Tag Archives: motherhood

Collect Your Reward At The Finish Line

25 Feb

Last week was a tough week for me. The 3 kids were taking turns being sick with double ear infections and a coughing virus that kept them awake at night. I was also fighting something all week and I felt weak and totally off. There is nothing worse than feeling sick and desperately needing sleep and taking care of sick kids who aren’t sleeping. 

I have a dear friend who I often turn to for advice and a swift kick in the ass when I need it. She is about thirty years ahead of me in the mothering game and her days with little kids are long behind her. In the thick of my misery last week I asked her,

 “What’s my reward for all this? For taking care of them year after year, illness after illness, 24/7, forever and ever?” 

She immediately burst out laughing, full on laughing at me. I thought I was asking a serious question. I felt beat down, exhausted, underpaid, under appreciated, and physically sick! What was so funny?

Her response: “My dear, what in the world made you think you would receive an reward for this? There is no reward at the end of the day. Your reward will be that you didn’t raise murderers to be sent out into society.” 

She was right. Who did I think I was? A show dog that received a treat for every good trick I pulled off? There are no quarterly incentives in parenthood, there are no medals for milestones. Talk about a yank back to reality. I needed a good solid reminder about being grateful for what I have. I deserved to be laughed at. I’m not saying my job is easy, it’s not, it’s extremely demanding physically and emotionally. But, I have everything I ever wanted. Three healthy children. That’s my reward. It’s so easy to take things for granted especially when you’ve had them for awhile and you are in the trenches. 

Grateful. I was forgetting to be grateful. Sometimes, it’s good when someone laughs in your face. Sometimes. ;)


xoxo



What’s Your Super Power?

12 Apr

Today is my birthday.

It’s interesting, I don’t feel like celebrating at all. I’m not upset or depressed. I couldn’t care less about getting older or any of that nonsense. I’m Just indifferent. Today feels like any other normal Saturday morning starting out.

A few days ago, when my twins turned 4 years old, that was a whole different ball game. I felt like dancing and singing in the streets. I was bursting at the seams with electric emotions. I really wasn’t expecting to feel so full of pride and love.

What gives?

For the first time since becoming a Mother almost 8 years ago, I feel the enormity of what I have done by bringing these children into this world.
On my birthday, April 12 1977, I didn’t do anything that impressive. All I did was survive the journey down the birth canal. My Mom did all the work. She’s the one that should get Champagne and flowers on MY birthday, not me!

The days that I gave birth to my children, those are the dates that I feel like remembering.

In my very own body, I grew complete tiny human beings for nine months and then brought them into the universe with my own strength. I even grew two little humans at the same time, to full term and delivered the old fashioned way. (With an epidural, I’m not a martyr.)

Holy shit!

37 years old. It took me this long to realize that I want to celebrate my accomplishments not just the givens or the accidentals.

I want to celebrate my children’s birthdays.
I want to mark the days that I graduated from High School, College, and maybe one day, my Master’s Degree.
I want to remember the days that I did something that scared me to death and I did it anyways.
I want to drink and dance and sing on the days that I did something that makes me want to from the inside out. Not just because Hallmark tells me to.

Happy Giving Birth Day to my Mom. Nice work. 37 years ago you become a Mother for the first of five times. I am honored that I got to pave the way for the others. ;)

Xoxo

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Terrible Two’s Time Two Plus One

24 Jul

I haven’t posted in a few days and I feel bad about it. Yes, I’ve read your emails, texts and Facebook messages asking me why I’ve been missing in action. I just haven’t been able to find my writing voice. It’s not really writer’s block, it’s more that my sense of humor is on hiatus.
The twins have been pretty difficult lately. They seem to be giving up their naps. At 2 years 3 months I find that unacceptable. It’s been going on for two weeks now. I’m not sure how much longer I can put them in their cribs to sing and chat for over an hour just praying they go to sleep. The best part is that during this “nap” time, my girl twin, TR takes off her diaper and smears poop everywhere. Her clothes, crib, wall, hair everything.
When they aren’t refusing to nap, they are climbing bookshelves, tables, throwing things and destroying everything in their path.
I am trying to keep my perspective and humor in tact, but I am struggling.
The good news is, my oldest daughter has been a delight. It’s as if she can sense that Mommy can only handle two little psychopaths in the house at one time.
I know they won’t stay two year olds forever, I find enormous comfort in that.

xoxo

Excuse me, is my baby supposed to be blue?

10 May

I was the poster child for Attachment Parenting before I had my children. When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter I read the famous book The Breastfeeding Book by Dr. William Sears from cover to cover, over and over. Everything he said made perfect sense to me. His theories felt like home and I was going to do exactly what the book told me to do with my sparkly pink baby girl when she popped out. What I didn’t anticipate was that, as I sat alone to nurse my angel for the very first time, she would stop breathing and turn the color of a freezer pack. This was supposed to be my big entrance into the land of warm breast milk and love. How could this be happening?! I looked up at the nurse that had walked into the room and casually said, “I think my baby is blue.”

The next day was a blur of the NICU at Cedars Sinai and nurses coming into my room asking where the baby was, and me bursting into tears. She was poked and prodded and I stayed up all night calling the nurses every hour asking if she was still alive. It turned out that HB had a common issue that newborns sometimes experience where it takes a little while for them to get the hang of eating and breathing simultaneously. Soon after, she figured it out and was returned to me. Unfortunately, the damage had been done. She was healthy and ready to breastfeed, I however was not. All I knew was that the last time I tried to take things into my own hands, she stopped breathing and I was left alone in a room while my baby got rushed away with my husband in tow. I took her home and tried to continue with my perfect plan. I wrapped her up in my Maya, Moby and New Native slings even though she wailed endlessly. I nursed her for hours on end even though she was not gaining weight and I was slipping deeper into the hands of sleep deprivation. I did not want to let go of my dream of being the mother that Dr. Sears and La Leche League wanted me to be.

It wasn’t until HB’s 6 month check-up, when her Pediatrician finally had the balls to say to me “Leslie, you’re a mess. I think you have Postpartum depression and HB is not getting enough food. It’s time to stop breast feeding,” that I realized what was happening. HB and I were both beyond miserable with the way things were going. She had acid reflux and my elimination diet wasn’t working and she spent most days vomiting up my breast milk. I had PPD and was hating almost every single second of motherhood. I needed to hear it from my Pediatrician that it was okay to let go of the Mother I thought I would be and become the Mother that I am.

It took time for me to fully realize and recover from what had happened and to have the guts to have more children. One thing I was sure of was that this time I was going to do what felt right to me. Even though something makes perfect sense in a book, it may not be right for us if my children and I are not happy. Did I end up breastfeeding the twins? That’s another blog post entirely…

Every Mother has to find what is right for her and her children. When I see a Mother breastfeeding her child while wearing the baby in a sling, I always smile because I get it and I believe in it, it just didn’t work for me. If that Mom wanted to breastfeed her 4 year old while standing on her head and wearing high heels, that works for me too, as long as they are healthy and happy.

Today’s post is inspired by my friend and fellow blogger Jamie Lynne who is featured on the cover of this week’s TIME magazine!

Go Jamie!

xoxo

Did you breastfeed your kids? Do you judge me for quitting after 6 months? Comment and let me know!

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