Saturday, February 26, 2011

blessings and chaos

i want to thank you all for the tv watching affirmation in my last post. your words meant a lot to me-it's always nice to be reminded that i'm not the only mom who needs a break. and thanks for your recommendations. when census guy mentioned shawn the sheep, i couldn't believe i forgot to include it. ben loves that show, and honestly, i find it pretty amusing too. we're big wallace and grommit fans, tim especially, so anything nick park creates is going to be a hit around here.

i didn't hit my self-imposed post deadline this week. life has been full in good and annoying ways. but that is, of course, life. i really enjoying writing, but carving out the time or brain power is often a struggle. i can't have long periods of concentrated computer time when the boys are awake, or at least not if i want to keep my walls relatively clean of "artwork", the fridge not pillaged by two marauding beasties, or the boys from brawling. but by the time the boys are settled in bed, i feel like my brain resembles those "this is your brain on drugs" commercials from the early 90s with the fried egg. not exactly a brain that is conducive to writing.

but i think about writing all through out the day, formulating many posts that never come to fruition. i think i do this since i don't have any one to talk to-the boys don't count. once, deciding that i needed to talk to the boys instead of keeping all my thoughts in my head, i shared a business idea with ben that i had been thinking about a lot. he totally shut me down, in a nonsensical three year old kind of way. silly mom.

anyways, this is the post that has been rolling around in my head for a week. it finally gets to come out.


last saturday, me and the boys had a wedding to attend. honestly, weddings are tricky for me. they usually fall during nap time, so they require either skipping the nap (nightmare) or rearranging the daily routine, which my boys don't do very well. i usually feel frumpy at weddings compared to all the young, single, or newly married without kids gals that i compare myself to that seem to populate the weddings we go to. having been pregnant or nursing for most of the last five years, my clothes are in a constant state of not fitting quite right, and, since i'm usually holding a wiggly child or chasing one, utilitarian and practical outfits are necessary. necklines and hemlines suitable to bending over and being tugged on a lot, accessories that aren't to tempting to pull on, comfortable shoes-you get the idea. "mother of young children" and "fashionista" don't usually go together very well.

a couple of years ago, not wanting to feel frumpy for a wedding we were going to, i insisted (to myself) that i was going to get cuted up, wearing a dress and heals. although max was eating solids and i brought a sippy cup of milk for him, because he had skipped his nap and was exhausted, he was would have no part of it and was becoming a hungry, angry monster toddler. i ended up stripping in the bathroom so i could nurse him. before that, all through the dinner, ben kept touching me with his greasy fried chicken and ketchupy fingers. nothing makes a gal feel foxy quite like stripping in a bathroom or being covered in dinner debris. take that vanity!

the boys add a certain level of constant, sometimes chaotic, energy to my days, so weddings are no different. by the end of the wedding mass, or any mass, i feel like i've tried to contain two very cute, very loud, very active spider monkeys in a small space, while spectators either scowl at their antics or encourage them with giggles and waves.

at the reception, the monkeys wriggle free of my exhausted grasp and run laps, flirt, and fuel there energy with the oh so cute hershey's kisses that are strewn on all the tables. any attempts i try to make at conversation are interrupted at some point when i have to go find the boys because i can't see them anywhere. keeping somewhat constant visual confirmation on two shorties in a crowd of hundreds of people can be tricky, especially when the room has exits.

we usually come home from weddings with me feeling exhausted and frazzled, envious of the well dressed people who could just sit and have a conversation while they sipped their adult beverage, while the boys are buzzing around house, hopped up on treats and energized from all the people. oh, that, and they're hungry. because of course they didn't eat at the reception, not fond of the food and too distracted by all the people.

so like i said before, weddings are tricky for me. the refreshing thing about the wedding that we went to last weekend was that it was much of the same, and yet, very, very different.

the wedding itself was beautiful-simple, elegant, and sacred. it's difficult to describe how the ceremony felt so different than most weddings i've been to, but it did. instead of feeling like everyone wanted to get the mass part over with to get on to the real party, it was a reverent embrace of the sacrament of marriage. it spoke of sacrifice and service and real love, not just romance. and all of that was affirmed by those in attendance. (i must note, i was able to actually take in the wedding, and even *gasp* listen to the readings because i wasn't trying to contain the monkeys. tim's parents kindly kept them at their house so that max could nap.)

instead of my usual feelings of envy as i looked around at the other guests, i was inspired and thankful to be surrounded by so many good people. next to me in the pew was a dear friend who had spent the last week taking care of four sick kiddos while another one snuggled in her womb. her husband was home with the kids- that's real love. on my other side was another dear friend who was my "date" for the reception, agreeing to help me wrangle the boys- service. tim wasn't able to come, like most events and gatherings these days, because he was at work, providing for our family-sacrifice. there were more families with small children at this wedding than any other i have been to. tired parents and wiggly little ones-a celebration of life. (although, even with all those little one's, there was not a single frumpy momma in that church. beautiful, stylish, and faithful-what amazing friends!)

the reception was much of the usual for me. interrupted conversations, interrupted meal, messy hands coming at me, trying to keep track of the boys, etc. but instead of feeling jealous of everyone else who was able to act like a civilized adult, i was uplifted by the many moms and dads around me who were also in the trenches of parenting- nursing babes and chasing kids. while taking ben to the bathroom for the second time in five minutes (during dinner, of course) i had to smile and joke with the other moms in the bathroom-one changing her baby's cloth diaper and using a hand towel instead of a prefold because she hadn't had time to wash diapers, and the other, the matron of honor, taking her twin flower girls potty and trying to treat a stain in one of their dresses. at one point i couldn't see the boys, or any of the kids that they had been playing with, and started searching, feeling a little panicked. one dad noticed the "crazed momma searching for her cubs" look in my eyes and assured me that the kids were playing hide-and-go-seek. as i stood there, relieved and taking a moment to relax, right in front of me, six little ones popped out from under a table cloth and scattered in all directions. so. dang. cute.

i'm often overwhelmed by motherhood and marriage and the responsibilities of being a grown up. i'm so very, very thankful for the amazing friends and family that i have around me, living out their vocations, inspiring me with their strength and sharing our struggles and our joys.


  1. This was a great post, and so so true on many levels.
    Being a mom consumes your life in SO many ways. Not just your time. Not just money. Not just thoughts. But things you don't think of like what you can and can't wear. How you can accessorize. And on and on. Yes, it's trivial, but it's true, nonetheless.

    I'm glad to have found your blog and looking forward to reading more!

  2. That was a beautiful wedding. I was aslso surprised and uplifted by the many other mamas and dad's there. I was not so alone in the back of the church and felt blessed. I think the # of children and good families there tells a lot about the couple and how blessed their marriage will be.

  3. oh, Mare! i understand your wrangles but before you know it, they will be pretty self suffient and you will have a life time of uninterruped conversations looking cute all the while. sometimes even looking for a way out of a conversation and wondering if the "have to go check on the kids" excuse is still valid:) it is so odd how it seems that stage will NEVER pass but it does oh, so quickly and you are left at the table alone with cries of "bye mom- gonna play with the kids!!"