Wait For Me. (warning: get your tissues)

I had the honor of meeting a serious Smarty-pants McGee who works with college consulting and what-not. Don’t ask me the specifics because I really don’t know what all that entails. I DO know that if she had been doing what she was doing now, 10 years ago, I may have finished college. 

Rats.

Anyway. Jessica is an incredibly sweet woman with an incredibly powerful story. I think you should go watch her LTYM reading and possibly check out her blog here.

 And now, Jessica Peyton-Roberts reading Wait For Me.

Five Words. The Story I Told at Listen to Your Mother.

 

Im a picture taker. So naturally, when I got pregnant my little camera phone was never far from arms reach. My sweet girl came home from the hospital to face all her baby milestones with me armed to the teeth with an iphone, facebook, and a compulsive desire to document every last detail of our new life. From placenta to first poops in the potty, both from my daughter and from me post partum. I had this little family of three MORE than covered.

Soon we found out I was pregnant with little number two. My second sweet girl was still really well documented despite her sister dumping something, breaking something or flat out reverting to complete un-potty-trained-ness every. single. time. I touched the baby.

Then something amazing happened. Surprise (ish)! I became pregnant again. My wonderful husband and I flipped the positive pregnancy test over on christmas morning 2012, looked at eachother and said in unison “we need a bigger car”. Pregnancy and labor were completely unceremonious. They just were. My poor son. Its not that I dont want to capture all his sweet moments, I do! Its just that its so much harder! Where is my phone? Does the two year old have it? She learned how to take 46 selfies in a row by holding the shutter button down. Does the four year old have it? She’s probably camped out in her closet watching netflix.

Oh, hang on, its in the refrigerator… how did it get there?

No one knows.

Shortly after our son got here I learned something that every parent of three knows and actually anyone with basic math skills can tell you, we are outnumbered. The jump from two kids to three kids slapped me in the face, then poked me in the swollen perenium and then punched me in the boob.

You do what you can in situations like these, you have to figure out how to adapt and function like a normal human again and not just like a lactating, butt wiping, food prepping, laundry washing, never resting mom robot. For me, adapting looked like a trip to target. Dont ask why, I dont know.

In the car, my little chunkster screamed like someone was ripping his limbs from his body while my girls alternated singing “old macdonald” and yelling “shes singing ober MEEE!” the entire 30 minute drive. I would not be discouraged! This was my time! Back to normal! I crammed little dude into the front of my moby wrap and with the promise of popcorn and a slushie, I bribed my girls into quiet submission.I took each of them by a hand and led them toward those beautiful red doors. Thats when I heard IT for the first time. Ive heard it on an almost daily basis since then and I know that i will hear it frequently in the future, but I wont forget the moment that innocent and probably well meaning older gentleman said the five words that I have grown to hate… mostly because they are true.

“You’ve got your hands full!”

Every time I venture out into the world with my three beautiful little beasts, no matter if its a perfectly calm, peaceful, everyone is dressed and has their hair brushed kind of day or a “we’re lucky we made it out the door” kind of day, someone (or multiple someones) tells me I have my hands full.

*gasp* How did you know?!
Is it the crusted food/boogers on my shirt? Its my boobs isn’t it? They haven’t been supported by anything more fancy than a cotton sports bra since 2009.
Is it because you noticed that I only have mascara on one eye because I dropped the wand in the car at a red light while I was on my way here?
Oh I know, Its because you heard about the not one but, three potential housefires I prevented last week when I used kitchen tongs to remove crayons that had been shoved into envelopes from the baseboard heater.

I know I have my hands full! I have to drag two baskets around the grocery store if I actually want to do any decent amount of shopping. The kids sit in one and the food sits in the other!
I know I have my hands full because the majority of my makup, if Im wearing any today, was put on with my fingers and q tips because my children have repeatedly stolen the brushes to play with.
I know my hands are full because Its a special occasion when I get to take a shower! Special as in, there is vomit in my clevage and also in my butt crack.

No joke.

