Coffee. That’s all I wanted. Well, coffee and some relief.

It had been a busy couple of weeks: Halloween, my son’s birthday, a half marathon, and a Friendsgiving held at my house. To top everything off, I had been sick the prior week with a head cold that showed no sign of clearing up anytime soon and Husband had left for a business trip on Sunday.

It was now Wednesday. The demanding schedule of making lunches, dropping kids at school, going to work, picking kids up, making dinner and putting kids to bed was taking its toll.

I had been allowing myself a simple treat each morning, a grande hot coffee from Starbucks before heading off to work. As such, my pre-loaded cash account, conveniently tracked on an app on my phone, was below the needed $2.41.

coffeeI parked across the street (I try to avoid the cluster that is the Starbucks parking lot at all costs) and headed over, attempting to reload my account on the way. I stopped short on the sidewalk when I received notification that the app was experiencing a system error. I stood there, furiously punching away at my phone with my finger. System error be damned, I was going to add money to my card and acquire that cup of coffee.

The spinning circle signifying that my phone was “thinking” drew dark clouds in my already stuffy head. A storm was brewing, and it was not going to end well. My options were to go back to my car and either grab my purse and repeat the trip with a good old-fashioned credit card, or bag the effort altogether.

Little did I know, as I climbed into the driver’s seat, that there was a third option. Call Husband and break down in tears.

I had reached my tipping point.

Over the phone, I tried to articulate the severity of what just occurred, cursing phones, apps, Starbucks, everything.

“I just want a f*cking cup of coffee!”

More than that though, I needed to cry. I needed to yell. I needed to let someone know I was having a tough week.

It’s easy to bottle up stress, especially when you’re trying to hold everything together and keep things in perspective. I knew I was going to get through the week. I knew my cold would eventually disappear and Husband would reappear. My life was still good. My house hadn’t been torn up by a hurricane. I hadn’t been groped by a politician or Hollywood VIP. I could afford to spend $2.41 on a cup of coffee even if it wasn’t in the cards that day.

But, I was also rightfully tired and aching for a small indulgence.

After my outburst, I felt better. I was still annoyed my morning would be caffeine-free and I was losing my voice for the fourth day in a row, but I was okay. The breakdown was my low point and now I had no other direction to go in but up.

Crazy Mom Thoughts

Today ends my three-week stint as a single parent. Granted it hasn’t been a full three weeks and I did get some breaks over the weekends, but man, what a ride. God bless anyone who is an actual single parent!

Never mind the absence of another set of hands to help out. What was more exhausting was not having a constant support system. Gone was the person to share the misery that is a toddler meltdown, or a sick baby. There was no one to accept my eye-rolls and respond with a gesture of understanding. How lonely to be with two children all day and not have someone say, “You did a good job” at the end of it!

crazy-chartThe experience was not without several low points, some moments where I thought I would go insane. In fact, here are some crazy thoughts that crossed my mind at some point during this challenge (and I do mean challenge).

1. How did I raise such a jerk?

This sounds harsh, but kids can be a-holes. My daughter knows how to be polite, saying please and thank you, and whatnot, but she has yet to demonstrate any real empathy. She says hurtful things like, “I don’t love you anymore,” and raises her voice as she pouts. Over the course of these three weeks she has kicked me, walked away from me, and been blatantly mean to her brother. I know all this is normal for a toddler, but sometimes I wondered if she’ll always be a jerk.

2. Can I sneak this chocolate in without getting caught? 

Husband and I try to teach our children good eating habits. We emphasize sweets should be enjoyed only occasionally and in moderation.

What happens when I’ve had a rough day and want to shove four cookies into my mouth? I shouldn’t have to hide my binges from my children. I’m an adult, I can eat what I want. chocolate-2-0

But, we must lead by example. Hence the need to strategically time my indulgences. And I did indulge. It was necessary. There’s a reason people eat their feelings: it helps, at least temporarily.

While sleeping with both kids in the bed:

3. If only my left arm wasn’t here, I could really get comfortable.

You know you’re exhausted when you’d give up a limb for a good night sleep.

4. As long as I’m in the shower nothing bad can happen.  

Scenario: both kids are in their beds. Last night Baby woke up just as Toddler was drifting off and I decided to forego the shower to get into bed and end this god-forsaken day. Tonight, I need to clean myself.

