I hope they are strong…

I remember my mother once telling me, “Life is hard.  The sooner you understand that, the less disappointed you’ll be.”  My mother is a woman of profound wisdom and I often think of her and the things she would tell me as I try and prepare my children for the world.

There are few things you can do to protect your children from the harshness of life. As a parent, we instinctively want to shield our children from sadness, fear, anger and all things that would harm them, both emotionally and physically.  Unfortunately, it can’t always be done and accepting that as mother or father, is the hardest thing you’ll ever do.

Watching my children hurt, because of nothing they’ve done, but because of the actions of others is gut-wrenching.  You feel helpless because there is truly nothing you can do.  It’s beyond your control. Teaching them to accept that they can’t control others and their actions, that they can only control their own, is so very difficult- but essential.   It’s hard to take the high road, to turn the other cheek, or to even pity and pray for those whose lives are so sad and unfortunate they must hurt others.

I can’t always protect my children from what others may say or do, but I try very hard to provide them with a loving, stable home.  In that home, my husband and I count our blessings every single day and pass each one along to all four of our children.  We surround them with family and friends who love us unconditionally; who would do anything for any one of us.

My husband and I try and teach our children that life is filled with sadness, grief, and hardship, but it’s also filled with happiness, love, and hope.  We are always explaining that life is all about choices, our choices, and that sometimes our choices can have direr consequences.   We also teach our children to be responsible for their actions and to understand that the world is not the scapegoat for their problems.  It’s very easy to blame others when we’re down and out.  And it’s always okay to feel a little sorry for ourselves, but it’s more important to move on and find a solution.  One thing I’ve always impressed upon them is to never wallow in their own self-pity.  Helen Keller once said, “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.”

So although I cannot protect them from the evils that have and will come their way, I hope I can prepare them for how to deal with those bad days.  I hope they learn how to not only survive life, but to thrive; to live each beautiful day to the fullest. I hope they learn how to embrace heartache, sadness, and their mistakes and most importantly, learn from all of it.  I hope that they are strong enough to know it’s okay to cry and feel bad, but to get up, dust it off and keep going.  I hope that my children always know that they are loved, deeply and by many.

I will hug and kiss my children.  I will tell them how much I love them.  I will buffer all that I can…and pray for the strength to endure their heartache each time I can’t.

Confessions of a bad mom: A compilation…

Est. November 18th, 2016

 


Confession of a bad mom:

Ailey this morning: Da da, can we watch TV while we drink our cocoa?

Chris: No honey, we don’t have time for TV this morning. We have to get dressed and get moving.

Ailey (in a sing-song voice): I’m gonna kick your ass.

#plantcorn #applesandtrees #chipofftheoleblock #littlemeghan


Confession of a bad mom: The sooner I come to the realization that, despite my efforts, my house is not going to look like something out of a Pottery Barn catalogue and instead, resembles something more akin to Stanford and Son, the better off my overall health will be.  #fourkids  #cantfightit #johnnyjunkhouse


Confession of a bad mom: Sometimes I wonder if my children will only remember me for having perpetual wine breath.


Confession of a bad mom: I really can’t wait for my two littlest children to be able to tie their own shoes. Each time I have to do it, they hold onto my hair to balance themselves, which A) hurts, B) really messes it up and C) overall bugs the hell out of me.


Confession of a bad mom: I told the kids they couldn’t have cookies before dinner. Then I hid in the kitchen and stuffed down two. Now I’m worried they’ll smell my cookie breath. #ImtheadultImaketherules #doasIsaynotasIdo


Confession of a bad mom: Kian is playing a recorder in the school play next week. The teacher sent home a note with the option to purchase one of our very own for $3.25. Never have I been happier to conveniently, accidentally on purpose lose a piece of paper. #notinthisdamnhouse #keepitinschool


Confession of a bad mom: I think my children sound like little demons when they wake me up at night. For years they’ve been scaring the hell out of me as they stand next to my bed, staring creepily at me until I feel it and wake startled. Or they whisper in a prolonged, raspy, barely auditable voice, “Moooommm…”


Confession of a bad mom: Elf on the Shelf is ruining my life. #ihatehim #burnthelittlebastard


Confession of a bad mom: I once thought I’d like to start a business called S & M Wine Tours, named after a friend and me. But then I pictured my children telling their teacher, “My mommy works at S & M Wine Tours…” #goodideabadname  #sharonandmeghanwinetours


Confession of a bad mom: Someone recently asked me how we manage Christmas with four children. My response… “I have holes in my underwear.”


