Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer & Accountability

Well, I've finally got a moment to myself to blog without someone asking where are their headphones, socks, football gloves, shoes, etc or ask for money! The life for of a mom with now 3 teenagers and 2 tweens has officially sent me in "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That" land.

Since my last posting, My 'baby' is now a young lady & has graduated from elementary school, I gained a teen from tween land as my middle son turned 13 & is owning every ounce of teenage-dom now, I work out in the middle of the night & I lost my great aunt whom I grew up with in my childhood home. I'll get back to all of that in future blogs. I have promised myself to be committed to blogging this summer so I don't end up committed for real!

Now, to why I wanted to make this post. Accountability.

I'll first talk about it with the fit girl perspective. As I've stated, I work out in the middle of the night. With my husband on 2nd shift, I go to be trained by him at a local 24 hour gym when he gets off of work. It has a lot of benefits to it, but being up during the night and day with small sleep sessions can take it's toll. With summer in effect, I've contemplated taking one of the teens with me in the mornings to the gym to help them burn off some of the energy. That would mean no husband trainer. It's a rare thing for me to workout without him. He's more than my trainer, he's my accountability partner. I know when I'm with him, I'm going to give my workout my all. I can talk myself out of that last rep on my own sometimes, I can tell myself that the chocolate cupcake will not hurt my workout. But with him, I'm on my A game. I want to show him I'm a beast when it comes to this fitness thing. So my mission is to have accountability for myself being healthy without him babysitting me. I also have my facebook & instagram post to keep me on track though.

Every time you post your progress and post as much healthy stuff as I do, you kind of have a following. So you feel weird if you slack up on your workouts and let your gut hang in a picture. My friends who see me regularly that are on facebook with me, I'm the same girl that is on the social networks, so they won't see me on my second cup of a fattening cocktail or third hamburger. When I'm home, I practice what I preach. I teach my kids to read the nutrition labels in the store with me. I'll sit & watch my daughter's fave shows with a big bowl of baby brussel sprouts....and like it! We make salads together & create healthy recipes. I have 2 boys on the verge of their college years in a couple of years & I want them to be able to make healthy choices on a couple of dollars...especially my athletic kid.

I'm saying this to say, you don't need a husband trainer to be accountable, but you are surrounded by people & things to make you accountable for you. You shouldn't want to let you down. Seeing my before pictures motivates me when I have a case of the frumps & frustrated with the slow process of rebuilding a body. Everything I eat, I think about how this will help or hinder all of the progress I've made these past two years. It's become a habit, an obsession, a lifestyle. I can't give up this healthy kick. I've embraced that it's not a phase anymore. I'm that annoying person on facebook who always talks about their workout and what they eat. I'm the girl at the store reading the labels & examining my produce. I'm the instagrammer that posts motivational pics and quotes. I have online albums of my workouts....And I'll be damned if I feel ashamed of it. Because with my search to be accountable to myself & wanting to detach from my trainer, I found that the only person I was trying to prove anything to was myself. And that makes me proud.

 Accountability is everywhere. You just have to look around, identify it & embrace it...if you can't, look in the mirror.

There's a 2nd part to this. I want to delve into accountability with everything else...I'll post it in a few days. But in the meantime, here's me doing something that little short stay at home moms shouldn't be able to do: workout like the pros & squat 225 lbs! Time to go & feed my crew!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Temptation, food & the freaking height chart.

As most of you have read before, I have mom issues. Not from being one but from having one. This does not effect my day to day life, HOWEVER, when I am stressed, disappointed, have an encounter with her or what have you, I fall into a vortex of "Everyone sucks, I need a cheesecake and a dose of shut the hell up". This can lead to the tv suddenly speaking to me by posting 1232942 Pizza Hut, cookies, cakes & a Diners, Drives Ins & Dives marathon. Of course, this is NOT good for someone who although works out like a beast, is still 4 pounds overweight according to my height. So, it can lead to 3am trips to the bathroom and repeating to myself, "This is not the time to eat the kids' afterschool snacks." Emotional eating will make you lie to yourself. Things like, "If I eat this piece of cake, all I'll have to do is run it off for an hour on the treadmill and drink smoothies all day tomorrow." or my fave, "I'm going to do a cleanse tomorrow, so I might as well order the cheese fries. The kids will eat some of them anyway!" That is your body lying to you like a teenage boy with his first girlfriend. Don't fall for it!

