Things I love:

February 28, 2012
  • That my daughter will now say I love you when I put her to bed. Granted, she’s just mimicking me say it. But she says it and that’s all that matters to me!
  • Friends who are willing to help me keep my life and home in order. They say it takes a village to raise a child. I believe it. My mom friends who are there for me in prayer are my lifeline.
  • Shining my sink, which stems from the bullet above. I’m excited to clean. Who me? Yes, you heard correctly.
  • That I’m actually still writing.
  • That I have finally let my friend, “The Bachelor” go. We all know he’s going to pick Courtney (and no, I did not read the spoilers; it’s just my hunch.). I’m done. Good luck to him. When he let Kaci B. go, he also let me go too.
  • That I’m OK with the fact that it’s only Monday.  Mondays after a vacation week are a hard adjustment, but I’m adjusting. I’m starting to see the light of summer at the end of the dark winter tunnel. Plus, I want to be happy and happiness, I truly believe, has a lot to do with your mindset. I have to work full time for the rest of the school year. Why spend the rest of my time sulking about it? I have amazing students who are excited about writing and publishing their work in their student newspaper. My daughter is happy and well cared for when I’m at work. Things are good. I have to keep reminding myself of that. Soon I’ll have the summer vacation and then when I return to work the following year, I only have to work part time: 2 ½ days. I’m ecstatic beyond words that this is going to work out, so why spend my time sulking that I have to work full time for  3 ½ more months?  Actually, just this very second right now it’s dawned on me how soon I get to be a part-time stay-at-home mom. Eeek! I’m thrilled. So there you have it. I’m done sulking. I’m happy. I’m going to enjoy these 3 ½ months I have left as a full-time teacher. I started teaching because I believe in making a difference in the lives of children. I’ve always loved my job. I’m going to start each day with a smile and bring that optimism into the lives of the children I teach and the daughter I am raising.

These are the things I love.


Measuring moments

February 25, 2012

I measure moments now in times spent with my daughter. It’s a great way to measure life. When I’m upset about something, it sure keeps me in check. She is my number one. I couldn’t be more in love. I think I grow deeper in love every day.

It’s a different type of love than the love I feel for my husband. I love my husband. He, truly, is my number one. I know, if I raise my girl in the way I know is true, she’ll grow up and her life will take her in directions that may be different from my own (of course, I’d love for her to stay close. Real close.) So my husband is my lifetime companion. My soul mate. My best friend.

But my daughter is my daughter. My daughter. It’s hard to explain, unless you have a daughter. She is mine forever.  Even if she leaves me when she’s an adult, she’ll always be mine.

I have now. I have us. She makes me smile and makes my days bright. I love her unconditionally. She is mine.

My sanity checks

February 24, 2012

I’m a different person when I’m not working. My husband, in not so many words, said it to me today. But it’s true. It’s so much easier to focus on raising my daughter and taking care of my household when I’m not working a full-time job. Working and motherhood is Hard with a capital H.

I’m not one of those people who believe you can have it all. You make sacrifices when you try to take on too much. For me, I sacrifice my sanity.

For mothers who do work, one of the arguments I often hear about leaving a child at daycare or leaving a child with an in-home care provider is that the child will still turn out fine. This is often a statement made by a mom who was raised in this manner. I wholeheartedly believe that statement too. I do not think good childcare damages a child in any way whatsoever. In fact, there are numerous benefits.

It’s me, the mom, who suffers. It’s me, the mom, who misses out on hearing the new word they learned. It’s me, the mom, who misses the chance to comfort my baby after falling down. It’s me, the mom, who misses story time and sing-a-long. It’s me, the mom, who misses the smiles, the laughter, the tears, and the tantrums.

I just don’t like missing out. And because, when I am working, I miss out, I’m not always a happy person. Little things get to me: dirty dishes in the sink, an unmade bed, prepping lunches and milk cups for the next day. But when I’m on vacation, leftover cheerios littered on the floor just don’t irk me the same way.  If I don’t get to those dishes in the sink tonight, I can do it tomorrow morning while feeding her breakfast.

