A blog is born.
Welcome to my musings on pop culture and parenting. I am the Pop Mama and this is a safe place to steal away from your screaming child and get your fix on what's up with Beyonce and great poop stain remover tips.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Public Indecency

7:26pm - The kids are watching their stories and Husband is futzing with the sprinkler system.

I honestly never dreamed that I would be the mother of two boys.  Growing up I was certain that I wanted children -- at least a few of them -- but always kind of envisioned myself with a few of each dressed in smart little sailor suits with the vocal talents of Shirley Temple and the Von Trapp Family Singers.  Never did I imagine that two little boys, both different as could be, would bless my life and turn it upside down.  I also did not imagine the shenanigans that these two crazy cats would rain down on our life.

After a long work meeting on Tuesday morning, I called my husband to see how his day had been so far. This is the story -- in his words:

Well, the highlight of my morning, and I wouldn't call it a highlight, was what happened when I got to daycare.  I pulled up to daycare and had to park on the street (Broadway) [to give a little background, our daycare is downtown].  I got Cameron out and told him to stand on the sidewalks with the bags while I got Henry out.  I went around and got Henry out and then came back around the car.  Cameron was standing on the sidewalk, with his toes on the edge of the curb, pants around his ankles peeing into the street.  

I was like, "Cam, what are you doing?"  He said, very matter-of-factly, "Dad, it is okay.  Mom said this is easier.  She does this with Henry."  [more background: I had let Henry pee outside in a parking lot when there was NO bathroom anywhere near by and he was potty training.  I also made him pee in front of the car so he was hidden.]

Husband then told me that Cam was not just doing a little sprinkle of a pee, he was fully letting a gallon of pee run into the gutter of Broadway, during rush hour, while nicely dressed men and women walked past on the sidewalk on their way to work.  Husband tried to shield Cam best as possible while he finished up business and pulled his pants up.  Cam continued to protest that "Mom said that peeing in the street is easier."  They then had a talk about the appropriate time to pee outside.  And it not being within 100 feet of daycare with the daycare security guard watching you.

Honestly, it would be easier sometimes if I could just let these little maniacs pee wherever they wanted, but sometimes we have to do hard things -- like teach our children not only how to use the bathroom, but also how to discern what constitutes a "peeing in a parking lot situation."  This is a hard concept  -- many times I have asked myself this question after a few too many glasses of wine.

So, there it is.  No Von Trapp style harmonies, no sailor suits, just public urination.  And, while we are not "proud" of it, it was the most amusing thing to happen that day.  My boys keep me on my toes, but also keep me dancing -- and I love dancing.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Resting in the Present

3:49pm - Working at my desk, kids are with babysitter.

Today a friend told me that she thinks I do a really good job of being present on the days that I have the kids.  I was shocked as I am constantly beating myself up for being distracted and overwhelmed with business stuff when I should be "enjoying" mothering moments.  Trying to take the compliment, I said "thank you" and told her that I struggle with this daily.

There is a lot out there today about parents being distracted from their children or family time by their phones, work, social media, etc.  I see it in others and I admit that I too am often half present instead of fully present.  For me it isn't a good thing, but sometimes it is a necessary thing.  I work for myself and I am also at least partially responsible for the income of two other people.  Sometimes I need to address a work related issue immediately.  And, sometimes I just "think" I need to address something immediately.  Differentiating between the two and trusting that the world won't fall apart if I don't act is the struggle.

Our culture has become reliant on the immediate response.  However, very few of us are actually performing tasks that require an immediate response.  My work is as an attorney and consultant and I must remind myself that no one is going to bleed out on the table if I don't respond to an email within the hour.  A few months ago I was completely overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted by work projects, which translated into me being short-tempered, anxious and distracted with my boys.  One day I snapped a little and took a step back.  I needed peace.

I know that balance is constantly shifting and all the pieces will never be in perfect harmony (at least not all the time), but I had to figure out little things to do to create boundaries.  Now I don't check email after a certain time at night.  I try to put my phone down and walk away from it when I am with my kids.  Instead of hurriedly getting the kids to nap and rushing to do work, I now give myself permission to take some alone time where I am not working.  And, if Cam doesn't nap, I try not to freak out and just enjoy a little quiet time with him.  The last month has been better -- or at least, some days are better than others.

So, this afternoon when I found myself with Cam on the couch and he fell asleep on me as we were resting together, I did not reach for my phone.  I closed my eyes.  For at least one moment, the world was in balance.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Oh, how things change...

7:04pm - Kids are watching their final show of day (wind down time) and I am trying to keep my yawns in check.

Recently I have been thinking about behaviors that I have acquired since becoming a mom.  Honestly, I cannot even remember what it was like when it was just husband and I in the house.  Here are a few things that I now do that I am about 99.9% certain were not going on before having children.

1.  Eating covertly.  I hide what I am eating.  Just a few minutes ago I stood inside the pantry to eat a handful of chips.  Why?  Because I want to eat my own damn snack without four little hands trying to take it from me or asking me to do one.more.thing.for.them.  Seriously, have you ever just wanted to enjoy your own _______ without having to share with someone?  It is bad enough when they beg me for a sip of my coffee, so I am definitely not sharing my treats.  I have learned to hide in the laundry room to wolf something down, distract them with television so that I could enjoy my own bowl of cereal in the morning and hide food in my home office.  Survival skills.

2.  Showering only at night.  I don't remember the last time I took a shower in the morning.  Seriously.  It was definitely pre-children.  With my little alarm clocks waking me up at first light I have no time (or capacity) to deal with a shower in the morning.  This also goes back to not wanting to share.  If I am going to take a shower, I want to do it alone and without children dropping shampoo bottles on my toes, or crying for milk and banging on the shower door, or climbing dangerously on the bathroom counter and defiling my toothbrush as I helplessly try to rinse out my hair and shave my legs.

3.  Wearing only machine washable clothing.  This pretty much tracks with the yoga pants phenomenon once you have a baby.  You know things have taken a nose dive towards extremely casual when you consider whether or not to wear your "good" yoga pants rather than the faded and stretched out ones.  I save my "good" yoga pants for company.  I still own some dry-clean only clothing, I just don't wear it anywhere near my children, which means I save it for vacations, business meetings and the occasional date night.

I know that there are more quirks that I have picked up since birthing these two maniacs, but I am too tired to remember them all.  What about you all?  What habits, mannerisms or behaviors have you acquired since welcoming your bundles of joy?