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That Thing I Swore I’d Never Do

June 21, 2013

(Based on events from last week).

I’m staring at a pile of baby vomit. It taunts me, just like the last pile did. Come on, lady, come and get me. Just try to scrub me out of this carpet. Think you can soak these high chair straps long enough to get my smell out? Think again. I own you. Vomit is so sinister. It’s heckling me, I can feel it.

I start scraping and scrubbing. Note the intentional verb choice – I am literally scraping at my rug with carpet cleaner. I am scraping the straps of G’s high chair with Lysol wipes. I am running my arms back and forth until they start throbbing, and then my sick boy starts screaming from the spot where he’s playing in the living room. I guess my work with the throw-up will have to wait.

I find G, who is pitifully sitting amidst a pile of toys with snot dripping down his nose and his thumb in his mouth. He is sobbing and looking up at me with the most helpless, sick-boy eyes. I pick him up and he snuggles into my chest. Tears soak my shirt. Nose boogies go everywhere. His thumb goes back in his mouth. I can tell he would like to stay in this position for the rest of the day.

But I can still smell the vomit in the carpet. If I don’t get to it now, my house will smell like this forever. Forever. So I become a bad parents and put cleaning above the needs of my child and, after holding him for a few minutes, I put him back down with his toys on the floor. He screams. Okay, super. New plan: Pick him back up. Rub back, hold face. Soothe, calm. I put him back down. SCREAM. New plan #2: Attempt to distract. Wave new toys in his face, clang his balls together, show him books. SCREAM. He looks at me with a quivering lip and giant crocodile tears pooling on the floor. I am running on about 4 hours of sleep and start to cry too. Where is my live-in nanny when I need her? Where is my maid? Did my night nurse decide to take a vacation this week?

I decide it is time for the unthinkable. It is time to utilize my most ultimate form of parental back-up. It is the thing I swore I’d never do, never use, or allow myself to reach for at any point of desperation. But I don’t really care. I think I reached a point of no return. With throw-up wafting through the air and a baby that demands my arms for an entire 24-hour period, I think I’ve found my desperate.

I flick on the DVD player.

I turn the TV on.

Baby Einstein comes to life in my living room.

I wait with bated breath for my son’s reaction.

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P1000490He’s Baby Einstein mesmerized.

I am a mother without honor.

Today, I lose parental points for both allowing my son to watch TV, and also for the crazy get-up he’s wearing in these pictures (yes, I know, but did I mention I had to change his outfit in the middle of the night?). However, I think I gained points for no longer having the smell of vomit in my carpet and on my son’s high chair.

Can we consider it a day I came out even on the parental scoreboard?

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No Pinterest, No Party

June 15, 2013

I don’t know anything about Pinterest.

Correction, I don’t want to know anything about Pinterest. Or at least, any more than I already do.

I know you find pictures of wedding flowers and dream kitchens and Hallmark sayings and tack them up to an imaginary board. I know people can look at your boards (I think?) and maybe you can even have a group board about kittens you love or new shoes a whole group of girlfriends want to buy.

Here’s the only other thing I know about Pinterest, which is why I refuse to sign up for it:

It’s a place where women compete with each other.

Not even kidding with you. It is the mecca of woman against woman, my home is prettier than your home, I make a better made-from-scratch-handmade-handtossed-whatever-you-want-to-call-it soufflé cake thingy than you do.

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As a new mom, I’m still learning the ropes as to what makes me a better mother than you. I’m learning (slowly) the ways in which mothers compete with each other for honor and public glory. I am learning there is sacred ground only the fiercest competitors tread. Should you dare to aspire to such greatness, your Pinterest board better damn well be stocked with goodies – and they better be more original and require more hours of labor – than the Mommy pinning next to you. This is the ultimate Mommy Competition Event. Friends, we speak of it in only a whisper. This is The One Year Old’s Birthday Party.

