Misadventures of a 20-Something Mom   

Friday, January 13, 2017

Don't Buy What They're Selling: Parenting in the Age of Excess

     
After half a decade in the parenting trenches, I've come to a difficult realization: I just might be going about this all wrong. For someone who has essentially dedicated every waking moment to raising their children, this is a particularly difficult pill to swallow.

Whether it stems solely from biology or is impacted by society as well, we seem innately programmed to want the best for our kids. To want even better for them than we had ourselves. And for the past 5.5 years, that's what I thought I had been giving them. 

As a pregnant first time-mom, this meant purchasing every baby gizmo and gadget, brand spanking new, for our pending arrival. There was no play yard too pricey and no crib too costly. We wanted only the best for our babe. 

Then, after he made his debut, "wanting the best" for him morphed into Pinterest-worthy first birthday parties with custom cookies, themed fare, and a decorative gumball wreath that I (true story) spent around seven hours hot gluing together. 

As our family grew, our determination to provide the best for them did as well. Over-the-top Christmases that left our chubby toddlers nearly shoulder deep in wrapping paper were commonplace as was standing in line for hours in an effort to snag the latest hard to score, "must-have" toy of the season. 

While I've known for some time now that "stuff" was not the key to achieving my own happiness, I missed that memo when it came to my kids. For some reason, I bought into the idea that they needed stuff to be happy and I was hell bent on providing it. Between my own misguided attempts at creating a happy childhood for my boys, and the perpetual bombardment of advertisements targeting them, a seemingly unquenchable thirst for things has been instilled in my kids. 

This is not the life I want for my children.

This life of complete and utter excess...chock full of poorly made toys that either break instantaneously or quickly become an afterthought strewn about the playroom floor. A few years down the road, I'm sure the cost of making my children "happy" will likely increase exponentially. Their wish lists will simply upgrade from cheap, plastic toys to brand name clothes, tech, and expensive after school extracurriculars. That'll all add up quickly...but to what end?

As their parent, this is not what I want to give them

Instead, I want to save up that money that would have been wasted on accumulating stuff and give them something truly priceless. Perhaps, their first glimpse of a 1,000 year old painted Italian ceiling, that stirs up feelings inside them that they didn't know existed. Or the chance to skip rocks off of glistening coastal waters, that remind them of just how small they are in this big world.   

The opportunity to meet new people, and potentially make new friends. To immerse themselves in other cultures and courageously venture out of their comfort zones and into uncharted territories. 
To completely dismantle their parochial points of view and truly show them the world. 

In the life I want to give them, I would give my kids my undivided attention. As opposed to my half-hearted attempts to spend meaningful time together, while I scurry about the house, in a futile effort to clean up all the stuff we've accrued. I want to give them the (largely exaggerated) stories of our childhoods; as recounted on the laps of their grandparents. I want to give them time spent together as a family; making memories that are so amazing that they become forever etched into the fabric of their tiny minds.

In lieu of things, I want to give them so much more. I want to provide them with the real keys to lifelong happiness...none of which can be bought in a store. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Work Within These Walls


1700 square feet.

3 bedrooms. 2 baths. 

A dining room that somehow evolved into a playroom somewhere along the line..and a living room that now works double duty as a family space and the place that meals are served.

1700 square feet. 
That's where I've spent the majority of my days these past 5.5 years. 

Not on house arrest, nor as some sort of hermitic recluse. But instead, as a stay-at-home parent....which, if we're honest, involves a little of both of the aforementioned. 

For 5.5 years, this 1700 square feet has served as my "office;" day in and day out, as I work tirelessly to raise three little boys. 

I'm sure our so-called headquarters would sound relatively grandiose if we lived in the hustle and bustle of some big metropolis. Square footage comes at a premium when one lives amidst hoity-toity restaurants and eclectic coffee shops; where both hipsters and professionals alike, go daily to overpay for their morning cup of Joe. 

