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Things I wish I had known…babies are the easy ones

Things I wish I'd known - Jenna - March 26, 2012

It seems from the moment that you announce you are expecting the advise starts rolling in. ” oh all the sleep you will loose” ” I hope you are going to breast feed.” ” let me tell you all the diaper$ and wipe$ really add up” ” oh the stretch marks” “lets not even talk about your sex life” ” “your money & your time will never be yours again” Ahh yes all this wonderful advise that came my way when I announced I was going to be bringing a new life into this world. Yet know one, not one single person bothered to inform me that babies are the easy ones.

It’s true. Either all my friends were just scared of hard work, because lets face it babies are about 99% manual labor. Feed, change, rock, repeat. Or they were trying to save me from some truth they had learned but didn’t want to admit. This truth ..that in comparison to shaping someones spirit, personalty, and morals, babies are actually easier.

Lets recap shall we…. they hand you this warm, sweet mini version of you & your husband that you are now responsible for. Yes it is terrifying at first to have to be 100% responsible for keeping this little being alive. (if you had seen my house plant collection you would be nervous for my children too) but soon you get the hang of it o,r at least memorize the on call number to your pediatrician so you can reassure yourself you are in fact doing it properly . You can even measure your success based on height, weight, and the ever  popular compare your kid to others test. Yes you are tired, and may not be as fashionable as you once were (no spit up is not the new it accessory for spring) but as long as your child is growing and clean you are pretty much mother of the year.Despite all your baby sign language, breast feeding, & playing Mozart as long as you are meeting some basic needs your baby will thrive & do well.

Now fast forward 8 years. You have a moody 2nd grader trying to find his way in life.  The manual labor is really pretty minimal. He sleeps all night, can get himself a drink or snack. He can read so spell talking with your spouse no longer works. He can use the bathroom all on his own, he can tie his shoes, ride the bus, swim, ride a bike, do almost anything with out your help. However he does things like break rules, lies, test your patients, tries to be sneaky, beats up his little brother (ok, not really beats up but more than picks on)

So now instead of having to feed, change, rock repeat, you are responsible for discipline, shaping, moral teaching. You must let him learn & grow but keep him close  & safe. You now have to entrust his care & education to  a group of people, and a teacher that spends more time during the week with him than you. You have to help him through the tough parts of being a kid, being in school, friendships, competition, and growing up. When you catch him on the roof after he was caught up there last week & promised not to do it again, You have to now choose a proper punishment, give a grace filled speech that will shape his moral development all while holding on to his heart and letting him know how bad it is to be on the roof. Yes I think babies are the easy ones.

You see I am not one to shy away from hard work so manual labor really isn’t that big of a deal to me. You just do what you need to do to get it done. When you are done with physical work at least you can see the fruits of your labor. Right there in front of you..clean house, clean baby, folded laundry done! Zip Zap mom of the year! But this big kid thing is so hard. I never know if I am doing it right. I spend most the time worrying over how I have shaped my older son, what sort of therapy he will have to undergo when he is grown to fix all that I have messed up. oh babies are the easy ones! I spend a large amount of time thinking things like, did I do that wrong, or could I have said that better, I was too hard on him, I let him get away with too much, Is it this hard for everyone? You see when that little ball of sweetness grows into a smelly  toothless little boy figuring out he has is own will, and opinion often times separate from yours that is when the real work begins. Where was that advise?

why didn’t someone tell me to just enjoy the quiet smiles, the coos, the time when life revolves around you. yes it’s busy, and sleepless but it’s not the hardest part. It’s not guiding them, shaping them, having to discipline, or let them learn life’s lessons. I have no idea if I am doing this right. All I can do is pray that I am coming close to what my big kids needs. There is no bench mark, no gauge to measure if what you said sank in, or if something you did today will be the one thing he remembers & hates you for  or loves you for later.

So I say give me a fussy, baby that I can sooth and have evidence that I did a great job when they are happy & sleeping peacefully in my arms over having to guess as to whether I did a good job or not based on the expression on an eight year old’s face. Yes I say babies are the easy ones. While eight year old’s can be pretty great they are defiantly a lot harder on my heart.


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Confessions of an almost ## year old.

Mom Time - Jenna - April 28, 2011

It’s true I am dangerously close to a big Birthday! I wont mention which one it is- let’s just say it’s the one where you realize you are really grown up, and this chaos in front of  you is in fact your life, for better or worse.

With the dawning of this new number I have found myself in a bit of a funk. I wouldn’t consider it a crisis but I would definitely classify it as a defining moment kind of time.  You see I am a mother of two, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I am a leader & business owner, wanna be writer, and self proclaimed chocolate lover.

