“Parent” Job Description

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“JOB DESCRIPTION OF A PARENT”

POSITION: 

Full-time Parent – also referred to as mama, mommy, mother, father, daddy, dad, incoherent grunt, “best friend” when complying with demands and Satan

LOCATION:

Flexjob– travel required, work from home, away from home, in vehicle, Chick fil a, pediatrician office, movie theater, Walt Disney World, convenience store bathrooms, ball park, gymnastic building, emergency room, sandbox and, a wildly popular favorite…Wal-mart

HOURS:

Variable – only one shift available at present time: 24 hour on call 7 days a week, clients strongly encourage 3:00am workload

PAY:

Monetary incentives highly unlikely. Document hours worked until management reaches the age of maturity, then bill in the form of chores, car washes, good conduct and then pass the torch of diaper duty when the job relocates to local nursing home

PROFILE:

Dynamic professional who demonstrates stellar interpersonal and organizations skills. One who can remain calm under duress and has lost all sense of smell, hearing, and modesty.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Multi-task oriented individual must possess ability to consume Nutella sandwiches while simultaneously eliminating code browns…candidates unable to distinguish between the two NEED NOT APPLY
  • Spearhead client gatherings at various locations, with dominant personalities and intense preferences, who do NOT want to comply with contractual agreements.
  • Identify, meet and exceed your client’s needs on a daily basis
  • Perform routine SWOT analysis’ of your performance. Examples: Strengths (toddler alive), Weaknesses (no sleep), Opportunities (more greens in diet), Threats (puberty)
  • Develop vast knowledge of sports, Disney Pixar, school playground drama, trains and Pokemon Go
  • Demonstrate high tolerance for cleaning, wearing and congesting bodily fluids
  • Pass client inspection of food preparation. Consistency is KEY to success. (construct meals the exact same way each time for maximum chance at consumption)
  • Maintain positive client relations in spite of temper tantrums, groundings and hormones
  • Exhibit ability to keep animals alive and well in the presence of new, less experienced clients
  • Consistently service residence, vacuum mode of transportation and declog toilets
  • Remain motivated, creative, and patient 87% of of the workday
  • Dedicated commitment to a lifetime of service
  • Must develop immunity to sleep deprivation
  • Background in Pinterest, Amazon and WebMD a plus

REFERENCES:

Certified documentation from OBGYN or…a simple EPT will suffice.

DRUG SCREENING:

Urinalysis is conducted with an OPEN DOOR POLICY, in a room full of three years olds and small pets

BENEFITS:

Snotty kisses, larger than life hugs, never a dull or boring moment the remainder of your tenure

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Are You Lonely Mama?

lonelyHow can mother’s have someone on or around them almost every waking and non-waking moment and still feel lonely?

I’ll tell you why. Because there is little time to center ourselves. Whatever that looks like can vary from one person to the next but it’s the overall process of calming the mind, body and spirit in renewed solidarity that generally gets tossed to the wayside after procreation.

Kids are demanding creatures and they will get their mama time at all costs. Throw in a job, house duties, volunteering and another adult and you are left with mere scraps of time to do for yourself.

And sleep! What even is that? I don’t know about you but sleeping a full night is a challenge these days. I’m tired and have the eye bags, cortisol belly and short fuse to prove it. The good news is that my kids and dog love their mama. The bad news is that at least one of them likes to infiltrate my bed between the hours of 2:00-3:00am each night.

Case in point: It’s 4:00am. I’ve actually been up since 2:30am after being abruptly awoken to a body part being thrust into my side. Not only that, but I woke up drenched in a full on body sweat. Menopause? Nah. Too young for that. Or am I? Eh, maybe I lost a couple pounds.

After laying in bed and unsuccessfully reentering dream state, I relocate to the living room and abandon all hope of sleep. Within thirty seconds of entering the kitchen for a drink, here comes the dog. She woofs until she finds her furry self snuggled in my lap. Literally, five minutes later I hear “Mama, where are you?” He finds me, insists that I remove the dog, crawls into my lap, goes back to sleep and here I am, wide awake.

It is what is it. I’m definitely not alone but I FEEL alone. Does that make sense? I need desperately to rejuvinate and get back on track living my life with laser focused purpose but generally, in this season of life, the stars just don’t align.

