The Tormented Life Of A Mother Suffering With Endometriosis

I recently came across a post from Coins & Babble about a day in the life of a chronically ill mom.  Like myself, T suffers from endometriosis.  Reading about her daily struggles made me realize that my case was not a unique one.  It’s one that too many mothers experience.

Without hesitation, I asked T to write a guest post for Running in Triangles about being a mother with endometriosis.

The Tormented Life of a Mother Suffering with Endometriosis* This post may contain affiliate links *
* This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of www.runningintriangles.com.  Due to the nature of the topic, this post may contain graphic details that some may find disturbing.


The Tormented Life Of A Mother Suffering With Endometriosis

A guest post by Tifanee from Coins & Babble

Endometriosis. It may not be a word you’ve heard before. But I know you’ve heard the word mother. Take a walk in my shoes.
The Tormented Life of a Mother with Endometriosis
CoinsandBabble.com

Endometriosis Reality

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where endometrial-like tissue is found outside of the uterus.

What happens to a woman with Endometriosis is SO much more than that though. It feels like you have hundreds, sometimes thousands of blisters on your insides. Imagine that. Think for a minute of the pain you have when you have an open blister while wearing your heels but you still have to walk in them. Now, imagine walking with those blisters covering your insides. It’s excruciating pain every minute of every day. Endometriosis causes extreme fatigue and usually a low immune system. Most of the time in the bodies of women with Endometriosis, their organs are eventually completely stuck to each other.

When you get your period, plan to take the next two weeks of life off. For the most part, you’re bed-ridden. I would like to take this opportunity to say, I have a high pain tolerance. I went through 27.5 hours of labor drug-free. The pain I experience with Endometriosis still causes me to be bed-ridden. Don’t think the women diagnosed with this horrendous illness are wimps, they’re probably some of the toughest ladies you’ll ever know. The pain is so bad, your willing to burn your skin with a rice bag just to distract from the pain inside.

Among the many symptoms of Endometriosis, one of the most talked about is infertility. I truly feel pain in my heart for those women who aren’t and haven’t been able to have children because of Endometriosis.

But today, we’re going to talk about the women who WERE able to have children…

Being A Mom With Endometriosis

Two-thirds of the women who are diagnosed with Endometriosis will be able to have children at some point in their lives. For me, that was early in my life. If I’d have waited to have children I wouldn’t have been able to grow them myself.

While I would never change my three beautiful babies, being a mom to them while struggling with Endometriosis is the hardest part of my life. I feel a ridiculous amount of mom guilt to start. In one of my previous articles on Endometriosis, I talked about the fact that I have less energy than someone going through treatment for cancer. One of the hardest parts of my life has been not being able to get out of bed to be with my kids.

As a mom, especially when your kids are little, your sole purpose in life is them. Not because it HAS to be, because you want it to be. But for me, Endometriosis has made that impossible. It has ripped away moments and delights with them that I can never get back. That I will never have a chance at again. This breaks my heart inside. It makes me sick to my stomach and furious.

My youngest daughter is almost five and most of our days together are spent in bed. When we play games, they are usually from my bed. She brings connect four to my bed and we set it up on the box for a steadier surface and play. It’s wrong and unfair, not only for her, for me as well.

My children go through the stress of this unimaginable illness with me. They’ve had to watch me deteriorate and suffer knowing that nothing can be done. It’s almost enough to completely break me when I think of that. But, of course, I’m a mom and I won’t let anything break me. I will struggle and suffer through torment with a beaming smile on my face to participate in field trips. I will hide the bags and tear stained face with my professional makeup so I can watch them in swimming lessons. I will build a snowman outside while I’m in agony inside.

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don't Speak Up about Chronic Pain
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Is This It?

For a mom with Endometriosis, there is no staying in bed all week during a bad week. There is no catching up on the housework later or skipping dinner. You get up and show up no matter what. Until you face the unimaginable reality, that you just can’t. You don’t know what you’ll do, but you know you can’t do this anymore. If you have to live through this anguish for one more minute you will plunge into your despair and let it take over.

