What motherhood has taught me….

A mom shares lessons learned as she juggles her family and career….



The 40+ Mom Body….

Lately I have been avoiding looking in the mirror at all costs because frankly I don’t recognize the body that is reflected back at me.  In my mind I am still that fit 20-something year-old – however my reflection boasts a different and more well-seasoned story.  Frankly it screams out “Hi I am over 40, have three kids, work full time, and have very little time for myself!!!” Please note that this post is in no way meant to come off as shallow or superficial; but rather to highlight my own personal struggle with body changes I am having difficulty accepting and am trying to work on so that I can feel my best mentally and physically.  This post is not to claim that “I am fat” or “overweight” because if you were to look at me you would call me crazy and ask “who is this whiney bitch?”  For me my struggle is with the extra 10+ pounds I cannot seem to shed and how that 10+ pounds proportionally has altered my physicality enough to change the way my clothes fit, change the way my brain processes my physical image, leave me feeling sluggish and leave me feeling less than desirable sexually.   The bottom line is that I am not looking to be some “Skinny Minnie” but rather I want to get healthy.  I want to get in shape, get toned, and in the process of doing all of this – lose some of the weight that I have gained over the years.  I know this is completely relatable to so many of you….

I was always an active person with an active metabolism.  In high school and college I played sports and during my young adult life (pre-children) I biked and walked regularly. I admit I didn’t always watch what I ate, but then I was fortunate enough that my young metabolism was kind to my indulgences.    With my first two pregnancies I was sick as a dog so afterwards there wasn’t a lot of weight to lose.  Some might call this lucky and maybe in a way I was.  However, my first pregnancy left me with some pretty gnarly abdominal stretch marks that from a body image standpoint greatly impacted my self-image.  Stupid and superficial, maybe…. yet none-the-less it was to me significant enough on my inner psyche that to this day it still bares an impact my physical perception.

Fast-forward some years and the timeline went as follows: I got divorced, changed jobs, entered into a long term relationship and then exited that relationship 2 years later.  It was at the end of that relationship that I decided it was time to kick the “let’s get in shape” into high gear.  And I did.  I started walking 5+ miles a day, eating healthy and doing strength training.  The results majorly boosted my self-confidence.  I not only felt as if I were in the best shape of my life but I looked it.  I was toned (which helped my stretch mark issue), at a healthy weight for my height, and looked how I wanted to look physically.  Then I met my husband.  We met, got married and I got pregnant with our daughter.  I ate donuts like they were going out of style, packed on the pregnancy weight and never lost it.  After her birth I went back to work full time and life with three kids hit an all-time fevered pitch.  Factor in the stressors of our marriage and hitting 40+, selling/buying our house and moving, and it was as if my body rebelled and shut down.  My clothes got tight and nothing fit right proportionally (I refuse to buy new clothes because I know that if I lose even 5 pounds it will be a game changer).  I was and am at the heaviest weight I have ever been which has aggravated my stretch marks  and amplified how my brain was processing my image.   It was and has been very discouraging, if not depressing.  No amount of salads or occasional walking helped and I have been left feeling how this post started – disgusted and desiring a change.

Present day – as in today….. Last week I made a conscious decision to put me first.  I found some women to walk with and dragged out my bike out of the garage so that I can start  mixing up my work-outs.  I started my strength training again and am even doing some core work-outs.  I still trying to eat healthy and have kicked up my water intake.  I don’t expect an overnight miracle but I have noticed that I am down a few pounds.  This in itself has been huge on my self-confidence.  I am hoping this is what I need to get myself where I want to be.  And where I want to be is comfortable with me.  More to come in future posts…..

When Your Moving Estimate = You Own To Much S**t

We are moving…. something which I have shared before and something which has become the perfect blogging fodder.

So we had two moving companies come this past week to give us estimates on how much it was going to cost us to move all of our belongings.  Both companies were very comparable when it came to the estimated weight of our stuff; yet both companies were very different when it came to the cost.  It was a no-brainer as to which company we would be using.  However, both companies opened my eyes to the fact that despite our prior dumpster purging, we still own to much crap and we have a LOT more stuff that we need to get rid of.  I mean, who the heck want to pay to move stuff that they not only haven’t been using, but eventually are only going to get rid of in the future.  Not me!!!  And of course, the more we get rid of – the LESS we pay….

