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Archive for the category “love”

Jason

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A few weeks ago Michaela (our 2 year old) began hinting there was another person in our family.  His name is Jason.  At first we couldn’t figure out who Jason was.  He would show up in odd moments and our nanny was convinced SHE was being referred to as Jason.  After inquiring it became clear Jason was Michaela’s imaginary friend.  Jason was a trouble maker sometimes.  Jason is not simply pronounced “Jason”.  Rather you must pucker your lips and express a deep drawn out ”JAAAASSSSSOOOON”.

Bailey (our 5 yr old) had never mentioned any imaginary friends.  Growing up I had my BFF Tiffany so it has tickled me to have a kindred spirit in Michaela.  As our family has become more immersed in Jason’s personality we have begun adding him to our daily questions.  “Hey Michaela where is Jason?”  From what I have surmised he is potty trained, a voracious reader, and an avid jokester.  He loves to make messes, hide at bedtime, and cause trouble.  He is her imaginary friend and her alter ego.  Jason is awesome sauce.

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Three weeks ago my dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  It was a shock as I am sure it is to any person finding out there dad is not invincible.  The doctors were quick to get surgery scheduled and within days we had the date.  March 29.

My world shook the moment I knew something was wrong with my dad.  Realistically we know our parents will get older and have health problems.  However it is just something we take for granted until a test result slaps us across the face.  My little brother (Rob) and I immediately launched into action making plans to be there.  Logistics wise we both had a ton on our plate but within 24 hours we had travel coordinated, work off and spouses taking over at home.

The family plan was to meet the day before surgery, stay together the night before then do hospital shifts.  Between my mom, Rob and I my dad would never be alone. The doctors felt confident the cancer was only in his kidney. Everything sounded rational and on paper it made sense.  However I knew I wasn’t alone with the feeling of complete and utter fear.

Tuesday I left my girls, Mike and our animals and got on the train.  I spent 5 hours thinking about him and honestly dreading my arrival.  What do I say? How do I act? Do I cry? Make jokes? Will they cry? My role in our family has always been the planner/cheerleader.  I typically take charge (even when they don’t want me to) and lead.  Armed with the team bracelets my daughter had made us I arrived ready to do anything to help my parents.

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The first hour was a little rocky.  My dad was understandably very nervous and my mom was trying to be a comfort while managing her emotions.  He wasn’t allowed to have any cocktails and he didn’t have much of an appetite.  We chatted about surface subjects and idly waited for Rob to get into town.  When he did we headed to a quick dinner in anticipation of our early morning.

I’m not sure when the subject of Jason came about but it did.  My family giggled at the Jason stories and we started making up new stories about Jason.  Everyone pronounced “Jassssoooon” with the deep voice and curled lip I showed them and it just kept getting funnier.  For some reason Jason brought out the child in all of us.  By the time we went to bed we had spent most of the evening laughing and swapping stories.  We bunked in the same room and my brother started cracking jokes in the dark.  We were laughing so hard I was in tears.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt like such a little kid hanging out with my parents.

The next day was LONG.  We checked in a 6am, dad’s surgery was at 9 and he remained in solitary recovery until almost 5pm.   At one point the nurse allowed each of us to individually visit him.  While walking back I was anxious. I wasn’t sure what he was going to look like and wanted to make sure I seemed confident and encouraging.  I walk back and in his drugged state he looks at me and says, “It went good honey. “Jaaassooooon” was in there helping out!” I cracked up.  Good ole Jason had been there watching over my dad the whole time.

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Over the next few days Jason continued to be a theme.  In the patient room next to my Dad’s there was a sheriff supervised patient.  We joked Jason would protect us.  When dad started walking we would say, “Have Jason go with you”.  Even when I left this morning I told dad I had to bring Jason back to Michaela.  Our faith was always present and Jason served as our angel.  He made us all laugh when we really wanted to cry.  He encouraged us to have fun rather than worry.  Jason brought out the childlike banter we had been accustomed to and gave a light in the scary darkness.

My dad was discharged today two days ahead of schedule.  He exceeded the doctor’s expectations with his strength and determination. I heard the nurses talking about him saying he was fun and a joy to have as a patient.  We won’t know the final results until next week but his surgeon felt confident they would be positive.

