Sunday, March 13, 2016

What You See.

Things aren't always as they seem when it comes to parenting.  We often hear things from the stay at home mom perspective.  My husband is our sole support, financially.  Along with that, comes many other demands.  He handles everything really well.  It's other people who don't seem to understand. 

What you see: He's often pushing the limits of being on time to work.  He occasionally sleeps through his alarms, he's either right on time, or a few minutes past.  He's always tired and can fall asleep instantly and will if given the chance. It annoys you.  Maybe he should try to go to sleep earlier at night.  Why doesn't he just go to bed at 8pm like you?
What you don't see: He sat at the table for an hour helping with math homework, last night.  He fixed a couple of toys and glued a few precious belongings.  He hasn't really had a chance to see his kids all week, so he's staying up at least until they go to bed. They spend the time showing him their creations and climbing all over him. He has to tuck them in, because "it's not the same when Mom does it". After they go to bed, he wants to spend some time with his wife, who he also hasn't seen all week.  It's their time to unwind and reconnect without the distraction of kids. Last night his daughter had a bad dream and woke him up at 2am to tell him about it.  He gets up with the kids more often because he knows his wife has insomnia. Sleep isn't as important to him as his time with the kids is.

What you see: He never wants to do anything with his friends. He's constantly turning you down when you invite him to do things.  He doesn't seem to care if he sees anyone outside of his kids and his wife.  How can he be so dismissive of the people who came before them? 
What you don't see: He's been out of town or working long hours all week.  He has two days to spend with his kids and his wife.  Even taking one of those days away from his kids affects them.  He's been getting calls all week from his kids telling him how much they miss him.  His wife is counting the days until he's home.  His daughter cries every night he's not home.  He misses them profusely.  He misses concerts, conferences, birthdays and it kills him.  They are his people.  They are his place.  They are the reason he works a job he hates.  He wants to spend his time with his people.  He sacrifices everything to make sure he's an involved, hands on father.  The moment he became a father, every other person in the world went on the back burner because that's what a parent is.  That's what a father is. 

What you see: He never has money.  You know how much he makes, how can he be broke?  Maybe his wife should get a job.  Maybe they need to learn how to budget better.  He should have more money.
What you don't see: The smiles on his daughters' faces when they come home from their very expensive dance classes.  The endless field trip permission slips requesting money.  The yearbook order forms for four kids.  The grocery bill for six people. Replacing the outgrown shoes...again.  When his son comes out in pants a size too small...more clothes...more money.  Winter coats for four kids.  Lunch money, again.  Medical bills.  Braces.  Glasses.  Bikes.  I could go on and on.  This, plus the normal bills keeps him strapped for money.  He makes his kids a priority.  Everything they need comes first.  Always. 

Things aren't always as they seem.  Life isn't always as simple as it seems.  Consider that next time you're going to judge a man for something you know nothing about.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sanctimommies need not apply

It was just requested that I explain what kind of parenting I promote on this page since I don't want people's comments if they disagree with my parenting.  That way you know what you're getting into.  I'm going to go one step further and explain what type of page this is as well, since this person can't seem to understand what I am saying.  Here goes nothing.

The kind of parenting I promote is the kind of parenting that works for YOUR child.  I don't allow criticism of any kind on another person's parenting.  You know why?  It's not your business.  I'll say it again, it's NACHO business.  I know my child.  You know your child.  You have your way, I have mine.  My children are deeply loved.  They get respect and are expected to give respect.  As adults, the same will be expected of them from most people around them.  I want my children to be successful adults.  In MY parenting philosophy gentle correction and never saying No is not the way to go.  When my daughter yells at me for telling her to do something she doesn't want to do, she will have consequences. Her consequence at age 8 was to go to bed an hour earlier than normal, was she pissed?  Absolutely.  Did she throw a fit, hell yes.  Did she get her way?  Nope.  She went to bed an hour earlier.  Today all I had to say ONCE was, "do you want the same punishment tonight?".  Today has been much better and her attitude improved.  You know what else?  When she is an adult and her boss tells her to do something she doesn't want to do, she won't get fired because her parents taught her that authority is to be respected. My kids have been told "no" their whole lives.  They are expected to use manners.  They respect their elders.  I don't spank, but I was spanked and I don't get huffy about people who do it to their children.

I was accused of having the attitude that as long as children are getting fed and sheltered, that's enough.  I do not have that attitude and if I felt someone's parenting required intervening or they need me pushing my opinion on a stranger on the internet, I would.  I don't.  Unless you are physically harming your child, or emotionally harming your child, I will stay out of it and expect the same for you.  THAT is my parenting philosophy. 