You go for tests and you try hormone treatments. You finally decide your body will never again be the remarkable body it used to be. It will no longer be a body that can support the life of another. To be able to keep any type of life you have now, you need to get rid of the organs that held and grew your precious children for the first part of their life.

At first, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. Plenty of women get hysterectomies. It’s not talked about a lot, but it’s absolute misery for me. Knowing that soon, my body won’t be the body I have had my whole life. I will never be able to have a precious sweet baby inside my womb. My pelvis will be dark and empty and filled with the monster Endometriosis.

This is my tormented life of a mother suffering with endometriosis.
T…

[Read more from Tifanee at Coins & Babble and follow her on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook]


Battling Endometriosis While Suffering from Postpartum Depression
Read about my own struggle with endometriosis

Endometriosis Resources

Endometriosis.org – the official website

Endomarch.org – The 2018 Worldwide Endometriosis March is scheduled for March 24.  Get more information and donate to Endo research.

Nancy’s Nook Endometriosis Education Facebook Group – a great resource for endometriosis support and medical information

Endometriosis Support Group – a Facebook group with over 12k members offering support and advice for women with endometriosis

Hystersisters.com – Hysterectomy support and information

A Treat For Mom

9 Reasons why Mothers Don’t Speak Up about Chronic Pain

You wouldn’t know by looking at me, but I have suffered from chronic pain for over 5 years.

I was recently diagnosed with a medical condition called endometriosis It took over a year, five different doctors, several ER visits, countless tests and a long list of medications to finally get an answer.  In the end, it was too late anyway and I lost the majority of my reproductive organs.

[You can read more about my battle with endometriosis here]

And while I want to blame the medical system for failing me, I can’t deny the fact that I ignored the pain for FOUR YEARS before deciding to do something about it.

As a mother, there are so many reasons why I didn’t feel my pain was a priority.  Prior to having children to take care of, I’m sure it would have been a major concern and perhaps I would have gotten a diagnosis sooner rather than later.   Here are some reasons why mothers don’t speak up about chronic pain.

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don't Speak Up about Chronic Pain

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


1. We put others first

One of the most distinguishable characteristics of a mother is that they put others before themselves.  The more people we have to take care of, the more our own needs get bumped to the bottom of the list.  And some most days that list never gets completed.  So while we might have every intention of taking care of ourselves, there just aren’t enough hours left over at the end of the day after taking care of everyone else.

The Tormented Life of a Mother Living with Endometriosis
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2. We don’t want to scare our children

I will never forget the fear in my daughter’s eyes when she came to visit me in the hospital, hooked up to machines and IV’s and unable to move.  In an attempt to protect my children from seeing their mother in such a vulnerable state, I kept quiet about my pain around them.  When they think back on their childhood, I wouldn’t want them to remember me in constant pain and not able to do anything fun with them.


3. We hate to let people down

We want to be supermom, as unattainable as it might be.  We want to be there for our kids and our spouses, our families and friends.  We want to bake the perfect cupcakes for the bake sale and volunteer at every charitable event.  We want to cheer our kids on from the sidelines and chase after them at the playground.  Dealing with chronic pains means we probably won’t get to do all of those things and so we push through it just to avoid disappointing anyone.


4. Nothing compares to childbirth

Sure, you’re in pain, but it’s not as bad as childbirth.  It’s worse if you’ve given birth without any drugs because then you’re expected to be able to handle anything.  But chronic pain and labor pain are two entirely different things.

Labor pain is a right of passage with an amazing reward at the end.  All mothers have had a chance to experience it in some way or another, it’s just part of life.

Chronic pain means something is wrong.  It is not a welcome pain, and there is no end in sight.  Add in the psychological trauma that comes along with wondering WHY you’re in pain and it’s a whole different monster.

.

5. It’s hard to ask for help

This rings true for most people, not just mothers suffering from chronic pain.  To ask for help means putting aside our pride, which is something most mothers have a very difficult time doing.  We are proud of the home we’ve kept and the children we’ve raised.  We’ve got a system and routine and we can’t expect just anyone to come in and take over.  If we admit that we need help, then we’re no longer in the running for supermom.