Life happens, trust me, I know! My daughter's birthday was this week. The day before, my sister was baptized. Of course my entire family was there for my sister to support her decision. And as anyone with a brain would know, my Dad had us celebrate at a beautiful buffet brunch at a nearby hotel. Buffet can be a curse word if you're into a healthy lifestyle, especially a luxury buffet brunch with an omelet station, carving station,  breakfast foods and tons of pasta! But it can be navigated and you can atone for your 'sins' if you're not going there regularly. I chose to make sure I ate a protein bar on my way to brunch which helped me not eat more than 3 of those delish sausage links they had glistening at me like fresh snow! I did have 2 mimosas...mind you, my mom was there, so that was definitely a requirement! However, I did drink tons of water before church, after and during brunch. Then the kids and I headed home after spending a few more hours at my Dad's and we stopped at Wendy's. I choose a chicken salad half order and a jr cheeseburger. If I wasn't married to my trainer, I would have given him full disclosure because that way, he can make a plan to torture my body for my bad choices and they would help me. If left up to me, I would have did a kale cleanse or completely backslid and ate cheesecake! I'm human, and I love food. But the choices I make affect the body I want. Eating unhealthy makes me bloated and sometimes nauseous now. I get full faster because my stomach is no longer the turnpike of french fries that it used to be. It takes time, it's hard work, but I'll be damned if I have another waiter conveniently forget to ID me because I look like my 24 yr old sister's mother! I know my goals, to hell with that freaking body chart telling me I'm still overweight, I'm a long way from where I want to be but I'm a long way from where I was....and I did it with a whole bunch of kids in tow! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Motivation, Goals, Motherhood & All That Jazz....

        My husband/trainer asked me this morning, pre-coffee, what exactly my goals were. Considering we have been together for almost 18 years, I wanted to hit him in the head with my coffee mug...Well, before I filled it with the elixir of the Gods, of course. He meant my fitness goals. See, I've worked out with him for almost 2 years now, helped him follow his dreams & start his own business, but somehow, with the addition of new clients, he forgot what I was really "working" for. Most people this time of year have a reason to head to the gym: The New Year's Resolution drive, the great deals on gym memberships, the idea of going on vacation in the warmer months and not wanting to wear a Walmart house coat, I could go on. Well, I don't have a goal like that. I think goals for me are a set up for epic fail and a disgraceful fall into a box of lemon twist oreos. I don't know exactly what I weigh. My trainer/husband weighs me but makes me look up. I know what my weight range is, thanks to the lovely nurse who not only weighed me with clothes on during my GYN check up, but felt the need to say, "I need to move this notch up a bit". I'm not looking to lose a miracle weight Biggest Loser style. My goals are long but simplistic...

        I want to be naked and have my husband not catch his hand in one of the rolls on my back when I'm channeling my inner Beyonce sex goddess. I want to dance wildly and not look like I need a defibrillator so that I can embarrass my teenagers. I want to take my daughter to the mall and not wish for poison when I see that she wants to keep shopping, but my body feels like it traveled the Underground Railroad just walking from our parking spot. I do not want to hear, "You look great for 5 kids!" I want to look great. I want to put on the most hottest MILF outfit know to man when my birthday comes in April and say, "And this is what 35 looks like" and make much of facebook envy in my awesomeness and throw up on themselves. I want my back not to feel like 5 epidurals of hell, more like 2-ish. I'm sick of knowing when rain is approaching in Seattle and I'm in New Jersey. I want to be able to wrestle all 4 of my boys if they come home with bad report cards. I don't want to look like the big one of the couple...Since my husband sheds weight faster than drawers on a spring breaker, I want to look like his female equal. I want to prevent what I'm watching my Nana fight, dementia, hypertension & diabetes.

          See? Not the typical I want to lose 20 lbs for the summer than eat cheesecake all winter response. For me, fitness is the rest of my life. Yes, 2 years has changed me physically in major ways but there's still soooooo much more to go. I'm a true believer in life that your goals should always be to strive for more. You should be happy, you shouldn't strive for perfection, BUT you should always want to learn, grow, change into a bigger, smarter prettier butterfly.... I want to always look for improvement in myself. I am proud of my journey, especially the motherhood part, but I want to always be my own motivation. I say to my kids all of the time what my dad has pushed with me- You should always lay your head on your pillow at night feeling you have done something good for yourself, your family and your world. My kids are my biggest motivation to want more, be more, live more. My husband is my support & travel guide to my goals, but the biggest person I want to be better for is finally ME. It's always a long road when traveling to your goals, but looking back at me 2 years ago & now, I'm liking this journey more daily!


Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm a mom, annnnnnddd....A 2012 reflection.

I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged. I was really into using this as my transition from my Mid Week Vents & posts on Cafemom, but somehow life got in the way. What have I been doing? Well, that's easy. I've been a mom. But more importantly, I've been me. My husband lost his job last year, which not only cut into our finances, but I actually had to look busy at all times. That part wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, but a pain in the crack, nonetheless. When he lost his job, he decided to follow his dream and become a certified personal trainer. His first client was a free one and a very round and fresh lump of clay to mold....Me. When we started, I was 208lbs, hypertensive, prediabetic, a smoker, a chicken nugget thief & had a chocolate stash that would make Willy Wonka get a hard on. Now, almost 2 years later, I am 60 lbs lighter, clean eating, water drinking shell of my former self. So it became a business that my husband and I would work together to build. I found my love, the weight room. I know most girls shy away from the weights, but there is something about slapping on pink gloves & lifting more than most men can that tickles my fancy. It's a self esteem builder, a great way to burn fat and it makes your booty look video vixen like! I never thought I'd ever love to workout, I hate doing dishes, but the gym gives me peace & makes me feel less guilty about my chocolate stash! Along with the 5 kids, and our extended families....I forgot I even had a blog.


Speaking of the kids, this year was a year of change with them as well. My older 2 boys graduated middle school, entered high school and joined sports teams for the first time. I am one of those mothers I wanted to throw stuff at in my kids' younger years...The high school sports mom. I'm loud, I'm crazy and I am soooooo proud of my sons. I make their protein shakes & post workout meals, workout with them...I'm annoying and I love it!I have 3 more year of them at home with me before I hear the dreaded words, "Mom I'm legal now". So, I'm reveling in any attention they give me. My younger 2 boys graduated as well & headed to the awkward hell known as middle school! My theory is that 6th grade is the crossroads of tween hell. The last time I almost lost it on my older boys was in 6th grade. The last time they had a physical spat where my husband and I had to pull them apart was 6th grade. Now, our lovely cycle of tween hell has been reborn with the younger 2 boys! So far, I'm winning. I will say that as much as they drive me bonkers, all 4 boys are absolutely nothing to whine & moan about. Like all kids, you just have to make them feel special, give them their space but not too much! Then there's this little girl of mines...Who is so beautiful, I fear for her because i know mean girls are everywhere. She's smart, sweet and innocent. All of the things a 10 yr old should be. It's her last year before middle school, so I'm doing my best to cement our bond. The next few years she will hate me, love me, misunderstand me, then love me again. I'm preparing us both for it all. My daughter gives me closure to the confusion that is my own mother/daughter relationship. When it hurts as to why I can't have one, my daughter, almost instinctively, will ask me to help her paint her toes or pick an outfit out, or watch Victorious...And all is right in my life again. As if my life didn't have enough kids and love, 2012 brought me my 2nd niece, 1st biological....I love them both so much, I'm in awe of it. Loving someone who is not actually yours but loving them as if they were is a strange concept to me...But it feels and flows so natural. Those 2 little girls are truly amazing and make my world right as well. So overall, 2012 wasn't bad. A lot better than my past years, and next year seems promising with my husband back at work, his business beginning to take hold, our kids are starting new phases in life, we are now not the only ones to have babies anymore, and I'm back to making some sense out of a bunch of ramblings from a mom like me. I'll be back with more functional dysfunction soon!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Family Portraits

Most people see me as 'that mom'.. You know, the mom that cooks homemade food, bakes cookies & cakes from scratch & mend socks, all while being the good little wife & helping my eldest child with 7th grade honors math geometry. That perfect little mom that everyone would like to have as the pinata at the next birthday party....

Well, I am that mom. But I'm far from perfect.

See there's a reason why I try to be all of those things to my kids. There's a reason why my kids are my entire world sometimes, why I hover over them, haven't taught my teens how to iron yet, or cook anything more than a few dishes....

It's because I had a far from perfect mother.

Let me first start off by saying that I really do love my mother. I just can no longer consider her anymore than the biological incubator that had really great qualities but more demons than I deserve to see.

Last week, I had her drive from her home in another state and attack me in front of my kids & husband... Her reason being a lack of respect over the phone and on facebook to her. Even the cops had to laugh at that one, so you can too.

May I remind you, I'm in my thirties... She hasn't spoken to my kids nor I since New Years....blah blah, crap that you don't need to know.