On the eve of my second blog/page-iversary let me explain to you why I started this blog and the Facebook page that goes with it.  I had this friend on my personal page. Who had ONE kid at the time who was ONE year old. She was not nice to me.  She constantly posted blogs and articles telling how wrong they way I parent is.  She would correct me on things on my posts.  She would make nasty comments that I didn't breastfeed.  It goes on and on and on.  It got to the point where I was questioning my decisions.  I went to my doctor and asked for reassurance that I was doing the right things.  That's not ok.  As Moms, we put enough pressure on ourselves to do everything right.  We question everything we do.  We worry day in and day out that our kids will grow into functioning, well adjusted adults.  The last thing we need is a fellow mother insulting us.  Judging us.  Telling us we are doing something wrong because that's not the way "they" would do it.  That's not the way her random internet forum friends told her to do it.  That's not what she "believes".  We don't need to feel bad because we aren't using the right carrier, because we let our kids cry it out (or we didn't), because we used disposable diapers (or we didn't).  We should be lifting each other up.  We should have each other's backs.  Instead of posting every single day about what a blessing motherhood is, we should take the time to tell that fellow parent who is having a hard day that we've been there.  That we get it.  THAT is why I started this page.  That is why I don't call myself a "Mommy page" .  I wanted a place to go that is safe.  A place for tired, over worked parents to go and read that there is someone else out there that feels the same way.  They aren't alone.  Maybe you lost your shit today after your child flushed your phone down the toilet.  Maybe you yelled more than you wanted.  Maybe you locked yourself in the bathroom and cried because your spouse works long hours and you're exhausted.  Do you really need someone to tell you that you should be planning a Pintrest worthy party instead because that's what they do.  That you aren't as great as them because after a long day of doing all the things, you let your kid watch TV for an hour just so you could breathe.  You need someone to tell you that we all don't like our kids sometimes.  That's ok.  You still love them.  You would move mountains for them, but you don't have to always like them.  When starting this page, THAT was what was on my mind.  I needed to find like minded people.  I needed to hear that we all make mistakes.  I needed to help people find the silly in the every day mundane of being a parent, being an adult.  I succeeded for the most part.  I often get messages thanking me.  Telling me how much it means to them to have something to read that they can relate to.  That they had a bad day and really needed to laugh. 

What I want to tell you is that you do the same things for me.  You make me feel normal.  You make me laugh.  You are my happy place.  You are there when I need someone to say, "oh yeah, I've done that".  So, please continue to do those things.  If you don't like how someone does something, please just move on.  That's not what this blog/Facebook page is for.  I'll continue to laugh with you guys until you won't have me anymore.  :)

Two of my very deprived children on their electronics which I so harshly made them save up for.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What we lost...Part 1

Some of you probably remember back in January when my family and I were put through the ringer.  We lost two people who we loved.  It was a test of our ability to endure.  On our strength as a family and on our strength as individuals.  I am finally starting to absorb and accept what happened.  I am no longer shoving the feelings down and trying to be strong.  This is my outlet and I'm going to use it.  This is part one of two.  Please bear with me, as my feelings are raw. 

{B} came into our lives not long after my father passed away.  My mom was looking for someone and she found him.  I'm not going to lie.  I wasn't a huge fan of him when he first came around.  It was a difficult situation because at almost 20, I was one of my Mom's confidants and she was smitten.  I wanted so badly to see her happy again.  To see her smile a genuine smile, so I supported her in every aspect of it.  We had our hard times and our challenges.  Of course it was difficult for myself and my younger brothers to accept and see my mom with another man after growing up watching her with my dad.  I'm not going to lie and say it was easy. 

Eventually I got married.  I had so much resentment toward B.  It wasn't fair that he got to be at my wedding and my dad didn't.  It wasn't fair that he was going through all this excitement with us instead of my dad.  That resentment stayed off and on through babies being born and exciting life changes.  Even holidays I felt resentment.  I just couldn't understand why he got to be involved in this life that my mom and dad created, but my dad couldn't.  Now I realize how unfair I was being to him.

There were many challenges like the ones I listed above and more that I won't get into.  My kids did not have any of these hang-ups.  He was, to them, always there.  He never expected to be their Grandpa.  He never insinuated himself into their lives that way.  He always was careful to never trounce on the memory of my father.  He made sure to call himself their "friend". 

