Stop trying to be a “Pinterest” mom!

Gina W is a 57 year old grandma who has raised 4 sons with friends coming and going over the years, 8 pets at different times, a full life of school and church volunteer work.  She was what we call today, a “stay at home mom.”

She had a powerful message (in my opinion) for today’s moms:

Stop trying to be a Pinterest mom!

We often hear moms say/complain that they are drowning in housework.  According to Gina, and many older moms, they only have themselves to blame.

Moms of today, you overextend yourselves with playdates, extravagant birthday parties and the Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Pinterest lifestyle.  There is no need to one up anyone else. Parties and living rooms don’t need to be perfect. Your one year old isn’t going to care what the party decorations look like. Ask a teen or 20 something.  I’m willing to bet they will tell you they not only don’t remember their first birthday parties, they don’t care.  I had my first two babies when the internet was brand new and the second two just before MySpace.  For all four, my in-laws were there, the kids had a few gifts then we set them on a trash bag on the floor, put their cake in front of them and let them have fun.  There was no fanfare, no “smash cake” no posting everywhere for the world to see.  All four kids turned out just fine.  They love the simplicity of their pictures. They love, just the love.

The advice from the moms of yesterday to the moms of today- Get back to the basics!  Simple living. Before bed every night, Gina does a “zoom cleaning.” She pics up clutter (shoes, papers, folded laundry, etc), folding blankets on the couch, making sure the kitchen is tidy, the coffee maker is clean and ready to go for morning.  The little things that matter. She doesn’t have matching towels, a perfectly decorated bedroom or little paper cutouts sprinkled across the walls.

Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not perfect.  It’s impossible to be the perfect mom.  Find joy in your children, your home and all of the messes.  Every year on National Pizza Day, we buy dough from Publix.  I sprinkle flour on our glass-top stove, roll out the pizza, toss it in the air (hoping I catch it), let the kids put the toppings on, slide it in the oven, then we have a flour fight.  We get flour everywhere!  My kids love those memories.  We all help cleaning up the mess, after they toss more flour on me and each other.  No Pinterest needed.

pizza <—- my family (half of us, anyway)

notmyfamily   <—-definitely NOT my family

Some days I’ll walk away from the piles of dishes, dirt and dog hair on the floor, toilets that need to be scrubbed, laundry that’s swishing in the washer and take the kids downtown.  We’ll go to Dough Nation, get pizza at NY NY Pizza or Eddie and Sam’s, walk along the Riverwalk, peer up at the skyscrapers and just live in the moment.  We take silly pictures not caring about our hair, what we look like or what others will think.

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If I post the pictures (okay, when), I wait until later in the evening, when the kids are in bed.  I don’t add any filters to the pictures.  I just post them how they were taken.  I might or might not have cleaned the kitchen, switched the laundry or scrubbed the toilets. I did, however, make some lasting memories that weren’t planned, weren’t scripted and were just as memorable and happy.

Live for you.  Live for your family. Live in the moment.  Enjoy today. just as it is.

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I know they love each other

My babies went to sleep tonight with tears in their eyes. I know they love each other but they are just so different. They want to spend time together but are both so hard-headed. They want to get along but just don’t understand each other.

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As a parent, I don’t know what to do. I listened as they each told their side of the story. I watched the tears roll down their faces, one feeling bad she’d ruined the movie, the other feeling his sister ruined everything. Then I got frustrated and told them that they could enjoy the summer sitting in their rooms.

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They feel that they are too different so they can’t get along. I feel that I’ve failed to teach them to compromise. I talked with both about being the bigger person. Maybe they need a project to work on together. Round 2 involved more tears and more blame, “She always….” “He always….” So I told them, separately, that tomorrow they would help each other clean their rooms. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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I just checked on my 2 sleeping babies. I know they love each other. I’ve tried to explain that fighting over a movie is trivial. I want to tell them that people are being shot, blown up and killed in freak accidents every day. I want to remind them that every minute is precious and they should make the most of it. But I want to retain their innocence as long as possible, so I say nothing except, “I love you very much.”

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Tomorrow is a new day. All I can hope is that all will be forgiven and we can start anew. I will remind them that no matter what they go through in life, they will always have each other. I will tell them that being different is good. I will teach them again about compromising and about being compassionate.

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I know my Littles love each other and I know that tomorrow they will find a common ground. They always do. I will have them read this post and know that we will all be thankful that we don’t have to watch Max and Ruby ever again. There is one thing that never lacks in our family- love and laughter. Yes, I know, that’s two things but they go together, hand in hand.

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Parenting is hard and it never gets easier. No two days are ever the same. But I prefer it that way. It means life will never be monotonous and I can tell you that in my 22+ years of being a mom, not one day has been like another. People often ask how we raise 4 kids. I jokingly answer, “Drugs and alcohol.” But honestly, the more you have, the easier it gets. Tonight was a trying time but my beautiful babies are sleeping and will wake up tomorrow refreshed and ready for new arguments.  😉 I know they love each other and will find something in common to occupy themselves and hopefully not give me anymore grey hairs.

