Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Next Step

I knew my people wouldn't fail me.

My last blog post has elicited all sorts of ideas and discussions.

Let's have a moment of joy for how easy it is to share and connect with people about ideas right now.

I have received texts, phone calls, and emails with thoughts on the issue of being lost and suggestions of what I could do. I have also had lunch, breakfast, and another outing scheduled for tomorrow to help process through this.

My tribe is the best.

Get a good tribe.

I can be your tribe if you need one.

We can do this.

Turns out, this is extremely common.  Most of the women I heard from either did struggle or are struggling with finding their place.  Wanting more, but not sure what that more is or how to get it without sacrificing their current role of Mom/Worker/Both.

Or their small slices of freedom.

I'm not burdened with much freedom currently so I don't have an struggle with giving up all my free time.  I guess that is a perk right now.

Thank you Max!

I didn't feel insecure about feeling lost, I am usually quite comfortable in my challenges, but it is always nice to know that you are not the only person trying to find your way.

Unfortunately now I am in a race against all these other lost moms to find the most amazing thing to do before they find it and steal it from me and I am a total loser.

Nothing fuels a better world than the scarcity mentality.

Obviously I am kidding.

I'm not in a race with anyone because I have no idea what I would be racing them toward.  I'm not a huge fan of racing in general so I'm perfectly content to settle in for this journey of self discovery, potentially ending with me just readjusting to where I am.

I really am quite the go-getter.  Endless ambition right here.

I know you are dying to know the suggestions.

Run for School Board
Volunteer for School in some formal capacity
Write More
Revamp my Arbonne business
Help Friends with their current business
Go back to Law School - thank you Tractor

I also went shopping with a few friends yesterday (yes, current life has it's fantastic days,) and I did see this outside Anthropolgie.

I think we can all agree that me getting a job at Anthro would have catastrophic consequences on my marriage though, and I really like my husband.

Since I would be paying for childcare, plus spending every dollar I made, plus $1000, to purchase intricately knitted shawls and bohemian looking dresses that would make me want to run in a field...which I would never have time to do because I would be working retail around the holidays and my kids would be sad because we couldn't do any of the things we usually don't do anyway but they feel sad about suddenly because I am helping people buy clothes while they hang with a babysitter and fuel my guilt about never making homemade mac and cheese that I didn't make before I started at Anthro but now truly can't happen because I would never fit in my discounted AG jeans after eating that crap and Alex would be sad because he loved those jeans and now has to counsel our previously well-adjusted kids on why their Mom is always at the store instead of making their lives perfect.

I wonder if I would get a headset though?

I really, really want a headset in whatever I end up doing.

Ok, Anthropologie just isn't a good fit.

A friend of mine leads life balance retreats for women and she sent me some info on that, which did sound like a good idea.  Check out the link below.

We could all do one together.

These are based on a book by Renee Trudeau called The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal so check that out if you feel called to do so.  Word on the street is that it's amazing.

She also told me about a fiction book that deals with this topic called The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer.  Unfortunately she doesn't recommend the book as a good read, but the title is just so perfect.

I keep thinking about that title.

This phase in life is like a really long nap for your brain and your sense of self, that totally exhausts you.  I have reached that ten year mark of doing this gig and am yearning to wake up, but Max.

Always, but Max.

I want to steal her title and write a better book.  Perhaps The Eleven Year Nap has a certain ring to it?


Keep the ideas coming folks, please.

I'm honored and excited to hear when anyone is thinking about this sort of journey of re-self discovery....for me or one you are on for yourself.

I'm going to keep listening and being open.  I'll keep writing.

I'm also starting something random with my friend Judy because we amuse ourselves with our discussions.  Perhaps you'll find them amusing and relatable too?

Coming soon on Instagram and Facebook....2momsinabar

That's genuinely all I can say.

You should follow us just in case we're amazing.

Or never know.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Lost, But Different From The TV Show

My last post had some people concerned that I may be feeling depressed.

(Hey Mom and Jenn Kloubec!  I love you!)

