Let me begin my cliche blog for today. Sorry to bore you with this mommy stuff but it’s what I’m feeling right now. I am sure others can relate. The blogs are overflowing with first day of school moments from every mommy blogger out there. So I am adding to the junk pile!
This stuff really creeps up on you!! I realize the gravity of this moment. My third child has just entered school full day for the first time ever. This is a milestone for both of us. She now steps into the realm of becoming a grade-schooler and I-well, I’m just not a young stay at home mom anymore. What the hell does that mean? Who the hell am I? I am constantly plagued with this question. Some people really know who they are at an early age. My whole life has been a constant struggle to figure this out. Guess what I think? That’s totally OK. I love that I have spent my life constantly experiencing new things, traveling and meeting all types of people. I have always pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I don’t fit a particular type and I think I might surprise people who actually take the time to get to know me. My friends also don’t fit a particular type. This can make things confusing in your own search for identity, but then again, it makes you realize that you don’t have to be just one thing.
So in this moment… this very brief moment. Yes, I am a grieving mother. I mean this in the exaggerated sense of the word. No disrespect to those people who are truly grieving parents! I walked into the mall the other day without my children and right smack dab in front of my face was the children’s playground. It was filled with young moms and their little ones. I loved the sound of the shrieks, laughter, and … yes, even the tantrums! I literally stopped in my tracks at the entrance of the massive mall and did nothing. I just took it in. My eyes started to get glassy and it hit me. Don’t get me wrong I was so excited to be shopping for a few hours without my children for nothing in particular! However, I realized that part of my life was now over. I would never have those moments again that all those new mom’s were having. For a brief second, I hated them. I wanted it back! Yes! I wanted to be at the mall with my children begging and bribing them to go to one more store. Nursing in the family restroom and drinking smoothies because I had no time for a proper lunch. I actually wanted that emotional roller coaster back! You know why?, because amidst all the chaos there were the hugs and kisses. There were the adoring looks and eyes of wonder. My children brought me joy and gave me a purpose. I was young and didn’t know what I was doing and that was exciting! I met knew people and new families. Every day was a new adventure.
Today I walked away from my kids school for the first time leaving all of them. They will be there all day and I will pick them up after seven hours. This is my new adventure! I will get back to me! I will remember what it’s like to do things for myself. I will work outside the home and watch my children grow up to be wonderful adults. It’s our job to raise them in order to join the world and form their own adventures without us. Now I get to focus on, my, next adventure… let them worry about theirs!
Yesterday, once again I had planned and desired to do something a bit different but I didn’t have time. I bought an awesome new journal that says exactly what I want my 2016 to be like.
The plan was to take 15-20 min and write some poetry. I prefer to write when the desire comes but I think it’s also important to learn to be disciplined with the creative process and set some guidelines. So at least, I did step #1 and got the journal. I hope to spend some time with it tomorrow. (Which is really going to be later today because I’m writing this entry about yesterday! Last night was busy!)
So anyhow, I technically did do something for myself last night. I had my first rehearsal for the Shakespeare play I’m going to be in this coming March. Wow! That was liberating! The entire afternoon I had to deal with my “needy” children whining and complaining about my rules, asking me to find everything under the sun for them, in order to do their homework, while all three of them ask me questions at the same time! I was losing my mind, but in the back of my head there was peace. I knew that my time would come tonight, when I would get to leave the house for three full hours and do something completely different that gives me such a huge rush!
Please, take my advice and join a group! I’m sorry— if you can sign your kids up for sports, music lessons, chess, art classes etc., and be the taxi driver for everyone- then you definitely deserve once a week to do something that excites you!!!!
Here are some examples of groups you can join:
local swim team
groups at your library: creative writing, scrap booking, gardening
take a continuing education course at your local community college (Photography, dance, writing)
volunteer at a homeless shelter, home for children with special needs, at the hospital, or Feed my Starving Children
join a running group ( I don’t know how anyone could enjoy this- but to each his own!)
