The Parents Who Just Won’t Quit

The Parents Who Just Won’t Quit

Have you ever known those parents who just won’t quit?

Like mine.

When I was 15 I had moments where I just wanted them to stop, you know, molding me into a decent human being who knew how to succeed and work hard in life.  How annoying that they would care that much.

Now at 26, they still won’t stop. This weekend my little babe and I went down to help them move into their new home.  I totally missed the memo that my little helper babe was actually planning to freak out the entire weekend.  So this whole helping move and decorate idea was kind of a disaster, and ended up being an everybody-help-Jill kind of weekend.  Instead of doing the endless things they needed to do they became the pourer of my coffee, the packer of my diaper bag, the maker of bottles in record-breaking time, the meltdown stoppers, and the undertakers of the impossible task of trying to get my son to nap.

It reminded me of the time that my parents were on grand-dog duty, before they ever had human grandchild duty.  I was traveling for work and my dad drove an hour to deliver my dog to me at the airport when I returned home, just because I like my dog.  Or the time recently when mom drove up to watch my babe just so I could shampoo my carpets uninterrupted.

Since day one they’ve been the kisser of scrapes, the wiper of tears, the calmer of fears; the corrector of wrong turns, the forgiver of mistakes; the giver of direction, the healer of broken hearts, and the instillers of wisdom.  Most of all they’re the never-stoppers.

In my short time of being mama, I can finally understand why they just wouldn’t stop going to the ends of the earth for me.  And now, more than ever, I thank God and all my luckiest stars for my parents who just won’t quit.

To all the parents who just won’t quit, YOU are what makes the world go round, and YOU are what keeps our world from never completely falling apart.

Mom and dad, you are the spinner of my world no matter the state of my world.

Thank you for never quitting.

Just a Mom

Just a Mom

A few days ago a man asked, “So are you just a mom, or do you work?”

“Just a mom.” I said with a smile, before I could realize my feelings were hurt.

I thought a lot about the way that question was worded, after the fact. It temporarily wounded my pride, but since I had just met the dude I let him do just that- temporarily wound my pride.

I’ve always been somewhat of a dreamer. I recently found a note that I wrote to myself in 3rd grade, and I planned to be an Olympic gymnast before I entered the 4th grade. I was kind of a reckless gymnast, so perhaps I was suffering some sort of brain damage at the time. Thankfully, as I grew older I managed to set more realistic goals. I look back at my 18 year old, college bound self, and see a girl full of ambition, dying to take on the world with my important job that I would someday have.

Then I graduated college and started selling drugs. The legal kind. To doctors. It paid the bills but it was absolutely so unaligned with every dream I’d ever had for myself. Life just happened and I looked up and I was nowhere near where I wanted to be.

For the next four years I would find myself in a constant battle within my own head. Growing up a Christian, I heard over and over that God has a plan for our lives. It seemed to me that all the good Christians got a handwritten note straight from God himself that told them exactly where to go and what to do. From that day forward they marched on living out the calling that God had for them, and they were always so certain. But here I was just a confused drug dealer that had no idea what God’s plan looked like for me. I wanted desperately for my day to day life to hold purpose and meaning, but it seemed that each career path I turned to offered me nothing but an empty paycheck.

And then I found myself sitting up in bed, late at night, holding my week old son, tears flowing uncontrollably down my face. Post-partum women are crazy and hormonal and cry a lot, but this wasn’t one of those times where I was crying because I needed ice cream and to be magically skinny all at once. I was looking down at my tiny son, so new to the world, snuggled tight in my arms and all I could think was that THIS was my purpose. THIS was my meaning. THIS was everything I never knew I needed.

I’m not saying that there is not purpose in a career. After all that’s what I was banking on all this time. I’m just offering up the idea that perhaps for me, my purpose is found in being “just a mom”.  I searched high and low to find purpose in the perfect career, and maybe it was by God’s grace that I never did find it.