6. No one knows how to to do what we do

I’m not even sure what I do all day.  All I know is that no one else knows how to do it.   So if my husband asks me what needs to be done, I couldn’t tell him.  I just get up in the morning and do what I do.  I see something that needs to be done and I do it.  There is no master list.  There is no “how-to guide” to being a stay at home mom.  And even if I wrote out a to-do list, it would probably need to be changed at least 12 times because… toddlers.


we keep quiet about a lot of things…

7. We’re afraid to miss out

These kids grow up so fast.  We’re afraid to blink for fear of missing out on something and so taking time off to deal with our chronic pain is out of the question.  As much as we want alone time, we also want to be there to experience it all.  We want to see that excited expression on their faces when experiencing something new.  We want to hear their hysterical laughs while playing at the park or watching a funny movie.  We don’t want to miss out on our children’s childhood because of chronic pain.


8. We’ve tried all the home remedies

We are lucky to live in a world where we have so many choices when it comes to our health.  If you want to know what all of those options are, then all you need to do is mention to someone that you suffer from chronic pain.  Product recommendations, home remedies, naturopathic solutions, essential oils, vitamins, etc., are all wonderful and often welcome suggestions… at first.  And we get that people want to help but, after a while, we’re tired of being targeted by those selling some type of miracle product that promises to cure all that ails us.

Chronic Pain: Cost Effective and Quick Fix Methods to End Your Pain: Innovative Solutions to a Pain Free Life by [Longstaff, Nicole]
Amazon.ca

9. We hate being labeled

Complainers.  Hypochondriacs.  Unhealthy.  Drug addicts.  There are many people who use pain as an excuse.  Those people make things much harder for the rest of us who are in actual pain.  We don’t speak up about chronic pain because there are so many people who don’t understand it.  It’s not just about what others think of us, it’s about how we are treated.  For five years I suffered from chronic pain but was still able to do anything and everything and I often wonder if things would have been different if I was more vocal about my pain.

Battling Endometriosis While Suffering from Postpartum Depression
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The cause of chronic pain is less important than how it affects your life.  Many people have no choice but to speak up about their chronic pain and ask for help.  But for some mothers, myself included, we are afraid to show weakness.  We don’t want to be a burden.  And so we keep it inside and go it alone. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re reading this and felt like I was talking to you, maybe it’s time to let your guard down.  Seek help and let those in your life know that you are suffering.  If they truly love you, they won’t think any less of you and will want to do whatever they can to ease your pain.


click here to learn more about

Chronic pain and endometriosis

10 Websites for Back to School Shopping in Canada

I used to love shopping… until I had three kids.  Now it’s more of a marathon run than an enjoyable activity.  Enter online shopping!

While the odd trip to the malls is unavoidable, I try to do as much shopping online as possible – especially when I’m looking for something specific.  I can research and price check and read reviews – all from the comfort of my own home and without being begged to go to the toy section.

In Canada, the selection and shipping options seem to be much more limited (vs. the US) but there are still plenty of deals to be found if you look in the right places.  Here are a few of my favorite stores for Back to School Shopping in Canada.

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


1. Indigo Books & Music

WEBSITE: www.chapters.indigo.ca
WHAT TO BUY: Backpacks & Lunchboxes
indigo.ca

I love their unique designs like this Scented Emoji Backpack.  There are lots of great name brands and the prices are also super affordable!

They also have a big selection of cute lunchboxes and accessories like reusable snack bags in a bunch of different patterns and bento box lunch kits.

SHIPPING: FREE shipping on orders over $25 + FREE to ship to any Chapters Indigo location in Canada.


Free Shipping on Orders Over $25!


2. Staples Office Supplies

WEBSITE: www.staples.ca
WHAT TO BUY: UHU glue sticks, Crayola products, binders, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.
UHU® Glue Stick, 40 g
staples.ca

You can pretty much find anything you need on your school supply list at Staples, with the same prices you would find in store!

UHU glue sticks are by far one of the best and preferred by teachers but they’re pricey and harder to find.  Staples carries them by the caseload so you can stock up (this is great if you have multiple kids with glue sticks on their supply lists)

SHIPPING:  FREE shipping on orders over $45 + some items are available for FREE pickup at your local Staples store in as little as 2 hours!

