Momup! Monday: Making time for Mom, Michael’s Cake decorating classes, Book Club, and more.

Far too often it seems like moms get so caught up in their children’s lives that they forget to live their own. I am sure we have all been witness to the “crazy mom”, you know the one, shoot you might even be her.  The mom that is constantly running one child from one activity to the next, making certain each child is on time, with water/snack, bag, change of clothes, etc. but she can’t seem to remember the last time she ate or even had a BM.  Or maybe you are familiar with the moms who purchase the high-end clothes for their children yet run around town in glad rags with holes that showcase their granny panties, talk about embarrassing (sad thing is there are mirrors in their homes they just don’t have time to look in them).

Just the other day I had a personal encounter with an “I have invested all my life into my children” mom.  She stood there talking to other moms during pick up and she had a towel on her head and the sad thing is I am not sure if she realized there was a bath towel on her head.  I wanted to interrupt and share the news with her but she looked frazzled as it was and I didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news.

And I have saved the best for last, the “I live through my child” mom.  Thanks to Toddlers in Tiaras this example is effortless to explain.  Plain and simply stated, the “I live through my child” moms are the moms on that show. They are the moms who did not have the opportunity to be in pageants, or dance class, or (fill in the activity/class here) when they were children so they are forcing their children to do the activity hoping to live vicariously through their child’s actions.  This type of scenario only ends badly, often with an upset mommy (that is putting it mildly), unappreciative child, and years of therapy, but I didn’t have to tell you that.

Whether you suffer from overscheduled children, no time to look in the mirror or living vicariously through your children, I am here to tell you that help is available.

Take your life back, granted you still need to do everything for everyone but include yourself in the mix. Sign up for a cake decorating class, join a book club, take dance lessons, whatever your interest may be, you’re not dead, live your life!  Many moms say they will get back to their life once their children are grow. There are two problems with that statement, one, you never know how long we have on this planet so make the moments count, why put off tomorrow what you can do today? And two, we are modeling behaviors and lifestyles for our children, don’t we want them to live their lives to the fullest once they are adults? Be the mom you want your daughter’s to become one day, the inspiration for your sons to look for in future wives, Live YOUR Life!

How I am living MY life …..

Beyond my motherly, wifely, community, etc. duties I enjoy taking classes and reading. I like to always be learning and gaining knowledge, for wisdom is knowing that you don’t know it all.   I most recently attended the Wilton Course 1-Cake decorating basics class at Michael’s http://www.michaels.com/wilton_cake_decorating/wilton_cake_decorating,default,pg.html.

Here we are, the moms who took the class with me and me all ready to decorate! It was so much fun.

Like the website states, you don’t have to be a chef or even experienced in the kitchen to decorate a cake, cookie, cupcake or brownie. The Wilton Method of Cake Decorating taught me the techniques to decorate treats that are sure to put a smile on my kiddos faces.  I am now prepared for our next birthday party, Valentines party, Christmas celebration, etc. 

I learned how to make a cake into a blank canvas. Look closely, no cake crumbs.

I am so excited to put my new-found skills to work and see what amazing characters I can create on a cupcake, cake or cookies.  I was amazed at how easy it really is, once you are familiar with the various tips and techniques you can really create anything, your imagination is the limit. (But let’s just keep the fact that it is actually easy between the two of us, shhhh).

This was the first cake I decorated in class. If nothing else, at least it illustrates the progress made from the first cake decorated to the last.

I would highly recommend this course to any and every mom or person planning a party in the near future, like the instructor said, “Lets turn those $.50 cupcakes into $3 cupcakes”, she had a great sense of humor and patience, thank you Laetitia. I did become a little frustrated when it came time to decorate the cupcakes, but I have a tendency of making the simplest things very complicated.

My flowers, they are a work in progress. The key to perfecting the flower is determining where you are going wrong, which the instructor did and helped me correct.

I took the class with two other moms from our playgroup, they actually bought me my cake kit as a birthday present, thanks again ladies.  I highly recommend taking a class with a friend, it is a lot of fun (and you have a good chance of having someone else in the class that has supplies that you might have forgotten, like disposable bags, food coloring, and cupcakes, thanks Lilly, I owe you).

This was the final cake, I was so proud, as you can tell by the statement I chose to place on the cake.
Lilly, one of the moms I took the class with, this is her cake and it is gorgeous. The flowers were a pretty peach color, the leaves were perfect, and the lettering was amazing.
Evangeline was another mom in the class, she rocked the flowers, and her cake turned out beautiful she’s a natural!

Another added bonus to the class, you get time away from the kiddos for a couple of hours, it is important to have time away, it makes you a better mommy (seriously, there are articles and statistics to back up that statement, just Google it).  I had so much fun I want to sign up for another, and I think I might since they offer a discount for the next class!

Yep, I will be framing this.

I am also in a book club with other moms that meets every other week.  It is so enjoyable to sit down for a couple of hours every other week and catch up with the ladies (because let’s be honest book club is roughly 60% chit-chat about life and 40% about the book, no, maybe it’s more like 30% about the book and 70% the everyday mommyisms, the percentage isn’t important). 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the book we are currently reading. I am having a tough time putting this one down. I have so many questions and thoughts I can’t wait to share with the other ladies tonight! Here is what I am thinking; he is actually on a search for answers regarding GOD since he says he is an atheist. I think he is having a tough time with his father’s death and the whole idea that he just seizes to be (I wonder if I am right?).