Confession of a bad mom: Chris came to bed late last night and I asked him if he remembered to move the Elf on the Shelf. He said, “No. Where do you want me to put him?” My response… “The garbage.”
#peopleforpeopleagainstelfontheshelf


Confession of a bad mom: Kelan, last night at his brother’s music concert, rolled his eyes when the kids started blowing in off-tune shrieks on their recorders and said to me, “Wow! That’s REEEAALLY annoying.” That moment when you realize your child really does emulate everything you say and do.
#sogladwedidnotpurchaseoneofourveryown #sometimesitmakesmesoproud


Confession of a bad mom: The elves on The Polar Express are as creepy as the one on my shelf. #imstartingtoreallythinktheyarereal #peopleforpeopleagainstcreepyelves


Confession of a bad mom: Getting little children dressed to go outside and play in the snow is one of the most exhausting and annoying things E.V.E.R. #theyllbebackininfiveminutes #holyshit #snowface #missingglove #imsweatingandneedadrink


Confession of a bad mom: My very smart children have now figured out how to blame various mishaps and occurrences, that may reflect negatively on them, on The Elf on the Shelf. What am I supposed to do, call b.s. and tell them I know they’re all little liars?????  #elfiediditnotme #thelittleredbastardisouttogetme #mychildrenaresmarterthenIam


Confession of a bad mom: Ailey was just lecturing my husband about “no more chicken head.” When I asked him what she was talking about, he said, “Apparently she didn’t like the ponytail I tried to do earlier today. She told me it looked like chicken hair.” #girlhairproblems  #weareinbigtrouble


Confession of a bad mom: Frozen just came on and I actually got more excited than the kids! #letitgo #singitloudsingitproud #mymovieisonstoptalking


Confession of a bad mom: Ailey snuggled up on me last night and before she drifted off to sleep she said, “Momma, your breath smells like grapes.” #mymommyalwayssmellslikewine #shewillunderstandwhensheisolder #pourmeanotherglass


Confession of a bad mom: There is no helping out of the car, hand-holding, book bag carrying, and walking the ten feet to the front door when dropping my kids off at school in the morning. It’s tuck and roll time, people. The countdown to departure begins as I round the corner of the school. I slow down just enough to withstand potential bodily injury and the door barely opens before they’re out it and on their merry way.

#getoutthecar#fourkidsfourschools  #aintnobodygottimeforthat


Confession of a bad mom: Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a commercial grade washer and dryer. You know, the giant ones that wash and dry ten loads at once. Yes, please.  #keepthediamondsandgivemesomethingIcanreallyuse #okIwilltakethediamondstoo  #climbingthelaundrymountain


Confession of a bad mom: I just moved that effing red bastard for the last time… until December, 2017. #itsallover  #elfontheshelfsucks


Confession of a bad mom: Somewhere in the deep recesses of sleep I just heard Braeden call out, “Mom, hurry and get in the bathroom! Kian is throwing up!!” And somehow, on cloud like wings, my feet flew before my slumbering body and found my little guy horribly sick into the toilet. For a brief moment, I think my husband shuffled in behind me. I caught a glimpse of his sleepy self as I wiped vomit from my little Kian’s face. I think he grunted and went back to sleep. After, when I crawled back into bed to his snoring, I said (too myself),”And that’s exactly why you don’t get to be the mom.” #numbertwoisdown  #weareallnext  #pukebugchristmasvacation #itsgoingtowhipoutthewholehouse


