Not a Pinterest Mom

I am NOT a Pinterest mom. I will never BE a Pinterest mom. #sorrynotsorry

I do projects with my kids. Sometimes they have fun. Most of the time it ends in tears – mine or theirs. #illnevertell

100% of the time it ends with my house looking like this….

Know which picture is going on my Instagram account though?

We used rice in sandwich bags with food coloring to dye our eggs this year. I was going to write a post to tell you how to do it and how cool it was. Instead I figured I would just show you what really happened.

A big old hot mess.

And that’s my life in a nutshell folks. I try to do the fun projects, someone inevitably cries or throws a tantrum – again, not saying who, and I’m left cleaning up a big old mess.

Hot Mess Mom

DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER MOMS… WE’RE ALL A HOT MESS AND LOSING OUR SHIT. SOME OF US ARE JUST BETTER AT HIDING IT THAN OTHERS.

Do you ever find yourself comparing yourself to other moms? I do. All. The. Time. I don’t judge other moms – well, I mean, there are the ones who do some truly horrible things to their children and make the news and I definitely judge them. But ever since joining a larger community of moms on Facebook, I don’t judge other moms. But MAN the number of times I’ve caught myself comparing their lives to mine.

I have one friend who stays home with her kids and posts all kinds of amazing activities and adventures on her social media. I find myself wondering why I can’t be as organized as she is. Or creative. And I’ve seen this mom in action SO MANY TIMES. She legitimately is just that FABULOUS.

I have another mom friend who admits to losing her shit all the time. But when we hang out, I envy the way she’s able to talk to her son. The calm that she exudes. It might all be for me, but man do I wish I could think of the things that she says.

One of my friends works full time and is able to do all of these extra things for herself and for her kids. Where does she find the time? Or the energy?

I’ve actually had to come up with a strategy to stop comparing myself to others. With my anxiety I end up focusing WAY TOO MUCH energy on the comparison and get STUCK. But I found three questions to ask myself in these situations …

The first thing I ask myself – “ARE YOU DOING YOUR BEST?” Because if I am, then there is no reason to compare myself to someone else. And if I’m not, there still isn’t a reason to compare myself to someone else. There’s just a reason to work harder on doing better.

The second thing I ask myself – “DO YOU KNOW THE WHOLE STORY?” Because if I don’t know what they’re actually going through, comparing myself to someone else and wishing I was more like them might not actually be any better than my own life.

And lastly I ask myself – “ARE YOU BEING FAIR?” Fair to myself? Fair to the person I’m comparing myself too? Cause likely, I’m not. Especially not myself.

I’ve learned that people are really good at plastering on that fake smile and showing a social media perfect life to people around them but they struggle just like everyone else. And I’m no different. If you knew all the things going on in my life right now, you’d probably have to pick your jaw up off the floor. And I know I’m not the only one.

Make sure you’re happy in real life and not just on social media.

We are all hot mess moms and losing our shit. Every last one of us. Those that say they aren’t… well, I would love to be a fly on the wall in their house cause I could use the help. I’m the master of producing the happy life for house guests, play dates and social media. But I also have it figured out how to be happy in real life not just on Facebook and Instagram. Know what that secret is? Embrace the hot mess life and do your best. That’s it. Seriously.

why I lost my s#!+ today…

Want to know why I lost my s#!+ today?

D absolutely could NOT figure out how to be a decent human being to his brother who was at our house for the morning. I’m trying to raise decent human beings, not @$$holes. He couldn’t figure it out though. And I yelled at him. And swore, because I swear. And made him stand in a corner.

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I wish that I had reacted in a calm way. Figured out how to not lose my cool and talk to him on a level that he would understand. Don’t get me wrong… I TRIED to do it that way but he just KEPT GOING. I wish I could have some kind of Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins ability to just sigh and move on with some witty saying that makes my kids behave.

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BUT I DON’T.

