Category: Mommy Wars

Guest Post – A Defeated Mom’s Manifesto

Guest Post- Defeated Mom Manifesto

 

Amber by lineAmber Christensen is a mom to four boys, a blogger and author of  Memoirs of Mayhem: The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious. She is learning to find the humor in her parenting which she shares on her blog Watch This Mom. You can also find her on InstagramFacebook and Twitter!

The Problem

You know what MY problem is? (Well, one of them.) I think everything is my fault.

The kids don’t have clean clothes for school? My fault.

The kids are whining? My fault.

The kids turned the house into a disaster zone in the five minutes I left them quietly watching a movie to make a phone call? My fault.

It’s easy to feel defeated when I blame everything that happens on myself. I’ve taught my kids to do laundry. Even the two-year-old knows how to throw clothes into the washer. If they have to wear dirty clothes to school, the least I can do is let them share the blame.

You know what OUR problem is, fellow parents?

We like to pretend we have no faults. That’s why we couldn’t possibly let one of our children go to school in a shirt they wiped their face on. Other people would know we didn’t write, “Wash your disgusting shirt,” on our Pinterest-inspired, save-the-world job chart. They’d know we’re terrible parents for not teaching our kids responsibility and letting them out in public with Cheeto powder on their clothes. (You feed your kids Cheetos? What is wrong with you?!)

My Three-Part Solution

1. Make Connections by Admitting the Realities of Life

People make connections when one of them is brave enough to tell the truth and the other says, “Me too.” I’m not talking about becoming a whiner. But if someone asks how you are, it’s okay to say, “I seriously need to get out of my house. Without my kids. Like, yesterday.”

When they respond with, “Me too!” BAM! Girls Night Out!

You have a baby with eczema who scratches the heck out of his cheeks and don’t want to put steroid cream on his face so you’ve spent a lot of money looking for something that else that works? ME TOO! At least, I did. Then a mom at the doctor’s office gave me some suggestions and we got it figured out. Let’s help each other out!

2. Find Humor

I’ve learned to find humor in parenting. I even wrote a book about it. Because reality is quite funny. Watching a two-year-old get stuck trying to take his shirt off then turn in circles until he’s both stuck and dizzy is hilarious. When I laugh instead of cry (or yell), we’re all happier people.

3. Learn From Faithful Women Who Actually Had Hard Lives

The women in the scriptures have much to teach us. First and foremost, that life is hard no matter who you are. Reading about Mary, who gave birth to the Son of God under the least ideal of circumstances and had to hide him in Egypt to keep alive, really puts my life into perspective.

Hard? Hardly.

These are faithful, courageous, stalwart women who relied on faith and pushed forward despite their trials. I want to be like them.

Are You With Me?

Are you ready to stop blaming yourself for everything, admit reality, and find humor in everyday life?

Me too!

Want to read more great articles like this one? Subscribe to this blog via email (over there in the sidebar) and never miss another great post again! Follow The Whatever Mom on Twitter, Facebook and BlogLovin. If you don’t? Whatever.

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April 2nd is World Autism Day

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Happy Saturday!

I know, I typically do not post on a Saturday. But, today is an important day to share. April 2nd is now celebrated as World Autism Day and it kicks off a month long celebration of difference and spreading awareness about Autism. Not only are the statistics alarming (1 in 68 are diagnosed), but it is more alarming how difficult it is for autistic individuals and their families to find acceptance and understanding. This boggles my mind because we are so much more alike than we are different.

Years ago, I worked as an assistant in a school for autistic children. I worked in the preschool classroom during the morning and then in the afternoon I worked in the older classrooms. I have witnessed miracles happen and I have witnessed heart breaking sadness for children working so hard to cope. That experience changed me forever. In fact, after two weeks on the job I said one day I would write a book titled, “Everything I Needed to Know about Life, I Learned from Autism.” Later, I found a deeper passion linking parents to therapeutic services for their children. My wish would be that everyone could see autism the way I do- through love, compassion and understanding.