That is not true though.

I am no stranger to having dark days.

(I'm looking at you post-Aiden 2005 and post-Max 2015.)

I am not feeling depressed at all though. I am full functional Leslie, just a little lost.

As many of you know, Max's arrival was a complete surprise.

A complete surprise which I am eternally grateful for, but a surprise none the less.

There was a reason that Stella was to be our finale.

I was done.

I have served my time as the mom of the little ones.

I've arranged play dates in the park, joined mom's groups and attended Bible Studies for the free child care.

(And for the Jesus, but I really do remember holding a flier for the first Mom's Bible Study I ever participated in and tearing up when I saw that I all I had to do was buy my study book and then childcare was provided...for 2 hours!)

I have built train tracks and made my own play-doh and memorized the morning line up for PBS Kids.  I have figured nap schedules and tricks for healthy toddler snacks and researched the best Little People toys.

I am over it.

My brain truly CAN NOT handle another kid TV show.

I have memorized the theme songs for Handy Manny, Micky Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, Sid The Science Guy, and Super Why.

I do not want to know what is going on with Daniel Tiger and Paw Patrol. Just no.  No.

I don't want to find myself singing their songs.  This information is part of a world that I am straight up not interested in being around.

A few weeks ago I was thrown in to a high profile position for a vigorous community action campaign.

Or perhaps I posted a few things on our neighborhood FB page and hosted a meeting at my house (which I typed up talking points to discuss!) for a neighborhood school awareness situation.

Potato - Potado

(Is that even how you would type that expression?  I hope you all understand.)

It felt good though.  It felt really good.

I had purpose beyond the walls of this house. I was using my brain and my voice to work toward an action.

It was life giving to me.

I also was on the news for approximately 20 seconds so it played well to my need for attention.

Very important.

It was less than a week of all consuming work. When it was over I was relieved to be able to get some of my daily "Mom life" tasks completed, (and get my lashes done,) but it also left me hungry for more.  The end of all that hustle and doing left me feeling all that much more empty when I searched for a way to entertain Max for a few hours at the park the following week.

The intensity had been too much, but I sorely missed the task and the purpose it had provided.

A friend and I are toying with the idea of starting a restyling/decorating business. We worked together on my remodel and found we loved collaborating.  She has a true talent to see a space and be able to come up with a way to make it work beautifully.  Decorating is not my natural gift, but I can hang with the idea collaborating and I am great with client finding.

I also provide witty banter and snacks.

I am a real catch.

We are working with a few friends for free to see if we like it.

(No, we are not taking on any more free clients.)

I love being with my friend.

I like the work.

I'm not on fire though.

I don't feel inspired and purposeful like I want to feel.

I certainly don't think we'll be on the news anytime soon, so what's really the point?

Totally kidding.

I have a decent sized Arbonne business that is rolling along in spite of my taking time off of working that business.  There is nothing that can pay me like Arbonne, truly if you need to make a lot of money and don't want to work full time you should be running to that organization.

Unfortunately, it's just not on my heart right now. It isn't speaking to me.

In some ways I wish it were.

I've prayed about this a lot lately.

I'm waiting to hear what speaks to me.

I'm mostly praying that when I do hear something it won't sound like that theme song from Paw Patrol.

I have been a full-time stay at home Mom since Aiden was born almost 11 years ago and I love that role.  I know there is real value and purpose here.

I also know there are lots of ways to be an amazing Mom and I'm not sure I still need to be the one building the train tracks or grocery shopping with my 20 month old while he refuses to hold the chocolate donut I gave him.

It's gross.  I realize.

This is where I am now though folks.  I am doing this stuff for the fourth time and I have simply lost steam.  I left this world of babies and toddlers and was pretty over the moon about it.

Max is worth being back.

Max is worth learning the theme to Paw Patrol....I just don't want to learn it.

I need a life coach.

Or a job.

Or both.

Or another baby.


Call to action....Please call, text, write, or Facebook your detailed plan for my next phase in life.