Confession of a bad mom: Ailey just realized I was holding an empty wine glass and said, “Oh! Let me get you some more wine!” And then ran to the refrigerator and grabbed the bottle…
#gotherwelltrained  #mommasfavoritegirl  #wineenthusiastintraining #proudmommoment


Confession of a bad mom: Chris just called me sweetie (I know. I don’t know why, either.) and I smiled and said to Ailey, “When you get older, you should marry a guy just like Daddy.” She shook her head and said, “I’m not gettin’ married! I’m just gettin’ lucky!” #jesushelpme #iamprettysureshedoesntknowwhatthatmeans #goodlucktowhoeverlandsher


Confession of a bad mom: That glorious moment when all of your children are in bed and asleep by 9 pm… and you find yourself still watching whatever crappy cartoon they had on. #tootiredtocare #spongebobsquarepantsforlife  #pourmeaglassofwineandIwillwatchanything


Confession of a bad mom: Trying to feed my children is the bane of my existence. They eat N.O.T.H.I.N.G. I make. And I’m a damn good cook! But I’m also a firm believer in the, “Eat it or go hungry” motto. So now, whenever the meal doesn’t suit them, they openly opt to go hungry … with a shrug. “Yeah, I’m good. I’ll just go hungry.”   #Idontlikethat  #thatlooksdisgusting #cantwinhereissomemacncheesefromabox


Confession of a bad mom: Kian’s birthday party was today. At one point, when I was laying down some ground rules, I asked who the boss was at my house.

Everyone (except Ailey who was lurking in the background) responded, “You are!”
Ailey answered, “Daddy!”
At which point everyone stared, horrified, at her. She then said, “Just kiddin,” and laughed.
Then one of Kian’s friends said to me, straight faced, “Seriously. I’m WAY more scared of you than I am of Chris!” #scarymom #aileyknowswhosboss #Ilaydownthelaw #daddymyass


Confession of a bad mom: My face when my children’s teachers send me the following notes:
“We’ve had 3 cases of head lice in our class.”
“There are 5 reported cases of strep in our classroom.”
“I sent home 3 children in our class today who have the vomit bug.”
“Your son misplaced the check you sent in for ski club. We can’t seem to find it anywhere. You may want to double check his bag.”

#sweetbabyjesus#ineedamoment #myheaditches #someonegrabmeabottleofwine

http://giphy.com/gifs/bachelorinparadise-season-3-bachelor-in-paradise-bip-26ueZwxdkR6Tng17W


Confession of a bad mom: I don’t jump up and run when my children start crying. I wait a minute to judge the pitch and tone of the cry. More often than not, it’s what I call a “crap cry” as opposed to a genuine, “I’m really hurt” cry. Therefore, my reaction time is almost non-responsive. And I’m pretty sure it stresses other people out. Like the time Ailey was flopping around in a foot of water and informed me, mid fake drowning, that I “Wasn’t even paying attention to my precious daughter!” Thank god she pulled through.   #yourenotbleeding  #spitonityourefine #makeamericagreatagainandstopbabyingyourchild

Check me out on Facebook at http://fb.me/amessageofmeanfromeghan and stay tuned for more confessions of a bad mom.

To my dear friend…

Me and JessTo my dear friend,

I’ve come across your picture a hundred times, your name keeps popping up on my Facebook news feed as someone to invite or like.  Each time it happens, my heart aches with grief.

It’s been a very difficult few weeks and I’ve struggled with what to say and how to feel.  Your passing has left so many with endless unanswered questions- what happened, why, how did it get to this point?  Sadly, none of it matters because you are gone, leaving traces of yourself in our hearts and memories; leaving the very image of yourself in your beautiful little girl.

Everyone grieves differently and I’ll never judge others in their celebration of your life.  But you knew me better than most and I know you’ll understand if I don’t raise a Bud Light in your honor or toast a cocktail to your memory.  I won’t honor you by highlighting the very vices that changed your life, your daughter’s life forever.

You were so much more than that.  So much more than the insecurities you struggled with. You were a daughter, a mother, a best friend; a sister to me.  I have thirty-three years of memories with you, a lifetime.   So I know you’ll excuse me if I don’t raise a drink in your name, but instead remember you for who you really were and who you could have been.

