The Circle of (my) Life

“All you do is clean!” My 6 year old says today, on a sick day home from school.


Uh…

Does he think that I’m not AWARE of this? Does he think that I don’t know that at this point of time in my life my days are just a constant rotation of hauling laundry baskets down the basement stairs and Lysol wiping down my counters and Zoe’s high chair? I hate to break it to you Jeremiah, but you did not crack some secret code. I KNOW that “all I do” is clean all day.

I like to think that I’m a lot more laid back with the cleaning than the women I grew up with, but apparently the Puerto Rican urge to clean all the time is still very apparent.

In all honesty, it has gotten a lot worse since I’ve been staying home more with the kids. When I used to work full time, if I had to choose between cleaning or doing something fun with my day, I would ALWAYS choose the activity. But I’m home almost all the time now, and the “mess” in my house is far more prevalent as of late. My anxious ways consume me and it’s pretty much not possible for me at all to watch a movie or relax without itching to get up and do what needs to be done. Do I like it? Hell no. Does it need to be done? Hell yeah. So what’s a mom supposed to do?

Yeah, I do clean everyday. But I also find time to cook meals, to give baths, to read to my kids (most of the time) and everything else that needs to be done to keep our household running smoothly. So why do I feel so bad? It’s that fucking mom guilt, again.

After he told me that all I did was clean, he proceeds to tell me that I don’t play enough with him. And I feel terrible about it. But I have no clue how to fix this. I don’t know if I’m supposed to drop everything that I’m doing to make my kid happy and entertain him, or if I’m supposed to let him learn how to entertain himself?

I mean, don’t get me wrong. We do things together, talk about about a lot, etc. But in a world where YouTube channels exist, and our kids are literally obsessed with watching these families PLAY together (that make a whole living out of doing so!) it’s not enough I guess.

So I’m torn today. I’m open to suggestions as to how to make the quality time we do have together more special…but I’m also totally down to delete that fucking YouTube kids app.

Let me know!

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The 5 O’Clock Shit Show

Now, this may be just me. But if there’s the slightest chance that there are other mothers who experience this same situation as me, I just want to take the time to remind you – YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE.

What is the 5 o’clock shit show, might you ask? This is the name I came up with to describe the god forsaken hours between 5 pm and bedtime for my children. Every single day, starting roughly at this time, my kids start acting fools. We can have the greatest day ever, full of playing and not-so-much yelling, fun activities, long naps, whatever a good day may be, but as soon as this hour hits, everything hits the fan.

2 days ago, I took my kids out. Ran errands, got ice cream, let them ride the quarter machines. We even went to the playground! It was going smoothly. We get home, and then, it was time. Time for the universe to give me a pop quiz on being super mom. My son gave me the HARDEST time doing his “homework”, workbooks that we do at home EVERY DAY WITH NO ISSUE. And as I’m trying to help him push through that, my daughter became so cranky and sleepy that she was unable to push through the whole 5 o’clock hour without another nap. 

I made it out alive. I also made it out with a massive stress pimple on my chin. I’m not even kidding. It wasn’t there earlier in the day. If Mother Nature scored me on that pop quiz, I’d say it was a solid B- for the way it was handled. 

I don’t know what the cause of the shit show is. Maybe it’s because it’s the time that my daughter starts getting just a hint of sleepiness within her, so she becomes DESPERATE to be attached to my hip, while I’m trying to cook dinner and frantically get the house straightened up (AGAIN) before Rob gets home. Maybe it’s because my son wants to have friends over constantly and they can’t ever decide whether they want to play inside or outside. IN OR OUT, THE AIRS ON. Or because 90% of the time they can’t get along. Who knows. 

What solutions have I come up with to cope with the s.s? 1) Lose my patience. This is the most ineffective solution I’ve come up with, but sometimes it happens and I’m not afraid to admit it to come off as a mother who never loses her cool. Now, option number 2) Act a fool with them. If you can’t beat them, join them. Throw on some loud music to drown out some of the whines and yelling. Sing into your spatula. Dance crazy. Your child will not like this, but their friends will find it hilarious, so it’s half a win. Breathe and remind yourself REPEATEDLY that bedtime is only a short 3-4 hours away. And remember, one day, you will miss these days. 

Lol, jk. That last part never works. 

Keep it pushing, mommas. 


-Cass.

