Valentines Day – Take a Chill Pill

from Kreativegarden.com click for article

Just in case the men out there didn’t realize, tomorrow is Valentines Day. Whatever you do, do NOT forget the girls/women in your life. Send your mother a card (many moms feel a special ‘I love you bond’ with our sons – in a non-creepy way of course). Give your little girl a special hug or tell her how much you love her and how special she is. Remember, she will pick the men in her life based on you, and your actions. Model what you want her to look for. And for the wives/girlfriends, please remember most of us get emotional about the emotional. You know your person. You know what they like. They like traditional – break down and do something traditional, candy/flowers/dinner etc. If your person likes understated, candles at dinner with the kids. Use it as a teachable moment. We are going to show mommy that we think she is special. Whatever you do, do not make her cook and clean the dishes! (been there, done that) Do what you can afford. We have to be honest with each other. Honest about our expectations and how we can realistically fullfill them. Whatever you do, do not fall for the “I hate Valenties Day” routine, unless you know her well enough to know its true. My man knows, I appreciate him getting me flowers AFTER they go on sale. Its even better when they are a $5 bunch from the grocery store and he has one of the boys bring them to me.

Women, take a chill pill. It is a hallmark holiday. It is nice to feel appreciated, but lets be honest we need to appreciate back. Appreciation doesn’t/shouldn’t happen only 1 day out of the year. It can be hard between working, family and social obligations to stop and say “Thank you” to our partner, but we should. We should also be open about our need to hear it. Men cannot read our mind. We as women are slightly psyhic thanks to our natural intuition. Men do not have that. They usually have to be hit upside the head (figuratively of course) with what we want. A man once said “I told her I loved her at the wedding. If anything changes, I will let her know.” Not normally how a women things, so we need to let the men in our life know what we need. If we need to feel special because something has been planned out for weeks, remind him. If he does come up with a plan, even the day of, honor that. Know he is trying. Sometimes men think on things, and think on things, and think on things, and think on things. You want action, take action yourself. I know it is nice to have someone else in charge for a night, but if you really want to go to Restaurant X for dinner. Make the reservations. If you are flexible, be flexible and honor that he is trying.

Last night, I called my oldest son into the kitchen by saying “Archie, I need to talk to you.” He comes in with a dejected look on his face, like “What did I do now?” You know the look. I told him the teacher emailed me. He looked even more glum. He was trying to figure out what he had done to get into trouble. I told him his teacher said she could tell he was really trying to be good in class and stay focused on his work this week. The smile that lit up his little face was amazing. His chest puffed out and he said “Im trying mommy.” If we treated our husbands/boyfriends like we want our sons to be treated in the future, imagine how awesome that would be? Sometimes, going with the flow, acknowleging the try, can make a world of difference.

7 Long Years

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You know that song ‘There’s a Tear in My Beer’? Well last night there was a tear in my wine. For the second time in 7 years, my husband forgot our anniversary. The first time he forgot, I reminded him the week before the event. He still spaced. This year, I did’t remind him and neither did his mother. He has had enough troubles this year remembering he is actually married. He says he loves us, me and the family, and that he really wants things to work. But then he forgets which MONTH we were actually married in.

The beginning of our story is sweet, the current reality is not. He was best friends with the younger brother of one of my best friends in High School. Convoluted, but we knew each other and hung out, a lot. We were all in the same graduating class. No, we didn’t date back then. I thought he was too much of a goober. Too silly, never taking anything seriously and really kind of a dork in that ‘Im going to be an auto-mechanic’ kind of way. (No disrespect to that very valuable and highly capable profession. The boy was taking 4 hours of auto shop classes in High School) I was the classic over achiever – 4 Advanced Placement for College classes and worked a 20hr/wk gig to keep me in girly shoes and stuff. That should have been a clue. Fast forward 10 years, and he emails me on classmates.com (before Facebook for you young’uns). I remembered his name and thought I should email him back. Turns out, he was living quite close to where I was living and our dinner to talk about old times became our 1st date. Fast forward 6months and we are expecting twins and getting married. He says he always had a crush on me.

The ‘happily ever after’ never really happened. I knew marriage was hard work, Id seen my parents go through their own ups and downs.  A warning to many other young people. Date, date and date some more, for YEARS if you have to, in order to REALLY get to know the person you will marry. The week after we were married, he shipped out to Germany for 3 years. Half of that time he was deployed, so I didn’t move. His philosophies on raising children, work ethic and spot in his career path are VASTLY different than my own. I only really realized this after he came home and started college. He never really did look for a job while he was in school. Which was REALLY disappointing considering I was able to work 2 jobs while going to school. Of course that was before I had kids, so I figured he really should only have 1 job. I thought I was being realistic/honest. Perhaps I was too hard on him, but I wanted to show my kids a good example, someone who could put the petal the metal and take care of business. He was 30+yrs old. He had standards, and daycare to afford. Although he SAID he wanted a job, he didn’t look for one. Rather than look and be rejected, he became a stay at home dad, and we had baby #3. A stay at home parent is a great thing: 1) when you can afford it and 2) when both parents agree that is what should happen 3) the stay at home parent actually handles the stay-at-home part according to agreed upon ideals and activities. He didn’t and he hated it (so he says), and he was finally convinced to try something new.