Mother’s have to resolve ourselves to the fact that we don’t get much “me” time anymore and there will be seasons of isolation. Later on down the road when our houses are empty it’s then we will probably reminisce how we miss the busyness of a full house of little ones and then complain how LONELY we are.

Can’t please a woman. We want it all right now.

For the time being, I try to remind myself that other mothers are lonely too and it’s just par for the course.

In this season of life, we are: tired, short fused, human napkins, slaves to munchkins, cattle herders, band aid applicators, referees and all around considered meany mommies.

Ironically, my eyelids are now bobbling. I could seriously throw down some ZZZs, but it’s about that time to begin the morning rush.

Caffeine anyone?

Let’s do this…

 

 

 

 

 

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Top AMAZING Ideas To Win A Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

pumpkincontestIt’s that time again parents! The Great American Pumpkin Decorating Contest is about to plant itself across the country in schools and county fairs near you, giving your kids an opportunity to showcase their creativity.

This type of contest has been used locally in my children’s school as a fundraiser and we have pulled off two subsequent Grand Prize wins. In order to achieve victory again, we will have to deliver something truly amazing.

After searching the web for the best of the best ideas, for your convenience, look no further. If you and your kiddo want to pull off a real shot at winning a no-carve pumpkin decorating contest, then read on!

For the child that has zero attention span and just wants to lick your walls while you provide instructions, stick to a pumpkin that needs a solid coat of paint in an outside environment, away from babies, dogs and expensive things that have miraculously survived your children thus far.  For example, these angry birds can be competed in a couple of hours.

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www.repeatcrafterme.com

For the child that wants to win, regardless of personality challenges? Well, consider one of these AMAZING pumpkins. Yes, these will take time and detail. However, if you and your child are up for the frustration, paint brush throwing, glitter up your nose, oh wait, I mean, BONDING, then go for it!

Various supplies needed can be found in a one-stop-shop click. Select the item(s) needed below and simply hit “check out.”

Craft feathers (color) (natural) (peacock), acrylic paint, plastic eyes, craft pipe cleaners, craft glitter, foam board, paint brushes, modge podge, glue gun/sticks, craft balls, gum balls, craft mirrors, craft stones, craft sticks, craft pins, Krylon Original Chrome Paint

R2D2: Click here for directions courtesy of diycandy.com

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BLOWFISH: Pinterest

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That’s ALOT of candy corn

OWL: Pinterest

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PUFFER FISH: Pinterest

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WHITE OWL: Click here for instruction courtesy of decorate.com

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GIRAFFE GOURD PUMPKIN: Courtesy of guardartenthusiasts

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WHALE GOURD PUMPKIN: Courtesy of etsy.com

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FLAMINGO GOURD PUMPKIN: Found at americangourdsociety.com

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VERY HUNGRY CATEPILLAR: Pinterest

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CHARLOTTE’S WEB: Courtesy of Greeneacreshobbyfarm

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RICKEY RICOTTA MIGHTY ROBOT: Instructions can be found at momdot.com

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CINDERELLA’S CARRIAGE: Google

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FLY GUY: Pinterest

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YELLOW BIRD: Courtesy of PopSugar

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STAR WARS BB-8 Pumpkin: Instruction can be found here from time.com

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GRAND PRIZE WINNER – GUM BALL PUMPKIN: Courtesy of threekidsandababydaddy.com

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This was one of those “You’re welcome son” moments

Supplies needed, LOTS of gum balls, red spray paint, small plastic bucket, black and silver paint, paint brush

SPACESHIP WITH ALIENS: Courtesy of threekidsandababydaddy.com

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Supplies needed: Krylon Original Chrome, green acrylic paint, green craft wires, plastic eyes, glue gun, foam board, craft pins to secure foam board to pumpkin, craft mirrors and beads, small see through cup or bucket for top of spaceship

GRAND PRIZE WINNER – PEACOCK GOURD PUMPKIN: Courtesy of threekidsandababydaddy.com

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Baby girl hated the limelight but LOVED the cash

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Supplies needed: Blue Paint, Blue Glitter, Peacock Feathers, glue gun, styrofoam to secure feathers to the back of pumpkin, pins which attach the styrofoam to back pumpkin, plastic eyes, black craft pipe cleaners

For more ideas, search the Three Kids and a Baby Daddy’s Pumpkin Pinterest Pins here.

