Parenting…

16months4

I don’t know why as mothers we feel the need to create this fantasy image that everything is so sunshine and rainbows all the time. I think it is a load of crap. There I said it. haha. I got an amazingly sweet email today from a friend that really made my whole week. In that email she shared with me this article from the Huffington Post titled Don’t Carpe Diem. This article had me laughing, than crying, than laughing again. All I could think about was how I heard that exact line “cherish every moment, they grow up fast” like 3 times today. I also carried a screaming, head butting, smacking me in the face Rowan out of 2 stores and a restaurant this evening. I don’t know how well I seized those moments.

Parenting is not easy. Staying at home is not easying. It erks me to no end when people who don’t have kids make some kind of mean comment about how easy it must be. Boy, do they have it coming to them when they have kids. When I write my monthly posts about Rowan, I choose to focus on the good because it is all true stuff, she is the joy of our world. I love Rowan with every fiber of my being, but that doesn’t mean that I dont count down the hours, minutes, seconds until it is bedtime sometimes.

So, what is the point of this post? I am not really sure. I guess I just wanted to tell all you moms out there that you are doing a great job! That no matter how you choose to raise your kids, you are doing a great job. It is ok to think it is hard. It is ok to think everyday is not laying in a bed full of kittens (wouldn’t that be nice?)

The thing we should remember, are those precious moments though. They are what help me move on from the bad ones. The love that I feel for her is real and even on the worst of days, a flash of her smile can change everything. On days when I find myself counting down the minutes till bed- it never fails that as soon as she is down I want to go back in to cuddle her a little more. She is my little baby and I am her mother. Motherhood can be tough but honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way. The worst of days are what really change you. You grow. You stretch. You become a better parent for your child.

And on that note, I am going to show you some cute pictures of Rowan, lay in bed and drink my beer (Kona Brewery Koko Brown with Toasted Coconut!!!) and watch Arrested Development because today was one of those hard days for me.

Go read this article!

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p.s tomorrow I have a diy project that will have you meowing!

  1. Thanks for posting this! Parenting has been on my mind a lot lately, and of course that seems to be by choice of blog posts also. And by the way- that beer sounds so good. I am going to have to see if I can buy that here in MO!
    Nicole

  2. Awesome post, something all us mommas needed to hear. They can drive us nuts all day with drama and randomly giggle and we’re melting in their chubby hands.

  3. wonderful post jen!

    i’m not a mum myself yet, but i do know that it is damn hard work… there is so much pressure from everywhere these days to be the perfect mum. and with the rise of mummy bloggers who only seem to share the good bits, it’s easy to compare yourself to them and be your harshest critics sometimes. but there are always bad bits, no matter how angelic the child may be or how perfect their life may seem.

    just do what you do to be able to get through the day with a happy and healthy little rowan…

    and as a fur mum to a little five month old kitten, let me tell you, laying in a bed full of them would not be a picnic! my kitten thinks our bed is for running laps on and to be used as a launch pad for leaping on your belly just as your about to fall asleep!

    i’m really enjoying this new direction your blog is taking. so honest and heartfelt, makes me excited to read each post 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for your honesty. I feel like the blog world so often portrays motherhood as all roses, and whilst I love reading the good parts and can’t wait to be a mother I think we need to share the hard stuff as well.

  5. Hi Jen.

    I have been reading your blog a while now. I also have a baby boy who is about two weeks younger than Rowan. and today was a pretty hard day for me too. ( Couldn’t make him repeat any of the words he knows. Didn’t eat his vegetables, or his fruit.) so I am feeling what you say. but the days that he is a cutie it makes me forget all about the tantrums and screams and not sitting still for a minute or not eating his healthy food. It is amazing that how much we love them even when they make us frustrated.

  6. thank you for this post. i don’t have my own child or anything, but there are just days when i’m dead beat like today – and like you wrote, it’s about finding the love and joy in your life and focusing in on that. it really makes all the troubles and exhaustion melt away!

  7. Such a true and lovely post! You are doing an amazing job as a mum as well! Xo! 🙂

  8. AMEN! Parenting is WORK, and it’s definitely not easy. I do have times when I feel like I just need some me time, but I know I have to take care of Naja, but at the same time, there are moments when I recognized how much Naja has been a blessing.

    Such is life, there are hills and valleys, but I definitely think it’s good to focus on the hills, and reflect on the growth we learn from the valleys :). Rowan is adorable still, I feel like she’s starting to look a bit more like you too 🙂

  9. Jessica •

    That’s funny – I just wrote a post a couple days ago about how the “cherish every moment” statements are not practical! When I get a hug from my little boy – I cherish that. I cherish the little I love yous from him. Those are the best! But when bedtime rolls around sometime…….I am cherishing every minute closer to lights out!