Now he has a job, but it requires a BUNCH of travel, so he’s almost never home. And, some things have happened to put us in counseling, when he is in town. The rest of the time, things are strained. We talk about the kids, but that is about it. He is getting counseling on his own as well. Maybe Im just tired of being disappointed. Im tired of having to manage a grown mans life. This isn’t a ploy for flowers or presents or anything. We can’t afford anything fancy right now. All I wanted was a text message. Something simple, something easy. Unfortunately, his lack of action is in direct contrast of what he is says. This is a pattern. This has been a long really long 7 years. I hope with counseling and prayer it gets better.

Mothers Day Contest

Image from 30SecondMom website: click for blog post

This weekend is Mothers Day. If you are lucky enough to have little boys or even a big one, who still adore you, lets hope you are in for a treat! Make the kids load the dishwasher, and relax with a glass of wine or tea or whatever floats your boat. I took a quick straw poll and found it interesting that moms of younger children either want more sleep (no surprise) or quality time to themselves, sans children. Mothers of older children can’t wait to spend as much time as possible with their offspring. The way I figure it, they spend 18 or so years wearing us down and acclimating us to their noisy, smelly and scratching presence that by the time they actually leave the nest, we miss the chaos. (Not enough to let them move back in, but we still miss it.)

In honor of Mothers Day, enter the 30SecondMom contest here and win a $50 gift card and a really snazzy tote bag. The post needs to be 600 characters in length and talk about: 1) Your No. 1 favorite thing about being a mom, or 2) What was that moment when you truly felt like a mom, or 3) What is your favorite childhood memory of your own mom? You can submit a 30Second Mom “tip” under each of those three topics if you like, or two, or just the one you like best. The goal is to fill our audience with good mommy mojo all week long!

Join the best social media mom group around and learn lots of ways to tackle the every day problems we run into as moms by signing up!

As soon as my post on the 30SecondMom site is up, I will update this with the link… http://www.30secondmom.com/tip-59d4bb4d-c4ff-48cf-a9cc-960e5a1c5eef

My Loved Ones

After I got home, time in the parkI was a little MIA this last week. Work sent me out of town for most of the week to the eastern seaboard. If you follow my Facebook page or Twitter handle, you know where I was. The trip was great, but I realized something important. It only took me 3 days to really miss my kids. I even missed my husband, though we was able to join me for a bit.

Most of you know my husband travels for work and is gone most of the month. So, things get pretty hectic and stressful with just me juggling a job and the three kids. Well, his job let him travel to the same location while I was back east and we had some nice, quiet couple time. We held hands, went for walks etc. (eye waggle) And, it was nice. I mean really nice, like before we were married and had kids nice. But then he had to leave. That was bummer. I had to work anyway, so it was good to concentrate on that, but still – I missed him when he left for his own trip. But what brought it all home was fish.

Not the fish that you eat, but an aquarium. Close to where I was staying was a really nice aquarium. It was new, had none of the traditional musty smell I associate with leaky aquarium tanks and had some amazing features. We are a water loving family and have always enjoyed aquariums. My husband actually used to be the scuba guy cleaning the tank during college. I enjoyed my tour and the time I spent between the end of my meetings and my flight at the aquarium, but I was more than a little melancholy that I couldn’t share it with all four of my boys (this includes the husband). I knew they would have been so much more enthusiastic about it. I would have enjoyed their giddy excitement as they walked through the underground tunnel. I guess that means I actually do love the buggers, even when they pee all over the toilet seat.

Random Act of Kindness (Day 4)

ValentineToday was Random Act of Kindness (Day 4). According to the original post, today was a day to bring something sweet to treat your co-workers, a la Valentines Day. Well, the little man and I had a date with the pediatrician, so I sent a bag of cookies in with the older two, who had their Kindergarten Valentines Day party today. Granted the cookies had been made at Christmas time, by my mother, and then frozen, but that just means they were GOOD (notice the capital G?) 🙂

Currently, Im about to spoil my three little valentines with a movie and popcorn after a nice meal of Mac-n-Cheese. The movie is Cinderella and I can’t think of anything more appropriate. A girl who has worked hard enough, is good tempered enough to warrant the attention of a Fairy Godmother. Call me romantic, but in the modern world, I imagine the fairy godmother as a mentor who teaches her how to succeed in business and life in general.