We would LOVE to hear of your process of pumpkin decorating with your child with pictures and please share any successes also! Remember, a success could be simply finishing the pumpkin to competition without tears and gnashing of teeth.

Comment on, Like and Share this blog post so other parent’s won’t be denied these time-saving, winner-winner chicken dinner masterpieces.

Be sure to sign-up by e-mail to receive the latest posts from threekidsandababydaddy.com.

P.S. If some picture are not viewable with correct rotation on mobile devices, the issue should be resolved from a computer/laptop view..

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Experiencing Loss In A Wicked World

loss“I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you…”

Every day across the world, someone is losing something. Money, relationships, preferences, confidence, self esteem, positions, jobs, and even purpose. Although much tougher for some than others, all these things are replaceable and people generally find a way to move on.

But when it’s a person that we lose that was an integral part of our very existence, we never forget and we never fully move on. In these bodies, in this life, in this dimension, it is impossible.

Every day around the world, communities gather to grieve loss. Today, friends near and dear to my heart did the same. There are never the right words to say and not enough kind actions that can be done that can fill the void.

The quote above is, ironically, from a musical called “Wicked,” which is a humorous take off on “The Wizard of Oz.” It’s my absolute favorite Broadway soundtrack…ever.

It came to mind today, along with several other instances that often do when tragic loss occurs.

Experiencing loss in a wicked world.

God never intended this to be our experience but yet it is. I have lost many but not a child. There is no greater grief.

Over the years, watching several friends wrestle with it the remainder of their earthly lives, these are memories forever etched into memory. I can recall them like I could a show I just watched five minutes ago.

I do believe that people come into our lives for reasons to make us wiser, stronger, compassionate and fiercer. To test our character, to stretch our resolve and to force us to determine what and who we will live our lives for.

There is one experience I will NEVER, ever forget.

The words of a friend of mine who had just lost her son in a tragic car accident:

I met her years ago during a random cold call. While working a sales route in my first job straight out of college, I bounced right in to her office armed and ready to sell her some undeniably awesome staffing options.

There was an instant connection. Kindred spirits maybe. You couldn’t forget her. I never will. Impressively red hair and an undeniable instinct for business. Although she never had a need for the company’s services at that time, we still remained in contact.

She was fun! I met her family. We hung out.

One random night, I felt I needed to call her. As soon as the ringing stopped and she breathed into the phone, I knew something was terribly wrong.

“Uh..are you OK?”

“My son…he’s gone.”

She had literally just gotten the worst phone call of her entire existence right before.

I then watched her grieve the loss of her son, then the loss of her father, the loss of her marriage, the loss of her business and then the loss of her church…all in the course of a few months time.

I had nothing to offer her during that hot mess of a Job season, except my ear. Her journey through that horrible time is what I envision families and communities endure when a tragic loss occurs.

Today, she is happily remarried and is a thriving business owner once again.

Understandably, the loss of her own flesh and blood is the one thing she has not, and never will, fully recover from.

One day I asked her how she moves forward and made peace with the anger she felt towards God.

“Well, I finally figured me and God have something in common now. We both lost a child on this earth. If anybody gets me, He does.” And she MEANT it.

A wicked world and the powers behind it threw everything it had in a matter of days to destroy her.

What an example.

To all those who hurt today, I have no words except that I’m sorry.

May someone find comfort in her tested love for God.

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12 Ways Kid Movies Change The Way You Talk

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You used to consider yourself cool.

You especially thought yourself hip when it came to your choice of Hollywood movie selections. Can’t you just picture you pre-kid, dressed to the hilt physique merrily marching up to the ticket counter?

“Yes, two adults please.”  Then, waltzing to the front of the line at concessions?

“Popcorn with my butter? Why, absolutely!” The metabolism was so superhuman that you could scarf down that carbohydrate ridden lard with a serving of Goobers and maintain the scales with little effort.