At this point in the journey, this is what makes me or breaks me as a mother. That’s right, ladies. Wo-man your battle stations. Get our your glue guns, your paper cutters, and your most impressive Pinned recipes because, as I am learning, my generation of women go ALL OUT for the one year birthday party. All out.

This year, I received 3 mail-delivered perfectly fonted invitations to one-year-old birthday parties. THREE. These were not email invites or Facebook event groups, these were invitations. Like, fancier than my wedding invitations, invitations. The birthdays had themes – themes! – of which party goers were asked to be aware as they prepared to attend and gift shop. Each invite had multiple pictures of the sweet little one – from birth to year 1 – and all had some sort of a quote from the Bible or Dr. Seuss or Winnie the Pooh. Not that these are not honorable literary choices, but friends…

what the what?!?!

These are one year olds. One year olds. Since when does a one year old care about his or her own birthday party? Does a one-year-old care about the invitations we design and pay for on Shutterfly? Do one-year-olds care that his or her first birthday is covered in barnyard animals or Disney princesses or that you turned his bathtub into a pirate boat for other one-year-olds to finger paint in? Do you think your baby will even remember this event?

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If you answered no to any of those questions (as I have done), then you will join me in the only logical conclusion I can draw to the question of the One Year Birthday Party:

it’s about the mothers.

This is a Mommy thing. These are parent parties. These are Pinterest-inspired, female competitions where we pretend it’s all about the kids. We pretend to decorate and glitter and bedazzle to make it so special for our big 1-year-old boy or girl. Bologna. It’s about the mothers.

I’ve attended a few of these One Year Birthdays. There have been upwards of 30 people at all of them. 30 people! My baby doesn’t even know 6 people, well alone 30. One birthday I attended the baby was sick – that’s right, sick. And the poor thing was forced to be at this rented out room in his little party get-up outfit with boogies running down his nose and tears in his eyes because he felt so miserable. Think he cared about his One Year Birthday bash then? Think he noticed the costumes for the photo booth in the corner while he was trying to find a way to breathe through his congestion on Mom’s shoulder? Think he took notes of the new dress Mommy bought to accompany her fabulous new manicure for his ever-so-memorable event? No and no.

It’s not that I’m against birthday parties. I love birthday parties. Cake, ice cream, balloons, Jumpy Houses – yes, yes, and yes. I can’t wait to throw my son a birthday party when he’s old enough to remember it. I see a piñata on the tree, goodie bags for his friends to go home with, tons of outdoor games, and perhaps a water-balloon fight – this is my vision of his first real birthday party. I see him running around, laughing and talking and chasing his buddies with soccer balls or lightsabers. I’m not able to imagine myself out there, in some fab glam new dress, sipping Pinot and laughing with 30 of my closest friends. I don’t see a theme or a good quote or an Instagram-worthy homemade cake I just happened to whip up the night before.

I see lots of little people – my son’s people. I see boys playing. I see old fold-up card tables and my husband bent over a kickball base, trying to re-position it after a kid slid into it a little too hard. I see togetherness. I see my son smiling.

So ladies, help me hold on to that vision. Help me to not feel pressured to produce a One Year Birthday that will be the stuff of suburban Mom legends. Help me to scratch one thing off the list that I don’t have to compete with you about. Help me to not feel less-than without a Pinterest account and birthday invitations awaiting you in your mailboxes. Can we normalize the One Year, please? Can we just make it about the baby and not about us? Perhaps a few friends and family, perhaps some burgers on the grill, perhaps an adorable two-teeth little guy in his high chair with cake smashed all over his face?

That’s a party I can sign up for.

If it’s a Pinterest Party, well, I guess after this I won’t be invited.

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What I Wish You Knew About Teaching

June 7, 2013

“This class makes me want to die!” he yells as he slams the laptop screen shut. He stands up, knocks his chair to the floor, and walks out of my classroom. Rather, he storms out. Rather, he stomps out. Rather, he slams my door shut in his manner of leaving that is now becoming all too typical. Freak out. Yell. Throw around some expletives. Leave.

