Momming Isn’t Easy

I’m one of those people, the ones who never wanted kids ever. Then I had one anyway. I fell in love immediately, and she is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced in life, hands down. However, this doesn’t change the type of person I am. I’m still selfish, slightly self absorbed, impatient, an overachiever and my mind is almost never ever in the moment. These things, I have grown to believe over time are what make me who I am. I find them as traits, as quirky little Gabi things, and refuse to see them as downsides to my character. Unfortunately, these things that make me an awesomely unique person are the same traits that make being a mom so incredibly hard.

I absolutely do not love my daughter less than any other mother out there. But I suck at some aspects of momming. I suck at keeping homework done, I am horrible reinforcing listening skills and following direction, mostly because I’m distracted myself a majority of the time. How do I teach a child to follow direction, pay attention and live in the moment, when I accidentally leave the car on when I’m shopping and put raw chicken into the pantry instead of the fridge?

How do I expect her to be the person I cannot be? It took seven years of marriage for my husband to even start understanding who I am, and to not take my inability to focus personally, to feel like I wasn’t disinterested in him. I sat down this morning, at my first parent-teacher conference, to discuss my amazing daughter’s struggles with first grade. This is her first year at a Montessori school, and she’s an only child, so I don’t expect perfection in any way. However, despite knowing my own attention deficit issues as well as the same sort of issues on her father’s side of the family, I found myself struggling to fully accept her teacher’s request that I get my daughter tested for ADHD.

I knew it. I’ve known it since she was two. I have. Really. But I hate medications. I hate forcing them on children who don’t have a choice, I hate suppressing certain aspects of her beautiful mind and I hate the idea  of interfering with her amazing personality. And I’ve tried everything from focus exercises to removing gluten and certain dyes from her diet to natural oils. And now I’m listening to a teacher explain all of the same issues I already deal with at home with her behavior and attention span. But for some reason, it’s so much harder now. Now that it’s coming from outside of my home, I finally need to address it. Because me hating pills shouldn’t be reason enough for me to allow my daughter or her education to suffer.

I’ll be updating her at home learning plan, attempting to do what I can to help, and I will fight with every bit of me for my daughter. But I’m really struggling with myself and with the fact other people see imperfections in her. She is so smart. So, so smart. But as a mom, I will need to do what is truly best for my child, no matter my personal opinions. Momming, is hard. Really hard sometimes.

 

By Definition, it’s an Aviary.

Hi there! I’ve made a decision. I run an aviary. It sounds dedicated, fancy, and by definition, I say it is undoubtedly true. When one Google’s  “aviary definition” the internet proudly displays a single sentence. And that sentence, says an aviary is “a large cage, building, or enclosure for keeping birds in.”

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And my home, it houses six birds. Now I know, crazy-bird lady, zoo, and “what the hell is wrong with that woman” seem like fitting titles to my current household situation. But instead, I’d like to give it a positive connotation. Something that implies love, care, dedication. And so… I’ve decided aviary will be my official term for my home.

Why? Because birds are the most amazing creatures I’ve ever encountered in my entire life. Not only are they smarter than a large number of people I know, but I’m also guaranteed to never be left confused by them. Birds aren’t passive aggressive. They don’t pretend nothing is wrong when they are obviously mad at me, they don’t give me fake emotional stories, and they sure as hell don’t start office drama. They love me, or they bite me. So moods aren’t too hard to figure out either. I like to think of my birds as my loving best friends/room mates. They are there for me, always. They give me shit but always make me laugh. They eat all my snacks but never wash the dishes. They go to bed early and wake me up early. But they are the light of my day, and my life. And if you’ve never experienced what bird ownership is like, you’re truly missing a beautiful thing.

Official “Assistant” Squirrel Rescuer

So, anyone who knows me knows I have a ridiculous passion for animals. Some might call it a problem. I like to think of it as a skill, a positive trait even. I’ve worked with everything from kittens to birds, to mice to dogs to ferrets, snakes, rats, goats, chickens, ducks,horses, chinchillas and even tarantulas. As of last weekend, I was able to add baby squirrels to my growing resume of animal experience. My “nieces” Eenie, Meenie and Miney came to stay with me for an entire week while their “mama” was on vacation! This week included the responsibility of feeding three baby squirrels through tiny syringes four times a day, as well as assisting with container comfort, clean up and play time. While 5am was painful at times, it is definitely one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with helping animals. I cannot wait to help more!

