The Hero Daddy

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The Hero Daddy used to make me very angry. He would come home after a full days work at the office, and I a full days worth of in home war with two tiny toddlers.  I would be covered in peanut butter and jelly, a plethora of bodily fluids, and living in a sweat pants purgatory because nothing cute fit or because it  just wasn’t worth getting my one pair of jeans sticky.

And here he would come, Hero Daddy, swooping into the house in his clean clothes greeted by the sweet sound of tiny feet running and  little voices shouting “Daddy’s Home!”  When not two minutes ago those same tiny feet were trying to kick me in the face as I changed a diaper and the little voices were screeching things like “I don’t want to” and  “No Mommy” and just plain screaming.

Hero Daddy could all of the sudden make everything funny. All of the sudden when Hero Daddy tells you to eat your dinner its hysterical and a really fun game. When Mean Mommy asks you to its battle lines drawn. When Hero Daddy tells you its time to put on your pajamas its a laughable time filled with dancing while you jump into your jammies. When Mean Mommy tells you to put on your pajamas it really means its time to run away and throw your pjs into the dog kennel.

Hero Daddy

Mostly Hero Daddy made me angry because I wanted to be him. I wanted to be the one with whom the children laughed all evening long. I wanted to be the one to be able to solve tears with a joke and a playful threat of having to sleep in the chicken coop ( one of the children’s favorite). I didn’t want to feel like Mean Mommy all the time. The one who tells them to do everything and the one who seems to make them cry.

But then both girls finally started sleeping through the night, and it hit me, I’m not Mean Mommy I’m just Mommy. I am the one in the trenches every day with these little loves of mine and I am the one to enforce boundaries and do the disciplinary actions all day long. I am the one who tells them to eat every three minutes of every meal. I am the one who takes on the battle of what you can wear today and  how much TV you can watch and how far away you can run down the sidewalk and if you can eat those marshmallows you’ve just stolen out of the pantry.  But I’m also the one they call to in the middle of the night when they are sick or scared. I am the one they want to show their artwork to and the one whom they can ask to hang it on the fridge. I’m not Mean Mommy, I’m just Mommy and the more I realized that the more I loved Hero Daddy.

In truth, I have a Hero Daddy. My Mom was the everyday parent, the one I yelled at, fought with, laughed with, confided in and cried to. But my Hero Daddy was there every time I needed him to calm me down or make me laugh, teach me how to race a 400M or to sing harmony in a duet, take me out to ice cream before dinner and to make me feel like the most special little girl God ever created. And he still makes me feel like that.

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Every little girl deserves that. My little girls deserve that.

And Hero Daddy, with his clean clothes and loud dinosaur stomp as he chases them around throwing them into fits of hysterical laughter right before bedtime, does just that.  When he sneaks them cookies while I’m in the other room, makes jokes about stinky things and teases them out of a tear fest he really does make these two tiny girls feel like they hung the moon.

And as every child does, they deserve that feeling and will remember it for the rest of their lives.

Turns out, Mean Mommy and Hero Daddy make a pretty good team after all.

And it seems to be a pretty universal theme…

To quote Phil Dunphy from Modern Family “Let’s not play Good Cop/ Mom”

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Repeat After Me

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Repeat after me:
I shall not judge my house, my kid’s summer activities or my crafting skills by Pinterest’s standards.
I shall not measure what I’ve accomplished today by the loads of unfolded laundry but by the assurance of deep love I’ve tickled into my kids
I shall say “yes” to blanket forts and see past the chaos to the memories we’re building.
I shall surprise my kids with trips to get ice cream when they’re already in their pajamas.
I shall not compare myself to other mothers, but find my identity in the God who trusted me with these kids in the first place.
I shall remember that a messy house at peace is better than an immaculate house tied up in knots.
I shall play music loudly and teach my kids the joy of wildly uncoordinated dance.
I shall say “sorry” when sorry is necessary.
I pray to that God I shall never be too proud, angry or stubborn to ask for my children’s forgiveness.
I shall love their father and make sure they know I love him.
I shall not be intimidated by the inside of my minivan – this season of chip bags, goldfish crackers and discarded socks too shall pass.
I shall not resent that last call for kisses and cups of water but remember instead that when I blink they’ll all be in college.
~ with love from one tired mother to another.

I’m not even sure I want it all

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One week from today my first born baby turns three. That means that next year she is in preschool and then in two years she is in kindergarten and our entire schedule changes. Its going so fast that its gotten me thinking…maybe I don’t really want it all after all.

As a woman who once found much of my identity from my work I have often sampled the punch that says “You can have it all” and  tasted the stronger punch that says “You should have it all” and toasted with the top tier spiked punch that says “You should want to have it all!”

The trouble is that when I feel like I don’t actually want it all I feel guilty, like I need to keep it a secret, or that I’m not enough of a modern woman or enough of a mother if I don’t want more right now.

I’ve been hearing a lot lately from women who have already raised their children that yes, they believe that you can have it all, just not at the same time. I think I’m finally feeling comfortable with that. My first baby will be three years old in one week and I’m finally buying into this idea that I don’t need to have it all right now, and I might not even want it.