Super.

But you know what? Of course this class makes him want to die. Of course. It’s a remedial literacy period. It’s an entire class period wholly devoted to the particular area of school that makes him feel completely incompetent. It’s a class where time is spent on the thing he’s learned to hate the most, that requires all of his mental energy, and that seldom shows him the fruits of his labor. Re-learning how to read sucks. Re-learning how to write sucks. It’s like realizing that the relationship you’ve been in for  the past 14 years is actually no good. That relationship is actually on a one-way track to Nowheresville with no proposal or wedding bells or babies at the end. What do you do when all you’ve known is that 14 year standstill? What do you do if you let it go and have to start all over again? All. Over. Again. 14 year break ups are a bitch. Facing the teacher and the class that required you to have that involuntary break-up is an even greater bitch. So I get the whole wanting to die thing. I do.

I drive home. I think about my student. I run and re-run the next week of class in my head. I start to change readings. I start to change projects. I start to mentally redesign two week’s worth of material so that there’s an off-chance he won’t want to die when he walks into class. Will I have time to preview those articles on Ebsco? Would that author really respond to my emails? How do you set up Skype in South Africa? My brain is on overload and the wheels do not stop spinning.

I’m still reeling even after laying my son down to bed. I stay up way past my own bedtime and way too late into the evening, and I work and I toil to get some material together that will make my student not want to die. I upload and email and pin-save my documents to get everything ready for him for the next morning. Mind you, I’m doing this for just one out of five of my classes. Thankfully, no one wanted to die in the other four. Well, at least, no one told me.

I go to work the next day and anxiously await my literacy class. I explain our new project, our new readings, our new audience and purpose for writing. I sing and I dance and I do the whole dog-and-pony show just trying, desperately trying, to convince my students this is worthy of their interest and engagement. I say a silent prayer as my aforementioned student gets to work. He opens the computer. He begins tapping on the keys. He finds the article online and actually begins to read it. He’s reading it!

“UGH – I want to die!” he yells. Screen slam. Chair knock-over. Stomping. Storming. Slamming. Weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Oh. my. God.

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Is it possible to actually explode? To have my body actually separate into thousands of tiny particles like the kid in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Is it possible to actually melt from fatigue and demoralization – right here, right now? To drip like wax into the multi-colored carpet of my classroom floor? Because that’s what I feel like doing. The rest of my class of 25 students gives me quizzical looks. I smile and work my powers of diplomacy to get them to move on.

This, friends, is real teaching. This is real reality. I do not know what you imagine when you imagine teachers, but this is it. Here we are. A bunch of hard-working, passionate, bend-over-backward-for-any-individual kid, return-to-the-drawing-board-a-thousand-times kind of people. We get it right a lot of the time. We get it wrong a lot of the time. We face obstacles with our students that are often bigger than us. We uncover victories that are often too subtle for the untrained eye to see. We welcome kids through our doors in whatever shape they’re in, with whatever home life they’ve got, and whatever attitude they have about learning. We work for an unrelenting clientele.

That kid who sits in the back of our classes and says nothing all year – we work for him.

That girl who knocks every assignment out of the park and needs a challenge to reach her personal best – we work for her.

The 3 or 4 students who need proper coaching in constructive group work – we work for them.

The boy who is too distracted by Little Miss Short Shorts to pay attention to my discussion of “The Veldt” – I work for him.

My student who slams computers and leaves in a huff – yes, I work for him too.

I work for these kids. I work for their families. I work for their confidence and competence and risk-taking and set-backs. I work to finally get that girl into class on time. I work to see the kid who lost his dad crack a smile. I work to get the two all-American athletes to include the weird kid in an authentic, non-patronizing way. I work to get my students to love books. I work to get them to trust adults. I work to get them to understand, and respect, the boundaries. And I work to get them to develop a coherent thesis statement.

