Saturday, January 11, 2014

Awkward Mom vs. ???

Dear Readers-

Upon some reflection, I have decided to suspend my writing for the time being. I was just going to delete this blog and fade into the credits, but the good advice (and not a little peer pressure) from my Facebook friends has encouraged me to write one last message and leave the blog undeleted, but paused, for the time being. I won't lie; this feels a little pompous. I can't imagine who would want to come here to a lonely dusty blog and read old posts, but if you did find your way here, please feel free to take a look around.

I am taking a break from writing about my awkward adventures in order to have more of them. My three (soon to be four) superhero children need a sidekick to pal around with, get stuff off the top shelves, and drive the Awkward-Mobile. While writing about these happenings has been fun and a wonderful way to connect with other, maybe also slightly awkward, moms and dads, it has become harder and harder to maintain at the level and quality that I think you deserve as readers. Your time is precious and I don't ever want to waste it on sub-par writing. Let's be real, it's been a little sub-par around here these days. So, I am going to get back to the basics of living my awkward, odd, chaotic, wonderfully weird life. Maybe I'll take a few notes in case I ever feel up to blogging about our adventures again.

Some Awkward Time, Same Awkward Channel.

I love you all,
Stay awkward and awesome,

Awkward Mom

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Awkward Mom vs. Snow Day Thoughts

Because nothing warms you up during a polar vortex like some nasty, shaming thoughts. 

Like most of the country, we are dealing with the polar vortex, which is an absolutely awesome name for a villain, by the way. Unlike most of the country (I truly truly hope), our heat went out last night. We woke up, burrowed into the bed like a family of moles, to an inside temperature around 40 degrees and falling fast. Some panic ensued. Super Toddler's hands felt like ice cubes. 3 panicky calls to the landlady produced nothing but "your renter's insurance should pay for a hotel," so Awkward Dad (who is a healer by profession and not naturally skilled in the home-craft arts) took matters into his own hands and relit the pilot light. This is no easy task. The heating in our rented house is strange and the pilot light was never installed properly, rendering it at a funky angle from where the handy little manual says it is supposed to be. Luckily, we didn't blow up and he got it relit. That was at 7 this morning, it is now 3pm and finally starting to crawl upwards of 55 degrees in here. I am calling this battle a tentative win, but the war is far from over. It is January 7th in Michigan. It is far far from over.

Snow Days give one a lot of time to think. Well, 8-month pregnant women who just can't handle taking anyone sledding, that is. The Supers are content to watch Netflix and create elaborate hobbit homes out of the dismantled Christmas tree.

Sometimes they prefer to just use the bin.

And considering that they spent the entire snow day yesterday playing nicely together and trooping though the house looking for the "land of ponies and monster trucks," it is fair to say they don't need a whole lot from me right now.

Please don't worry about the sockless feet here, this was yesterday, before the pilot light decided it hated us. And no, your eyes are not playing tricks on you, we did move the couch around. I needed something to take my mind off the endless thoughts that are running through it right now.

Thoughts like.....this is the year that I turn 36. Tolstoy wrote War and Peace when he was 35. What have I written but a bunch of strange blog posts with comic overtones, obscure references, and silly, although adorable, pictures of my children? Is this the year I am finally gonna write that book? Maybe not War and Peace, but something more than these fleeting blurbs into the interweb. But then, the other thoughts come, and they aren't merely curious. They are downright negative.

Don't bother, Awkward Mom. You haven't even mastered the art of blogging, what makes you think you can write a book? Other "mommy blogs" always seem to click with people. Other "mommy blogs" get passed around Facebook with glowing accolades and deep sighs of empathy and understanding. Other "mommy blogs" turn into book deals. Other "mommy blogs" this. Other "mommy blogs" that. Maybe other mommy blogs don't overuse quotation markers...... 

Point is, these are dangerous thoughts and not remotely helpful or useful. I have always maintained that the internet is big enough for every voice on it. I want to believe that. But at the end of the day, even I am kinda overwhelmed by the powerful and beautiful writers out there writing about motherhood. It's kinda all been said, hasn't it? And I say it so darn awkwardly. Who really wants to read that? And if we are talking about creating a book, who wants to pay for that? Or wait patiently on a library list, for my frugal friends out there. Either way, I am defeating myself before I begin, and I am blaming the polar vortex because it is easier than blaming nearly 36 years of low self-esteem, a deep fear of failure, and perhaps just plain ol' mediocre writing to begin with.