Sign up to learn a new language
Take music and/or singing lessons
Take Karate/self defense
Take an art class and learn to draw and/or paint
Join a yoga group
Learn how to ice skate or swim (then you are set for each season!)
Make your own group and ask the library if they will support you and allow you to meet there weekly
join a mom’s group or form your own
Whatever it is that you’ve been thinking about, but never thought you could find the time to do– just ignore those naysayers in your head– and DO IT!!!!
Is there something you admire or have always wanted to learn, since you were little, that keeps creeping back into your thoughts???????????
It’s your sub-conscious telling you something. DO NOT ignore it again!
It’s trying to tell you where your passion lies! Listen to that little child in your head. Those are the dreams and aspirations that your little negative self shot down and tried to shut up. The dreams are still alive and trying to become a reality! It is in your control to make it happen!
So I am finally breaking down and succumbing to peer pressure. The Elf will be entering our home and our Christmas traditions on Dec. 6. He will come on St. Nicholas’ day with a letter. I have been asked many times over the years if I would like one for the kids and I’ve always responded with out hesitation- ABSOLUTELY NOT! I do not want one more fad or commercial thing to take away from the true spirit and meaning behind Christmas. After all we place much more of an emphasis on Santa than Jesus! Our children get the message loud and clear what we value.
Christmas was always such a magical time of year for me growing up. Santa was a big part of it but it wasn’t everything. Yes, the anticipation of something magical was so exciting. The thought that there was this ever loving man who would reward you for trying your hardest and being a good person gave me such a warm and wonderful feeling. It made me feel loved. In much the same way that I feel about God, now as an adult. Christmas was also about the cookies, cards that had wonderful pictures that reminded us of Jesus and the “reason for the season”, Christmas decoration and lights, and family. Yes, as a child getting together with family was the best thing about Christmas. We didn’t get tons of toys and we didn’t go see Santa at the mall. We were excited to see our Grandparents and get all the hugs and love from them. We couldn’t wait to eat the special food that we generally only ate on that evening. Most importantly we couldn’t wait to all be together, stay up late, play with our cousins, and hear the laughter, shouting (which was actually how my family talked), and Christmas music. You see as a child it wasn’t painful getting together with relatives. There were no power struggles or offensive comments. There was just Joy. Sheer and utter Joy. I’m so afraid with the thousands of expensive presents that we throw at our children and all the trying to make Santa a reality “Santa experiences” that my children will grow up to be self-centered and materialistic. I realize now that getting an Elf on the Shelf will in no way have this result if I continue to emphasize the meaning of Christmas through my actions. By this I mean, doing a “good deed” advent calendar, being kind to my family during this stressful month, and reading stories about Jesus with my children.
I was also afraid to let the Elf enter our home because my Christmas memories also involved a frantic, edgy mother trying to make everything in the house perfect. It involved a lot of fighting with my sisters when we were decorating the tree and rushing, rushing, rushing. I admit my weakness and realize that I do not have a high tolerance for stress. Adding this Elf to my holiday to do list is something that absolutely terrifies me. It takes a lot for me to remain cheerful, peaceful, and kind during the month of December. We have work parties, school shows, and family birthdays. It’s overwhelming and gives me a lot of anxiety. This shelf is just a straw on the camels back. What if I just absolutely lose it!
My boys were only minimally interested in the Elf so it was easy for me to brush the idea off, but my daughter is different. She keeps asking me why we don’t have one and continues pressing the topic. I decided to look at the big picture. She’s the last one and this Elf may only be in our lives for five more years. I think I can handle it! Plus, I do not have to keep up with the Jones’ and do crazy things every day. It’s only as stressful as I choose to make it. I wouldn’t dare take Santa out of Christmas so what’s the big deal to add his elf to the picture.
So hear we go!!! Bring on the ELF!!! He is no match for me! I can take him!