Saturday, June 30, 2012

Is it them or is it us?

Hang around any group of married women for more than say... 30 minutes?... and you're likely to hear at least one of them complain about their husband. If said couple has children, it might only take 20 minutes. I'm not going to lie and say that I never complain about mine. I think it's human nature (and too many TV shows, movies, songs, etc. that make life out to be perfect when the truth is far from it but that's a blog for another time). 

Anyway, I got to thinking today -- is the real problem them or is it us?

I've heard my husband tell me time and again, leave the dishes I'll do them. Or, why don't you make plans with your friends, I'll watch the kids. But how often do I take him up on the offer? Maybe once every twenty times. (I'm kinda surprised he keeps offering with as many times as I've said no.)  Could all the times I've said "no, I've got it" be why he doesn't jump in when the kids need a bath or he doesn't drop everything when he hears the "I'm hungry" call from across the room? Have I inadvertently trained him to wait for me to ask him to do these kind of things instead of just doing them?

I remember a long time ago, probably right after getting married, having a conversation with a high school friend of mine. We were lamenting about being newlyweds, taking care of a house, having full time jobs, etc. The gist of the conversation was that as women, we have been told from the time we were little girls that we could have it all, do it all, be it all, but that nobody told us how. Were we just supposed to learn by watching our moms who managed to work, run a household, and still stay sane?

Do we, as a gender, have a Wonder Woman complex? You know, the "I can handle it all on my own" borderline control freak behavior that exhausts us day after day, yet we don't stop and ask anyone for help and even when we do ask, we feel like we've failed?

Well, I for one am hanging up my golden lasso. If people are willing to help, I'm going to let them. And honey, if you're reading this, I'm going to take you up on your offers more often. Maybe one out of ten ;)

By the way, if you're a mom like me who likes to laugh and could use some good old "yeah, that happens to me too" check out the Momastery blog or follow it on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's just routine

Just about everything I've read and/or been told about parenting is that establishing routines are good for kids. It gives them a sense of consistency and they take comfort in knowing what is going to happen next. When my daughter was younger, I really took that to heart and we still follow a routine each day.

But what happens when the routine turns on you?

Before we moved, each night my daughter would get her dessert, go to the bathroom, brush her teeth, get her PJs on, get a book read to her and then it was lights out. I'd say 90% of the time she did it without much hassle.

Post-move it's been another situation entirely. She fights going to the bathroom. She dawdles picking out her PJs. She mulls over her book selection like her very life may depend on reading "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" instead of "Dear Zoo". And then there's the questions. What's the weather tomorrow? What are we doing? and so on. I went so far as to institute a three question maximum as part of our routine so that she can't suck me in to staying in her room longer than necessary.

I don't know what my next move is. Do I make a new routine and hope that it breaks the bad behavior and risk it upsetting her "comfort"? Do I stick to what we know and suck up her being a pain?

Ah the mundane yet critical decisions of parenting...

Friday, June 15, 2012

I want you to know...

It has taken me a long time to be comfortable with who I am. But, here I am at age 38, and I can finally say with 100% honesty love me or hate me, take me or leave me, it doesn't matter to me. Here are a few of the "life lessons" I've learned that I want my kids to know.

Be you.
I know, this seems to be an obvious one but how many people can honestly say that they are true themselves all of the time? I know for a long time I couldn't. I tried to change my look, my hair, my clothes, the way I behaved -- all in an attempt to fit in. But at the end of the day I wasn't being me. So, it should have come as no surprise when the people I changed for or no longer my friends because their friendship wasn't with me, it was with an alternate version of me.

Don't try to change anyone.
On a related note, don't try to change someone else. People only change when they WANT to change. as much as you want the other person to be happy with their job, their career, their relationships, it is up to them to make the change. That's not to say that you can't be supportive or offer opinions and suggestions, but in the end they have to do it, not you.

Be honest.
Sometimes the things you will say will, quite frankly, make people mad. You might as well have them be angry with you for your honest opinion and not for something that you think they want to hear.

