Friday, October 31, 2008

When Mommy's an Obama-Mama

Dear Jadyn and Liana:

I know it isn't fair that after working a long 40-hour work week, I have left you a couple times over the last two weeks in the evenings and on the weekends. I'm sure you've hardly noticed it, but I leave with a heavy heart.

And, for the next FOUR days, I will do it more. And yet I am doing it for you. It's all for you.

You see, I'm working for that man -- the one with the smooth, tan skin and the incredible gift for speaking -- the one you call Obama!

I wasn't always a supporter of Obama. Mommy wanted to you to see the first woman elected president in your lifetime. She really wanted that now. But, the country spoke and they saw something in Obama, something special, something unique.

Now, just four days away from the election, I have done what many women have done and we have found excitement in seeing a beautiful, compassionate black man take oath in the Oval Office -- he will be the first black president, if elected.

Do not get me wrong, this election is important for many reasons.

What many in America do not get to see is what you and I see every day as we travel around our city, where 80 percent of the children live in poverty.

Our neighbors have hope, possibly for the first time in their lifetimes.

So, when I leave you this weekend, and when I'm gone from you all day on Election Day, please know I'm doing it for you, and for what I believe in:

I believe in prosperity for ALL.

I believe in peace.

I believe in being free to choose, free to believe and free to speak.

I believe handguns should not be in the hands of anyone but police officers.

I believe in putting humanity first.

I believe in the middle class and working poor and finally making government work for them.

Finally, I believe in Obama.

What do you believe?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gathering splinters

I've talked a lot about how in just about any life, one can work writing into their lives. I've even talked a lot about how motherhood is the one thing that has gotten in my way.

Well, I take it all back.

Kids have gotten in my way. Kids have blocked my writing.

I can pinpoint the start of this nasty season to the third week of July. It was hot and we were preparing for our road trip to GA.

Jadyn got up one day from her nap and met me in at the computer. She had escaped her crib.

It's been over ever since.

We moved them that week to beds.

What used to be 7 a.m.ish risings around here, quickly turned into 6 a.m. risings, then 5:30 risings ... and I've been a mess ever since.

There is no break. No downtime. I used to at least have the mornings and evenings, but even getting them to bed has been nearly impossible before 8:15, at the earliest, and then I just






I've never been more tired in my life than I am right now. I dream of all the great things I can finally do for myself: paint my nails, soak my feet, read magazines, finally scrapbook, write, drink wine, watch TV ...

And yet none of it happens.

That's why I'm not blogging. Not because I'm working, but because the home life has been so tough ever since Jadyn and Liana got a bit of freedom.

Today is the first day I can think of where they are awake and staying in their room to talk and play!!!! It's a miracle. I could do this. I could be this mother. Not the one that is surprised awake too early or rushed out of the shower. I can live this life, that leaves me even just a few minutes of space to breath, relax my shoulders away from my ears and let my mind wonder.

The sibling battles have been tense, mostly for me. One or the other (mostly one) is never happy with anything: That frustrates me because I am, still, so emotionally invested in their well-being but also because their happy state usually means I can relax and let down a bit. It's just so rare now that I have become tense and grumpy and full of venom.

All of that isn't much fun to write about, let alone blog about.

So while I've found my groove as a working mother, I'm gathering many splinters in the process. And, their sticking to my skin like never before.

Thank you for visiting today.

Did you like this blog post? Please consider subscribing here:

Subscribe in a reader

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Potty Dramas

My name is Shawn and I am a potty training failure.

Not even Once Upon a Potty can help me. Sorry Parent Bloggers Network.

So very sorry.

Thank you for visiting today.

Did you like this blog post? Please consider subscribing here:

Subscribe in a reader

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chief of WHAT????

It's a big title for a mom who can barely keep her head above water most days.

Many of you have been wondering about my work, what I'm doing and how I'm coping being away from my sweet toddler girls who bicker and fight about everything under the sun -- including whether or not the sun is up or not.

I am working as a chief of staff for a local legislator.

And, from what I can tell after a mere two months on the job, it's a really good fit for the woman I have always been and the one I've become since becoming a mother.

The lens of the old me is much more filtered now ... many of the passions I had are now followed with a but, and a what if and why bother: and it always comes back to Jadyn and Liana or just plain being a mother in this generation.

There isn't an issue or a law or a complaint that comes along that doesn't fire me up about my love and appreciation for humanity. But I can't easily forget where I've come from just that morning -- wiping snot from one girl's nose just seconds after wiping diarrhea off her sister's butt. Life is good.