The truth was B was their Grandpa.  Through and through.  When I had my first child I wasn't there yet.  I couldn't stand the thought of someone else, besides my dad and The Hubby's dad, being called Grandpa. However, he was more of a Grandpa than their real, alive, lives an hour away Grandpa. He went to most of their birthday parties, talked to and played with them every time they came around and worried about them.  He gave them candy when I told him not to and he bought them crazy loud ass toys just because he could.  He loved them and cared about them and missed them when he hadn't seen them for awhile.  My kids don't even really know their real Grandpa, which is a shame.  They knew B though.  They knew his laugh and they knew that his lunchbox always had candy in it.  I am thankful that a couple of years before he died I was able to tell him these feelings.

When the diagnosis of liver cancer came we were all devastated. This is the first cancer diagnosis that has touched our family directly.  It changed everything.  I'm disgusted with myself that it took this for me to really and truly realize what B meant to me.  They told us it was terminal, but we all thought we had a year or so. 

On January 10, 2014 my younger brother texted me and said B was having a hard time breathing and was taken away in an ambulance.  After a lot of texting back and forth and not being able to get a hold of The Hubby at work we determined that I should stay put (40 minutes away) and head up in the morning.  That following morning was a Saturday.  The news was looking grim.  Organs were failing and there wasn't much they could do.  He was awake though. I headed up there and as soon as the elevator doors opened I saw my mom.  I'll never forget her face.  Never.  It was the same face I saw 12 1/2 years before when my dad was dying.  The same feeling crawled into my stomach.  A feeling I hoped I would never have again.  This was bad.  Really bad.  There was nothing they could do.  It was a matter of a few days.  As soon as he chooses to turn of the meds that were keeping him alive his organs would stop and he would die.  He took those two days, Saturday and Sunday (his birthday) to say Good-bye to everyone he loved.  Friends and family came through his room all day.  Hugs and tears. 

Sunday night was the last time I saw him conscious.  Earlier in the day he told me to make sure the kids know how much he loves them, he gave me a hug and told me the same.  I left the room sobbing.  We were losing a great man, but my kids, my kids were losing a Grandpa.  The only one they truly know.  It wasn't fair.  At all.  Monday morning I came back to the hospital.  The meds had been turned off and it was quiet.  We watched him pass away that morning.  Surrounded by people who love him.  It was the most difficult, horrible thing I have ever witnessed.  Some people say it's beautiful.  I disagree.  I felt my heart break.  I watch my mom sob and hold on to this man she had loved for 12 years.  I watched the life leave his body.  It wasn't beautiful.  It shattered my heart.

His service, however, was beautiful.  His service was full of laughter and life, just like he would have wanted.  We honored him exactly how he wanted and the best way we knew how.  Rest in Peace, B.  Thank you for worrying about my driving and feeding my kids too much sugar and taking them for rides on the golf cart.  We will never, ever forget you.

The morning of B's service I received word that my Grandpa passed way....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I do do that. Christmas Edition.

Hello there.  It's almost the Christmas season.  Wahoo!  I absolutely LOVE Christmas.  I love the family get togethers, the music, decorating, the food and mostly the magic.  I love, love, love it.  Fortunately I hold it together until after Thanksgiving because I also love Thanksgiving.  Last year I got a lot of shit from people for the way we do things at Christmas time.  I would really like to avoid dropping the holiday ban hammer this year.  It really messed up my decorating mojo and ruined a little of the fun for me.  I could easily just keep all my holiday stuff to myself, but that's not how I work.  I like to share the funny parts of my life with you guys and Christmas inevitably comes with seriously goofy shit. I am going to prepare you for it.  If you have objections to the way I do things, I don't care.  Keep your holiday pie hole closed, or leave the page/blog.  Seriously.  I give zero fucks. Here are a few things that we do in our house.  It's OK with me if you have a different tradition or you don't believe in what I do.  That's what makes this world wonderful! If we were all the same imagine the boringness that would ensue.  Here it goes.

1. I don't shop on Thanksgiving.  If I can help it.  Sometimes we forget something, or need to run to the liquor store.  Don't rake my ass over the coals for this.  I worked retail at Walfuckingmart for 7 years.  I respect retail workers. That's not to say you don't if you choose to shop then.  Just a defense to what I was attacked for last year.

