Monday, August 15, 2011

Blessings from Tears...

I entered a contest with Real Simple magazine about an "unexpected friendship".... here is what I wrote.

When I first met Amy, I was immediately drawn to her warm personality. I admired her from afar for a long time, never really having an opportunity to connect. I felt like a silly school girl, longing to be the popular girl’s “BFF” but not knowing a way in. Last year on a chance meeting, she shared exciting news that she was expecting after trying to conceive for ten years. I was also dealing with infertility and we quickly realized how much we had in common. A friendship began to build.

Shortly after, I learned she had lost the baby. I remember wishing that we were closer so that I could reach out to her. I didn’t know how I would be received as just an acquaintance. When I saw Amy a few weeks later, she embraced me like we had known each other our entire lives. Our friendship continued to grow.

This year I found myself in a similar situation. I finally got pregnant but then lost the baby a few weeks later. I called Amy immediately. I knew she would have a warm hug, thoughtful experience and comforting words for me. Sharing this tragic bond brought our friendship to a new level.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times Amy has saved me. It was her words alone that brought me out of the darkness. She patiently listened and comforted me for hours. She never expected anything of me... in fact she THANKED ME! She said that I was the reason she was finally able to heal.

Our friendship is a true example of how something beautiful can rise out of your darkest moments. I never imagined that this woman, whom I longed to be friends with a few months ago, would become my everything today.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Worst part of the job...

I have had some pretty crappy jobs in my life. I started off working for my mom in her gift shop, which I completely loathed. Not that I ever had to do any real work or wasn't paid well, but having to spend EXTRA time with my parents when I was a teenager was utter torture.

My mom was less than excited when I "resigned" to work at a local pet store. Less pay. More work. Teens aren't always so smart, ya know. I spent my summer scrubbing fish tanks and cleaning puppy poo from plastic crates. It was very glamorous.

The next year I decided to move on to kids... because Hey, at least I wouldn't be cleaning up poop. Wrong again. I worked at an after-school day care and you wouldn't believe the number of "accidents" these little elementary school children had! At least the puppies never talked back.

I also worked in a factory that made generic medicines... for three whole days. Believe it or not, I am not cut out for manual labor or the night shift. Go figure.

Then there was insurance.... that held me captive for over six years. It wasn't a horrible job, didn't involve feces, screaming kids, or manual labor... but it was insurance. Not very exciting, not my passion.

But for the last four years, I have had my dream job.

About halfway through my pregnancy with Ryker, the hubs and I made a plan for me to be able to stay home. He got a great new job that offered a larger salary and amazing health benefits and we could not justify my working full time and paying daycare for FOUR kids. It didn't make sense. So at 7 1/2 months pregnant, I quit my job. So long insurance... it's been real.

I spent the next couple of weeks getting use to the idea of being a stay at home mom. I got up with the girls and got them off to school (and promptly went back to sleep), ran errands all day long (and napped in the afternoon), got the house cleaned to the highest OCD degree (then took a little rest), and had dinner on the table when the hubs got home (then went to bed at 8pm).

When Ryker arrived... sleeping was a distant memory. But I loved... no ADORED... every moment of it. I nursed him for the first year with no supplements (the child would NEVER take a bottle) and was never away from him for more than three hours. Again, I adored it. I got to see all the firsts, spend my days playing silly games with him, watching him take his 30 minute power naps... it was glorious. I also had the joy of being there for the girls when they got home from school instead of sending them to some sitter (who I typically never got along with).

It has been amazing, even though it does involve feces, screaming kids, manual labor and so much more.

In the last couple of years, I have treasured every moment of being able to be home with my kids. The special bond Ryker and I share is unbelievable... we are still attached at the hip even though he is now four. I love being able to sit down with the girls and do homework with them or be able to attend their special events at school.

Motherhood is by far my favorite job I have ever had.... hands down.

But sometimes it is not so easy...

Sometimes even I have to be the bad guy, which is very difficult because I am usually a total pushover, especially when it comes to Ryker.

Yesterday at dinner, Ryker was given a piece of brocoli and a carrot to eat. We are taking baby steps here because they child has NEVER liked vegetables, all the way back to the strained variety. But we are trying to broaden his food spectrum and make him try new things. This typically doesn't end well. We have finally moved passed the point of him instantly projectile vomiting the moment he tastes something foreign in his mouth. Now we just cough and gag and cry.

Last night was no different. He was forced fed broccoli which he then spit into the cup trying to "wash it down". Then we made him eat the carrot. And here come the tears.

We tried every trick in the book... if you eat it, you can go outside and play. If you don 't eat it, you're going to bed early. Nothing worked. He sat there crying and gagging with a partially chewed carrot in his mouth. I was determined to make my point so I picked him up and carried him upstairs to his room for bed. More tears. I spent ten minutes in his room while he desperately tried to swallow the carrot. My heart is breaking at this point, but I can't turn back now. I spend another five minutes trying to get him to spit out the carrot so he can just go to bed. Finally he relents, spits out the carrot and crawls in bed sobbing.

I hug him. I kiss him. I tell him that next time he should eat his vegetables so this doesn't happen again.

He replies through his tears, "But Mommy, I thought you loved me."

Crushed. Being the bad guy, worst part of the job.