I found this post when I logged onto Facebook this morning. It is written by my friend Erin who is an amazing mom, a “Coastie wife” the owner/designer at Rose Door Designs; and now mother of an autistic son. I agree with her message and I simply love how beautifully she has shared her and her son’s story.

Erin and Liam

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“Today is World Autism Awareness Day. And while I think it’s great (really!) if you want to change your profile pic, Light It Up Blue, or even share my cover photo, those things won’t necessarily make you or anyone else more “aware” of autism. But knowing someone who is autistic might.

My Liam was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in June 2013, just before his fifth birthday. He doesn’t “look autistic;” for many people he “seems normal.” But the more time you spend with him, the more pronounced his differences become…and the more amazing you realize he is. Liam struggles every day in a world that often overwhelms and doesn’t make sense to him. He shows up and he does his best and he fights his way through. He’s brilliant and funny and talented and sweet as can be. He’s my hero.

So today, you can say you know a person with autism. One person. Because every person with autism is unique. There are no cookie cutter signs or symptoms; you can’t spot it from across the room. Autism doesn’t come wrapped in a blue puzzle piece ribbon.

For anybody out there facing an ASD diagnosis–whether it be your kid, a friend’s kid, a family member–IT’S GOING TO BE OK. I promise. You will find your way. There are helpers. Liam has been able to make remarkable progress since his initial diagnosis thanks in large part to the incredible work of some really amazing special educators, regular classroom teachers, therapists, school psychologists, aides, and paraprofessionals. So, to those of you doing that really difficult, really important work: THANK YOU. I know it doesn’t always feel like it, but you make a huge difference in the lives of kids like mine every single day.

If you have any questions about Liam, what autism looks like at our house, or about ASD in general, I’d be happy to try and answer them. It is, after all, World Autism Awareness Day.

Love and light,
One Lucky Mom”

When I asked Erin for permission to share her post she asked me to really emphasize the value of the hard work special educators put into helping kids like Liam, “Special educators are absolutely saints and deserve millions of dollars and their own velvet roped VIP area in heaven. We are so, so thankful and forever indebted to his teachers and aides. They have loved him like their own and have made it possible for us to be better parents.”

I also asked Erin if she could offer any advice about what kind of support she needs as a parent, “I guess the best support anyone could offer me would be to try to understand. Ask questions, be observant, and offer to help maybe (though I’m not big on accepting help! LOL). It drives me nuts when people say things like, “Oh, he’ll be fine,” or “He looks so normal,” or “He doesn’t seem so bad.” It may be true in that moment, but they haven’t seen the day to day struggles.”

I would like to add to Erin’s advice by saying don’t judge a parent by their child’s behaviors. A child struggling to cope in public can often look like they are “misbehaving” and believe me EVERYONE has an opinion on how to handle THAT child. None of that advice is helpful. Instead, ask, “What can I do to help?” “Is there anything I can do to help you right now?” Sometimes just offering help with compassion offers enough room for a parent to take a breath and face that struggle. Sometimes knowing you are not alone in the struggle is all it takes for families living with autism to feel accepted.

autism ribbon

To learn more about Autism and how it affects families visit http://www.autism-society.org/

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

 

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How Far Do I Have To Run To Leave The Madness Behjnd?

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Have you ever had a day just so insane you wanted to run away? That was my day today! After months of my husband working 6 day weeks and traveling I was feeling pretty streched thin!

This week my kids have been especially crazy. They are constantly arguing and not listening and just not nice to each other. I knew my nerves were shot when I sent hubby this text:

Me:”I had to take away all the chairs from our kids today. I banned them from using CHAIRS!!!!”

Hubby:”I don’t know what to say except what kind of wine do you want me to bring home?”

Me:”THE BIG ONE!”

I felt like the harder I tried to settle the kids so I could have space to do a little work and maybe wash some dishes, the harder it was to wrangle them. So , I turned on the TV, went to my own room and called my mom.

Me:” This morning I told my child to get in the car and for some reason she starts running around the car and dancing across the front yard. I have yelled so much this week I swear the neighbors set their clock, brew a nice cup of coffee and watch out the window just waiting to see what $#@+ show my kids are creating each day”

Mom: Laughter. Of course she laughed. Not because I am funny but because she remembers what it felt like (and now she’s free from the tyranny that was the “know it all” me).