See, I came out of the womb as my mom's enemy. I'm a poster child that pro-lifers should hold up and be amazed by....*rolls eyes* The story pretty much goes as this: My mom was 18 when she became pregnant. She was scared, young, she went to the clinic to terminate me... My dad stopped her. He promised to take care of her & this baby. And they lived happily ever after.... Well until she left 10 years ago.

I was an adult by that time & with my own family. It scared me at first, then it became what it is. I was over the split up... but not the strained relationship, if you want to call it that, with my mom. We stayed cordial because of my kids. I wanted them to love her & I wanted her to love something of mines. I wanted her to see although she wanted to get rid of me, & had no bones in telling me this growing up, that I did something right. Look what I did right in my life, Mom!

Well that didn't work out as well as it played out in my mind. In my mind, it played out like a mix of Steel Magnolias & Beaches all rolled into one... with the exception of no one dying.

Anyways, back to the fight last week & why I'm an annoying mother...

We both said what we needed to say to each other. I made sure she knew that I hold my father solely responsible for the person I have become. I have a good heart, and a good head on my shoulders because he never showed me anything different but strength, discipline, unconditional love... And he never had to say he loved me but did when he felt it was needed. She reminded me of how she should have gotten rid of me, in several ways that she tried to. Yeah, did I mention that this was in front of my kids? Yeah it was. I've made my peace with that part of the mom episode. After 30+ years of knowing that I was never wanted, and you still being here, can it really hurt you? Not really.

With that said, that's all I'll pretty much say about the fight. But it does bring me to the reason why I'm a mom like me. I'm a hovering, overly affectionate, try to be the best mom I can be because of what I didn't have. I know what having a mom like mines does to a person. Here I am, in my 30's with 5 kids & a wonderful husband that I was blessed to know all of my life, I love them they love me, I'm honest, blunt & doesn't back down to much in my life, BUT with probably the worst self esteem you could ever have.

Parents initiate pretty much how your self esteem is going to play out as an adult. My dad did his best to help. Even my mom has her great qualities... I don't have memories of being in corners crying while she screamed... I had a good childhood. But like Dr Phil says, "It takes 1000 I love yous, to take away 1 I hate you" or something like that... I never have a sense of 'belonging' anywhere. I feel like I'm bothering people or that they see all my imperfections. I keep my own husband at arms length sometimes because the fear of being rejected even trickles down to him. It's not paranoia where I need help, I just don't get close to anyone other than my kids. I never realized it until last week.

I had one of those trophy moms... She's pretty, at every event, always knew what to say.... But one on one with her was never good.

So I promised myself and my children when they were born that I would never be one of those moms... My kids would never feel like they were a whoops... I never regretted ANYTHING in the almost 14 years of being their mom. I wasn't going to be those moms who look AMAZING on the surface but need a straight jacket behind closed doors. They would see that everything I say I do, and that I was going to let them know how awesome they are every day..... EVEN when my 2 teenagers drive me to the point of needing to look at their baby pictures to keep me from going nutso on them, I love them!

So in closing, YES, I am that mom. That mom who can bake a cake in 2 hours notice, fix dinner, help with homework & do laundry for 7 people in one day. I'm that mom who will get up & go get last minute project supplies, volunteer at the school & still have time to talk current affairs with my husband.... Because I made sure my kids would never feel like me. I paid the cost to be a mom like me.... So the next time you or you hear someone say "She thinks she's perfect".... The truth is, She probably doesn't think she's perfect. She's just a mom who's trying to be the best mom she can be... just like you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sometimes The Kids Aren't Your Life

I find myself sometimes saying lines that I hate. My most loathed phrase when it comes to motherhood is "My kids are my life". It stems from watching the dynamics of my own parents. I'm an adult child of a dissolved marriage that happened when I was a mother and when I heard the words "My kids are my life" from my own mom, it made me cringe. Not just because my relationship with her has been, for lack of better words, interesting in my 30+ years, but because even as a child, I would think, "Why would she make us just her life? Why doesn't she have her own?" I spent many years before marriage wanting what my parents had seemed to have had. I wanted a man to treat me as my Dad had the women in his life. It was a misguided fairy tale goal, to say the least.

But now, I can see why my mom would say that and find myself saying the same dreaded words when my life isn't all it's caked up to be. When I find myself wondering if my own marriage will last, when I feel like I'm not good enough, when I feel like I need to defend staying at home instead of working...I say, "My kids are my life"

It's not the truth though. Yes, they are my shinning achievements, my reason for breathing when I feel like I don't think I can, the first things I wake up and think about and the last things I think of before I sleep...Hell, even sometimes during my sleep, when I can strangely wake up out of a exhaustion coma to hear one of them coughing or whatever....But my kids shouldn't be my entire life.