But that same square footage ranks modestly within the quiet solitude of the burbs'.

And the work that happens within these walls feels equally modest and light years away from those fancy "city folk" and their snazzy careers. Living in the suburbs with small children, means that at times, I have gone days without interacting with another person (aside from my husband) who is over three feet tall. And yet, at the same time, in the current era of social media, I am also perpetually interacting.

Interacting in such a way that I find myself constantly bombarded by the various achievements and accolades of former colleagues. And as my thirtieth birthday looms this year, I have found myself wondering, if the work I do here, raising these tiny humans, measures up. 

 I am so unbearably cliche at this point. If there was a poster child for stay-at-home moms, I'd be her. I drive a minivan, wear yoga pants with zero intent of actually practicing yoga, and maintain a "mommy blog" that ironically enough, I think only my own mom reads. Though, its worth noting that there's a surprisingly disappointing lack of bon-bon eating in my schedule. My days are fueled by trips to Target, where I inevitably forget everything on my list and instead buy holiday inspired throw pillows and toilet paper in bulk (you can never have enough of the latter in a house full of boys), wiping tiny bottoms, making eight zillion snacks/meals, cleaning up after said eight zillion snacks/meals, the occasional jam out to gangster rap in the school car line, and lots of deep, zen-like breathing so I don't lose my sh#t when I find Play Doh in the washing machine...again. And the next day inevitably brings more of the same. It's like Groundhog Day...but without Bill Murray or a catchy Sonny & Cher theme song.

All this to say, the routine feels a little mundane sometimes. The work feels a little unimportant in comparison to what all those "real" grown-ups are doing in the "real" world. Thankfully, I have an amazing best friend who happens to have the same day job that I do. Right down to the three boys. And when the mommy burnout begins creeping in, I know she will be my sounding board, and reserve any judgement. Recently, when I was in a particularly dreary mood after scrolling through those facebook highlight reels, I posited that this staying home gig was all for naught and we had nothing tangible or significant to show for it. No promotions. No six-figure income. No epic office Christmas party or raunchy water cooler gossip. Nothing. Nada. Fortunately, my bestie reminded me of the obvious: that being a part of the "working world" isn't always all its cracked up to be. What with deadlines, trying to balance work and home life, having someone to report to, etc.  

But, perhaps more importantly, she reminded me of my kids.
They are my something tangible. My something significant. When I turn 30 in May, I will have no shiny desk placard that tells the world that I have accomplished great things. However, in lieu of this, I will have something better. Three, living, breathing, walking/talking (well two of them anyways!) examples of the great work that I have accomplished, and the great work yet to be done. My three beautiful boys.

Despite my occasional insecurities, I know in my heart of hearts that the work that I have put in within these walls is hardly for nought. The work within these walls is sacred. And though the days are often long, and there are no big-time promotions on the horizon, it is the greatest and most gratifying work I will ever do.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wildly Inappropriate Children's Book Reviews: Volume I

Let me address the elephant in the room and go out of my way to state that "wildly inappropriate" will include the random, and often explicit stream of rubbish that is perpetually running through my mind. It does not imply that your little Sophia should try to reference this for her second grade book report. Unless Sophia's teacher is a total fireball and doesn't flinch at words like twatwaffle and cuntmuffin, in which case, reference away Sophia. (But make sure to cite your source because otherwise that shit is plagiarism and I will cut you.) I'm totally, mostly kidding about that last bit, but not about the explicit nature of these reviews. Because they'll include everything I always wanted to say in second grade, but those Baptist teachers would never have gone for. But I digress.

Alright, great. The rest of you have been warned.

First up, is a book (If I Built A Car) that has become a staple in our house, and for good reason. The main character Jack is an imaginative, pioneering badass who is way ahead of his time. Jack won't just settle for the mediocrity of his suburban existence. He has plans. Big plans.

And those plans don't include some lame ass, newly engineered, eco-friendly Wagoneer. HIS car will be a mother fucking marvel of engineering ingenuity and decorum.