I would like to be here for after school and evening time so take that in to consideration when you construct the perfect situation.

I would also like to bring in one million dollars a month and bring about world peace.

I feel so much better knowing you guys are working on this now so I can stop stressing.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lamest Blog Post Ever

It's hardest for me to start writing when I haven't for a while.

I usually have a big event that sparks my need to "write it out" and explore it in words on the screen, and then it feels easy to just keep going.

It's been a while though and lots of big things have happened, but I was lost in the chaos.  I never forced the moment to sit by my computer and ignore the chaos just long enough to express and process it.

So here we are, it's been over five months.

Nothing written.

I lost my big moments to start with some I am starting where I am.

Seems like a logical place to begin.

The last five months were packed with opportunities to make you laugh and make me see the funny side of the insanity that is my normal life.

The tough moments are my favorite to write about by far...and there were a few pickles this past summer.

The lice situation.

All but Alex had lice, even Max.  It sucked.  It really, really sucked.


I cannot stress enough that you should avoid having a toddler around when remodeling. This was only one of the "situations" we had during the process.

I am so grateful to be done, but that process consumed me and was pure torture with a toddler around.    

I eventually started having my trim carpenter make all my decisions because I simply was not capable of processing anything else.

That sounds absurd, because it is, but it was absolutely how things went down after I started losing all my marbles.

The death of two AC units also brought on a bit of torture in the middle of August, in Texas.  I don't have a photo of any of us sweaty and being extra cranky though because I rarely remember to pull out the camera in those times.

I have my faults.

I do have this photo of my children eating an overpriced meal once I went off the edge and Alex sent us away to a resort nearby where they had air conditioning and people named Robert who will bring you anything you want to drink.

There was definitely more good than bad this summer. 

There was joy in so many moments, in so many places.

Vail, Colorado in a fancy resort.

Bulk wine deliveries.

Neighborhood Swim Team

Quick access to Grandma and Tractor for dinner in a strange German restaurant where most of my children ordered the German classic...spaghetti.

My children helping to write blessings on the wall of a home being built for husband and wife veterans.

An adorable baby in a bucket of beer.

Nothing could top the return of school though. See the joy on Aiden's face?

Even Max has started his time at school with two days a week in a Mother's Day Out program.  It is glorious.

We are seven weeks in though and I am starting to feel lost again.

That initial euphoria of having a few hours to myself and many hours with just one toddler is waning.

I am losing my lunch packing steam.  Bagging my own chips feels like too much effort and I started buying the bagged Sun Chips.  My kids won't touch the onion ones though so I have so many extra bags of onion chips that I feel guilty and try to eat them myself, but I hate them too so I open them and then throw them out so I can at least say I tried. Soon I'll probably slip in to mini bags of Doritos because I can't be bothered to make a special trip for slightly better, prepackaged potato chips and I can't for the life of me stand to bag the chips the night before by myself because I am so over the day. I need some time to myself and bagging chips for my kids at 9 PM is just too much to ask. I WON'T DO IT!

These are the things that are wearing on me.

I realize the pathetic nature of all the words in that chip paragraph. It's just how it's going down right now though.

I feel overwhelmed.  

I feel I'm drowning.

I feel smothered.

I feel this is life and I need to just get a grip and get on with it.

But I am struggling.

But I really don't know why.

In general I can get all of my kids' needs taken care of without too much insanity.  Or a regular amount of insanity that I am comfortable with now that I have four children.

I can cook and take care of the house and laundry.

What it comes down to is I am craving something more.  I am restless. The kids and house are not enough.  They are not me.

What do I want to do though?

Lamest blog post ever.

This is where I am though.  Starting where I am.  No big thing to be funny.  Just me a little lost.

Next post will be more.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

If Only Aiden Would Commit a Crime

The summer before I met my high school boyfriend, Mike, he was on house arrest.

For the whole summer.

For destruction of federal property...he blew up a mailbox.

He was so cool.

I often think of how he told me he spent that summer talking on the phone and playing volleyball (by himself) up against the shed in his backyard.