And try as I might, I just don’t think I can BE that mom. Maybe I’m doing something wrong or maybe I’m just not cut out to be a mom – I know that isn’t true because I know that there are worse moms out there than me. It can just be so damn defeating when you look back on your day and realize your kid is going to remember the explosion. They probably won’t remember anything else from the rest of the entire month, but they’ll remember exactly what you said and what you were wearing because when something bad happens it’s like the memory is burned into their minds. What I need is one of those memory erasers from Men In Black. Turn that sucker on and tell them I reacted calmly and lovely like Mary Poppins.

tenor

But you know what? Tomorrow is a new day and a new chance for me to try to be the best mom I can be… and hopefully tomorrow I am. Because what it all boils down to is, that even when I’m tired and stressed, that everything I do is for my kids – I have every intention of being the best, greatest, most awesome mom but some days all I can be is an okay mom. And hopefully they look back and know that I tried my best to give them my best even on my bad days.

 

 

the secret to taming the tantruming toddler

Sunday. 8:23 a.m.

I was preparing the family for our journey to church. Yes. Journey. Everything is dramatic where there are children involved. I had managed to wrestle the wiggling infant into a clean set of clothes and convinced the adolescent that wearing sweatpants to church was not acceptable. Everyone was ready to walk out the door and we needed to be leaving within 7 minutes.

Oh, but the toddler. He’d manage to pout his way into watching more annoying YouTube videos on my cell phone. That’s right – this is one of my secrets to taming the toddler. I give in to his pouting and let him watch his videos on my phone because then he isn’t following me around the house as I try to get myself and everyone else ready to go.

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The notorious pouting toddler

But then comes the point where I need to take the videos away and get him ready to go as well. This shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. Getting him to go potty so he doesn’t have an accident on the way to church… check. Convincing him to put undies and clothing on – not without having to actually wrangle him into his clothes and nearly get a black eye in the midst of it…. but check.

“Ready to go Gabe? Let’s get our shoes on.”

“NO!”

“Okay, let’s get our boots on.”

“NO!”

I pick out not one, not two, not three, BUT FOUR different pairs of shoes/boots for him to choose from. I’m exasperated and he is screaming. Finally, I throw my hands in the air and tell him to pick out his DAMN SHOES already.

What does he do? Thankfully he grabs two boots. Unfortunately, they aren’t the same boots. One is a light up Woody cowboy boot and the other is a cow rain boot. I try to convince him to pick just one pair – that isn’t going to happen. Screw it. At this point it’s now 8:37 and I NEED to leave so that we’ll get to the early service so we can make it to the Puzzle Room in time. So on go the mismatch shoes. At this point I realize he’s eating an apple… hmm. At closer look it’s definitely brown and likely been sitting out since yesterday. G LOVES to hide apples in places and eat them later. I’ve convinced him to wear a jacket – a raincoat but it’s something – and trying to fight that apple away from him is at the bottom of my list of priorities. I mean, it’s fruit, right?

Another way I tame the tantruming toddler. I let him wear whatever the hell he wants because the fight just isn’t worth the time. He wants to eat an apple that’s been sitting out since the day before? Go for it. At least it’s an apple and not chips from inside the couch.

Seriously though. Sometimes when it comes to the irrational minds of toddlers, the easiest thing you can do is JUST GIVE IN. Because what it comes down to is your own sanity. Mismatch boots with a rain jacket? At least the kid has shoes and jacket on. Seriously.

And yes. We were late to the service. The rest of the day was filled with more toddlerish behaviors as well… stealing a car from the toddler room at church, peeing in his carseat after I asked him FOUR TIMES if he needed to use the potty – like literally peed before I even got my own seatbelt on, throwing his lunch all over the floor because he wanted to watch more videos… the list is never ending. Sometimes you need to stand your ground and make it known what’s okay and what isn’t. But sometimes, like I said, you’ve got to give in so you can survive these years.

Trapped Puzzle Rooms

My mother in law was kind enough to set us up for an escape room experience in St Paul. D has been dying to do one so this seemed like a perfect experience! There are a TON of places doing these puzzle rooms right now – definitely a popular attraction.

We were signed up for A Very Potter Escape Room experience at Trapped St. Paul. Located on Snelling Ave in St Paul, it’s actually inside of an old house.

When you walk in there’s a large waiting area, a coat room and a sitting room.

There was a puzzle being completed on the table in the sitting room that my kiddos were fairly obsessed with.

The staff were all super friendly – especially since we actually showed up on Saturday on accident and were actually registered for Sunday. When we got there Sunday for our actual timeslot we were paired up with 4 other people. We were given our mission – make our way into the Headmaster’s office and retrieve the Elder Wand.