3. Zulily

WEBSITE: www.zulily.com
WHAT TO BUY: Kids Clothes & Shoes

This is a great site to get deals on dress clothes for picture day!  There is a huge selection from different brands but it changes nearly every day and offers don’t last long so if you see something you like – buy it!

You need to sign up for a free account before you can start shopping, but beware – it can get very addicting!

If what you’re looking for is time sensitive – then order well in advance as Zulily does not ship out their products until the entire promotion ends.

When shopping from Canada, make sure that you change your country flag and currency in the top right corner!

SHIPPING:  The price of shipping varies however, when you pay for shipping with your first item then you get free shipping on all your other purchases for that day.



4. Mabel’s Labels

WEBSITE: www.mabelslabels.com
WHAT TO BUY: Personalized Labels for Clothing and School Supplies
Ultimate Back-to-School Combo
mabelslabels.com

The Starter Pack offers a good selection of different sized labels, but they also offer an Ultimate Back to School Combo if you need more.

I love the variety of different customization options and also that the labels are waterproof, dishwasher & microwave safe – so you can apply them once and never have to worry about them coming off (even in the washing machine!)

Whether your kid is just starting preschool, or ready to graduate – they’re going to need their things labelled.  Get the labels that are sure to last.

Click here to check if your school does fundraising through Mabel’s labels before placing your order!

SHIPPING: FREE shipping for all orders in Canada!


5. Sportchek

WEBSITE: www.sportchek.ca
WHAT TO BUY: Kids Athletic Shoes
Reebok SoQuick Kids' Grade-School Running Shoes
sportchek.ca

Starting at $40, you can get a pair of Under Armour or Reebok runners for your kids for gym class or to use as indoor shoes.

I normally cheap out on shoes because my kid’s feet grow 2 sizes/school year, but considering that they will be wearing these shoes for the majority of the school day, I’ve learned it’s better to splurge on good quality ones.

SHIPPING: Free shipping on orders over $50

6. Hickies

WEBSITE: www.hickies.com
WHAT TO BUY: Adjustable elastic shoelaces
Rainbow
hickies.com

Kids and shoelaces…  I don’t know about your kids but mine still don’t know how to properly tie their laces.  And I’m certain that when the recess bell rings they’d rather run off with loose laces than spend time trying to figure it out.  I’ve avoided buying them shoes with laces for this very reason, however velcro runners aren’t always the most stylish or comfortable, either.

I discovered these Hickies elastic shoelaces last year to save my son some time at recess and they’ve been a lifesaver.  I love how many different ways you can customize the fit and they look so sleek and low profile.

Click here to learn more about how they work and to see all the different customization options.

SHIPPING: Starts at $10 (Sign up for their email list and get 20% off)

7. Old Navy

WEBSITE: www.oldnavy.gapcanada.ca
WHAT TO BUY: Jeans, Leggings, Sweaters, Graphic T-shirts

Two words… Super Cash.  Spend money, get money back to spend again.  It’s brilliant.

Old navy clothes are a staple in my kid’s closet because they’re affordable, stylish and durable.  And for school clothes, I need them to be all of those things…

SHIPPING: Free shipping on orders over $50

8. The Children’s Place

WEBSITE: www.childrensplace.com
WHAT TO BUY: Jeans, Dresses, Outdoor Shoes, Accessories

Like Old Navy, The Children’s Place is my go-to for kids clothes.  You can buy clothes in extended sizes like husky or slim (only available online) and their pants all have the adjustable elastic waistbands.

They also have a ton of accessories like headbands, purses, wallets, hats and sunglasses which are usually quite hard to find in kid sizes!

Sign up for their email list so you can be notified of sales.  I find their stock is strictly seasonal so get your back to school items now and don’t wait too long to shop for winter gear.

Shipping: FREE!

9. Amazon

WEBSITE: www.amazon.ca
WHAT TO BUY: Obviously you can find just about anything on Amazon, but my favorite picks for back to school are…

this chalkboard calendar wall sticker

amazon.ca

this pocket organizer for the millions of notes that get sent home in backpacks

amazon.ca

and this kids alarm clock to help get kids out of bed in the morning

amazon.ca
SHIPPING: Varies.  Click here to sign up for Amazon Family (free for Prime members) and get free 2 day shipping, 20% off diapers and other discounts and benefits designed for families with young children.