He was bored, but he worked it out.

He didn't have a fancy smart phone to access unlimited You Tube clips and games and social media.

This was the early nineties, I don't even know what we were all doing.  I didn't even have cable TV going up so I don't think TV watching was a big pastime.

I swear I have a point.

On Sunday Aiden had his iPad privileges revoked for a week for lying.

Lying is pretty high on our "never do" list.  I

t's listed third on the Dadidakis Family Code, but it's punished like it's first.

Code you say?

Yes, we have a code.

The top reads "in progress," but it's pretty much finished.

No one around here has taken the time to retype it though and place things in the appropriate order, like moving God to the top, because we operate in a certain amount of chaos at all times.

No offense God, we're confident you understand.

Taking away iPad privileges is pretty much the worst thing you can do to Aiden.  He would rather be isolated from friends, locked in his room, or miss any big event than to not get to play Clash of Clans and check his Instagram feed for seven days.

This bothers me.

This bothers me a lot.

In his defense, sort of, I feel in a constant state of panic when my kids are on their iPads so I limit their time anyway.  Being allowed to play on an iPad around here is usually a daily thing, but only after everything else is done, a timer has been set for thirty minutes, and I can't find a way to bribe them in to doing anything else.

We are a little more loose on the weekends or during a lengthy road trip or appointment wait or when I am ill...because my comfort actual does trump the preservation of my children's minds.

Comfort is my idol.

So perhaps I/we have perpetuated the scarcity mentality my boys have for iPad time and have created their panic to be able to get on it.

You can't convince me that they should play it whenever they like though, I tried that last summer and I had pasty white boys that couldn't stop looking at the screen of their iPads long enough to speak to me, go out with a friend, or swim in our pool.

Needless to say, Aiden is a bit down these last few days.

In addition to his loss of iPad, he has started a losing campaign for his own phone.

To be clear, I would be all for giving him a phone to talk to people and make emergency phone calls.

He's not interested in a phone though, he's interested in a smart phone.

Most of his arguments revolve around the fact that "all his friends have them," which isn't true anyway and is totally irrelevant.

My stance is firm.

Aiden usually ends up teary and convinced he has the worst parents ever at the end of one of our discussions about a phone.

(Nothing could scream JOB WELL DONE LESLIE! more than my kid thinking I'm the worst.)

(That's a sincere statement, no sarcasm.  If I am pleasing my kids all the time, I am failing and I am convinced that they will turn in to an ungrateful, lazy, entitled bunch that I will end up supporting for years post thank you.)

Aiden typed up this adorable plea sheet for me a few days ago though.

I commended him for his effort, but quickly told him there is nothing he could do that would change my mind.

This led to more tears.

(I quickly pointed out to him that crying when told no only exemplifies my point of not being mature enough to handle a smart phone. Pointing this out did not help.)

He hated me, his life, his shared bedroom, Max's shouting, Stella's joy, the list could never end.

Tuesday though, he found a baby turtle.

He brought it inside, put it in a bowl and created a little turtle world for it out of a surprisingly appropriate collection of items he found in Stella's room, and focused on the turtle.

This is the type of stuff I want them to do all the time.

(And to be honest, they do love doing these things, and often do them, but not when iPad time is an option.)

So after school yesterday he decided to try to build it a home outside.

Max and I helped because it's fun to hang out with happy Aiden.

I gave him lots of good advice of about how to build the turtle structure.  Aiden complimented my new highlights while we worked and discussed how unfortunate it is for me that I don't have his natural highlights...he's literally one of my favorite people to be around.

Max ate dirt...which was also helpful.

I was so happy he was working on something rather than moping around the house about his horrible lot in life in landing me as a mom.

I had visions of him playing volleyball again our imaginary shed like Mike did and growing as a person because he had to entertain himself and make his own amusement. This turtle and the building of a habitat were going to help prove to Aiden that he didn't need any electronics to be ok for seven days.

He would probably even drop his plea for a phone.

