Motherhood Confession… tooth fairy edition

I have a confession…

(Did you just start seeing Usher in your head? If yes, we can be friends)

I digress. I have a confession… tooth fairy edition. 

I am the tooth fairy…

…in my house, I’ve been given this title. Perhaps this title was given to me by the assistant to the tooth fairy, also known as my husband. My children do not know this, but I’m going to blow my cover sooner than later. Want to know how I know? Because it’s almost happened already. 
[Also, Why is this even a thing? Teeth falling out? A fairy creeping in your house? ]

So what happened was…

My oldest lost a tooth. It was during pandemic times (which it still kind of is, right?), which meant my brain was fried and my memory is shh…sugar…it. I helped my daughter leave out her note for the bone collector tooth fairy. I then proceeded to forget all about what comes next. I went to bed and I slept soundly(ish). 
[Do parents ever sleep soundly? There is a constant risk of being woken up by womb gremlins, worrying over your children, and other such concerns.]

I awoke to a disappointed child…

The next morning I had a little girl confused and disappointed that the tooth fairy had not made her visit, taking a tooth, and replacing it with a gold Sacajawea dollar coin. I quickly made some excuse about why the fairy didn’t come, blaming an unclean room or some such. This led to a tidy room and a little girl ready to give this magical creature another chance. 

The next morning wasn’t much better…

Sadly, the assistant to the tooth fairy is a complete slacker and routinely falls short. They failed at their one task. Ensuring the tooth was collected and a coin left in its place. As if one mistake wasn’t bad enough, a second is almost unforgivable. So what happened next? A certain female parent went and placed a coin in an obscure spot and found it miraculously. The dismayed child was pleased with the discovery of funds but displeased that their tooth was left behind. 
[I am not entirely certain of the going rate for teeth. I’ve heard some fairies give big bills, some toys, and maybe some are giving Disney Trips. This fairy is too cheap. We have a roll of gold dollar coins as tooth money.]

What do we do with this forgotten tooth?

Leave it for the bone collector fairy to come by (again) to pick it up. I’ve heard the fairy tried to go to bed without making their final stop, but did manage to collect their forgotten tooth.
[I admittedly felt terrible about my forgetfulness, but I will fully own that I am an okayish mom.]

Did the tooth fairy learn anything?

Maybe? Maybe not? Did their spouse? You better believe it. They stayed on top of things and kept the fairy on task to ensure the job was done. Here’s hoping this continues. There are many more teeth to be lost, and another child left to lose teeth in our house. 
[God help me. Why are there so many teeth to be exchanged for currency?!]

the wonder of motherhood

little eyes staring up

minds filled with wonder

their lips overflow with questions

their ears cannot hear “I don’t know”

mom has all the answers

until she doesn’t

the day comes when she knows nothing

the wonder of motherhood

one day you know it all

the next you know nothing

but isn’t that every day of motherhood?

okayish mom

Some have the goal of being the best mom ever. These are the moms who throw elaborate class parties, birthday parties with personalized gifts for each attendee, homemade lunches with had written notes daily, and the list goes on. If that is you: good for you. If that is not you: you’re in good company with me. I am unapologetically an okayish mom.

Do I love my children with all my heart?
There’s no doubt about it.
Do I think motherhood is a competition?
Perhaps to some, but I’ve opted out of enrolling in the competition.
Will I make it for every event my children have in life?
Nope, but I make sure someone who loves them is if I can’t.

If my answers above make me a bad mom, then you might as well start casting judgement.
If you’re hoping I’ll have a change of heart or be upset by your condemnation, prepare to be disappointed.

I’ve tried going above and beyond…

It didn’t go so well.
The deadline for being room parent was fast approaching and no one signed up for my oldest daughter’s class. I felt bad for her super amazing teacher, and volunteered. Then the deadline arrived, and I realized there was need for one in my youngest daughter’s preschool class too. So I agreed to be hers too. I didn’t want my daughters to feel like I picked one over the other.
The lesson I learned this year: I’m not room mom material.
Will I get a message out to other parents in a timely fashion? Absolutely not.
Will I give the teachers great gifts? I’m not sure if they’re the greatest, but they’re definitely nice.
All that to say, I’m not a bad room parent, nor am I a good one.
I am the world’s okayest room parent, and I won’t sign up to do this again.

I’ve tried doing what needs to be done…

And it turned out adequate(ish).
Girl Scout cookie season 2020, my oldest became DESPERATE to be a Girl Scout. I learned of another leader in my neighborhood that was willing to take more kindergartners IF there was a person to lead the Daisies (kindergarten and first graders). I was more than happy to be the super supportive leader of the Daisies, especially since it meant that I wouldn’t be in charge of the whole troop. This had been my hope all along, since I was a former Girl Scout council staff member. I knew how to do the things, but knew I didn’t have the time to run a whole troop. Super supportive parent/assistant…SIGN ME UP!