Since these moving estimates, I have kicked my purging into high gear.  I am bound and determined to get rid of more stuff; so if I haven’t used it in the last six months or if I think for a moment I won’t use it at the new house it goes into either the “give-away” or donation piles.  Furniture, books, kitchen items, and toys are all up for grabs.  Chicken rotisserie – gone.  Bread maker – gone.  Bakeware – gone.  It’s like Christmas in my neighborhood as all of my neighbors are anxiously waiting to see what items will appear on my curb next.  My neighbor down the street got a liquor cabinet, the lady in the back got a server and a ton of books.  The local daycare (who was always so good to my kids) got some new toys.  And I still have more the get rid of with Big Brother Big Sister coming in a few weeks to pick up more stuff for donation.  And then there are garage sale days in my town – which is the week before we move and you guessed it – anything we aren’t taking is gonna be out there for free!!!

If I can’t give it away or donate at it there is also is my neighbor’s dumpster, which she gave me free use of since I did the same for her.  And believe you me, I have found much more crap to toss.  I guess when you are forced to re-look at all you own, and you’re not gonna take it with you, and you’re not able to donate or give it away, the next logical step is to throw it out.  It amazes me how much more stuff I have tossed since we parted with our own dumpster.  As I am throwing out stuff now I am asking myself how the heck it didn’t get tossed before.

So in a few more weeks when all is said and done ask me if it paid off…. I can guarantee you that on multiple levels it already has and that is in itself a great feeling…..


When did my time become any less important or valuable than big business?

I am a very busy mom (as if there were any other kind of mom).  I am on call 24/7 as is required in my mommy job description, and I hold down a full time job as a nurse in a local hospital.  Subsequently, almost every moment of every day is in some way earmarked for something.  Whether its work, housework, food shopping, doctor’s appointments, general errands, school functions, after-school activities, or making appointments to have work done around my house, every day pretty much has something going on – especially lately as we are preparing to move.  Very rarely is their a calendar day that is blank.  Because of the craziness of everyday life, my time is very valuable to me – and apparently only to me.  Very rarely these days do I find that others are respectful of my time and quite frankly it has really started to piss me off.  Here is why…..

  1.  If I make a doctor’s appointment the expectation of the office is that I show up at least 10 minutes prior to the appointment to check in and fill out any paperwork that is required for that visit.  Heaven forbid you are late because some offices will charge you a late fee or even bump your appointment – because after all the doctor’s time is valuable.  Okay no problem – I get it.  However, most doctors’ office routinely double, triple, and quadruple book patients for the same time slots in order to make up the revenue on the back end, due in part to current rates of reimbursement and need to meet their financial quotas.  So does this mean that after sitting in the waiting room 15 to 20 to 30 minutes past my appointment time I can charge the doctor’s office a late fee as well?  When did this become a socially accepted norm or “fair.”  Is not my time equally as valuable as the doctor?
  2. Just recently I made two separate appointments to have work done at my house.  One was to have my furnace cleaned and the other was to have my back chimney cleaned.  Both companies quoted me a four hour time range of when their technicians would be to my house.  And both times I received phone calls just prior to the end of those time frames telling me that the service technicians were running several hours behind.  Seriously?  How is this okay?  It’s not.  I traditionally make it a point to make such appointments  weeks prior so as to specifically request the first appointment slot (or as early as possible) knowing full well that I need to be available to pick my kids up from school, tackle homework time and get my kids to their after-school activities.  Calling me at the end of the time frame you game me to tell me your running late, offer up a meek apology, and ask me if I want to wait or reschedule is beyond maddening to me and it quite frankly pisses me off.  First of all, I have be waiting all morning for you to arrive when (had I known you’d be late) I could’ve been tackling a laundry list of other things that I need to get done.  Second of all, why bother giving me a time frame of when you are just going to show up whenever?  How is it that companies don’t honor their word anymore?  Don’t they know that consumers talk or do they just not care if they earn my recommendation of not?  Thirdly, I don’t have time to wait for you anymore because I now have to pick up my kids and kick into gear my busy afternoon – you know the one I warned you about when I made my MORNING appointment.  And do I want to reschedule – NOT REALLY.  Why do I want to waste more of my time on another day waiting for you to show up?  Screw that….

