Tag Archives: Friends

Good friends, good food, good wine

Sometimes you only need one of the above, and sometimes you need all three. Yesterday was a day I needed all three. I didn’t see my breakdown coming. Usually I do. Usually I’m at the end of my rope, exhausted and it’s been building for days. I was not prepared for today. I’ve really reached a point where I comfortable with who I am and who Molly is. There are definitely days that are harder for others, but I understand her, I’m ok with just her being her.

There is however, the “A” word that hangs over us. Austism. There are times when I don’t need a diagnosis, why would it matter? We have the therapies we need, we have support, but we don’t have closure. It’s hard to gain acceptance for something you don’t have. Earlier this week I spoke with a mother of a child with autism and had a rude awakening. She asked very specific behavior questions all which I answered “yes” to. Never once did she hint that Molly was autistic, but I knew these were the same challenges she faced with her child. That was a hard day. No diagnosis also means I can stick my head in the sand and ignore what is often staring me in the face.

I was up half the night with the kids. First half of the night with Molly, second with Charlie. I’ll admit it, I was tired.

I wasn’t prepared for our playdate. In fact, I was underprepared. We were going to a familiar house, with familiar friends, what could go wrong?? We just went a birthday party and Molly didn’t even notice if I was there, she played happily with her school friends. And that is where I failed and that is why her quirkiness left us sitting in a chair crying. We may have gone to a familiar house but not everyone was familiar and Molly, well, she just couldn’t find her place. It was loud, there was a lot going on, she wasn’t quite old enough for the girls and was too much of a girl for the boys and she felt alone. Her inability to survive in the chaos echoed loud and clear into my heart and I wanted to help her, I wanted her to have fun, I didn’t want to be in the same place we always are and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t bring headphones, I didn’t have a suggestion that was suitable and I couldn’t go bossing around kids to play with her. I hate being in this situation. And while I was trying to hold myself together and figure out what to do next, I had help. I didn’t ask for it, but I got a hug and it was all I needed to break down and start crying. Then I got another pair of arms to hold the crying four year old girl and then I started crying more because it was nice to have help. And it felt great to just be loved.

Then I remembered there was a mom there I had only known for twenty minutes. And then another new mom came through the door. And then I felt slightly silly. They don’t know our struggles, they didn’t realize we had come so far and I was frustrated to be back at the starting point again, but we are all moms and we all struggle so I felt blessed that neither blinked an eye or skipped a beat. We poured ourselves some wine, started munching on some yummy food and I pulled myself together through great conversation.

It warms my heart to know we are both being raised in a community of acceptance and love. (and wine)

10 Ways 30-Something Parties are not 20-Something Parties

Over the weekend I got the chance to live it up in honor of two of my oldest friends. It had been a long time since we had a big joint birthday get together for the two them. In fact, it’s probably been since high school. As I sit here 24 hours after nursing a massive hangover, I’m realizing that a lot of things have changed since high school. Or even going to parties in my twenties. So, I’ve compiled my list of how hanging out with my friends now has changed in the past 15 years. 

  1. Hangovers. At what point did I switch from being able to down some Gatorade and ibuprofen to not being able to stomach even water? I was pretty sure I was going to die for about the first 8 hours I was awake yesterday and I drank probably a fourth of what I would have at 24 years old.
  2. I googled a bar to make sure it had food. My 20-something year old self would not have been so concerned about eating to keep myself from turning into a hot mess. Yet, some how I still did.
  3. Birds and Babies. Now, with so many of us married and procreating there is always someone that brings their child. We’ve been that couple. Sometimes it’s worth it to see your friends. But who brings a bird?? Apparently 30-something parties people bring birds. Then get mad if you touch it.
  4. Dancing. I can remember dancing a lot in my 20’s. That doesn’t happen anymore. There was music, but no moves.
  5. Ending times. It is now acceptable to leave a party before 11 PM and sober. Not that I did that, but other people did.
  6. Sleeping arrangements. Now it’s hotels or going home. No longer sleeping on a floor with a towel for a blanket is deemed appropriate.
  7. Drinks. At some point 30 packs of Bud Light and a bottle of Arbor Mist have switched to 6 packs of “nice” beer and bottles of fancy wine. 
  8. Bathroom Trips. We have moved far from the group ventures to the bathroom. Apparently since we are moms now we relish the moment we get to pee alone.
  9. Party games. No beer pong or flip cup or cards. 
  10. Walk of shame. Instead of going home in the same clothes, it is leaving the hotel in your pjs pants (hangover) and boots because you can’t pack while kids are distracting you.