I go home thinking about 100 individual kids. I stay up at night replaying conversations, recreating documents, writing meaningful feedback on essays, and responding to homework questions over email. Could I do that differently tomorrow? Did she accept that feedback well? Did I stop to make him feel heard? Did I email that parent? For the love of God, do they know what a verb is yet?

It’s exhausting work. It’s thankless work. It’s all-consuming work.

It’s work that cannot be measured on any high-stakes test or government evaluation system. The day my student walks in my room and feels like he does not want to die will be the day I count myself successful. Until then, the warriors shall battle on.

For me, it’s Military Spouse Appreciation Day (Month)

May 27, 2013

Trauma is coming to our house. We are beginning to prepare for the end of days. I’m starting to store wine by the case loads. Food will be at a ration.  Okay, well, that’s a tad bit of a stretch, but for all intents and purposes it’s exactly what I feel I should be doing.

 

My husband is leaving me.

 

Leaving me.

 

He’s running off to the other side of the country under the guise of an internship – for an entire month – before G and I can join him at the beginning of July. Cue the pandemonium. Cue the tears. Cue the fatigue from being the only parent in my home. Cue the Xanax. Here is our plan for survival:

 

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Ordinarily, I’d be the glass-half-empty gal in the corner sulking about the miserable nature of having to single parent for a month. I’d be crying on your shoulder, sputtering about diapers and daycare and doctor’s visits and not-having-a-moment-to-myself-so-help-me-God while throwing back a limitless stream of gin and tonics. I’m really good at the self-pity stuff if I want to be. (Side note: who isn’t?).

But yesterday I came across this gem circulating the routes of social media:

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I know, I know. Actual Military Spouse Appreciation Day was weeks ago. Am I really this late on the appreciation train?

Well, yes, actually, I am. Because as I’ve been wallowing in my bouts of husbandless-for-a-month self-pity, this small yet powerful message made its way into my brain.

Military spouses…how do you do it?

How under God’s green earth and all the majestic Heavens do you do it? H.O.W.?

My husband will be gone a month. A month. He will have his cell phone, gChat, FaceTime, email, etc. He will be available for my neurotic phone calls whenever my mood strikes. I can bug him at work if need be. I can hear his voice and see his face when the days get really long. I can put my sweet boy’s face on the screen and let him talk to Daddy whenever we all feel lonely. Shoot, my husband can’t even hide out on the other side of the country for long – I do have a plane ticket to join him.

I’m looking at this eCard thingy and saying to myself…GET OVER  YOURSELF, L. GET FREAKING OVER YOURSELF.

There are spouses that are separated for years. For years. They have no communication, or if they do, it is sporadic at best. The days of being apart must feel endless. I can count down the days in a month, but how do you steel yourself up for a year? Or more? How does one handle not only the logistics of separation, but the emotional? When my husband leaves, I know where he’ll be. He’ll be sitting at some posh swanky desk in the downtown of Glorious City, sipping coffee and working his magic on the computer. Can I even imagine the strength of spirit it would require of me if I didn’t know where he was? If I didn’t know if he was safe? If I didn’t know if he got my letter or my email or the cute little video of G spitting out his peas?

Military spouses, I salute you. I absolutely, utterly, salute you.

There is no pity here. There is no sigh of condolence. There is no head cock to the side in sympathy.

There is just a simple nod of acknowledgement that I will never pretend to understand your lives. I will never pretend I know what it’s like. I will try to never complain when my spouse is within communication’s reach. I will try to remember your humble strength, resilient community, and willingness to choose hope on the days when I’d like to just throw in the towel. I will try to remember those from whom I need to learn.

All I can say is, carry on warriors. Carry on.

You fight the battles the world does not see.

We salute you today, and all the days to come.