Business better wake up and start showing some respect for people’s time.  It’s not okay to expect that we will just deal with whatever and be okay with it.  I get that things happen and emergencies come up – and I most certainly wouldn’t be writing a pissy blog for a once in a blue moon occurrence.  However, I am talking about this becoming the  apparent norm and occurring on a consistent basis.  Maybe this is because the expectation is “Do More With Less” but if you are going to conduct your business that way, don’t expect to keep mine.



Things you find out when you move….Episode 1

We are a family of five, living in a four bedroom house, with an attic and a basement and we are moving.

Three weeks ago we ordered a dumpster, in an effort to purge before packing, knowing full well that we had stuff to get rid of that could neither be donated nor sold.  We filled it – to the top.  Now granted we had a little help from some eager neighbors who saw this as a  prime opportunity to purge a few items themselves (they asked, we told them “go for it”) but 90% of that dumpster was all us and the stuff we had accumulated over the years.    Now I knew we owned a lot, but I was honestly taken aback at the actually amount of stuff we’d squirreled away.  Our cathartic purge was also coupled with multiple multiple donations of items to charities that could be reused (i.e. baby clothes, kids clothes, toys, household items, etc.).  Still, it was eye opening to see just how much stuff we had, that was literally just taking up space.  Of course these were those items that “I just might need again one day.”  However, looking at all the items I’d both junked and set aside for donation,  I couldn’t help but feel both guilty and disgusted with myself.  I felt guilty that I had hung onto so much stuff over the years that could potentially have been used by others, but was instead just sitting around collecting dust; and disgusted with myself that it took moving for me to be able to part with things.   It was a very eye-opening and humbling moment for me.

The dumpster got hauled away almost two weeks ago and I am still purging and donating as I pack.   I am currently operating under the guise that if I haven’t used it in the last 6 months then it’s time to part with it; and if I haven’t worn it in the last 6 months I probably won’t ever wear it again.  I am also trying to impart on my kids that when you outgrown stuff it’s okay to pass it on to someone else so as to minimize emotional attachments to irrelevant items.  I don’t want them to feel as if they can’t part with things and I feel it’s important for them to give to those who haven’t been as fortunate as they have.  Granted certain items will have sentimental value and that’s a different story, but in general they need to be able to let go of stuff that they no longer need or use.   Even with this mantra I am still amazed at the amount of stuff I have packed and overwhelmed by the stuff that still needs to be packed.  We move in just about a month and I still have a long way to go – and that’s a story for another time…..


Ways I Can Ruin My Kids Day…

Well apparently there are several phrases out that a mom can use which can instantly ruin her child’s day.  Since I have come across many of these I thought I would share them with you… Avoidance of these phrases is near to impossible but I am hoping that many of you can relate.

  1.  “No.”  This one simple word, regardless of why it’s being said, seems to invoke the most snottiness of retorts from my children.
  2. “Because I said so, that’s why.”  Not only does this phrase drive my kids insane, but apparently my word on it’s own merit is not good enough.  By the way my kids react I am actually beginning to consider adding references to my argument as an additional means back up and cite my responses.
  3. “It’s time to get up.”  Ahhh, I love the physical response to this one because it’s somewhere between a fish out of water with all the flopping around in the bed to a pull the covers over my head tight and maybe she won’t see me.  There’s a lot of moaning and groaning going on as well to which I just counter with “Maybe if you’d listened to me and had gone to bed last night the first time I’d asked, you’d be out of the bed by now.”
  4. “Go brush your teeth” which is quickly followed by “Let me smell your breath” and finally “Go brush your teeth again.”  The first of these statements gets me sighs of annoyance yet they begrudgingly go and do it.  The second of these statements usually results in an indignant stance and the snotty retort of “I just brushed them.”  Of course after smelling their breath and busting them for a crappy job, the third and final statement usually sends them off huffing and puffing.  Of course I sometimes throw in one last statement of “I can always brush them for you” which usually shuts them up.
  5. “Please go take a shower.”  God forbid cleanliness is embraced by my kids.  I don’t know if its a boy thing (though even my daughter is starting to boycott the tub) but it’s like pulling teeth to get either of my boys to get in the shower.  Most of the time they start bargaining between one another for who is going to go first, and then I end up yelling like a crazy mom “In the time you’ve been arguing with one another about whose going first, someone could have been done already.”
  6. “Pick your dirty clothes off the floor – I am not a maid service.”  This phrase usually results in a look of disbelief as if they think I actually like cleaning up after everyone.  The hamper is literally 5 feet from both their rooms, come on people!
  7. “No you cannot have a sleep-over tonight.”  Lately, as my boys have gotten older,  I have been hammered with the requests for sleepovers.  I hate sleepovers.  All I want on the weekend is to fall apart and relax.  I don’t want someone else’s kid (with the exception of one little boy who is my middle guy’s best friend) over my house because then I feel obligated to be proper and on point when quite frankly I don’t want to be.
  8. And finally, “Hurry up” is a phrase that has no meaning to my kids.  They look at me as if the concept of time does not exist and often continue along at their turtlish pace until I have to whip out my crazy and move them along.


