Blessed are the tired moms

Sleep. It makes everything better.

Don’t you love that feeling of laying down in your bed after a long, hard day and feeling every muscle relax and sink into the mattress?! I LOVE that feeling.

Being a mom often time means you miss out on a lot of sleep. You don’t get to sleep in on Saturday mornings or take long naps right before dinner. You are up anywhere between 1 and 20 times a night for every reason you could ever imagine.

 

I am so frustrated by this lack of sleep. Because it can feel like you are defeated before you even begin your day. Sleep allows you to see the world in a better light, be more cheerful, patient. Lack of sleep (read- exhaustion) makes you cranky and mean and snappy and yelly.

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Batman Edmund casually reading some Curious George…probably right before he goes potty and squirts toothpaste all over the bathroom.

It sometimes seems so unfair that to be parent you need mountains of patience and getting good rest helps…but you never get good rest. So you are summoning patience from…well…the grace of God.

Edmund painted his finger nails and toenails  (and left globs of nail polish evidence on the carpet and my favorite hand embroidered table runner) the other day. Then he sprayed all his toys with Lime Away. Then he dumped a bag of beads all over his bed. And he dropped the whole can of cocoa powder and walked chocolate foot prints all over the rug. He dumped an entire bottle of Dawn in various places around the kitchen.

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He sure did pour that out on purpose…right after I mopped the floor, of course.

So, in my crazy, exhausted state I yelled “Edmund! What in the world are you thinking?! Why would you be so wasteful and naughty? !”

“Mom, I wanted my fingers to be pretty! See my toes?!”

“Mom, I like to clean my toys! I am helpin you!”

“Mom, I just want to make a necklace with you!”

“Mom, I like to make a cake for my Papa John!”

“Mom, i want to wash dishes!”

 

Well….there you have it I guess. As crazy and sleep deprived as I am, I have to force myself to step back from my impatient anger and see Jesus in this wild red head.

Tomorrow is always a new day. So, even when it starts at 6:30am (aka 5:30, thanks daylight savings) with 5 hours of sleep and a 2 year old whining for TV (thanks Daniel Tiger) and schnacks (thanks a lot Tricia) and crying because his bagel is toasted and we can’t have mac and noodles with a side of coffee ice cream for breakfast, I will take a deep breath and truck on. Because moms don’t need sleep…

Moms run on coffee and Jesus.

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Sleep…it is a beautiful thing.

Hashtag second child problems

Don’t we always here that?? The poor second child gets the short end of the stick. Not as many pictures taken. Even less printed and framed. Mostly hand me downs. Less attention. A more lenient and less stressed out mother.

 

We tend to kind of feel sorry for the second kid. But, I feel bad for the first kid.

My poor Edmund. My smart, sweet, handsome, outgoing all-boy boy! He is wild and hilarious and his energy is never ending! This kid could put the energizer bunny out of a job. He loves Daniel Tiger and doing flips at gymnastics. He wants to read and bake cakes. He identifies letters and colors and loves counting and singing. He is quick to smile and giggle.

This first child of mine, the one who made me a mother and has taught me so much…he is the one I find myself worried about.

I spend my days wrangling him around and trying to teach him lovingly to be kind and gentle. My mom says “That poor boy is going to think his name is no!” My mom and my mother in law are always encouraging me to be patient and gentle with Edmund.

As the first child he is held to an impossible standard. One imposed on him by my own pride and insecurities.  I worry constantly about what people will think if he, heaven forbid, throws a fit! Or hits another kid, or snatches a toy! Will they think he is rude if he refuses to look up from his cake to say thank you? Will they think I am a bad mom if he wants to dance and run and shout at the worst times?! Will they not invite us back to their home if he digs in their cupboards or pushes their kid?

When he was a baby I was obsessed with developmental milestones. I was obessed with comparison.

Owen, the second child, is going to have a totally different experience because I am a totally different person. I am a better mom. I know that comparison kills joy. I know that getting dirty is ok. I know that what others think shouldn’t dictate how I parent.

I think that usually we pity the second child because they don’t get the attention that the first child had…but I think that is a good thing!

I have put a lot of pressure on Edmund to be “perfect”. I work every day to become a better mom to Edmund, not a crazy first time mom trying to mold her child into something she imagined her child would be.

So, my prayer lately has been that God will give me patience to let Edmund be Edmund. Patience to let him be a little boy. Patience to know when to be easy on him and when to reign him in.

A good friend and I were talking about our boys one day. His oldest is much like Edmund, smart, strong willed, funny and handsome. He told me “I can discipline my child into submission, but that will crush his spirit.” I don’t want to crush this wonderful boy’s spirit! I want to teach him to use his gifts to glorify God and help others. I want to help him learn and explore.

I love my little Owen. And I am so glad that I opened my heart and humbled myself and that I can be a better mom to him. I love my “big brother” Edmund. I am so glad for the gift of his life and I strive every day to give him more “yes”!  I pray that God continues to pour grace into me so that I can be the mom each of my boys needs me to be.

 

 

 

New years got me like…

Oh geez. Here it is. The end of the year. Lemme tell you. In 2016 I want so many things. But, so far I have basically been a failure at everything in my life.

This isn’t a pity party, this is the truth. I cried to my husband a few months ago telling him that I envied his success. He graduated from the Police Academy. He set a goal and he was determined to see it through. We sacrificed a lot to get him to that day, but it was all worth it. He is real police now. And I couldn’t be more proud.

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At the Police graduation. See my face? This is the reality of being 1 week post partum with a toddler who is sick and adjusting to life with a baby brother.

But his success hit me hard. I have no successes like that. I am chubby, I don’t have a job, I tanked at Mary Kay, I can barely get my act together to show up for the moms group I started at church once a week. I can’t stick to a diet or exercise routine, I can’t get out of my comfort zone to tell women about how amazing I think Mary Kay is,  I can’t sacrifice sleep to plan for my meetings…

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My 2 boys in our always messy living room.

Needless to say my crying escalated into sobbing until my husband looked at me and said, “Do you really think you are a failure? Can you look at these two beautiful babies and really say you have nothing to be proud of?”

Well…when you put it like that… #realitycheck

So I am not setting a million unreasonable New Year’s resolutions.  Lord knows I will probably be a chubby procrastinator this time next year. I am going to do one thing, just one thing, better this year. I am going to pray. I am going to pray for my marriage and my babies. I am going to pray for the strength and grace and wisdom and humility I need to live my vocation as a wife and mother…because I clearly stink at doing it on my own.

My prayer life is shameful. And if there is one thing I can handle this coming year, I can handle praying more. I can handle growing in virtue through asking God to humble me. I can pray that Our Lady guides me in my words and actions while I parent my 2 boys. I can pray that she be there to hold me and comfort me when I am missing my mom. I can ask the saints to intercede for me in moments of struggle and I can praise God in moments of joy. I can continue to teach my boys about Jesus and the saints and help them grow closer to God and love Him more through my example.

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Sweet moments make the crazy a little easier to handle.

So, there you have it. I have no exciting New Year’s Eve plans. We have dinner with my Mother in Law and Mr. Perry. I will be ringing in the New Year snuggled in bed with my 2 boys, praying that God keeps my husband safe. I will savor the night just as it is and not spend it wishing I was somewhere else or planning big for 2016 or beating myself up for the failures of 2015.

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Owen and mommy waiting to watch Edmund in the Christmas pageant