Freak Show

Hi, I’m Nina… and I’m a freak show.

Every time I see this snuggly face in the morning I want to cry.

1601480_10202809672303704_423107387_n

You see, we have a morning routine that includes snuggling for a good thirty minutes. I’m not going to have time for that on the weekdays anymore and I may or may not have cried about it a couple of times.

When I was younger and didn’t have children I thrived off of change. My life long goal was to keep moving. I thought as long as I had a cute bathing suit and a working car that could get me to a place where that bathing suit might be useful then my life would be complete. I got bored easily and was always looking for ways to rock the boat. As soon as I got pregnant with Bridget my whole outlook changed. Rocking the boat was no longer something I craved because I didn’t want to do anything that would make waves for my kid.

Gone are the days of embracing change. That once spontaneous fun loving girl is now replaced by a freak show who has a melt down at every life changing event for fear that one day her child will end up on the show Intervention. I’m not proud of it but it’s the truth. Being a parent is hard because every thing you do impacts your kids.

I cherish every moment I have with my kids but at the same time I’m excited for those golden years when I can be reckless again… Mark my words, as soon as Penelope is off and on her own I will be on a nude beach somewhere scaring off all of the locals. By that time I will have outgrown the cute bathing suit thing and will no longer be responsible for my kid’s psychological well being.

It took me a while to acknowledge the change in my personality that came with motherhood. But now that I am aware of how I react to change I am better able to deal with myself and my meltdowns. I’ve been predicting a major one to happen once I started student teaching for quite a while. In fact, I wrote about it here on this post call Mom Jeans about a year ago.

That being said, the melt down has begun. For the past few days I have been smothering myself with my children spending as much quality time with them as possible before I get caught up in the work load that finishing my grad degree will require.

1518212_10202799479968902_136156649_n 1545038_10202805132030200_1348294952_n

I have some planning ahead that I need to do to make sure my first week runs smoothly but I don’t want to spend too much time doing that instead of hanging out with my kids. I’m seriously driving myself crazy. I am such a weirdo.

That being said I have already started to embrace a few changes. For one, I finally tried this salad I’ve been meaning to try for a while…

Chopped Brussels Sprouts Salad With Creamy Shallot Dressing

1511922_10202819076858812_2080083157_n

It will definitely go in the rotation for packing lunches. The left over dressing is currently sitting in my refrigerator. I’ve got a science experiment going on to see how long it will last.

I’ve also started making double batches of things and freezing the leftovers. I read that if you freeze your food in bags on a flat surface and then stack them like books not only will your freezer be more organized but your food will thaw out faster too.

1544467_10202819120499903_993916933_n

Another thing I never did before kids… freeze shit and then take pictures of it. What is wrong with me?

So far I’ve collected the meat and sauce for Skinny chicken enchiladas, left over chicken quinoa harvest soup and turkey meatballs loaded with veggies. I’ve been also making a mental note of the things I think look yummy on pinterest or food blogs that I follow for meals for the following week. I never seem to find inspiration when I need it (Sunday during meal planning) so I’ve decided to start making the list when the inspiration finds me.

*Have you encountered personality changes as you’ve gotten older? If so what were they, and do you think they are for the better or for the worse?*

Mom Jeans

momjeans

I think I just might be a stress ball.

I know you’re probably tired of hearing about my sleep patterns but I woke up at 3 this morning worried… about everything. The whole thing started when I got a notice about my student loans that are going to be due as soon I finish my grad degree. I’m getting my master’s in education and soon I’m going to have to do my student teaching. That means I’m going to have to work for free for a semester while I pay for daycare for Penelope. It’s not really the money that has got me stressed out (even though that will be expensive) it’s the separation that has got me all wound up.

I have the luxury of staying home with her right now and I feel like I’m wasting this precious time by counting down the minutes to bedtime. I’m struggling with finding the balance at home. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I add a job to the mix.

Then I start to think about Bridget and how she will be in sixth grade soon and before I know it she won’t want anything to do with me.

In The Sun and The Moon I shared my story about how my mom died when I was in the third grade and as a kid I was never mad at her for what she did. I never felt sorry for myself or felt like I deserved any special attention. In fact I felt like such a weirdo when people tried to give it to me. As a kid you just deal with things without really thinking about it and carry on. It wasn’t until I held Bridget for the first time that I felt how significant that loss was.

The dead of winter is always hard for me, I always kid around and say that I’m like a flower, I wilt in the winter and bloom in the summer. One particular winter two years ago I went into a tailspin. I couldn’t figure out why I was so sad. Then in the middle of the night I broke down and cried harder than I have ever cried in my life. Brent just held me while I writhed and sobbed.

After I calmed down Brent and I were talking and it struck me that Bridget was in the exact same grade that I was in when my mother took her life. From a mother’s perspective that was hardly enough time to spend with your child. I couldn’t imagine Bridget ever having to go through what I did and it made me sad for the little girl who lost her mom twenty years earlier. I was mourning that little girl’s loss.

It wasn’t until I talked to my Dad later that week that I realized that I had my meltdown on the 20th anniversary of her death. I didn’t even know the actual date of her death until then. It was secretly ingrained in me, that bond between mother and daughter unbroken after so many years.

I have now officially been a mother longer than my mom was. Now, more than ever, I understand that my mom didn’t leave me because she didn’t love me. She left because she didn’t feel like she was good enough. What she didn’t know was that no mom feels like they’re good enough. We’ll always strive to be the best that we can be. But we won’t be perfect and we’ll always fall short of the ideal we have set in our head. That’s something we have to learn to accept and there will be many nights when we’ll stay up in the night worrying about it.

No wonder there is such a thing as “mom jeans”. I don’t think we can blame this phenomenon on the denim. I think it’s a side effect of the psychological stress of the mommy guilt that comes with motherhood.

We pass it down from generation to generation like the Sisterhood of the Mommy Pants. Only they’re never flattering and they fit absolutely no one. But we keep on wearing them to cover up  our stretch mark etched mommy pooches like a badge of honor.

That is, until we loose enough baby weight to wear a designer pair.