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A Mother's Prayer

Dear God,

I know that I don't pray very often any more.  It seems that, when I start to pray, I get little interruptions.  Then, when I do pray, it's because of emergencies caused by these little interruptions.  However, now that my house is quiet, I have one thing to ask you...

Please let my children be sleeping and not on a quiet adventure through my cabinets, drawers, or the toilets.  Please let me find their darling little faces covered in tranquility as they dream of ways to grow big, strong, and healthy without thoughts of how to terrorize their sibling and finally climb to the top of the refrigerator in search of my secret stash of cookies and candy that I so desperately need at the end of each day. 

God, please also help my secret stash always stay full.

Thank you for my children.  But, more importantly, help me to remember that I am thankful for my children.  They truly are some of my greatest blessings.  I know this...I just don't always remember it.  Thank you f…

Driving While Parenting

We've all heard the phrases driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence, driving while texting, etc.  We know that there are numerous laws and safety programs geared towards improving the safety of our roads.  As a driver, I am thankful for these safety standards.  However, as a parent, I have begun to recognize that there is often a distraction that is overlooked when it comes to driving: driving while parenting.


On any average day, while driving my car, I am faced with children screaming because I'm singing, the music is too loud, the music is too soft, the music isn't the right kind of music, brother's window is rolled down, brother's window is rolled up, brother stole sister's drink/toy/sock, sister is touching brother, sister is sticking her feet in brother's face, we're in Mom's car and not Dad's car, we're driving too slow, we're driving too fast, sister doesn't see any school buses, there are no trucks on the road,…

Bacterial Children

I've had a very recent experience with bacteria.  One that has left me a little on edge.  Because my children were in contact with someone with a confirmed case of a nasty bacterial infection, the Public Health Department got pulled into protecting the health of my children and the children with whom they have encountered.  I was required to jump through numerous hoops in order to prove that my children were, in fact, well children.  And, while I recognize the potential dangers of spreading bacteria, I have now begun to think to myself - and am now expressing to the handful of people reading this blog - that one of the major Mama Laws out there is the fact that are children are children and; therefore, they are - and will always be - bacterial children.

I make every attempt to keep my children clean.  I wash their hands before and after eating.  They wear bibs when they're too young to keep food from spilling all over them.  Their diapers are changed numerous times throughout …

What did you do today?

Such a simple question.  It's also something that many stay-at-home-mothers don't want you to know because it's not glamorous.  The most common answer I hear from my SAHM friends is, "Nothing."  That doesn't come close to truthfully answering the question.  Because, the truth is the answer is problematic.  To any other person, the truth appears to be wasted time, disorganization, a lack of control, or simply chaos.  By corporate standards, these descriptions are relevant, but not the full truth.  SAHM job descriptions are not your standard roles.  You cannot describe productivity or success in a day.  However, never let it be said that "nothing" was done during a day.  So, to clarify what we mean by "nothing," here's a portion of a day in the life of a SAHM:
6:00 am: Woke up to husband getting ready for work  6:05 am: Husband gets in the shower while toddler comes crying into the bedroom because she didn't quite make it to the pot…

The Perfect Mom Myth

She's dressed impeccably.  She smells like sunshine.  Her hair looks like the shampoo commercials as it swings to and fro while she's walking with her three children - all of whom are paying perfect attention to her every word.  Her children are also dressed in matching clothes that, as far as I can tell in the afternoon sun, are spotless.  Their hair is styled and they are perfectly accessorized.  She smiles at everyone she passes.  Her phone rings, she answers it, and she carries on a calm and uninterrupted conversation. I watch her as she gets to her car and all of the children immediately climb into the spotless SUV and buckle their seatbelts.  No screaming.  No whining.  She is in control.

While the above scenario may seem like it happens on a daily basis.  I can guarantee that it's never happened to me.  In fact, it probably never will.  This is another Mama Law:

It's a good day if I've had time to get an uninterrupted shower.
It's a great day if I've…

I'll have some wine

The lesson was on food and drinks.  The teacher asked the girl, "What do you drink with your lunch?"  The girl's answer, "I'll have some wine."

Learning happens in two directions once your children enter school.  The first way this happens is by the child taking in all of the information and experiences that the teacher and school give to them.  The second: the teacher and school taking in all of the information that your child gives to them.  Now, some of this information isn't so bad.  It reaffirms the knowledge that they've learned.  However, sometimes it reaffirms the information that they've absorbed when you didn't know they were absorbing it.

My daughter's simple answer to her teacher about having wine with her lunch was, thankfully, laughed off.  No, I don't give her wine.  But, she learned it by recalling all the times that I have ordered wine with my meals or poured my own glass at home.  It's not a major dilemma.  Som…

I have boobs

Focus.  I need to finish my shopping (without the kids grabbing any more unneeded items off the shelves), pay, get everything loaded into the car, get the kids home, feed them lunch, clean them up, get them to nap, and then I'll have some quiet time.  These are the thoughts I was having as I was speeding through the grocery store, desperately trying to keep my sanity.  The morning hadn't gone as I planned.  Actually, it started much earlier than morning since I had a newborn who, at five months old was still not sleeping through the night.  I had gotten maybe a total of four hours of sleep, 90 minutes of that being consecutive.  I hadn't gotten a shower, but was at least wearing clean clothes, matching socks, and had remembered to add some deodorant.   All I wanted were the essentials: milk, eggs, bread, coffee, and chocolate.  Only a few more aisles to go!