As I sit on the train riding home I can’t help but smile.  Watching my dad exude the qualities I love most about him filled me with pride.  At 77 he is focused and optimistic.  He is ready to tackle anything and is stubborn to get back to his active lifestyle.  He is serious about his health but can giggle with Jason.

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Jason provided the senseless relief we needed and I can’t help but feel so much admiration for my children.  We wore the bracelets my daughter made us through the whole process and my parents implored us for more grandchild stories.  THIS is the reason for family.  The knowledge and love we receive from our elder’s passes to our children.  Our children provide purity and unabashed wonder to us.  It is absolutely awe inspiring and I travel home with a heart full of love and hope.

Sending the essence of Jason to all our readers!

Xoxo

Mari

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Don’t look back in anger

Welp, Mari and I took a bit of a blogcation.  It was quite lovely and I, for one, feel refreshed and ready to word-vomit all over this place.  So let’s get to it, shall we?

Over the past 5 years or so I’ve made a Christmas wish for humanity.  In 2014 I wished that everyone could experience empathy for people that aren’t in their own tribe.  In hindsight, that was waaaaaaaaaaaay to much to ask for.  If 2014 taught me anything it taught me people use empathy as a tool in conversations but they’re not getting what it means.  I think there are good reasons for this.  Empathy is difficult.  Empathy also leads to undesired self-reflection.  It is much easier to take the easy road of applying your beliefs to everyone and think you’re awesome and no one else “gets it”.

So a definition seems appropriate here:

The ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Many people conflate empathy with sympathy. I choose to view it this way to avoid confusion: Sympathy is “feeling with” a person, such as compassion or commiseration; Empathy is “feeling into” someone else. It is the ability to project one’s own personality into another person to better understand that person.

Over the course of 2014, as empathy became a buzzword, I observed many people attempt to demonstrate that they are empathetic. Some people succeeded and it made my heart happy. Some people failed (I’m definitely in this group–it’s a work in progress). Some of these fails were spectacular or made me chuckle. I had someone tell me, “I’m trying to be empathetic but everything you think and say are just wrong.”. I appreciate the initial effort but this person isn’t taking things far enough, in my opinion.

I had another person, after saying he treats all races the same state, “no one cares about race but race-hustlers”. He refused to listen to racial groups alleging institutional racism because he believed “it doesn’t exist”.  When I disagreed and poked some fun (I had predicted earlier this would happen) he went completely off the rails. He listed numerous things that he does for charity, launched into a diatribe about what he perceived were my personal failings (which he had to imagine/make up), then passive-aggressively tell me that empathy is telling me that he’s sorry I’m so angry (which he again made up). That was a complete empathy failure during a purported demonstration of empathy. Good times.

I’m tempted to be disheartened about these developments.  However this year I’m choosing to be hopeful about them. I’ve known the above referenced people for a long time and even those efforts are significant for them. On a broader level empathy is injected into political campaigns, lawmaking and normal conversation at a higher rate. Empathy is aspirational. I think these are good things and I’m going to work harder to get it right. I’m hopeful because the elevation of empathy as a desirable trait will do us all well.

Kids and dogs get in the way.

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Last week our second child turned 6 months old. So we have a 6 month old, a 3 1/2 year old and two dogs(see this post about downsizing for why we have two, rather than three). It is a full house and it completely gets in the way of being efficient.

Last night Mike took the dogs with him to pick up burritos and both of the girls fell asleep. I couldn’t believe it. I am alone. With the opportunity to do anything, I chose making the bed and a glass of wine. I forgot how easy making the bed is without a frisky puppy and an overzealous toddler playing parachute with each layer.  In the few moments of glorious silence my mind began to think about how time consuming and arduous the simplest tasks are.  Activities I used to take for granted now require organization and planning.  Whether you have children, aspire to do so, or just relish in the fact you will always be responsibility free I put together a list anyone can appreciate.

At Home:

1. Going to the bathroom. I never thought I would be the kind of girl who left the bathroom door open. With kids and dogs it is a necessity. Recently I closed the door and Lucy (our Maltese) started scratching within seconds, Bailey (our toddler) started banging on the door asking where I was and why I closed the door.

