Put on Your Best Face

Put on your best face, new mom smell, first time mom, becoming a mom, motherhood, first born baby

I have taken for granted the ease and grace for which I handled the chaos, the first three years, of day-to-day life with twins. Not just life with twins in those first three years, but life with twin infants and a toddler. Keeping one child alive was one thing, but keeping a toddler alive and two infants was a whole new set of balls to juggle. My first two requirements were always met each morning: keep the kids alive and keep myself alive. Mom success and I was winning. The number one question my friends and new mom friends ask is, how did I do it. How did I get up everyday and maintain a positive attitude, not completely lose my shit, and still manage to raise three really incredible people? Continue reading “Put on Your Best Face”

The New Mom Smell

new mom smell, twins, twin infants, twin babies

This month one of my dearest friends had her very first child. I could not be more elated for her and her fiance. I could not be more ecstatic that she has been reaching out to me for advice as she maneuvers the road of motherhood. In all of our talks what I have found is how our society has created an environment where they prepare us to be a parent in every clinical and technical sense. These parenting classes sell all the beauty and excitement of the new mom smell. Yet all of these parenting classes, coaching, and boot camps fail to prepare parents, especially moms, for the emotional gauntlet that they run in their first hours, days, weeks (and beyond) of becoming a mother. Continue reading “The New Mom Smell”

Manners – The Greek Language

kids without manners, spoiled kids, asshole kids

This past weekend my G celebrated his 13th birthday. I am still in denial that my baby faced boy is slowly becoming a man-child. With his celebration came his ideas to celebrate, he handled the planning while The Chad and I executed on his behalf. So we rallied the food, the cake, the custom invitations and we managed the RSVP. The intention of his party was to be very low-key. Pokemon Go, pizza, swimming and movie by the pool were his itinerary. We couldn’t be more happy for our man-child. What we weren’t expecting were unhappy attendees with manners of a farm hog. Apparently manners are like the Greek language to one child who attended. Or manners were a dead language or one that evolved into entitled demands and not a single thank you. Continue reading “Manners – The Greek Language”

Top Questions People Without Twins Ask Parents Who Have Twins

twins, twin toddlers, double trouble, twin, boy girl twins, fraternal twins

Multiples are such a curiosity; twins, triplets and higher order multiples always garner childlike questioning from adults. Over the years I have compiled many of these questions, to this day they still make me giggle. During the height of the whole Octo-Mom fiasco, people flocked to the twins and I like a moth to a flame. The gamut of vulnerable, obvious, sometimes silly and sometimes outrageous questions presented themselves to the marveling passersby. Here is my top list of questions from people (and parents) without twins ask parents who have twins and higher order multiples: Continue reading “Top Questions People Without Twins Ask Parents Who Have Twins”

10 Tips to help your child for back to school

back to school, tips for back to school, classroom, learning, education

Ten weeks of summer is just too long these days for kids and parents to brave. For some parents they have experienced the endless summer as their toddlers will be going to school for the very first time. Other parents will be fighting the struggles and anxiety some children feel shortly before going back to school. The event can be troublesome with getting back into the routine of early bedtimes, early morning wake-up calls, different teachers, different schools. Here are 10 tips to help your child (and you) for back to school. Continue reading “10 Tips to help your child for back to school”

Raising Sinners

Parenting styles are as widely varied as the coffee menu at your local brew house.  If someone had told me about helicoptering, co-sleeping and authoritative when I was in my early twenties, I would have laughed in their faces and assumed some form of sexual innuendo. Who knew so many different forms of parenting styles and classifications exist. As of late I have been pondering if I am really doing this parenting thing right/wrong based on the way I was raised as a child. Thoughts that are based on a series of comments spoken to me very recently. “You were not raised in a “Christian” home,” I was told. Feeling this to be the most “Christ-like” of insults I laughed and thought well if I wasn’t raised that way then I must be have been raised and raising sinners. Continue reading “Raising Sinners”

Wisdom of Youth

smart kids, kids of the future, teenagers, learning from teens

“Respect your elders” my mother used to always tell me. Then I watched as the elders, elderly, and the older than me would disrespect me and what I had to say. As if my point of view and intellect carried any less weight as a human than theirs. Sure, they have walked the earth for some time, but does that qualify them for some hierarchy of respect that is given and not earned? Continue reading “Wisdom of Youth”

Mothers Be Good to Your Daughters

The dream of having a daughter was never donned in my world. Not that I am or was opposed to having a daughter. More or less, I struggled with the possibility of her repeating my life cycle. A strong willed baby girl, young woman, grown woman who would struggle in this world with her extroversion, can-do attitude, intellect and beauty. To me this was a recipe for disaster. So I ate words. I ate words about “never wanting children” and I ate my words with “only wanting boys.” My mother’s curse.

boys at airportYou know because boys are such much more fun. You know because boys you only have to worry about one penis and not an entire world of penises; penises that are vying for your willful, intellectual, beautiful daughter. Yes….this thought entered my head. What I believed about having a daughter was not at all what I thought or dreamed.