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real fit MOM

If you haven’t read any of my other posts you may not realize that the title of my blog means that I am a real mom trying to get fit. I am not an already got a 6 pack abs, blazing guns, tight ass and no thigh gap fit mom.

I’m a mom. My goal is to be fit. What you read is real.

I realized tonight that I’ve only ever talked about the fitness part. I’ve neglected the mom part of this journey. Afterall, it was my children who were the contributers of my extra weight. When I got married at 19 I weighed a whopping 103 lbs.

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My dad’s favorite picture.

Five babies, a car accident, 22 years and 50 lbs later…..but this is about my kids. I’m going to brush over baby #2, Jacob, who had Trisomy 18 and passed away after 6 hours. It’s ok. 🙂

Meet my lovies-

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These are my middles. They are the imaginative ones, the big hearted ones, the passionate, goofy ones. They keep us entertained with their variety of creativity and ability to talk in multiple accents. They are introverts and content with their technology.

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My Littles. They keep me young. I had both of them after I was 30 despite my goal of wanting to be finished with having kids by the time I was 30. My poor son is the only boy with two older sisters and a baby sister. He’s named after his dad and is a spitting image of him. My baby is a dancer. She has a passion that is refreshing, mature and emotional. I cry every time I watch her dance. She’s extremely serious as a dancer but has a goofy side like her siblings.

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My eldest. Who wants to hang out with their mom on their 21st birthday as they drink around the world at Epcot with their bff? My kid. Obviously she didn’t get her height from me. She was an absolutely horrific birth and I question my sanity for continuing to have four more babies after her. As she posted on my Facebook on Mother’s Day, we grew up together. She, like the baby, are our princesses. They are outgoing, social butterflies, energetic and love attention. They are our extroverts who enjoy being around lots of people.

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Yeah, they make me proud.

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My Girls. They couldn’t be more different. They fought so much growing up but have become much closer since #1 went to college. These were our test kids. Ha! You know, the trial ones where you screw up all the time trying to figure out this parenting stuff. God I’m proud of them. I couldn’t ask for a better set of kids to go through puberty, middle school, high school and adulthood. They made parenting easy.

My baby

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My son

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My teen daughter

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My college daughter

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And me

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My amazing, smart, beautiful, crazy, hysterical, creative, warm, loving children.

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They keep me real. They inspire me to be fit. They made me a mom.

**Yes they have a dad. Yes, he’s the father to all 4 despite the age gap (21,18,11,8). He doesn’t do social media so out of respect for him no photos of him are posted. I love that man with all of my being even though he can infuriate me to no end. He’s a great husband most of the time (I’m definitely not the perfect wife) and a sarcastic, funny, tempermental, caring, proud daddy.

Kid’s tantrum leads to T-Day Kick Off

This Thanksgiving was difficult. The holidays are always hard for me due to my second pregnancy. But this year we were going through our first Thanksgiving without my mother-in-law and had just buried one of my husband’s best friends.
When dinner is held at our house, Hubby cooks. And he ALWAYS gets mad at me at least once. Always.

This year we woke up before the kids and started cooking (I was allowed to bake muffins and peel the taters). Throughout the day, he prepped while I went behind him washing dishes (our dishwasher started leaking 5 years ago…). We managed to move around our narrow kitchen without running into each other and without any arguments. Yay!

The kids awoke, one by one and after a few hours the Littles were driving me crazy on their iPads. So the teen and I walked down to the Shell station to get a newspaper so the Littles could circle toys to their heart’s content. It felt good to get outside and spend some time with the teen. And walk.

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Dinner was delicious. We had a great time sharing it with a family friend, but, more dishes were to be done. The teen did a lot, a LOT, of silverware and a handful of dishes. There weren’t a lot left to do. The Oldest had already done a load and was up next. An argument over dishes began. I finally yelled that I’d do them even though I’d already done several loads including the china that we’d used for the first time (it’s over 50 years old).

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Irritated, frustrated, emotionally spent, I pulled on my Asics, grabbed headphones and headed out the door, only saying to the teen to please let me in later. So many emotions ran through my head as I walked. About 40 minutes in Hubby calls- asking where the cake pans were. He knew I was upset but didn’t push for me to talk about it. He said he’d see me in a few minutes but instead of heading home, I kept walking- until my outer hips started aching (hate this getting old bullshit).

I walked over 5 miles in just over an hour and blasted through some of my favorite songs.

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I walked in the door, headed for the shower and when I got out, was handed eggnog and Fireball and a plate of desserts- which undid the workout but were absolutely delicious.

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I woke up this morning feeling better and ready to get back to exercising. Sometimes we aren’t aware that we need a little push to get going and sometimes it comes from someone or something or somewhere unexpected. The important thing is that we see it, pay attention to it and get off our asses before we get pushed over. Today I put $2 in my workout jar and sat down to make a list of goals.

Then I stepped on the scale….