These are just a few of the top phrases they can ruin my kids day.  I am sure there are many more that I have omitted but since I am ready to utter another one to my middle guy, that of  “its time to go to school” I will sign off for today.  Please feel free to share yours…..

Why I am Excited to Move: A Long Overdue Update…

While I would love to say “it’s official”, I will reserve those words for our closing after we have signed on the proverbial dotted line.  Instead I will continue under the guise that we are under contract with both our current house and the house we are purchasing and if no other curve balls come our way we are expecting to close and move mid-June.   Despite this entire process being fraught with stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and monetary aggravation (I will save that story for another time) I am secretly bursting with anticipation and excitement at our impending move.  Here’s why:

  1.  We will finally have more than one bathroom in our house.  No longer will I have to bargain for position or deal with banging on the door to either ask someone or be asked by someone to “Hurry Up!”
  2. All of our doors will have locks on them – this is especially important when it comes to the bathroom (yet again) door.  It became even more apparent today how truly excited I am to move when even my dogs managed to nudge open the door while I was in there.  If it’s not the kids it now is the animals – there is no peace, no privacy, and no personal space in our current home – but only for a little longer!!!
  3. My kids might finally have normal bedtimes.  With the boys bedrooms currently being on the main floor (right next to the living room and one and only bathroom) and my daughter’s bedroom being upstairs, bedtime is a nightmare.  The boys have trouble falling asleep because of the noise from the activity on the main level and my daughter doesn’t want to be upstairs alone by herself without her brothers.  I am hoping that with everyone on the same floor we can get into a routine and bedtime will take on a whole new meaning and go a whole lot smoother.
  4. Did I mention locks on the doors???? Currently the boys go into their rooms to do their homework and my daughter wants to be with them so the yelling begins.  It will be awesome to send the boys to their rooms to get their work done and know that they can lock their doors and do their work without her barging in.
  5. My husband might finally do some stuff around the new house….lol.  If you have read my prior posts you might remember that my husband hates my current house.  To him it represents my past, and my past equals my former marriage.  I was living here when my current husband and I met, and to him my house has never been a place where he has felt comfortable nor felt like he could call it or make it his own.  Historically anytime anything has needed to be done or fixed around the house I was usually the one doing the “doing or fixing” or at least the “nagging” for him to help me.   Now, we will have a house that will be OURS and I can’t wait to see him in action!
  6. Our family room (yay we will have one of those) will be right off of our kitchen so mommy won’t be left in the dust when everyone tries to scatter after a meal.  I am excited to still be in the general vicinity of everyone when they try to take off after dinner.  It will be much easier to reign them back to help in the new house than it is now where my kitchen is  isolated at the back of my house.
  7. My laundry room is on the main floor – enough said!!!
  8. I have a huge walk-in closet, double sinks in the master bathroom and a master bathroom – again enough said!!!

More to come in the upcoming weeks…. Keep you all posted!!!