2. Heightened interest in bodily functions. Furthering #1 my home has become an “elimination check in”.  As if having dogs and kids in the bathroom with you isn’t bad enough, Bailey insists on knowing what type of excretion I am leaving. “Mommy, are you pooping or peeing or both? Let me see!!” If I blow my nose, “Mommy, did you have boogers”? The inquisition does not stop at me.  Bailey wants me to know when she poops, when Daddy poops, and checks to see if our baby has pooped or peed. It is mortifying and disgusting. Lately she has turned to the “tooting” (our acceptable word for ripping ass) inquisition and calls out anyone who discreetly passes gas.  Yesterday she told our neighbor that I am stinky and toot all the time.  Shameful.

3. Laundry. When Bailey turned 3 the multiple outfit changes began. She prefers to change her underwear after every bathroom visit and an entire ensemble change is necessary at least twice per day. Couple that with baby Michaela’s drool ridden onesies and we have a solid 2 loads of laundry per day. Doing laundry with a toddler is messy and inefficient — two words I abhor. The effort is there from her but the skills aren’t. Unfortunately by the time Bailey has acquired the skills to properly fold she will have no interest in doing so.

3. Cleanliness. I absolutely love a clean home. The smell of bleach turns me on, and clean floors is ecstasy. With kids and dogs both are impossible for more than one hour. I try so hard. But between Bailey’s scooter carving a dirt track and the dogs dragging whatever clings to their paws it will never happen.  Michaela moving to solid foods only adds to the funk on the floor. I have actually deemed floors clean when the dogs lick up the food the kids leave. Even worse? When I am in a hurry I just push the extra crumbs off the counter onto the floor so the dogs can help me.

4. Enjoyment of coffee. Prior to 9am I do the following: Feed dogs. Clean up dog poop. Feed baby. Clean up baby poop or pee. Make chocolate milk for toddler. Bottle for baby. Encourage poop and pee in toilet for aforementioned toddler. Return work emails. Attempt to clean kitchen and pick up toys from night prior. Conference call. Wash bottles…. you get the idea. Guess what? I make coffee and usually microwave it 2-3 times because I just don’t have time to drink it while it’s hot.

5. Personal Grooming. As a fairly high maintenance gal I have always carved out a large amount of time for “upkeep”. Prior to children my nightly ritual included a hair mask, face mask.. heck even rejuvenating gloves on a good night. I needed 30 minutes to brush, tweeze, moisturize, and decompress before bed. Fast forward 3 years and I am lucky if I get 3 minutes. My toddler micro manages every personal ritual I have to the point I have to make up stories to keep her at bay. I told her if she touches me when I spray tan her whole body will turn orange.  She thinks bronzer is fairy dust that can only be applied on holidays. Convincing her not to use my über expensive face cream as her body lotion is a lengthy argument.

In Public:

1. Coffee and restaurants.  The drive through is a life saver for a mom.  If you don’t have children, it may not have occurred to you that infants may finally be sleeping, toddlers are reading, and for a moment chaos is controlled. That being said, I get angry when the drive though line is long with one person in their car. Seriously?? If I am by myself I will gladly walk my latte driven ass into the Starbucks to order a coffee.

2. Nice restaurants. Before kids Mike and I would choose restaurants based on the food and wine and didn’t think about whether it was family friendly. Having children means fancy restaurants are a waste. Yep, I said it.  People are always telling me they take their kids to upscale restaurants and it’s great, the kids were well-behaved blah blah.  Fine dining is fabulous sans kids and this is why. My children are well dressed. My toddler is polite and charming. Guess what? She is still a toddler.  My idea of a fabulous dining experience includes multiple courses, invigorating conversation and a bottle (or two) of wine. I have never met small children who have a pallette for imported cheese and prefer to be silent for two hours.

3. Errands. Everyone has errands. I have always been a person of numerous errands on a weekly basis. Some of these are choice related. For example, I prefer Trader Joe’s for beverages and snacks, Farmers market for veggies and salsa and Ralph’s for our day-to-day essentials. My dry cleaner is great but I prefer a different alterations person. You get the idea. Doing errands with children takes FOREVER. Instead of running from place to place everything has to be an adventure. I listen to myself narrating the errands and I even convince myself: it sounds awesome. Couple that with the gear, diaper changes for the inevitable poop blowout, special surprises for being good and three stops will take all afternoon.