Baby squirrels are too cute. Fact. You can call them rodents, tree rats, whatever you like. But it won’t stop those tiny paws and big eyes from being the cutest damn things you’ve ever seen as they are sucking down formula. While they only have bottom teeth at this point, turns out you don’t need top teeth to bite. Juuuuust so you know, it can still hurt!

Claws. Turns out adorable, tiny, baby squirrels have adorable, tiny razors attached to their adorable, tiny paws. It’s all fun in games until they climb into your pajama shirt. Especially when one managed to find your nipple. Crying is OK when this happens. I will not judge!

Best of all, these babies wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for rescues and caring individuals. Because of their mama’s big heart, their over enthusiastic auntie and their future with a local squirrel rescue, these babies get a life they would have never seen otherwise.

 

The Light Within

I’m a skeptical person. A curious person. A naturally questioning person. And I spend a lot of time questioning life, the point of it, what may or may not be after. Sometimes its hard to justify the existence of a God, of a being that controls it all but somehow still allows tragedy and pain. But the things that happen every day, the things that hurt the most help me along the way. I lost a friend today. The world lost a friend today. Within the pain and the disbelief of the world losing such a beautiful person, a person who was too young to leave, I find hope.

We all have this light within us that is our soul. It’s there. For every single one of us. But some people, their light is brighter. Their light shines enough that it illuminates a path. A road for others to take, to aspire to follow. The warmth and comfort from these people is more than words alone can describe. And through the pain of loss, there is beauty. A reminder that there has to be something.

In a soul that shines so brightly, so beautifully and so fully in the world, I know, without a doubt… that such a beauty cannot die. That something must be there. It just has to. That there is no way in this vast universe that just an incredible being, existence, energy… could be lost. There has to be something else, somewhere. I cannot say what it is, that I believe in a magical place in the clouds with a spirit letting us all just hang out in a forever of togetherness. But that there is, has to be, something. Something beautiful and everlasting.

And I will miss you friend. With everything within me, I will. But through this, you continue to give me guidance, and hope in life, just as you always have, that there is something beautiful waiting for us all. Because a beautiful soul like yours, can do nothing but live on.

What?!?!?!

Okay. I m so very proud of my daughter, in every way. She has this uniqueness, this awesomeness in which she is VERY aware that she isn’t quite like the other kids. She owns it, loves it and uses it to her advantage. And I love it. But here’s the thing. Every kid goes through these very important milestones. Milestones that aren’t written in the “mom books”. Things like styling their own hair, using Barbie as a model to try on ALL of mommy’s expensive makeup, eating an entire box of donuts… You know… the usual. But my daughter…. my kid can’t just go through these milestones like every other kid. She’s gotta do it bigger. Better. More heart attack causing. Because what’s the fun in a small variance in daily life?

She really did it this time. She did.

I’m snug in my bed, comfy and sleeping fabulously (which says a lot because our AC hates us this summer). It’s somewhere around 1 in the morning, and in comes the shuffling feet of a sleepy but distraught six year old. It’s dark, but I can see her pulling at something near her ear. I think to myself, OKay! Here we go. We’ve got an ear ache or her earring is stuck. A little hair fixing or some Tylenol and crisis averted. Yeah. 

NO. 

Nuh uh. Nope. Not okay. Most kids just take the easy path when it comes to hair disasters. You know, complete removal of the bangs via self beautification, or falling asleep with a wad of gum in their mouths. But not my kid. Not mine……….

We walk down the hallway to the bathroom where I can turn on the light. And to my horror I am not greeted with cut off bangs or gummy hair. But I wish I was. What I was greeted with is far worse than anything I’ve ever encountered. My daughter’s head was COVERED, tangled with, about sixty dollars worth of…. BUNCHEMS. Yep stupid little infomercial toy that sticks together and makes cute creatures. That one. Her head is a giant rainbow knot. I just stare. I don’t know what to do. How does this even happen???

I could cut it, but then she’ll be bald. I could attempt to just grab a bunch and pull…. also would result in baldness. So what ended up happening here… was me sitting on the toilet lid at one fifteen in the morning. Pulling these stupid things out piece by piece, carefully trying not to yank my poor kid’s hair out, cursing a storm and swearing I’m going to throw every damn bunchem on the planet in the trash.  It took a good 30 min, and falling back to sleep was near impossible. I never thought I would wish my munchkin had just cut her own hair, but dear God this was excruciating!

A quick Google search told me I wasn’t alone here. I’m not one for reviews or product judgement, but DO NOT buy these for your kids, unless you prefer to keep them bald. Just don’t.