More Points I Ponder as a Both a Wife and Mom…The Saga Continues…

  1.  If my toddler is gonna end up in my bed every night then why at least can’t I end up with her upper half snuggled against me rather than her feet kicking me in the head?
  2. Why when I tell my toddler that it’s time to leave the house to run errands or pick up her brothers from school does she suddenly feel the need to go and hide on me?
  3. How is it that my children have the hygiene habits of wild animals – I mean how hard is it to brush one’s teeth?
  4. How is it that I can ruin my kids day just by saying good morning?
  5. He leaves his dirty clothes on the floor next to our bed and empty green tea bottles on his bedside table but has the audacity to comment when the house is messy – apparently my husband likes to live dangerously.
  6. When did my idea of living on the wild side become taking my almost potty-trained toddler out in public in big girl underwear?
  7. How is it that it takes me a whole day to clean the house and about 5 minutes for my kids to trash it?
  8. Why is it that my kids want nothing to do with me until I get on the phone or go into the bathroom?
  9. When did I become the “step-and-fetch-it mom?”
  10. Why can’t I ever sit in a chair by myself – why does someone always need to crawl all over me?
  11. How is it that my toddler has more wardrobe changes that a runway model?
  12. Why, just when I am seconds from falling asleep does my toddler decide that that would be the perfect time to ask for a glass of milk?
  13. Why has my husband yet to figure out that a little help from him would make me a lot less of a crazy person?
  14. Would it be so wrong to just vanish for the day and let them all sort it out?

Raising Awareness to Online Dangers…When Your Parental “A” Game is Really Just a “C Minus”

I consider myself a vigilant parent.  I have to be considering that just about everything my kids do is in some way intertwined with technology – which let me just say that I hate with a passion.  Gone are the days of just reading a book, or drawing, or playing outside and using one’s imagination (despite my best efforts to steer them in this direction).  So much of today’s generation is so highly influenced and impacted by smart phones, online gaming, and various apps that I feel as if we’re raising a bunch of robots instead of human beings.  Even the schools have shifted their focus, utilizing online communication methods that include but are not limited to issuing all students their own email accounts and posting homework assignments on online forums.  Our school has even gone so far as to encourage the use of smart phones in the classroom (give me a break) as a means of accessing educational information.  To that I call “bulls**.  Do you know how many Instagram pics I see posted of kids while they are in school?  Lets just say its enough to make me wonder how much learning is actually taking place.

So with this push to be so technologically advanced, I have had to up my parental “A” game.  While my kids do have smart phones their usage comes with strict conditions.  They also have and a computer which also has its usage rules.  They DO NOT have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat accounts which many of their friends have.  And until this school year they didn’t even have email accounts; that was until the school issued each student their own email addresses (something I am not really a proponent of and wish I was given a say in).

So what’s a parent to do when all this technology so readily available?  Well, I routinely check my kid’s text messages to make sure that the content they are texting is appropriate.  My kids know to expect this and know that if I find something that is questionable or inappropriate I am going to ask them about it and if necessary offer up the appropriate discipline.  I also check the websites that they visit for all of the same reasons and with the same consequences.  Seems adequate right – NOPE – not even close.  It seems that the “A” game I thought I had brought to the parental table was more of a C – game.  Why you ask?  Well it seems that despite my best efforts, there were and are many facets of the online scene that I underestimated in my children.  Did they intentional set out to mislead me – maybe, maybe not.  Part of me believes that innocently enough they themselves were mislead while the other part of me knows that I didn’t give them enough credit for their online smarts.

So again I ask, what’s a parent to do?

Ask questions, questions answers, be involved, and be present in all that your kids do technologically.  Set limits on their online time, no matter if it’s texting, gaming, chatting, or accessing the web.  If your gonna read through texts don’t assume that that what your reading is all that there was to read.  Just recently as I was reading through my older sons text messages I realized that what I was reading not only didn’t make sense, but was actually choppy bits of various text conversations occurring at multiple times.  When I questioned my son about this I learned that he’d actually deleted some of his conversations because he didn’t want me to know that he’d been texting this girl with whom I had forbidden him to text due in part to how nasty she’d treated him both in person and online.  This brings us to another point, block numbers you don’t want your kids to have access to.  There is no rule that says your child needs to be accessible to everyone.  Utilize parental controls and block those numbers that your child doesn’t need to be associating with.

