Confessions of a perfectly imperfect mom

Before I begin this post I just wanted to say a few words on this Time Magazine article about being "Mom enough".  I know I am a really late on this and it's probably old news, but this whole "Mompetition" crap is, well, crap.  I don't believe that any single person in this world has parenting down pat and there is no right or wrong way to parent your children.  We all do what is right for our families and really we are all Mom enough.  Shame on Time Magazine for making parents question if their choice of parenting is right.  Enough with the Mompetition bs.  Am I right?  Yeah!  High fives all around! 

Okay, I am off my soapbox!  Now for our regularly scheduled program.  When I read someone else's blog, I feel sometimes they are not completely forthcoming with their lives.  It's not that they are lying it's just we get a small glimpse into their world and usually they are putting their best foot forward.  Writing about things like how perfectly clean their house is, a schedule they follow or well behaved their children are. And believe me, there is nothing wrong with showing of your accomplishments!. I just thought I would write a really, real post about how things go down most of the time in my house.  I am far from perfect, I am perfectly imperfect!

Some days I dream of being "that Mom".  You know the woman whose hair is perfectly coiffed, impeccably dressed, always saying the right thing, knows where everyone needs to be and when, gets them there with a big smile in her minivan.  Her kids are well rounded, incredibly polite and also impeccably dressed.  They have been playing/doing (insert choice activity here) since they were born.

Then my dreams are dashed by reality......

Instead there is me, "oh that Mom".  I am lucky to blow dry my hair most days, let alone find something to wear that looks like I didn't just put on whatever was laying on the floor.  I spend most mornings just wanting to pull my sopping wet hair out, while trying to get the kids up, fed, dressed, groomed and out the door.  I am normally in my pj's until 8:10, we need to be to the bus stop by 8:15.  Isn't that how everyone starts their day? Completely stressed?  I thought so.

I yell most of the time, even more so when we are in the car.  Normally it goes something like "Stop hitting", "Stay on your side of the car", "I don't care if you threw that into the back back (totally the technical term for the cargo space in my SUV), you cannot take your seat belt off while I am driving" and my favorite "Don't make me pull this car over."  An idle threat, I know, because I am normally running late and really cannot pull the car over.  Car rides are very frustrating for me in general because of the whole walking and chewing gum thing....Please let's just not go there.

I swore I would never be like my parents.  But I always catch myself saying "if you are going to eat like a pig I will put your plate on the floor because that's where animals eat." or "If you slam that door or stomp your feet one more time, I am going to take your door off for the rest of the night and make you march." Then I say to myself "Self, damn it, shut up! You cannot say the things you vowed not to say."

My kids frustrate me and push my buttons all day long, as I am sure most kids with parents do.  Who needs a time out?  ME!  I am always asking if I can go to my room and stay there, they tell me no.  My punishment is to go get them something to eat.  Wait, I though I was the parent......GO TO YOUR ROOM until I tell you you can come out!  I shake my head again at how much I sound like my parents.

I curse, a lot.  I sometimes say things that make a truck driver blush. I sure do make my Momma proud!  I honestly thought my kids first words were going to be curse words, I was shocked relieved that they were not!

I do smile a lot, when there is alcohol involved.  Never while driving though, because it is against the law to smile drink and drive.  I have heard that going to jail can put a huge damper on an otherwise good day.

The Hubs wants to buy a minivan because it will "give us more room to transport things", but I cry silently inside every time we look at one.  I cry not tears of joy like when you hold your newborn baby for the first time, they are tears of why-on-God's-green-earth-do-I-want-to-become-a minivan-mom?  I mean, no offense to my minivan mom friends, you all still rock in my book.  I just admit I am not cool enough to rock one!  I also have not found one that is 4 wheel drive, not that I go ANYWHERE in the snow, it just makes me feel better that I have the wheels that grip while I grandma it down the road, faster than a speeding snail! I don't want to tote other people's kids around, all cry-y, snotty noses, and what not. Does that make me a bad person?  I don't think so.  I am happy with my little CR-V, just me and my family, no snot nose kids.  That baby has 200K on her and still runs like a champ!  I say why mess with a good thing?  Totally done ragging on the minivan moms!