2. We put our tree up and all our d├ęcor the day after Thanksgiving.  This is a tradition in our household since I stopped working retail.  I don't do black Friday.  I don't care if you do.  More power to you.  I don't.  We go to a tree farm, cut down our tree, freeze our asses off and have a blast.  That night we decorate our tree together, listen to music and eventually sit down in front of the fire place and watch a Christmas movie.  This is our tradition.  If it's too early for you, that's fine.  Keep it to your damn self.  I don't give a shit. Last year I had to ban three people in about five minutes for calling me an idiot, among other names, because I was decorating.  I do this, you do that.

3. We do Elf on a Shelf.  Yes.  We do.  Or we did.  Not sure we will this year or not.  My 9yo thinks it's creepy.  I am not creative about it.  Our elves don't make messes, or do funny things.  I don't post pictures about it or anything like that.  It is simply a fun thing that the kids liked when they were little.  All we do is move them around at night.  That's it.  If you don't like it, or you think it's dumb.  That's ok.  Spare me the lecture of how I am lying to my kids and blah, blah, blah. I'm talking to you, lady who stalked me last year on my Facebook, blog comments and e-mail.  I do this, you do that.

4. Santa.  My kids, all four, still believe.  I don't know if the oldest actually believe or if they just don't want to know the truth.  I don't care.  To me Santa is about magic.  It's not a lie to tell my kids.  It's part of their innocence.  It's part of being a kid and believing in magic and fairy tales.  Again, last year this set off a firestorm.  I mean, full blown, firestorm.  I got called all kinds of names.  I banned so many people that I lost track.  Over Santa.  CHRISTMAS.  If you want to tell your kid that it's not real and not celebrate that tradition, fine.  That's your loss, your decision.  I actually wrote a blog about this after the shit storm and that link is here.  I will not tolerate being called a bad mom because I whole-heartedly believe in the magic of Christmas.  I will ban your ass.  In fact, I'm going to have an itchy banning finger over this subject.  If you suddenly find yourself unable to comment, think back on what you said to me. 

5. I generally take my Christmas decorations down the day after Christmas or Christmas night.  I don't believe in the bad luck or whatever the hell else.  I do it because there are six people and five animals in this house.  Christmas takes up a lot of room.  Add to that the clutter from new presents and things and I get overwhelmed.  Plus, we leave town almost immediately after Christmas for another Christmas celebration and I want a clean house when I get home.  I have high anxiety, I'm even medicated for it.  The Christmas stuff gets to be too much for me.  I miss my dad, I am feeling sad and I am done with it by that point.  That's ok.  It's my house.  It's my life.  It's my "bad luck" or whatever the issue was last year when I said I was taking it down.  This is the way I do it.  You don't have to.  Leave your shit up till the fourth of July, I don't give a rat's ass.  See how that works.  I don't care what you do, so you shouldn't care what I do.

Here's the gist of it.  If you find yourself wanting to comment and tell me what I am doing wrong don't.  If you want to tell me, respectfully, your tradition, DO!  I want to hear your stories and how things work for you.  I don't need lectures or threats or whatever else.  Let's just not be assholes this Christmas season.  In case you need a reminder, here is a blog about the rules I wrote when I was attacked about shopping around Thanksgiving.  I love you guys and I love our little community, let's have a super merry Christmas season. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Starting a Facebook page? Consult an expert...or read this.