Read the content of your kids texts and don’t be afraid to intervene.  On more than one occasion I have stepped in as the parent to ask friends of my kids to please watch what it is that they are saying as I don’t appreciate the content of their texts.  Usually this elicits an apology and puts an end to the petty nonsense that kids partake in.  Once it even warranted me receiving a phone call from another parent and we discussed the matter so as to resolve it.  Kudos to them for also reading their child’s text messages.

Read the content of your kids texts and don’t be afraid to call out a number you don’t recognize and then if necessary – block it.  My older son was getting hassled by a few numbers that I didn’t recognize so I stepped in to inquire who it was that was texting his number.  I got some smart ass response from one of the numbers because the person texting thought I was my son – to which I  revealed that I was the parent who owned the phone and that if he was going to keep harassing my son I would take things to the next level.  The texts stopped but for extra measure I blocked the number.

Don’t assume that text messaging only take place on your kids phones.  With all of the online gaming that exists there are many chat opportunities within games in which players can communicate with one another.  What seems innocent enough with these games can quickly turn ugly.  My older son was playing one such game and deep in conversation with some of the other players when the conversation took an ominous turn. One of the other players started threatening my son.  That was bad enough but turned worse when the player told my son he knew where he lived (and was able to state our address) and that he was going to come after him.  Now I don’t know enough about this particular game or how this chat room in the game works to know how this player was able to identify my son through his screen character, but it brings to light a whole new level of online bullying and a danger than many parents may not be fully aware of.  The long and the short this experience was that I was finally able to identify who it was that was threatening my son and followed it up through the appropriate channels.  My boys have also been restricted on playing any online games which have chat rooms for the very reason that you just never know who is taking to your kids.

And finally, know the websites your kids are surfing, use parental controls on those websites you don’t want your kids accessing, and give your kids credit for being a hell of a lot smarter when it comes to technology than you wish they were.  Do not underestimate what it is they know or how it is they can do something because you will set yourself up for a very big shock and quite possibly some very big trouble.  Case in point, thanks in part to a hair-brained scheme and some peer pressure from a less than stellar friend, that lovely email address that the school issued him, and a few mistruths as to his age, my eldest son was able to create an Ebay account and was actually trying to bid on toys.  It was his father and step-mom who actually got wind of what was going on and intervened before any major damage was done.  Now I don’t want to sound naive, but never in a million years would I have given my son the credit to have pulled this off.  Underestimating my son was my greatest error and thankfully a great eye-opener to all the additional things out there that I need to be vigilant of.

Vigilance, open and honest communication with your kids, and being involved are so key in these technological times to keeping them safe and protected.  With all that is out there, there is never a moment we can be lax, let our guard down, or be complacent in our parental duties.  Our children are smart, resourceful and without fear as to truly understanding the dangers that they may encounter.  We as parents must be smarter, more resourceful and more vested than ever to ensure that our children remain safe, protected and act responsibly in a world that is growing faster than we can often keep up with.


Every Husband Should be Just a Little Jack Pearson….

For anyone that’s watched the show “This Is Us” you know what I am talking about.  It’s near to impossible to watch the show and not think “I wish my man was a little more Jack Pearson.”  After all, Jack Pearson is a man who embodies family, love, loyalty, devotion, hard-work, passion, and – well, you get my point.  And while he also has his faults, which help to remind us that he is after-all human; all together he is a man that women all over have fallen in love with.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband.  But there are things about him that I wish I could polish up a bit.  And while I am not intentionally trying to compare him to Jack (it’s not fair in a sense to compare him to a man that doesn’t actually exist), it’s hard not to wish that he possessed more of Jack’s endearing qualities.  I mean, who wouldn’t love a little more romance, a little more passion, and definitely more family time?

For women, we value intimacy in our relationship.  We need the passion, the love, and the emotional connection because ultimately that is what adds meaning and value to our relationship.  In order for there to be an us, there needs to be a foundation capable of supporting us.  This foundation needs to be full of not only big things such as love, trust, loyalty, devotion and hard-work; but also those little things that many times get taken for granted or get lost in the chaos of everyday activity.  We need the love notes, the flowers, the surprise dinner plans, and the thoughtful gestures that acknowledge our needs.

Jack Pearson gives us pause to reflect on what it is that makes “our us,” and what “our us” can be if we just take a moment to appreciate the person we fell in love with.

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