Every Some Saturday mornings I would like to sleep in until 7:30 or maybe even 8 am, so a movie-to-keep-you-occupied-whilst-I-sleep-a-little-longer is how we usually begin our weekends.  It is better for them this way.  Then I wake up all bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to start my day, not really.....

They whine about STARVING.  I scream at gently remind them that they should be thankful that they will never know what starving is and how there are all these children in Africa who maybe get one meal a day or week, whatever, they are starving.  My kids on the other hand are just bored.  I also swear they have a hollow leg or an extra stomach cause these kids can EAT.  And they are tiny little stick kids.  Damn, I sound just like my parents. Whatever, go ahead and judge but I am way cooler than they ever were.

Dinner is rarely on the table when it is suppose to be.  Actually I spent too much time working on this post this evening and now am typing this between stirs, it is 6:30 and the Hubs will be home at any minute.  Whoops. Oh well, at least tonight we will eat.  I kid.  We always eat, remember my kids don't know what starving is!

I am by no means, Donna Reid, June Cleaver or the like, nope, I am Anne.  I work, I am a mom and my energy is spent on other domestic goddess duties.  Cleaning is rarely one of them.  I am usually running around chasing children and saying no a lot.  It's tough being a no person, they always call you mean and what not.  I am just keeping it real for when they get older.  It won't be such a let down when they are told no by their bosses, right?  Wait, what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, how much of a domestic goddess I am.....I am known to do a mean load of laundry and leave it in there for a few days before realizing that I put laundry in there. Mmmm, yummay!  I loathe folding laundry and usually allow it to amass on various pieces of furniture for days on end before folding.  My toilet gets a good scrub only when I know guests are coming over.  Note to all, please have no expectations of cleanliness if you show up unannounced.

This entire house erupts in serious lahahahaughter whenever someone farts, burps or makes either noises with other body parts.  Peanut and Little Bird can burp the ABC's; I have never been prouder.....

The Hubs and I co-parent.  This means he is their father and takes part in most of the parenting duties.  Some of this has been solely my responsibility because I don't know any man that can breastfeed or give birth, but it would be nice, right?

My kids don't sleep in our bed.  It's my bed, I paid for it and I choose who sleeps in it.  My money is mine, unless the kids need something, notice I said need not want.  When the kids get a job they can spend their money on things they want.  I am selfish like that and I know it.

All joking aside, I love my kids and husband more than anything in this world and I would go to the ends of the earth for them.  We may not be perfect but what family is?  And while I joke about the day to day things, because it keeps me from the insane asylum, in all reality my family is loved and well taken care of.  They don't need a perfect mom, they just need me to be me.

Oh and I know you just cannot blog without pictures but seeing as I am not perfect, well, there are no pictures.  End-of-story.

So, what makes you a perfectly imperfect parent?


Simplicity Parenting Blog Carnival: Organization

Welcome to the May 2012 Simplicity Parenting Carnival: Organizing
This post was written as part of the monthly Simplicity Parenting Carnival hosted by The Lone Home Ranger and S.A.H.M. i AM. This month we are discussing how we organize our lives. Be sure to read to the end to see a list of the rest of the excellent carnival contributors.

How do you organize life?  Do you put things in boxes and label them neatly?  Or do you have a calendar filled with highlights and "penciled" in activities, showing who goes where and when?  Can you put life in a box, highlight it or pencil it in?  Life cannot be organized.  Things and plans are organized.  And try as we might, life happens whether you are ready for it or not.

What do I mean by this?

Well little kids don't plan snuggles, kisses, and impromptu trips to the park, they just joyfully happen. 


My dog decides to try and have porcupine for breakfast, this was certainly not on my calendar!  And thanks to our fantastic vet; he is doing just fine!  Hopefully the old man has learned his lesson!

Bear v porcupine, the porcupine won!

Love happens, and if you desire, more than once.  I have fallen in love 4 times, with the Hubs, Peanut, Little Bird and Little Bug.  I had always hoped to fall in love one day and it just happened.  No plan, no penciled in appointment.

The hubs with Little Bird and Little bug

Sweet sixteen party! (r-l) Peanut, Little Bird and Little Bug
That is what I mean by life happens.

How do I organize the things in my house?  The simpler the better I say!  I have learned to pare down my stuff.  And believe me, as a hoarder lover of things, it was hard.  I would buy something because I liked it at that moment, it never really had a place; it was always in the way. The mindset was someday I will find a spot for that.  Until I realized one day that these things did not make me any happier.  So I set out on a mission in the beginning of the year to rid my life of the stuff.