The Best Friend

Hey everyone! 

It’s been a while since I’ve shared. This post was originally starting to get written as a Facebook status, but then I realized I have so much to say, I should probably just make it into a blog post. Today, I want to share something about a huge blessing in my life that is my best friend, Julissa. 

Julissa and I met in high school. She was new to the school and we had a mutual “friend”. If I remember correctly, I walked up to her in the lunch room and introduced myself, and we were friends from there on out. The connection that we have grown into having is one that is most deserving of a blog post, to say the least. 

She has been there through the thickest and thinnest moments of my life from then on, encouraging every decision I’ve made, understanding and listening when I realize that some of those decisions haven’t been for the best, all the while never judging me for them. Aside from the obvious best friend duties, the one thing I appreciate the most about her: she loves my kids as if they were her own. 

As a mother, one of the greatest gifts anyone else could give me is for them to love and see my children the way that I do. To want the best for them the way that I do. It’s easier to want and even expect that from a relative, but to have someone who doesn’t share blood with them to feel the same is an extraordinary connection to have in your corner of your mommy “ring”. And of course, the love she shares with my children is completely reciprocated by me when I see her children. We have a Brady bunch of kids, who I really hope grow up understanding just how much love they have between all of us. 

The inspiration behind this post today may seem small to anyone reading this, but it meant a lot to me. Today, Julissa had an event to go to in which she couldn’t bring the babies. So she asked me to stay with them for a little. And I did, obviously. And when she got back she told me to go get my nails done, and she “didn’t care if Zoe was going to cry, just go.” And I did, OBVIOUSLY. Lol. 

But when I got back home, my house was tidied up downstairs and my dishes were washed. What?! She didn’t have to do all that. I just got a mini break and it would’ve been more than enough to just have that. But she did it, because she loves us. And now I’m tearing up as I’m writing this about some dishes being washed, but it really did mean so much to me. 

So this is really just a long appreciation post for you. And I really hope that every woman, every mother gets to experience the friendship that we have with one another at some point in their life.  Because the universe truly blessed me when it gave me you as a bestie…


❤️

The Kids Trip

So it’s been almost a full week since we got back home from our vacation. Surprisingly enough, I’ve had a few people tell me they’ve been looking forward to reading my blog about it, which makes me suuuuper happy 🙂

The reason why I took so long to write this post is because of the overwhelming exhaustion I’ve felt this entire week back. We’ve been living out of our luggage…in our own house…because my sisters girlfriend was nice enough to throw all of the clothes we used while at their house in the wash before we left, so guess who’s not in any rush to do ANYTHING? That’s right. This girl.

So, let me tell you about the trip! The plane ride there was AMAZING. I thought I was super mom because I expertly planned the trip there to revolve around my daughters naptime. We got to the airport early, and I let my daughter roam freely to wear her out. She passed out right when we loaded onto the plane.

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The flight went smoothly. So smoothly I was like, “WOW, I AM A TRAVELING MOM GODDESS.” Which swiftly came back to bite me in the ass approximately 4 days later. But we’ll come back to that…

It rained everyday. So we mainly spent the trip napping during the day (which is fine by me) but I really wish there had been more sunshine. I thought I was going to come back a tanned little mami and I surely didn’t. However, our last day (of course) was PERFECT. Sunny and the perfect temperature. I was so happy I thought to book a later flight so we could enjoy the morning at the beach. It was my daughters first beach trip and she loved it. So much so, she couldn’t resist eating a handful of wet sand. It was beautiful! We had also visited MOSH, the Museum of Science and History. It had the coolest dinosaur exhibit, and at the end of that day my son told me it was the best day ever and that he wants to be a science teacher when he grows up. *Tears* That was a successful day.

Note to South Jersey: Can we get a Publix and a Walmart Express?!? Publix is arranged perfectly and Walmart express was such a huge convenience. I don’t ask for much…

When it was time for us to leave, we got to the airport about 2 hours before our scheduled departure. The Orlando airport was a lot more crowded and HUGE in comparison to the Atlantic City airport, of course. But we got through smoothly. I went with the same plan as before, and let my daughter do as she pleased to wear her out. Her usual bedtime is around 7:30-8, so we were right on track.