As soon as my husband arrived home I ran out the door to grocery shop. I had no list. No idea what I needed to buy. But I was gonna walk every aisle in each of the stores I regularly shop! First, I’ll treat myself to a chai latte from Dunkin Donuts. Uggh…except my driver side window is stuck and won’t open!! What is this day trying to do to me?!?

Never mind. I will drive to the Quick Check gas station and get something. I settled on a decaf coffee with chemical creamer. I didn’t even care. I wanted a stinking vanilla caramel latte darn it! As I looked around for a brownie (because I like my emotions to taste sweet) a beacon of light shown forth and there it was! A gluten free chocolate chip brownie. For ME. Waiting so patiently.

I didn’t even wait to pull out of my parking spot before snarfing that little slice of perfection into my mouth!

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#noregrets

I continued to my stores in absolutely no hurry. I read every single label on my food selections. I even offered to read the lables for other shoppers on their products. I am so not in a hurry to get back that I am actually sitting in the Aldi’s parking lot typing this post!

I knew I had to share this with all of you. Someone out there is having a day just like mine. Maybe they need to hear they are not alone, or permission to just laugh at the craptastic events of today. And, maybe I feel better knowing I’m not the only one who fantasizes about running away.

Whatever the reason you have read this far, thank you! Tomorrow is another day. I am hoping it is a better one. If not, I at least have the big wine! 😉

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

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Kids Get Sick – Get Over It

The Whatever Mom (7)

 

I am on day 10 of this crappy sickness with my kids. Is it a cold virus? Is it strep throat? There’s no fever or vomiting. They have tons of energy. But, I keep them home for their comfort. Thankfully, I work from home and can afford to keep my kids home as long as they need. By afford I mean not paying a baby sitter; I didn’t mention the cost to my sanity.

When my kids get sick I am wary about sharing on social media for fear of judgement. There is always a parent out there that has an opinion on what kind of cold medicine you give your kids- is it organic, dye free and homeopathic? “You do know you shouldn’t give kids too many antibiotics.” “There are alternatives to eye drops for treating pink eye.”  Then, there are the teachers who blame the parents for letting their kids get them sick. “Keep your kids home if they are sick.” No one intentionally sets out to spread germs. Germs are everywhere and during every season. If I post what we are sick with and show up to a party 3 days later I’ve just branded us as the source of everyone else’s illness.

So what is a mom to do?

  1. Don’t post every illness to social media. I have been guilty of posting about our second round of pink eye. I administer the drops and release my kids back to school three days later (per doctor’s permission) and suddenly another kid in the class gets pink eye. Now my kids are the target of blame. Really does it matter where the pink eye came from? A kid can get pink eye from a shopping cart, play spaces or a doctor’s office. If your kid gets pink eye identifying the source isn’t going to cure it. Following the doctor’s orders will.
  2. Use the medicine that works best for your child. If you are not one to follow homeopathic methods because you don’t feel they work for your child, then don’t waste the time or money paying into the guilt of “over medicating” your kid. It is completely OK to seek out the advice of a pharmacist or doctor on which over the counter medications you can safely use to comfort your child through illness.
  3. You don’t have to rush your child to the doctor for every sniffle. It is OK to use the wait and see approach. Most often that is the response a doctor will give you anyway. You are not neglecting your child if you wait a few more days to see how they are feeling before taking them to the doc’s office. Not only are you saving co-pays, or an extra bill but you are saving your child exposure of additional germs.
  4. It’s OK to send your kid to school with a runny nose. Every school has a different sick policy. Learn what your school’s policy is and follow it. Typically, it is the rule to be free of a fever and vomit for 24 hours before returning to school. If you have followed the rule and your child is fever and vomit free, but still has a runny nose and a cough with no other symptoms; it’s OK to give them cold medicine and send them to school. If they have the energy to make it through the day and their doc doesn’t see a reason for them to miss any more school. Always have a doctor’s note for their return to school. It won’t save you from judgement, but it will save you from some guilt.
  5. Disclose your kid’s sickness when necessary. It’s OK to cancel plans or disappoint your kids because they are too sick to attend an event. It might be tempting to send them to school or a party at friends while not recovered 100% to see if they can make it through. This runs the risk of exposing other kids to germs and setting them back a bit in their healing. I promise kids will get over the sadness of missing a birthday party, or a fun play date.