And lastly, if you plan to do ANY online shopping at all, I suggest you join…

10. Swagbucks

WEBSITE: www.swagbucks.com
HOW IT WORKS: You can earn cash back on your online purchases, plus earn points that you can use for gift cards and other merchandise.  There are several other ways to earn points as well. (Click here for more detailed info)

I know there are plenty of sites like this out there, but the reason why I like Swagbucks is that it’s a no-brainer.  You can download the browser add-on and a big blue bar will appear at the top of your screen if a website you are on is eligible for cash back (and also if there’s a coupon code available for that site).  There’s no additional steps or website you have to go to first in order to get your cash back.  Simple.

Click here to sign up for Swagbucks now and then start shopping!

The Perfect Mom Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

I have never been much of a baker.  In our family, my husband comes from a family of bakers and I don’t just mean Christmas cookies.  I mean, my husband’s father is an Italian pastry chef who has owned multiple bakeries in his lifetime and even baked for the Queen of England.  Who can compete with that?

I always wanted to be one of those “perfect” moms who could whip up the most delicious chocolate chip cookies as an after school snack.

I tried and failed many times since becoming a mom.  They either turned out too flat or too hard or too chewy.  I gave up for a little while and resorted to buying store bought Pillsbury ready-made cookie dough.  And while I didn’t hide the fact, or try to disguise them as my own, I couldn’t help but feel like a complete failure as a mother.  My kids, on the other hand, didn’t seem to mind one bit – as long as they got cookies they didn’t care how they came to be.

But I was determined!  I just wanted to be able to grab some ingredients from around my kitchen and make some cookies whenever I wanted – I didn’t want to have to go out and buy cookie dough!

Pinterest is my go-to source for all things recipe related and no matter how many different cookie recipes I tried, I could never get them to turn out right.  The list of ingredients were fairly similar – butter, flour, eggs, sugar, etc., so I knew the secret had to be in the method.

It’s been 7 years in the making but I’ve finally perfected it – a classic, soft, gooey-centered chocolate chip cookie that you can bake for your kids as an after school school or on a weekend and feel like a hero.

Here are my TOP THREE TIPS to make sure these chocolate chip cookies come out perfectly!

1. use room temperature butter

Don’t rush this process!  I load up on butter when it’s on sale, throw it in the deep freeze and move one brick to the fridge when I need to, so if you’re like me – this is going to take some planning and forethought.  In the past, I’ve tried every method from defrosting butter in the microwave to grating it into little pieces and it’s never turned out well for me.  Take it out of the fridge in the morning and by the afternoon it should be ready to go!

2. chill the dough

It seems redundant that you would have to soften your butter and then chill it again but you want your butter to melt in the oven once it’s holding together all the other ingredients. So give it at least 2 hours in the fridge (if your butter was super warm and soft when you mixed the batter, leave it in longer.)  You don’t want the dough to dry out in the fridge, though, so make sure to keep it in an airtight container OR cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.  Warm batter will result in thin, flat cookies which will over bake and won’t be soft.

*Bonus Tip:  You can make a double batch and freeze it for instant cookies any day!

3. don’t over bake 

The recipe calls for 12 – 15 minutes at 350°F but ovens vary.  Set your timer for 10 minutes and then keep a close eye on them after that.  I take mine out at 11 minutes.  The size and shape that you make them will affect the baking time also.  I tend to keep mine on the smaller side for the kids (about 1 tablespoon of batter).  You want to look for a VERY slight golden color around the edges but they should be puffed up all the way across (not sunken in the middle).

 

The Perfect Mom Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
A classic chocolate chip recipe for thick, soft cookies the kids will love!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup softened butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer (you can do this by hand but a mixer is preferred) cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Use the highest setting on your mixer and mix for 1 - 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the egg, vanilla, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add in the flour and mix on low speed until just combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
  5. Transfer the cookie dough into an airtight container and CHILL for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
  8. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough onto sheet or roll into small balls spacing 2 -3 inches apart
  9. Bake for 10 -12 minutes. Look for the cookies to puff up all the way across, not sunken in the middle and a slight golden color on the edges.