He also would probably make a new list of all the reasons I am the best Mom ever and then write me a poem about how I helped form him in to a self-sufficient, hard-working man.

(This was really a long term vision.  I assume the poem would be something he would read to me at high school graduation, of course.)

Unfortunately, I might not have given the greatest advice and the turtle escaped when Aiden came inside to play a game of chess.

The speed with which that turtle escaped was pathetically fast for the reputation turtles carry.

I assume an owl carried it away.

That might not make sense, but it makes me feel better.

This was a major fail on my part, though in my defense, I never claimed to have actual turtle habitat knowledge.

Aiden was devastated.

He reverted back to his task of moping about his lack of iPad time and his loathing of me.

Does anyone else struggle with their kids finding peace without an electronic?

Is anyone else panicked about making their kids OK without them?

Does anyone have a turtle we could borrow?

Or a volleyball and a shed?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What Is Going On?

We had a great spring break.

(I know, spring break was a million years ago for the Texas people reading, but bear with me.)

The kids loved Great Wolf Lodge, we had a good time because the kids were pleased, and Max could roam freely in a lot of places.  

Other than Cole getting picked on in the wave pool, Aiden punching a kid in defense of Cole, a 6 am fire evacuation, Max being terrified of a fake gorilla at dinner and having to leave the restaurant, and half the family being sick when we returned, it was a perfect family getaway.

I realize I sound like I am being sarcastic about the "perfection" part, but if you were actively participating in our current stage of parenting, it really was as close to a perfect trip as we could get.

Two days filled with an acceptable amount of chaos and torture is our current definition of perfect.

Welcome to parenting four young kids. 

Max is so challenging anywhere that he can not be easily contained so a large indoor water park and kid-friendly hotel was as good as we could hope for right now.  We had been at a beautiful house in the hill country the weekend before and Alex and I literally had to walk with him at every moment because there were stairs or a cliff or a hill to open water everywhere so we never could both sit down at the same time.  

We are at the annoying water park stage of life. 

Cole getting picked on was sad, but at the same time it was amazing to hear that Aiden stuck up for him.  Our kids play together, but often fight and find their own things to do at home, but on this trip they all played together.  Even Stella was included in Aiden and Cole's adventures.


Every since spring break though, I can't find a rhythm for life.

I feel somewhat lost, overwhelmed, and always ten steps behind where I should be.

I can't seem to find even thirty minutes to sit down and babble on the internet.   I'm not exactly sure what has happened, but I am reasonably sure it is Max's fault.

He has moments where he plays independently and lets me accomplish few things, but any of my to-do's which involve sitting at the computer are strictly forbidden. 

I assume he is collaborating with Alex to avoid any online shopping.

Or he just hates when he sees me rest. 

I think all my children are most comfortable and secure when I am running around cooking, picking things up, doing laundry, or carrying the youngest child around with me. 

I spend a confusing amount of time picking up bread.  Max enjoys taking items out of the bread drawer so that he can eat the bread, dump it on the floor, or snuggle with it so the bread is more interestingly shaped for making sandwiches. 

I love a good bread match up challenge. 

Thank you Max.

I also spend a lot of time cleaning up pools of liquid I find on the floor. All of them look like water, but actually end up being pee, dog vomit, or sometimes actually water.

Something doesn't seem right when I am smelling a wet paper towel multiple times a day.

This situation is the result of Max bashing his water cup against things and spilling large quantities of water, dogs drinking water too fast because I so rarely keep it out for them because Max will spill it if left unattended, and general dog anxiety from being ignored due to too many other life forms in this house which require more attention than they do.

Rarely is the pee a result of Max's attire pictured above.  I actually do follow him around on the way to the bath.

I have been copying and rewriting the same to-do list on my calendar for three straight weeks.

One of those items is blood work my doctor told me to go do.

That feels important, but apparently it's not more important than the random things I keep doing each day.

I just can't get it together.

It has taken me three days to write this post.  I have zero memory of what the top half of this post is even about now. Did I mention spring break?  Did I tell you I'm scattered?  That's basically all I have in my head right now.

