Radiant Moms is a monthly gathering of moms, talking about the real life, the real love, and the real struggles of motherhood. We meet at the church in Northwest Austin, have a different speaker each month, lots of food and coffee, and if you are a mom, YOU SHOULD COME!!! We also do Moms Nights Out together and set up playdates for the moms with itty bitties We are a fun people.
Because being a mom will mess you up. Between the hormones, the guilt, the massive shuttling of children from event to event, and the sleep deprivation, it can be a rocky road. Every mother has faced a time or two when they can't keep their rational mind, their current circumstances, and their emotional health straight. We need each other, my sisters.
Below is the link to the registration page for Radiant Moms. We meet on the first Thursday morning of the month, and registration is free if you are not signing up any children for childcare.
Click here to REGISTER FOR RADIANT MOMS.
Now as a reward for all that hard work you did registering, I shall list out ten ways we suffer as moms. Because nothing says motherhood like a good martyr complex. Am I right??
Ten Ways We Suffer As Moms
10. It seems like their birthdays should be your special day, too. When Boy 1 turned one, I remember watching him smash a cake and thinking, "A year ago, I was suffering in ways I couldn't have imagined before that day...." I definitely felt like I should get my own cake, my own present, and a parade in my honor. But instead, everyone just looked adoringly at that cute little blonde head, all covered in frosting and sang to him. Welcome to motherhood!
9. Art projects. Pinterest is the place you go to find out that you don't do enough cool stuff with your kids. You should let them melt crayons with a hair dryer, paint canvases with their whole bodies, and cut up endless pieces of newspaper then dip them in glue to make paper maché pumpkins for the fall. But of course, you should also keep up with the laundry, pay the bills, do the dishes, clean the bathrooms, organize a nice backpack station, and create your own stencils while you manage their messy, gluey pumpkins. Or, you could just avoid Pinterest altogether, which is my own personal favorite hobby.
8. Being Amish. Every time the question arises, "Can we play on the Wii/watch Spongebob/go online/hit the Red Box?", being Amish is so tempting. A quiet country life, full of the simple joy of surviving winter by your own hard work and ingenuity looks pretty good. But then you remember that your Maytag would stay in the 'burbs, along with your make-up, the dishwasher, and the latest Pottery Barn catalog. Boo.
7. The cost of responsible living. I want to feed my family only the healthiest organic foods. I want to buy local. I want to drive a vehicle that leaves zero carbon footprint. I want to live in a house run only on solar and wind power. I want to avoid all food coloring. I want them to never know what processed sugar tasted like. I want to research every product we use and be sure that none of them come from areas of the world where unfair labor conditions are oppressing the people making them. Sigh.... This is expensive and difficult to do. I hate that. We can't really financially or time-wise afford all that we want in our lives, and somewhere we must take a step back, prioritize that list, and then accept that the best we can do will have to be enough today.
6. Legos. There are approximately 8 bazillion Lego pieces in our house. These fantastic, creative, intelligence-boosting toys are so cool. My kids build things and then put them on the shelves in their room, the coffee table in the living room, their sister's play kitchen, my real kitchen, my bed, the TV console, the bathroom sink.... If anyone can tell me when it is okay to dismantle one of these 2,000 creations, I will bake you a cake for infinity. When is a pile of loose pieces on the floor no longer a "building station"? When can I vacuum them all up and pretend I never saw them? And how do I help my son understand that the Star Wars Lego set he and his dad built will never stay together forever if he insists on carrying it from room to room? I love Legos. I hate Legos.
5. You want some time off, but you wish for the power to freeze them. I love a night out, a getaway with my husband, or any small break from having the needs of my children at the forefront of my mind all day. But I want absolutely nothing to happen while I am gone. I would like to freeze time while I set sail on a cruise. They should not learn any new information, experience any amazing moments, do any first-time thing (roll over, crawl, zip line, etc), or develop in any way while I am gone. I want to come home to them being exactly as I left them, thank you very much.
4. You want them to snuggle up in your bed- no wait- YOU DON'T!!! Is there any more complicated moment than the day one of your children comes and cozies into bed and you wake up to a child who is a co-sleeper, when you never planned to co-sleep a day in your life? Everyone probably handles it differently, but everyone also loves having the snuggly sweet child next to them and agonizes as the decision of what to do is made. Children are so angelic while they are sleeping. I think I actually wish one of mine would come and cozy up with me right now....
3. You are like a drug dealer, except you specialize in sugar. We are their source. We bake the cookies, buy the ice cream, and pass out the candy. Without us, their dreams of chocolate covered gummy bears would never come true. This is a great place of power. We should never assume that they haven't figured out exactly how to get the most goodies possible from us. Our children are cunning addicts, and even if school days are sugar-free days, they know Sunday is coming and there will be mints in the lobby at church. Eureka, they will shout, as they stuff their pockets.
2. You love/hate it when no one can survive without you. Any time you are away for a day, a night, a weekend, and you find out it did not go well, there is a sickening joy that fills your heart. Sure, you are sad that your husband had to deal with two screaming toddlers in Target alone. Of course you would like to know that your children can be totally happy and secure while staying with their grandparents. Yes, you wish you could come home to a peaceful, happy family. But since none of that is actually what happened, knowing that everything was not completely perfect without you is satisfying on two levels. First: Now other people know what a really bad day with your kids is like, and you will forever be their hero. And second: You know you are needed- really, really needed, and that is one of the deepest longings of every mother's heart.
1. You are torn when they outgrow younger ways. Even though we know that one day they will say "blueberries", and not "boo-bewwies", that the blankie they can't live without shouldn't still be needed in college, that it will be easier to go places when they no longer want to wear a princess dress or a Spiderman costume everywhere, and that they will someday be done with old toys and hit puberty (may we find the strength to endure the hormones), we are sad to leave those things in the past. Littles are happy, joyful additions to our lives, and although we love that they grow out of the sleepless nights, the diapers, and the crying whenever they want something, we miss the babies we once held.
Shoot. Now I want a baby....