Pimp My Ride has nothing on the kinds of next level innovative shit that Jack has added. Complete with a couch, fireplace,snack bar, butler robot, and Jacuzzi tub his car is sure to perform at optimal swagger levels. It could be argued that the snack service (squeeze cheese) could use a little fine tuning, but to each their own.

The car also doubles as a boat, submarine, and rocket. Considering our last minivan, which had ONE fucking job, ON LAND, couldn't even manage that half the time, this is a pretty impressive feat. I know what some of you are thinking: Jack is a spoiled little asshat who needs to shut his pie hole about his parents' lackluster existence and piece of shit car and just be glad he's not walking. And, initially I'd be inclined to agree with you. But this book's message transcends that one ungrateful asshat. It teaches us to dream. To reach for the mother fucking stars and never settle. At the very least, it might give you some ideas for your own car.

Frankly, I'd just be happy with one of those divider windows they have in limos, with the sound-proof glass. That way I can drown out the sounds of my own asshole kids complaining about our mediocre existence too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Years Resolution Ramblings: On Making Them Count

 

Today, my girl friend and I were discussing the influx of New Years resolutions, gym selfies, and tuna salad pics that have taken up residence in our newsfeeds this week. Seems that everyone and their dog is on the "new year, new you" bandwagon and apparently that equates to all of us losing ten or more pounds, voracious de-cluttering, and simultaneously spending more time with family.

(Because everyone knows that first depriving ourselves from coffee, carbs, and wine and then locking ourselves in a room with our families, whilst also running around like a little organizational Tasmanian devil, is a recipe for lifelong success! But I digress...)

Don't get me wrong. This is a totally judgment free zone. To each their own. In fact, I'd live in a glass house if I preached against this annual metamorphosis that we all attempt. I typically have a New Years resolution list a mile long...and most of them have fallen to the wayside long before my New Year's Eve hangover has even subsided.

But this year is different. Maybe it's a lack of willpower. Maybe I'm just a shitty goal setter. Maybe I'm totally overwhelmed by the prospect of changing anything but a diaper these days.

But Perhaps, it's the hard realization after 28 years on this earth, that a tidier home and a smaller dress size won't really make me that much happier in the end. (Just skinnier, hangrier, and more likely to have a meltdown because during to de-cluttering process I threw away something I hadn't used in 10 years and now desperately need.)

So instead of resolving to shed the last of my baby err..burrito weight...or spending our life savings at IKEA and the container store obsessively organizing, I resolved to look inward.

This year, I want to become a kind person.

I know what you're thinking. "Stop the presses! Did this chick just actually admit that she's NOT a good person already? What does that even mean? Like 'steal candy from babies' kind of mean or 'end up on a dateline murder mystery' kind of mean? Should we be concerned? Oh. My. God. Am I a bad person for following her blog? Like guilty by association?"

Settle down. Don't get your panties in a wad just yet. I'm not a closet serial killer or anything. And I promise, I don't have a single fur coat in my closet made of Dalmatian puppies.
I imagine most people deem themselves as a "good person." And I guess that's true of me too, generally speaking. But when you get down to it, what really makes a "good" person? Depends on the criteria I guess.

I mean...I don't recycle. If I clog a public toilet, I'm also way too embarrassed to report it to anyone and just leave the atrocious scene for the next poor, unsuspecting soul to find.
I ignore people's phone calls. I'm infamous for snapping at my husband when I'm stressed or hormonal. I lie to the kids and tell them that Chuck E. Cheese is only open for birthday parties and that I don't know what happened to all the good candy that was in their Halloween/Valentines/Christmas stash the night before.  I don't visit my grandma enough. And I sometimes avert my eyes when I see homeless people and their homeless dogs.
By those standards,  I'm kind of an asshole.