"Mommy, I HAVE BOOBS!!!!!"
Suddenly, you could hear a pin drop.  Everyone within 50 yards stopped and turne…

Thank you, Mommy, for not upsetting me...

She screamed "You're making me very upset!" so loud that it could be heard a mile away.  The person standing across from her wasn't listening to any form of logic.  She just didn't understand.  The frustration and anger was building and building so high that she swore she was going to pop.  Really, how could she not understand the importance of these decisions?  What could she possibly be thinking?  Her priorities were completely wrong and she was going to cause such a huge catastrophe that the Titanic would look tiny.  She kept trying over and over and over again to explain the situation, but it just could not be diffused.  There would be no happy ending to this story.

"Fine, Sweet Pea, you can wear your PJs to the store."

At last this woman understood the complexity of the situation.  Seriously, why would she think that PJs couldn't be worn to the store?  That's ridiculous!  "Thank you, Mommy, for not upsetting me" she kindly told th…

If you buy the expensive toy, they'll play with the box

A soft, plush rocking horse that sings, talks to you, and neighs.  The mouth even moves.  It has two modes: it can rock gently back and forth for younger children or it can spring up and down as if galloping through the forest.  It even has a safety harness for younger children who may not yet know how to sit upright on it.  It is amazing!  At least that's what I thought when I purchased it for my daughter's first birthday present.  The entire time I was trying to determine an appropriate gift, I knew I wanted it to be spectacular.  After all, how many first birthdays does a person have?

Infants and toddlers are imaginative creatures.  They build stories and worlds inside their tiny heads.  They look at the world around them and see nothing but possibilities where we might see something boring, bland, or meek.  They see a toy and don't understand price tags.  No, they understand possibilities...just not the same way as us parents.  They don't see the numbers of gizmos,…

If you want rational, they'll give you their version

"Mommy, you've made me very disappointed!" she screamed from the top of her lungs.  Repeating the same phrase over and over and over again.  The emotions continued to rise.  Tears drenched her pillow as she lay kicking in her bed.  I gently tried to calm her down, but to no avail.  Nothing could calm the monster, after all, she was very disappointed.  But, I tried again, "Sweet Pea, you need to take a deep breath and calm down."  We breathed in together and out together.  The fire from her face was beginning to settle.  We breathed again.  The tears gentled.  We counted down: 10...9...8...Breathe...7...6...5...Smile...4...3...2...Relax...1...  Ah.  The moment was calm.  I stared into the eyes of my toddler and said, "Let's talk...Sweet Pea, you cannot eat grapes in bed during naptime."  And, the screaming began again, "Mommy, you've made me very disappointed!"

I like to believe that people are rational creatures.  After all, we learn…

If there's an obstacle, they will hurdle it

She looked at the mountain in front of her and said, "I think I can.  I think I can,"  after all, that's the book Mommy read to her last night before bedtime.  She had become the Little Engine Who Could.  Slowly, she began climbing.  Building strength and speed.  Gaining more and more ground.  Oh, the views from this height; they were spectacular.  She could see the bathroom sink - even reach out and turn the faucets on.  She could grab the toothpaste - untwisting the cap to paint the sink glittery blue.  The excitement!  She had to share it with someone.  As she looked around at the miraculous scenery, she saw someone off in the distance.  "Mommy!  Mommy!"  Then she crashed to the ground.

A strong rule for mothers - or parents, in general - to know is that accidents will happen.  We cannot completely protect our kids from them.  Yes, we can try to implement safety precautions to delay the inevitable.  But, children are smart.  They learn quickly, hence the r…

If you buy something expensive, they will ruin it.

My beautiful daughter can often be found trying to mimic me.  I've always enjoyed the fact that she wants to do what I'm doing and wants to act like me.  This has served me well.  She will repeat phrases I say to her; such as, "My mommy is beautiful" or "Supercallafragalisticexpialladocious" (which often comes out simply as superdocious).  She mimics my behaviors, so I can easily get her to walk like an Egyptian or do the Hokey Pokey.  

As I've grown older, I like to think that I have also grown wiser.  I have learned what things I need to purchase in quantity and what things I need to for quality.  I take pride in the things I purchase for their quality, trying to be sure that they have a full life of use.

I was getting ready one morning when she was still my only child.  Still learning all of the Mama's Laws, I wasn't paying complete attention to her and was letting her play in one of my bathroom drawers.  After all, how much harm could a…

How Many Laws Does Murphy Have?

My morning started off fairly normal.  I was woken up 30 minutes before my alarm went off by a newly potty-trained child telling me her bed was wet.   As I was changing the sheets, the same child had helped herself to a breakfast of Oreos.  My baby boy decided to then wake up as I was cleaning up the trail of double-stuffed cookie crumbs.  Always a happy child, he immediately smiled and brought me back to my happy mama zone.  So, with one child's hunger temporarily satisfied, I opted to take a gamble on getting a shower before noon. 

My children were happily playing in my bedroom with PBS Kids playing in the background.  I got everything ready for my shower and started brushing my teeth.  Halfway through my first task, my toddler daughter  told me that my still-infant son was "a piggy bank."  Unsure of what she was talking about, I glanced at my son and noticed that he had something in his mouth.  Well-versed in Heimlich procedures, I quickly scooped out his mouth only t…