Hope you are having a great fall (finally)! I don’t know about you but I was overjoyed to have the great weather this past weekend. What a treat! We did the orchard, pumpkin patch, parks, etc. Read all about it in this week’s mom chronicles. I hope you are taking time to enjoy the season.
As for us, we are hanging in there. Still amid a whirlwind of life changes, but I am working on embracing them rather then resisting them. I look forward to school in the spring and the possiblity of other life changes, ie career, etc.
On a last note, congrats to my friend Amy who is new to the Mom’s club. She gave birth to her first born earlier this month. Congratulations, Amy! It’s a great ride!
Have a great week!
Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-10-2009
The Mom Chronicles: Pumpkins, Apples and Parks, Oh, My!
What a weekend! It’s amazing what lies hidden beneath the surface of a beautiful fall day! This past weekend we had a pair of them. Finally, I could suit up my kids in light coats and sweats and head out to show them what the fall is all about!
A forecast of warmth, albeit relative, and sun was all it took for me to arouse my kids early on Saturday morning and pack up our things for a day out. Armed with a camera and lots of tissues for the kids’ runny noses, we set out early to beat the crowds and hopefully, beat the afternoon melt downs, as well. Our first stop? A pumpkin patch of a local farmer. They had wagons of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes and a field still lined with the orange prizes. The best part? They were cheap! We were the first ones there, and that meant we had prime choice of the pumpkins and prime picture spots for that matter! The owners were thrilled to help take pictures of me and the kids, and helped to entertain the kids while I picked out the perfect pumpkins. Our result? Three big pumpkins, one medium sized one and a baby one.. In other words, one for each of us, one for Baby Sam, and a final random baby one. My son picked that one. Perhaps he has insight into my soul and my desire for another little pumpkin. Now granted I let Matthew pick his own, and it wasn’t exactly the one I would have picked, but it is his and he can’t wait to cut in to it. As for mine- they are pretty prime I must admit. There are two things during the year I am particular about- pumpkins and Christmas trees. This year was no exception.
After packing up the pumpkins we headed to Afton Apple. It has been a couple years since we have been to an orchard, and I have never personally been to that one, so that was second on our agenda for the day. To my surprise, the kids did great. We walked the rows of apples and Matthew eagerly helped me bag up the fresh apples. I did have to watch for his occasional wormy one he tried to throw in, but all in all we did good. We did the hay ride, and petting farm, and play ground, and of course devoured the apple cider brats for lunch. The venture would have been perfect, had my son not reached deep with in and off leashed that three year old side of him he so likes to show. There was a point I was practically yelling his name over every one else while waiting in line to pay for our goods before we left. He had his threshold. I got more then one look from other orchard goers as my son chose to run off on more then one occasion and I had to bite my tongue as if not to say, “Oh, whatever! As if your kids never did that!” The gal at the checkout gave me a look that even now I can’t quite make out. I couldn’t tell if it was a look of compassion or a look of disgust. Luckily, his performance only lasted a few minutes and we were on our way. The result? A bag of beautiful, tasty apples, loads of pictures and irreplaceable memories. When my kids called their dad to tell him what they did that day, his response was one of sorrow that he missed out. My thoughts of that? Your choice, your loss. I for one am so thankful to have those times with my kids. Oh, and what made the day the best? Both kids took naps when we got home. Both of them. For like, three hours. It can’t get sweeter than that!!!
Sunday was all about the park. We went out to Spring Lake Park Reserve and had almost the whole place to ourselves. Where is everyone, I thought? Don’t you know what you are missing? I let the kids loose to run, at least Matthew, the wooded trails. He climbed up on stumps and fallen trees and offered me some delightful photo opportunities. Even Ella got in to it and “posed” with her brother for pictures in the leaves. We had a picnic lunch and I let them play on the “Big playground” vs the “Little one” that they are limited to when they go with their day care. My daughter squeeled as she slid down the slides and sailed in to the air on the swings. This was followed by a most fabulous Vikings win and once again, both kids napping for me on a rare Sunday afternoon allowing me time to curl up on the couch and watch a movie of my choice, while snacking on caramel apples from the day before.
I may not be in the best of modes these days, and I admit I have been far from my best self, but I will be the first to admit that a cure for that, if only a very short term one, was the weekend I had with my kids.
Next weekend, my kids will be back with their dad. I don’t know if he will take advantage of his time with them to set out to make the memories I am committed to making, but I know whether he does or not, my kids will have the memories of these days to carry with them for years ahead.
One of my neighbors recently in observing me putting out Halloween decorations and orange “twinkle” lights with my kids, exclaimed how I am one of those moms who is just meant to be a mom. I may not always feel like an A plus mom, or even close, and I will be the first to admit that I have room to improve, but there still remains some truth to her statement. I am a mom, that I am. And while I have struggled to find purpose in my life, the most clear has been in the role of mother to my kids. I delight in them, and they in me. What better gift is there?