 


Of course, I couldn’t bake without my favorite tools!

[amazon_link asins=’B002SSUDXG,B00004UE85,B00V5IM0EU,B0000VLYBI,B01HCN90CQ,B0028N70YQ,B0000DDVN7,B00GMDOPH8′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’runningintria-20′ marketplace=’CA’ link_id=’5855a36c-3f6a-11e7-90c1-91b9343c6903′]

Mommy is who I pretend to be

I might be a full time stay-at-home mom but that doesn’t mean that I am “MOMMY” all the time.  In fact, the person I am when my kids aren’t looking is a very different person…

MOMMY is patient.  Mommy will allow the children to put on their own pyjamas.  She will watch as they put their leg repeatedly into the same hole and coach them through it with enthusiasm.

I am not patient.  In fact, having to watch someone struggle to do something that I know I could do without any effort is an effective method of torture for me.

MOMMY can listen to long elaborate stories that don’t make any sense.  She even makes eye contact and nods and smiles and laughs and makes sad faces and asks questions.

I prefer a “get to the point” type of story.  I especially despise the stories that have no point whatsoever.

MOMMY is never too tired to read one more book.

So.  F#%^ing.  Exhausted.

MOMMY cooks healthy meals and stresses the importance of eating vegetables and trying new foods.

New food makes me uneasy.  If I could order pizza every night I would.

MOMMY takes the kids for walks to the playground because fresh air and exercise are important.

The gym and I are not friends.  I don’t like to walk or run or climb things.  I like park benches.  Or the swings, I could do the swings as long as I don’t pump my legs too much because that’s tiring and I don’t want to be sore tomorrow.

MOMMY doesn’t let the kids watch too much television.

Binge-watching Netflix should be an Olympic sport.

MOMMY has strict limits on video games and tablet time.

My internet went down once for an entire hour.  Worst hour of my life.

MOMMY is not afraid to speak up, to call someone out or to walk around covered in spilled milkshake.

I get embarrassed pretty easily so I try to avoid awkward situations at all costs.

MOMMY is a teacher.  She can come up with age appropriate lesson plans for preschoolers and has the ability to help her children figure out the right answer on their own.

Who really needs math anyway? That’s what calculators are for…

MOMMY realizes that making memories can be messy.

#NeatFreak #OCD #ewwmyhandsaredirty

I know I sound like a total hypocrite.  Why can’t I just be myself around my kids? Because I want them to be BETTER THAN ME.

The world has changed me from an innocent, fun-loving child to a grumpy and tired adult and I’ll be damned if that’s what my children see me as.  So I pretend to be excited about every little thing.  I pretend to have a limitless energy supply.  I pretend to be a good example for them to follow in the hopes that they will grow up to become a better person than I am. (And, while I don’t want to admit it, I think all this pretending might actually be turning me into a better person.)

But one thing that MOMMY and I have in common is that we will both do anything for our children, no matter how embarrassing or exhausting it may be.

 

 

The middle child will always be the mediator


*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

When it comes to my middle child, I have very strong emotions about her.

She is our most passionate child and she loves as strongly as she hates.  All day long she rides an emotional roller coaster causing drama and chaos one minute and then peace and serenity the next.  Of all my children, she is the child that most completes my life – the one that has turned me into the resilient mother I am today and the only one who makes me cry on a regular basis.

Middle Child

When she was born our oldest was 2 and he was still very much a baby.  Perhaps it’s why I’ve treated them the same all their lives.  They played with the same toys, bathed in the same tub and slept in the same bedroom.  They share everything (sometimes willingly, other times not).  So it was hard for her to stay home while he went off to school because she was used to doing everything with him.

While she knows that he’s older than she is, I don’t think she sees him as her “big brother” instead she sees him as her “best friend.”

By the time the baby came along her motherly intuition was a force to be reckoned with.  It felt as though she grew up overnight and was no longer a little kid but suddenly a nanny to her baby sister.  I questioned whether or not they would develop a sisterly bond because what seemed to be happening instead was that the baby was getting a second mother.  The relationship between the baby and the older kids was much more separate, but yet they have all grown into best friends in spite of that.

