@aspiringmama: And? 1 work call, work research, 2 toddler tantrums, and a last nerve in a pear tree…

I wonder how she does it.
You know who I’m talking about. That mom. The one with the (work at home/boardroom/restaurant bartender/6 kids and no back up because Her Husband works all day and half the night to support them?)
How does she keep it all together? How does she not…lose…her…fucking…mind?
Her house might be a bit on the Martha Stewart Does Not Live Here list. Her meals are not always gourmet. And her kids might leave the house in yesterday’s clothing sometimes.
But she’s okay with it.
That’s the part that gets me.
She. Is. Ok. With. Imperfection.
And because she embraces the crazy, she has time for herself. And doesn’t tell the kids that Mommy Needs Another Minute as often as I do.
Forget the dishes in the sink. They can wait. Let’s play make believe.
Screw the laundry pile on the couch. She has a workout to squeeze in before her (deadline/husband gets home/kids lose interest in the movie she popped in the DVD player to buy herself some peace/roast needs to be pulled out of the oven.)
Who cares about the dust on the blinds. The dogs need a walk and She has been meaning to make time to call her Best Friend on Skype so She and The Kids can catch up with Those That Matter on the Other Side of the Universe.
That mom doesn’t eat, beathe, and live her To-Do List. It’s merely a suggestion for what she might want to try to accomplish today. Not the Do or Die that must be accomlished at all costs…including sleep and her sanity.
She remembers to set up her bills on auto-pay so She has one less thing to have to try to remember in between Mommy and I wanna
She has learned the fine art of making it look like she understands the concept of that Balance thing. A few minutes on her (writing project/treadmill/call from The Boss) and it’s back to Quality Time with the Kids.
That mom doesn’t have to remind herself that there are roses to stop and smell because she also happens to have her own garden, blooming and beautiful.
And somehow, between dinners and bath times and reminders to brush teeth and arguments about which pair of princess pajamas must be worn tonight, between story time and sneaking out after they fall asleep and catching up on her favorite TV show, That Mom has managed to slip into her bed with a cozy book and a nice glass of wine (make mine a double, please). She falls asleep quickly, not worrying about how far behind herself she already is before even waking up the next morning and instead, savoring the moments she made for herself and her family that very day.
That Mom would think This Mom is crazy for thinking she has it all together. And she would be partially right. I know she doesn’t. I know her life is her own special brand of insanity. I know she wonders how Other Mothers aren’t wondering where they left their last nerve because she can’t find hers. And Other Mothers are looking at themselves, asking themselves why no one told them the truth about that If You Can Handle a Dog, You Can Handle a Kid bullshit because dogs are easier, assholes. (and houseplants? Are just made of awesome.)
All I want to know is, how did That Mom learn to love and live the crazy in order to enjoy the now? How many martinis, Serenity Prayers, and Hail Mary’s did it take for her to…
Just Be?
I won’t lie.
Every night, when I drag myself to bed 3 hours later than planned because Just One More Thing needed to be done, I wonder…
How does she do it?

 

It was just me and Buttercup. No school, so I called a friend and asked if her kids and my kid could play unsupervised in her fenced backyard so I could lounge on her couch with a glass of wine and have my own little play date.

She said yes.

So I packed.

That’s right. I said P-A-C-K-E-D.


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First I needed to get rid of the Lean Pockets my mom left in our deep freezer from her 8 week stay. That went into one cooler. And because Buttercup and I are on a gluten-free diet and Friend Jill was making pancakes for dinner that night, I also packed:

*corn tortillas with slices of cheese for quesadillas for Buttercup

*a fruit cup

*leftover bison steak and veggies for me

*a Lara bar in case I couldn’t gag down the reheated bison steak (which is what ended up happening.)

*three juice boxes for the kids to feel like they were getting something special when Friend Jill and I cracked open another bottle of wine.

*two oranges for me because I have been craving some major vitamin C.

And then I moved on to the diaper bag. Which really doesn’t carry diapers anymore because Buttercup is kinda sorta potty trained. In it? I packed:

*four training pull-ups

*a spare set of clothes in case Buttercup got a pull-up wedgie going down the slide while simultaneously peeing and needed a change of clothing. (Yes, it’s happened before.)

