The Mommy Cold

The Sad Truth

The Sad Truth

“My head feels as big as my butt is.” What an awful sentence. Unfortunately it pretty much perfectly describes my current state.  My butt is bigger than I’d like it to be two kids later (oh let’s face it, it was bigger than I would have liked even before the kids). And now my head feels THAT big. It’s not a good thing. (Piece of advice – only I am allowed to call my butt big).  I am fighting another head cold and nasty cough. Didn’t I JUST get over this like a month ago? OK. Maybe it was two months ago, but seriously – this is too soon. It’s the vicious cycle that I’ve come to expect as a mom of young children. One kid gets a cold. You manage to take care of them without catching it. They just start to get over it as the next kid is starting it. You are still managing to fight it off – though who knows how as your toddler constantly coughs right in your face and wipes his nose on your shirt about 867 times per day. Not to mention that you don’t sleep because both kids are up a combined total of at least 4-5 time a night. BUT nonetheless – you are somehow fighting it. Then they finally seem to be getting over it and feeling better and BOOM. It hits you. You feel that tickle in your through and that bit of congestion in your nose and you know. It’s over. No point trying to deny it. You’re going to get the dreaded head cold. Your kids are feeling just better enough to be insanely grumpy and you feel like your head might explode any second. Actually that would be nice, might relieve some pressure. THIS is the MOMMY COLD. It sucks. It’s nasty. You know why? Because you have no choice but to keep going. Little lives depend on you. This is the cycle. I’ll get through it, I always do. In a few months it will start all over again. No rest for the weary. Time to hit the hay and pray my littlest guy miraculously only wakes up once or twice tonight instead of four times. Here I go – wish me luck!

-One sick and tired mommy.

*Sneeze* *cough* *blow nose* *groan* (Repeat)

What a tired Mommy you know needs to hear today.

Photo Credit: mommyshorts.com

Photo Credit: mommyshorts.com

Do you have a friend who is a tired mommy? A co-worker? A daughter?  A sister? A wife? Then listen up people! I’ve read quite a number of blogs with similar lists – some variation of, “What NOT to say to a tired mom or a mother of young children.” They are all right and true and I tend to agree with them completely. But I want to take the opposite approach today and tell you what that tired mommy in your life needs to hear you say. So please, take notes and say these things often – it will make a bigger difference that you could ever imagine.

1. “You look great today!” or “You’re beautiful.” or “That outfit looks great on you.” or “I love your hair/make up today.” You get the idea. Us tired mommies –  we need some love and encouragement! Compliment us. PLEASE. We spend most of the time in sweats covered with snot, baby puke and drool, trying to cover up our huge bags and dark circles, with our hair up in a crazy-lady bun. – We need to be reminded that we are beautiful. So please take every opportunity you can give us a compliment. It will make our day and boost our confidence – especially when we’re emotionally on the edge because of never getting a full night’s rest.

2. “I’m so sorry.” PERIOD. Just stop right there. Please restrain yourself from offering cliche phrases such as, “It will get better” or “This too shall pass” or “Enjoy these moments when they’re small, they grow so fast” etc. While these phrases may have some truth – they’re not helpful. All we want to hear you say is, “I’m sorry.” Just knowing that we have your sympathies helps more than you know. Support and sympathy are what we need – not solutions. Maybe something worked great for your kids – I’m all for the sharing, but when we’re so exhausted we are barely holding it together – we don’t want another option to try out. We just want you to sympathise with us. Give us a hug and tell us you’re sorry and you’re there for us. That’s it. You might not think that will really help – but it will.

3. “I am bringing dinner over tonight.” or “Go take a nap – I’ll watch the kids.” Don’t ask us what we need – while your intentions are good, because we want to appear as though we’re not falling apart, we’ll never tell you what we really need help with. We’ll say we’re doing fine even when we’re not. So instead of asking what we need – just take a guess and do it. Bring over dinner. Bring over chocolate. Watch the kids while we take a nap or just have some alone time. Take us out for a coffee. Arrange a babysitter for the kids so we can get out for a date night with hubby. Anything will be greatly appreciated.

4. “Your kids are beautiful.” A compliment about our kids is as good as complimenting us. It makes us feel like we’re not totally messing them up. 🙂

5. “You are an amazing mom and you’re doing a wonderful job with your kids; they are blessed to have you as their mom.” This statement (or a variation of it) is more important than I think I could ever convey in words. Please use it. We’re exhausted and it’s easy for insecurities to creep in and for us to doubt our abilities as a parent. We need to hear often that we’re doing a good job.

Thank you for reading. Please put these few things into practice. Say these things to the tired mommy in your life and you might be surprised at the changes you notice in her. Oh of course she’ll still be exhausted – but maybe, just maybe, she’ll be a little happier and able to cope better despite the lack of sleep.