At first I figured I’d do a quick rinse. Once I was in the tub though, and the water drowned out all outside noise, I just stood there. Surely I’d be able to hear someone if he/she woke up. Right? I took a long shower and braced myself when I finally turned off the water. Thankfully, the house was silent.

5. Will this ever end? 

It’s tough when you’re in the middle of something to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I remember being in a dark place after my son was born. I was beyond tired, constantly milk-stained, and trying to manage my daughter’s new reality of no longer being a single child. Now my son’s first birthday is fast approaching.

Everything is temporary. This goes for the good as well as the bad. While it isn’t crazy to feel overwhelmed at times, I realize it is crazy to wish time away. I did have some wonderful moments with my children while their father was traveling, but I am beyond thankful he is back home.


Pass me some chocolate. I deserve it.


5 Things I Miss from 5 Years Ago

bathroom crop

Tonight I went to take a shower after both kids had fallen asleep. As I turned on the water, I realized that all my cleaning products were in the other bathroom. All of a sudden my daughter loves showers. She’s too young to take one alone (she FREAKS if water gets on her face), so I have to take one with her. She won’t use my shower (reason: unknown), so by default, I moved all my shit to the kid’s bathroom.

Showering by myself for the first time in several days led me to think about what I miss from five years ago. I was a newlywed, still in my twenties (albeit in my last year), and oblivious to the joys and sacrifices of motherhood. I’ll spare you the obvious “I miss sleep” items, and get to the subtler, more understated things.

1. Post-shower pampering. Five years ago, showering was a different experience. I wasn’t escaping for ten minutes. I wasn’t rushing so I could get to bed as early as possible. And it included more than just cleansing. I miss those fifteen-or-so minutes after each shower where I would pamper myself.

Hey, here’s a mud mask sample from my last Ahava order. Let’s give it a go!

Hmm, my nails look a little misshapen. I’m going to have a seat and straighten them out.

I miss the eyebrow plucking, the lotion lathering, the general attentiveness I gave my skin. I don’t think I even have a beauty regimen anymore, which brings me to…

2. Drying my hair. Please. I don’t miss the act of drying my hair. That slow process of sectioning off clumps and holding my arm at weird angles, and never getting the back as nice as I’d like… I miss how my hair looked when I dried it. I hate the term “letting yourself go,” even if there’s some truth to it. I have certainly let many beauty-related things go since I became a mom and this is one of them. It’s safe to say my hair looks like crap most of the time. It’s naturally wavy and extremely disobedient in humidity and I just can’t find enough energy to care. Still, some days I think about dusting off the old dryer (do I still own one?), and giving it a whirl.

3. Not having to clarify to anyone if I’m peeing or pooping. My daughter walked into the bathroom today and wanted some details as to what I was doing on the toilet. I answered and didn’t think twice about it at the time. Later, it occurred to me how nice it would be to keep such information to myself. Why does she really care anyway? Granted, she always keeps me appraised of what she’s up to, but that’s out of courtesy to prepare me for wiping duty. I long ago learned how to wipe my own butt, so I should be able to keep my potty activities private.

4. Time with Husband. I’m not talking about “date nights,” because we do occasionally fit this in. I’m talking about mid-Saturday morning pauses where we discussed what we felt like doing next. We used to live 3.5 miles from Boston and more than a few times we’d just walk in, walk around, and walk back with no agenda. Now we cater to feeding schedules, nap times, birthday parties, and the fact that it’s often easier not to do anything. Plus, when we do get time away alone, a portion of my brain is always on my kids.

5. My career. Husband likes to point out how much more employable I am than he. My undergraduate degree is in accounting. Everyone needs accountants. I have an MBA. I have a (current) professional license. Recruiters sometimes randomly call me. He’s right, I could probably always find a job somewhere doing something. That being said, I don’t want a fast-paced, high-climbing, stressful job. Not right now anyway. I love being a mom and I love having the time to be a mom. There are moments though, when I miss being career-driven. I always enjoy learning new things and being challenged. Right now, parenting provides me these avenues, but takes most of my energy in the process. I look forward to the day when things quiet down on the home front and I can pursue a more professional path.

So, those are just a few things I miss from a time not too long ago. Perhaps it’ll only be another five years until I gain some of them back. Time will tell.