Rush, Rinse, Repeat…

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Busy busy busy busy busy busy days..

These days are days of constant movement, never stopping, always moving to the next thing and the next and the next. I’m tired.

My mornings begin with making sure two 14 year old girls get ready and leave the house by 6:30 to catch their bus. Then it’s on to waking the 13 year old man child and making sure he gets up and brushes his fuzzy teeth, eats and has a lunch with him.  He leaves at 7:10 to catch his bus.  Then it’s on to the two 8 year olds and the sour patch toddler.  The 8 year old are ready for the day as soon as they rise! It’s questions and “let me show you this” or “Mama, yesterday my friend and I were designing a video game and it goes like this….” The toddler is just the worst.  He cries and whines the whole time.  We all work wicked hard to get him to just be content.  But of course he only wants mama to make his waffle and he only wants mama to turn on the t.v. and he only wants mama to give him his blanket…. ARRGG!!!  I have to get the sour patch kid happy and get him dressed and bags packed for daycare.  All while telling the 8 year olds “Did you brush your teeth?? Go brush your teeth! I mean now!”, “Get your shoes on”…. “Get your shoes on!” “Do you have your backpack?” “Where’s your homework? Put it in your bag!” “GET YOUR SHOES ON!!” I rarely get time to actually drink my cup of coffee or make my own breakfast.  I can barely remember to brush my own teeth some days! Then it’s to the bus stop at 7:50.  The 8 year olds get on the bus by 8:05 and then it’s off to daycare with the sour patch kid. Some days he enters the daycare like a civilized human child. Other days he enters like a horrible demon possessed beast.  It’s loud screaming and lots of tears and daycare workers prying him off me.  It’s painful on so many levels. Not only do I want to run and hide from him as fast as my chicken legs will carry me, but the crushing weight of guilt that comes from being relieved to have a break from this child that I love so dearly hurts a whole lot too.

After getting all these little blessings off to their schools for the day, I rush right to work. I like work, but it’s work. After the morning I’ve had I wish for my bed and a good book to just sit and be still with. Instead it’s emails, and phone calls with vendors, some who are amazing, others who are… not so amazing. I stay there till 5pm and then it’s time to get two of the children from their daycare/afterschool programs and rush home. It’s dinner time and chore time and homework time and time to hear how everyones day went.  There are 6 of them.  I am outnumbered and don’t have enough ears to hear all of their stories, but I do my damndest.  We eat dinner at the table together and then it’s clean up and bed time.  And time to start thinking about doing it all over again the next day. But first I go to the gym for at least an hour.  I do this about 4 times a week because it’s something that I love and gives me life. And then it’s home and bed.  As soon as I hit that bed you would think I would fall fast asleep, but that is not the case.  It’s when I make my list of things to do for the next day.  It’s when I get to sit in quite. I edit pictures that I’ve taken that day.  I post a lot on Instagram between 11pm-12am.  

I can’t really describe how tired I am on a daily basis.  I feel the tiredness in my bones some days. I feel the hopelessness in my bones too.  The hopelessness that it’s never going to get better and that this is all there is to life. Running, rushing, rushing, rinse, and repeat.  It’s overwhelming.  We don’t even do sports here in this house. It’s just regular life that keeps us on the go.  

I have 6 kids that I am charged with keeping alive.  Some days I don’t know if one or two of them will make it past 10 years old. Somehow they make it to the next day and the next day and the next.  Somehow they still like me, even when I have to be the crazy mother who yells because “NOBODY LISTENS TO ME!! DO YOUR CHORES!  WHY DON’T YOU HELP ME! I CAN’T KEEP UP WITH ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!”  Those aren’t my most favorite moments to replay at night when trying to sleep.  Ugh. 