Most importantly, don’t judge another parent’s methods for dealing with their kid’s sickness. Unless you can see definitive proof of neglect there is no reason to suspect a parent isn’t doing everything they need to, to ensure their child’s health.

Instead of lashing out on Facebook about the types of meds a parent administers, or judging a parent for not keeping their kid home long enough; why not offer to help? Would you be willing to bring a meal, some cold supplies like tissues and cough drops? Can you send a get well card, or drop a note saying you are thinking of them? Taking care of a sick kid and balancing the rest of our life is stressful enough; we don’t need to hear someone else spouting their own opinions and standards.

I have the fortune of staying home with my kids on sick days. I understand not every parent has that luxury. When I drop my kid off at school and hear another kid coughing, I don’t think “man, couldn’t their mom keep them home longer?” I think, “Poor kiddo he/she must not feel well.”  Then I ask the teacher if she needs any additional supplies for the classroom and I make sure my kids wash their hands. The best way to safeguard my kids during cold season is to worry about what we are doing in our own home to stay healthy. I don’t have the time or the energy to get caught up in how everyone else is living.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Oh The Humanity of Game Night

Oh The Humanity of Game Night

Recently a group of my mom friends and I gathered for a game night event that can only be described as adventurous. Nothing about it was hazardous. We didn’t even leave the living room. We simply gathered to play just one game: Cards against Humanity.

Let me start by sharing that this game is NOT for anyone who is uptight, or timid about hearing and using colorful language that includes descriptive sex acts, body parts, bodily functions and worse. The list of offenses can go on. But, now that the disclaimer is out there let me share why this game was so much fun!

As moms we spend our entire day being appropriate. We model for our kids the appropriate topics to discuss at the dinner table. We teach them to use manners and respectful language. We even refrain, with intervention from a force deep inside, from dropping the ole F-bomb on a daily basis. I KNOW I’m not the only one who has stepped on a Lego piece and held back a generous amount of curse words.

Cards against Humanity

Our night wasn’t about getting together to use bad words and yuck it up over innuendos. It was about getting to share some laughs. Plus, it was nice to be in a kid free space eating snacks we didn’t have to share, and drinking our own beverages. We didn’t have to worry about whispering or spelling out words our kids can’t spell yet.  We could really relax and know no one will judge us for the non-politically correct things leaving our mouths because we could blame it on the cards. No one panicked about “how am I going to explain this to my kid later.” The freedom to let loose and go uncensored was darned exhilarating.

Moms playing Cards against Humanity

After the game was over and the cards put away a group of us lingered to talk. We were up well passed our routine bed times. The last time I was up until 1:00 a.m. it included a puke bucket and a thermometer. So, it was a thrill to be up that late catching up with moms I only get to toss out a quick hello to in passing.

I highly recommend starting your own game night with friends! You don’t have to play this game, any game will do. Just find a kid free space to let down your mommy-guard for a short time and relax. I know I felt refreshed and ready to tackle my mom duties the next day.

Tips for hosting an Epic Game Night:

Make sure you have a place for the kiddos to go. Whether it is off to grandma’s house, or upstairs with daddy, you will want a distraction free environment. Make it a place you can truly relax.

Ask everyone to bring their favorite snack to share! It can be as simple as chips and dip, or as fancy as a decadent dessert. Can’t go wrong with store bought!

Decide in advance on beverages. If you want an alcohol free space, or if you would like to include a little wine, make sure your guests know what to expect in your home.

Don’t worry about cleaning the house to white glove standards. You’re inviting moms! They get it! Just make sure there are plenty of comfy places to sit and maybe clean up some of the sticky parts.