4. Meeting for coffee/lunch. I love meeting my girlfriends for breakfast. It is one of my favorite times to catch up and there is an energy and earnestness that comes from meeting up late morning.  But, coordinating the tiniest get together is a BEAST. Before kids, meeting for coffee or lunch was an after thought. Having kids completely changes the cavalier meet up. It takes coordination of a sitter/partner days in advance. If a partner isn’t involved then it costs a ton of money.  I recently told one of my best girlfriends the cost of us “lunching” and she was aghast — and that didn’t include the cost of the lunch itself.

5. Leisure anything. I am in a hurry every moment of my life. I don’t browse. I don’t stop for lunch with the exception of a sandwich to go. I tap my foot impatiently when the person in front of me chooses to be indecisive or holds up a line. My heart speeds up when someone causes a delay. I take it personally when someone causes and delay and want to say, “Don’t you know how much I have to do today? Hurry Up!!” I can’t help it; as a mom with a career someone ALWAYS needs something.

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Looking at this list, I can’t help but giggle.  Two of my dearest friends, Megan and Molly are always asking me what it’s like to be a mom….. when they read this they will surely rejoice they are without children.  What is crazy to me is how children can provide the biggest annoyance and a surge of happiness in a 2 minute period. Bailey was in the backseat today and was calling me. I turned around and she said, “Mommy, you are beautiful. I love you.” When our baby wakes and begins fussing I go into her room. As soon as she sees me she gives me the biggest smile. It melts me. I will take the chaos of my life any day.

Happy Mother’s Day to the fabulous moms who read our blog!

My dog was lost but now (s)he’s found.

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Our family did something that I never, ever thought we would do. We gave away one of our perfectly healthy dogs that we love very much. In the past we joked about giving her away, but in my heart I truly believed that we would never do it. My stubbornness and misplaced belief of my abilities as a dog-owner would not allow such a thing to happen. But we did it and things are better.

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Bianca came to our family during a difficult period. My wife and I each brought a dog to our relationship. I brought our aussie cattle dog and she brought a maltese named Harley. Unfortunately, Harley passed away far to early due to some medical issues. Our hearts were broken as Harley was a very special being. We quickly found Bianca to help us with the loss and because we both wanted a maltese in our lives. I never thought I would be a small dog person. But I loved Harley so much. Bianca was very mellow for a couple of days. Then, she busted out with a breezy vengeance. She would hide under the couch and sneak attack a passerby’s ankle. She would fling herself out the doggy door and down three steps like she was invincible. When we first took her to the bay, she followed our cattle dog in like she had been swimming her whole life. She had some hilarious quirks. She would fake injuries to get attention (a maltese trait). She would try to boss around the dogs at the park until another dog pushed back.  Then she would yelp like she had been shot and run to her “big brother” to protect her. Read more…

Cupid’s Bow not delivering?

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Today is Valentine’s Day!

If you are in a relationship you are dating one of two people.

A great person.

A shitty person.

Your partner is one or the other. If you are thinking for even one little moment which one your love falls into, your partner is the latter.

My husband is a great person.  He is fabulous. We have been married 6 years and I love him more today than yesterday.  When we first started dating he was a holiday person. He celebrated Christmas with the enthusiasm of a toddler, Valentine’s day like Cupid, and my birthday like it was the best day of the year.  After our courtship turned into marriage I realized his overzealous holiday affection was merely a ruse to snare me.  My beloved was not in fact, a holiday person. After we were married I noticed he wasn’t excited about Flag Day.  On Fourth of July I was shocked he didn’t own patriotic swim shorts.  He actually wasn’t a huge proponent of making 1/2 cakes for half birthdays.  I couldn’t believe he wasn’t hopping like a bunny for Easter. Wait for it… Valentine’s Day wasn’t a day of sheer bliss and romance.  WHAT??  I have holiday dedicated ensembles for almost every holiday!!

