Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hi, I'm Erin, and I'm a mom-a-holic.

Tonight I went to a friend's house for a get-together.  It was wonderful to get to chat with some friends and take a mini-break from mommyhood (ok, so the kids came with me so it wasn't a total break, but for a few hours they were upstairs, happily playing and content).  Even baby 'giraffe' was napping, so I wasn't subjected to the usual rib kicks and the always unpopular 'bladder dance' that is characteristic of that time of day. 

One of the girls I was chatting with just happened to be a friend I had chatted with back in December, while at a holiday breakfast.  At that time, my friend was asking me 'how I did it all'...mommyhood, wife, and a full time job.  I laughed and told her if she thinks I have it together, she better not come to my house--as it was needing a good 'once over' (or maybe twice or three times!). 

Tonight, our conversation touched on that topic again, but I wanted to make sure she knew that while she might think I 'do it all', I'm definitely not a 'supermom' by any means.  I was telling my friend about the current struggles I'm feeling, as we're in the process of trying to figure out the whole kindergarten situation for Gavin, plus the increased anticipation we're feeling as we prepare to welcome the third little one into the family, all the while trying to maintain sanity, consistency, and balance in our household.

My friend was telling me about a book that one of her friends has written about career moms who struggle with creating a balance in their lives among the various roles that they play.  When I got home, I looked up the title, and found out that I won't be able to read Torn until at least May 1st, when it's officially released.  Bummer.  I was intrigued as I read the front cover's tagline 'True Stories of Kids, Career, and Modern Motherhood'.  I've already requested the publisher put this title into a version compatible with Kindle, as I'm making a pretty accurate assumption in saying that I'll be pretty busy around May 1st, having one hand (or less than one hand) available to hold a book.  That's the beauty of the Kindle for moms like me.  One-handed reading is far easier on it, than with a book that needs pages to be turned (ok...that makes me sound uncoordinated and slightly lazy). 

As I was researching the author, I came across her website and ultimately, her blog.  I read her entries and one of them linked to an article that I found pretty interesting.  Parents are junkies made me smile and nod my head in agreement several times.  I'm addicted to my kids.  Really.  Addicted.  While they drive me bananas, cause me to dye my hair monthly at the age of 29, make my house a mess, and give me headaches with their fighting and crying...I'm addicted.  I cannot stop kissing their cute faces, watching them while they sleep, tickling them, telling them I love them just to hear it back, and taking pictures to document even the most seemingly unimportant details of their lives. 

Take one of the lines from the article:  'We have a name for people who pursue rare moments of bliss at the expense of their wallets and their social and professional relationships: addicts.'  Take earlier today for instance, when the 'expense of my wallet' became the subject for discussion.  Well, I guess it started Thursday when I was heading to work and had thrown my lunch into a canvas bag my friend made for me years ago.  It has a pink feather-y boa around the top and pink rhinestones dotted around a pink embroidered 'E'.  I didn't think much of it other than it was cute and I hadn't used it in a while.  Brynn on the other hand, had to have it.  Like now.  Like 5 minutes ago.  She needed to have this 'princess' looking bag.  I explained what the letter meant and how hers would need to have a 'B' on it, so we'd have to head to the craft store for the materials.  Although she sighed and pouted because her needs weren't being met at that exact moment in time, she relented and got into the car for daycare. 

Rather than just stop into the craft store on my way home from work, I decided that Brynn needed to be with me to choose her decorations for her bag, because I know she's just like me and has to have control over the design.  Gavin was not about the 'crap store' experience (he thought it was called that for the longest time--and Randy still does!), so I told Brynn I'd take her today while daddy and Gavin hung out at home.  When Brynn finds out that she's going shopping...she's ready in record time, despite the fact that I'm still sipping my latte and in the middle of a chapter I'm wanting to finish before my shower.  No, we're leaving now.  Are you ready now, mommy?  We're leaving soon, mommy.  Come on, mommy, I want to go shopping.  I love shopping, mommy (much to daddy's chagrin, I might add). 

She selected her outfit carefully for this experience today...

Three, count them three craft stores later, Brynn was satisfied with all the supplies she had accumulated for her 'B' bag.  She selected a hot pink canvas tote, coordinating pink feather-y boa that molts all over the house (yey!), and about 8 different iron on rhinestone designs (all centered around the concept of 'pink' and 'princess').  I realized after the 3 craft stores that this little munchkin had phanagled me into purchasing a large amount of 'crap' from each stop.  Not only that, but she managed to slide a ton of other pointless stuff into the shopping cart during the other two stops we made as well.  Apparently we need even more heart-shaped stickers because 'mommy...look, they have sparkles'.  Apparently we need a pink acrylic flower 'thing' because 'mommy...look, it matches my room'.  Apparently we need a pair of pink 'mock crocs' even though they're calling for 5-10 inches of snow and it's winter in Colorado because 'mommy...look, I have pink shoes'.  Apparently we need bow barettes and headbands because 'mommy....look, I so pretty' (ok, so she looks adorable with the barettes...and finally has at least enough hair to hold them in!). 

But seriously.  This small little munchkin managed to get me to blow a good $30 on stuff that we don't really need.  I didn't even mention the Dora and Disney Princess underwear she picked out.  Technically, as the potty training process goes, we don't need them.  Yet, we are now the owners of them. 

And why?  Because she's so friggin adorable that I find myself getting excited for her and jointly scoping out the stores for some sort of cute little pointless bauble that I think she'll like because I'm addicted.  I'm addicted to seeing her face light up, her eyes become wide, and hearing her say 'mommy...look!' with this adorable awestruck sound in her voice as though she's discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It's an illness.  I know.  But at least I admit it.  As far as seeking treatment?  I think I'll pass for now...because if I'm going to be addicted to something, why not make it be the reason I wake up each morning, do what I do, and live how I live? 
Hi, I'm Erin and I'm a mom-a-holic.  And it's totally worth it. :)

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