Motherhood -- parenthood -- is very humbling. My boss likes to tell me about the night he finished law school and was ready to celebrate -- only to arrive home to a floor covered in vomit, the result of his young son's cold.

There's no manual; no law book. There's no play-by-play for this parenting thing. It's a crapshoot, really, of every day trying to blend the new and exciting and joy with the mundane, frustrating and ready-to-move-out-of-this-phase phase. And I often -- meaning, several times a morning and a hundred times a night -- feel like I do not know what I'm doing, or why I chose to do it all in the first place.

And then they come along and look at me with their sweet eyes -- because they are starting to show those, now and then, -- and ask me a simple question, "My have that, Mommy?" And, they're starting to do little girl things like sit in front of my bathroom mirror and pretend to brush and fix their hair, and they love to fix my hair, too! And, they play some serious kitchen-play that includes lots of pretend hand washing. These are glimpses for me that there is light ahead, that I will be able to have fun as a mother -- some day.

It's still really hard to manage life with twins. And, it is because they are twins. We've struggled with much more fighting and bickering than previously. At my wits end, I found some research online and it's helping slightly. When they are playing well, it's very good. When they are not playing together and have selfish needs, it can be rather terrible and upsetting for me.

I miss them terribly when I'm at work, but I'm starting to find a balance - at least on the weekends -- that allows me to stay open and awake to them at certain times when not slaving in the kitchen or at the stores. There truly aren't enough hours in the day, dinner is ALWAYS a disaster and I now truly understand why more and more convenience foods are ending up on shelves despite the inconvenient cost.

There's no chief in my cap in the morning as I juggle the line between being woken up too early --well before dawn -- and tip toeing around, worried they will wake any second even though dawn has already arrived and yet I'm not able to get much done.

I'm not the boss of anyone as we make our way downstairs and bicker over what to eat for breakfast, which pants to wear and who will put on their socks, their shoes, their coats. There is no staff to help load the car with all the stuff, to help them realize we have to move along now or to race them to the car or to stop to look at a slug.

Mostly, I'm starting to find the cool groove of working while mothering, but I've been a very slow learner. VERY SLOW, in fact.

No, sir, there's no chief here.

Just a mom. And a very tired one at that.

Thank you for visiting today.

Did you like this blog post? Please consider subscribing here:

Subscribe in a reader

Sunday, October 12, 2008

5 Tips for stay-at-home moms

I already gave myself a little note about lessons learned as a stay-at-home mommy and now I'm flipping the roles around and sending some 20/20 vision out to my SAHM friends seeking a bit of a balance while in the trenches.

1. Act like you're going to work: Get up, shower and drink your coffee just like you would start a day of working outside the home. And then take it a bit further: put on make up, and dress up, comfortably. You'll feel better about yourself.

2. Enjoy your thoughts: The main difference, that I can tell, between a stay-at-home mom and a mother who works outside the home is the fact that most SAHMs have more time to think. This can be good, and this can be bad. Whatever the outcome, be thankful that you have that space to reflect on the good and the bad instead of just wading deep in a pile of sticky fragments.

3. Relish the Nap Time: The second main difference between a working moms day and a stay-at-home moms day is in the nap time. Of course, that's only when the kids are napping. After that, it's all the exact same. No time to do anything. At. All. It's not mommy wars. It's called motherhood. But, while you have a nap break, use it to your advantage -- and that means get off the computer, and do something quiet just for you.

4. Exercise: I honestly thought I never had time to exercise, and really, I didn't but now looking back I realize I really did have more time. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't ideal. But it was something -- and it was MUCH more than I can give to that important hobby now. So, even if it's just running at the playground or doing push-ups in the playroom -- it's better than sitting at a desk all day. Seriously.

5. Take. A. Freaking. Break: Yeah, you ... leave the child. With someone else. For a whole day. Or a half a day. But, leave them. Hire a sitter and just go. Live with it. Deal with it. Learn to let the grips of guilt fall to the side, learn to leave your white knuckles at home, with the dirty diapers and mealtime battles. You will not be a better mother just by being with her or him around the clock. Trust me. You'll all be better off in the end.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Between the Lines: (The Growing Up Edition)

Sharing giggles in bed before Mama comes in ...
Messing around with Daddy ...
Ready for school ...
Rock Star Baby Carter
More Carter
Sand Art
Dress up has begun!
These aren't even our Halloween costumes.
Two bags, heels, a princess dress and a weird hat.