Middle Child

I owe that friendship to our remarkable middle child.

She is the one who is creative enough to build a [amazon_textlink asin=’B00NHQFA1I’ text=’Lego’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’runningintria-20′ marketplace=’CA’ link_id=’0483ed5e-0ac1-11e7-a5bf-7bfbfb7ff1a0′] tower with her brother but also patient enough to let the baby knock it down.  She is the one who sets up tea parties for everyone to attend and suggests group games for them to play.  It’s a rare moment when I see my oldest and youngest playing alone together.  And when they do, they mostly just sit next to each other and play with their own individual toys in a peaceful silence.  It’s our middle child and her dislike of being alone that brings everyone together.

Middle Child

And while I count on her to keep everyone together, I also know that she is more than capable of being her own person – of standing out and having her own identity.  If anything, being the middle child has taught her that she needs to be loud and wild and unique to make her voice heard.

She has an amazing ability to read people and understand what they need.   She’s on an emotional roller coaster all day because she’s trying to keep up with the needs of everyone around her.

Middle Child

She might be the dramatic one full of tantrums but she is also the peacemaker, the mediator and the one who unites us as a family.

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The oldest will always be the first

first time mom

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You never forget your first.

I remember what it was like being a first time mom.  I can tell you more details about my first pregnancy, labour and delivery than I can with the others.  I remember those early days of motherhood trying to figure it all out.

Not much has changed. 

Except I’m not trying to figure out how to deal with my youngest’s teething troubles or diaper rash.  I’m not stressing about my middle child starting kindergarten – no, instead I’m wondering if my oldest child is keeping up in school.  I’m trying to figure out how to improve his social skills.  I’m googling what age kids start cutting their own toenails.  Every new challenge he faces is a new parenting challenge for me also.

home work

I haven’t been there before, I haven’t done that.  I don’t know what to expect for a child his age.

So when he’s struggling with homework I’m researching how to help him.  I’m downloading different templates to use as letters from the tooth fairy.  I’m freaking out when I realize how good he is at video games because I’m not sure if all 7 year old boys are that good or if I should start him a YouTube channel.

Being a mom of three has made me more comfortable in comparison to being a first time mom.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still have daily panic attacks, especially when it comes to my oldest.  I second guess every decision I make with him because I don’t know how it will turn out.  I don’t know if it will work brilliantly or if it will scar him for life and the only way to find out is to wait and see.

In one month, for the first time in my life I will be the mother of a seven year old.  This is all new to me, just as it is to him.  And, similar to when I was a brand new mom, I’m excited about this adventure…

I am researching anything and everything that I might need to know.

I will run into at least one situation where I’ll have no idea what to do.

I will panic.

I will think he’s advanced for his age.

And then I will think he’s behind.

I will need to spend a fortune on clothes and shoes because he’s outgrown the old ones but will have no idea what size he needs.

I will make mistakes.

I will (hopefully) learn from those mistakes and apply them to my other children.

I might be an experienced mom of three but when it comes to him – I will always be a first time mom…

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The youngest will always be the baby

always be the baby
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The youngest of my trio will be two next month but to me she will always be the baby.   I feel like I have spent more time savouring all her baby-ness than I ever did with my older two.  While I can’t say with 100% certainty that she will be our last one, I want to enjoy every single moment with her as if she is.

I have (and will) put off many of the things that signify she is growing up.  In fact, it’s only today that we finally converted her crib to a toddler bed (I will let you know how that goes in another post).  My older two were sleeping in “big kid” beds much earlier and each for their own reasons.  She hasn’t indicated any need or want to move into a “big kid” bed and if it wasn’t for the inconvenience it’s caused on our frequent overnight stays with family I would gladly keep her in the crib for as long as she wanted.

She also still drinks from a bottle, uses a pacifier and wears diapers.

And, unlike the first or even the second time, I don’t feel any pressure whatsoever to change that.  I’m sure I will be judged – it’s what people do – but I don’t care.  Because I cared SO much the last two times.  I spent months potty training a child who wasn’t ready and don’t even remember the baby years of the middle one.