The real entertainment came after the movie credits had run. Socially approved one-liners from these movies made for hysterics when applied to well timed scenarios. Our favorites:

“The TRUTH? You can’t handle the truth!” (A Few Good Men)

“You complete me.” (Jerry McQuire)

“I’ll be watching you.” (Meet The Parents)

“We gotta keep our composure!” (Old School)

“Nobody puts baby in a corner.” (Dirty Dancing)

“Get busy living or get busy dying.” (The Shawshank Redemption)

“My precious.” (Lord of the Rings)

However, just like your post-procreation metabolism, your entertainment viewing options change as well. Like many of you, after birthing a litter of little ones and seeing our date nights obscure into oblivion, my husband and I find ourselves watching scores of kid movies. We have one TV by choice at the present time. That means, even if we aren’t actually watching, we hear EVERY SINGLE word, song and catch phrase so often that they are etched into memory.

If these 12 children’s movie one-liners cause familiarity of an instance where you said the exact same thing, then be comforted. Your dialogue is just as corny as ours!

(Consider yourself to have reached a new low if you are still quoting #12.)

#1 – Deciphering toddler talk:

“For the first time in forever, I finally understand.” (Frozen) 

#2 – Come back to a temper tantrum:

“You’re a sad, strange, little man…” (Toy Story)

#3 – A compliment to a yummy dinner mom cooked:

“That’ll do pig. That’ll do.” (Babe)

#4 – Night time ritual:

“I love you. I love you more. I love you most.” (Tangled)

#5 – Motivation for chore work:

“Git-R-done!” (Cars)

#6 – Response to irritation of any kind:

“Darn, darn, darn, darny-darn!” (Lego Movie)

#7 – Tending to mountains of laundry:

“Just keep swimming.” (Finding Nemo)

#8- The disrespectful, crazy driver at carpool:

“Thanks Satan.” (Wreck-It Ralph)

#9 – A wife feeling under appreciated:

“I am your wife! I’m the greatest good you’re ever going to get! (The Incredibles)

#10 – Stopping mid-conversation, thinking of something you forgot to do:

“Squirrel!” (Up)

#11 – When you clean all day and the house is destroyed in 30 minutes:

“Pluck my life.” (Angry Birds)

#12 – On the verge of losing it:

“Let it go.” (Frozen)

There you go.

We are enlightened enough now to realize that, although we really weren’t that cool before kids, living in the world of parenting has transformed our wit and sarcasm to the level of daycare playground conversations.

Parenthood.

Doing it perfectly is the stuff of kid movies: magic, fairy tales and make believe.

Take pride in the fact, though, that any cheesy, G-rated dialogue obtained proves that you spend a lot of precious time with your kids and that makes up for any lost cool points your newfound entertainment has cost you.

Two thumbs up.

 

 

 

 

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“Stay-At-Home” Mom Needs to Go!

stayathomemomMy days look much different than that of five years ago.

I get to be available for my kids and spouse anytime they need me. I have more time to cook healthy meals and have a clean home (more time doesn’t always equate reality). I’m no stranger to the gym. If a kid is sick, I am the primary caregiver. My life is no longer privy to much of the narcissism, deadlines and undue stress of the corporate working world.

I am a stay-at-home mom. At least, that’s what society tells me anyway.

After resigning from a medical sales career, there is one silly thing that still bothers me: listing my occupation on forms!

I despise the phrase. Why? “Stay-at-home” is not what I do all day! It’s about as inaccurate as what our government tells us about its actions on a daily basis. It indirectly implies that a mother is “at home” and carefree during daylight hours. Rarely am I in one location for hours on end. When stay-at-home moms are at home, the majority are insanely busy, rushing to get things completed before the kids gets home.  This mother is on the go, working 24/7.

Interestingly enough, when I was caring for two young children working a full-time career, I still never felt the title of “Sales and Marketing Professional” to be precise. I may have been employed with a paycheck, but I was STILL a full-time mom.

If you really think about it, how we label mothers in our society can be offensive to all and is a great source of the whole “mommy wars” dilemma.

When faced with an instance where an occupation listing is required, I cringe inside. Of course, a title should never determine one’s worth. I just prefer that the terminology provided be ACCURATE.

Let’s get some things straight about motherhood and labels:

“FULL-TIME”

Every mama that lovingly invests and wholeheartedly involves herself in the life of her offspring is a “Full-time” mother.

