Sunday, January 25, 2015

Loving Wintertime

I've always been a Summertime gal who loves the myriad of outdoor frolicking that the warm-to-hot weather and lengthened light brings. Though, in the years since my mini man has been in my life, I've come to find the plentiful benefits of the Wintertime as a Mommy. Perhaps I'm not alone in some of these realizations, so I'm going to share my silly seasonal ruminations.

• Guilt-free homebody with your tot:
When the weather is cold, snowy or icy, no one expects you to wander around outside with a toddler. Yes, some fresh air is good for us both, so we take little jaunts here and there to spend time breathing in deep the chilly air. Overall, though, there's a lot of cozy inside time spent being endlessly creative to keep busy, learn and have fun, which keeps us both active, just in a different way. And, lots of cuddling, of course. All the snuggling with the toasty tot is a huge plus!

• Less germs:
This might sound counterintuitive, because it seems that there are actually more germs scattered about in the colder months, but I mean it in conjunction with the bullet above. Meaning, if you're more of a homebody in the Winter, the germs have a much harder time reaching you and your darling youngins. Ideally, this should mean you and your tot are fairly sick-free....I wish you luck! 

• Gloves:
If you must venture into the blustery, germ-filled world, at least you can do so with full hand protection that's seasonally and stylishly appropriate to keep your hands safe from all those germs just fighting to get to you!

• Less pressure to socialize:
When the weather is warm, there are a potpourri of occasions and events that require attendance, but in the colder months, there's just less going on and less places you feel pressured to be. Ah, the chilly joys of a hermit. 

• Hats:
Cozy knit or toasty fleece, hats are Winter's must-have warm accessory. Playful or sheik, they hide your bad Mommy hair day with no one the wiser. In fact, the chances are that you'll actually be rocking your hat looking just about as cute as a button on a snowman! :)

• Bundling-up:
These cold months require proper padding, and under those many layers a bounty of bodily insecurities are conveniently hidden. Quite the opposite of Summer, this season pretty much guarantees that everything is left to the imagination. Live it up, Mommies! 

What are you loving (or, ok, maybe not completely loathing) about Wintertime this year? 

* Dedicated to a dear friend who made all the difference. ❤

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Love Lists: Part I

I love lists. I respect lists. I strive and thrive best when I'm working from a list. I've been known to make a list about what lists I need to make.

Lists not only help to remind me of exactly what it is I need to tackle (since my memory isn't exactly what it used to be pre-pregnancy), but also allow me to feel like no matter what else I felt I haven't done on a particular day, I've at least accomplished that one thing right there, because checking it off the list proves it. The feeling of satisfaction when I check-off (or cross out or erase~ whatever method turns you on) a task on my list is often a thrill.

For a Mommy whose 24/7 gig is being with my mini man (blessedly so), there are often long hours spent in our house (my home office, if you will), and it can be a fairly consequential moment to knock off a few tasks when it can feel like I'm not accomplishing all I wish to each day. 

Bosses and colleagues aren't heaping praise on the Mommy's job well done and projects aren't being publicly posted for all to see the culmination of her hard work. Self-fulfillment via a check in a box can sometimes be all you~ well, let's face it: I~  need to feel like you've made your mark today. (Pun intended.)

I'll often even add something that wasn't originally on my To-do list that I've just done, simply to have the satisfaction of checking it off. I doubt I'm alone in this, but if so, I'm boldly outing myself, so that's that. ✔

Yes, there's more to come on the topic of this entry, as the title suggests. I'll get to it soon. It's on my list. 

Please weigh-in....Are you a Mommy list-maker? A task checker-offer? Do you feel a sense of personal fulfillment from knowing you're minimizing your list throughout the days and weeks?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thanks, but No.

An invitation extended does not automatically equal an invitation accepted. No matter how much members of your family believe that to be the process. Just because you're invited somewhere, doesn't mean you're required to go. It means your presence was requested, not guaranteed.

For years now, I've been the witness to what I can only properly describe as a campaign of shock & awe over my not lapping-up every invitation, no matter how comically close to the event date that it's extended, how paltry or how inconvenient the timing for my family (which includes a 2-year-old who cannot be out all hours of the night without repercussions that he and his parents will be dealing with for days). 

Largely, I find this to be true amongst older family members. Retired, free-as-a-bird, every-day-is-a-weekend family members who are looking for anything to fill their social calendar. They presume time is as open to all. Not coincidentally, these are the same people who have always craved family gatherings, despite the family they desire to gather with having treated them poorly for the duration of their life.

Somewhere inside them, family is family, no matter how much they've been mistreated and hurt. Somehow, sharing a meal or a few drinks will eradicate those realities for the length of the gathering. I don't get that that, and I never will, and I don't want to. That's not how I roll.

Strange as it may be, I'm not in a race to accept invitations offered two days before an event that I know has been planned for weeks, nor one that's been occurring annually for years and now I've suddenly made the guest list. I'm not eager to attend a dinner that is billed as 6pm, but really happens at 7:45pm and we're not permitted to depart until 9pm, such that it throws-off my son's dinner and bedtime schedule all in one fell swoop. 

This also goes in the opposite direction. For years, I've tried to have one-on-one time with a particular family member, and almost every time, this person asks if his significant other is invited, too. Um, for my causal birthday breakfast in my home, for which my family will still be in their pajamas? Uh, nope? It's become so frequent of and hard to dodge of an inquiry, that I've simply ceased the invites. 

It's either causing the person I'm trying to spend time with grief in whatever hell will be dished from the significant other (who demands to be INCLUDED IN EVERYTHING), or the actual person I love is feeling upset over wanting the person there (I don't believe this to be the case, but I'll digress), so I've just lifted the whole issue out of my life. The person I want to be with isn't allowed to go solo, and I'm not about to host couples' parties every time I want to see a family member I should have every right to see alone. I refuse to change my life to accommodate that brand of lunacy, so I've drawn the line. 

More to the point, I'm no longer interested in accepting and attending events simply to avoid blowback over declining, nor am I going to feel forced into inviting people I don't wish to see in order to see the one I do. 

For my part, I've never commented on the many gatherings that go on without us ever being invited, though they're discussed after the fact in my presence without concern for my feelings, so I think I've been playing along quite nicely. It's just that from now on, it'll be a game played fully by my rules.
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