I thought there was some prize, some satisfaction in having my baby grow up faster.  Being potty trained early, not needing a bottle or a blankie – surely that was a sign that they were more intelligent than their peers, right?  “They’re so mature for their age” I thought, “such fast learners.”

But now they’ve caught up to their peers.  Everyone at school is potty trained.  Everyone drinks from a cup and no one brings their blankies for show and tell.  There was no prize, no satisfaction in the stress and the pressure that I put on myself all those years.

Instead, I lost their baby-ness.  Somewhere between going from one child to two and daycare and peer pressure – I lost it.   And then I grieved that loss when I sold all my baby gear in a garage sale.  I thought our baby days were over and I would have nothing but memories and regrets of days gone by too quickly.

But then SHE came along.  After they told me more babies wasn’t in my future.  After a first trimester emergency surgery to have her removed only to discover her growing strong and healthy.  She was my do-over… a second chance to embrace everything I felt I had missed out on.

So while three kids has become a marathon, I move in slow motion when I’m with her.  She will grow up one day but to me, she will always be the baby.

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25 Reasons Why Moms Hate Winter

We recently got hit with a blizzard.  On Sunday, my world was covered in muddy puddles and brown grass – a sure sign of spring.  On Tuesday – 4 ft high snow drifts greeted me as I opened the garage door.  It made me realize remember exactly why I HATE winter, and I’m sure other parents can relate…

25 Reasons why Moms hate Winter

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


1. Three kids = 3 jackets + 3 sets of ski pants + 3 hats + 3 scarves + 6 mittens + 6 boots = two dozen things to put on!!! (not counting my own)

Kids Winter Clothing
CartersOshkosh.ca

2. Now multiply all of that by 2 because at least one child will need to pee after getting fully dressed.

3. One of your children hates wearing a snowsuit and will fight you to the death if you try to put it on them.

4. If you’re lucky you can get everyone into the vehicle before the command start automatically shuts off.

5. If you don’t have command start then you need to run out to start the vehicle and come back inside only to discover that all the children have now undressed themselves and you have to start over again.

6. Snowsuits and car seats don’t mix. (Unless you opt for one of these new Buckle Me Baby Coats!)

Buckle Me Baby Coats

7. You have to take your mittens off to do the car seat buckles up and your fingers get frostbitten in the process.

I hate car seats in winter!

8. You can’t hear what your kids are saying from the backseat over the sound of the heat vents blaring.

9. The cup of Starbucks that you bought yesterday and accidentally left in the car overnight is now stuck to the cup holder in a spilled cappuccino popsicle.

10. The back of the driver and passenger seats are covered in snow and salt and sand from your kids kicking them with their boots. (Better invest in kick mats!)

amazon.com

11. The kids are complaining that they’re too cold. Now they’re too hot and asking why they can’t put their windows down?

12. When you get to your destination, they’ve lost their mittens and hats, possibly a boot or two and their jackets are unzipped.

13. Strollers and snow don’t mix. (Unless you splurge on an expensive all-terrain one)

amazon.com

14. Shopping carts and snow don’t mix.

15. Walking around in knee deep snow is a feat in itself. Try doing it with a baby in your arms.

Sorel Women's Winter Carnival Boot
Amazon.com

16. Getting inside a store where the kids decide they are now too hot and take off all their jackets and hats and mittens and scarves.

17. Throwing everyone’s winter gear into a shopping cart and then not having any room for actual groceries.

18. Getting ready to leave the store and needing an extra half hour to dress everyone back into their winter clothes.

19. Having your anti-snowsuit child throw a temper tantrum because they don’t want to put on their hat.

20. Kids are naturally drawn to giant snow piles close to busy roads.

amazon.ca

21. The kids like to use the snow brushes as lightsabers.

22. Having a vehicle full of people who are of zero use to you should you get stuck in the snow and need a push out. (You may want to get a set of these auto traction mats instead)

Amazon.com

23. Someone always wants to start a snowball fight but they can never take a hit.

24. The baby always want to eat the snow and they don’t know what color yellow is yet.

25. Getting back inside and ending up with a heaping pile of cold, soaking wet items of winter clothing.

Hate Winter