My Tribe

A lot has happened in the last six months (obviously) but there’s one thing that changed drastically and has made a huge difference in my life.

I’m an introvert (tell us something we don’t know, Greta), and I’ve always had close girl friends that I can pick up right where we left off, no matter how long it’s been between visits (you know who you are). I cherish those friendships that will likely last a lifetime, and I miss those girls when I don’t get to see them. That’s a given. But I don’t go out to parties or social things that involve people I don’t know very well, it makes me super uncomfortable. I’d rather go to a coffee shop and talk over a latte for two hours with one or two people. In the last few months, though, a friendship has developed with two local moms (local, as in, ten minutes away and local, as in, unheard of in my adult life). I don’t even really know how it started, but we’ve become a trio of gals that chat every single day, at least a little bit, even just to check in on those super busy days we all have, go to each other first when we need to vent, get ideas, or just talk to someone over four feet tall. We also have gone out several times on days when we really, really needed a night away from momming. Those have been planned and completely spontaneous, both. Adult beverages or not, that time away is so good for the soul (the weary, overwhelmed, mom-first, woman-second soul).

I’ve always known that adult friendships are important, and getting time away from the family is super important, but I didn’t really have that before. I’m really, really thankful for them. You know who you are.

my tribe

Losing Steam

I sit in one dining room chair, my feet under the table and up on another, warm in yesterday’s workout clothes (that may or may not have seen a workout yesterday), the smell of a breakfast burrito and coffee losing steam and a classical song on Little Einsteins gaining it.

This is my morning, a few times a week, while the two little blondies occupy themselves (with help sometimes, from the box on the wall) and I catch up with the outside world.

It’s lonely out here. Surrounded by cornfields and a rural highway, only a scattering of other houses within view. Sometimes, the people in my computer are the only ones I talk to about things other than strawberry milk and Bubble Guppies until the bus pulls up to the driveway and conversations turn to spelling tests and Minecraft. Then dinner, and work, and bedtime.

I used to talk to adults regularly. I used to see them and chat about music and the weekend and what we would do when this class was through or the shift was over. These days, it’s a couple of people, once in a while, when logistics and money and time are figured out. When a lunch is planned or a random invitation for an event can actually be accepted.

I don’t miss the days of waking up in the morning and getting dressed for work, or class. I would miss the two blondies singing along with Mickey Mouse and the four long legs running off the steps of the bus. I wouldn’t trade the diapers and dishes and another episode of Doc McStuffins for stories of last night’s concert and lunch at the coffee shop.

But it is lonely.

I chug the last of my cold coffee and make my way into the kitchen for another cup.

Which hat do I wear today?

I’m a stay at home mom, so I do all kinds of fun jobs every day. Some days, my proudest accomplishment is that of a Toy Repair Specialist.

This was my first foray into toy repair:

Baby Sheep was Henry’s beloved stuffed animal. But one day during nap time, when Henry had just turned four, he tossed Baby Sheep out the window.

Into the backyard where the dogs were.

Poor Baby Sheep lost an eye and almost lost his nose. BUT. I racked my brain and decided that yes, I could fix Baby Sheep, and he would be even cooler when I was done with him. Captain Baby Sheep!

It was a very proud day for me, and I’ve had to do similar repairs since then.

I’m also proud to be introducing a company to you that is allowing us to wear our badges front and center, while raising money for women and kid-centered causes.

Mommy At Heart is a brand new company, hoping to grow and be able to do as much good as possible.

We realized that moms play all of these roles and more—so we decided to design a few mom shirts that focus on the many jobs you perform each day to keep your family safe, happy and healthy. The best part about our shirts is that when you place an order on MommyAtHeart.com we will donate $5.00 directly to a worthy cause.

Each Month we partner with a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization that focuses on issues affecting women and children worldwide. We collect the $5.00 donations as orders roll in and then write a check to the cause on the last day of the month. Every $5.00 donation is guaranteed to reach the charitable cause in full. This $5.00 donation does not include any hidden fees such as administrative costs, marketing costs, or salary for our staff. Your $5.00 donation is guaranteed to reach the cause and we take pride in this high level of transparency.

The cause for July and August is Brittany’s Hope Foundation, which helps aid in the adoption of special needs children.

You can follow Mommy At Heart on Facebook and Twitter. Share the posts, help get the word out! And for every shirt you purchase, $5 goes directly to the cause of the month. They would make an AWESOME gift for a favorite mom in your life.

I was not compensated for this post. Mommy At Heart sent me a shirt and made a $5 donation in my name so I could help spread the word. All opinions are 100% my own (as always). And by the way, the shirt is cute, pre-shrunk, and great quality. I’ll be wearing it with pride.

I’m linking up with Jen for TGIF today, because this shirt makes me happy, and so does doing a little good. 🙂

 

To Produce, Or Not To Produce. #mondaylisticles

Just Jennifer picked this week’s Monday Listicles topic, and I’m afraid I might have to make two lists.

Let me explain…Jennifer wrote: I would love for everyone to write 10 reasons why you do or do not want more children!”


Well. This is a good topic, but not one that I really know how to answer. You all (probably) know that we have four kids now, and that my husband is pretty much done. 


I’ve always said I wanted four kids…I grew up with three brothers and thought that that was just the perfect number.


Probably, we’re done. I just don’t want to admit it yet.


So. My Listicles list will be five reasons I DO want more kids, and five reasons I DON’T. Sound good? Cool.


Five Reasons I DON’T Want More Kids:


1. I’ve been changing diapers nonstop for a little over six years. My days lately have been (literally) filled with poop. I think I’m good with Erv being the last one to wear diapers. Because, I mean….I could be wearing them myself soon.


2. We don’t have room in our house for another baby…..not the way we’ve got it set up now, anyway.


I’m just going to pause here and say that I already sound ambivalent about this, don’t I? Anyway…


3. We have plenty of room in our Suburban right now, when we take trips and such. I think if we were to add another kid, we’d actually be pushing it. And I do enjoy having a little extra space.


4. Packing for trips? Well, it’s already a nightmare with six of us. And I pretty much do it myself. I think my husband would say that I’m already a big ol’ meanie when I’m trying to get us out the door.


5. Kids are expensive. When it comes to groceries, the six of us eat A LOT. We wear a lot of clothes (related: there’s a mountain of laundry to be done at all times). We go to the dentist regularly. And college? Oh, Lord. It all adds up FAST.


Five Reasons That I DO Want More Kids:


1. Each new child has about brought a crazy amount of joy and love. And there’s always room for more of that.


2. We’re just one short of a basketball team. Five short of a basketball team. Seven short of a football team. See? We’ve got a ways to go yet.


3. We’re at least ten short of a reality show. And if we had a reality show? Well….#5 of the first list would no longer be a concern.


4. I had a moment of deeply emotional panic the other night when I thought I had to wean Big Erv. I realized that I wasn’t ready, but….it will end at some point. And that makes me sad.


5. Baby snuggles are the best. And at some point, Erv will not want to snuggle as much anymore. He’s already ready to get up and walk out the door. To his car. Which he will drive to his college dorm room.


So, in conclusion…I don’t have a conclusive answer. We have the perfect balance right now of two boys and two girls, all of whom are healthy and thriving. And that’s probably good enough. 


But we’ll see.

Photo by Megan Hein Photography