Have the group decide on a game and let the fun begin! The mission of game night is to just laugh and connect with friends. Keep the game simple and energetic and the crowd will do the rest!

Got a game night suggestion? Leave it in the comments below!

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Friday Favorites – Alyssa Milano

Good morning!! I hope you will watch this clip of a very honest discussion about breast feeding. I like that it shows opposing views and each party is respectful in their exchange.

 

Breast feeding is one of the most divisive and controversial topics in parenting today. Growing up I don’t remember it being such an issue. I remember being curious about it as a kid and my mother explaining to me that’s how some moms feed their babies. Notice she didn’t say all moms. She left room for other moms, like herself, who formula fed. She was a working mom and if she had wanted to breast feed she would have. But, no one questioned her or shamed her for her choice.

I have steered clear of this topic until now because it can be so alienating to some moms. Myself included. I wasn’t able to breast feed my babies and most people think it is because I have twins. I know several twin moms who breast feed successfully and for over a year! Unfortunately, I couldn’t feed my babies because my milk supply never came in. I was ready and prepared to breast feed them. I felt a truly deep despair when it couldn’t happen. I felt like a failure before I even left the hospital five days after giving birth. So, for the first year I had to feed my babies formula.

It took me nearly three years to get over that feeling of guilt. I felt like it was my biggest failure as a mom. Not only was that because of the pressure I put on myself, but also because of the pressure of “breast is best.” Since I couldn’t give my kids the “best” I had failed. I stood quietly in the middle of the mommy war hearing judgments from both camps. I’ve met the finger wagers who spout statistics about health benefits of breast milk. I’ve met the moms who are too ashamed to feed their babies in public so they let them cry out, or hide themselves away. I’ve met the moms who participate in breast feed-ins and feed their babies openly in defiance. I’ve also met moms who have said breast feeding is not for me and boldly choose formula.

Here’s the thing… moms just want to feed their kids. Why is this deserving of media coverage, argument and a division? Why are we (moms included) relegating motherhood to the peripheral? Not only are breast feeding moms expected to remove themselves from view, but so are moms who have kids melting down in public, or moms who have “too many kids.” Why is motherhood so marginalized and minimized? Doesn’t it take a village to raise a child? So, why is my village sending me away and shaming me for my choices? Every family is different so why are we trying to put each other into a box that makes other people’s parenting a more acceptable and palatable experience for ourselves?

Here’s to the moms who choose to put their baby’s nutritional needs first- whether you choose formula, or breast milk you are making the right choice for your child. No one can ask for more than that! 😉

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Sit Down! Shut Up! I’M In Control Here!

This week has been full of so many great things: great friends, great food and great conversations. What surprises me most is the number of moms I talk with (friends and strangers) who absolutely agree with me that parenting is the hardest job. (I thought for sure I’d find someone who thinks this is all just breezy). It’s not just the monotony of the daily routine that’s hard, although that can wear on a mom too, it’s the emotional ups and downs our kids have that have us reacting like someone just scratched their nails along a chalk board. (Or insert any other spine tingling, nerve attacking sensation).

I find it reassuring when I meet other moms who have “difficult” “spirited” or “challenging” children. It makes me feel like; OK I’m not the only parent who questions their abilities on a near daily basis. I’m not the only mom losing her mind trying to understand why … just WHY can’t my kids wipe their own butts? Why do they fight so much? Why can’t they drink from a cup without spilling it all over themselves? (Seriously kids, it’s not rocket science it’s a cup!). Why do they need a band aid for an imaginary cat? Why does their teddy bear need a band aid too? And for the love, why does the world screech to a halt when someone’s sister sits THISCLOSE?!

Some days with two talking Tina’s duct tape is tempting.

Kids. I love them, but they drive me crazy! Mine can certainly test my limits. But, isn’t that what childhood is for? Testing limits and learning just what makes this crazy world tick? I have to keep reminding myself that my kids are learning something about life and the world around them whenever they freak out when someone bumps ahead of them, or they cry because the shopping cart they want is gone. It can seem like such an annoyance, and yes some days it is when I’m in a hurry. But, (grrrr) it’s my stinking job to teach them how to get through these moments. I have to use my “nice” voice to model for them how to correctly and appropriately respond. I can’t say things like, “shut up and sit down! I’M in charge here!!” no matter how much I REALLY want to!