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Why Breaks Are Good

Yesterday I got a “mommy break”. I got to run under, over and through muddy obstacles with some of my best friends followed by some lunch at a restaurant where I didn’t have to inquire about cooking procedures (still managed to see the “allergen” warning on the menu) or hope someone doesn’t need to pee and freak out about using a public potty or just get antsy and decide that they want to leave.

I am extremely fortunate that I have the ability to say “Bye Honey! I’m going to have fun for the day and I’ll be home later” and then not worry. I have been blessed with a completely capable husband. I don’t need to call and check in, I don’t get texts asking where the first aid kit is and I know that all routines, schedules and diapers will be kept in check. Plus, I’ll probably return home to a cleaner-than-what-I-left-it-house and all laundry washed, dried and well… not put away, but no one’s perfect. I’m also blessed with wonderful friends who also have wonderful husbands that can do the same. This means everyone is texting pictures of finishing the race and not “Did you remember to feed the kids breakfast??”

I know that not everyone agrees in “needing time away”, but let me tell you, it’s important. Getting a mommy break for a day makes me miss my kids. I’m excited to see them when I get home and I love the fact that they can now tell me about their day. When you spend day in and day out wiping noses and hands, answering the whys and why nots, cooking, cleaning and making sure two little people aren’t killing each other, sometimes you need a couple hours of fun to remember that they are the reason you love your life so much to begin with. There are days when we are on temper tantrum #7 before noon and I wonder if I’m completely failing but then I come home from a day away and the kids show that they truly missed me and I think “oh, they don’t think I’m failing” and my mommy confidence soars. Then there is a break from Stampy. I tend to think I’m a great catch, but my opinion is probably a little skewed. I also usually think Stampy is a great catch but there are times when I just think “wow, I may stab him while he sleeps tonight”. It’s not because I really want him dead, it’s just that he forgot to do the one thing I asked him to do, it’s been a long day and he just won’t stop talking. Then he spends the better part of our evening time looking at random golf courses in Iowa and all I can think is “I just spent an hour reading up on sensory activities and how to make home made granola bars that are peanut free and you pick 10:00 at night to put your moves on????”. These are things that can make me want to scream irrational things, BUT I know they are irrational so I keep them to myself and let them fester instead. That being said, he never blinks an eye when I tell him that I’m going out gallivanting for the day and I don’t know when I’ll be home. I come home and realize that even though he didn’t let me go and prance around in the mud, he did let me go because he has no difficulty running a home and I love him and the stabby feelings are suppressed for another month or so. Then there is just the benefit of talking to your friends. Sure we communicate via Facebook or text messaging but 90% of our conversing under those circumstances are about the kids. We are moms talking about mom things because that’s what we are doing. Occasionally we might want to point out a creepy kid pic that some other mom has been posted to Facebook, but mostly it’s all about our own kids. Then we get to go out WITHOUT our kids and that 90% drops down to 50%. Ok, 75%. Which means there is 15% more conversation than normal that is not about our kids. It’s usually about our husbands or peeing our pants, but not about kids who pee their pants. And I am grateful that you have these people that know you in some other manner than mom or wife. Because, let’s face it neither your husband or your kids care when you find the best new comfortable pair of underwear or BB cream or eyebrow waxer. They just don’t. So it’s these moments where I can spend the day laughing away the tears and I know it’s exactly what I need to come home and have a child decide that bath time is 2 minutes before the oven dinner timer goes off and another that believes the dining room chair can double as a toilet and know that I’m doing a great job.

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Seamus wearing Charlie so he can do the dishes… I told you he was a catch!

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We did it!!