This location doesn’t actually lock you in the room, however the door is closed and you are set about to solve multiple puzzles that will lead you to your final puzzle and the Elder Wand. The great thing about this location is that I was able to bring G with despite his age – although I wouldn’t recommend it. I was also able to wear O throughout the experience.

I would definitely say that these rooms are geared towards older kids, teens and adults – which honestly most of them state clearly on their websites. We were able to complete our puzzle in 52 minutes… 8 minutes left to spare despite the fact that 2 of our participants were too young to help.

We had a fantastic time though and are looking forward to trying out some other rooms soon. Pricing for these experiences range from about $24-$40/person and lasts an hour. This location specifically is on the cheaper end of the price range at $24/person. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your older kids or a cool group date, a puzzle room or escape room is definitely a choice I would recommend.

Check out their website here!

What does she do?

via Daily Prompt: Faceless

I kind of covered this briefly in a different post but let’s go a little deeper.

The job of a mom is one that is often underestimated and always never ending. Some of the roles I play in a day include:

Personal Chef {typically to super picky clientele}
Taxi Driver/Cheueffer {but don’t expect to get tipped}
Housecleaner {cleaning bathrooms for all boys is GROSS by the way}
Laundry folder
Nurse {sometimes just kissing boo-boos is enough}
Playmate
Dishwasher
Play date coordinator
Homework helper
Appointment scheduler
and so on and so forth…

The list of jobs a mom does in a day is not only extensive… it’s EXHAUSTING. Most of the time your being pulled in a million directions by a lot of different people. Typically you’re seen for the things you do rather than the person you are.

Making sure that something your kids actually want to eat hits the table for dinner and everyone has clean skivvies for the day is taken for granted. Making sure that everyone washes their butts and brushes their teeth is met with groans and eye rolls. *insert my own eyeroll here*

If you try to get something done for yourself it takes extra coordination and you end up treating it like a mini vacation. Doctor appointment? Better take that drive home extra slow and stop for a coffee. Grocery shopping? Walk super slow and make sure you go down every single aisle.

The constant barage of questions revolving around what they want or need. The selfishly needy jerks. Do they notice that when they get up in the morning the house is clean again? Or that their too small clothes have magically been replaced? Do they take notice when the paperwork they need turned in is filled out?

Don’t get me wrong. Being a mom is the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had. The snuggles and kisses and hugs and I love yous. All of it is amazingly fulfilling.

… BUT …

It would be nice to feel seen by the people you love the most. Maybe they see me more than I realize. It doesn’t really feel that way often though. I am reminded by my friends and my husband that I am more than a three letter noun though. Thank God for that.

confessions of a hot mess mom

I confess.

I am a hot mess mom.

My house is always a mess. Unless company is coming over of course. In which case you’ll see my social media home.

Sometimes my kids eat organic foods. Most of the time though they eat store brand foods. I do make amazing dinners but I also feed them chicken nuggets and canned vegetables. Candy is often used as a bribe.

I don’t remember the last time that I was caught up on our laundry.

I cuss like a drunken sailor.

I only wash my hair once a week… you can go ahead and guess how often I shower.

I don’t remember the last time I bought an article of clothing for myself.

I use tablets AND television as a babysitter.

I’m pretty sure that I am judged by other moms constantly and I don’t care.

Sometimes I sneak candy in the bathroom so I don’t have to share.

Want to know what else? The REAL confession I have as a hot mess mom?

I suffer from anxiety and depression. And those intense, shitty feelings make it hard to be a good mom sometimes. Sometimes those feelings leave me short tempered and quick to be set off by what is normal toddler behaviors. I yell too much. I’m impatient. I want to be a good mom more than anything in the world. It’s hard for me. Is it hard for other people? I want to have the patience that other moms seem to find so easily. I want to be the type of mom who can do the fun art projects and field trips without feeling like the world is closing in on me or my heart is going to beat right out of my chest.

I know that I’m not the only one who suffers from mental health problems.

And you know what? I keep doing the art projects and the field trips with my kids. And make sure to snuggle them extra tight and tell them I love them. Cause even a hot mess mom can be a good mom.

Boy Mom

boys

Every so often I get that question that you’ve probably wondered or asked yourself. “Don’t you want a little girl?” I know this topic has been covered by almost all of the moms with only one gender of kids BUT here are my feelings on this topic.