I initially thought there was some magic, maybe a feeling of mystique with having a baby girl. When I first laid eyes on her I knew she was beautiful in that ugly, alien newborn baby sort of way. She was a perfect baby. Very seldom cried, her twin acted on most of this for her. She was always smiling. She was always happy. For some reason this began to anger me. Her blissful happiness oozing from her, she was like a sickened Disney movie which erupted all about my house. Pink and purple despite all my best efforts to rid our world of these hideous stereotypical colors that would define her as anti-feminist.

Stewing in feeling of love and loathing for this little girl. I found myself snapping at her more as she grew older and more aware in her world. Barking to rise above. Snippy at an ounce of err for being youthful, childlike, a little girl.

How dare she!

This is a woman’s world. We have no room for games. Skipping. Dolls. We are about business. Wearing the pants and shouting f*ck you to any Tom, Dick and Harry for their neanderthal attempts to belittle the feminist. We are the sinew of every facet; the great influencer.

Sara getting nails doneUntil I realized how Grimhilde I was behaving towards my daughter. My behavior was deplorable and not one of a mother who birthed such a magical creature as a daughter. But why? Why do mothers behave so poorly to daughters? Or worse, glorify them to the point that they are so delusional to the reality of the world they become prima donna princesses with “entitlement” tattooed upon their brows. My daughter was undeserving of my behavior and I began to take a moral inventory, reflect upon my actions and behavior, what was the genesis?

The disturbing reality came down to origin. You see I was raised by my mother as my parents divorced when I was barely 10. By no means am I blaming my mother, much of what happens is based on environment. My mother was raised by her mother who was raised by a step-mother who lacked compassion and intimacy. So my mother was the recipient of a very business like mother, receipt of hugs was seldom, if never happened at all and thus history repeated herself with me. Time slowly changed with my mother and she became a bit more physically affectionate but it was awkward, even as an adult her affection is still a bit foreign to me.

Sara and KarieMy mother also was not a girly girl by nature. She was a Tom boy, who wanted to join the Peace Corp and save the world by burning one bra at a time. Yes, that was my James Taylor, John Denver listening mother. Makeup, curling irons, fashion, heels, this was not in her repertoire. Stitching, sewing both fabric, humans and caring for the ill was my mother. I love her so.

But as a vain, struggling to fit in, intellectual young girl and woman, wearing makeup and being hip on the latest fashion and trends from Tiger Beat were vital. Of which these suffered poorly. As I mentioned, my parents divorced as I was heading into my tween years, before they were even considered tween years. I had already spent a fifth of my life caring for my younger siblings due to my parents complete lack of familial interaction. Mom checked out emotionally with the divorce, struggling to earn a living to support three small children and Dad was off courting a familiar love and climbing his excelling corporate ladder chain. Somehow parenthood landed square on my eight year old shoulders. Dolls, skipping, earrings, makeup, fashion were all cast aside.

Many years I struggled with a lack of a true girlhood. Only realizing how much I struggled while raising my own daughter. The overall absence of a strong feminine figure in my life caused such a dramatic void that I began to resent my own daughter for the opportunities she was afforded. I saw myself very business like with my interaction with her. The awkward affection. I resented she had a mother and father, but never making this connection, never understanding my feelings of anger, jealousy, bitterness and envy.

How could I have been so blind? How could I have been so oblivious to how I was treating my baby girl? Fueled by my own anger and frustration for my own circumstances, I was blinded to how I was bequeathing the same future to her. This was my golden opportunity to transform the maternal paradigm. I prayed for Sara. I prayed for her to have a better mother who could let go of the anger of not having someone to instruct and depict makeup application, hair styles and trends, fashion statements (or lack thereof), to skip with to the front of the grocery store, to speak life and beauty without seeming insincere or pained at the task. To allow her to enjoy being a little girl playing with dolls, embracing her feminism with throat punches to the boys, showing her to cross her legs and sit properly all while wearing a skirt and picking out the best shoes. Loving her the way she deserved to be loved.

I grieved.

Karie and Sara SedonaThen I woke anew. Ready for the challenge to be the woman she needed; to help be her first role model of a woman. Guiding her in the struggles she would face as the foremost influence to mankind. When I say I grieved I truly grieved. A piece of me died one day. I said goodbye to my inner little girl who didn’t get to enjoy all that Sara has and will enjoy. I grieved the woman I once was; the anger, the bitterness, the sadness I carried because of the shame I felt for wanting to be that little girl and how I felt so wrong for wanting to be a little girl. I had to be strong, youth was seen as a weakness at a time when no one else was strong for me or my siblings.

Only realizing now, that as a parent, we think so much relies heavily upon the father figure, which to some degree carries a truth. However, I see now how impactful mothers being good to their daughters, and sons too, will shape who they are to become as adults. The love, support, and influence of a mother will either perpetuate the paradigm or result in a shift for our children and how they raise their children. I can only hope to be a better mother; to give my baby girl all she needs and wants in a woman role model and mother. May God continue to bless me with wisdom to bestow upon her and our legacy. Thankful I was able to realize how my parenting as a mother was only going to hurt us both. By grace I was changed to be better for her, be better for us.

