Dear Daughters: Don’t Always Be Like Me

FullSizeRender (59)There are things I don’t like about myself. When you have kids, you think about all of the characteristics and traits you don’t want your kids getting from you. Not that those traits are necessarily bad, but that you, as a parent, don’t want to deal with in a little person. There are also things you hope your children don’t pick up from watching you because you suck at those things.

Here are 10 things I hope my girls don’t learn or inherit from me.  

  1. My inability to do makeup. Seriously, I am so bad. I only wear mascara and eyeliner (because putting on anything else would take hours) but I end up with black all over my face. I use an embarrassing amount of Simple Face Wipes, they can literally remove anything. I hope while watching me over the years, my daughters don’t think that that is how you apply it. I will be directing them to YouTube makeup tutorials when it comes time for them to start wearing makeup.
  2. The fact that I can’t do anything but straighten my hair and put it in a pony tail. I got a curling iron because I wanted to do “beach waves” (because beach waves are so in) and I literally can’t figure out how to use it. It just leaves kinks at the ends and doesn’t curl very well. So I hope my girls can learn how to do their hair from YouTube tutorials as well.
  3. I’m am stubborn as shit. The only reason I know I am stubborn is because my almost four year old is exactly like me and she’s stubborn as hell. The two of us butt heads like you wouldn’t believe because of it. I can only imagine how the teenage years are going to go. I also pray my four month old is an angel. I cannot handle two mini-me’s.
  4. My daughters will never, ever see me wearing heels. My husband and I have been together 6 years and he’s never seen me in a pair. I have super flat feet and can barely walk in them but when I was 19, I thought I was cool and went clubbing a lot during that winter. By spring, I was in a cast up to my knee to help set my foot (I sprained it one icy night) and the toenails on my both big toes died and fell off. So, no, I don’t like heels and my girls won’t catch me wearing them.
  5. I can’t cook to save my life. Yes, it’s true. I can’t cook and what I can cook isn’t the greatest. My husband jokes that he should have married my best friend instead because she is a phenomenal cook. Maybe I should have married her, too.
  6. I don’t want them to be afraid to make a mess. Even though they see mommy cleaning constantly, I don’t want them doing the same and worrying about the mess they’re making rather than playing with their toys. Mommy has OCD, they don’t need it, too.
  7. Mommy has an anger problem and yells. A lot. Don’t be like Mommy. My parents never spanked us, but my dad yelled and his voice had the power to bring me straight to my knees and tears to my eyes. He can still make me cry just by raising his voice. I’m the same way with yelling, however, I’m trying my hardest not to lose my cool so easily. I’ve already noticed my oldest yelling (like her mommy, because we’re identical) and I hate seeing her getting angry like that.
  8. I look like I’m seizing when I try to dance. I can’t dance at all. I like dancing, but I have no ability whatsoever. So I hope my oldest, who is taking ballet this fall, will have the dancing gene that is completely absent in me.
  9. Please excel in school like Daddy and let us be able to watch you walk at you high school graduation (unlike mommy). It’s true, I got suspended on the last day of school because I drank all night (with about half of the graduating class) and passed out while taking my final French exam. Because of the suspension, I couldn’t walk at graduation. My parents were pissed and I feel bad that they weren’t able to see me walk across the stage and get my high school diploma (I did graduate and get my diploma though). I just hope my girls take school more seriously than I did (and not worry about boyfriends and the crazy parties) and get good grades to get into a good college.
  10. Sunscreen is your friend! I went tanning in a tanning bed almost every day for years in my late teens/early twenties. My skin, at 28, is awful. I will slather the shit out of my kids with sunscreen until they’re physically able to beat me off of them. I better never catch them in a tanning bed either. But seriously, I hope they’re smarter than me when it comes to the sun.

– Casey

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Do as I say, not as I do?

imageThere’s this little fairytale story we all play in our minds when we find out we’re going to be parents. Our child will be so well-behaved, advanced at everything, a genius in school, never get involved in the “wrong crowd,” lead a happy, respectful, compassionate, well-adjusted life. It’s all going to play out perfectly because naturally, you’ll be the perfect parent, of course.

And then the child is born and all the parenting books go out the window and you’re desperately praying for just 3 consecutive hours of sleep. You’re in survival mode for those first few months and it is hard, but it’s rewarding too. You did it. You made a person.

If there was ever a time in my life that I woke up one day and said “wow, I need to get it together” it was after that survival phase was over. You start to crawl out of the dark like you’ve been in hibernation for a few months and the light is creeping in on the life you’ve been leading. You’ve been getting (a little) more sleep and you have time for things other than just the eat, sleep, diaper, repeat routine. And all of a sudden it hit me, whoa. I am a parent now. Not just a caretaker or a milk-producing zombie, but an actual parent. It was a terrifying realization.

And it really wasn’t even the act of parenting that terrified me, it was the fact that I was now in charge. I was the “example.” I found myself taking a big step back to look in the mirror and say, “is this what I want my child to become?”

I’ve never touched a drug in my life, I’ve never been to jail, I graduated college and I found an amazing husband. Does that make me a good person? It didn’t matter. What I realized was that I needed to reevaluate was who I was and why I was that way and why I wanted my child to turn out anything like me. If I expect to raise my child with certain standards and values, was I in fact leading a life evident of those standards?

I want my child to have a deep faith– am I living that faith out everyday?
I want my child to be respectful of other people- how much have I gossiped lately?
What is the crap playing on my radio?
What is the crap playing on my television?
Have I picked up a book recently?
Did I actually sit at the dinner table, put my phone away and engage in actual conversation with my family?
Am I taking care of my body?
Am I taking care of my marriage?
Am I a good daughter, sister, friend?