I love them.  I love them all so much and when I think about not having to be so tired and do all of the things I do for them, it makes me so excited for the future!!  HA! You thought I was gonna say I would miss it didn’t you???  Well I might miss it when I’m old and gray and ready to die, but right now I just want a little relief.  A vacation away from m ALL of the THINGS!! And I’m not gonna feel guilt over that. I’m super excited that my kids are getting older and can do things for themselves! One of the 8 year olds taught the other 8 year old how to make eggs. People!!! That means I don’t have to make eggs on a Saturday morning anymore!!! HALLELUJAH!!!! JESUS THANK YOU!! I have two 14 year olds who can change poopie diapers and you bet your bottom that I pay them 2 dollars per gross diaper they change! The 13 year old man child can change a diaper too, but just the wet ones. He also takes out the trash anytime I ask him to.  They no longer need me to wake up with them and they no longer need me to cook every single meal for them or get them dressed.  They are self sufficient tiny humans.  I enjoy them and I love them more than I ever thought possible, but I’m not gonna lie and tell you I aint looking forward to going on a cruise with other adults, or traveling somewhere all by myself, and not having to worry about packing snacks or extra clothes for anybody but me.  

I am in survival mode these days, but I’m still having fun along the way.  The older my kids get the better the jokes get.  They get sarcasm and it’s so much fun to be able to tease them and for them to tease me back. And the shows and movies we watch are so much better these days. I love that they can handle hard things like mama going to work for the first time ever and taking on more chores to help me out.  I love the crap out of every season they go in, but somedays I’m tired and hope for the next season to come real quick. 

Self Discovery isn’t as pretty as I thought it’d be

Goodness!  Do you ever feel like an amazing rockstar who’s nailing this whole “I’m a powerful woman who is living her best life and I don’t care what anyone thinks, I’m gonna be me” and then BAM! You get knocked off your high horse so hard that you feel it reverb in your teeth?  No? Not you?  Oh ok, you can stop reading now then because you are basically perfect and we should all bow down to you.  The rest of you, and please for the love of everything holy, tell me there are “the rest of you” you can keep reading:)

I’ve recently decided to take time for myself and to figure out how I can be the best me possible.  I’ve been writing more and singing at scary little open mic nights, because these are the things that give me life and bring me joy.  It’s been AMAZING!  I was on my journey to be this empowered woman who didn’t need anyone’s approval.  And then I realized that I may not need the approval, but I sure do want it.  I fight these feelings a whole lot but they are so engrained in me.  I wrote a blog post recently, and I felt like it was my best one yet.  Someone very important in my life has already decided they won’t read my blogs, so I don’t even ask if they got around to it.  And when I did my first Open Mic Night I made the decision not to ask them if they watched it, because I knew they wouldn’t, and I was totally at peace with that. But that nagging little voice that tells me I need their approval and praise wouldn’t go away.  So when they mentioned they saw that I did an open mic night, the first words out of my mouth were an excited “Did you watch it!?” That excitement quickly turned to mortification, regret, shame, and hurt.  I knew not to ask that question, but that part of me that craves approval from this specific person, isn’t as dead as I thought it was.

A few days ago I told a friend that I was just an insecure person by nature and there wasn’t really much I could do to help it.  That insecurity is just engrained in my being.  This friend, who so easily looks straight thru all the walls and facades that I put on as my armor, looked at me and said, “You are using your insecurities as an excuse to never try and to allow yourself to always fail.”  If you are wondering if I kept my composure, that would be a NEGATIVO! I straight  up ugly cried my eyes out.  I really wish I was a pretty crier but I’m not.  I get all snotty and my face scrunches up in these weird not so flattering poses.  It’s not pretty.  Good thing I wasn’t in public to make these beautiful faces for everyone to see.

I never really thought of me being an insecure person that way.  I knew where my insecurities came from.  A broken home, with a dad who left me at the age of 8 and lots of other things that weren’t made to foster a well adjusted and healthy self esteem in a young woman.  But when this friend said that I was using it as an excuse to never try and to never succeed, that hit me right in the gut.  I am still allowing the things in my past power over my present.  I am allowing myself to give up before I start because I’m still that terrified little girl, hiding in a corner with her brothers, while ugly things happened on the other side of our bedroom door.