At first I thought I could change him.  I threw parties, bought extravagant gifts, and encouraged a cheerleader like attitude.  Guess what? He wasn’t impressed. In fact, he was embarrassed and annoyed.  I thought if I made a huge deal out of every holiday he would make a huge deal too.  I was wrong.  As it turns out his love language is different (which I will need to write about another day).  To be fair, Mike’s enthusiasm for many holidays has greatly increased since having children. Again, another day another blog.

My tip this week is how to survive Valentine’s Day and love your partner even more the next day.

My mom (and best friend) once gave me an amazing piece of advice. She told me, “If Valentine’s Day or your Anniversary are holidays you wait for to feel loved and special you are in the wrong relationship.” This piece of advice is a gem.

On Valentine’s Day I know you have your vision.  You might be sitting at home or in your office dreaming of when the doorbell rings or the receptionist calls out your name to deliver flowers.  I watch the same Lifetime movies.  At any moment dozens of flowers and chocolates and that ugly “Hearts on Fire” necklace from Kay Jewelers is yours.  I get it. You smile. Look down, a bit sheepish that your man is such a romantic. What’s a girl in love to do??

And then it doesn’t happen–and you are bummed. Just so disappointed. And embarrassed for feeling bad.

Guess what? Your partner doesn’t love the silly Valentine’s Day holiday. If you are in a good relationship you shouldn’t either.

Valentine’s Day is a bit embarrassing if you go out–the restaurants are crowded, one pays a premium, and everyone is supposed to execute the weird couple stare.  You can’t relax. You need to hold hands, order the prix fix menu and gaze..  lovingly…but this doesn’t happen either.

But I digress. On to my tip, on how to appreciate Valentine’s Day(Or your anniversary) if Cupid doesn’t exceed your expectations..

Romantic holidays are created to ensure someone makes you feel great about yourself.  If you are in a good relationship you should feel fabulous most of the time. I started writing a list of the things Mike does to make me feel special throughout the year and quite honestly, the list is too long.  I am a very lucky woman.  The list below is a non scientific excerpt of a list of what should be happening in your life.  If most of these apply then Valentine’s Day should be a day to be thankful you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day. (Disclaimer: As a female, a list may be a bit different if I was a male. Bear with me).

1. Constantly tells you how attractive you are.  Bonus if you are in sweats!

2. Celebrates your interests and encourages you to pursue them.  Even if it is just wine and girlfriends 😉

3. Knows all about your self-described “crazy parts” and genuinely likes them.  In fact, they make up who you are and they feel it makes you “insanely” perfect.

4. Thinks that dinner and dishes are gender neutral and whoever is least busy is in charge.

5. Thinks laundry is gender neutral and whoever is least busy is in charge.

6. Is perfectly capable of taking care of the children and really likes it.

7.  Believes in you.

8.  Knows your strengths and asks for your advice in these areas.

9.  Remembers your favorite foods and suggests them when you need TLC

10. Has watched all of your favorite movies and can quote a few of them when you are having a bad day.

11.  Invests in your favorites.  Chocolate lover? Belongs to the Godiva Club.  Gardner? Knows when Home Depot is having a soil sale!  Skier? Season passes to the nearest mountain.

12. Notices and appreciates a few things you do.  Not everything but enough to make you feel good about your hard work.

13.  When you receive a present it is an item that was thought out.

14.  Compromises on areas that they are passionate about.

15.  Really likes spending time with you.

If you have been reading this list and smiling and nodding you are very lucky.  Today may not bring chocolates and diamonds and whirlwind trips or proposals.  However, today is a day you can feel thankful for a full heart year round.

I know I will be thankful for a Hallmark holiday to remind me how lucky I am !!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xoxo Mari

A me seh one thing Nancy cyaan understan

It’s weird to really like and enjoy a movie but associate negative connotations to it. For me that movie is The Royal Tenenbaums. I love pretty much everything about it — except how it makes me feel.

It was Spring Break of 2002. Spring break was already meaningless for me as I had entered the job market, but my then-sorta fiancee (long story) Nancy was a teacher so it was Spring Break for her. Over the first weekend of her break we went up to the mountains and did some snowboarding. We were planning on heading up again the next weekend as the conditions were great. During the week, I had to work and she was going to goof off.

