The Best Extra Limb

Although It hurts me some times to see my four year old gaining his independence, my younger two sons are taking dependency to a whole new level. I wonder do other moms have this issue or is it solely the way I am raising them?

My youngest is only four months. I expect him to be attached to me because he is an infant. If he does not want to be away from me and in the arms of some one else, even my husband, he cries until I get him. It is not like he is not around other people, because he is. I have visitors every other day.

My middle son is going to be three years old. He is always near me. Some days, he is literally on top of me. There are times when I stumble over him because he insists on standing attached to my leg. This is not an endearing trait when I am trying to cook and I have to constantly remove him for his own safety. Or heaven forbid I need to pee for a minute. There go those fingers under the door and the, “Mom!!! Come out NOW!!!” My oldest even threatened to unlock the door one time to come in and get me-ha!

Do I attribute this to being a great mother or being too much of a mother? I know depending on the view some would side one way. I just know I am doing my best and whatever the case, these days are fleeting. Yes, there are days when I do not feel like an individual because they are attached to my limbs, but that comes with being a mom. They will be stuck to me like gum in my hair until they are teenagers that want to repel me. Then, I will want to be the gum. Leave it to me to always find that perspective angle.

Small Helping of Gratitude

I could easily be one of those people that over looks the effort my loved one gives to me. Thank goodness, I am not. Every day I am thankful my husband takes the time to play with the boys, or to help me around the house. Through other social networks, I have noticed that I am lucky to have such a wonderful spouse. It seems he is a rare type of father and husband.

When I first started dating my husband his character was very important. I paid attention to the details. How did he treat his mother? How was he with kids? What was his work ethic like? I do not know why I did this at such a young age, but I am so happy I did. I picked a winner. If ever I have a daughter I most certainly will teach her to do the same.

Yet, I still wonder, how can some people take for granted the small things? I know some have O.C.D. and it can greatly interfere with relationships. I was very picky before about a lot of things. After watching the demise of some relationships close to me I learned…it does not matter. If I needed some thing to be cleaned so what if it was not done my way. So what. It was done. Some times I had to walk away while he cleaned some thing so that it would not irk me, but eventually it did not bother me at all.

I learned: Accept the help and be grateful.

Gratitude! What a word. It holds so much meaning and too many are not familiar with the word. Which leads me to believe this is the sole reason why they take people for granted. They were not taught the simplicity of gratitude. Some thing I will take great strides to instill in my children: be grateful. Even the smallest things count.

My husband does not have to be late for work and take the extra five minutes to play with my sons, but he does. Such a small thing to play for five minutes means the world to my son. Who knows, maybe it creates a memory they will have forever. Either way, I am one lucky and grateful lady.

The Gift of a Lifetime

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There is some thing to be said about the tiny moments we get to spend with our loved ones. My oldest is only four, but I have already notice the time passing by. I watch him grow and as he grows, he gains more independence…from me. It is bittersweet to the core. Yet, it is still enlightening to see the phases and changes of a child.

With each baby I have come to appreciate knowing that their little hand grasping my finger will not be so little some day. I try as best as I can to make time with each of them, just the two of us. I want them to remember later on that “mom use to cuddle with me…when I let her”. It brightens my heart when they holler for kisses and hugs before I walk out of the door. One day, those sloppy pooched out lips might get too embarrassed for my cheek.

So, for now, another year has gone by, and my little men of mine are having birthdays. While they bask in the glory of cake, candles, presents, gifts, and let’s not forget the attention! –I will be remembering the days they were born and the best feeling in the world, love at first site. –The wonderful feeling that keeps growing and that, to me, is the best birthday gift…ever.

The Invaluable Gift

Do you ever look at your babies and get amazed? I mean really amazed. I look at my oldest whom is my twin, and often feel like I am watching myself grow up. I look at my second son and he is my husband’s twin. I feel like I am lucky to watch my husband grow and I can love my husband infinitely more. They give us the gift of living on. If you think about it, they give us the chance to mold ourselves for the better.

We get to teach them things we have learned along the way and of course, do much more for them than our parents could for us. I do not mean that in a spiteful way. I mean, chances are we make better livings and we are able to show them more through travel and education. My children are 4,3, and 4 months and they have already done so much more than I had at their ages.

I am in awe at watching them grow. It is enlightening to see the vision of things through their eyes and then to see an oh so familiar expression on their faces. I catch myself wondering if this is what my mother-in-law felt when she watched my husband sprout. It is a unbelievable feeling that I know I could not ever describe to any one, but I know that any parent out there gets it. Oh, what a gift!

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The Family Bond that Feeds

While growing up, my mom taught us kids many things. Her motto was “never depend on any one for any thing.” Basically, do it yourself. If you do not know how, learn how. She taught me to sew, to quilt, do my own laundry, iron, clean, and on occasion I would learn to do some handy man work. I was surprised at the many people I have come across that never learned to iron, or to even cook basic things. To be honest, I hated when she made me cook. I could not stand the sight of raw meat. I mean come on! Hamburger meat looks like a bunch of maggots mushed together. The smell of the flesh, just yuck! Do not get me started on the slimy feel of it all. –But I did it any ways.