But, raging against my self-deprecating fashion,  I'll admit to also being a loyal friend, a loving wife and mom, a caring sister and daughter.
I am a true  paradox. Proof that these opposing traits can and do coexist in people. The yin to the yang and what not. But they can also get out of whack.

So, in short, this year, I'd like to find a better balance. Work on being kinder and more understanding, more often.

To everyone.
Myself, strangers, family, friends, fellow assholes, even in-laws. (I've heard there can be some overlap in those last two categories. Definitely not for me! Virtually Waves to mother in law following this blog. Nothing to see here.)

The good news is, there's no chance of failing this. There's no finish line, and If I find myself falling back into my typical asshattery, I won't dwell on it. I'll give myself some much needed grace and keep moving forward. I'll be kind, make amends if necessary, and simply try harder the next day.

No "random" acts of kindness here. Nor short-term, self-absorbed goals that I'd likely fall painfully short of.

Instead, a resolution to purposefully try to see the best in others and be the kindest version of myself that I can, all year round. This is the year I can make it count.

I challenge you to do the same. This year, instead of looking outward, look inward instead. Give it some serious thought, blaze your own trail. and make a resolution that will truly make you happier.


(And feel free to share your resolutions in the comments!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

20-Something Mom Approved Holiday Gift Guide: 2015 ed.

               My husband has been having a good laugh at my expense because he says nobody posts a holiday gift guide the week of Christmas. Everybody is already done with their shopping and 3 sheets to the spiked eggnog wind by now. Even though this made me want to throat chop him a little, I had to admit that he's probably right. Unfortunately, a few of the items I was reviewing had shipping delays and it threw a monkey wrench in the whole process. Whatevs. Bygones. Even if you are done buying presents, you can keep these awesome items in mind for birthdays, or bat mitsvahs, or for the store credit you will get when you return that hideous Cat Sweater that Aunt Agnes will undoubtedly purchase for you.


             I don't know about you, but buying gifts for my family has gotten increasingly more difficult over the years. My kids already have a crap ton of toys and after nearly 11 years together my husband is still a total present-buying enigma. Neither of us is into the typical go-to gifts like jewelry or flashy name brand clothing. ( To drive home this point, I'm pretty sure he still has a pair of underwear that he wore in highschool. He says I can't throw them out because now they're vintage chic.) But I digress. Shopping for my fam involves copious research and covert ops. In an effort to save you the same hassle, I've scoured the internet, searched high and low, for the most epic gifts this holiday season. I've tested most of these out myself, so the following items gets the 20-something mom stamp of approval.


1. Yuba Mundo Bike















The folks at Yuba Bicycles were kind enough to ship out one of their brand spanking new Mundos for the boys and I to try out and Orange Cycle Orlando assembled it for us. I don't know how I possibly could have gone so long without ever even knowing that this beautiful beast of a bike existed. They call it the "mini van" of bikes, and for good reason! Depending on how you configure it, the bike can hold up to 4(!) small children. So theoretically I could pop out two more and we'd still be in business. Just kidding, husband. (mostly.) They also have all kinds of awesome accessories to pimp your ride anyway you'd like. From running boards, to child seats, to giant baskets that can hold like 80 lbs or something crazy. I don't even know what I'd haul that would weigh 80 lbs.... Maybe groceries...a pallet of boxed wine...a small bull mastiff...the possibilities are really endless. I'd be lying if I told you this is "just like riding a bike." There was definitely a tiny learning curve with it. I'm not used to balancing the weight of both boys behind me, so I spent the first few minutes of our ride getting accustomed to the feel of it and learning to balance accordingly. (When you're pedaling at a good rate, you don't even notice the extra weight. It's when you've stopped or slowed that it feels a bit different than your run of the mill bicycle. ) However, after that short adjustment period we were golden! Trust me when I tell you that you don't have to be some crunchy hippie to appreciate this mode of transportation. The boys and I had an absolute blast!