  10. Krystal •

    Thank you Jen! You wrote the truth without complaining about your hard day!! It is HARD! I count the minutes until nap time and bed time often and find I just try to get through the day! I try hard to be positive through the hard moments but it’s hard!!! And people, even my own Dad!, do say maybe three is too many kids?!!! Yep three is hard! But so in one! Especially during the fits:(
    You are doing a great job! Rowan is beautiful! And you are right we grow through the hard times! (do we grow through the lack of sleep though?!;)).
    HUGS to you and Rowan! And um seize the tea!:)

  11. Thank you for sharing this. I don’t have kids yet, but I’m getting closer to that point and this is one of the things that makes me nervous about motherhood. I KNOW it’s going to be hard, but I feel like all the people my age starting to have kids act like it’s all roses. Women need to be allowed to be honest! Admitting it’s hard doesn’t mean in any way you love or care for your kids less – in fact, I think things that are hard work and make you grow are the things that lead to the most long-term happiness, most definitely the case for raising kids. But suppressing real feelings doesn’t!

  12. thanks for sharing, jen. i’m so glad you are willing to be honest with us. i have felt the same way already with my pregnancy. people will say “enjoy every moment” and it makes you feel guilty when you don’t, but how can you enjoy the exhaustion, the emotions, the pain? i know it is worth it–i am not complaining or discounting that fact. but it’s not all smiles and rainbows!

  13. I read and re-posted that article yesterday as well- it was just what i needed to hear! i am 40 weeks today with a 22 month old toddler to take care of and it is already one of those days where the minutes are like hours. Be encouraged- we are all right there with you!

  14. I hear ya sister! I was not a SAHM until I moved to Omaha, NE in August from Chicago. It is exhausting. I feel guilty on a daily basis when my working friends say that I just have to “cherish every moment” and to think of them working when they want to be with their kids at home, instead….major, major feelings of guilt when I am about to rip out my hair because of the day-to-day craziness and exhaustion of my job with my daughter. The non-structure of the job is enough to drive anyone batty…but add in the lack of time to devote to myself or my side-passions of crafting, painting and blogging…and you have the most demanding and unappreciated job around. Thank goodness for small moments of utter joy when my daughter suddenly learns something new…or communicates with me in a way she never has, or turns and gives me a hug/snuggle/kiss out of nowhere…..that is what makes it all worth it…and momentarily, you forget how hard it is to be a mom.

  15. I absolutely love the part about head-butting, face-smacking Rowan. My son, Peter, definitely does that to me at times. Being a SAHM isn’t easy, and I’d imagine being a working mom would also have its fair share of crazy challenges.

    The weirdest thing is when people speak as if parenting is static, as if your kids don’t change and they just get bigger. I think it’s all the moment to moment changes that make this season of life so nutty. And fun. But nutty too. Cheers on the beer. Enjoy it.

  16. Jen, thanks so much for sharing your true feelings. Motherhood is hard work, and it surely isn’t all butterflies and hugs. My son is now 14mo. old and on various occasions, I’ve had to walk out of restaurants, malls, stores, etc. as well. So from a mom to another mom, I totally understand. I try to remind myself that this is just a phase and eventually I’ll miss these hard times lol. I love your quote, “The worst of days are what really change you. You grow.” So so true! Hang in there, from one first time mom to another first time mom, I understand you:)

    P.S.–I also count down to bedtime. 🙂

  17. I just put my sixteen month old down for a nap and I could seriously do a black flip! Haha, I read your post earlier this morning and just had to come back to comment. The precious stuff is precious, the crappy stuff is crappy…same with everything else in life. Just because it’s concerning our kids doesn’t mean the the suck-y stuff doesn’t suck. I think we worry that if we admit it it will reveal some flaw in us as mothers, like a smaller capacity to love unconditionally or something. I love my kid wildly but I also could string him up by toenails some days.. 🙂

    And can we just underline your point about people minimizing the role of a stay at home parent? People always ask me if I work while I’m in need of at least three more arms to take care of my kid, my dogs, my home, myself.. I know the real question is do I work out of the house (which, yes, I do. I’m a doula.) but it just always feels like a slap in the face when I’m clearly working my ass off. 🙂

  18. I really love this post. I pinned it so that I can go back and read it again when I have my own baby. Thank you for being so open and honest! You are an amazing mother and Rowan is so lucky!!!