For the longest time I did not eat meat or poultry. It really turned my stomach at the thought of it. Eventually, I met my husband at the ripe young age of sixteen. He is Hispanic just as I am–partly. They loved meat. If you do not eat at a Hispanic event it is like a major sin. Needless to say, I ended up eating meat again. I believe what changed my perspective on cooking in general was watching his mother cook. I saw that the family gathered around her food. I saw the love it brought to the house. I saw the importance of her role as the provider of such wonderful meals. I wanted to have that for my family one day. Not that my mother did not cook, she did. It just took me watching an outsider to teach me this different aspect on cooking.

Now, I cook a lot and I love it! I absolutely adore making food especially from as close to scratch as possible. I get major joy from hearing it was delicious and an even greater pleasure when my picky little eaters love it, too. Whomever said, “the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach” was not lying. I see the way it helps keep my family together around the table. Even some of my fondest memories from growing up are of my family eating together. It makes perfect sense.

I cannot wait until my three boys are old enough and not so picky to enjoy most of my food creations. I am sure they will eat me out of a house and a home, but I hope they understand I do the things I do as a mom, as a wife, with love and intentions to keep our family bond closely knit. After all, as I have said I learned meals do feed the heart and soul of a family.

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The Anti-Peggy Bundy

Let me start off with this– I know my chosen path in life is not what some would deem desirable, but I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. It may not be glamorous, a monetary rewarding job, or the easiest at times, but it’s the path I’ve chosen to take.  I saw the impact my mom had staying home with us kids (five of us). I liked the interaction we had with her compared to some of the other kids I grew up around. I’m lucky that after graduating college, I was able to have kids and stay home. I understand there aren’t many that have the luxury. I would hope that my blog helps many see that staying home isn’t easy. We don’t just sit around like Peggy Bundy. There are many things to do and when there is “down time” it is extremely appreciated.

I became a mom at an older age than most of my friends. I grew up in Detroit and it is a common thing for there to be younger mothers than myself. I was aged 26 when I had my first son, and boy I did NOT know what to expect. The idea of becoming a mother was wonderful and exciting. No one informed me of pregnancy, child birth, or a great many things that motherhood contained but I was ready. I did a lot of reading to educated myself on subjects, but what is literature compared to the actual experiences of another woman? I admit I was kind of disappointed that certain things were not explained but I vowed to myself if ever i have my own daughter, I will inform her. The one thing that I feel will be important to explain are the major changes your body goes through. Not every one bounces back to “normal” sizes after and not many are stretch mark free. It is possible to lose the baby weight and it may take longer than usual, but it is a discouraging and difficult path when you are unaware of the trials of motherhood and have a lack of supportive network around you. I feel that once you are able to accept this major change with yourself than every thing that follows after is minor.

It amazed me with how much energy it takes from you. Motherhood uses every bit of energy you have. The physical, the mental, the emotional…every thing! It truly is a 24/7 “job” and you can never put it down. I would have never thought that I could worry so much about one human being, and now I have three beings to worry about…but it is definitely worth it when all of the hard work as a mom pays off. I do think it gets easier with each child. You do learn from previous experience. You also have what I like to call a “life phase change” in friends. (These are the new friends you make, or renew because they are at the same phase in life you are. Good-bye party friends, single friends–well, most any ways). You have their advice and if you’re lucky, some of them have older kids to alert you of what’s next. I am absolutely grateful to the other parents that confirm their child is just as rambunctious, sneaky, or silly. I’m not losing my mind after the laughs another mother has to share. And yes, it is okay to want to scream some times, or need to get away.

If some one would have told me my college days were not the sleep-deprived, physically, mentally challenged days of my life I would have given them the dirtiest look ever! They would be right. I cannot believe how drained I am. I do have toddlers and a newborn, but still. I’m young (in my opinion) and I should have the energy to keep up. Not so! I workout a lot for my health, my sanity, and my overall well-being. It is not enough. Some days I need to sneak a nap. Thankfully, my husband is the hands-on father and spouse. He helps a great lot when he is home. Even at that, there is so much to do some times. Some days are neater than others. Some days are calm, the kids are in good moods, the baby sleeps well and meals are a snap. Then there are those days when the kids are chaotic, bouncing off of the walls, and the baby will not leave my arms for any thing and I feel like I will never get them fed. I even forget to eat some times. Aye! Those days, my night cap is usually wine and a movie.  A great thing I encourage other moms to indulge. If that is not your forte then find an outlet, we all need one. I often wonder what the mom in Family Circus might have done once the kids were asleep.

I do not want to sound like a nut cracker when it comes to motherhood. There are many wonderful things to cherish in parenting. I would keep having babies if I could just to repeat the first moment I get to see my baby. I am on my third child and I thoroughly enjoy having a baby MUCH more than before. The first child was a guessing game and chalked full of surprises. The second child was hoping he was not a colic baby like my first. He was easy and is very passive. Now, my current youngest is laid-back and I just enjoy every minute even the crying! I know what to expect, I no longer worry about colic because I have been through it, and I have a stable support system around me. Plenty of mother friends, ample female family members, and most importantly, a husband that is present in every way. What more could I ask for?

~Valerie