2. Grizzly Bear Bean Bags














I suppose these would technically fall under the unique "gifts for kids" section...but as my husband keeps catching me cuddling these adorable beasts...I'd argue that they are really a gift for the entire family. They are just as squishy and snuggly as they look, the cover is machine washable, and they offer the added bonus that if you leave them on the front porch you can scare the bejesus out of pesky door-to-door solicitors. When these bears first arrived, my kids played with them for two straight hours. If you have small children, superhumanly hyperactive boys specifically, you know how seemingly impossible of a feat that is. They can't even muster the 30 seconds of concentration it takes to go potty because invariably they will get distracted by something shiny and end up peeing all over the bathroom wall. Two hours with a toy has got to be  Guinness World Record. And now, weeks after the bears arrived, they still adore them and play with them daily. The four of us snuggle on them during story time, and they accompany us during family movie nights. They can be purchased individually (here) or as a mama and baby bear set (here). If you have more than one child, I'd strongly advise the set, as sharing such an epic toy is a lot to ask of little ones. I have to be honest, the price of these originally turned me off a little, but once they were here and I saw how sturdy and kid-friendly they were and the looks on my boys' faces, I totally understood what all the hype was about. You won't regret this purchase!

3. Little Passports


 



 There's nothing I love more than a gift that keeps on giving. Enter Little Passports. A subscription based service that puts the entire world at your child's fingertips. The company caters to 3 different age brackets focusing on kids from 3-12 years of age. After ordering, destination-specific packages will arrive every month filled with letters, souvenirs, activities & more. These days, my boys' favorite sight is the mailman lest he have a package from Little Passports! This subscription is all about play-based learning, which is big in our house, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

4. Shipt

 


 
 You know that nervous breakdown-y feeling you get in the grocery store, when one kid is screaming for Coco Puffs and the other is simultaneously hollering that he has a potty emergency, and passerby are staring at you in horror because you can't seem to manage to keep your little cubs quiet? Shipt is the remedy. Some brilliant beyond brilliant person got the hair-brained idea that we parents just might enjoy a service that allows us to avoid the god-forsaken grocery store, where souls are lost, and have our groceries delivered right to our door for a reasonable price. Although, I've got to tell you, even if it wasn't reasonable (which it totally is btw), I would not be above whoring my husband out as a male gigalow in order to afford this life-changing service. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go now and become a member of Shipt. Its an investment in your sanity...which is kind of priceless.

5. Hello Fresh

















I am a terrible cook. I mean no one has ever died or anything....but I'm definitely no Julia Child. I was raised by a single-mother and she didn't have much time to show me the ropes in the kitchen, so my skills are seriously lacking. When I DO try and cook, I typically end up getting frustrated with the complex recipes that involve weird/unfamiliar ingredients because I can't find them in the store and then the recipes do not break it down for my feeble cooking mind. Enter Hello Fresh. A subscription service where you get to pick out 3 recipes for your family, and they send all the food AND the recipes in a temperature-regulated package right to your door. Like everything! Even any crazy weird spices or herbs you might need.  The recipes even have pictures which each step so you really can't screw this up even if you try. This is actually a lot of fun and you get the added bonus of being able to prance around and say things like "look at me julienning the shit out of this carrot." Its a very accomplished feeling. Trust me.


6. Twinkle Brews










If a present for Mommy and a present for Daddy had a baby, Twinkle Brews would be that baby. Easily one of the coolest and most unique small gift ideas I have come across thus far. Essentially, they take your favorite craft beers and create candles, inside the old bottle, that smell just like that beer! I know, right? Pretty amazeballs. Total sensory overload. The business is actually so popular that they've had to suspend taking orders until after Christmas. (But keep them in mind because Valentine's Day will be here before we know it!)

7. Adult Coloring Books



















I feel like "adult" coloring book sounds like I am tracing pictures of giant schlongs and big, floppy boobies, and I'm sure they probably have something like that, but please don't put it in grandma's stocking and tell her I suggested it. They have a ton of these out this holiday season and they look like so much fun. I can totally see it as the playdate of the future. The kids play while the mommies laugh and chat and color elaborate lion heads and down mimosas. A girl can dream. 