Dear Mommies (Letters from my Son)

May 12, 2013

Dear Nanny,

I’m really happy when you come to visit me. I like your glasses and your smile. You take me to the park and push me in the swings and I think that’s really fun. I like reading books with you. I also like playing puppets with you. You do silly voices and it makes me laugh. Even though I don’t get to see you very often, I know that you’re my Nanny. I know your voice, and it is a voice of calm and love and gentleness. It is a voice that takes care of me.

I also like it when you send me toys and clothes in the mail. That makes me like you even more.

Love,

G

 

 

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Dear Nonni,

I like singing with you. Even when I was a little little baby with no teeth, I remember you singing to me and how I’d sing back. Do you remember when we sang at the kitchen table during my Thanksgiving visit? I do. I love how you are always so excited to see me and talk to me. You make me feel special inside. I like it that when you come over, you shove past Mommy and Daddy and go right to me. That is the way it should be. I like playing my piano toy with you, and also playing balls.

Also, you take really good care of me when I’m sick. I was really sick the last time you came to see me. You rocked me and sang songs to me and patted my head. I liked that. You are really good at being my Nonni. I am excited to be big enough one day to come swim in your swimming pool. Maybe you can even teach me piano and we can sing songs together. I would like that a lot, wouldn’t you? And thank you for praying for me. I like to pray too, and I think God listens to us both.

I love you.

Love,

G

5709_671061326245_1323323461_nDear Mommy,

It hasn’t even been a whole year yet that you’ve been my Mommy, but I think you are the best mommy for me. You are really good at changing diapers and picking out my clothes and making sure I always have the toys I like for rides in the car. You give good baths and make my oatmeal and prunes with just the right amount of prunes. I like playing toys with you and watching you do silly dances. You make me laugh, Mom. You are funny and nice and really pretty, I think.

But Mom, I know it’s sometimes hard to be my mom. I know it’s hard to be the one I always want to be with. I know it’s hard to not get a break, especially because I still wake up in the middle of the night a lot. I’m sorry. I know it takes a lot of energy to play with me, and lots of patience to teach me, and lots of deep breaths when I spit my food on you or keep throwing my toys on the floor. I know I can be tricky to figure out sometimes.

But you are the only mom for me. You are the only mom that could have ever fit me. When I was hanging out with God in Heaven, before He sent me down to you, He asked me to pick the type of Mommy I would want someday. God let me look at you and hear your voice and smell your hair and I knew, I knew before I knew anything else, that you were the Mommy I wanted to be mine. I knew we were the perfect fit, you and me. So I asked God for this very special favor if I could have you as my own, and He said yes.

I really like the feeling of your hair on my fingers. I like that when you pick me up out of my crib, you always kiss my cheek before you do anything else. I like that you put my head in the space between your shoulder and your neck and you let your face rest against me. I feel safe and loved that way. I like the way you smell and the way you sing songs to me. I like it when you make silly sounds and teach me how to play hide-and-seek with Dad’s baseball hat. I think it’s funny when you pretend to bite my piggy toes and how you dance around the kitchen shaking my maracas. I think you are smart and creative. Even though I spit out my peas when you make them, I think you are a good cook. The kitchen always smells good. You are a good reader, too. You do the best “chomp” sound when we read Chomp!.

So anyway, Mom, I just wanted you to know what I think of you. I wanted you to know I love you the most. Even though I can’t always say it right, I hope you know how happy I am that when I opened my eyes for the first time, it was your face I saw. I hope you know I will never forget the first time I reached out and felt your finger because it’s the same feeling I get when I hold onto you now – I am loved, I am safe, I am cared for. I am someone’s boy. I am someone’s son. I am someone’s beloved.

I love you, Mom. Happy first Mother’s Day.

Love,

G

My Mom is Still Better Than Me

May 6, 2013
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“Want me to pick up a bottle of wine on my way home?” she calls to ask before arriving at my house from the airport.

Is this a trick question?