OK, don’t shut up entirely, but sitting still for a full minute might be nice!

I think some days the hardest part about parenting is digging deep to find that self-restraint, that self-control that is going to teach my kids the right way to handle a situation. Guess what? I fail. A lot. Like, really fail. I may or may not have ripped the handle off of my husband’s driver’s side car door in response to a screaming child who just bit her sister. In my defense, I did a spectacular job ignoring her glass shattering screams for the first two hours of our two and a half hour road trip. It was that last half hour that did me in. I also confess I had no idea what I was going to do once I got that door open. All I know is I pulled over and wanted to get out of that car FAST. I am happy to report we all made it home in one piece (of which I reminded my husband as I hung my head in shame and handed over the door handle to his car). 

(Full disclosure: I don’t have 4 kids, but I do have twins. That’s like drowning and someone throws you a bagel).

My point in all of this is, well we’ve all been there. It’s really true. At some point every single parent will feel like they have zero control over their child’s behavior. I think those of us who take this “raising productive humans” thing so deeply serious are the ones who are freaking out the most. We are feeling the pressure of doing everything right the first time. Truth is, no one gets it right the first time. That’s why most people get a practice kid (sorry first born). You get a chance to see that all that freaking out isn’t going to change a darn thing and it is certainly not going to motivate your kids into getting their shit together either. 

So to my mom friends who keep me real and help me see parenting from a broader perspective, I thank you. If it wasn’t for all of you screwing up your own kids first, I’d never feel this good about doing whatever I’m doing just to survive my day! (Don’t worry I’m messing up my kids too *wink*). 

Do you ever feel like you’re alone in your parenting struggles?

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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2015 in review

We are just days away from a new year. I can’t help but look back on 2015 with much appreciation for all of you! I am blown away by how many people follow and comment on my blog each week!

WordPress put together this annual report for The Whatever Mom, complete with site stats and most popular posts. Feel free to read through. 

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,600 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I am also excited to share that I was recently interviewed for I Am a Hudson Valley Parent. I have been lucky enough to blog for Hudson Valley Parent for the last two years. I am honored to be a featured parent in 2016.

One of the questions I was asked about my blogging revealed an answer that surprised me. I shared that the toughest thing for me about writing my blog is revealing the darker parts of parenting, the less glamorous and talked about struggles.

This has me thinking, what parenting topics would you all like to see discussed in 2016? Please feel free to comment below with your suggestions or email them to [email protected]

I look forward to continuing to grow my blog with desirable content, building my Whatever Army and connecting with new friends! Thank you all so much for a great year! See you all in 2016!!

The Whatever Mom is a full time mom and part time crazy lady living off the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry, sandwich making and writing her blog. It is her dream parents every where will join her Whatever Army and accept that we are all in this together!

 

 

 

 

 

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Wanting Perfection: The Struggle Is Real

Perfection, the struggle is real.

All of my perfectly scheduled plans were derailed this week with a late night trip to the Emergency room. That of course was NOT part of my plan! But, there I was taking my very first ride in an ambulance to the ER. All I could think of was how this is going to set me back in everything I have to do this week. I was in a lot of pain, but I still kept thinking about my to-do list. Even after the ER staff settled me into a room and made me comfortable, I found myself reaching for my phone. I thought, “Let me just check in on my social media while I’m waiting.” Then the voice of reason shouted over that thought with, “what are you crazy? You are EXHAUSTED! You are in PAIN!! Just sit still and RELAX!!!” I couldn’t really relax, but I did put the phone away. I closed my eyes and thought about Christmas.

The "carnage" from my ER visit.
The “carnage” from my ER visit.