*a pair of pajamas for insurance because every time I go to Friend Jill’s house, which is only 25 minutes away, I end up staying until the kid’s need to go to bed.

*a water bottle for Buttercup.

*a water bottle for me.

*a snack cup with gluten-free pretzels to tide her over till dinner

*Buttercup’s sunglasses

*My iPod Touch and my Droid X (because I am nothing if not addicted)

*Buttercup’s Snow White and Cinderella dolls because they are The Dolly Flavor of the Week.

*Buttercup’s purse (of course) in which, I think, she packed rocks and her play cell phone. Who am I to judge?

*My (her) Nintendo DSi which allows me to drive with my nerves intact and my guilt assuaged while I focus on the road and Cookie Monster teaches her to count.

And because that wasn’t enough? I also took:

*My purse

*Which we won’t get into because there isn’t enough space on the internet for me to share.

When I left my house, The Husband didn’t even raise an eyebrow because he knows better. I am nothing if not Over-Prepared and Un-Medicated. When I showed at up Friend Jill’s house, she asked if I was moving in.

Smart ass.

I’m prepared for anything. Always. Why? Because that guy on the street corner with the dirty trench coat and the ARMAGEDDON sign might be on to something. And? Me and What If don’t get along very well. So? I pack a diaper bag like a crazy lady.

You should see what I take with us to Barnes & Noble.

But don’t worry, peeples. Even if (if I said IF so don’t even ask) I end up with another kid between now and the next episode of Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory, I have plenty of room in my Go Bag for the essentials. Like Humanitarian Suspenders.

And lip gloss.

 

Listen up, mujeres. (That’s Spanish for “ladies.” Which makes that sentence “Spanglish.” Yeah, I know…I feel cool for just having written it, so I can’t even imagine how it feels to have read it.)
It’s been a while since I mentioned the anthology. Which is funny because I’ve been sitting here floundering in the Unpubbed Writer version of the After the Wedding Blues wondering what the hell I was supposed to be doing to occupy my time. No writing project keeping up till 3 a.m…now what do I do to keep The Muse busy? Keep myself feeling like I have a goal to work towards (other than not saying anything that rhymes with “Fuck” when I open rejections because Buttercup now believes “Truck it” is an acceptable phrase to utter when something didn’t quite go her way. Okay, I’m kidding. Really, I am. But a little part of me wishes I really wasn’t.)
Where was I again? Oh, right. Me thinking I had nothing to do other than that Mom thing and that Wife thing and that Holding Me Breath While Query Responses Roll In thing and occasionally remembering to mention the Anthology thing on twitter in a lukewarm attempt to drum up interest for submissions and…wait a minute…
That sounds suspiciously like a writing project.
Maybe, because it is.
*Faceplam*

And? So far, so good. I’ve received a few more submissions and have received word from two very respected writers that they are totally on the Baby F(Ph)at Band Wagon, which has me all kinds of giddy. Now, the only question is, when are you going to share your story?

Here are the updated details (also available in a bit more detail on this link).

I am seeking submissions from moms out there who wants to share their own stories regarding weight loss. I know I’m not the only mother out there who is wondering what the hell happened to her waistline after the baby came. Or the only one who’s wishing Karma didn’t take names when I was on the other side of motherhood and passing judgment on women I knew for “letting themselves go.” Forget Hollywood moms and the fairy-tale disappearing baby pooch…I want real moms to come clean with their own stories. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me want to call you up and meet for coffee (sugar free and skim-milked, of course!). Make me connect with you as a mother and as a person. Just make it real.

So what’s the deal? I wrote Baby F(Ph)at: Adventures in Motherhood, Weight Loss, and Trying to Stay Sane…and that is my journey. I want to read about yours. How motherhood changed your perspectives about body image, weight loss, and getting into or staying in shape. I want honesty. I want to laugh. I want to relate. And I want it to read like a conversation between best friends over a few bottles of wine (after the kids are asleep, of course, which means you are totally allowed to swear.)

So far, I have a few awesome pieces which will be considered for the final project, and am in search of more.

Here are the guidelines:

* Stories must be between 500 and 1,500 words and be told in first person. This is your story…not your neighbors. Make sure to include a short bio with contact information.