Class gift basket: contains some gifts and other parents hopefully added to this.

Fast forward nine months. Aforementioned troop leader informs me her husband is getting transferred out of state for work. We formulate a plan for the transition that is to occur in the spring. Well, the move happened sooner than expected, and by December I’m in charge of the whole troop, during a pandemic, when some girls are refusing to participate virtually, and I’m trying to figure out who’s who over zoom.

I’m in over my head…

I’m not afraid to admit I cannot do something, BUT I do not like broadcasting that information to the world.
I need these girls living through uncertain times to feel like they’re in good hands, and to keep this troop limping along. Fortunately (for me), I have a friend helping in the troop who knows what’s going on. She’s super supportive, encouraging, and reminds me it’s a okay to do what’s best for me and my family.
I made the needed decision: I’m stepping down as leader of the troop.
I stepped into the role because it was what needed to be done, but it was not good for me.
Our end of the year parent meeting is met with many blank stares as no other parent wants to be leader either.
What’s going to happen to the troop? I have no idea, BUT I will keep Girl Scouting with my daughter.

Maybe I’m better than an okayish mom

I know that I love my kids and that they know this.
I know that I want to see my daughters be girls of courage, confidence, character, who make the world a better place.
I know that sometimes I have to lead, but sometimes I have to follow. Leading all the times leads to burnout for me.
To allow me to better than an okayish mom, I have to say no to things that I could do. And if I do those things I should say no to, I’m only going to be okayish.

Here’s to be okayish, loving it, and knowing your limits.

Off to finish being an okaying room parent, okayish troop leader, and loving my daughters fiercly.

coming out of the fog

HebrewDawn: coming out of the fog

My daughter is just about to turn nine months old, which means she will be out as long as she was in. As we hit this milestone I finally feel like I’m coming out of the proverbial new mom fog. If you’re in the midst of the fog you might know what I’m talking about. If your past it, I’m almost certain you know what I’m talking about. Whether we’re in it or past it, we all eventually come out of the fog.

As a mom, it is always an adjustment to embrace your new found identity. You had this baby that spent nine months growing inside of you, but now it is learning to live outside of you. You spent months adjusting your growing belly and now you must recalibrate and learn to provide for this little person all the time. 

Not only are you learning caregiving skills, but you also have this new identity called motherhood to embrace. You’ve gone from being your own person, and now your some little person’s whole world. If you already have older children, you’re learning how to share yourself with all the little people vying for your attention. No matter how many children you have, it’s always an adjustment to accept the new you.

When you have a baby, they’re always worried about you having postpartum depression. No one talks about this fog you’re living in. With so many things changing in your body, your life, identity, etc. you spend your days with your mind spinning. I am here to share something with you that I’ve heard from almost every mom; adjusting to this new identity as a mother is a challenge for everyone. I’ve also heard from almost every mom that we do make it out of the fog and see our world clearly once more. The way we see our life and world may be different than before, but it is now filled with lots of love and joy. 

yours in motherhood,

C

HebrewDawn: coming out of the fog

to the perfect parents

HebrewDawn: to the perfect parents

Dear Perfect Parent,

I have a few things I’d like to share with you today. I want to commend your efforts at being the perfect parent, because it’s not somethings we all aspire to be in life. You believe in the depths of your being that you are doing everything exactly right, and that you have a thing or two you can teach the rest of us.

You are decidedly the best example about breastfeeding or formula feeding, when to start your child on solid food, when to send your child to preschool and kinergarten. Oh! Let’s not forget about extra activities like soccer, dance, music lessons, and swimming. You most assuredly make time for your child to do it all. God forbid a parent choose themselves over their child wants.

Do you sense my sarcasm yet? I hope so, and I hope you’ll join me in doing the following…

No more shaming.

No more blaming.

No more judging.

START supporting others.

Let’s get our views of perfection straight and get them in check. They are ruining amazing mom/dad friend opportunities. Let’s not assume that someone is shaming, blaming, or judging us. Instead, let us assume that the perfect parents are all of us and that we all want to support one another.

Let’s do this parenting thing y’all!

C

mommy brain is real

Whether you have kids or not, I’m certain you have heard about Mommy Brain. My dearest Erica (aka happedancing) always wondered if it was real, and then a few of her close friends had children. One of the first things she said to me was, “DUDE, mommy brain is real!” Of course I responded, “oh yes, mommy brain is definitely real! Thanks to it, I feel half-stupid all the time.”

Since having kids I have moments of feeling functionally crazy or off my rocker. Frequently my husband questions the half done projects, things left on the tables/counter, and tasks left undone around the house. I attribute all of this to mommy brain. But none of these compare to the Chicken Incident.

