Overwhelmed By Motherhood And What Now?

My grandmother is in the hospital. My father, her closest able-bodied relative, has been at her house since the weekend and is exhausted. We’re not sure exactly what is going on right now but it looks like an assisted living facility is going to have to be seriously considered for her, which will go over like a lead cloud.

My uncle is also in the hospital and it’s not looking good. At all. I’m slightly concerned that the only things my daughter wants to eat, ever, are peanut butter and jelly and turkey and cheese sandwiches, bowls of cereal and oatmeal, noodles with butter and Kraft Dinner. Mealtimes with her are getting increasingly difficult as she gets older, bossier, and more belligerent. Dave is swamped at work, absolutely swamped, which is making him cranky.

So when I asked him at 7.30 this morning to please run to the corner store for the soy milk he promised to get last night because it was pouring rain and the kids were still in their Jammes and Oliver always has a bottle in the morning, and mentioned I was sure the good people he works with would manage to live without him for the five extra minutes getting me the f***ing carton of soy milk he was supposed to get me yesterday would take, it didn’t go over well.

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Swaps and the Catholic Atheist

I have been back in the U.S. over Christmas in the Midwest, which is where I normally spend this time of year. By now, some of my old friends and relatives have read Faith, and some have liked it quite a lot. Others aren’t sure what to make of me, the Catholic atheist.

Still others, including some people very close to me, worry that I’m doomed. It is in that context – at home, worried about this book, surrounded by friends and family – that I reflect on growing up as a reader, and significantly, a believing reader.

Looking back, I see now that my belief in God, like a great many of my beliefs, was shaped by the fact that important people in my life, most notably my father, died when I was young.

Once they’d died, God provided them a place to live forever. And from the Catholic services that accompanied these deaths, to the consolation dished out by friends and relatives – often literally by way of endless casseroles – everyone had told me that I could join them someday if I was good.

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Your Kids Daily Routine. Can you feel the love?

Every day around lunchtime Julia starts asking if she can wait on the porch for Dave to get home from work. She asks me about six thousand times between then and four-fifteen when I finally let her go outside to listen for her dad’s truck as it chugs its way up the street.

Last week was rather long and arduous and by the time 4 p.m. rolled around on Friday, I was ready to jump on the weekend like a fat kid on a Smartie.

Oliver was cranky and clumsy, on an all-day mission to wind up in a body cast and Julia, at her whiny and emotional best, had been crying for goddamn ever because she wanted to wait on the porch for my husband.

Like he does every afternoon, he called from his cell to tell me he was on his way home. I could hardly hear him over my screaming children and barked at him to call when he was close to home before abruptly hanging up and running to catch Oliver as he fell backward off the couch.

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Why you love your Mother

Just as I was coming downstairs from putting my little darlings to bed last night I saw my dad’s car pull in the driveway. He was on his way home from his regular Sunday night dinner at my Gram’s and swung by to discuss recent developments in her 90th birthday plans.

I ushered him through the house and out to the sun porch quickly, lest my children hear the sound of Papa Funk’s voice and go bananas, prolonging their date with the Sandman even further. We sat on the porch as the night closed in around us and chatted about the party, and after a few minutes Dave came out to join us.

(An aside: No, it’s not a typo. Julia and Oliver call my father Papa Funk. It stems from an old family nickname and he wears the moniker well; it suits his personality quite nicely. Up until about two months ago Oliver couldn’t say “Funk” and called him Papa Hunk, which was endearing in that my kid is totally hilarious kind of way.)

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Hurry For Low Expectations

We spend a lot of our energy trying to plan the perfect event. Weeks spent on vacation plans, days or even weeks devoted to organizing the great dinner party, birthday party or celebration.

But doesn’t it seem like some of the best times are the ones that come together naturally in the spur of the moment? The times where you were expecting just the everyday experience and through a series of surprising twists and turns what you got instead was extraordinary moments of laughter, warmth, and fun?

I think most of the difference in planned and unplanned moments of joy and fun is the expectation factor. Even if two events turn out the same (which is hard to imagine but just for the sake of argument), the fantastic fun will always feel more enjoyable because you did not expect it.

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Finding the balance between myself and motherhood

I knew being a mom wasn’t going to be easy  and at the same time I looked forward to having a child to bond with, to nurture and love, but I prepared myself for the paramount responsibility of having a child – a child whose needs would come before mine and who would be dependent on me for a long time. A child who would need me, all of me, all of the time.

Although Julia came as a surprise at first, by the end of my pregnancy I was ready for the responsibility – the early mornings and late-night feedings, the inevitable worrying that comes with raising a child, the diaper changes and the demands – physical, emotional and mental – that I knew would be made of me. I was ready for it all.

And yet, as ready as I was to be a mother, I didn’t think it would be this hard to stay true to myself. After Julia was born I was hit by exhaustion, the kind of exhaustion that creeps into your bones and settles in for a good long while.

I had absolutely no idea just how tiring it would be, nor did I realize that the feeling of complete and utter exhaustion doesn’t go away; instead, it’s something that you get used to after a while and learn to live with. I was too tired to stay in touch with myself, the person I was before I became a mother.

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Interview with Ethan – a single dad traveling with his 2-year old son

What are the odds that I’d meet in real life, just by chance, a single dad traveling with his 2-year old son and blogging about it, just like me? He´s also really devoted to teaching his son CK a second language, how to swim and understand the wild nature of Costa Rica around him.

I obviously ran to check his blog, Seahorse Adventures and couldn´t stop reading it for a while. With such an unusual story and funny writing style, no wonder his blog started to become popular at its beginning (it´s only three months old).

On top of that, Ethan has never read a blog before, which I think it’s just brilliant because he writes with such freedom and authenticity without any set of ¨must haves¨ about a successful blog on the back of his mind.

Ethan is the first single dad I meet in the physical world, and I couldn’t help the curiosity to ask him about dating, how he deals with the toughness of being on his own and other inconvenient questions.

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