Women that work a paying job outside of the home don’t stop being full-time mothers just because they draw a paycheck. An assumption that their paid employment title is more defining for them than being with their children all day isn’t fair. I’ve been there. The paying jobs they serve in may be something they love with their whole heart or endure for necessity but their children are always on their minds and actions. Many feel guilty for not being able to be with them more.

Furthermore, just because a mother is in a constant position of service to her family without pay CERTAINLY doesn’t suggest that her role is any less time-consuming or important. There is often guilt for not providing more to the family finances or concern that they are losing professional skills as a trade-off.

Regardless of the set up, all mothers are full-time. Period.

 “STAY-AT-HOME” versus “WORKING”

My pet peeve! This is just the worst.

To someone who has never been one, the phrase “stay-at-home” mom flashes up visions of a mother in her PJs, eating gobs of chocolate and watching Grade C reality TV all day. Wrong! It’s insulting. Ever had to explain a gap in employment with that title on your resume? Generally speaking, employers don’t get it.

Many are envied, yet are the recipients of mean-spirited remarks.

Mothers working in corporate careers get the shaft also. Why? Just because a woman works 40+ hours a week outside of the home should NEVER imply that she is not working in her home. When she is on the job she is thinking of her children incessantly and when home, she rarely sits.

Many a mother spending every waking moment with her kid envies the career mom because she gets financial validation, adult socialization and tangible successes.

Never bad mouth a mom for her occupational season in life. They are all busy, stressed and have their own set of guilt issues.

Every kind of mother is a working mama. Period.

NOW WHAT?

The next time I have to submit an occupation title on any form, in my current role, I plan on listing “Full-time, working mother.”

When I reenter the corporate world at some point, I also plan on indicating “Full-time, working mother.”

Why? Regardless of work circumstances, all dedicated mamas fit this description. It’s a title that unites us and doesn’t divide.

Sure, I’ll have to provide some answers. However, it gives me an opportunity to validate that mom working AWAY from her kids, struggling to give 100% of herself to family and employer. To build up the confidence of the mother that has little adult interaction and is desperate for confirmation of a job well done. To find commonality. A chance to help lift any guilt a mother may be experiencing regardless of what her motherhood role looks like.

There is zero percent chance of being a perfect mama but a 100% chance of being a good one.

Full-time, working mothers…period.

 

 

 

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Carpool Confessions: Tears For Years

carpoolconfessionstearsforyearsAlthough the thirty minute window of school carpool can make for some toe curling traction on mom’s nerves, I’ve learned to view it as an opportunity.

A chance to talk with my kids and solve the world’s problems one radio karaoke, DQ soft serve and inspirational mom moment at a time.

Don’t get me wrong. There are times when you can literally see smoke coming out from all crevices of my body in rage and I catch getting stared out by observant truck drivers.

My children test me, like yours test you.

Anybody that has been in confined spaces with school aged kids, especially in a vehicle where escape is not an option, KNOWS how psych ward crazy it can get.

Some days are more G rated than others. Sometimes it’s a hot mess that I hope never gets plastered on YouTube.

The best carpool days to me are the ones where I get to have meaningful dialogue with the kids.

Today, one child plopped into the front seat, threw the backpack on the floorboard and let out a defeated sigh of frustration. Immediately, I knew something was wrong.

“What happened hun?”

“Mom, my title project didn’t get chosen. I worked so hard.”

The kid had brainstormed for a project the class had to vote on. Normally not a terribly competitive child, I had been pleasantly surprised by the determination to succeed.

With head buried and a few sniffles from my right, it became TEARS FOR YEARS! I realized that this was a big deal in the kid’s small universe and a mom motivational speech was in order.

By the way, are your kids ALWAYS starving after school? Mine are.

A moment of weakness and desperation…

“Yes, I’d like chicken nuggets and french fries please.” (Please drive around.)

A win-win. More time to talk.

I pulled out all the stops:

Build confidence – “It was a fantastic idea! You got second place! Look at all the other wins you have had.”

Convey a bigger picture – “The other kid may have needed the validation more than you.  Maybe it’s for the best.”

Show empathy – “The same thing happened to me when I was in the Spelling Bee. Always first runner-up. I cried for days.”

Life Application – “We can’t always win. Losing is part of life. Picking yourself up and pressing on after you lose is something that defines a person’s character. Persevere!”

Attention Check – “Does that make sense hun?”

Kid – “Yeah, kinda.”