Growing up all I ever really wanted to be was a mother. I mean, I had other dreams that I pursued and was succesful at like singing in the state choirs in high school and going to college on a theater scholarship then moving two weeks after graduation to live by myself in LA and be a working actor. ( I’ll talk more about that some other time) But in my heart of hearts, the dream I dreamt with each passing daydream was that of being a wife and a mother.

Now that its here, now that I have those cherished moments of your toddler hugging your leg or running to greet you with tiny fast feet and a big toothy grin, having memorable conversations with my 2 year old about heaven and why puppies have four feet but we have two, and begin so blessed with the honor of being someone’s mother, I feel like I’m supoosed to want more.

And I just don’t think I do.

There will be time to run that marathon and train for that second Tri when my children are in school for 8 hours a day. There will be time to be an influencer in the blogging community. There will be time to publish my line of childrens books that is floating around in my mind, but its not all right now.

Right now is my time to have these tiny children all to myself and to have our schedule be as free as a Jay Birds, except of course for our nap schedule.

I love to write and have taken my first tiny steps towards my dream of a writing career with my MomopolySarah blog and my first writing contract with Today’s Mamas, and that is going to be enough for me and my heart and my young family right now.

If that makes me less of a modern women than so be it. I am fine with that today. I mean, wasn’t the entire Women’s Lib movement about we women having the freedom to make any choice we want to make? So today, I choose to be the mom I’ve always dreamt of being and choose to continue to dream of being a marathon runner and a big time blogger down the road.

Let it be known that my parents are business owners and my mother worked every hour of every day and many holidays my whole life. So I have no qualms about working mothers, nor do I believe that one way it better than the other. For many of those years I was dreaming of being a mom I dreamt of being a working mom, but then I married and had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and I am very grateful for that, since its suits me and our family so well.

One of the best parts about being a Mother is that we each get to be exactly the type of mother we want to be. So make your own choice today to be the mother you’ve always wanted to be. Be it a high powered CEO, a nurse that works nights, a teacher, a pastry chef that works early mornings, a Mother Runner who pushes three kids in a BOB stroller made for two, be it whatever it may, be the mother of your own dreams starting today.

Will this matter?

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Will this matter?

When its your time to say goodbye to your loved ones and to your life, will this matter? Is it worth the worry, the argument or the anxiety? Worth the harsh words or being unforgiving?   If it won’t matter in a year from now, it won’t matter ever.

Live, love , laugh and let  it go.

God Knows I’m Mad

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I don’t like it when people die.

I don’t like it when people get cancer.

I especially don’t like it that I lost a family member to cancer this week.

Ovarian Cancer.

She wasn’t very old and she still had lots of life and time to spend with people. But cancer took her away from us and God said that that was OK.

My own mother lost her mother to a sudden heart attack when she was only 30. When that phone call came, my mother had a 6 year old, a 2 year old and a 2 month old. God also said that was OK.

I don’t always agree with what God says is OK. And that too is OK. God’s plan doesn’t hinge on my emotions or my understanding.  Its His plan and only he can see both the beginning and the end of the whole thing.

This I do understand. That its OK, that I don’t always agree with His plan or His timing or His decisions. Its OK, that sometimes I get mad at Him, and when I am I tell Him.

God is bigger than me, bigger than my anger, bigger than my deepest sadness and he can handle anything I throw at him. God asks for me to be faithful and obedient, he doesn’t ask for me to never be sad or angry or disappointed or frustrated or just plain pissed off that wonderful people get cancer at all.

This isn’t the first time I’ve said to Him “This is who I really am and I’m really angry with you”. To which He replies “I know that you are hurting and I love you and I will never leave you. This is who I really am.”

So, my mother lost her mom at 30. A ridiculously young age to have to lose your mother. God said that was OK. And now, 33 years later, if she had not lost her mother she would not be able to so succinctly and sympathetically help my cousins through the loss of their own mother. Because she knows first hand what is is to feel like you are dying because of the intensity of your grief and to not be able to walk into a Hallmark store on Mother’s Day for a decade.

Turns out, even with the crushing pain and searing loss, God knew what he was doing.

It doesn’t really make it easier or make my own mother not wish that her mother would have lived longer. It doesn’t make losing my aunt any less sad to anyone who knew her.  It still doesn’t seem fair. But it may offer a small twinge of hope, knowing that God is still in control, and that He knows your mad He’s OK with that right now.

A conversation about Ice

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A conversation about ice with a 2 1/2 year old

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Georgia do you want ice water?

No. Yes. Just water.

Ok, so no ice?

Yes.

Yes ice?

No.

Ok. No ice.

Yes.

(filling up orange cup with water)

Mommy noooooo!

I’m putting water in your cup. You asked for just water.

No, Mommy. No ice.

So you want ice?

Yes. No.

So no ice.

No. and she starts to cry

So, water with no ice in your orange cup.

No. Yes.

Here is your water with no ice in your orange cup.

Thanks Mommy. Then she goes about her usual business of bossing around her little sister.

Motherhood can be so confusing…