So I’ve been working. Working on being a better friend, a more encouraging spouse, becoming more health-conscious, not using choice words for the driver that cut me off, turning off the tv and having dance parties with my LO.

I was catching up on some reading and drinking my coffee the other morning when I looked over to see this……..image

It’s shocking how much they take in and notice at such a young age. You are your child’s first example. You can set the tone for how they take in their surroundings, how they react to situations and how they control their emotions. Every child will throw a tantrum or say something mean to a friend. But by being a positive example, just with our own lives, not even directed toward them, will speak volumes.

We say it over and over again at BurritoBuzz that you can’t properly care for your child if you aren’t taking care of yourself. I’m willing to say that you can’t properly raise your child if imageyou aren’t leading the way by example.

I am by no means perfect. I don’t even aim to be perfect. My child needs to see failures taken in stride, mistakes made and apologies given. Parenting is hard. But I am going to strive to set the example that I want my child to mimic. Whether it’s a simple as reading a book and drinking a cup of coffee, or how I handle an argument with my spouse, I don’t ever want to be a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of parent.

-Chelsea

The Stigmas of SAHMs: A Day of Nothing

We all know the look. The look we get when we tell acquaintances, friends, even family members, that we’re choosing to become a stay at home mom. It’s a look of confusion, surprise, pity, jealousy and “judgyness”. This segment is about overcoming the stigmas of being at SAHM. Whether placed on us by loved ones, SOs, friends, strangers, MSM, or even ourselves, stigmas are the mantras we tell ourselves over and over that slowly break us mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We can overcome these debilitating scripts. We can become the all-star parents we saw ourselves being from the minute that pink line smiled back at us.

Let’s do this together. Let’s learn everything we can and become fulfilled as women and mothers in this role we were created to thrive in.

“Well it’s not like you do anything all day..”

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I am not a Stepford wife. But some days, I find myself trying to live up to irrational standards that I put on myself. Maybe I constantly smell of pledge and downy because of the stellar example set by my mother. Or maybe even because I’ve seen a lot of examples of how I don’t want my home to be run. I’ve been known to be folding laundry and unloading the dishwater seconds before my head hits the pillow. But many days I take a step back, exhale, and tell myself that the crumbs in the rug and the frozen pizza in the oven will not kill anybody. I take a look at my beautiful crazy family and I thank God for every minute I get with them.

You’ve read all the cute little stories titled “this husband can’t afford his wife.” Laundry? $50 a load. Cooking? $100 a day. My DH is active duty military. I won’t go into detail, but his job is up and down, coming and going, and so much unpredictability I could scream (sometimes I do). He doesn’t expect me to do all the things that I do, but I do them anyway. I live by the motto that a home should be a place we want to go. I want to come home to peace, a decent level of cleanliness and less stress on the inside than out. I clean my home and prepare 3 meals a day and try to keep my toddler alive from 6 am til 7 pm (even those sleeping hours still stress me some nights). I’m starting grad school (again) and writing for this incredible blog. I am no super mom or wife. But I do work. All day long.

We’ve talked before in this blog about PPD. I myself went through a mild dose of the baby blues that took me a while to overcome. I was lucky. My symptoms were very typical, mainly fatigue, lack of energy, lack of motivation and little interest in things that I usually enjoyed. With prayer, incredible friends and a supportive family, I overcame my symptoms.

But during this time specifically, I felt others attempt to use my SAHM status for their own benefit. People asked me to babysit for two weeks straight or drive 45 minutes with a newborn to meet for coffee, or got offended when I didn’t answer their calls every. single. day to talk about their latest coworker drama. And maybe I’m being insensitive, but I honestly did not care. Most days I was praying nap time came faster and maybe for a shower that day. I did not want to watch their children or load up my car to survive an afternoon out with a nursing infant. I didn’t even want to listen to their coworker’s latest fashion crime. And that is ok. Because that time finally passed and I was able to enjoy the little things again and get some frickin sleep! But that still didn’t make me a doormat.

For these, and ten thousand other reasons, I can literally physically feel my blood pressure rising and my hair getting a little more red when someone dares to say to me “Well, it’s not like you’re doing anything so….(insert annoying favor)” Excuse me. Do you see a living human hanging off my leg? Well apparently I’m at least feeding and cleaning that little person. It’s funny how remarks like that come from individuals who have never cared for a child or spent longer than a child-induced chaotic weekend at home. It doesn’t matter. There is no excuse for diminishing the role of a mother. Any mother. But especially one that is home all day kissing boo boos, singing ABCs, wiping mashed peas off the ceiling and somehow manages to keep the home together enough to live in.

Do not ever let someone make you feel as though you are lazy or wasting your days away by spending them with your child. These developmental years, (and childhood and teenage years) matter. Being a constant positive presence for you child fulfills so many needs their little hearts and brains don’t even know they need. And those days when that toddler is a little hellion and you just want to scream and put them to bed at 2 in the afternoon, still know, you simply being there is everything that child needs.

Let your house be knee deep in toys, a Stouffer’s lasagna in the oven and still be wearing yesterday’s sweats from time to time. You are there for your child. You are working so hard every minute of the day to learn patience, teach, provide for, and deepen a bond that your child will not soon forget. Don’t let someone make you feel inferior because you do the most important job on earth (it’s corny I know, but oh so true). We’ve got this. We work HARD every day. We are no one’s doormat and it is ok to say no to those “favors” other people think we have all the time for. You’re doing an amazing job, stay at home mom.

-Chelsea

Read more of our SAHM Stigmas series here:

SAHM Stigmas: Finances “We can’t afford this”

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/14/the-stigmas-of-sahms/

SAHM Stigmas: Careers

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/18/the-stigmas-of-sahms-careers