Would I have liked to have a little girl? Sure.
Am I going to keep trying until I get a little girl? Hell no.

God has blessed me with the miracle of carrying three very healthy boys through full term pregnancies. I thank him every day for their health and their uniqueness. I was blessed with a bonus kiddo when I met my husband. Another healthy boy who brings his individuality and unique personality to our family. The four of them together brings chaos and disorder to my life constantly. They also bring me a love I never knew was possible to feel.

These boys give me a run for my money. Adding a little girl? Man. She would be one of the most loved, cherished and overly protected little girls in the world, for sure. And with my luck she would be the biggest DIVA in the world. I can guarantee that she would be the worst infant, terrible toddler and absolute nightmare of a teenager to exist. I would love her with everything I have and would finally be reciprocated those feelings when she had her first child.

Seriously though. I love my boys. They teach me new things about myself every day. I wouldn’t change having all boys for anything else in the world. I find myself truly blessed to be considered a #boymom.

So…

Yes. They’re loud.
Yes. They’re messy.
No. I don’t believe that they’re easier than girls.
No. I won’t be trying for a girl.

 

Burnt Pancakes

via Daily Prompt: Invisible

I set about my morning like any other, walking around half asleep, stumbling like a zombie through the house. Grab baby. Nurse baby. Shush toddler. Make coffee.

NEED COFFEE.

We had somewhere to be. Don’t we always have somewhere to be? I used to never be late – I absolutely despise being late. Now I’m lucky if I’m on time. I decided this morning though I was making pancakes. Weight Watchers friendly, kid approved pancakes. Start with making some for the baby. While I cut his up, I start making some for G. While I’m cutting his up, start mine. Except something he does distracts me and I forgot to flip mine. Burnt. Now he’s trying to pour more syrup. Run to grab the syrup. Burn the other side too.

BURNT PANCAKES. ugh. Just mine though. Because despite the fact that I told him I was trying to cook and “please, just eat your breakfast, we need to leave,” he did everything but just eat his pancakes.

I feel like that’s kind of a great description for what my life is during this stage. Burnt pancakes. I’m always so busy being mom and wife, that I forget about myself. And while the pancakes I made were still edible, they definitely weren’t the way they should have been. That’s how I feel. I feel like I’m cruising through this part of life doing all the things everyone else needs me to but forgetting to help myself along the way. And what’s left is a burnt out mama and wife with the individual lost somewhere. Just a burnt pancake of my former self.

I know my family loves me. And my pancakes. But sometimes being loved for more than the things you do for a person is what you really crave in life. That and chocolate. And coffee. I’ve started to try to do more for myself but what I’ve realized is that the only way that my family is going to see me for more than just wife and mom is to do things with them that I LOVE. Go to the theater or the art museum. So that’s my plan going forward. The only way that I won’t be invisible to them as an individual is to make them experience things I LOVE as an individual. No coffee for the kids though. They’re hyper enough as it is.

Morning…

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Trying to get a moment of solitude is pretty much impossible. Maybe if I didn’t own pets… but here I sit on baited breath, hoping O doesn’t wake before I finish pumping or my morning coffee. The dog and cat both constantly seeking attention.

I used to consider myself a morning person. Recently though, I’ve realized I’m just able to wake to an alarm when I really need to. Mornings are hard when there other people depending on you. Especially when none of those tiny humans are morning people either.

I have to nearly drag D out of bed for school every morning. He’s a night owl and absolutely hates getting up. When B is here, he literally will sleep until 10 if I let him. Too bad for him, I won’t. G will scream for me until I come open his door and then he glares at me as though I physically made the sun rise myself. He’ll cover his face back up and tell me “Go way.” Hmmm. Pretty sure you told me to come in here ya jerk. O is hit or miss. Some mornings he wakes up and just babbles and plays in his crib. Other mornings he cries and won’t crack a smile until he’s had time to adjust.

All of these things typically will take place before my morning coffee. So I set an alarm for this morning that I DID NOT want to get up to because O was up twice in the middle of the night. So here I sit, pumping, writing a boring blog, drinking my coffee before all the kids wake up and we have to scurry to get ready for the day…. because today I have to get the two little ones to babysitters so I can chaperone a field trip.