Worst Mom Ever

Did you know I’m the worst mom ever? I totally am! My six-year-old says so, so it’s got to be true. You see, its not the big things that matter. The trips to Disney, the karaoke machine, the stupid blow up pool, trips to the movies etc. Those mean nothing. It’s the important stuff, like wearing flip-flops to school even though the rules strictly say close backed shoes. The sneaking of small toys in her school bag, the joy of dessert every single night. Those things are what matters. But I’m not too worried. My daughter is going to be way better at being mom than I am. She told me. In fact I’m so impressed by her future motherhood plans that I decided to make a small list of all the things she is going to do so much better than me! So when she is a successful mom one day… I can show her just how long she’s been preparing for the success. And today, I’ll share a few with you!

“When I have kids they are gonna take whatever toys to school they want”.

Yeah. That’s right. I destroyed the entire meaning of her existence this morning and earned myself a full blown six-year-old fit over Shopkins. Because for some horrible selfish reason, I don’t want the hundreds of dollars that have gone into collecting these ridiculous little creatures going out my front door, down to summer camp and never being seen again. I know. Horrible.

“My kids won’t have a bed time”.

HA! All the wine in the world couldn’t take bed time out of my night plans. Good luck with that one kid.

 “My kids are never going to eat green beans”.

LOL. Okay. I literally gave her four. Four. FOUR green beans. . This is a little ridiculous now. Like, can I even argue this one?

“I won’t make my kids clean”. 

Then I am never, ever visiting her house. I have to fight this child to get a dish off the table and into the sink in the mornings. If she’s not cleaning, and they’re not cleaning, I’m not going. No thanks.

“I’m never going to watch Jeopardy and make my kids be quiet”

I remember when I thought Jeopardy was dumb. It’s literally my favorite time of the day. So if she wants to deprive her family of it, that’s her own loss.

See where this is going? Pretty much because I actually mom, I suck as a mom. Where is this fair? Am I missing a secret here to being great at life? Is every kid this frustrating? Is she like this because it’s pay back for me being the child I was? I don’t know. I honestly don’t care. I think I rock. So there.

What Just Happened???

So I forgot to explain to you why I’m here! I like to think it’s important and good to share feelings etc. You probably don’t care too much, but here you are reading it anyway. I’m a busy lady. And a giving lady. I’m so busy I forget how busy I am. In fact, just today I scheduled my daughter’s future swimming lesson at the exact same time I’m supposed to be taking an exam for one of my classes. But that’s not the point. Anyway.

I’m busy, and I spend my entire life getting up, getting my daughter ready for school, working all day, coming home, doing my homework, helping my daughter with her homework, helping my husband with his homework and then chugging a glass of wine while cleaning before I lose my shit. Rinse and repeat.

All of this stuff, this never ending list of just stuff that needs to be done at all times has really gotten to me lately. Especially during the fall and Spring. Because while I’m at home, in this never ending cycle, Tuesday and Thursday night and sometimes Saturday too, my husband gets to drop all of it. Gets to close the door with our crazy life behind it and go spend a few hours with his “guys” on the rugby field. He has a team, a family away from home and fun without responsibility.

Me? I have Doc McStuffins and something sticky on my pant leg. So with how busy I am and no magical break, I found myself feeling sad, out of it, unmotivated and honestly a little resentful. I worried about my lack of motivation and my inability to care. When the dishes hit about four feet of stacking on the kitchen counter, I knew something needed to change. So I found myself booking a doctors appointment.

So I find myself sitting on a table bed thing covered in giant crinkly paper, telling my doctor about how I never sleep, ever. But that I’m exhausted. All the time. After awhile of random questions and circling numbers 1 through 4 in dry erase marker on a little clipboard, my doctor tells me I should try some medication and try setting up a behavioral health appointment. So I do.

A few weeks later I’m sitting in this appointment, and I end up telling this random man (who looks slightly like a bobble head) all of the random things I just rambled to you about and how I’m tired and I kind of want to quit and I feel like it just isn’t fair. And for the first time in what seems like forever he says “What about you?” and I’m think, What about me? Here is where I get the world’s longest lecture, which was probably only about three minutes but felt like forever because someone lecturing me never ends in my head.

But anyway… here’s the point. I don’t… didn’t have anything that’s just mine. There’s no “rugby” for me. There’s no “playground” no real friends for hanging out… nothing that is mine and mine alone. And through a few weeks of Prozac, a lot of emotions, several glasses of wine and some internet research I found myself setting up a blog. So here I am. This is my blog.

This. Is. Mine.