ENOUGH! I have had enough of this mentality.  I have had enough of living in fear of the things that seem too big for me to ever accomplish.  I’m so sick of being so scared to do the things that excite me and make me want to be something more.  I am MORE.  I am more than a scared little girl.  I am STRONG, I am SMART, I am CAPABLE and I CAN DO BIG THINGS.  My brother told me, “We have to stop being afraid to try.  Fear of failure shouldn’t stop us from trying.”  He’s right.  He recently invested in a business and it didn’t workout, but at least he tried.  He said “So what, I have a little debt because of it, at least I know I have the strength to try and to dream.” He is my hero for that.

I feel like Hollywood paints this very pretty picture of self discovery for us to look at.  That we are going to end up learning all these amazing things about ourselves by riding a motorcycle across the country and meeting someone who pushes us out of our comfort zone and makes us dance on a table in a crowded bar, or skinny dip in a lake.  And through all these fun adventures we learn who we are as a person.  But they rarely show us all of the ugly parts of self discovery.  The tears when you realize you aren’t as whole as you thought you were.  The agony when you discover the things you have worked towards your entire life are not in fact the things that make you happy.  And when you discover that you are actually too scared to ever dream, it kind of breaks you.  I have been discovering all these things about myself.  It’s been a tough road.  A very humbling and scary road.  But I’ve also discovered that I’m worth the work.  I’m worth this painful and character building road to a better me.  The reason I write these words and put them out on here for whoever to see, is because, 1. It’s very therapeutic for me to write my thoughts down, and 2. I never want anyone to feel like they are alone.  It’s hard to admit these weaknesses to people but if I can encourage just one person by letting them see my struggles, then I feel like I’ve done what God has called me to do.

Summer Time

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It’s almost that time! It’s almost time for SUMMER VACATION!! And it’s almost time when I don’t feel like an absolute loser of a mom because I can’t get my crap together to help these kids with ALL of their school needs!  I mean, come on! Is it not enough that I make sure they bathe and don’t smell like funk when they come to you, you actually expect me to be involved and meet deadlines?  UGH!!!  I don’t have time for deadlines.  I don’t have time to hunt down that stupid blanket to take a picture of it because you need a picture of my 7 year olds “most treasured thing”  It must not be that treasured if I CAN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE!!!  God in heaven! Don’t get me started on the blasted Heritage projects.  I dread them every year!  I’m a mix of half Mexican and half Irish, but I’m not enough of either to know things like “Traditional Mexican Dress” are you kidding me? The only “real Mexicans” I know wear very tight, colorful clothing and paint their eyebrows on with sharpies.  and the Irish side?? NOTHING….. I got nothing.

There are reading logs and snacks and lunches.  There are field trips that I can’t ever volunteer for because I work, and that brings on a whole load of special mom guilt.  The award ceremonies and the special picnic lunches and field day! All things I cannot attend and every time I say no, the tiny knife that is mom guilt digs a little deeper into my heart.

Listen I’m barely hanging on at home just providing for their basic needs.  I’m sorry to the teachers and other moms who are volunteering in my kid’s classroom, if I can’t finish that project on time, or send money on the day I need to for the stupid book fair (that happens like 12 times a year! REALLY??!) I promise my kid is loved and cared for.  That’s where my time and energy is going.  To make sure my kids know that I love them.  To make time in my busy schedule to hear about their day.  To make sure they eat, and wash their stinky feet, and that they are on the road to becoming halfway decent adults.

Thank God for summer time!! No we won’t be attending any camps or sports activities.  We will be on the couch with the AC blowing on our faces, recouping from our year of school.  Maybe we’ll visit the pool, maybe we’ll go to the beach, not likely though, we all hate the beach. (See pic up top for reasons of hatred)  Mostly we will be lounging and resting and getting ready for the next busy school year.