My point is simply that sometimes the very things that give our life the most purpose and the most meaning aren’t at all what we spend so much energy searching for. I NEVER planned to be just a mom. I planned to be a mom with a career. I was going to do “important” stuff, like be an Olympian, remember?  To be honest, I had to put aside a lot of pride when I started staying at home with my babe, because to the world I am either a spoiled brat, or not important, or a failure, or sometimes awesome, you just never know. But one thing I do know is that I have spent many nights praying that I would know my purpose, and never did I feel like I found that until I became “just a mom”. So I would be a fool not to put down my pride and consider the fact that maybe THIS was the purpose I’d been searching for.

So yes, kind sir, I’m just a mom and I thank my Good Lord every time the sun comes up that today I am “just a mom”.

Why Didn’t Anyone Warn Me About the Smoke Alarms?

Why Didn’t Anyone Warn Me About the Smoke Alarms?

Six months ago today I became a mom. I remember when I was visibly very pregnant, it seemed that at least once a week I would have someone say something negative to me about having children. Typically they were strangers, which is just weird. Not to mention the endless amount of blogs that outline every bad thing ever in all of the history of children that people feel the need to “warn” expecting moms about. I was probably 36 weeks when I decided to stop reading, stop listening, and develop my own opinion of what motherhood felt like for ME. So here’s my version of motherhood.

My morning routine has been pretty much the same for about 2 months. I wake up to either crying noises, or the hilarious and steady, monotone “ahhhhhh” coming over my baby monitor. I get up, push the brew button on my coffee maker and pick up my little babe. Lately I’ve been sitting on my back porch, you know, to be all peaceful and stuff until my dogs start barking at the neighbor dog friends. So this morning was the same. Except when I sat down I somehow managed to spill my entire cup of coffee all over my bare thigh, and on Finn’s feet. Mom of the year. I jumped up and raced for his nursery, so I could throw him on the changing table, rip off his clothes, and see the 9th degree burns I inflicted on my own son. My husband happened to be walking through the house. He was confused, and I had no words. So I proceeded to rip off Finn’s onesie while Colt chased me into the nursery. I grabbed Finn’s feet, not red. Looked at his face, no tears, just raised brows. Ok, so no burns, maybe I really am mom of the year. My saint of a husband made me a new cup of coffee and I sat down in the recliner to start my day over. We were off to a great re-start when Finn kicked my coffee cup and it spilled again. We escaped even worse burns this time, I’m sure of it; only now I’m just focused on the fact that I could totally justify buying that over-priced ceramic coffee mug with a lid I saw at Target last week. Colt left for the day, and I decided to make breakfast and start my day over, again. For whatever reason the one speckle of last night’s supper that wasn’t washed off the burner, caused the smoke alarm to start blaring. I waved a burp rag at it for 30 seconds before I decided to just relocate to my bedroom and wait it out. We waited….dogs and Finn all staring at me expecting me to do something like I’m in charge. The whole time I’m wondering why the heck this thing is going off…when a week prior, my entire house almost burnt to the ground and it never made a peep. I’d put some sweet potatoes on to boil for baby food, then decided I should sit outside for the next hour. I started wondering which neighbor was barbecuing before it finally hit me that it was me. The potatoes were black, the pot was ruined, and my house was basically in flames. My smoke alarm was silent. But not today, my smoke alarm was very not silent. I finally decided to just take the stupid thing out of the ceiling mostly out of fear I was causing my child to go deaf. And there our day began.

All of that, and the only things that people wanted to warn me about was the fact that I would never wash my hair again, or sleep again, or have any sense of freedom. No one told me to unplug all the smoke alarms. Well I do wash my hair, with dry shampoo. I do not sleep, and I also do not care. I’ve simply adjusted. I don’t have the freedom to revolve around myself anymore, but I’ve found that there’s really not much freedom in that anyways.

So my take on motherhood: I’m the same dysfunctional woman I’ve always been, only happier, and with a super precious side-kick that laughs at me for no reason, gives the best slobbery kisses, and makes every day an adventure.