I know that I have my hands full because well, they ARE full.
In my right hand is the hand of my mini me, my sensitive, sweet, hilarious first daughter who will sit for hours singing to herself while she draws pictures of her five person family.
In my left hand I hold the teeny little paw of my feisty, blond, cray cray second daughter who can, and will, sing “what does the fox say” a hundred times in a row if you ask her. please dont.
And strapped to my body somewhere is my amazing little man whom Im only beginning to get to know.
My hands are full but my heart is overflowing. So from now on when I hear those five words, Im going to choose not going to feel the slight sting of a stranger judging me and my full hands, Im going to replace the word hands with heart and smile to myself because yes, I do have my heart full.

 

I’ve been puked on.

It is 1:21 am.
This is not how I pictured writing my second entry. I was thinking it was going to be more hipster-cool mom. Sitting at my minimalist ikea desk, sipping some oregon chai out of my vintage strawberry shortcake mug, clacking away on my typewriter… Ok, maybe not that last one.

I did not think I was going to be sitting in the recliner at my mother in laws house (by the way my MIL is amazing. I’m sure I’ll touch on that at some point) rocking my congested, teething, vomitus five month old.
But what could be more inspiring than a sick, snotty, cranky baby? Well tonight, nothing. This is it people. The real deal.

[This is where my newbie blogger skills have failed me, I tried to add my picture here but it’s showing up on the bottom. Oh well.]

This is parenting at its finest. Actually this is mediocre, run o’the mill parenting. It could be a whole heap worse than being awake at 1:43 am (and it could be a whole heap better).
If you’re not prepared willing to clean up a pukey baby before you even remove your bile soaked shirt, or stay up until unholy hours of the night and/or morning rocking the afore mentioned Pukey McPukerton, don’t have kids.

A few days ago Averie asked me why vomit was called vomit and of course I know exactly why have no idea why it’s called what it is, but we started thinking of all the names we know for it.
Puke
Ralph
Barf
Up-chuck
Spew
Spit up

What did we miss?
Someone please tell me a good “I got barfed on story”.
I think I’ll have a budding blog barf story contest. Winner gets an “I got barfed on” shirt. No idea what that looks like but I’ll make it happen.
Tell yah friends.

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And so it begins. The story of how I lost a friend because I’m a mom.

Image

(It has proven impossible to take a selfie with all three kids. someday we will get a family pic.)

Ive been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a while but I already journal for me and all three of my kids and I really don’t even keep up with that very well… I was (possibly still am) convinced that my blog might consist of me logging on every six months and apologizing for not having written in so long. 

-Enter: Listen to Your Mother Portland. Campbell’s soup version = a sweet friend of mine encouraged me to audition and magically I came up with something to use as an audition piece and equally as magically, found myself actually auditioning and then most magically of all, I answered a “do you want to be part of the cast?” phone call (actually the fact that I answered the phone is probably the most magical part. I rarely answer the phone even if I know who is calling. Im awks like that.)

I can tell the rest of that story later. 

SO! Here I am! Yay!!! (I say “yay” a lot, get used to it.)

An odd thing happened a couple weeks back. I lost a friend. Not to death or anything tragic. She just stopped being my friend. Let me explain: I’ve known this friend for 10 years and we have always had a unique friendship. We met during a very self conscious point in both of our lives and we were both struggling with weight management (I could say ‘eating disorders’ but that sounds dramatic and it wasn’t really). We spent very little time together when I lived close but our friendship flourished when I moved away. We wrote paper letters to each other. Who does that? We did. Booya! We emailed and texted and once or twice talked on the phone. We laughed, we commiserated, we vented, we became REAL friends.

So time goes by and we split down different paths. She is an amazing testament to hard work and discipline. She works harder than anyone I’ve ever known in school and out. Physically and mentally, this woman pours her soul into the things she does. Its inspiring. So she goes to school (a bunch) and works (a bunch) and she got married a couple years ago, no kids yet. I got married almost seven years ago and squashed out three living, breathing, poop-snots since then. I put a little bit of time in at the community college level and worked until just before the middle poop-snot turned one but my life now is as a stay at home mom. It doesn’t pay except in kisses and hugs. Its thankless 75% of the time. Its long hours, especially if some one (or lets be honest, it’s never just one, its all or nothin’ at the Yow house) is sick. Its dirty. Its tiring. Its loud. Its isolating. Its exhausting. Its selfless. Its chaos. Its wonderful. Its terrible. Its so much more than I could ever put into words. I’m so thankful that my husband works as hard as he does so that this can be part of who I am. Unfortunately, unless you are a stay at home parent you just wont ever understand how overwhelmingly bittersweet it is.