“Mom, do you even  have to ask me that? Yes, bring booze.” I respond. Please God, bring the booze. My husband is out of town and I’m home alone with a 7-and-a-half-month-old who still does not sleep through the night. Please God, bring the booze.

The next time I hear her voice it is as she walks through my front door, practically crying as she drops her luggage and throws her arms out to hold my baby boy – my baby boy who she’s not seen since Christmas. We are all mush and gush in the middle of my kitchen.

We separate from our love fest and she hands me the brown bag from the liquor store. She’s brought not only one, but two bottles of wine. Two.

Ah. My angel has come.

Everyone always says we become our mothers. Well let’s just say after this weekend, I’d gladly welcome that day at any point. By all means, let me become my mother. Please Lord, let me become my mother.

I come home from work after the first day she’s here. I can actually see the floor in the living room. The baby toys are put away, the rug – by some miracle of God – has been vacuumed, and there is no longer dust on any of my bookshelves. I assume my baby was a golden perfect angel that day in order for my mother to accomplish such feats. When I ask her she says, “oh he was not happy with me. Refused a bottle and barely napped.” Barely napped? And you dusted? “But you know,” she says, “I just worked around him.”

The next day I come home from work and my mother announces she’s vacuumed inside the hood above my stove. Inside the hood. INSIDE. I didn’t even know you could, or should, vacuum that. She also happily reports that she was able to “just put G in his crib awake. He sucked his thumb and off he went to sleep.” Excuse me? Excuse me. Oh, you accomplished that, did you? That thing I’ve been trying to teach my baby to do for months? That skill I’ve attempted to teach him by evenings spent sobbing uncontrollably in his crib, refusing to let him nurse, and otherwise torturing us all? You got him to do that?

The woman is magic I tell you, pure magic.

My laundry gets done. All the clothes my son has outgrown are lovingly placed in boxes, labeled with my mom’s precise penmanship, and carried to the basement. My bed is made. G’s toys have new bins and boxes. There is farm-fresh ice cream in my freezer. And my son is somehow bathed, clothed, and loved on. How does my mom do it?

There’s got to be something to mothers, right? They have this way about them that instantly calms, soothes, and assures that all will be right in the world. They have this limitless power. This just-watch-me-get-it-all-done power. They give and they give and they do it all without fuss or notice or (sadly) thanks.

If I turn into my mother some day, I will consider that the highest of accomplishments. If I can set my son’s world spinning right, the way my mom does for me, then I’ll know I’ve done my job.

I’d gladly turn into my mother. I mean, the woman can raise my child better than me and fix my entire household while still remembering to bring the wine? Yes. Yes, I think I’m okay with becoming that.

Thanks, Mom. You’re a hero.

We Good Christian Mothers

April 21, 2013
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“Oh my goodness gracious, you write a blog?!” A long forgotten acquaintance from college smiles at me in line at the grocery store. She holds a Starbucks cup in one hand, her red manicured nails wrapped around the cup. Her nails glare at me while we make meaningless chatter. “I have a blog too! Isn’t it fun?” she beams. I try really hard to match her enthusiasm. I can’t do it. I think I’m just staring at her. Awkward.

Of course she has a blog.

I force myself to ask her about her writing. You know, it’s just a place for me to share my thoughts. I force myself to ask her about her baby. Isn’t motherhood just the most incredible Godly calling? I force myself to listen with interest as she shares her thoughts on childbirth. Did you have a midwife? We labored at home and delivered with a midwife – it was incredible. I smile while she talks about the all-natural-homeopathic-homeo-everything-save-your-baby-and-the-rainforest-too cleaning products she uses. It’s really just about the best for your baby, right? I ask her questions about her homemade baby food. We have the best farm fresh produce around here, don’t you think? I try not to laugh as she tells me about the joys of cloth diapering. It was hard at first, but I’m so glad we stuck with it. Our conversation carries into the parking lot where we finally steer our shopping carts in different directions. We load up our cars and close the doors. Finally. Thank God.

