On Rising to the Occasion #unstoppablemoms

I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

When I became a mother, I had no idea what I was doing. I think a lot of us can say this, right? Despite the fact that I had long hoped to become one, despite the fact that I had a wonderful mom and sisters-in-law to model motherhood for me, when it came down to it, I was clueless as to what I was in for. Luckily, with Joshua, I had a pretty easy baby. And even the tough times with him were pretty easy to get through. Parenting for me became a real challenge when he got old enough to discipline. When you had to tell that sweet baby “no” to keep him safe and teach him to respect others. But again, he was a fairly easy and compliant child.

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Me with baby Joshua, just a few days old. And oh yeah, I had a cat.

And then I had this one:

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Don’t be deceived: There was a time when I thought she might actually have horns under all that hair.

And my world was rocked. It was only after I went from one kid to two, from a laid-back kid to a difficult one, that I struggled as a mom. Sophie didn’t sleep for squat and neither did I. She nursed CONSTANTLY and I can remember being zombie-tired, nursing Sophie while trying to get Joshua on and off the potty, or get his lunch, or build a train track – all with a baby on my boob and running on a couple hours sleep.

But I did it. Because I’m a mom. And I think you don’t know what you’re capable of as a mom until you’re in the thick of it. But as hard as it was, time after time, I managed to rise to the occasion. Because that’s what moms do – we are equipped, I believe, to rise to that tired, messy, sometimes scary occasion over and over and over again. Because we know somehow that it is going to be worth it. We know that we can do it even when it feels like we can’t. And we do.

Now even though I think we as moms are totally equipped to rise to the occasion, we are still human. No one is more human than I, and thankfully when I REALLY needed help, I had family and friends who jumped in to make sure I wouldn’t lose my mind during those difficult weeks. I hope and pray you all had that, too!

When I was pregnant with Sophie, about 3 months before she was born and turned motherhood on it’s head for me, I met my best friend Luanne.

Jenny Lulee

I know that the Lord brought her into my life at this time for a reason. Just when mom life was about to get really hard for me, he gave me Luanne as an example of a truly Unstoppable Mom – one who faced all kinds of challenges and handled every single one with God’s help and who was always there for her kids no matter what the circumstances. Ever since I met her, she has been there to show me as one who has “been there, done that” (and a whole lot more) that I could do it, that I would do it, that I was the best person to be my kids’ mom. And she still provides me with this encouragement all the time.

Luanne was a single mom to two girls for a long time, working hard full time and taking great care of them, being and providing everything for them day in and day out through plenty of  heartache and adversity. She has mothered her girls through situations that are unfathomable to me. And done a hell of a job. And then she became a stepmom also, and homeschooled three children while dealing with some serious health challenges brought on by lupus, polymyositis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The fact is: Lulee (as I like to call her) has spent just about every moment of every day of the last 15 years in a lot of pain. Like, a lot. And 99% of you who have met her would never know it. I am a total wimp and I am quite sure I can’t grasp how much pain she has to slog through every day. And yet she has just worked through it. Mothered through it. Homeschooled through it. And now that her kids are grown, she works full time again through it and she Grandmas through it. She is truly, truly, unstoppable. I have never met a stronger or more determined mom. If you know Luanne, you know that God put her on this earth to be a mom. And luckily, to show younger (I had to, Lulee) moms like me  how we can rise to the occasion with the Lord’s help and do what he has equipped us to do -be unstoppable! She was a great encouragement to me through all my struggles with Sophie’s developmental delays, when I was very, very scared and it was very, very hard, I had a great example to look to in Luanne as someone who had walked through scary and hard things with her kids. And she encouraged me and prayed me through it. I honestly every day of my life don’t know what I’d do without her.

The Makers of Children’s MOTRIN® gave me this opportunity to write about my BFF Lulee, the most unstoppable mom I know, because they want to celebrate moms and what makes ALL of us unstoppable!  So they, and I have two questions for you.

What makes you unstoppable as a mom? Who is an unstoppable mom in your life?

The makers of Children’s MOTRIN® would love for you to share your unstoppable tips over on the Motrin Facebook page. Because one of the best ways we can help each other be unstoppable is to share what works for us! And what’s awesome about that? For every tip shared, they will make a $1 donation made to Safe Kids. Your tip might also win you $100 just for posting (all details on the Motrin Facebook page)

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES & D.C., 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Promotion ends 11:59p.m. ET 12/28/14.  Sponsor will donate $1 for each approved Submission made as part of the promotion, with a minimum donation of $30,000 and a maximum donation of $50,000.  For Official Rules, and complete details, visit www.unstoppablemoms.com. Sponsor: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc.  To learn more about Safe Kids Worldwide visit safekids.org

Go give the unstoppable moms who have  inspired you a big shout-out today, and share your tips to help other moms, too!