Confirmation –  “Does all this make you feel any better?”

Kid – “Um, no, not really mom. But these french fries you got me sure do.”

Say what? Ugh! After all that wisdom and effort I just threw out and…FRENCH FRIES?

Post carbohydrate consumption, we arrived at home and all was right in the world again.

I don’t know if kids actually remember all that we say but maybe they remember the effort.

Carpool confession lesson of the day: judge your effort by the end result, not necessarily the unconventional form it took to get you there!

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A Mother’s Insomnia

insomniaIt happens to all of us.

A mother’s insomnia.

Exhausted, as soon as your head hits the pillow you know it’s going to be a monumental REM cycle. That is, until someone or something causes you to be wide-eyed in the early hours of the new day.

A mother’s brain can be downright scary at times, especially one riddled with sleep deprivation.

“Endust! Your furniture is crying to be seen once again. Shameful! First thing in the morning.”

“The kids don’t play enough outside. Change the computer password before dusk.”

“Time to have the parents and in-laws over and cook for them.”

“Will my child ever become potty trained and sleep in his own bed? You KNOW he’s the last one is his class that wears pull-ups.”

“Dang it! Forgot to fold that load of laundry.”

“Drink more water today.”

“WHY is the dog on top of me, staring directly into my eyes at 2am?”

“I luuub ewe mama (kid wraps little arms around my awkwardly positioned neck). Sigh. Ok, sleep with me a little longer and don’t ever grow up.”

“You shouldn’t have drunk that glass of H2O.” Potty in the dark.

“Meals for kids: fruit and veggies tomorrow. Stinkers consumed too many carbs this weekend.”

“Hubs need to go to the gym with me this week. Use persuasive skills stat.”

I need to…

Clean the car

Organize the bonus room

Have the kids’ friends over

Schedule a date night

Shave my legs

Clean the hardwood

Read a book

Write a book

Do my devotional

Grow website

Sign up for a webinar

Buy friend’s birthday present from a month ago

Getting wrinkles…ugh!

Are my kids going to be ok?

Is my husband going to be ok?

The dog seems to be recovering nicely from surgery since she cleared a three feet jump in the dark. Check.

As the sun comes out, I sit on the back porch watching the dog do anything but potty and listen to our neighbor’s dairy cows moan and groan across the pasture. What ARE they doing over there?

Us moms are way too hard on ourselves.

Many of us over think things a little (or maybe a lot), which that shows we care and love hard.

Dust off the insomnia fog and get yourself some coffee woman! A kid just peeked around the corner and your quiet time is over for the moment, or the DAY.

Speaking of which, today is a new day. There will always be things to clean and nothing is ever a perfect paradise. However, it’s your imperfect paradise and you’re incredibly thankful that you have it.

REALLY gratuitous for caffeine right now. One of God’s most generous inventions.

Now, time for that wrinkled load of laundry!

 

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Our Pre-Parenthood Days

ourpreparenthooddaysAs an adult, do you ever find yourself thinking about a favorite thing that you loved to do before love, marriage and offspring? Maybe the one interest that allowed you to be ALONE with no interruptions? That’s a gem right there.

Parenting leaves most of us completely preoccupied and the “I” gradually fades into obscurity as time elapses. Dying to self is an admirable quality in anyone and our families deserve all of us. However, I wonder if bringing back some of the things that gave us enjoyment in our younger days would help make us better moms, dads and contributing members of society in general.

Examples could be lugging your neglected, post parenthood body into the gym for the first time in years, locking oneself in a closet with a flashlight to read a book or even picking up any hobby or talent that used to refuel your spirit.

Sometimes a memory from our former life pops up to remind of us past enjoyments.

Unexpectedly, that moment happened today.

I had just completed the morning grind of Monday mayhem, dropped all three kids off at school and was sitting in the parking lot of my next “to do” on the daily checklist.

Sometimes mama goes nerdy. Nerdy as in dissing modern radio for the classics. Classics as in 1800’s piano music. Remember, nerdy is cool. That’s my philosophy. Free country. To each his own.

My absolute FAVORITE classical piano piece of all time began blaring from the car speakers. “Fantasie Impromptu” by Frederic Chopin. AMAZING. The chill bumps raced from my arms, shoulders and then to the back of my neck and the memory trigger of sound transported me back to my senior year in college.