Recently I have been getting a lot of messages asking for advice on starting a page or a blog.  I have no problem with this.  Aside from the fact that it's weird that people would ask me advice on anything.  Really.  I have been doing this for a year and a half and I have like 20 followers on my blog and 6000 on my Facebook page. That's really not a lot for doing this for that long.  I don't give a shit, though.  I have so much fun.  The Hubby is watching Gold Rush and I think that show is boring as all hell, so I'm going to write a 'one size fits all' blog with my advice for starting a page/blog.  I am not an expert by any means, and there are definitely bigger and better page admins and bloggers to get advice from.  This is just my two cents worth.  Or like maybe twenty bucks worth.  I talk way too much to only give you two cents.  With Gold Rush being on for two hours this blog could go on forever.
1. Find a catchy name.  I know, this seems obvious, but really.  You need to find something that makes people click.  Something that makes people curious.  Make sure it's something that isn't putting you in a box that you don't want to be in.  The reason I didn't name my blog anything to do with the word "Mom" is because I didn't want to be put in the Mommy blogger category.  Think about that when you name your page.  There are a million, "Mommy says.." blogs and a million "Mom with..." blogs.  Set yourself apart from the crowd.  Make sure the name fits you and make sure you like it.  While I don't have a problem with swears in your blog/page name, I have heard that those are often the target of Facebook sweeps.  Who knows if that's true, but it's something to chew on.
2. Don't be an annoying douche.  Also, seems self explanatory.  It's not.  Sometimes you don't even know you're being a douche. I'm sure I was too.  Here's the thing.  Most pages, mine included, put a lot of time, effort and thought into what they post.  Pages like mine that post their thoughts and stories and personal tidbits get to know their people.  They know what their people like and what they don't.  They know which kinds of pages to share and which to not share.  That doesn't happen by accident.  It takes awhile.  Do not go on to random pages that you have been on for five seconds and ask them to share you.  Don't post something like, "I just liked your page, good stuff. Give mine a like back."  Seriously.  No.  I do what I want and liking your page is now at the bottom of my list.  If you post the same exact thing on everyone's page in order to get likes, expect nothing.  Page admins talk.  If you annoy us we tell each other.  Sounds bitchy, but it's really true.  Same goes with posting your link in a random post just to gain likes.  That's sneaky and totally rude. Interact with bigger pages, make us laugh, grab our attention.  Maybe we'll share you, maybe you won't.  A lot of us didn't beg for shares and don't see the need to.  If you're doing this for numbers you're doing it for the wrong reason and you won't have any fun. 
3. Be wary of douche bag page admins.  Yep.  The other side of the coin.  There are pages who will do a "share for share" where they share you if you share them.  Be careful.  There are a lot of dill holes who take this sharing shit really seriously.  If you get caught up in their web, back away slowly then turn around and run for your fucking life.  No shit.  I have heard of people who keep spreadsheets to keep track of their shares and likes.  If their page description includes rules of how to do a share for share, run.  If they bitch at you for sharing the same pic as them and you just genuinely found it on Google, run.  Seriously.  Page admins are bat shit crazy.  All of us.  Some of us are fun crazy (yours truly) and some are whack-job-kill-you-in-your-sleep-stalker kind of crazy.  Heed my warning.  *cue dramatic music*
4. Be Patient.  Seriously.  Your people will come and you want to find your people.  You don't want thousands of people that hide you and just "liked" your page because someone else told them to.  Have patience.  Try really hard to not care about your numbers.  It's hard.  I get that.  Really try though.  It makes it a lot more fun.  I used to obsess over how many unlikes I got in a day.  Not nearly as much fun. 
5. Be truthful.  Don't make shit up.  I can always tell when someone is making shit up just to get attention.  Everyone can always tell that.  Don't be "that" person.  There are a lot of those.  Be the person who can tell a story and make it funny without having to lie.  THAT is a person who is really and truly entertaining.  If you've got nothing to talk about at that moment, don't post.  You don't have to be on all the time.  Forcing it makes it just that, forced.  Just be your damn self.  Geez. 

6. Ignore the trolls.  I am like the last person who should tell you that.  I suck at it.  I'm a fighter.  That's a nice way to say that I am a bitch.  Not only that, but I am a high strung bitch.  I have a really hard time ignoring assholes.  I have a hard time not fighting back.  I am here to tell you that it's better when I just ban the morons and move on.  Try really hard to do that.  I will too.  Fuck those assholes anyway.  Dicks.

Seriously, don't hesitate to still ask me questions.  I like questions.  It makes me feel important and shit.  Who doesn't like to feel important?  Freaks, that's who.  I bid you adieu as I go back to "watching" Gold Rush.  They just had an equipment failure.  I'M SHOCKED.

Friday, September 12, 2014

In my purse

Inspired by the feature that Kelley's Breakroom used to do on her Facebook page where she posted pictures of fellow bloggers who had dumped out their purses and then made silly captions for them, I decided to dump my purse.  Again.  I was also entertained by the contents of my purse and obviously when I find something entertaining you all are the first people I want to share it with.  I made this helpful diagram for you.  I only picked eight things, but as you can see there is a plethora of junk in here.

1. This is a condom.  Not just any condom, a gas station condom.  The Hubby feels the need to get a condom from the machine in the bathrooms whenever he is in a gas station bathroom.  We haven't had to use condoms for like five years, yet he still gets these silly things.  Me?  Well I leave them in my purse for all of eternity.  What?  Need a condom.  No worries, guy.  I gotcha covered.  Take this one.  It's only been riding around in my purse for years, but I'm sure it's still like 45% effective.