I’ll remember you when we first met in kindergarten when a fellow classmate’s glass eye popped out and rolled across the linoleum floor and how we stare in horrified amazement, feeling equally sorry for him as well as finding the humor in it.  I’ll remember your perfectly colored brown teddy bear picture and how I wished so badly that mine looked the same.

I’ll remember when we were in second grade and I gave you a fairly explicit lesson on childbirth as we sat in the elementary library and perused the How Babies Are Born book.  I’ll remember crossing over the bridge with you in Girl Scouts and fighting with you over the precious moments Christmas card for our Christmas placemat project.   I’ll remember calling you Nellie Olson.

I’ll remember my fourth grade locker room fight when you screamed, “Get her, Sadie!” and then hugged me later and told me you were sorry.  I’ll remember the time I felt ill in fifth grade and the substitute teacher wouldn’t let me go to the nurse.  I got sick in the garbage can and you held my hair out of my face and rubbed my back.  After, you walked me to the nurse and helped me wash my face and hands.

I’ll remember Girl Scout camp and singing “Down by the banks of the hanky panky,” NKOTB, your pink Kaboodle and stinky electric youth perfume.  I’ll remember the first time you kissed Matt Mayo, and when we traveled to Boston and Europe.

I’ll remember playing the Ouija board with you at Becky Stever’s sleepover party and how it said I was going to marry “Chris.”  We laughed about it years later when I did.

I’ll remember going to Hornell High School dances with you and Jamie Harwood.  I’ll remember picking you up every morning of our senior year and dragging your butt out of bed.  I’ll remember our college spring break trip to Panama City and our 30 plus hour bus ride and the guy with beer farts.

I’ll remember your apartment on Hart Street where I taught you how to make mashed potatoes and how we would sit on the front porch and watch thunderstorms.

I’ll remember the countless Christmas Eves we spent together, from the time we were in high school to years later when you were writing the Santa letter for my little ones.  Each Christmas, when I decorate my tree, I’ll remember you as I place each precious ornament you gave me on it.

I’ll remember you holding my gown so I could go to the bathroom at my wedding and how you told me I was so beautiful.  I’ll remember giving the speech at your wedding and how relieved you were that one of us spoke on your behalf.

I’ll never forget our trip to New Hampshire in a snow storm, when you told me you could ski and we quickly found out you could not.

I’ll remember how you loved fall because I loved fall so much and how you’d call me when you were putting your decorations up.

I’ll remember the hours I spent with you as you worked so hard to bring your beautiful child into this world.  I’ll remember that you were an amazing mother, who loved her daughter very much.  I’ll remember you for having the gift of loving people so much and being able to have such amazing, individualized relationships with so many.

I’ll remember the countless hours of laughter, tears and conversation we had.

I’ll pray for your soul and hope it finds peace.  I’ll honor your memory by never forgetting who you really were.  I have these memories and so many more and I promise to pass them on to your precious child and watch over her while you’re not here.  I’ll keep you in my heart forever.  I’ll honor you this way because you were so much more, my friend; my sister.

Moments like this are why…

I had to take a moment and share a very recent experience with you…

While I waited for my to-go lunch order, moments ago, I overheard (they were seated three inches away from me) two college students discuss the geographical location of Myrtle Beach. I sat in my chair with my head rested against its back and my eyes closed as I listened to their painfully moronic debate.

The young man said, in a pseudo-intellectual tone, “I’m pretty sure Myrtle Beach spans the coasts of both North Carolina and South Carolina.

The young woman replied, “Are you sure it’s not just in North Carolina? Wait… What’s closer to us? South Carolina or North Carolina?”

He answered, “North, I think.”

She asked, “So it’s in both states?”

He replied again, “Yes. I’m pretty sure it spans the coastline of both South Carolina and North Carolina.”

I tired to block them out as they continued their discussion about the very popular eastern tourist destination. All the while praying for my lunch to be done and my named called.

For a brief moment I tired to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re not from around here or are from the west coast and not familiar with large east coast tourist spots.