  19. so true!! we love them to bits but man, it can be hard work.. i read that an felt like i was nodding every sentance. somtimes i can not wait for 7pm bedtime.. infact sometimes he goes up at 6.45 as i just cant wait any longer lol!
    its so refreshing to her on a blog the real side of motherhood. yes it is wonderful and the best thing ever but there’s the flip side to that too, which i feel doesnt get mentioned enough and kinda makes some mothers(well, me) feel like am i the only one sometimes struggling? So thank you Jen… lots!!
    ps.. how freakin’ cute is rowan reading the paper there!! soo lovely!

  20. NatalieW •

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for posting this! I hear that bit about enjoying every moment ALL THE TIME, and I feel guilty most of the time that I’m not enjoying every single moment. My son is two months younger than Rowan and we’re getting into that temper tantrum stage too. In fact, just before I read your post, I got hit with a sippy cup. It hurt, and I didn’t enjoy it. 🙂

    I just read this article:
    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/to-the-mother-with-only-one-child

    The site has been down this morning. I think this article is getting a lot of hits (I’ve seen it all over on facebook). It’s an excellent article.

    Thanks again for your sincerity and honesty in your posts. Good luck and enjoy that beer! 🙂

  21. That first picture is too adorable for words! She’s like a little grown up!

  22. Perfectly said! I have a 3 year old and a 9 month old, both girls, and even though I adore them some days feel like chaos. I feel like I’m doing nothing right, losing my patience and in general blowing it as a parent. I think mom’s suffer a lot of needless guilt feeling like they aren’t thankful enough and they aren’t taking advantage of every moment. Then add on a comment from someone who acts like raising small kids a piece of cake and I just start to feel like maybe I’m not cut out for this. But then on the good days, or even just okay days, when I see my girls thriving and loving and learning and looking at me like I’m superwoman I know in my bones that I’m a good mom. Not a perfect mom, but a good mom.

  23. I have yet to enter that stage with my daughter where she wants to test me all the time. I commend you for being honest about the ups and downs of motherhood. I think when you’re doing the right thing, (i.e. being consistent with discipline and sticking to your guns), it is going to be tough. But you are also going to raise a well behaved child in the end. Rowan has the face of a little Angel, so I’m sure it’s hard to tell her no, lol! But I know you love her so much and I can totally relate to wanting to go hold them while they sleep after a long day. My daughter never lets me cuddle her anymore since learning to walk! Anyway, in a few months when times get a little more difficult with her, I’m going to come back and read this post for inspiration. Thank you. :o)

  24. anne-marie •

    Cheers to that, Mama!

  25. True Story!!
    I openly admit to everyone my kids are stinkers! Usually I get alot of up turned noses over it. I think it has alot to do with insecurity when people don’t want to admit life isn’t just rainbows and butterflies. Also as a parent, I’m far from perfect..but I think it’s better for my kids to see that I make mistakes too (and learn by how to react and better yourself after a mistake).I can’t imagine having to live up to a parent that was perfect.
    Is it bedtime yet?:) no seriously, is it?
    Xo great post Jen!

  26. i love when bloggers breakaway from the rainbows and unicorns front, and get real.

    ps i love how obvious it is that rowan’s personality is HUGE. she seems like such a firecracker.

  27. This is all true Jen! I can’t stand when people make comments about staying at home being easy either. I stay at home with my 14-month old son (for the most part) and I’m blessed to have a husband that realizes it is one of the most demanding jobs that exists. Sometimes (well, in my opinion all the time) it is a lot easier, mentally, to check-out for 8 hours and focus your mind on something other than wiping noses, mediating tantrums, non-stop attention-giving, etc. I think you’re doing a great job and sometimes you just have to weed out negative comments because they will always be around! 🙂

  28. This is the best post ever! Thank you for sharing this. I am a stay at home mother and I know how hard can be. Nothing upsets me more than when people ask what I do and I say I am a stay at home mom and they roll their eyes, or say “oh how easy that must be” or make a generalized comment of how pathetic I am that I have no “real” job or “real” ambitions. I think it is the hardest, most selfless, and most emotionally and physically exhausting job I can imagine, and yet without a doubt there is nothing I would rather do. Because my kids mean everything to me. And even though there are hard days (I mean REALLY hard days), I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything in the whole wide world. Through the good, the bad and the ugly, I feel amazingly blessed. Your post wrapped it all up so beautifully. You are a great momma!!! Love your blog.

    http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com/

  29. I read that article. Then I read it again, and again. I have three kids and will will whole heartedly admit that most days by bedtime I am close to losing control. 🙂 Thank goodness I have a wonderful husband who gets home from work, scoops them up, and plays with them almost the minute he walks through the door. I don’t know if being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job in the world…but it sure feels like it! hahaha! ( btw….I adore my kids….well, most of the time…:-)

  30. Thank you for this post!! Also your plan for unwinding at the end of a hard day sounds amazing!

  31. That article was amazing and so true. I treasure each moment with my daughter but yes, there are days I want to run away and just be by myself for a hour. I get the ‘their only little once’ bs from everyone too, especially my Mother who, for some reason tries to make me feel guilty for being a working Mother even though she was one too! Some days I do feel guilty that I go to work everyday and that I don’t stay at home but I love my job and my career and I’m not willing to give it up. My daughter is my world and at the end of the day, I do treasure the good and bad moments because I often laugh at them later!