As much as a campus extrovert and involved student as I was, my time alone was something I coveted. Hardly anyone knew, but I frequently snuck off to a tiny chapel at Troy University where I once played for a sorority sister’s wedding. Upon opening the heavy, double wooden doors, your attention focused immediately onto the organ’s pipes that lit up the center stage wall. Opposite the pipe organ, was a regal baby grande piano that had the most pleasant and precise tone.

It was here that I would unload my arsenal of hymn and classical arrangements, with an audience of zero, and tickle the ivories for hours on end.

“Fantasie Impromtu” was the most difficult piece I ever attempted. It brought out so many emotions and presented such a challenge that I just had to TRY.

Why was it so ridiculously hard?  Well, the piece uses many cross-rhythms. The right hand plays sixteenth notes against the left hand playing triplets in cut time. To average musicians like myself, it’s an unnatural sensation and the irregular speed combinations required during the fast portions on the song are quite an impressive feat.

Nevertheless, a very rough version got performed to memory. Although never ready for a public performance the process was one of challenge and enjoyment. Piano was my outlet and I could have played in that chapel for half a day with no break and been perfectly content.

I began working a full-time business career shortly after attempting to master the arrangement. That meant that as the years went on, my time on the keys dwindled to zero.

The point.

I was reminded today of something that I got to do before adulthood that I MISS doing now. The most important end result was that of renewing my soul. Do you ever have moments like this?

How often as parents do we take the time to get our heart, mind and soul in sync? I dare say RARELY. Maybe we would be better moms, dads, friends, employees and children ourselves if we were able to bring something back into our current life that rejuvinated us in our past life.

What would a fulfilling activity from your past be?

Realistically, I know finding several hours of uninterrupted quiet with no responsibilities isn’t feasible. However, fifteen to thirty minutes a day is a real possibility and worth it for my mental health and cortisol level reduction.

Best of luck in finding your outlet and using it to be a better parent and adult! I say it’s worth the investment.

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To The Woman Wanting A Child

tothewomanwantingchildTo the woman waiting for and wanting a child, your navigation through this season in life should be commended.

My only experience with the emotional uncertainty and physical longing of wanting to have a child, but not fully convinced I would be able to, was an 18 month window prior to conceiving my first child. I had no medical issues. It simply was a situation of God’s timing and I didn’t earn the badge for becoming an infertility expert. However, like most all mothers in the world, it deeply affects many I care about.

Three children later, I now have close friends that are desperately doing everything they can to have a child of their own. Watching them go through miscarriages, failed treatments, exhausting procedures and emotional heartache absolutely breaks my heart.

Of course, the burden I have for them can’t hold a candle to what they are experiencing.

All the poking, prodding, ultrasounds, injections, pregnancy tests, insomnia, weight gain, doctor’s appointments, emotional chaos, marital tension, frustration, anger, sorrow, hope, disappointment and increased expenses serve as a melting pot for an oppressed spirit.

For the most part, they can fake their struggle and put on a happy face in public. I can only imagine the suffering in silence.

To the close friend or complete stranger who is navigating life through infertility, you deserve to be praised. Thank you for…

  • going to that person’s baby shower as painful as it was and listening to all the other mom’s talk about their children incessantly.
  • visiting the hospital room of the friend that just seemingly gave birth to her healthy child.
  • remaining emotionally available to others when you have little reserves left to deal with your own struggle.
  • trying to schedule girls’ trips even though your calendar is one of complete uncertainty.
  • not berating the mother who just yelled at her kid because in that moment she can’t see the extraordinary gift she has been given.
  • overlooking the unthoughtful or ignorant things people say to try to make you feel better because you are a bigger person.
  • shining love on others when your own light is dimmed.
  • liking and positively commenting on other’s social media posts about what crazy thing their kids did that week when all you want to do is to delete your account and go cry in a closet.
  • not letting your loneliness, lack of fulfillment and burden turn you into a calloused soul.
  • being an example to others in suffering that one can be strong, kind and generous while in the midst of one of the worst battles a woman can face.

You are loved. Keep fighting the good fight and thank you for influencing other women to be better in character and more appreciative for their blessings. May your prayers be answered and spirit encouraged.

 

 

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