On Monday Nancy and her friend went and saw The Royal Tenenbaums with her friend Betsy. We were both huge fans of Rushmore so I was bummed that I didn’t go but figured I’d catch it later. Nancy raved about Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance as Margot and strongly identified with her character. At first the identification was just physical. “She wore her hair at the same length as me with a barrette.” “Her wardrobe looked like it was pulled from my closet.” “We have the same mannerisms”. In hindsight, those things are all true. Her identification went beyond the physical, however. I just didn’t know it at that time.

The next day I was sitting at work prepping for an afternoon meeting. The meeting got rescheduled. I had a bunch of stuff that I could have done that afternoon but I figured that it was a “stolen” afternoon and I’d check in and see what Nancy was up to. “Ummmmm, I’m going to see Royal Tenenbaums again,” she stammered after I explained my free afternoon.

“Oh cool! I’ll come and meet you guys. You going with Betsy again?”

“Ummmm yeah, we don’t know which showing we are going to.”

“Great, let me know. I’ll probably be home in about an hour.” Read more…

Bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan

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This is my last week of maternity leave.

A few days ago I was having brunch with some of my closest girlfriends who happen to be younger than me.  I was the only girl at the table with kids, and as they are beginning to think about having kids they were asking me questions.  Invariably, the conversation turns to my choice to work. I get this question constantly.  Let me preface by saying I am VERY lucky to have the option to work. I also have a unique situation because I have a home office.  Having the ability to choose as well as working from home is a situation most people are not allotted. That being said, I choose to work.  Why?

Being a stay at home mother is the most difficult job I have ever known.  For work, I manage events. This involves the oversight of employees and a couple hundred of models.  The staff who have been tending to my markets while I am on maternity leave can’t wait for me to return.  They keep telling me that my job is so stressful and asking me, “how do I do it??”  My job is EASY compared to being a mom.

Here’s why.

When I’m performing well at work, people think I am amazing.  When I meet my goals, I get praise.  At the end of the year I get a review and typically a raise.  Clients write me notes telling me I “saved the day” or “really made it happen”.  I feel valuable.  In addition, people around me give me accolades for being a mother and a successful business woman.  Also, I receive a paycheck.  When I make money I don’t feel I need to address every frivolous item I spend money on (BTW, Mike has never, even one time, questioned an item I have spent money on. But in my mind he might. Someday. And I will be ready!)

While being home on maternity leave I work twice, no 3x as hard as I do on my job.  Mike is better than most men regarding praise. However, he (nor anyone) cannot begin to praise a mother for the amount of work they do. Why? Because most of the work is crappy and something none of us would ever notice (including me).

Here is what a mom envisions would happen:

5:30 pm: Husband home

5:35pm: Smiling, embraces wife and children and utters the following statement: “WOW, the house looks and smells amazing!! I can’t believe how well you did dressing and feeding the children today! And you cleaned too?? My goodness, how many loads of laundry did you accomplish ? Thank you for folding my clothes, I noticed my underwear and socks are perfectly clean in their drawers. I couldn’t help but see the grout in the bathroom smells like bleach and our bed is made. And you changed the sheets!  The Duvet cover smells like fresh linen! Thank you for remembering to also take the dry cleaning, pick up my prescriptions, replace my empty shampoo, and drop off my alterations in your down time. How do you manage to do all of this, while looking so beautiful?”

Here is what really happens:

5:00pm: Wife: SHIT, I worked my ass off on the fucking grout and laundry while taking care of the kids and now need to make dinner happen? I haven’t sat down for even one minute today. Exhausted. Must look like together wife and mother. Am I still in my pajama bottoms??  What did we even buy at the grocery store? What am I supposed to be making? Tacos. Yes, tonight is taco night. Put meat in skillet. Smells like dinner.  I should pour myself a glass of wine, and give kids M&Ms to quit whining so home will appear tranquil.

