Thursday, October 24, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 1 - Morning Commute Fire, Working Moms Roundtable, Whining, and Mama/Lawyer/Blogger Balance

Yesterday morning started out completely normal. As I left to take my pre-schooler to school, I was patting myself on the back because I had left early and would have plenty of time to get him there. That is, until I looked up and saw this . . .

Pick-up Truck. On fire. You know it is probably not going to be a good morning when, upon seeing this sight, your car is approached by a policeman who asks, "Are you feeling lucky this morning? Because that thing is going to blow any second." Yeah, whoa. Suffice it to say that my momentary desires to avoid being late and/or creating a "gapers delay" melted away in that moment, and I didn't pull up any further. Net result: My pre-schooler received his first tardy of the year. But at least I got some good pictures.

And my pre-schooler now wants to be a fireman when he grows up.

On a much more positive note, my understanding is that no one was severely injured, burned, or killed by the fire. Praise God!

Want to know the number 1 way to feel bad about yourself as a mom? Attend a "Working Moms" roundtable, where you have the most kids in the room and the least amount of time per kid each night. Here is what I learned about myself: (1) My children are unhealthy because they eat the worst food on the planet at least once a week (e.g., nuggets, macaroni and cheese, pizza, meals out, etc.); and (2) I must be a terrible mom because I don't have enough time in my day to whip up well-balanced dinners every night chock full of super healthy foods. Because, apparently, the only way my children will live to see middle age is if I feed them exclusively "food that either comes from the ground or has a mother" (i.e., produce and meat). And my two-year-old who will (and does on many nights) boycott dinner entirely because he doesn't like the food being served? That is also all my fault, but there is no solution for it. Because, apparently, when other *normal* children are given the choice between skipping dinner or eating what they are served, they all magically fall in line and eat what they are served. Sigh . . . I am a terrible mom.

So, after attending that depressing session and feeling really down on myself, I needed a pick-me-up. So, instead of dwelling on my many failings as a mom, I tried to list the things that I think I am doing well as a mom. Here was my list:

(1) My kids genuinely care about each other, love each other, and want to spend time with each other. Heck, my pre-schooler and two-year-old *CHOOSE* to share a room, even though they don't have to.
(2) No matter how bad the day is, my husband and I always pray every night with the kids before bed. As a result, they know who Jesus is, some basic prayers, and how to petition Jesus for help.
(3) My pre-schooler goes to a Catholic school, and our other children will follow him when they are old enough.
(4) The caregivers at the center that my two-year-old and baby attend are amazing, gentle, loving, and kind.
(5) My kids generally behave well in public given their ages.

And I even came to realize that I am "winning" at some of the food battles:
(1) My kids love all kinds of fruit and will eat it all the time, any time.
(2) 98% of the time, my kids only drink milk (okay, sometimes with chocolate in it) or water, and they will choose those beverages over the sugary options.
(3) My pre-schooler actually ate such a good lunch on Wednesday that the lunch lady sent a note home remarking on it!
(4) My two-year-old? Well, he may boycott most meats and veggies, but he will never, ever, ever turn down a big glass of milk, a slice of cheese, or some yogurt. Sometimes I wonder if he wasn't a dairy farmer in a previous life . . .
(5) My baby is breastfed exclusively. Yup, I lug a pump to work every day and spend precious hours pumping, but I'm doing it!!! Best nourishment for a baby on the planet!

My Takeaway: Stop listening to other mothers who probably only talk about the good things they are doing with their kids. All of us moms are probably successful with some things. But likely not everything. Truth is, we all probably have days when we just want to plug our ears and hide from our kids in the bathroom. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything . . . .

Nobody likes a whiner, but . . . This whole week, my back has been KILLING me! The thing is -- it's not my fault! It's my baby's fault. And the fault of my sandals. And my employer's fault. And the fault of breastfeeding in general! (Hmmmmm, probably the only thing people like less than a whiner is a blamer . . .). See, the thing is -- last Saturday, my employer was one of the co-sponsors for a 5K breast cancer walk. Nice, family friendly event. At the time, it seemed like such a great idea. Get the kids out of the house early, they'll burn off some energy, take good naps, good quality family time, etc. And it was all of those things. The problem (which I didn't find out about until I couldn't climb out of bed on Sunday morning) was that I walked the first half of the 5k while nursing my baby. In sandals. Now, normally, I'm the champ of all things related to breastfeeding and multitasking. I wear a nursing cover and a supportive breast-feeding pillow and do many of the same things I would do normally, just one-handed. I can walk around Disney World, ride the kiddie rides, chase the kids, and even go to the restroom, all while breastfeeding and all without missing a beat. However, apparently, I can't walk 1.55 miles straight while breastfeeding. Duly noted. Candidly, it probably didn't help that I had forgotten my breastfeeding pillow and, therefore, had nothing extra to support the baby besides my arms/back. And that I had forgotten my nursing cover (where WAS my head that morning?) and so had to tie a bandanna on my tank top to cover the baby. And that my stomach muscles are virtually non-existent at 4 months post-partum and after having birthed three children in less than 4 years. Sigh. My back is only now starting to feel better. After DAYS of pain and popping Advil. I re-emphasize: DAYS OF PAIN! Heck, I couldn't even wear high heels to work ANY day this week! Oh, the shame . . . Lesson learned.

Do you know what is a good way to lose close to *HALF* of your billable hours in a week? Yep, that would be by starting a blog. I love this blog and am thrilled to be doing it, but, whoa!!!! Huge time-suck this week! At this point, I am equating my first days of blogging to my first week on Facebook. A total loss. Of productivity, that is. Now, that the blog is set up and running, I'm hoping (fingers crossed) to actually get back to being what I am, a working Catholic Lawyer Mama!

Good Catholic Reading for the Week:

- Phil Rivers rocked my world this week with his awesome response to the criticisms directed to how many children he has. Mad props to this awesome Catholic role model!

- Did you know that football is a lot like being Catholic? I love football, and I love this article!

Time for the funny child quote of the week (this time, from my pre-schooler). Setting the scene: Around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, I arrive (flustered because I'm late) at my mother's house (she cooks dinner for us on Wednesdays) for dinner. I walk in, give hello kisses to my boys, grab myself some pizza (at least it's homemade, so QT #2 above can kiss off!) and sit down. My pre-schooler turns to look at me thoughtfully and asks in a serious voice, "So, Mama, how was your day at work today?" Okay, so maybe you had to be there, but trust me, it was hilarious and heartwarming. Love that boy!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Bravo! You are doing a great job at feeding your kids. Don't worry about the Michael Pollen worshiping crowd. I feed my kids that sort of stuff all the time. If I manage to sneak in a banana or apple each day, it is a great day.

    The thought of billable hours makes me cringe. That may have been a huge motivating factor to work in criminal law. I want to go back to work when my youngest is in pre-school, but I'll take a contract position with the county and happily collect a check without the need to get a client trust account or billing software. Ugh.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Priscilla! Come to think of it, I was a picky eater as a kid and preferred those kinds of foods and it turned out alright.

    Yeah, billable hours aren't very fun. That's for sure. I admire you for taking on criminal law. It's such an important specialization. For me, I don't know that I could do it; no matter what side you are on, someone's life is in your hands. Even though I have billable hours to contend with, I think it is less stressful for me when the only thing on the line is money. Props to you!