OK, before these thoughts force me to rearrange another room, riddle me this, Readers; would you wait on a library wait list for Awkward Mom, the book? Don't just be nice here, Readers; I seriously want to know. On a related note, what kind of posts do you want to see in the new year? Let it be known that you can request nothing but pictures like this one:

That sounds like a better blog to me anyway. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Awkward Mom vs. Parenting Resolations

Heck, if all goes well, Awkward Mom can cross "have 4th child" off her list as early as late February! If Super Fetus has anything to do with it, we may be looking at July of 2015 before eviction....

I do like setting New Year's Resolutions. I really do. I usually set them sometime between now and late January (where my birthday is), and then I officially start them on my birthday. I like the idea of starting my new goals at the beginning of MY new year, plus it gives me 3 weeks to ease in. Don't judge me; I am not Perfect Mom and becoming her will not be on my list of resolutions anyway.

Most resolutions are only for yourself, right? Lose weight. Save money. Read more. All totally within your control and power to make happen, minus the occasional interference by a chocolate enabler, of course. Cool. Doable. I got this. However, being by myself is a state that I am no longer familiar with, and so much of my self and day is wrapped up in being a mom. It is natural then that my resolutions would lean toward the parenting aspects of my life, which currently cover about all of my life. It's a bit of a pickle. ( right back!)

OK, I'm back. Where was I? Ah yes; the problem with parenting resolutions is that other people are involved. I have almost 4 other people involved. 4 other people with very strong opinions about how they fit into my need to being a better parent. Last year's goals involved potty-training the boys, spending one-on-one time with each child, and establishing some sort of normal bed-time. I don't even want to go into how these went; they pretty much all fell apart by mid-March. 1 boy is potty-trained, they have all asked me to go away when I try to spend time with them, and bed-time is a war that would be better told by whoever wrote the Hurt Locker.

I suppose the trouble lies in not including them in the planning, so this year, I tried that. Here is what the children want to work on in 2014:

Super Kindergartener wants to "just be myself."

Super Preschooler wants to learn how to drive a monster truck. Gentle quires about potty training interest were met with, "No. Why? Diapers are easier."

Super Toddler would like some sausage. She got some and then totally lost interest in the conversation.

And from the little I speak fetus, I was able to ascertain that Super Fetus wants to kick me at 3 in the morning and never leave my womb.

Well, I suppose I have to research driving laws in Michigan and stock up on sausage, diapers, and chocolate. I am gonna need some if Super Fetus is camping out for the long haul. Good plan.

Here's the thing, like the real thing: What are resolutions for anyway? Super K. asked when Awkward Dad and I asked him what his was, so we defined it as a goal or plan to help you be a better person. How exactly does potty training and normal bed-times make me a better person? Do they? I don't know, as I have not really had them before, but I have a feeling that they don't. I have a feeling that they might make me less stressed out, but I also have a feeling that they are coming whether or not I write them on a fancy vision board that I hang over my desk. (Yes, I put my resolutions on a vision board over my desk. The fanciness is up to interpretation, but I think 2013's looks nice.)

Super K. did potty train eventually. I occasionally get time with each child where they aren't racing back to a sibling. And sleep does happen around here. Sometimes. None of this was on my time table, but considering that children don't even come on their due date most of the time, where the heck did I get it into my head that they do anything on my time table?

Let's look at this a different way. I have an oldest child with enough confidence and maturity to see that "just being myself" is a wonderfully appropriate new year's resolution. Esp. when the self we are talking about is a kind and thoughtful human being who is learning to read, enjoying his first year of school, and leading his merry band of siblings into deeper and deeper Star Wars knowledge. I have a middle child who is bold, strong, and fierce in defending his space and needs. He is utterly confident in who he is and not remotely affected by other people's pressure to change him. He will potty train when he is good and ready, and until then, he can wear a pull-up to preschool, as they are totally cool with it and not judgey about it. (At least to my face.) I have a spitfire toddler who eats everything, does everything, and I am pretty sure knows everything. She is fearless and probably won't ever need resolutions because all she would need to resolve is to "continue being awesome." I know that Super Fetus is happy in there, but science is against him/her and a birth will take place sometime in the late winter. Once again, I will be able to go more than 20 minutes without peeing, eat and drink with abandon, and sleep anyway that I please. On the rare occasions that I pee, eat, and sleep that is. Plus, I will have a Super Baby to cuddle and kiss. A baby that will be happily drawn into a sibling group as loving and riotous as a puppy pile.

This is what my parenting as so far wrought; 3 mostly happy and well-adjusted children who actually enjoy being together. Maybe I should resolve to "just be myself" this year. It appears to be working so far.

Awkward Mom wanted to resolve to "be more like Super K.," but someone already took that resolution.

Yes, it is an old picture, but come on! 
This picture should live on forever for that hat alone.