*Essays should focus on the topic of weight. Suggestions include:

—Your expectations prior to becoming pregnant versus the reality

—How pregnancy changed your body

—How you lost the weight

—Acceptance of your new shape

—Balancing the needs of your children with your own

*Birth moms, adoptive moms, foster moms, grandmothers with custody…if you carried a child or carry the responsibility of raising one, your story counts, too. Motherhood changes all of us and how we see ourselves.

* No anonymous or author unknown submissions.

* Please submit only stories or poems that have not been previously published. An exception to this rule is, of course, those previously published works to which you own the reprint rights.

* Submissions should be sent to aspiringmama@gmail.com with “Anthology” in the subject line.

* By submitting a story, you give www.aspiringmama.com the right to re-publish and distribute your work on this website, and in any other formats (including, but not limited to, the site’s Twitter feed, RSS feed, and possible publication in a book).

* By submitting a story, you give www.aspiringmama.com the right to re-publish and distribute your work on this website, and in any other formats (including, but not limited to, the site’s Twitter feed, RSS feed, and possible publication in a book).

Deadline for submissions is April 6, 2011. Feel free to email with any questions. I look forward to reading your stories.

And that’s the deal, peeples. So who wants to share?

 

I swear I had a point…an idea…for a blog post this morning.
And it was a good one. I swear.
Before I knocked myself senseless, anyway.

True story.

I had planned on writing about how I finally reached the end of my Weight Loss Free Pass. How after 12 weeks and 15 pounds or so of my ass happily and magically morphing into the smallest version of itself it’s been since before I had a child. How all of it happened with major dietary changes but not a lick of exercise (well kind of, but not really.) And how I got on the scale this morning and depending on exactly where I placed myself on the scale and how long I managed to hold my breath for I either lost .2 pounds or or gained 1.

So it’s over. The Pauline Goes Gluten-free and Dairy-free and Sugar-Free because it’s all Clean-Eating Anyway Diet and Magically Wishes 15 Pounds of Muffin Top Without Breaking a Sweat Experiment is officially over. I start working out tomorrow. I break out the Zumba again. The leashes for the dogs and regular walks. The Just Dance on the Wii.

I was going to write about all of that.

Then I threw some trash in the bathroom garbage can and turned too quickly and punched my jaw with the door frame.

Things have been a little hazy since then. I remember The Husband simultaneously laughing his ass off while figuring out a way to give himself an alibi (considering he was two rooms away when it happened and well, it wasn’t gonna look good either way.) But I’ve got a hell of a headache, my jaw feels like I um, hit a wall with it, and I think I need to get to bed soon. So instead of writing a blog post tonight, I think I’ll go practice remembering my name and reciting the year.

It’s 1986, right?

Wait…what the hell’s a blog?

 

The Husband and I like a good deal. I hunt for them in the clothing and shoe racks, mainly for Buttercup, which only makes him roll his eyes when I come home with a truckload of bags bragging about how much money I just saved him. He hunts for them on sites like Deal News and drools over anything that needs to be charged.

Occasionally though, we come across a deal that makes us both go ga-ga.Like this three-foot tall stack of books? Yeah, you don’t wanna know what it cost full price, because we certainly wouldn’t have paid it. (Read: We take pride in our Cheapy-ness.) But The Husband found the leather-bound collection, which contains the complete works of pretty much Everyone That Matters, for some crazy online sale price and asked if I was interested.

Um.

Yes?

So we ordered. And when it arrived, I went bonkers with excitement over the fact that I know possessed the complete works of Charles Dickens, the original gory Brother’s Grimm, the complete Tales of Sherlock Holmes and much, much more.

“I can’t wait to read these! Wait, is it like, illegal, to buy more books before I finish all of these? Because this could take a while.”

I got no response. The Husband was just staring at the books with a smile on his face.

“When we get our own house I am building a library in one of the rooms,” he said.

Swoon.

“That is beyond awesome. I’m a writer. I think it’s a mandate or something that I have my own library.”

“Right,” he said, taking a breath before uttering the line destined to become a blog post punch line, “and even if we never crack one of these babies open, just think of how smart we’re gonna look.”

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