Stand up for yourself.
Nobody in your adult life, and I mean NOBODY, will ever stand up for you 100%. People will always talk behind your back. It's in our nature. But when you know about it, stand up for yourself. No matter what is said make sure that everyone knows the truth about you.

Stand up for others.
Not everyone has the strength to do for themselves. It's okay to do it for them until they can find their strength.

Be kind.
It's been said that if you gathered a hundred people and everyone put their problems on the table, nobody would trade problems and everyone would walk away with their own and I tend to agree. Yes, you will have days (maybe even weeks) when you feel like the sky is falling. But that doesn't mean you have the right to treat others poorly. Everyone's problems are their reality and even if they seem happy on the outside, their world could be crumbling behind closed doors. So be kind. Be generous when you can. Not just with your money, but with your time, with your patience, with your love.

Trust your gut.
Even when the decision seems right in your mind or your heart, listen to your gut. It will never steer you wrong.

Have faith.
Even when everything is falling apart around you, have faith. It could be faith in your family, in your friends, in your spouse, in God. You will get through it.

Know you are loved.
People will come and go in your life. The people who leave will go not because of who you are but because of who they are. Those who are meant to be in your life will be there, no matter what.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My heart hurts

Deployments aren't easy on anyone -- the service member, their spouse, children, parents, etc. For the past few weeks, my 4-year old has been taking her anger and sadness out on me. It's been incredibly frustrating and, quite honestly, hard to take. You don't expect a 4-year old to look at you and tell you they don't want to live with you or try to hit you or kick you. You tell yourself they are hurting and can't express it properly but it doesn't make it easier to accept, especially in the moment.

Today, she broke my heart. We were at the birthday party of a friend of mine's son. She was hesitant which was understandable because she didn't know the other kids, only the birthday boy. As we stood there in our "stand off" about if she was going in or not, she started to cry. But it wasn't the defiant cry I've grown used to seeing. It was a cry of pain, of hurt. The crying turned into sobbing and she finally muttered "Mom please don't leave me never ever." It took every ounce of me not to sob with her (even writing this, I'm fighting tears). Apparently she blurted out to my brother this morning "My dad is in the Army. He's far away." I guess it has been on her mind all day.

The worst part is I know there are no words to make her feel better despite me promising that I'm not going anywhere. I know that no matter how much I hug her and tell her I love her I can't fill the void of her Dad being gone.

I can't stop her heart from hurting and I can't stop mine either.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Being a brown-eyed girl, I have struggled with choosing the right shadows to give my eyes some pop. Recently, I've really done some more investigating and spent a little more money and have been so happy with the results. I figured I'd share!

Smashbox Photo Op eyecolor trio

Screen Shot
I use Screen Shot for a more natural look without eyeliner. You can also glam it up with some black eyeliner for a smoky eye.

Telephoto is obviously more colorful so it leans more toward the glam side but can definitely be worn during the day.

The Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer is excellent to make sure it "sticks" all day long.

My other new love is L'Oreal False Fiber Lashes. I've been suckered by advertising before, but this REALLY works. My eyelashes look so much longer and thicker!

So there you have it. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dear news media

Dear news media,

You suck.

No, really. You nearly gave me a heart attack this morning. "NBC news has learned there was an attack on a military base in eastern Afghanistan. We will report more as details come in." I did a Google search. My hubby is in eastern Afghanistan. I didn't get my usual email from him this morning. Is he ok? Is his unit ok? Was it near him? I searched USA Today, CNN, AP. Nothing. Like I somehow imagined the news anchor telling me there was an attack. Thirty minutes passed. An hour. An hour and a half. Finally I see the news. It's not in my husband's province. I can breath again.

But you still suck.

How would you like it if someone called you and said your spouse was in a car accident and then hung up. Questions would be spinning in your head. Was the accident bad? Were they injured? Are they at the hospital? Maybe you'd even call local hospitals or the police.

Please, for the sake of me and other military spouses out there, don't pull that crap again.