Alright, fast forward to a couple weeks ago. Our text conversation had turned to all the things we have to keep up with in life. I like to think of myself as a clown (stay with me) and I have this juggling act but I’m not a very good clown (who is really?) so when I have some of the balls up (devotionals, clean kitchen, husband time taken care of) some of them fall to the ground (eating healthy, journaling, exercise). It’s a constant rotation and no matter how hard I try, I haven’t been able to keep ALL the balls up at the right time. We talk about sleep. That going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 6 would be ideal.
“So do it” she says.
“Its harder said than done when there are noses to wipe, laundry to fold, lunches to make, dinner to clean up…” I say.
“Do that during the day, silly” she says.
“While the kids do what?” I say.
“Play and school” she says.
I sent her a link to this youtube video of a british comedian talking about how people with no kids just don’t know and I was soooo unprepared for the text that came through next. She said it was rude and not funny (watch it. It’s funny. Promise). 

Then this: “You r on welfare and don’t work and u want to rag on me cause I said there are moms I work with that juggle kids and home?… bye Meg- thanks for living off my dollar.”

ouch.

If my feelings had testicles, that would have been a kick right to them. And can I just say that by “welfare” we mean my kids have state health care and we get WIC (I realize the “” isn’t necessary. Welfare is welfare).  I’m not proud and its not in anyway part of our plan as a family to stay on state assistance. Just full disclosure there. It is what it is. It’s a season and it will pass. 

I just couldn’t (and still can’t) believe that 10 years of friendship could be shattered just like that. Done. I really wasn’t trying to do anything besides communicate what a misunderstood life stay at home parenting is. She took it as me saying her opinions on the subject were of no value since she hasn’t been there. But really… Ponder this for a second. If I was in discussion with someone who commutes several hours during rush hour traffic daily and I suggested they just drive faster or something like that, but I have never commuted in my life, wouldn’t you (as the commuter) just kind of shake your head? I (as the non commuter) just don’t get it. Same thought applies I think. 

*sigh* 

My friend wrote me the next morning (after she had already deleted me off facebook… yep… that happened.) and apologized. I believe it was sincere but it was more like an “I’m sorry but-” and then she just said all the mean stuff but in a nice way. I haven’t written back. Is that immature? I honestly don’t know what to say. Is there something to say? I don’t want to dwell on it anymore. I also don’t want to be the jerk that doesn’t try to resolve the issue. 

*heavy sigh*

I guess that leaves me in the same boat as about a million other moms of little girls. Crazy amounts of wardrobe changes? yes but no. Plastic tiaras both whole and in pieces littering the bedrooms? yes but no. The Frozen soundtrack playing on repeat 24/7? BINGO! [Subject change. Don’t worry, I’ll bring it back.]

“Let it Go” has been stuck in my head literally all day and all night for weeks. I brought this on myself. I bought the soundtrack. WHY MEGHAN WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! Well, its amazing, thats why. “Let it go”, the Idina Menzel Adele Dazim (<–Shout out to Mary for that thought) version, NOT the Demi Lovato version, really is kind of an anthem. I can’t dissect the rest of the song and how it could apply to this situation but the chorus (or at least the title of the song– ok I’m grasping here, the song is stuck in my head ok? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!?!?) can speak to the situation. Its beyond my control. I need to let it go. I’m not sure its worth losing more sleep over. I still have mad respect (just a little less than before) for this friend and I hope someday after her kids get here and she hasn’t slept in three days because of all the shenanigans that ARE parenting, she will have that “ah-ha” moment and she will really get it. 

See, I told you I’d bring it back.