A Momma Reflections Weekend

I LOVE BEING A MOM. I truly do – so I’m putting that out there right here and now. Understood? Good. 2014 is right around the corner though, and with the New Year fast approaching (and the fact that my brain has been semi-freaking out at the end of another year right around the corner) I was thinking of a few things that I wanted (and need) to change in our household. Hence, this post on a Momma Reflections weekend.

Me and the Boys

Being a Mom

I love my kids – good, bad and the ugly – it doesn’t matter. They know that the love is there, unconditionally – and usually will count on that fact and run all over me in the process.

I get T-I-R-E-D of being “always on” for them and hubby 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What about you? Do you ever get to the level of exhaustion where you just want to scream “leave me alone for 2 hours!” at them? There is NO BREAK from being a mom. Ever. It was something that freaked me out so badly after the birth of my daughter that I had trouble functioning at all. Once I realized “what I had done” by bringing another little human being into the world, I pulled up my big girl panties and got on with it. But it scared the living shit out of me when I realized that this little person was going to be entirely dependent upon ME for the next 18 to 20 years of their life.

That was just ONE CHILD. Then another came along 10 years later. Then another 3 years after that. By that time I was a sleep-deprived robot and going through the motions to do whatever needed doing each day to just keep my head above water.

“It will be easier when they get older,” I kept telling myself. I started to believe those LIES.

It doesn’t get easier, the dynamics just change. I remember the days of bottles and diaper changes with fondness – NOW. The older they get, the more demanding they seem to become (the boys that is, not my daughter…that’s another story, but SHE was an angel to raise from newborn to the young lady she is now!)

  • “Mom, I need something to eat!”
  • “Mom, where are my jeans?”
  • “Mom, can I go to so-and-so’s house to play Xbox?”
  • “Mom, I need something to eat before I starve to death!”
  • “Mom, I need $5 for school tomorrow.” (or a request for poster board for a project that is due tomorrow, or for items needed to complete an experiment that the child has known about for four weeks and waits until the last minute to tell YOU about)
  • “Mom, I decided to take band next year. I need an instrument – and I don’t want a used one. I want a new one.”
  • “Mom, can I go to the movies with (insert girlfriend’s name) on Saturday? Will you drive us and pick us up?” (which is always followed with a request for money to pay for the tickets for said child and the girlfriend and naturally – something to eat)
  • “Mom, I’m going to literally DIE in 2 seconds if I don’t get something to eat!!!” (dramatic fainting usually follows this one)

There are days when I really THINK about things and I come to the realization – I did this to myself.

I taught them that if they didn’t clean their rooms, or they threw a temper tantrum, or they made a mess in the (insert any room of the house here) like I asked them to do – that I would eventually go and do it myself. They know that clutter drives me crazy. They know that if I cannot walk into their rooms without tripping over something or stubbing my toe on something, I will go completely postal and attack their rooms with a dust pan, a trash bin, a feather duster and the vacuum cleaner until it shines.

They know that if they can leave all of their “junk” lying all over the house and make it into bed before I realize it – that I will go through the house and pick up their belongings and tip-toe into their rooms while they sleep and put it all away.

They know that if they make a mess in the kitchen – I’ll clean it up when I clean up after dinner every night.

My 14 year old son cannot make his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He can pop open a can of anything and put it on the stove, or pop it into the microwave, and make his own food (and the mess as well) but he has yet to master the fine art of sandwich making. So he says. He just enjoys knowing that if he whines long enough, I’ll make him one – just to shut him up.

2014 will be different. It has to be different. They are growing up – rapidly – before my very eyes, and I would not be doing MY job as a parent if I allowed them to grow up and move out into the world without learning a few life skills ahead of time.

I have not quite figured out how we are going to implement this change yet, but I think a discussion around the dinner table on New Year’s Day is in order. Resolutions to be made, and a system of accountability for their actions (as well as mine!) needs to be hammered out.

Otherwise, I think I might just lose my mind by the time December 2014 rolls around.

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  1. I did not have any children of my own, but I help raise 3 sisters and a brother because my Mom had a lot of problems. I know how tiring it can be to raise children. My sister raised a girl and a boy and she is tired, but being a mother never is over, even when they are grown up. Now when I want to slow down, my sister and I are taking care of an elderly parent with dementia. It is so hard to take care of him. It is like taking care of a baby. But, I can not turn my back on my Dad, he has helped me all my life. I hope that things get changed in the coming year!

    • I think it is sometimes harder, Karen, when you are helping to raise children that are not your own. In addition to all of the "normal" stuff – you also have to worry about whether or not your parenting style is the same as your siblings and the possible conflicts that alone can cause. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad, Karen. I will keep each of you in my heart and prayers. It's true that as we get older and our children leave the nest, they are replaced by our parents whom have cared for us and loved us and now need our love and care and support in return when their health begins to fail or they just have a hard time dealing with the day-to-day things that need to be done. I hope that you and your sister can find a bit of a respite now and again from caring for your Dad. You might consider bringing in some additional help during the day – like a live-in nurse perhaps? – that can give you a few hours "off" so that you don't burn yourself out. Like I said, I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers hon!

  2. I'm with you… I love being a mom, it's my defining role in life (and I recently realized that at this point, by the time the baby reaches legal adulthood, I'll have spent 35 years actively raising children since there's 17 years between the oldest and the youngest!!) BUT there are days when all I want to do is be alone. "No, you can NOT have another piggyback ride, and dinner is postponed until I get FIVE MINUTES to pee by myself!"

    My boys are notorious for telling me at the last minute about school projects that require posterboard, markers, glue sticks, construction paper, craft foam, and leaves from a tree that can only be found in Ecuador in the spring. (Thank goodness for 24-hour big box stores, can't tell you how many times I've been stumbling around the craft section at 9pm looking for whatever special hard-to-find item it is that they need for a project!)

    • Giggles Tara … I knew you of all peeps would understand since we're so much alike. I swear there are days when I wonder how on earth they could ever manage without us. I'm sure that their dads would "step up" and take over if we just disappeared for a few days. You with me? I'm thinking a girl's spa weekend or something for New Year's lmbo!!!!

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