Just Say Thank You.

Just Say Thank You.

Do you struggle with accepting compliments? How do you respond when your significant other tells you that you’re beautiful, when you feel the exact opposite? IT IS SO HARD TO JUST SAY THANK YOU.

For more on this topic, check out my latest post for Baton Rouge Moms! The link is posted above, or you can just click here!

NEWS!

I have exciting news! 

I’ll be published on Scary Mommy June 6th! SOMETHING I WROTE IS GOING TO BE POSTED THERE.

Now, if you have never heard of Scary Mommy I suggest you check it out. Go ahead, I’ll wait. 

Chances are, you have seen the books or the author without making the connection. Jill Smokler is incredibly down-to-earth for someone who has been on the Today Show multiple times along with a slew of other things that make my heart race. Like when I start thinking about who this person is that I actually had e-mail conversations with, I start to freak out like I-can’t-breathe-because-I’m-so-excited.

I may have told her she had fantastic hair. 

I have a lot of trouble reining it in. Lucky for her, all of our conversations have taken place via email.

Anyway, I’m incredibly proud of this accomplishment and I hope this is the beginning of something amazing. When it goes up, I’ll post a link here and I fully expect each and every one of you to comment, share, do something to show your support because THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME, Y’ALL. 

I appreciate each person who takes the time to read my work. A whole new world is slowly opening up for me, and I’m excited to see what happens. My kids won’t always need me to hand them a tissue or make them a sandwich. I have to have something else to do, because I’m certainly not going to bake bread.

How To Be Better.

You know those women who need to be needed, the ones who seem to be at their best when taking care of others? 

Yeah … that’s not me.

There are parts of who I am that do not fit with motherhood at all. I hate messes and filth and body fluids and whining. I don’t like interruptions or chaos or lack of personal space. I’m not a caretaker type person. I am scheduled and ordered. I have a temper. I’m maybe too businesslike when I should be more … motherly.

I’m maybe too harsh. But the world will be harsher.

Over time, those sharp edges have smoothed out and refined — but only because I allowed it to happen by first having a breakdown. It took a few stretches on anti-anxiety meds to straighten me out, but eventually I learned to stop fighting against the tide and roll with it instead.

When I threw up my hands and gave in, motherhood finally had the freedom to shape me. So while I continue to struggle with how best to maneuver through raising three small children, I am so, so grateful to them for teaching me how to be better.

How to better handle messes.

How to better handle mischief.

How to have patience when a boy must build an army men fortress before he can go to bed. It takes forever … just so you know.

How to better care for injuries.

How to enjoy fussy, slobbery, teething babies who won’t let me out of their sight.

Thank you, my three children, for being patient with me as I learn how to lead by example. And thank you to my husband who trusts me to be able figure it out — whatever “it” happens to be — while he is at work.

My role in life isn’t a burden, it’s a blessing. I forget that sometimes, but today I remembered, and I hope that you do too.


 

Mother’s Day.

I started this blog in 2010 when Maverick was a toddler. I was so overwhelmed with the stress of balancing motherhood and my career that I felt like if I didn’t write about it, I would straight up lose my mind. Since then, I’ve used my writing to channel emotional energy to keep me from doing irrational and terrible things. If you are a long-time reader, then you know the interesting experiences my children have put me through, and if you just found me … then welcome.

Until I became a mother, my writing material was lacking. Now I have so much to say I can’t keep up with it, mostly because every time I start to write someone gets an earthworm in their boot or puts something up their nose that does not belong. I have always hated being interrupted. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves, and yet, I have three children.

That is just the beginning of the black hole of juxtapositions in my life.

So much of my day gets caught up in this whirlwind of other people and what they need. I have written, and will write, countless entries about giving myself daily to creatures who often do not thank me, and how hard it can be to remain constant despite the tantrums, the poop, and the food on the floor. But there are so many moments that make what I do make sense.

The other night Maverick and I had this conversation:

Maverick: “What’s the prettiest thing in the world you’ve ever seen?”

Me: “Hmmm … I don’t know. I’ll have to think about that. 
What’s the prettiest thing you have ever seen?”

Maverick: “You.”

Later on, he presented me with this. I said I wanted to keep it forever, so he promptly erased it.

Before I put him to bed, he looked at me and said, “Thank you for being my mommy.” 

In that moment I had a flash of every good and bad thing the past almost-six years have brought. Every emotional meltdown and temper tantrum and mistake and triumph, every time I wondered what was wrong with my kid or what was wrong with me. I am flawed and sometimes kind of a disaster, but I’m a damn good mother.

I hugged him and whispered, “It is a PRIVILEGE to be your mother.” And it is.

Battling Rude.

Boys are gross.

Lately we have really been struggling with manners. I have done a good job of drilling into Maverick’s head that we don’t: leave pee on the bathroom floor, leave the toilet seat up, burp or fart without saying “excuse me,” or spit in the house, to name a few. But he will be six at the end of the summer. It’s been a long road, friends.