  32. Nicely put. It’s the truth but I can tell u that u wont remember those moments. I went through it when Anthony was a toddler and now when I reminisce I can really only remember all the good stuff. I think it’s like ur brain can only remember so much, maybe I blocked it subliminally or something. But it is similar to the feeling u have that u can’t wait for bedtime and then u miss them when they’re sleeping. So do ur best to raise her well but enjoy everyday because it’s so sad how fast it goes. Also, she’s out of her element away on a vacation, it’s like the perfect storm. Heck traveling does that to me too.

  33. I was thinking about what I wrote and I don’t want to sound like I’m lecturing u. Ur an amazing mom and there is way too much guilt in being a mom. I was just talking about this with a friend today. We all need to support each other and encourage each other just like you did in your post. I’m sure Rowan will learn so many things about being a good woman from you. You’re very positive and you always find the good in things. Even the tough things.

  34. LOVE this post!!! I am at home full time with my 13 month old daughter, and she is the light of our lives. That being said, it is HARD! I have many friends without children just yet, and they don’t understand how I could possibly be so busy/tired/stressed-on-occasion. I guess I must just sit around eating bon bons and drinking champagne, like all moms, working or not, right?! Anyway, I loved reading this. Parenting is the most wonderful job in the world, but TOUGH!!!

  35. This is fantastic Jen!! The internet can certainly give us the illusion that everyone’s lives are perfect, little ones included, since no one wants to post about negative things all the time and we sure don’t want to capture ones like you mentioned on film! Thank you for mentioning those though and bringing this to light, I really think it’s important so parents feel they’re not doing a terrible job if their baby has a temper tantrum or something. And oh my goodness, dropping off a baby at a day care would be a million times easier than watching, playing with, and caring for them all day long. HUGE kudos to you and all the other parents (yes, usually moms) who do this on a daily basis!! & hang in there moms, this individual attention you’re giving your babies will make all the difference in the world’s future, I swear by it : )
    http://dusanabotswana.com/

  36. This is fantastic Jen!! The internet can certainly give us the illusion that everyone’s lives are perfect, little ones included, since no one wants to post about negative things all the time and we sure don’t want to capture ones like you mentioned on film! Thank you for mentioning those though and bringing this to light, I really think it’s important so parents feel they’re not doing a terrible job if their baby has a temper tantrum or something. And oh my goodness, dropping off a baby at a day care would be a million times easier than watching, playing with, and caring for them all day long. HUGE kudos to you and all the other parents (yes, usually moms) who do this on a daily basis!! & hang in there moms, this individual attention you’re giving your babies will make all the difference in the world’s future, I swear by it : )

  37. omg, the one of her reading the newspaper? seriously, the cutest! i read that article too and felt the same things that you did! it is so nice to connect w/ other moms… even if it is on the internet. 🙂

  38. Thank you! 🙂 I had the flu this week and managed to pass it to my three year old son (of course!). I’m counting the minutes until my husband gets home from work……Needless to say, it has been a rough day of the unglamorous side of motherhood that you don’t really read about and this was just the post I needed. Thank you for admitting that just because you need a break sometimes it doesn’t make you a bad mother! I love Seamus to the stars and back, but there are times you just need to breathe (and sleep…)

    Glad you enjoyed the vacation!

    Thank you!

  39. I couldn’t agree with you more.
    Also, Rowan is soo cute and such a great mixture of you and your husband!

  40. LOVE THIS POST! I have been dealing with a head butting, kicking, smacking toddler all morning and it made me laugh!!!!!!

  41. This couldn’t be more true 🙂 As a mother of 2 toddlers though, i do find myself occasionally saying things to new parents, or soon-to-be parents, that i found incredibly annoying when i was in their position. So definitely take “advice” with a grain of salt, we’re saying things while under the influence of having too much “to-dos” crammed into our brains & skewed self-reflection. But no worries, we’ll realize that we totally stuck our foot in our mouths sometime in the next few days… just like we’ll finally remember where we left our keys.

  42. thanks for this. today was a teething day + i’m feeling exhausted.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!


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