I am not the mother I want to be.

Most mornings, after I’ve shuttled the kids out the door with somewhat of a “don’t let the door hit ya on the way out” attitude I want to call them back. “Wait!” I think. “Come back.””Let’s have a redo. This was the morning that was supposed to be different. This was the morning I wasn’t supposed to yell.” “This was the morning I was actually supposed to be the mom I want to be. Facebook mom. Happy, loving, nurturing mom.”

Last night, it finally hit me. This angst I constantly feel. The nagging, your kid has special needs and you can’t handle that angst that I constantly feel. The one I’m always trying to fix and wish away. The one I try to drown with tears or ice cream. I finally realized what it’s all about. If I was a church- going person, a God-belieiving person, I would think that “he” put Max in my life to teach me a lesson- how to become that “sticky floor and sticky hands mean happy kids”, laundry and organizing  can wait kind of mom that I wish I was. But alas I am not (that kind of mom or a religious person), so I know it’s totally nature vs. nurture at this point.

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No matter how much I want to be that mom in my head, it’s just not in my nature. It’s  nearly impossible for me to pass by a pile of papers or crumbs on the counter and just leave them. So the fact that Max has to constantly touch everything; rummage through papers, click buttons on my computer and leave sticky milk-filled Cheerios all over the table and floor after every single breakfast drives.me.crazy.

I know he can’t help it. I know he isn’t trying to be…what?…disobedient…annoying…fresh/bad/difficult. But I grew up in a neat and orderly, place for everything type of household and it’s just who I am. Just like the opposite is just who Max is. So how do we figure this all out? How do I accept that he is the child and need to change for him and not vice versa?

By the way, I haven’t even mentioned these struggles also include Ben and my inability to ignore the incessant whining that lets me know day after day he feels overlooked, he needs more attention from me, he is starting to figure out that we all walk on eggshells around his brother.  I know the only  way to make the whining stop is to ignore it, but sometimes, usually based on all of the above, it’s just really hard to do that.

So what I want my boys to know is that I’m trying my very best, I really am. I wake up each day hoping it will be the fresh start we all need. Hoping that will be the day we call just breath and smile and enjoy each other. I want them to know that I’m going to keep trying, as long as they are patient with me, I’m going to keep trying.

To My Baby Boy on His Fourth Birthday

Ben

Ben (Benny, Chicky, Cheech, Papa),

Today is your fourth birthday. It’s a hard day for me. Not because your birth was traumatic or because there are negative memories. It’s because you’re growing up. It’s highly likely that you’ll be my last baby and I desperately regret wishing away your infancy. I was totally overwhelmed with your brother and you were just so easy. Yes, you wanted to be held constantly, but that’s nothing the baby carrier couldn’t take care of. I couldn’t wait for you to hold your own bottle or sit up on your own because it would make things just that much easier.

But now, I don’t remember what you were like as a baby. I don’t remember what it felt like to hold you all the time; to feed you and wake up with you in the middle of the night. You crawled early, you walked early, you talked early (and haven’t stopped since) so it’s like you grew up and I missed the whole thing. I’m very sorry for that. I will try harder to savor the moments from now on.

Benny, you are so independent and really do know exactly what you want; whether it be two different socks or a glass vs. a blue cup. You mimic so many of my behaviors that it’s scary. We are so much alike it’s alarming and causes us strife from time to time but we’re figuring out how to work with each other. Just this morning you informed me that 4 year olds always listen and have nice behavior so perhaps we’re turning the corner.

I can’t wait to see who you become. It’s been fun to watch your interests blossom and I’m anxious to see you divulge from the path Max has forged and make your own way in this world. You really are a sweet, sunny, little boy and you’ll always be your mama’s baby.

I love you.

Birthday Parties! Am I right?

I’m in the midst of planning another birthday party…which is being held on Sunday. I have a love/hate relationship with birthday parties. I love them, until the day of. Then I hate them because my vision is never really fulfilled. I blame Pinterest. It makes it all seem so EASY.

I’m crafty in spirit, not so much in execution. I’m not sure when I’ll really learn that about myself and just buy all the handmade goodness off of Etsy. I mean, those kids, the ones whose moms run those Etsy shops, they must have some kick-ass parties complete with pirate patches, costumes and cute labeled food. If you followed me on Pinterest…wait, where was I? I went to get the link to my boards and got lost there for a while…oh right… you’d think that my kid was about to have one of those too. But sadly, I’m not sure that will ever come to fruition because the scene will likely end with me in tears the morning of the party because my Pin the Hook on Captain Hook game, or homemade bandannas didn’t turn out the way I wanted them too and I’m too stressed to even watch my son enjoy his own party.

I can do all this this week...no problem!

I can do all this this week…no problem!

The even sillier thing? There are probably only going to be 4 kids total at the party and 2 of them are mine! I’m doing this all for the adults, who are part of my family and don’t really need to be impressed. I just want my little scallywag to have my his dream pirate party because gosh darn it he deserves a good time. Aargh!