Again, it is nice to have a couple hours in the evening away from the family to remember who you are and that you have your own thoughts, questions, and feelings to share, regarding the book of course, Duh!

So, join a book club, or a garden club, or whatever your interest might be or if you can’t find one start one, www.meetup.com offers a great way to meet up with other people who share your same interest and are local (this is not a dating site, they have playgroups, garden clubs, vegan clubs, book clubs, you name it and there is probably a meetup for it and if there isn’t, start one).

What are you doing to live your life and not your children’s? Or what would you be interested in doing? I know if can be tricky thinking about yourself for a change but please do so and share your thoughts.

Momup! Monday…Mommy’s Thanksgiving Meltdown

I am making my first Thanksgiving meal this year for my immediate family and my in-laws, and I am so nervous.  Of course there are the typical, run of the mill Thanksgiving concerns that consume my mind such as; will the turkey be cooked all the way?  Will the side dishes meet our guests’ expectations? Will we have enough seats?  Where should we keep the dog and cat so that they do not get a head start on thanksgiving? Will the house be cleaned in time?  Will my husband actually help?  He said he would help, but what does that mean? Does that mean he will take out the trash and disappear for a few hours, or suddenly have to run an important errand?…  What about the kiddos?…. What kind of activities can I plan to occupy them while I prepare the meal? But my biggest conern and fear is of a mommy meltdowns, all-be-it short-lived, but still, a meltdown no less.

I have such fond memories of Thanksgiving as a child.  I remember waking up Thanksgiving morning to the amazing aromas lingering from the kitchen.  My sister, brother, and I would help out in the kitchen doing age appropriate tasks, we would help set the table, and tidy the house while the Thanksgiving parade played in the background. Thanksgivings when I was a child brought about so many fond memories but there is one moment, every thanksgiving, which would inevitably show its face, the minor mommy meltdown.

The mommy meltdown usually showed its face two hours before guest arrived.  As a mom myself, I have such an appreciation for all the hard work my mother would do to make Thanksgiving such an amazing event for our family and friends (my mother is definitely the more the merrier type, so it wasn’t, and isn’t, unusual to have at least 40 people for thanksgiving). She would stay up late the night before preparing the tables, chair, tablecloths, napkins, food, and outfits for her children, vacuuming, sweeping, etc. She would get up early Thanksgiving morning and continue where she left off, not showering, or getting herself ready, until the last-minute. Inevitably one of us, my sister, brother, father, or I, would make a snarky remark that would usually trigger the mommy meltdown. Similar to the following clip.

So, my biggest fear isn’t burning the turkey, or if the potatoes have lumps, it is the mommy meltdown, and when it will show its snide face. I plan on taking all precautions by planning every last detail ahead of time, but life happens. Sometimes our expectations become to grandiose.

Have you ever experienced a Mommy Thanksgiving meltdown, where the mom hosting Thanksgiving just takes on too much? Are you a mom that has taken on too much? Perhaps you are a mom who has figured out the balance, please, share your secrets!

Momup! Monday…Pregnant mom steals sandwich

Mama’s to do List:

  • Morning drop off
  • Hunt down my cell phone (toddler put it somewhere, she probably called a few friends in the process, darn she is sneaky)
  • Go shopping for eldest daughter’s b-day party -Enchanted Princesses and Knight Party
  • Make Rice Crispy Balls on a stick for the Bake Sale (I realize that doesn’t sound appropriate for children but they are easy to make and kiddos love them)
  • Momup! Moment
  • Get gas
  • Laundry
  • Book Club can’t wait!!!

This week’s Momup! Topic:  Pregnant mother accused of stealing

Please view the clip.

I was shocked when I heard about this story.  I know I personally can’t take a single trip to the grocery store without opening one, if not three, different types of snack foods to occupy my toddler (she likes to play with the teddy bear, fish, and a various shaped snacks).  And yes, as moms we do sometimes become distracted while at the store but who could blame us.  Half the time one child is constantly inquiring about placing some item in the cart (and often lucks out and sneaks one in unbeknownst to mom), the other has to go to the bathroom (my son always has to have a BM at the grocery store, I don’t understand it), the toddler will not sit still, we are trying to mentally tally the total as each item is placed in the cart in hopes of staying under the budget, and keeping track of the items we still need to place in the cart all at the same time.  What mother wouldn’t forget about the coffee or sandwich she had 3 meltdowns, one BM, and 100 “mommy can we get this?” ago when she entered the store?

Also, when I was pregnant, especially towards the end of my pregnancies I would begin to feel faint and almost ill if I did not eat something soon. I am just shocked that the store could not have been more understanding.  The woman even offered to pay for the sandwich when they were escorted back into the store.  It was obvious they were not trying to steal. My heart goes out to this little girl. Can you even imagine how scared she was? One minute she is safe in the comforts of mom and dad’s care and the next she is with strangers, in a strange place, not knowing what was going on all because of a sandwich!

What are you thoughts? Have you ever opened food in the store and forgotten about it? Do you suffer from the distracted mom syndrome when you enter the grocery store with your kiddos in tow? Please share.