Of course she has a blog.

I’m secretly pissed that she has a blog. It seems all good Christian mommies have blogs right now. And all of their blogs sound the same. The. Exact. Same.

I’m stewing as I drive home. Nothing this acquaintance told me is bad. In fact, it’s all really good. She sounds like she’s doing a good job and enjoying being a mother.  She sounds really happy. She sounds conscientious about her parenting choices. Good for her.

But she also sounds like a stereotype. A stereotype that I dread becoming, that I dread Christian women becoming. Everywhere I turn I feel like I see the same women – the other half of the evangelical power couple – and I can’t help but wonder if this is the standard for Christian motherhood. Make your baby food, do the Bradley method, cloth diaper, and write about it all in a blog with nice Christian words and nice Christian encouragement. Forget about sharing the real challenges. Forget about discussing the balance of work and motherhood, of sex and a baby that doesn’t sleep through the night, of finances, of the resentment women can secretly harbor toward our spouses, of getting to church when it’s our baby’s nap time, of actually seeing our friends, etc. etc. etc. Can we talk about that? Can someone pray for me over that? For the love of all things, can we ditch our MOPS meetings, go down to a local bar, and throw back a few beers while laughing over all this wonderful chaos?

I have a blog. I am a Christian. I am a mom. But I don’t think I fit into this blogging-Christian-Mommy stereotype.

I try to make my own baby food. I try really hard. I steam and I bake and I puree all weekend – only to put the spoon of green beans or sweet potatoes or oven-baked-oven-broiled-oven-mushed-Mommy-labored-on-this-for-hours-so-stinking-eat-it food in my son’s mouth, and watch him spit it right out. I freeze it, thaw it out a week later, and try again. He spits it all right out. He grimaces as the spoon comes near. He throws a lock-jawed hunger strike every time he even smells a trace of squash. He decided he loved sweet potatoes, only to violently throw them up two hours later. So yes, good Christian mommy, I’ve made my own baby food. Let me know your tips on how to get your baby to eat it.

I want to confess I haven’t stepped my foot through the door of our church since our son was born. True story. Not even joking you. I can’t figure out how to do it. When G was a newborn I was living in such a fog storm that I didn’t even think about going. Then he got older. Then came the not sleeping through the night. Then came the we’ll-take-sleep-whenever-he-offers-it syndrome, which meant sleeping during the day any time he/we could. We eventually found a little nap rhythm. A precious, sacred (albeit delicate) little nap rhythm. And you want to know when the naps actually occur? Right smack in the middle of Sunday morning church hour. 8-10:30am. Such a blissful time. The church bells ring in our honor. I wish I could get there to hear them live, I really do. But my baby is sleeping. Finally stinking sleeping. We opt to stay home.

I was the only mother who failed to bring in Valentine’s cards at daycare. THE ONLY MOTHER. Everyone else brought cards and lollipops and Cheerios for the other 4 month olds, but I didn’t. I figured babies didn’t do Valentine’s because they’re babies. They’re babies. But somehow I failed to show the love that day because my son had a completely stuffed bag and I had neglected to return the kindness. Christian. Mommy. FAIL.

I work full time. I mother full time. I sing praise songs with my 7-month-old while he gets dressed in the morning. His daddy and I put our hands over his head every night and pray together before bed. As much as I can, I talk to my son about Jesus and faith and loving other people more than you love yourself. And I try to make time to write about it on my Mommy-blog.

Friends, parenting is hard. Raising up a child in the Godly ways he should go is even harder. Let’s talk about that. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Let’s dispel the stereotypes that surround Christian women because, let me be frank, I think we have more to offer than that. I think we can do better.

I would be remiss to not mention some women who already do this. They are good, honest teachers, and women I respect. Please visit their words:

Three Crazy Munchkins

Momastery

MODG