Making them that isn't fair to them. It subconsciously makes them feel like they have impossible expectations by their mom. If they fall in the least bit, they'll remember clearly what you said about them being your entire life. They may strive for it or give up. In my case as a kid, I did both. I had tried to be the smartest, most polite, helpful kid, then when I felt like it wasn't enough, I rebelled.

Do I want that for my kids? No. Do I still make them my life? Yes. But I want more. I want to be able to balance my own goals, hobbies, circle of friends, decisions without having to think that "How will this effect all 5 kids?"

Some would say, that's selfish. That's not what good mothers do. If I wanted to act like that, I shouldn't have had 5 kids. Well my answer is, there has to be more than giving everything to your children until there is nothing left. Who wants a used up mom? I've seen the other side of what happens when you give your entire life to kids....they grow up and you're stuck there. Wanting the days when they needed you for everything and now they barely do. I've seen what it does to a woman when all she has left are memories. It's not pretty.

I think in this generation of motherhood, we're so busy trying to define what a good mother is that we gain Superwoman complex. Meaning, if you don't do 4000 things devoted to your child everyday, you're a bad mom. The truth is, if you have the bond with your child that you want more for them than what you have, if they are your primary goal and focus, you're a mother...and a good one.

Good mothers do put their kids first...but good mothers also know that they are only human. You kinda have to say to yourself, as long as you're laying down a good foundation for the life storms in each child and you don't have to pay for intensive therapy when they're older...you've done your job.

But back to why I don't want to make the kids my life....

I want to be able to feel blessed, not resentful of my children. It's so easy to make them your life, but it's so hard to detach yourself from it. As I end this week, and start another, I want to make each day a step into finding who I am besides mom, wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter....I want to prepare myself for the time when they won't need me so much, when all I have left are the memories of 7am chaos and 6:30 dinner laughs and homework madness...When my house becomes quiet and hopefully my husband will be there to look at me and say "You've done what you needed to do for them...Now do you" And then I can proudly say, "I've always have done me."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Difference Between a Babysitter and Me

A few days ago, I was referred to as a babysitter.
I won't mention who said it because I'm over it.

Anyways, I sat back, wallowed in it for a few days and now I can see the difference.

I'm a stay-at-home mom...with dreams, goals and aspirations to one day, not be one.
But for now, I'm home. I have been home since the pregnancy of my third child. He will be 10 tomorrow. So my at-home, not making my own money, being what at what feels like an unpaid maid has been me for a while now. So when anyone says to me "You're just a babysitter.", it causes me to step back & question who I am. What I am, why am I this...

Here's my answer...

A babysitter has her own home. She can leave after her services are performed. Her central priority is to make sure the kids are fed & not causing harm to each other.

I am here...I live here. Not like a nanny. This is my family. I don't clock out and live another life. This is my life. My priorities are not centered. They scatter from child to child. I feed, clean, care for, keep from danger, prevent serious harm all while hearing Mommie...more than one would like to hear it.

A babysitter wakes up to care for themselves first. Then heads to their job.

I wake up knowing what I have to do for others...and in the fog before coffee and water hitting my face, I've done a load of laundry & probably picked up a wet towel or two. I've taken out dinner to defrost, figured what the main cleaning project for that day will be, who has a test today, and prayed that when I wake the kids up today, no one starts fighting 30 seconds after waking. I mend boo boos, fix sniffles and coughs, solve homework problems, and teach them about the world. I solve friend issues, and sibling issues and spend much of my afternoon saying "What's wrong now" and "Clean your room".

A babysitter gets paid for their services with money.

I get paid by the security of knowing my bills are paid, money to get groceries & the tons of hugs and kisses I can con the kids out of. My payment is knowing I helped shape 5 future adults...with not much serious damage.

A babysitter has the option of being emotionally attached to the kids.

I have been emotionally attached since the grew in me...no option there.

I don't look for a paycheck, someone to kiss my ass, or carry me on a pedestal...THIS IS MY LIFE...I CHOSE IT.

I love Motherhood, but it is mainly a thankless job. I accept that. But what I don't accept is being compared to a babysitter.

I'd rather be compared to Bounty paper towel....Because I'm a living and breathing quicker picker upper....Not a babysitter.