Thankfully, my chosen career as a teacher affords me school vacation weeks and summer break. I don’t know what I’d without those “vacations.” For me, they truly help me keep my sanity in check.

Welcome to Meltdown City

February 22, 2012

My child is obsessed with me. I’m flattered, really. But sometimes I just want to scream!

Just to leave her to go and take a shower often leads us to Meltdown City. I’m really hoping my 18-month-old is just going through some phase because this separation anxiety she’s experiencing is pure torture to me.

What I don’t understand is why this has suddenly started up again. Maybe it’s my fault. I’m as equally obsessed with her. I’m not kidding. Every time I leave her to go to work, I enter Meltdown City too. But my meltdowns occur quietly in my head and take on the form of guilt (see related post). Clearly, I have a hold on my emotions. My 18-month-old does not.

Let’s take today, for example. Since this is school vacation week, I’m home (and having the time of my life, I should add; although I’m already starting to panic about going back next week!).  My hubby goes into work late today, so we decided to exercise together at home while Gia had breakfast in her high chair. My goal was to complete 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. (No mommies, I didn’t expect her to sit in her high chair for 30 minutes).

At about the half-way point of my exercise timeframe, Gia finished eating and asked to get up. My hubby took her out of the high chair and put in her in the toy room, which holds enough toys to entertain a daycare!

Of course, that didn’t satisfy her, though. Nope; she wanted mommy. Not daddy. Mommy.

“Mommy, hold you,” she whimpered, over and over again.

“This is why I go to the gym,” I snapped at my hubby. “This,” I said over ear-piercing screams, “is not enjoyable.”

After enduring as much fussing as I could possibly endure, I ended my workout three minutes early. I entered her toy room to do some sit-ups and she quieted down almost immediately.

So my light-haired, brown-eyed, adorable little munchkin is obsessed with me. I just can’t get enough of her and I think she knows it. There could be worse things in the world. For now, I’ll cherish her obsession with me because I know one day will come when it will all change.

Meltdown City, be easy on me, please!

My Lenten Mission

February 22, 2012

I must tell myself five thousand times a day that I need to write more. Yet, I never do it. I hate myself for it.

A year ago I started a blog about being a mom because I thought, ‘Why not? So many other mothers do it. Why not me? I have things to say. Plus, I can write.’

Yet, a year later, I look back on my blog to see I only ever wrote five measly posts. Well that’s going to change; I’m going to make it part of my Lenten mission.

OK. I know what you Catholics are thinking. Writing about yourself is, um, rather SELFish. That’s not the mission of Lent, nor does is embody characteristics of Jesus. And you might be right. But it’s going to be part of my Lenten mission (along with giving up chocolate (yet again, selfish; I know, I know.)).

See, I figure if God is holding me responsible, then I have to do it. Right? I want God on my side! Who doesn’t, really?  I love God. I love Jesus. So, Jesus, thanks for helping me and holding me accountable. This isn’t blasphemy, is it? I’m going to pray more too. That’s also part of my Lenten mission.

Back to why I haven’t been writing…

I think fear is part of it. To truly connect to your readers, you have to establish trustworthiness.  It’s the ethos part of the rhetorical triangle that I teach my students. But to be truly trustworthy, you’ve got to be honest, which means divulging information about myself. And that, my friends, is SCARY.  When I started my blog last year, I never shared it with anyone. I was too afraid. But what is writing without an audience? This is not a diary. It’s a blog. So I must share. But I’m still scared because people, in general, are very judgmental. Heck, my job is to judge writing. Heck, I’m judgmental. (I know, I know. Another sin!)

I want to write a book. I tell my middle school students this all the time and they always tell me I should write a book about them. They’re right; I should. But that would require too many permission slips. So instead, I’m going to write about myself. Maybe some day this blog will be fodder for my book. On what? Me.  Life. Really? I have no clue.

But thanks for reading. And please, don’t judge!