5:30pm: Husband home, exhausted from driving, dealing with people etc. He is thinking. “Honestly, where is dinner??” Starving, because he sacrificed long lunch to be home early. Not sure why mom is so frazzled, after all she didn’t deal with the demands of clients sucking the life out of her. Is she still in her pajama bottoms? He is not smiling or embracing. Instead, he is confused why someone isn’t feeding him after a long day. ** Disclaimer: I am exaggerating a bit for effect. In actuality, Mike is almost always smiling when he comes home, does hug all of us and usually tells me I look beautiful.  Also, he helps make dinner most nights. I am ridiculously lucky to have snagged a good dude. But, I listen to the gripes of many of my friends.**

Every day I fall into bed exhausted.  Being a mother is no joke.  The job doesn’t stop! The “To Do List” is never-ending! At work, when the checklist is complete my work day is complete.  At home I am the mother of a thousand lists, all of them partially complete with many tasks ongoing making them “un check off able”(technical term, I’m sure).  However, the happiness of being around my family is much more gratifying than any type of work praise I could ever receive.  I am obsessed with my girls, with Mike- even my pain in the ass dogs.  But, I felt it important to explain why, in my opinion, going back to work is actually a great deal easier than staying home.

Since becoming a mother, I have noticed there are two distinct tribes of women:

The stay at home group, and the working group.

For some reason, both tribes subscribe to the fact they are the better option and often criticize the other.  I have absolutely no idea why women do this.  Obviously, I am removing the variable of those not able to make a choice, be it dual wage earning necessity, or a single parent.

As a woman able to make a choice, I choose to work. I choose to work because I like the balance and really enjoy having the help around the house.  The never-ending list exhausts me and sometimes frustrates me.  I like the feeling of knowing I actually completed something when I crawl into bed at night.  As a woman who has been home the past few months, I love tending to my family.  The feeling of taking breaks for afternoon cuddles, making lunches, and folding tiny onesies is pretty awesome.

In case you haven’t figured it out I am making a few points here 🙂  First, if you are at work today go home and give your homemaker a whole bunch of snaps.  She (I know some Dads that stay home as well, so and/or He) is probably home magic erasing crayon marks off the wall while making dinosaur shaped sandwiches and simultaneously on hold with the cable company.  She is still in her pajamas, hasn’t eaten breakfast, and has hopefully had time for a cup of coffee.

Secondly, if you are guilty of being a judgy-wudgy (another technical term) tribe member, make it your resolution to stop.  Both teams work their butts off, and I have yet to meet a mother who said, “I am just sort of trying to be a good mom”.  We are all trying and both mom groups deserve a medal for doing the best they can!

Happy Monday!!

Best,

Mari

Resolving.

2014

Now that my hangover has worn off I am starting to think about New Year’s Resolutions.  I know, I know, they are typically cliché, but I try to pick resolutions that make sense to my life,and actually stick with them.  For example, I would never resolve to “get in shape” or “only drink on the weekends”.  Those resolutions are just silly for me and would never work out.  Instead, I like to think of attainable healthy goals that will enhance my life and my family.

Last year my resolution was “Vices in moderation, love in excess”.  I was pregnant by February.. needless to say, my resolution was met 😉  My vices were certainly in moderation, and love was definitely in excess!

This year’s resolution is a bit different.  My resolution is “Celebrate and Integrate”.  My last week of maternity leave is next week, and I find myself conflicted. For the past 3 months I have been home with the girls. I have play doh’ed, baked, cleaned, cooked, breastfed, hosted and wined in the afternoons (Thanks Megan J).  I know the last time our newborn pooped, every cute saying my toddler has said for the past month has been shared and documented, and my Christmas cards went out on time. It has been fabulous. However, I think I am ready for the integration.

For me, working allows me to integrate into the adult world successfully.  Work is not only an outlet for me to use my brain; it also makes me feel valuable as a woman.  Also, I like having something to talk about other than mommy stuff 🙂 I can’t wait to integrate back into this world, and most important reconnect with girlfriends I have neglected (Especially Charlynne-EEEK).

This year, I strive to celebrate the little successes.  When you have two little girls and three dogs, times get a bit chaotic.  I plan to celebrate my husband, my girls, and my furry faces’ victories. As a mom successes come in small doses and are easily ignored.  Something as simple as a long nap should be celebrated! Too often the successes of a day are ignored and we find oneself dwelling on the little defeats.

Speaking of celebrating little successes, I should probably go kiss my husband for cleaning the puppy pee/poop that surely happened this morning-I didn’t see any!

Happy New Year!!

xo Mari

Ranchandsyrup

Us. Sometimes we will battle, sometimes we won’t. Hopefully, you will find us mildly entertaining.

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