Even with all those titles I have found myself longing for a purpose, something to attach myself to, and find joy in again. I have entered this state of OMG is this it? Is this my life? Did it peak and I missed it?  I cannot seem to snap myself out of it.

I have considered a hobby, purchased a musical instrument, toyed with the idea of a career change,and even tried to convince my husband we should have another baby. None of these things have panned out or filled the void. I am a women of faith but admit I am feeling a bit numb in that area as well.  It is as if I just cannot find any enthusiasm for anything anymore.

This most recent pre ## symptom is the most troubling because I am usually able to muster up enthusiasm for even the most minor activity. I am that girl that people go to because they know I will say not only yes, but hell yes to just about any task. Not only will I say yes but because of this crazy enthusiasm I  manage to blow the previous person in charge of said mundane task out of the water while doing it!  Not anymore I could just care less. Which for me is a major change.

So my question to my wonderful juggling mama readers is this…….

Is this as good as it gets? Is this normal? Did I simply burn myself out before ## so there is nothing left for the next ## years?

Of course we cannot completely reinvent ourselves when we are mothers with responsibilities, homes, careers, and obligations. So how do you find yourself again while keeping up with the day to day? How do you get back the joy you once had? The excitment for anything ? I am afraid that I will always be this way and just slip into a routine complacency dawning a period hair do, and grey sweats.  If you have lived this tale, and are not wearing sweat pants I want to hear from you. If you lived it and the out come is a life of heavy gray clothing then can you at least point me to the best place to purchase my own pair?  

:)

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Fire in my pants

Kids & Family, Momprenuer Balancing Act - Jenna - November 3, 2010

Today after a particularly busy day my bouncy little three year old came up to me and announced “I have fire in my pants” of course this caused a reaction of laughter from everyone at the table including myself.  When I asked him to tell me  more, he began to run around frantic, zig zagging in every direction and announcing “fire fire fire in my pants”

I was rolling at this point but had to ask ” buddy where did you come up with that?” much to my surprise my sweet little brown eyed boy looked straight at me and said” Mommy you always have fire in your pants that is why you never sit down cause it burns”

Yes, at this point my jaw dropped to the floor, and I was not sure whether to laugh or cry. Even my little guy can see how much I go & do. Even he has taken into account my inability to not sit and be still. My sweet three year old just ment it to be funny and it was at the time, but it defiantly made me stop and think.

Of course I can’t just stop everything and commence  to painting my nails when ever I want, but do I really want to be known as the lady with fire in her pants? I think not, so I sought out some really great advise from some trusted friends and colleges. After gently letting me in on the secret that I am indeed already known as the lady with the fire in her pants, a small  light was shed that there  is hope for me still.

It is true I have to prioritize better, and learn to not take on so much. But the recurring theme to their advise was to just slow down a bit. Often times we get so wrapped up in thinking ahead that we end up bouncing from one task to another with no transition at all. The best advise I was given was to simple take on one thing at time. Which for me means focusing solely on just one task. Then once you have completed that task take a minute to acknowledge your accomplishments no matter how big or small, and then and only then move onto something else.

I am not sure if I will ever be rid of the stigma of being the lady with fire in her pants, but by applying this new life lesson given to me by some very wonderful people. I at least hope to be able to correct this tendency to overdo enough that my kids, friends, and family notice something else, anything else about me than how on fire my pants seem to be.

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Ga$ price$ coming down!

Kids & Family - Jenna - July 3, 2009

gasbuddy_logoYou may find it cost a little less to top off the mini van these days. You are not alone. Oil is coming down & driving is going up but how do you know if you are getting the best price?

Here is a cool site that will make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck at the pump. It is customized for your area, and will help save you money no matter how the fuel prices bounce around.

http://www.gasbuddy.com/

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Swim time = me time

Mom Time - Jenna - July 1, 2009

My husband got us a new pool for the back yard. It is a pop up one about 8 feet across &  3 feet deep. It was on killer sale & our boys are water bugs. however I had my reservations since our youngest son is only two & cannot be in the pool with out his life vest and a parent. This means I can’t just send the boys out to play & go about my work checking in on them via the kitchen window. I have to be out there with the baby to make sure he doesn’t go in :)

At first this idea kind of concerned me, but I soon realized that if I have to be the parent standing guard I guess I have to focus only on my kids & joining in their summer adventures, Or tanning with a book with in arms reach is always an option.  I have rally enjoyed our new pool & my life guard duty.

If left to my own device I would have worked this summer away too, not really participating in the everyday that I have with my boys, in this warm magical season we call summer!

My advise go outside & experience summer withyour kids if you can. you wont regret it. I promise

-Jenna

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