And so, my chronicle moms, I hope you are out making memories, too. Be it to jump in piles of leaves in the yard, go to orchards, haunted houses or the like, I hope you take the time to enjoy the season, limited as it has been, and to make memories that will last far after your kids move out and you are gone. If only we could bottle this weather, I know, but don’t let the weather stop you. Decorate. Bake cookies. Watch Charlie Brown’s Halloween special. Dance under the twinkle lights. Twirl in the princess costumes. These days will not last forever.
Have a great week!
Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-10-2009
The Mom Chronicles: When Mom Needs a Time Out
Welcome back, Chronicle Moms! I would say I hope you are enjoying the fall, but between the cold and white stuff this week, it’s not feeling very fallish, is it? I feel like I should be putting up holiday decor vs Halloween. Even I can’t put up Santa Clauses and Greenery, though yet. I am holding out for at least another month or two until the Thanksgiving Gobblegait is run and turkey is served. Hard to believe we are already thinking of those things, though.
Well, this week has been a rough one for me, let me tell you. I am sharing it with you in the likely case that I am not the only single mom who has been here, in this current position, and that it may benefit at least one of you reading this.
Do you ever have days or weeks where you feel like you have just reached the end of your rope? Where everything goes wrong and nothing goes right and the kids are running circles around you, and there is nothing to do but lock your self in the bathroom and cry because it seems it will never end? If this has been you today, or ever, take heart, my chronicle Mom’s, this has been me this past week.
Knowing a lot of you, I think it is safe to say that when our kids aren’t doing what they should or are acting completely out of sorts, we give them a time out. What happens then when we as moms are in the same position? Do we give ourselves a time out to stop and think over a situation? Maybe we don’t the first time we are feeling stressed or the second time, or perhaps even the third, but by the fourth and fifth time of feeling in over our heads do we take a self imposed time out or try to bite the bullet and trench through it? If any of you are like me, you do the later. Unfortunately doing the later got me in to some trouble this past week. This mom was unable to put herself in a self imposed time out, so someone had to step in and give me a time out. Someone- who was able to recognize that this mom desperately needed a break, and someone who cared enough about me to give me one. So, as it was, my kids went and stayed with my sister for what has been four and a half soon to be five days now, and I got myself a stay at Hotel United. By that I mean United Hospital in St. Paul. You see, this Chronicle mom was not doing so well. As I write this, I am still not in my most ideal form, but perhaps a bit better than five days ago.
You see, the past six months or so have been a little much for this mom. Between my arm and leg injuries, to the single mom life, to a pending divorce, my grandma’s failing health, financial issues, etc, etc, etc, this mom has had more than she can handle. In addition, I have suffered a long time of my life with depression and anxiety issues. But here is me. The past six months, I have worked hard to keep it together, to be there for my kids and every one else, to not let myself be less than the stoic mom I feel the constant need to be. What happens when one does that, though, is that it offers no comfort or help to ones self. There is no break. No internalizing support. There is no one who really knows the depth of ones despair, because it’s never a priority to share. Obviously, one can’t go on forever like this. This mom, while madly in love with her kids, is not madly in love with herself. I do not take my own advice. I do not internalize the love and care I have for others on myself. I just trudge on until eventually, I stumble. This time I stumbled pretty badly.
So here I am. I am looking at my job situation which is dreadful, my financial situation, my relationship status, my health status, etc, etc and I feel overwhlemed and lost. But what I am finally not, is alone. Even at United, I resisted at first the help they were trying to offer me. While they have worked to keep me safe, I worked just as hard to keep those walls up. Afterall, what would happen if this Chronicle Mom indeed did let her walls down? The fear? That I won’t be able to deal with the flood that comes through it.
And so, I am working slowly but surely on tearing down my walls, and letting the support of others in. I am learning I can’t do it all myself, and that life, as I was recently reminded by someone near and dear to me, is not meant to be a solitary endeavor. That doesn’t make all the sorrow and pain and despair go away, but it does remind me as I have so often reminded so many of you, that I am not alone.
I may not always be good at taking a time out and listening to my advice, but I hope you do. I hope that you will recognize as moms, when you need to take a time out or ask for help, that you won’t get to where I have been this past week. Your kids need you to be there for them, the rest of us single moms out here need you to be here for us. Learn to recognize when you need to give yourself a self imposed time out to breathe and care for yourself. Learn that you are the most important person you need to take care of, before you can take care of others, including your kids. It may feel selfish at first, but it won’t always. You will learn that it will make you a better mom, partner, person.
In the mean time, keep me in mind and prayers in the weeks ahead as I take a time out from life and deal with those things which have been weighing me down. My hope? That I will come out on the other side of this darkness with a light and hope that will make me a far better mom then I ever imagined.
Have a great week!