8. Melissa & Doug Trunki





 If you are traveling to dear old Grammies, or anywhere for that matter, these trunkis are a lifesaver! Especially if you have a kid in that weird "I'm too big for a stroller, too gigantic to carry, but I get whiny and unreasonable if forced to walk too far" stage. My kids love riding them and its the perfect size to tote around all their stuff.


9. LILLEbaby doll carrier


Am I a total renegade for buying my son a baby carrier and a baby doll for Christmas???? Maybe! But I'm a member of the "toys are genderless" camp and besides, I do what the hell I want. I still wear my 2 year old in a carrier and he gets such a kick out of wearing his own little baby around. Do you know what I think playing with a typically girl toy will do to him when he gets older? Make him effeminate? Give him a proclivity to crossdress? Nah. Probably won't have any impact at all.....but I sure hope its at least laying the foundation for him to be a kick ass Dad one day. These carriers are equally adorable; whether you have a little girl or a little boy.

10. Rockabye Lullaby Renditions By __________












It doesn't get more Millenial Parent than lullabies, for babies, that are set to your favorite tunes from the 80's, 90's, and today. Daddy will certainly appreciate the Guns N' Roses, Metallica, and Jay Z , ballads while he rocks your precious bundle to sleep. Mommy might prefer the comparatively mellow pace of the Journey, Blink 182, or Dave Matthews Band's lullabies. No matter your musical taste or inclination, there is truly something for everyone, and these compilations will make a seemingly never-ending bedtime routine a little more bearable.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

To My BFF on her Wedding Day




To my best friend, on her wedding day,

I know you’ll look beautiful. No matter the circumstance, you always have.

Whether you were all dolled up for one of our (albeit infrequent) nights on the town, or just nursing a hangover the next day, you’ve always been radiant. Inside and out. It was your friendly smile and ridiculous sense of humor that initially drew me to you 13.5 years ago. Being the shy, new kid on the block in high school, translated to me frequently feeling lost, misunderstood, and completely out of place. I found a place with you. I’m guessing you picked up that compassionate tendency to shepherd the strays from your mom, because you quickly took me in, befriended me and never looked back.

Over the years, we have shared all sorts of ups and downs together. From celebrating academic, and later, career-related successes, to mending broken hearts from piece of shit boys that were never worth our time anyways. Situations and circumstances perpetually changed, but our friendship never did.

Back when we were just teens, I remember the many sleepovers we spent, chatting into the wee hours of the morning about our hopes and dreams for the future. You were going to be a doctor. Follow your passion and have a thriving practice where you got to work with children all day. A life long dream. Then, you’d go home to your own handsome, loving husband and slew of adorable, little Greek babies. I, on the other hand, would live wild, and fast, and free. I was going to be solely a career woman. Answer to no one. I would be my own boss; with neither the time, energy, nor inclination to be strapped down by the confines of motherhood, marriage, or obligation.

Clearly, somewhere along the line, your unwavering emphasis on family, eternal drive and unfaltering sense of responsibility must’ve rubbed off on me. Because before I knew it, I, the feminist version of Peter Pan, was the one settling down, getting married, and having babies.

And you know what? You were right all along, sister. I’ve never been happier.

So today, I have no sage advice to offer the old soul who’s had it all figured out from the start. But just like those sleepovers years ago, I still have plenty of hopes and dreams. As for the wedding day itself, I hope you don’t stress about the tiny details. It goes by so fast. Just relax, remember what the day is really about, and take it all in.

Once you and your Prince Charming tie the knot, I hope that you two remember that you’re forever on the same team. Always fight fair but forget that bullshit about never going to bed angry. Better that, than someone ending up in a body bag.