One of my biggest challenges in writing this after I stuck Max in his crib was the computer mouse.

It sounds like an easy task to change the batteries, but it turned in to one of those children's books, "If You Give A Moose a Muffin," or "If You Give a Dog a Donut."

I had to change the batteries so went to the tub where we keep batteries.

I found a receipt I had been looking for over the last few months.

I put the receipt in my wallet and saw a check I forgot to deposit.

I deposit the check via my cell phone and realize my cell service was just disconnected.

I call AT&T to figure out what's going on and they tell me they didn't mean to do that and turn it back on but they need me to check my TV service.

I turn on the TV and realize my DVR isn't working.

I get them to fix the DVR and see the time on the TV and realize Max never ate lunch.

I feed Max lunch and realize my refrigerator is scary dirty.

I clean the fridge and create a giant mess in my kitchen.

Someone please help me stop the madness.

I just want to change a battery, make a sandwich with normal bread, stop smelling wet paper towels, and sit down for a few minutes.

It sounds so simple.

Did I tell you about spring break?

What is going on?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Max Defies The Odds and Gets Cuter

Yesterday, this happened...

I mean, there are hardly words.

I can not




I feel like I have a new doll.

It's unlike any doll I ever had as a child though because I am overcome with all sorts of mushy feelings the moment I see him in these glasses.

Also, if I had a doll that had glasses it wouldn't take them off.


Like every time I put them on it's head.

I wish I had a doll.

The doctor offered a simple strategy for a smooth adjustment for Max.

When he takes them off, give him a few minutes and try to distract him with something else, then put the glasses back on his head.

Then try to occupy his hands with something he is interested in so he won't reach for the strap.

Then act out a brief portion of the Broadway musical Cats, complete with costumes and appropriate lighting, because babies love Cats and outdated musicals.  5-7 minutes is fine, keep it simple.

Repeat for about a month and then if he still won't keep them on we'll try something else.

Fine, he didn't mention the Cats performance, but he might as well have.  Max has had glasses for approximately seventeen hours, 12 of which he has been asleep and I'm losing my mind trying to entice him to wear them.

This would be so much easier if he were slightly older so I could handle this the way most challenging situations with children should be handled...bribery.

Wear your glasses for one hour and you can have some ice cream.

I offered, but he acted like he didn't even hear me.

I feel like there should be some way to fast track a fourth kid to adjust to glasses.

Perhaps the doctor should have to come live with us for the first 48-72 hours and be in charge of this?

Maybe they could be medically attached to his face?

Perhaps there is a spell we could cast to make him unaware the glasses are there?

I'm open to suggestions here.

Everyone is asking if Max has noticed any difference when wearing them.

I do understand the question, but I would like to remind everyone that Max still aggressively slams his pointer finger on to his high chair tray to demand more food, so he's not so much in to explaining new revelations about his improved sense of sight yet.

Please rephrase the question.

Or don't, because it's amusing every time.

I did assume there would be a big Oprah "a-ha" moment when he put on his glasses.

This was mostly fueled by my friend Keri sending me a video of a baby wearing glasses the first time.  I didn't actually watch the video, because I forgot, but she told me all about the baby hearing his mom's voice and turning to her and getting so excited upon seeing her face clearly for the first time.

It sounded magical so I assumed Max wouldn't let me down.

Please check out the emotional video below.

Despite the fact that he doesn't actually see my face in this video, it's apparent that he really could not have cared less.

He was more excited about that fruit snack than when he saw my face through the glasses the first time.  Perhaps he also thought I magically pulled it out of his ear?

I forced my sweet babysitter to come along on this journey to video this HUGE moment.

Sorry Mandy.

You'll never get those 30 minutes back.

He has had a few periods where we he will wear them for 20 or 30 minutes.  He wore them for about 20 minutes this morning until Stella touched them.

Stella has to go live with my parents for a while now.

I'm kidding.

But seriously I thought about it for a few minutes after that.