Facebook Parenting

Teppenyaki was the dinner treat for our children on a Friday night. The call was theirs on the cuisine, two out of three identified Asian, orange chicken called out from the youngest and sushi from the eldest. The perfect blend of each equals teppenyaki. While at the dinner table and enjoying the various rolls ordered to curb any grouchiness and angst kids eating sushi, sushi, teppenyakifrom impatiently hungry children, and husband, I found myself wondering if I should grab my phone to document the moment. Post the food hashtag  on Instagram and carry over to Facebook, with the exploits of my children as the forefront. The picture would literally eek of SOB as I would succumb to the, “look at me I am a fabulous parent taking my children out for Japanese cuisine” cliche of today’s Facebook parenting. I took the picture anyway, only to be saved until today.

Everyday I am reminded of how connected we are as a society to social media, the net, technology. Facebook posts are riddled with exploited children in their seemingly normal and mundane daily life. Nothing too out of the ordinary, just their natural habitat. Parents capitalizing on their children in vulnerable moments, Instagram posts of ER visits for a broken arm after falling off a bike, tweets about the drowning of a child, or a blog about how their child is so amazingly special and you are an asshole for not agreeing with their parenting style or fashion. Such individuals will even go to such devastatingly great lengths to validate their useless points.Tweet for kids

For the last four years I have trudged through the whoreson of the corporate existence. I have lost much of my desire for exploitation due to the lack of overall time I had to spend with my children outside of the workplace. Many of the women who post today are stay at home mothers. In no way is this a bash to the important job and responsibility as a mother. However, how much of that time is actually spent being a mother? Are these mothers spending more time death gripping the smart device to see what Sally Shoemaker is up to and what she is doing for her children today. Or Josie Jerkoff and how she is always taking her children out for processed foods and other corporate infused noxiousness. Can you count how much time is actually spent with your children? Can you recall what they learned in school today? Did you assist with their homework? Have you had a legitimate conversation with them about their feelings, how today’s world impacts them, their future, are they physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared.

funny kid pictures“I don’t have to worry about such nonsense right now” is the flippant response. I laugh, because we are so engulfed in our own existence and the relationship with social media and overall technology, we have become a disconnected parent of sorts. Albeit, we are posting galore on Instagram, Facebook and making our opinions heard in 140 characters or less to seem as if we are so in tune with our children’s day-to-day and well being. I enjoy the parents who post about how they work and play with their kids and the posts are occasional, while I miss their engagement, I know most are a text away. I used to be that parent on both spectrum’s, engaged and disengaged all at once.

These days I find myself in an overwhelming amount of joy, albeit sometimes bombarding, that my kids run to me first when they get home. The past five months have afforded me a gift and a blessing I will never regret. I will never look back on this time and think I missed anything. In spite of looming financial hardships and the overall frustration of not working (contributing financially), I have never been so connected to my kids and my life. I will never regret being able to experience these times in their lives.

Each day I have the pleasure of seeing them off to school. My former life I was already at the office by the time they would even wake, if not tied to a conference call as I waved each goodbye and scooted out the door. My oldest has mastered the fine art of using the telephone, calling me on days to make special requests like bringing his refillable water bottle to school for him since its a warm day (and he’s susceptible to heat stroke) and or calling to remind me of something he wanted in particular.  I find his calls so heartwarming, even though just a simple phone call, the fact he thought to call me is priceless.

Every afternoon I see them barreling through the door, near breathless from racing each other from the bus stop, but managing to rattle off all they did that day or the major accomplishment. While a slave to the corporate master I would miss these moments, only to be told secondhand by my husband, missing all the excitement from the original storytellers, breathless, sweaty and grinning ear to ear. The story and moment didn’t hold the same weight.

mother and daughter, The Five FishI find myself soaking in more time with them now that they are older and more aware. We talk about real issues, concerns, feelings, planning for the future. The transactions are phenomenal and comedic. Avoidance of technology at the dinner table and throughout all our meals has become vital. Reconnecting with our kids, our lives and blocking the noise of social media and technology in order to be parents, to be engaged and to be aware. Ironic as this post may be, writing it while my children are in school. With less time attached to my phone I am taking fewer pictures as well, mental snap shots of the raw beauty of just being with my family, admiring the blessing.

My mind often travels around the thought of His plan. Maybe His plan all along was for me to re-engage with my kids. Shutting out my corporate life, disowning a part of my online life, so that I can be the influential woman for G and teach him to cook. To be the strong, confident, girly-girl mother my daughter needs to own her identity, and to be the teacher of language for my sweet middle sheep Seth, so he can one day arbitrate towards world peace with his exceptional communication skills.

Questions flood about what would have become of myself, my family and my kids if my faith had wavered any further. Would I continue on as a Facebook parent, only displaying to the world the small, snapshot worthy, shining moments instead of actually living in them with my children; where they see my eyes instead of my forehead as it is dipped into my smartphone. Would I have tripped farther down Alice’s corporate rabbit hole wallowing in my own personal hell? Questions I am thankful I don’t have to answer.