When the honeymoon is over, literally and figuratively, it's easy to get caught up in the stress and drudgery of everyday life. Even when he’s exhibiting one of the many irritating or disgusting man habits, like forgetting to flush, drinking from the carton, or being a shitty listener, and you really want to beat him with a wiffle bat, try and focus on his positive traits instead. The things you fell in love with. While arguably, the wiffle bat is temporarily gratifying, it’s better for the long haul if you can refrain. Though, if that isn’t feasible, you know I’ll always be here to help you make up an alibi .

I hope that you get all the beautiful babies you’ve dreamed of since we were still kids ourselves. Though, now that you’ve seen this circus I call a family, you might be reconsidering just how many beautiful babies you might want. If and when the little bundles of joy finally arrive, you have my number. Remember, I’m totally down for newborn snuggles if you want to tap out for awhile.

Most of all, I hope you know, how incredibly excited I am for you to begin a new chapter in what has already been an extraordinary life story. Know that I’ll always be here. Cheering you on from the sidelines and wishing you nothing but love and happiness.

XoXo

Your BFF

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Child-free Mother's Day: A Girl Can Dream

Alright.
I'm going to voice what is probably a wildly unpopular opinion.

I've always marched to the beat of my own drum, so I don't mind, but you might need to brace yourself.

Ready? Here goes:

This Mother's Day.....what I want most in the world....is to get the hell away from my kids.

That's right. No need to read that last line again. I said it. I'll own it.

I don't want a macaroni necklace, a fancy Pandora bracelet, or breakfast in bed. I don't need an $8 Hallmark card to prove how much my family loves and appreciates me.

I don't need any more reminders that I'm a mother.

It is literally etched on my skin.

For the past 4.5 years, I have been knee deep in the trenches of motherhood. I have been pregnant and/or nursing for most of that time, which means that my body is a perpetual reminder that I am a mother. The stretch marks, the loose skin, and the leaky breasts are indelible tethers to my role.

The dark circles, that have permanently taken residence under my eyes, and the haphazardly braided (unwashed) hair, that now comprise my daily uniform, serve as further reminders.

 No. On Mother's Day, I don't need any reminders of my role as the mother to two little boys.

I need freedom.

I need to put on a cute outfit with no fear of maple syrup or snotty noses ruining it.

I need to toss every Mickey DVD out the windows of my minivan, and peel out of the driveway with reckless abandon.

I want to crank up the radio and blast the 80's classic rock songs that I know and love.

I need to roll the windows down and let the wind wildly dance through my hair.

I want to shed the shackles of responsibility and to-do lists. I want to live as if I did not have a care in the world.

I want to explore hidden gems in my city. Places where a double stroller won't even fit through the front door. Maybe find a secret coffee house where the hippie and writer elite, rub elbows, and pen their next great novels. I want to have an actual, adult conversation with the barista or fellow patrons. I want to sip my hot chocolate and watch them all interact. I want to breathe every little bit of it in. To resuscitate and revitalize my own hopes of being a writer.

For Mother's Day, I want to remember the person I was before I had my beautiful babies.

I want to remember that I am so much more than a mom. I need to know that under this scraggly, vagabond-looking exterior, that passion and zest for life is still there.

That I'm still there.

I promise that when I have my break, I'll come back.

I'll be happy, and refreshed, and recharged.

I will be ready to take on the endless laundry, the sleepless nights, and the clingy toddlers again; with no little complaint.

For 4.5 years, I have invested  my mind, body, and soul into two beautiful, little boys. And I wouldn't change a bit of it. I adore them. They are working tirelessly to make me into a better person.
They must think I am a diamond in the rough. They have taught me to be patient, flexible, and kind to everyone. They have shown me that there is beauty to be found everywhere, I just need to look for it. They have proved to me time and again that the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is my attitude.

And I am so grateful for this journey. I just need a breather.

You guys can make me a macaroni necklace while I'm gone.
If you need me, I'll be sipping my hot chocolate at the coffee house.