And if you are a tired mommy reading this, let me tell you a few things:

~You look gorgeous today – your smile is beautiful especially when you’re smiling at your kids.
~I am genuinely sorry that you had to wake up 5 times last night with the baby/toddler – that just plain sucks.
~I hope someone in your life will read this and bring you a dinner, or some chocolate or let you take a nap or arrange to take you out for a break. You deserve it.
~Your kids are absolutely beautiful.
~Please believe me when I say – you are doing a fantastic job with your kids. You’re a wonderful mommy and those kids of yours are so blessed to have you as their mom.

OK. I’m off to get more coffee. Hang in there all you tired mommies! You’re not alone – and you’re doing a better job than you think you are – I guarantee it. 🙂

Mommy Fuel

A few days ago I met a wonderful lady who has nine (nope that’s not a typo!) children. Yes – they are all hers and her husband’s and yes – they were all planned and no – they might not be “done” yet.  🙂

In a day and age where people just do not have really big families anymore it was refreshing. She seemed relaxed and easy going and all of her children are happy and healthy. At first, I admit I thought, “WOAH! NINE KIDS?!?!?” But as I talked to this lady a little bit, the shock wore off.  Sure nine is a lot – she knows that – but she loves kids (she grew up in a family of 12 kids) and she was so full of joy that it rubbed off on me. I don’t mean I want nine children now, but I definitely don’t feel guilty about wanting more than two. She admitted that it’s crazy at her house most days, and she has had to learn how to be a jack-of-all-trades but at the same time her house is filled with laughter and giggling, smiles, hugs and kisses. And I suddenly knew how she “does it.” I thought of one of my other friends who has three young children, close in age – she said she runs on “hugs, kisses and ‘I love you Mommy’s.'” And I remember relating to that statement. Whether you have one or nine that’s what you survive on. In between all the sleepless nights, temper tantrums, sibling rivalry and laundry there are such sweet moments; smiles, un-prompted hugs or kisses, an “I love you Mommy!” for no reason at all, and the contagious giggles. I like to think of these things as “Mommy Fuel.” It’s the stuff we run on! It’s how we keep going through difficult days (and nights). It’s what reminds us of just how blessed we are as Mothers. There will always be difficult moments but I’m pretty sure there’s enough “Mommy Fuel” to get us through. I’ve posted it before on Facebook, but it’s too good not to post again, I love this quote:

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Ain’t that the truth. Much love to all my Mommy friends. Whether you have one or nine they’re all blessings and it is a privilege to be a Mother.

Mommy Musings

My poor little guy had a rough day yesterday for a two-year old, for anyone really. The day started out well. He has a little cold but it hasn’t seemed to damper his spirits, he’s still been happy – and no fever so I’m happy.

We were headed out to church for a meeting, Ezra was outside seeing us off and all of a sudden he starts screaming at the top of his lungs! I recognized the cry immediately – he was hurt. So I ran over to him, he was grabbing at the back of his neck…low and behold there was a bee still attached to him, stinging him. So I swated the bee away, picked him up, put some ice on the sting and just held him for a while. Poor little guy. Not fun at all, especially if you’re two and you don’t even know what has happened! He doesn’t know it was a bee, all he knows is it hurts! He finally calmed down, and it didn’t swell bad, so at least we know he’s not allergic. Ezra has had a lot of ‘firsts’ here in Tanzania. He took his first steps here, said his first words, got chicken pox here (the week we arrived!), and now his first bee sting. Gotta take the bad with the good I guess. He survived. It was enough to stop my heart for a beat though! I hate that moment, when he starts screaming and I know he’s hurt but I don’t know what’s happened! That’s a scary moment for a mommy. He woke up last night with a nightmare, I’m not sure if he was re-living his bee sting or what, but it took us about an hour to calm him down and get him back to bed. 😦

I know I can’t protect him from everything, nor do I really think that’s good for him — in my head. In my heart I just want to hold him and never let go and protect him from every kind of hurt for the rest of his life! Being a parent is one of the most amazing and challenging things I’ve ever experienced. In the end I just pray God helps me, because I only want the best for my son, but I know that I’m flawed and things will never be perfect. He will get hurt. But as he grows I just hope I’m able to equip him well enough that he’s able to bounce back from those hurts stronger and braver.

This morning I dropped him off at Daycare for the morning…he was having a rough morning and I had to leave him crying. 😦 Hard moments for mommies. Even though I know he will calm down and end up having fun, because he always does, it’s still so hard to leave when he’s upset. I have to force myself. Because in the end he will be better for it. He will know that he can surivive without Mommy (even though I don’t want to ever admit that) and he will know that I always come back for him. He’s growing up! Not a baby anymore – such a scary and exciting thought all at the same time for me.

Ahh well. I’m enjoying the toddler phase while I can, since I know it won’t be long, if fact I think I will blink, and he will be a kid, all grown and heading off to school!

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