Also last year we decided to pare down our schedules. We decided that one activity per season was enough for the kids, it gave them the social interaction they needed and still kept us sane.  We were finding that if we did too much we end up with cranky children.  And who likes cranky children?  Not me!  So our schedules are pretty light.  The kids get to pick one activity to do, Little Bird is playing Little League.  In the fall her and Little Bug want to play soccer.  Nice, easy, and light.

So can I tell you this has been the happiest year of my life. I feel so liberated!  And while I do agree that it should easily be able to find spices, spoons, toilet paper, etc., I think that slowing down and spending time with my family is way more important than anything else!


Thanks for reading the Simplicity Parenting Blog Carnival! We hope you’ll take time to read these other great contributors’ posts: SimParCarButton150x150

  • Finding Our Organization Groove - Becky from Crafty Garden Mama has been working on establishing organizational routines in her house. The Fly Lady program has helped, but she understands that flexibility and reflection are important parts of finding her groove.
  • Weekly Cleaning Schedule - Joy of Pardon My Poppet thinks the only way to stay sane while raising a family, and still maintain a clean home, is to follow a weekly cleaning schedule.
  • My Organized Kitchen - With 3 kids (ranging in age from 3 to 20), a landscape design business and a house to run, it is essential to be organized. Sheri at donuts, dresses and dirt shares her secrets for organizing recipes, meal-planning for her family and her growing piles of cookbooks and magazines!
  • Simplicity Parenting Blog Carnival: Organization - Anne at Raising Sweet Grace asks: Can you organize your whole life or does life just happen?
  • Martha and Me - Justine at The Lone Home Ranger figures out she might not have to be perfect to resemble Martha Stewart. It's a good thing.
  • Keeping It Clean - Jamie at I Love Junkmail...and Other Stuff, a second-time new mom, finds a way to organize care of her home and self.
  • Finding a New Rhythm (or, letting go of my lists) - Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM discusses how letting go of her long to-do lists and focusing on one day at a time leads to a simple daily rhythm and better organization in the long run.
Thanks to all the fabulous writers and readers for being a part of our simplicity parenting community! Stop by The Lone Home Ranger and S.A.H.M. i AM to see how to join us for a future carnival.


This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Via soulemama


This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Via soulemama



Feeling inspired

Last week I came across this blog......  It made me think about how as a society we are absorbed with technology and that we don't actually live in the moment.  And more often than not we stop and make a piece of technology more important than our own families.  

We live a slowed down version of life.  I am not one to run around all day long. The kids are limited on how many activities they can do in one season.  Dinner is a family event that happens together at our dining room table just about every night.  We have no TV's in bedrooms.  TV is at a minimum in our house because we do not have cable.  We spend a lot of time together doing activities.  So we thought we were doing good until I started reading the Hands Free Mama blog.  AHHHH!  We use technology all the time.  Our phones are constantly interrupting dinner, I look at it while Little Bird is playing t-ball, and some nights it feels as if the phones have replaced our TV.  If there is a lull in the activity we pull out our phones.

I felt so inspired by this blog to change the way I live, I want to live in the moment, not just my children but all relationships.

I feel the need to exposed all of my flaws for the world to see and I want to do something about it.  My family and I are going to try and go "hands free" for at least 3-4 hours a night.  This will mean turning off all of the notifications for 3-4 hours to live and savor each and every precious moment.  This will mean being present with my family and engaging uninterrupted, meaningful conversations with my children.  I want to live in the moment.  I only get one chance to live this life, I might as well be present while doing it!

Oh and on another note.........We got these little cuties this past weekend!  As soon as this stinky rain clears up and I can get some better pictures, I will write up a post!!



This moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Via soulemama



Just a little quick fun post for today.

We are waiting for the arrival of our chickens!  I am SO excited!  Hopefully by the end of this month we will have chickens running around here again.  I think we are better prepared this year so hopefully it won't be another bust!

The pictures below are last years flock, I am still a little bitter! 


Agnes and Edith

As our guys and dolls arrive I will post!  Can you guess the theme for names this year?  If you guessed famous Broadway musical characters you were right!  It will be fun to give them some completely unusual names like Elphaba (Wicked), Maria (West Side Story), Lulu (Caberet), Frenchy (Grease) and Roxie (Chicago) just to name a few!  