But … Asher. Oh, Asher. He will be three at the end of the summer and is just now discovering all the ways he can be obnoxious and rude. He’s changing from a baby into a boy, and all of the sudden burping on purpose is absolutely hilarious. It all came to a head last night when he burped so many times in succession at the table that he threw up before I could excuse him. Threw up, at the table, during dinner. Wow.

I cleaned him up and kicked his little ass out of the kitchen. Maverick soon followed, because he couldn’t stop laughing. Since Asher didn’t really eat any dinner, I was awakened by him at 1:00 a.m, 3:00 a.m., and 6:00 a.m. and each time he was smiling because I think he knows that is charming. “Snack, Mommy? Snack?” Each time I shook my head and muttered that the sun wasn’t up yet, and back into bed he went. I have an impressive bruise on my left arm from where I ran directly into a doorjamb during one of these encounters, because I AM EXHAUSTED. 

At the 6:00 waking, I directed him to his Daddy and climbed back into bed. Normally I am clattering around in the kitchen by 7:00 at the latest, but not today. Eventually, Robbie brought me coffee and seemed concerned that I was still in bed. I pulled the covers over my head and wished them all away. But then I heard the baby and realized someone had to rescue her, because the menfolk were probably in the kitchen drinking Aunt Jemima syrup straight from the bottle. So I got up.

Wild indians.


I sometimes wonder if I am too hard on them. Do I expect too much by setting a high standard of behavior and manners? After some reflection, I really don’t think that I do. Just because they are boys does not mean that they are exempt from politeness, even at home. The first experience they will have with the ladies is going to be me and their sister, and this lady does not like to be around gross. 

One day, maybe one of them will marry a nice girl who also does not like to be around gross, and maybe she will thank me. If not, I’ll just thank myself when I see my son(s) leaving the room to pass gas so the people around them don’t have to smell it.

Uphill battles are the most satisfying ones to win. And I will win, because if there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s smelling a fart that comes from an able-bodied person who’s laughing.

I Have A Sickness.

So, this happened.

I really thought the days of worrying about this were behind me, since Robbie got snipped last Spring. But, you know, sometimes weird things happen. Did you know that 1 out of 2,000 vasectomies fail? 

This weekend we went to a beautiful wedding at the home of a lovely couple who have … wait for it … 10 children. Now, if you told me this and I had not actually met them, I would think to myself that clearly there is some mental instability at work here. I literally cannot wrap my head around the concept of 10 children. 

Mind. Blown.

But this family absolutely enthralled me. Their home was beautifully surrounded by huge oak trees like this one, which we sat right next to during the ceremony.


The house itself was warm and inviting and I very much wanted to sit down and just soak it all in. The children were well-behaved and normal, the parents were cool and seemed relaxed — again, mind blown. The mother was gorgeous. And thin. Of course.

After the wedding I found myself whispering to Robbie that it’s a good thing we can’t have anymore kids, because that entire experience made me want to have MORE OF THEM.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

We do not need more kids.

Anyway, I later realized that something was majorly amiss with me and my uterus. Then I made the mistake of Googling and went down a rabbit hole of wondering if we might be one of those 1 out of 2,000 people, which eventually led to the above-documented trip to Target.

I am not pregnant.

But if I’m being honest, this is the first time that the reality has hit that we are done. And while I do feel this is a responsible, smart choice on our part … it still saddens me. Just a little. What would it be like to have four kids? Or more? In a different lifetime, back when large families were common or even necessary, maybe I could have been that mother. 

Robbie was right a very long time ago when we made our agreement to have a third child. He said, “I will agree to a third with the condition that it’s our last, because I know if one of us doesn’t get fixed you’re going to want a fourth and we just CAN’T do that.” He was right that I’d want another one, and right that having a fourth child would be irresponsible. Thank goodness for my sweet husband, who is smart and knows me well.

I seem to be afflicted with a sickness that makes me want to make more children, even though it doesn’t make sense and I am totally tapped out with the three that I have. I also loathe pregnancy. So, while I do acknowledge that this is all for the best, I am still saddened by the fact that we will never have another tiny Hobbs baby in this house.

Somewhere right now, Robbie Hobbs is breathing a deep sigh of relief.

All Accounted For.

When I was little I remember my parents making a big deal over having a good attitude. 

It was really annoying at the time, because the last thing I wanted to hear was a chirpy “It’s all about your attitude!” as I was dragged on yet another trip to the most boring place on earth: The Home Depot. 

“NO,” I wanted to yell at them. “It’s not MY ATTITUDE, it’s that this place SUCKS!”  

Now that I am a grown up with grown up problems like owing taxes to the Federal Government, I get it. Everyone has problems; what divides the happy people from the unhappy people is their attitude. That’s a valuable lesson that I need to thank my parents for the next time that I see them. 

It’s not like their lives have been a cake walk — they have been through a lot, most of which I was oblivious to as a child. There were times when they had, I think, absolutely nothing; and there were times when they were very successful. I didn’t notice it because their attitudes remained the same regardless, just as happy with nothing as they were with everything. Probably because “everything” to them did not mean money, it meant people, and since we were all present and accounted for … well, we have always had everything.