2. Gloves.  These have been in my purse since last winter.  That's right.  This July when it was 90 degrees with 1000% humidity I had some knit gloves in my purse.  What if I get cold?  I need some damn gloves.  At this point I might as well leave them in there.  Shit, it's like 40 degrees right now.

3. Pills.  Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Zantac and Midol.  Because, duh.  Shit can get real at any point and I need drugs available.  I have a mini pharmacy.  I also have about 15 tampons that are in a zippered pocket.  I've got you covered.

4. Those are fake teeth.  I have no idea where these came from.  For all I know some crazy hobo could have put these in my purse.  I'm guessing the crazy hobo is one of my children, but nonetheless it's a little unsettling.  Who just walks around with fake teeth in their purse?  Fake bad teeth even. These were in someone's mouth.  Probably filled with spit when they went in my purse.  For the love of god.  Kids are gross.

5. Justin Bieber watch.  Not mine.  I swear.  It lights up and shit.  It's pretty fancy.  Thanks to this watch my 8yo daughter is constantly walking around telling me that she is a Belieber.  That's what the watch says.  I am a Belieber too.  I Belieb that the Bieb is a tool.  A douchey, piece of shit, entitled, asshole, twat who should probably go to prison.  Belieb that.  Boom.

6. Socks.  I made the kids bring socks to try on school shoes.  A month ago.  I really need to get better at cleaning this thing out.  Although, it would be good to have these in there.  You know, just in case.  Hmmm.

7. Coupons, mail, vaccine info sheets, and receipts.  Yep.  I keep all my important documents in crumpled balls in my purse.  Don't you?

8. If you follow me on my Facebook page you know that I tried to use an expired debit card.  That little folded thing is the card I tried to use.  Still in my purse.  Now it's folded though.  I won't be trying to use it again.  So, there's that.

I know there are a million things in this picture.  I think I might be considered a purse hoarder. You know you do this shit too.  Don't lie.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I'll be brave.

I've imagined this day for 10 years.  I played it out in my head, over and over.  I tried to feel how I would feel.  It was going to be amazing.  All of my kids in school.  I could get a job. I could actually clean my house.  I might catch up on laundry.  Maybe, just maybe I could read a whole book...or two.  Maybe I could work from home.  The possibilities were endless.  Finally, I would be more than a stay at home mom.  That life I gave up to raise my kids would be back.  Yeah, I would still be raising my kids, but they would have a lot more independence. They wouldn't need me as much.  I would be {A} again.  Not just Mommy.  It would be wonderful.  Amazing.  Liberating.

Fast forward to September 2, 2014.  It's here.  All those possibilities, all the excitement, all the hope.  It's here.  Except I don't feel any of that.  I feel scared.  Not for my kindergartener, he's totally ready.  I am scared for me.  Scared to figure out who I am.  Scared at what could be next.  There isn't excitement, I'm not feeling free.  I feel an even bigger burden.  Huge.  Now I have to find a job.  I need to help support us.  It can't all be on {D} anymore.  I have to help.  Not only that, but my purpose is gone.  For 10 years I have raised these kids. I have snuggled them, watched endless hours of Disney Jr. and Nick Jr., played the same Dora episode over and over again, read the same books.  I cut up their food into tiny pieces, I kissed owies and I clapped and cheered for poop in the potty.  I pushed strollers and I held tiny hands.  What do I do now?  For seven hours a day someone else is taking care of my babies.  What do I do now?  Who am I without them? 

The answer is not a simple one.  It's not one that I expect to figure out any time soon.  I am still their mom, sure, but I am also {A}.  I am a wife, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a cousin, a friend.  I have to find those parts of me too.  Most importantly, I need to remember that I am ME.  I have dreams and goals.  Now I have the time to achieve those things.  Best of all, I have a husband who WANTS me to take my time and find out what I want to do, and that is exactly what I intend to do. 

So, instead of a mom of a newborn, or a toddler, or a preschooler, I am a mom of four school aged kids.  They are smart, funny and brave.  They are independent and confident.  They are ready to grab the world by the balls, and the best part is that we did that.  I did that.  Hubby did that. All those days spent at home, I taught them to take that leap into the world with the bravery of a million soldiers.  Now, it is my job, my purpose to show them that, no matter how old you are, or how scared you are, you should leap. 

Maybe I'll get a part time job so I can be home to see them get off the bus, maybe I'll go back to school.  Maybe I'll find something full-time and love that life. So while I blubber and marvel at the fact that my kids are growing up so fast, I will be brave and jump in head first because that is what I taught them, and that is also what they have taught me.