I am not sharing this to elicit any kind of sympathy in fact I’m going to be OK. It is nothing life threatening! But, this is a very familiar place for me. I talk all the time about letting go of perfection and yet I STILL struggle with this ALL. THE. TIME. Apparently, even while I’m in an ambulance all I can think of is how much time I’m wasting being there, when in fact there is exactly where I needed to be! Agh! Ironically, it was an ER visit nearly three years ago that led me to my “Whatever philosophy” of letting go of perfection in the first place! Double Agh! As you can see letting go of perfection really takes some work for me.

I returned home at 4 a.m. My babies were still sound asleep and I went in to kiss each of them good night. I am so lucky I made it home safe (and still healthy despite a visit to the ER). I realize this is as close to perfection as I can get in my parenting: two healthy kids who have zero interest in my to-do list. When they wake tomorrow all they will want from me is to play, hugs, kisses and of course demand which color cup they want. It won’t be all smiles and sweetness. There will be some crying and some yelling and I won’t get a single thing on my to-do list completed. But, that’s OK.

“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands-” ― Milton Berleading

After a couple hours of sleep I woke up exhausted. I wasn’t ready to face the day alone at home wrangling the twins while I recuperated. It felt daunting at best. But, an angel really came through for me. She helped me get my kids to school and kept them a little longer until their dad could pick them up for me. This was such a gift, the gift of time to heal! It wasn’t our usual routine but my kids just went with it (unusual). The plan I had outlined for the day wasn’t happening with perfect execution, but it was perfect for today!

Christmas is only 9 days away and if everything on my to-do list gets finished, GREAT! If not, I’m going to be OK with that too. I don’t need the gifts wrapped on a schedule, or the crafts finished by a deadline to make this Christmas perfect. I just need to be with my family at home.

As always thank you all for reading each week! I hope you all find joy today, no matter what today brings!

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

Sharing is Caring:

On the Tenth Day of Service Give the Gift of Your Best Self

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Our nine days of service have included some great experiences to share with the kids. I hope you enjoy the simplicity and are inspired to find creative ways to include your kids in service to others. Now, I am going to suggest you give back in a way only YOU can. Give a friend, a neighbor, or a stranger your best self.

How can you help?

  1. See another mom at school drop off who looks overwhelmed? Ask her out for coffee. As moms we don’t take the time for ourselves, we so easily give it way. But, if we schedule time with someone else we are more apt to follow through. Connecting over coffee will give both of you time to recharge.
  2. See a neighbor who lives alone? Don’t just drop off a note, knock on the door. Invite them over for tea and chat for a while. If they aren’t able to make it out of the house take them a meal and stay a while to talk. Giving someone your full attention even for fifteen minutes of small talk could mean the world to them.
  3. See someone who needs a shopping cart? Offer them yours. Give them a big smile and wish them a great day. The thoughtfulness of strangers can be very uplifting.
  4. Is there someone you miss talking to? Put away the to-do list and pick up the phone. Give them a call and check in. Ask how they are doing and find out what’s new. You’ll be glad you took the time to catch up.
  5. Look at people’s faces while standing in line at the grocery store. Talk to them about the weather. Notice something about them you like: a scarf, a pin, their shoes and give them a compliment. Talk to the cashier about how busy the store looks today and thank them for their service. It can be rare that someone tells us something nice about ourselves that even the smallest compliment can give us a boost.

I know all of my service posts have featured small acts with big impact. I’ve showed you how to package up gifts and cards and send them out to people in need. But, not all of us need material things. Some of us just need to be recognized. Some of us just need a little kindness in our day. Like a pebble dropped into the water the ripples travel outward until they join the current and create a big wave. Together we can start a tidal wave just by being our best selves this holiday.

 

Related posts:

On The First Day Of Service Host A Food Drive

On The Second Day of Service Host A Coat Drive

On The Third Day of Service Make A Special Delivery

On The Fourth Day of Service Send Some Cheer

On The Fifth Day of Service Give Some Swag

On The Sixth Day of Service Rise Together

On The Seventh Day of Service Make A Furry Friend

On The Eighth Day of Service Express Your Gratitude

On The Ninth Day of Service Share Your Spirit

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Sharing is Caring:
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