But then the young man said, “Yeah, it takes me like six hours to get from North Carolina to my house in Binghamton… I think.”

Roughly 3 minutes of hell passed as they went back and forth, finally agreeing to “Google it”.

However, I could take no more and spoke up, “Myrtle Beach is a large CITY on the coast of South Carolina.”

The young woman paused in her effort to Google their burning question and they both looked at me, wide-eyed.

It must have been my tone.

She thanked me and giggled, “I don’t know geography that well.”

I nodded, “Sure thing. Happy to help.”

With that, the blessed lunch gods finished my order and I was able to get the hell outta there. On my way back to my office all I could think was… This is EXACTLY why I need a tazer!

This experience definitely rates on my top ten most painful moments list.

Early morning perspective…

For the past few weeks I’ve been getting up a little earlier each morning and running.  I’m not going to lie, it’s not been easy.  Every time my alarm goes off, I gain a whole new appreciation for those who get up that early (and earlier) because they have work or other obligations pulling them from their beds.  However, the minute my feet hit the ground and I wash the sleep from my eyes I become filled with determination.

The other day I sneaked quietly down the stairs, careful not to wake my four sleeping children, and slipped out the front door into the chilly air.  The dawn was just peeking up over the edge of the hills and the sun’s rays had not yet spilled over them to warm the cold shadows of the valley below.

It was so very quiet and peaceful.  Birds chirped happily as fog rose from the trickling river.  My feet quickly found their pace.  My breath huffed out, crystalizing with each exhale as my heart pumped hard, pushing blood throughout my body.  It was not long before my legs ache and my lungs burned, but I continued to push myself further.  Working to steady my breathing, I thought, “Breathe. Evenly, in and out.  Just Breathe.  You can do this!”

And for some weird reason that simple thought was so profound to me…  I CAN do this.  There is no reason for me not to do this.  I’m out of shape, but my lungs are healthy, my heart is healthy, and I have nothing preventing me from doing this.  Even with my body pushed to its limit, I am able to get up early and run or walk.  I am not filled with cancer; I do not suffer from disease, depression, anxiety.  My body gave birth and fed four beautiful children.  I am so blessed.

As I thought this I began to think of others who are sick, who are dying, who are not able to walk, run or get out of bed. And my heart ached for them.  Tears filled my eyes as I thought of all of the suffering and sadness that people have in their lives. And I ran harder, because I can. I realized that my body would adjust, it was my mind that had to overcome the idea that it was hard, that I couldn’t do it.

As I ran; as I pushed my healthy body, I realized how blessed I was and prayed for those who are not.  I thought of their families who are left with holes in their hearts as they watch the people they love suffer.

Although my legs ached and my mind wanted to stop, walk, slow down for a little bit… I refused.  I thought of my beautiful niece who, not long ago, stood on the very step of Death’s door.  Emaciated, with no muscle, and no lungs she walked for her life, with the help of eight people, to qualify as a candidate for a double lung transplant.

I thought about the light-weight, pink sneakers that her father bought her- to champion her on as she fought to prove she would survive.  I thought about how she could barely wear those sneakers, because they felt like lead weights strapped to her feet.

I thought about her sister whose constant, chronic cough wracks her tiny frame as her body tries to rid itself from the ever-growing bacteria in her lungs.

My lungs are healthy, my legs will carry me without the help of eight people.

So I ran and will continue to run, to walk, to take care of my health body.  I do this because there are so many who cannot.  I do it for those who are sick, suffering and dying.  For those who are sad and heartbroken.  Their fight, their suffering has shown me how blessed I am.

It was an awful lot of perspective and emotion for so early in the morning.  But sometimes, in the quiet hours of dawn, the simplest thoughts can be the most profound. I have never been more inspired to be a healthy person and I wanted to share it with you.  Not because I’m looking for accolades, but because I think maybe my inspiration might motivate you as well.

Do something good for yourself.  Be grateful for your health. Put down your cigarette, grab a carrot stick; go for a walk.  Do it, because you can.