I was just a couple months postpartum from having our second when I invited my friend Steph and her daughter over for dinner. I warned her it wouldn’t be anything super fancy as we were running errands that day. We both agreed that time spent together was of greater importance than a fancy meal together.

The incident…

That afternoon I took a trip to Costco with the girls, to keep the oldest entertained (she LOVES their samples). I also went to get some needed groceries, and I picked up a rotisserie chicken. I almost always get a rotisserie chicken if it’s anywhere close to dinner, because I know I’ll get at least two meals out of it. Work smarter not harder right?

HebrewDawn: mommy brain is real

Once we got home I put the chicken in the oven to keep it warm until dinner time. Next I put on a pot of brown rice to cook, because I figured I might as well make the sides healthy if I was bailing out of cooking the main dish. Right about that time Stephanie arrived. The weather was so gorgeous we decided we had to go enjoy some time at the playground with our girls. After awhile we came back to the house thinking the rice would be almost done so we could get a vegetable made to go along with our easy but healthy dinner.

In the midst of doing this I remember that I needed to warm up the chicken since it had been a little while since we got home and turned the oven on (mind you our oven defaults to 350 degrees). I started preparing some broccoli to sautée on the stove, turned on the stove to get the cast iron skillet hot, and then I noticed something about the rice cooker. The remaining cook time on the rice was 75 minutes and we need to feed the girls in about 20 Minutes as it was close to meltdown time for two hungry three year olds.

Suddenly something smelt a little burny (I don’t think that’s really a word, but I’m going with it). Then I remembered that I had put the chicken in there earlier to keep it warm. The chicken now had it’s plastic container melted all around it. *face palm*

HebrewDawn: mommy brain is real

Mommy brain struck again and I had ruined dinner. I waited too long to start the brown rice, and most importantly the chicken was inedible with melted plastic all around it. This was moment that I could have chosen to cry, but all I could do was laugh and give thanks that I had a good friend with me.

HebrewDawn: mommy brain is real

We turned off dinner, loaded the kids in the car and went to Chick-fil-A. I may have had hopes of providing a healthy dinner of chicken, brown rice, and broccoli for dinner, but fed was definitely best that night. Not to mention the two almost hungry three year olds were tickled to have dinner together at one of their favorite places. I guess mommy brain isn’t always so bad for everyone?

Sick Baby 

HebrewDawn: Motherhood Monday - Sick Baby
I had high hopes of getting a new post up today, but I’ve spent the weekend taking care of a sick baby since Friday. Luckily I had the day off as we had plans as a family to go down to Matthews, Virginia to spend the day with friends. Rather than spending the day in, on, or beside the water I spent Friday worrying about a pitiful baby who had a fever. 

Luckily our pediatrician wasn’t worried and gave me a few care instructions:

  • Keep my sweet baby resting, nursing,and eating  as much as we could. 
  • Alternate doses of Tylenol and Motrin to get the fever down. 
  • Call if anything changed in how frequently she was eating, wetting her diapers, or if the fever wasn’t down by Monday. 

We followed instructions and it all seems to have worked. Thank you for understanding the lack of a more substantial post. See you back later this week. 

The end of pregnancy questions

HebrewDawn: The end of pregnancy questions

First off, I want to say sorry this isn’t a more uplifting post, but I’m going to be honest about current and recent sentiments. I have been very quiet on HebrewDawn for much of my pregnancy, and I’m not completely certain as to why. Perhaps I just wanted to process my thoughts on this pregnancy and becoming a mom to two on my own before writing them. Moving forward I do plan to open up and share more about how life and motherhood is going with the transition  from one girl to two, including all the ups and downs.

On to current feelings….

A little over a year ago I wrote this post for a few of my friends who were near or drawing near to their due dates, and here I find myself in their shoes.  I’m days from my due date, and I’ve only hit my “over it” moment last week. Luckily, this was not as early as with my first, AND  frankly I’m quite proud that I made it to 38 weeks and 2 days before hitting that point this time.

HebrewDawn: the end of pregnancy questions
Now that I’m at the “over it” point of my pregnancy, the well meaning questions from every friend, family member, co-worker, and stranger off the street is driving me CRAZY. So here are my favorite questions, and how I wish I could respond:

How are you feeling? Tired of being pregnant and uncomfortable from the necessary body changes for labor to begin. Other than that I’m great, because this discomfort means I get to meet my baby soon!

How much longer do you have? No way of knowing as due dates are just an estimate! I’m “due” in a few days, but babies arrive anywhere between 39.5 and 41.5 weeks. Also, there are no plans to induce me unless we’re creeping up on 42 weeks. God, please don’t let that happen!

Do you know what you’re going to have? A human baby. At our 20 week ultrasound they said it’s a girl, and I’m praying it’s right. It would be really awkward to dress a baby boy in a little sister outfit.