 

OH MOTHERHOOD

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Dear Motherhood,

I dreamed of you since the time I was a little girl.  I had big plans for you Motherhood.  I thought we could do crafts together.  That we could plan beautiful meals and have them with beautiful, clean children.  That the beautiful clean children would enjoy every organic bit of that meal.  I thought maybe we could have a house together. Not a grand house, just a house big enough for us all to live in, full of love and laughter and pretty things.  Maybe we could even have a clean house that’s nice and organized.  Where everything has a spot and is easily found when you need it.  Oh Motherhood, I thought we would be able to learn to sew and make elaborate Halloween costumes for the adorable children you blessed me with.  Motherhood, I feel like we have failed each other.

I think back on all the failures I had from the start of my journey as a mom.  From the c-section that brought my twins into this world, making me feel like less of a woman because I couldn’t push them out myself.  To the failed breastfeeding attempts which led to 6 months of pumping for those sweet little girls.  To having 3 kids under 3, living in a 3rd floor apartment and falling down the stairs with precious Ronin who I may have dropped on the way down.  My start as a mother wasn’t the magical start I longed for.  Looking back at my 24-year-old mom of  3 under 3 self, I wish I could tell her one thing, CALM DOWN.  Well maybe two things, CALM DOWN and PERFECT IS STUPID.  I carried this insane pressure to be “Super Mom” with me for years, and it very near killed me.  I literally had a nervous breakdown when I turned 27.  I was a stay at home mom of 3 kids, a wife, and a church member.  That was my whole identity.  I realized that I had no idea who I really was.  I knew I wanted more out of life but felt stuck in all 3 of those roles and they were demanding roles.  I couldn’t keep up with other moms.  I couldn’t keep my house as clean as other people’s, and  my crafts weren’t as cool, and my kids didn’t eat their vegetables like other people’s kids, and my husband and I fought a LOT about the house being in a constant state of disarray and other wives didn’t have that problem, and, and AND….. Needless to say my anxiety was thru the roof and it all just kind of came crashing down around me.  BUT GOD.  But God came with me as my whole world fell apart.  And when I couldn’t get out of bed he gave me children that needed me to.  He gave me a husband who was also tired of living miserably together and pushed us to go to marriage counseling, where we learned how to talk to each other in a manner  that was non threatening and could convey how we really felt.  God helped us see each other’s point of view and the fact that I had 3 young kids meant MESS.  We were at our absolute lowest point and I can’t help but thank God for that.  Living the way we were living was killing us and we were on a path to end up as a broken family.  Something had to happen and my breakdown, though painful and shameful, was what we needed.  God’s amazing healing power swept thru our lives and changed us forever.

Going through such a life altering situation brings everything into perspective.  I’m so relived to learn that I don’t have to be perfect.  I don’t have to have this whole motherhood thing figured out completely.  My house is still a mess, but it’s getting better as the kids get older and can help more.  I’m still a mom, wife, and church member, but now know that I don’t have to be the “perfect” mom, wife, and church member.  Comparing yourself to other people is a good way to drive yourself insane.  I will never be anyone else but me, and I’m ok with that now.  Do you know how freeing that is??  Living in a world where you can appreciate the women in your life and their specific strengths and not be jealous or wish you could do what they do, is such a beautiful place.  I encourage you to speak into people, not about people.  I encourage you to find the strength in you to be able to truly love and appreciate your friend who is a tad more organized than you, or the friend who’s house is always a bit messy but always has an open door.  Motherhood and Wifehood, isn’t easy, that’s why God gives us friends to help us survive it.

Oh Motherhood, our start together may not have been everything my little girl mind imagined, but it’s definitely an adventure.  Sometimes you are magical and sometimes you make my hair fall out.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.