Why do we do what we do?

My father asked me the other day how it felt being a farmer’s wife.  "I don't know" I replied.  "You should ask the Hubs how he likes being a farmer’s husband."  He chuckled, partly, I think because he knew it was true and partly because he thinks we are crazy. He thinks chickens and gardens are for people who are crunchy. "Wait..... Now you want bees, ducks and goats?  Next you will go get a cow." he says.  All the while I am thinking to myself “Yes, isn't it great?  I wouldn't trade this for all the gold on earth."

Why do I do what I do?  Well, I love my family and want what is best for them.  No I am not really that crunchy, just kind of crunchy.  I like growing my own food.  I know exactly what is in it and where is comes from.  

We are stewards of the earth.  I love that my kids understand exactly where their food comes from and are learning how to cultivate and nurture the soil to grow food.  Not destroy it.  Having the knowledge that if you put this tiny seed in the ground, give it some water and sunlight it will grow is something everyone should have.  We are teaching them how precious everything on this earth is.  No one should be afraid of the dirt.  The girls need to smell it, feel it, see it, and taste it (well maybe not taste it literally).  Dirt is life, life is good.    

My family knows what fresh is, this was part of a living plant about 3 seconds ago.  Not the supermarkets version of trucked halfway around the country "fresh".  Supermarkets do have their place and I think it is wonderful how you can buy raspberries in December (totally guilty of this!) but knowing what fresh tastes like is something you cannot describe to someone, they have to experience it for themselves.     

Maybe we are crazy; summertime is the Hubs' busy season.  Maybe we are not, most other people are busy with vacation plans and what not.  But each year here on our little plot of land manages to be better than the last and what may look like chaos to an outsider probably is.  It just works for us and I think that is all that matters.


This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Via soulemama


Homemade Granola Bars

We LOVE granola bars at my house.  But I hate paying $4 or more for a box of 6 organic bars. So I decided I wanted to find a recipe I could make myself.  I went on a search for a great granola bar recipe and I found the best recipe over at Kitchen Stewardship. There were other recipes but they were just not what I was looking for.  Having small, sometimes very needy, children,  I need something healthy I can put together quickly and easily.  I also like the recipes to be somewhat forgiving.  This recipe fits the bill and come out perfect every. single. time. No matter how I mess it up.  

This is a great recipe for kids to help with.  My girls love to help me with anything I am cooking.  I just pull out the Kitchenaid and measure the ingredients. They pour it all in (with a little guidance from me), stir in whatever we are adding to it, and press it into the pan.  Did I mention this is such an easy recipe?
Granola Bars
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups  whole wheat flour (or coconut flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp  vanilla 
1 cup butter, softened (or peanut butter tastes good too!)

1 cup honey
Add-ins: chocolate chips, chopped walnutsdried fruits, sunflower seeds, coconut, nuts.  (Our favorite combination is dark chocolate chips, almonds, dried cherries and shredded coconut!  YUM!)
Lightly butter a 9×13-inch pan.  In a large mixing bowl combine butter and honey first.  Add all ingredients except add-ins.  Beat until combined.  Fold in add-ins.  Press mixture into pan — Use your hands to really get it packed in there otherwise the bars will fall apart.  Bake at 325 degrees for 18-25 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars.  Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving. 

Sometimes we like the bars crunchy.  Just put the individual bars on a cookie sheet and bake in a 325 degree oven for 10-13 minutes.  Wait until they have cooled completely before devouring!

NOTE: The mix may feel dry and crumbly when you put it into the pan.  I resist the urge each time to add a small amount of water and they come out perfectly.  Make sure you press the mixture into the pan as much as you can, otherwise it will come out just as crumbly as when you put it into the pan.  I made the mistake of not pressing them into the pan at all.  Basically what you will have is clumpy granola, which is delicious, it just won't form into bars.  Yup been there, done that!

All of the ingredients are organic with the exception of the baking soda.  Sorry I just haven't felt the real need to make the switch yet.  If you know something I do not, please feel free to let me know!

This recipe for us makes about 15-20 bars, depending on how big you cut them. In our house the bars usually last us a little more than a week!   

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!