Who’s the Unstoppable Mom in your life?? I’d love to hear all about her!

 

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Working Mom Guilt, Episode 1

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I’ve been settling into my new job pretty well the past few weeks, and I thought I kind of had things under control: work, housework, blogging, parenting, speech therapy, big kid homework, church…I mean it hasn’t been quite as hard as I thought it would be, not that it’s been a walk in the park or anything…

I kind of thought the kids were adjusting well, too.  I mean honestly, except for Jonah’s displeasure at having to get up at the butt crack of dawn for preschool every morning, things have seemed pretty much normal.

Until.

Friday last week my parents stopped by for a few minutes, and we were discussing plans for them to watch Jonah in the morning while the big kids and I attended the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome. Then my mom said, “Is it ok if I take Sophie to the library after you get home? She told me she was tired of her books but that her Mommy has a new job so she doesn’t have time to take her to the library.”

My jaw about hit the floor. I felt the knife pierce the outer part of my heart ever so swiftly. Ouch.

But then, honestly, I laughed. My mom’s revelation was truly a funny moment, but I was also shocked.

Had Sophie asked me to take her to the library? I thought about it for a moment, then concluded that she had. A couple times. Dangit!

My mom and I had a good chuckle as she reminded me how I used to be very forlorn the one or two times a year when she had to travel for work. And I particularly remember being peeved that her job prevented her from taking me to 5th grade skating party once upon a time. (Note: my kids have never attended a school skating party, because before I had a job, they had a little brother and there was no way in the hell that IS Skateworld that I was going to take them if I had to bring baby brother along. But I digress.)

In the end, Grandma saved the day and took my poor neglected child to the library (and Dairy Queen) and I survived my first episode of working mom guilt. I am sure it will not be the last. Hopefully none of these episodes is lethal (to me or to them. Heh.)

I think the moral of the story is, when your mom gets a job, it’s a great tool for grandparental extortion.  Just act sad about all the time she spends working (while you’re at school) and Grandma will be putty in your hands. Live and learn, kids!

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School Daze

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I’ve made no secret around here about the fact that I love it when my kids are in school. We all just function more happily when we are on a school schedule. This is especially true now that I have a job. I have no idea how we are going to survive next summer with me working. Yee-ikes. I need to find a pool we can join that has outdoor wi-fi. (Ideas, anyone local?)

Anyway! Jonah is going to the same preschool he did last year, in the same program where he will also get speech and has an IEP and all that. He has the same teachers (who were also Sophie’s teachers) and we LOVE them and the program.

But. This year there is a “but”.

This year his school, which is a PreK-6 public elementary, changed their hours to 7:30-2. So his preschool class is 7:30-10:15 a.m.

And it is brutal for us in the morning.

Jonah’s not a particularly late sleeper, but he is NEVER awake when I go to pry him out of bed at 6:40 or so. He cries and does not want to get up, and I can’t blame him. I feel the same way, but I am a grown up so I have to suck it up and get up early. Also, we have to be out the door by 7:15 which means Bobby and the big kids can NOT be running late, because they have to get out of our way in the driveway. So we all leave basically at the same time and it’s pretty chaotic. With me working, I don’t want to waste his at-school time on my shower/makeup, so I have been showering at night and slapping on as much makeup as I can before we get out the door so I can work really hard for the 2.5 hours between when I drop him and when I have to leave the house to pick him up.

I really, really, really miss last year’s 9:10-11:55 time slot! I could put him in afternoon preschool but that would totally screw up my babysitting/work schedule, so it has to be morning.

So we are all going to have to suck it up. But I sure miss my cheerful morning boy. Every morning is a trial. I am actually relieved on Friday when he doesn’t go to school, because at least that is a morning off from stress (it’s also a morning off from getting any work done, of course.)

So yeah. That’s what’s happening. It’s worth it for him to have his beloved teachers, it really is. But I can only hope as the weeks go by he gets well-adjusted. He certainly is not there yet. I am sure it will happen JUST in time for Thanksgiving break. :)

How’s your school year going so far?

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