This week I am working on teaching the baby how to feed herself and it’s going poorly, as expected. Princesses apparently do not feed themselves bits of sandwich. Pepper is extending me a great deal of patience as I grapple with this fact. 

Two days ago I was placing bite-size pieces in her fist and she shot me looks of boredom as she dropped them on the floor before I finally gave up and started feeding them to her. One minute Asher and I were laughing as we watched her eat and it was all fine, and the next minute she was choking. Like panic-stricken, not breathing, choking.

I have had children choke before, but not choke like they actually could not breathe until I dislodged whatever was stuck. It seemed to take forever to remove her high chair tray and unbuckle her so I could throw her over my shoulder and beat the sandwich out of her windpipe. All I can say about it was I hope it never happens again.

As life continues to roll past and over me and ridiculous things continue to happen, all I can think is that we are blessed. And I know that attitude really is the key to my happiness, because if I didn’t have the ability to see the good around me like my parents FORCED ME TO DO as a kid, I would not be coping well as an adult. I hope I can pass this important lesson on to my own kids. 

I fear I may fail at this because I spend so much of my time yelling at them for various offenses. It continues to blow my mind how a two-year-old can be so incredibly picky about what he will eat at the dinner table, yet random raisins, bits of popcorn, candy, or french fries found outside in the dirt are just fine. I’ve lost count of how many times I have gasped and screamed “DON’T EAT THAT!!!”

Life is hard, man. But we are all accounted for in this house, so we have absolutely everything.

A stranger took this photo.

 

April Fool’s.

At precisely 2:00 this afternoon, I suddenly remembered how I woke up this morning.

I was in a deep sleep when something cold hit my shoulder. I remember being totally confused because I thought it was the middle of the night when it was, in fact, 6:30 a.m. Maverick was standing there talking and mashing something cold against my shoulder. I yelled at him and later had to apologize. I didn’t think about these events again until many hours later when it all came rushing back.

Yesterday was April 1. Maverick loves April Fool’s Day and somehow this year he got the idea of taking his brother’s underwear and putting it in the freezer. Except … Asher is two and doesn’t wear actual underwear yet. So Maverick, who I like to think inherited his moxie from me, made do with a Pull-Up diaper. 

I remember tucking him into bed last night and he was so excited, talking about how the Pull-Up was going to freeze and he was going to check on it (and I quote) “First thing in the morning!! If you see me in the freezer in the morning it’s because I’m checking on the Pull-Up, it’s going to be SO FUNNY MOMMY, Asher is going to put on a FROZEN PULL-UP!”

I am generally always in an exhausted state. His excitement over this or that is always met with a smile and a tired reply that does not match his level of emotion. So last night, I think I patted him and said good night and didn’t think about it again, even when said Pull-Up was put on my shoulder. He was trying to wake me up to tell me that it just got cold, it didn’t actually freeze, and he needed to do it again with one that was wet. He had a eureka moment where he realized that in order for something to freeze, it had to be wet. 

I am very proud of him for reaching that conclusion in spite of me, the mom, who was stumbling around yelling and asking WHAT IS ON MY SHOULDER?! because I didn’t remember the previous night’s conversation.

I feel sorry for children because what is important to them isn’t even on our radar screen a lot of the time. Good for them, for pressing on in spite of the dull adults in their lives. Good for Maverick and his moxie even though it drives me crazy sometimes, for pressing on with his April Fool’s endeavor.

The boy’s got spunk.


So anyway. When I picked him up from school, we talked about it. I told him how silly it was that it took me almost the entire day to sort out what had happened that morning, and I explained that I am just so tired at night that I sleep really hard and if I get startled awake it kind of scares me. Also, please don’t ever put anything wet or cold on me again when I’m in bed. 

He was very understanding and I was hoping I’d be able to somehow atone for what happened, so it pleased me when he asked if we could freeze some of his Daddy’s underwear tonight.

Me: Daddy’s underwear is probably a little big for the freezer, don’t you think?

Maverick: OH. Yeah, it is. Hmmm …

Me: What if we freeze a pair of yours instead?!

Maverick: YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

***


And just like that, I made a little boy’s day.

 

I Passed!

I wish I had the time to document all of my small victories, but I don’t, and right now Asher is possibly digging in my bathroom drawers and so I will keep this short. 

I just used a tape measure and pounded two nails into what I believe was a stud in order to hang this, all with a toddler under my feet, literally. I’m not a super handy person and I’m quite terrible at getting anything even, which is why this is a big deal.


Also, trying to do anything in my house while the kids are awake is like some kind of test. My dad came over the other night to hang a 50-pound mirror in our living room and the entire time there were kids running and screaming and saying GRANDPA! GRANDPA! GRANDPA! GRANDPA! while he stood precariously on top of a ladder.

I told him that as long as he thinks of it as a test, like when the CIA or FBI put someone in a dangerous position and then make it 10 times worse by adding a crocodile to the situation. That’s my life — welcome.

Anyway, today I passed a test. And now it’s hanging perfectly on my wall.