mom guilt and vegas

I feel like I have a different kind of mom guilt these days.

My husband and I were in Vegas a couple of weeks ago.  We went back and forth between going Fri-Sat or Sat-Mon.  A lot of things factored into where we ended up (Fri-Sun); a work presentation I had to make on Monday, coordinating with my sister’s flights, and childcare since this was a kid-free getaway. One of the things we considered doing if we stayed through to Monday was the Route 91 festival, since I am a huge country music fan and it would have been a dream come true.

So we ended up coming home Sunday night. And we all know what happened late that night, when hubby and I and most people in the country were tucked safely into bed.

In the midst of this horrific event we are all still processing, I’ve been reading the stories of the helpers. The heroes.  And I’ve been feeling a tremendous amount of what I’ll call “mom guilt” because I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s not the typical feeling I get of sometimes wishing I could do better for my kids (have seen a fall coming) or of wondering if I’m doing the right thing being a working mom. I mean that I think I would have run if I was there so that I could make it home to my kids.

That hit me hard. All of these people, these helpers, that stopped to shield other people or get them to safety…they all have families and many had kids. And who knows, maybe I would have done the same thing. But when I saw those people running, I felt like I would have been one of them. And it makes me feel like I need to do some soul searching and as cheesy as it sounds, become a stronger person. That if I had run instead of stopped to help, it would be selfish.

I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about. Some have told me “no, knowing you, you would have stopped immediately if someone needed help.” But the truth is, in the moment, would I have? Or would I have gone into self-preservation mode picturing my kids waiting for me back home?

I hope I never have to make that choice. But watching the story on the news unfold over and over again, and feeling that it hit so close to home for many reasons, has really made me think.

my time

I always stay up WAY too late. My husband is constantly telling me, “you need to get to bed early today. You’re so tired…don’t stay up to late tonight!” But the reality is, I need it. The time, the quiet, the wind-down. My kids are usually out by 8.30 each night. Then my husband and I sometimes eat if we didn’t eat with the kids (a few times a week, this is our way of having mid-week date nights; we put on a movie or a show and eat at our own pace, and talk). Then, it’s time to pick up the house, pack lunches, fold laundry, the usual.

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By the time ALL of that is done, it’s about 10. After that, you’ll find me in the bedroom, either sitting in bed with my laptop (like I am now) or sitting in my favorite chair. I usually don’t go to sleep until about 11.30 or midnight…and my alarm goes off around 6.20.

I wouldn’t trade it.  I know I’m probably getting an hour less of sleep each night. But without that time…without a few quiet minutes (or an hour) to myself, I don’t get a chance to just be ME.  Not mama, not a wife – just ME.

And isn’t that an important part of being whole? I LOVE my role. I love waking up every Saturday and making homemade pancakes or waffles for the family. Love taking my kids to their weekend activities. To birthday parties. To visit relatives.  But we all know that taking time for ourselves is critical to being our best selves. Yes, I do things for myself outside the home – an occasional girls night, mani pedis, etc. But the 60-90 minutes of sleep I may sacrifice recharges my batteries every day.

So yeah I may be a little tired the next morning. But, I know it also means I’m my best self.

 

what others think

via Daily Prompt: Irrelevant

Today’s daily prompt is actually something that I was thinking about last night. Sometimes I need a reminder that what others think is irrelevant.

Now, I’m not talking about being rude or insensitive to people.  I’m talking about decisions I may make for what I believe is in the best interest of my family.

My 18 month old goes to bed at 7. To early? It’s right for my family.

I still pick my 5 year old up if she’s crying. Too old? It’s right for us.

My kids are only in a couple of weekly activities. Not enough? I’m not interested in over-scheduling.

So this is a good word for today. Irrelevant. 🙂

She didn’t call for me

I tucked her in as usual….after a nice, full family Saturday. We had a great day…pancakes for breakfast, soccer, and fun outside with neighborhood friends in the afternoon.  
As I finished the dishes in the kitchen and watched the monitor flip between her and my 18 month old (yes, I still keep a camera in my 5 year old’s room) something stopped me. I realized that she hasn’t called me back after tuck-in in a few weeks. 

It used to be EVERY night. Sometimes twice. Three times. Sometimes she couldn’t sleep. Sometimes she was thirsty. Sometimes she had to go to the bathroom. It was one excuse after another. And I’d be lying if it said it didn’t get a little irritating as I wore a path up and down the stairs and to her room and back. 

But now that I realize she hasn’t called – I sort of miss it. Maybe because in a way it let me see her again before I’d miss her all night. Or maybe because I see this as a step towards independence. First getting on the bus to kindergarten…and now this. 

So tonight I’m a little sad. But proud of her. But I do feel her slipping away….just a tiny bit. 

we don’t use the word fat in our house

I came across a post today that confirmed why I have a rule I have in my home.  With a daughter, S,  who is about to turn 5, I am very conscious of ANY comments I make around her in regards to physical appearances.  I don’t say that makeup makes me feel pretty (I just say that ladies like to use it for fun); although I’m not at my ideal weight, I don’t talk about feeling “fat”; and, I don’t use the word “diet” – instead if I’m watching what I eat, I call it an “extra healthy eating plan.”

The post above made me sad. I worry so much for my daughter – that she will learn, through peers, that some people define themselves through physical appearances. I dread the day that she comes home and worries about being fat or not pretty enough and wants something to change about how she looks. She is, in my eyes, absolutely perfect. But I know that as girls grow older, it is bound to happen.

I had a relative in my house a couple of months ago talking about how they felt fat – and I pulled them aside to let them know that I’d appreciate it if they didn’t talk like that around S. I think she thought I might be a bit overprotective, but knowing how early girls start picking up on things like this I want to be careful.

I hope S never loses that free spirited, carefree, eager-to-put-on-a-bathing-suit-and-run-through-the-sprinkler type of personality. But, I know it will change and insecurities will set in. I just hope it is later rather than sooner, so as long as I can control the conversations in my home I will.

today, we made a mess

As the days fly by and get shorter, I am more and more conscious of how fast time is going by.  I think it really took having kids to realize how fast it truly flies. So today, C and I took some time to paint.

We often have Pandora’s Toddler Radio on in the house (especially on weekends when we’re all home). I feel like I have memories that will remain etched in my mind today of this morning; sweet toddler music playing while little one discovered the joy of fingerpainting.

He wasn’t quite sure what to make of it at first (and yes he did try eating it, of course it was non-toxic!). But I’m guessing it didn’t taste good as he only did it once.

I think it was great from a sensory experience, and fun for he and I to do together. He made two masterpieces…which are still drying but are dated for his art bin that we’ve started.

Loved it!

a great bath toy!

Okay so I want to share a new bath toy that mama and kiddos are both happy with!

We received these bath pipes as a gift. They are awesome.  No holes that make it hard to get water out (read: no mold); my near 5 year old loves setting them up in a way that allows her to use her imagination; and my near 18 month old can’t get enough of pouring water in the top and watching it come out the bottom.

boon bath

A really great thing about how these boon bath pipes are made is that the opening at the bottom is smaller than the top – so you do get some “watch time” after dumping the water in the top.

Definitely recommend!