Our children aren't always as strong as we think.

(originally posted October 29, 2009)

I had an interesting 'first' as a working mother last night. We pitched to a potential client who could only meet afterhours, and it was crazy from the moment I agreed to it.

My children's daycare is not in the town I work in. And it closes at 6. And my husband's work vehicle only holds two people. And it was the same night as my step-daughter's last volleyball game. Are you understanding my issue yet?!

Anyway, I stressed and stressed about finding a sitter or striking a deal with my husband. We argued, yelled, came to a compromise and started the whole process over two more times before the presentation even came up. Running out of options, I enlisted my brother-in-law to watch my children during his play practice on his University's campus. I know, I know, I already sound like a terrible mother. (I should also mention this is after I looked into daycares that allow you to drop off your kids for an hour here and there without a long-term commitment)

I raced out of work at 4:15 and was back here with kids and Mc D's at five. They ate. I watched and cheered them on to be finished by 5:30 so we could meet their uncle.

Lugged them both down the street with toys, books, snacks... and away I went.

By 5:45 I was at the presentation. Another thirty minutes later we were doing our thing.

I checked the clock when I hopped back in my car. 6:57. Damn...fifteen minutes later than I promised I'd be back by. Here comes another pang of guilt.

I race across town and see my kids with their uncle. Sissy's crying (sobbing actually) and Bubs is running back and forth a little ledge in the dark. Another pang of guilt.

As I run across the street, apologies to my kids and my brother-in-law are racing through my head. And I manage to get a few out before I realized that my daughter is completely distraught. She's sucking in like she's been crying for an hour. Her little cheeks are sticky and wet and red. Again with the guilt.

I don't really remember the ride home other than I just craved a hug and wanted to tell them over and over again how sorry I am. This morning, they were back to normal and I'm the one who's still suffering.

My kids are troopers but I was reminded of how vulnerable they are, and even more of how much we all need each other.

Everyone defines growing up differently.

(Originally posted October 12, 2009)

Last night I was rocking my daughter to sleep, silently praying that her cough wouldn't keep her up all night. My son sat next to us, still flipping through the book we just read together. I found myself looking from her to him and back again, and told Caden that he used to be this small. At one time, he was a baby just like his 12-month old sister.

And while I sat sulking, he propped his head up on one hand, much like The Thinker, and said very seriously, "Yeah but now that I'm big I can play football and baseball and soccer ball...and volleyball. Okay volleyball's for girls, but..."

After his giggling subsided, I first explained that boys can play volleyball. And then I found it within myself to tell him that I'm excited for him to play all of those things and to learn all the cool stuff he has to learn. And I honestly am. I just wish he'd stay young and innocent a little longer. I can feel the days being numbered.

On the bright side, at least he's dreaming of playing sports and not of girls....yet.

Time doesn't always repeat itself.

(originally posted October 9, 2009)

I receive emails from a fabulous parenting site: modernmom.com, and there is always a featured blog attached to the emails. And I have to say, each one is inspiring in it's own rite. However, today's was exceptional great. The blog was about making time for our kids and never using the phrase 'not now son.' The blogger was dead on and in one of the many comments following his post, someone said, "You can never give back the gift of time."

I've gotta admit that sentenced stopped me in my tracks. There have been nights when Caden's brought me a book immediately after I've put his little sister to bed and I've elected to ask him to just let me hold him for ahwile instead. Now I realize that it would have taken the same amount of energy to read to him. And it would have been good for both of us. Those are the moments where I've failed miserably in my quest to balance work and motherhood. I let him down because I was drained from my job and the first two hours of cooking, cleaning and playing at home.

So today's lesson is really something I need to give my children and not the other way around.

Life's a race.

(originally posted October 5, 2009)


My daughter turned one this week, and I find myself picking up on all the other nearly one-year-olds who are walking. What's worse is that I also find myself feeling somehow disappointed that my child isn't 'mature enough' to be walking yet. Ask any proud parent and they'll boast how smart and how mature their baby is. I can't even count how many times I've heard it.

And because of it, I've always tried to stop myself from telling others or even my children sometimes how smart they are. It's not really about that. It's about our children achieving some level of success. They're learning and we should celebrate their accomplishments, not how much smarter or faster they are.

I also realized that the problem isn't that Cali can't walk; it's that she chooses not to. She's more interested in following her big brother all over. And she can just about keep up when she's on all fours. So I've decided to embrace the fact that my children love to play together and are more at peace when they're together than apart. Cali will walk when she's ready...and she'll probably just wait until she knows she can run.

Their level of awareness is amazing.

(originally posted September 30, 2009)

A week or so ago, we took a family bike ride. Nothing unusual as we take as many as we can these days considering the warm weather is slowing ending. And as usual, Corey's on his bike (alone) and I'm pulling one of those cart things that I swore I'd never buy and now I haul that thing everywhere.

We made a mandatory stop at the park so our son could go down the Tornado slide a few times. Cali stayed put tonight as we were running out of sunlight and only had time for two trips down the slide. As Caden comes running up to get back into the cart with his sister, he stops and looks at me, a quizzical look on his face: "Mom, are we going to have another baby?"

Needless to say I was speechless and my husband just kind of stood there as though he was wondering the same thing. After what seemed like an eternity, I just smiled and said "We'll see." I knew that Caden understands where Cali came from...as in the fact that she used to be in my belly. And he's starting to understand that he used to be a baby. But never in a million years did I expect him to ask if he'd have yet another brother or sister to play with. And quite honestly, I hadn't thought about it as much as I have been since.

Is it better to not have any more children so that I feel like I still have some private time with Caden, or would he be better off with another sibling that he can love and protect like he does with Cali?