momin’ ain’t easy, but I am learning everyday. I am loosing the anxious feeling and just living with my kids and for my kids. I want them to grow up and think “My mom was always there… she was firm and we knew she meant business, but she was there to kiss the bumps and bandage the scrapes. She was there to hug us when someone hurt our feelings and she was there to kiss us and love us” …. that’s what I want them to remember.

So, I guess I said all this to say, I know that I’m not the BEST mom in the world but I know I am the Best mom for my quartet. God thought so, so I’m going to try really hard not to beat myself up for all my imperfections and just do us.

 

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An Experience

I thought being a mama would be a walk in the park.

I laughed when “seasoned” mama’s would say “just wait until you have your own”.

Then I had Braxton and I immediately thought I knew everything, when in fact I didn’t know anything at all. I didn’t know if he could fall asleep in a swing. I would sit by his crib and hold a mirror to his face to make sure he was breathing. (true story) I called the pediatrician the first time he fell and busted his lip, the nurse giggled, I remember getting a little upset, and she said, “give him a popsicle this is the first of many bumps”.
I thought “I don’t have any popsicles don’t those have sugar in them.”

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I was strict with his diet and gave him only organic foods, only milk and water and never ever gave him a “dip” for his organic, free range, stress free chicken nuggets.

I was a “helicopter mom” to the extreme. I remember watching my sister in law, while on our first family vacation give her son, who was 4 months younger, a pudding cup. I stood there silently appalled that she would do that to her child!!!

Then one day we heard the words that no mother wants to hear and my views seemed to change almost overnight. MY child wasn’t supposed to be sick, he was an organic baby, who NEVER got sick or had a cold. He had never even had an ear infection. MY child was not a statistic. But in fact, my child was.  And I realized then that I didn’t know anything at all and that I had a lot of road to cover!

Then as time went on we added 3 more monkeys to the bunch and I became “seasoned”. QUICKLY!!! I became that crazy mama, going through Wal-Mart with one in the front, one where you are “not supposed to put a child”, one hanging on the end, in flip flops {an accident waiting to happen} and then Braxton wandering aimless through the aisles as if he is the only one there…. That is EXPERIENCE! I learned to listen to those other mama’s … fast!!!!

Now, while I don’t know everything, I do know a lot. I know about emergency room visits. I know how to put a band aid on extra tight to avoid another ER visit. I know how to pack lunches that they will actually eat. I know that cupcakes can smooth most things over. I know that kids have disagreements and that I can’t always come to their rescue. I know that girls are dramatic and that I still have A LOT to learn about raising a girl in a house of testosterone. I know that boys are gross and they literally smell, and I know that they will fight regardless if we are at home, church or an aisle in a store.

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I have learned to smile when they are embarrassing me to know end and make some sort of awkward joke out of the situation. They have taught me that being serious all the time is lame and that sometimes you have to use a funny voice when ordering processed food in the drive through. I have learned that messes get made and they get cleaned up eventually.

Who said being a mama was a job you had to apply for and have a perfect record. I have said it before that I am no “pinterest mom” and I admire them and I wish they would come decorate my house and teach my children how to keep white furniture clean and how to meal prep and make birthday parties the best thing ever. For now I will stick with leather furniture, cheap carpet, my “less is more and big is better” philosophy, no pretty curtains {because that is how Tarzan gets around} and sometimes dinner isn’t what everyone loves and cereal is OK for dinner!
I learned that Nerf wars are a blast ESPECIALLY when we ambush the Barber when he comes through the door…. I will take full responsibility for this because it was epic.

Being a mama is a privilege that I will never take for granted. It is fun and stressful, noisy and sometimes too quiet, it is runny noses and wet kisses and it is late nights and early mornings. But that is OK with me… we are going to make the most of EVERY crazy moment, live life and make memories…

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That is my Friday thought!

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We need some time….

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It’s Spring Break for my kiddos, and I ain’t gonna lie, we have been so very lazy. We have slept in {for this house that means until 8 am}, we have stayed in PJ’s ALL day, had cake for breakfast, listened to music extra loud and played games and then later we had more cake.

We had to decompress after the crazy past few weeks. I feel like we have been going about a million miles an hour since the end of January and I was ready for a few days of R & R with my monkeys.

Yesterday we HAD to go out and the boys only question… “do we HAVE to wear pants?” … I had to think about it for a minute and settled on yes, mostly because it was 32 degrees outside. These are my favorite kind of days.

I love laughing with them and making simple memories that don’t require a lot of hullabaloo.

Rewind to Monday, Miss Z turned 7! I look at her some days and wonder when she got to be so big and then realize that she has never been “little”. It saddens me some days because when she was little, Braxton was terribly sick and a lot of my time and energy went into taking care of him. She spent a great deal of her baby years with my husbands parents and in the process I have created this extremely independent and sassy little lady.  We celebrated with Chick Fil A for breakfast, shopping and later a trip to the eye doctor {cause you go when you can}, and ended with a girls date to Starbucks, her favorite meal and cake {always cake}.

Zoe is a treasure, she blessed us with her light in a very dark time and she has never ceased to shine for us. She loves the simple things. We got a small phone book in the mail the other day and this amazed her to no end. She was intrigued with the book  of “all the people in the world” {because our small town of 12,000 is her world}. She meandered through it all day and study all the names.

Now, with her preciousness comes a new world that I do not know much about. She is so emotional suddenly. EVERYTHING makes her cry. I don’t remember being so emotional as a girl. She looked at me yesterday after an emotional “lost brush” {Veggie Tales, OH WHERE IS MY HAIRBRUSH}  incident and said “mom, I think we need some time apart! I think I should go to Nana’s for a couple of weeks”. At the time I probably would have called up Nana and sent her on her way, I can say this I will surely be in much prayer as her teenage years get closer.

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Shirt from Zulily

Zoe is also getting glasses. She will be the only one in the house to have them and she is beyond thrilled. She makes me smile knowing that her happiness comes from such unexpected areas.

Tomorrow, we leave for a week of vacation time, I get to travel to NC to see my family that I have missed terribly and then we will finish out the week in Georgia,  Hilton Head and Parris Island.

I enjoy my trips with my monkeys, as crazy  as we are when we get home I wouldn’t trade these moments and memories for anything.

Happy Spring Break

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