You’re not going to go into labor right here are you? I could, but it doesn’t really matter. Labor takes quiet a bit of time to progress before a baby comes out. Last I checked babies don’t just fall out.

Are you still working? Yes, because there’s always work for me to get done. Oh, and there’s no reason to waste my maternity leave before the baby arrives.

Is the baby here yet? Not yet, and hopefully my little one will be here VERY soon. Just remember that as excited as you are for this baby to arrive, my husband, daughter, and I are the most excited and we are anxiously waiting for labor to start.

Will you tell me when the baby arrives? Yes! BUT those that need to know first (people present in the delivery room or taking care of my daughter, my boss) will be notified when I go into labor. Everyone else will find out after the baby is born, most likely via social media.

What are you doing while you wait?
I’m going to try and smile nicely to anyone asking one of these well meaning questions.

BUT I cannot promise that I won’t respond in a snarky fashion to the questions, that I won’t ignore phone calls, and that I’ll respond to every text message sent to me.

I do promise that I am going to relax as best I can and enjoy these final moments of being a family of three.

 

 

 

 

Inauguration Day 2017

To my dearest daughter,

Today is the inauguration of the 45th president of our country. This day is filled with mixed emotions for many Americans, as some are delighted and some are greatly dismayed with who is to be our next president. I’m not here today to tell you how I feel or how you should feel about this, but I do have some things I’d like share with you.

Being a United States citizen is a great privilege, and it comes with civic duty. We may not like or agree with the people who hold elected positions, but we do have the ability to speak out, speak up, and to vote our conscience.  On November 8th you came with me to the polls to cast my vote for our next president and other elected officials on a historic day in American politics. A woman was the presidential candidate for a major political party. As a woman I could choose, with you by my side, to vote for a woman for president if I so chose.

Regardless of how I may or may not have voted, a woman won the popular vote in the election for president. She may not have won the election due to electoral college votes, but we were VERY close to having a woman elected president. Many will talk about all the things that were wrong with Hillary Clinton, but what is right about her is the deep crack she made in the presidential glass ceiling. By the time you’re old enough to dream of being president, I know that it can be more than a dream.

I’m happy to note that November 8th wasn’t the first time you’ve gone with me to vote,and it will not be the last time you’ll go with me to vote. Through this experience, I hope you will know the importance of your voice in what is happening in our government. You can be heard by voting, contacting your elected officials, and speaking up about what is going on in our government. You will not see eye to eye with every other  American, but I hope you can let your voice be heard and respect the voices of other Americans too.

Today our 45th president is a man, but there is a big crack in the presidential glass ceiling. I wonder if our 46th president will be a woman?

Dream big my love and never let anyone silence your voice.

Love,

Mama

Going to Work When Your Kids are Sick

HebrewDawn: Going to Work When Your Kids are Sick

As a parent there are many tough moments mixed into all the beautiful ones. Many of us have experience those difficult ones; like the first time they cry from getting shots, the first time they get seriously injured, and the first time they get sick. But I believe what makes that last moment even more challenging is going to work when your kids are sick.
I keep waiting for the moment that it’s easier to walk out the door leaving my daughter in the care of someone else who loves her while I go to work. To date, that moment never gets easier, and I even dread the moment when it comes. When my little girl is feeling ill, there’s nothing more that I want than for her to feel better. If I can’t make her feel better, then I can snuggle with her until she does.

HebrewDawn: Going to Work When Your Kids are Sick
VHP sleeping off her fever

 

Unfortunately for me, today is another one of those days that I have to go to work while my little girl is sick. Fortunately my husband has sick AND vacation time through his employer, whereas I only have PTO (paid time off) to be used for both sick and vacation time. Since my husband has more time off, this means he usually stay home with a sick kiddo, and for that I am thankful.

On a day like today, I am most thankful that my daughter is left in the care of her daddy who loves her enormously, is chef extraordinaire, and is one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. I know that without a doubt that my little girl will get nursed back to health with all the cuddles and care she requires.

I know that on a day like today, that not everyone is so fortunate to leave their child in the hands of their spouse, significant other, or another trusted family member. And for this my heart breaks. I can remember the days of my own mother being a single mom, and our neighbors who were single parents as well. They were were stuck with the choice of between going to work to be able to put food on the table and being there with their sick child.

Leaving your child in the care of someone other than yourself and balancing out the responsibilities of work and parenting is never easy. I’m certain leaving for work when your child is sick is not the hardest thing in parenting, but it most certainly can feel like it in the moment. For each person the struggle is different in varying degrees, but it’s a struggle none the less.

I hope the next time we have to wrestle with this situation, we will remember that we are not alone in the guilt and worry. I encourage you to let those that care about you know that you’re having a tough day being apart from your sick child. Most of all, I hope for a day when we don’t have to be stuck choosing between being with our sick child and going to work.