I'm sure he'll get used to them and soon it will just be the norm, but can I get a few prayers that this takes less than a month?  I am reasonably confident that I will lose my mind before we reach week three.

That would increase the chance of me dressing like a Cat and singing Memories though....something to consider.

I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Keri Says to Look Up...So You Have To

Not sure how it happened, but I am included on a Facebook group for moms with babies.

That doesn't sound overly strange because I have Max, but many of the moms, unlike me, are new to motherhood and still have hope of finding the right answer to all the questions they post.

There is, understandably, a lot of seeking.

Should I buy a jogging stroller? (yes)

What brand of formula is best? (doctor question)

Should I leave my baby home on my vacation?  (always)

Is there a way to properly cut baby bangs? (proper hairstylist)

Should I feel guilty about daycare?  (no)

Should I let my baby cry it out?  (probably)

What is everyone doing with their placentas? (what the what?)

I feel so many things when I read these.

Sympathy, curiosity, confusion, exhaustion, and perhaps at times a little bit like I'm watching a car wreck and can NOT look away.

That placenta discussion was legit.  I had no business reading every response since I won't be faced with the placenta issue anymore, (and there were over 30 comments,) but I was just so curious.

The things you don't know are happening with placentas would astound you.

I want to give everyone on that group a big hug.

Even when someone is just asking a question about milk, it feels wrapped in concern that they are going to screw it all up.  As if failure to make the perfect decision about percentage of milk fat or placenta usage or that baby hair, will divert off the path of a great life.

Hear and your child will be just fine whether you turn that placenta in to a pill or plant it in your yard or forget it came out entirely and leave the hospital with zero placenta thoughts or plans.

The latter happened to me four times and I'm a parenting genius!

Just yesterday I was marveling at my ability to catch Max playing with scissors before any harm actually came to him.  I arrived 5 minutes EARLY to Stella's ballet costume meeting, which means I also knew it was even happening.  I took care of all the things Max threw in the toilet before they clogged the entire thing.  I only let my voice go to that scary place when trying to manage dinner-bath-bed twice last night.


On Sunday I went to a birthday party where this was happening and I didn't even scream.

That's just amazing parenting.

This might surprise you though, I don't have all the answers.  None of us do.

My friends with a lot of kids are just as jacked up as the new Moms, the problems they are concerned about are definitely different...the feelings are the same.

New Mom fear over how many ounces of juice to give her toddler is old Mom fear over how her ten year old is going to work through anger issues.

There are all sorts of challenges and situations you never thought you would have to deal with and suddenly they are making life hard for your child, and you have no clue how to make it better.

And it sucks.

Inadequacy is a real struggle for all parents.

I don't know a single parent who doesn't feel concerned from time to time that they are doing what they should be doing for their kids.

(Except possibly my brother or my Mom.)

It's an overwhelming feeling when their child is struggling, or when they are making a big decision, or when a parent screws up...because we all screw up.

(Except possibly my brother or my Mom.)

I come bearing great news though.

You are in fact totally inadequate!

Who doesn't like being right?

Other good news though?

You don't have to be more than you are!

You can ask your friends and consult books and poll Facebook about a million topics, but feel some confidence in the fact that you are doing great because you are seeking at all.

If you want to do the best for your kids then you probably are. It doesn't mean it will be easy or always turn out perfectly, but your best is enough for your part in all this.

God will take care of the rest.

As my friend Keri is constantly texting me when I complain and whine and stress (I'm really fun to be close friends with,) "Look Up," it will take care of everything.

We'll all keep seeking and asking and posting looking for direction and affirmation and that's OK, but it's still going to feel overwhelming and like we are screwing them up.

We probably aren't, but even if we are a little, every kid needs a good story and all the cool adults have therapists.

Just keep this on repeat...

I am an amazing parent.

I am enough.

Therapy is cool.

I can always look up.

And this 21st birthday video to my kids' nanny from last summer (shout out to the amazing Judy,) makes me think I'm doing it all right, for exactly 23 seconds.

Disclaimer: Cole was sick.