And then it happened. The flight got pushed back to 8:50pm, a full 2 hours after we were supposed to leave. The whole gate groaned in unison. (No exaggeration) I called Rob immediately to talk me down from the impending anxiety attack I was about to have, being that my daughter was getting cranky and would never fall asleep with all of the commotion of the airport around her. He told me I was a warrior and could do this. (Lol…It sounds corny but it really did help). So I kept my kiddies busy until finally it was time to board. When that time FINALLY came, my daughter threw her pacifier without me noticing until we sat in our seats. The backup one I had was lost somewhere in the ocean. I prayed that her bottle of milk would be enough to settle her to sleep…I knew it wouldn’t be.

The plane was hot. The seats were tighter than the last plane, but that didn’t bother me because luckily, we all have little legs. The takeoff was the worst takeoff in the history of all takeoffs. As the person behind me described it, the plane must’ve had square wheels. It was horrible. But finally, we were well on our way home. My daughter, however, was not well on her way to sleep. To make a long story short, she cried the entire way home. And not that cute baby whimpering cry. It was half scream, half cry. The entire flight. I was doing everything I could think of, but it wasn’t until we had the worst landing of all landings that she fell asleep. I wanted to cry. I felt so defeated. Turns out, I am not the goddess of mom traveling.

Just then, as we’re about to get off the plane, a man turns to me and says “Excuse me. I know some people might have been frustrated on the plane, but I just wanted to tell you I know you were doing all you could do, and it’s okay. Babies cry. That’s okay.”

Thanks so much, dude. You almost made ME cry, too. A little kindness really does go a long way.

We practically ran to the car, and got home at midnight. I was exhausted. I still am exhausted. I can’t believe I took that trip alone, and I’m proud of myself for doing it, but I will most likely never do it again. If I say I’m going to, please reference this post to me.

But all in all, it really was a great trip. We miss you already, Caz and Cheyenne 😦 We love you! Thank you for taking care of us for the week!

Sending you all relaxing vibes in hopes that you send some my way too,

Cass.

 

 

The Mom Strength

It’s currently 12:52 am and I am laying in my bed, having a nervous breakdown. 

I go on that vacation with my kiddies tomorrow. Now, I know you’re probably thinking I’m having a nervous breakdown because I’m going to be outnumbered by children. But that’s not it. I’m having one because I’m almost 27 years old, and have been on a plane ONE time. (okay, twice if you count the flight back home?!) I also feel the need to mention that one flight was the summer of 8th grade *insert slaps face emoji here*

My fearless son is snoring right next to me. He is SO excited to go on an airplane and says he isn’t scared at all. But… I remember that feeling of a takeoff. Something tells me he’s not going to be as brave as what he thinks he may be. And…I’m kind of depending on just a little fear from him to gather the strength within myself to not be afraid at all. 

Anytime I’ve felt fear over something and looked over at my son to see the same reflecting in his face as well, my feelings disappear- instantly. It’s like in that moment you realize that you really don’t have the time to sit and concentrate on your own fears when you have a child who needs your consoling. In that moment, you need to put on a brave face and your “baby” is your number one priority. It’s magic. It’s actual mommy strength you can feel tingling through your veins. 

I swear I’m not praying on my sons downfall. But…I’m really going to need him to be just a little bit scared. & If only he could need me the way I’m going to need him tomorrow, all will be well. 

Wish me luck!

The Fake Bra

I bought a bathing suit. Not just any bathing suit. But a bikini. *GASP*

I seriously have not been bathing suit shopping in over three years. So I finally went, came home with a bikini and tried it on to show my boyfriend. My son was still up, so he saw it too. JJ is 5, so if the last time I wore a real bathing suit was over three years ago, he wouldn’t even remember it. And I knew if I looked a mess, he would have no problem telling me. Just like he openly asks me sometimes why I have marks on my belly, to which I reply: “because of YOU” with an eye roll.

Fast forward to him seeing me in the living room, wearing my bathing suit. He eyes me for a few seconds and says “I don’t understand.” You don’t understand what, JJ? “I don’t understand why your stomach is showing. And why do you have a fake bra on? That’s not a bathing suit, that’s a fake bra. Turn around, let me see.” Oh man. This kid is really giving me the one over. I’m nervous. Beads of sweat begin dripping down my forehead, and my heart is racing. LOL, just kidding. But really, he’s making sure his mommy looks decent. And what does he say after it all? “Okay.” For a brutally honest kid, I’ll take it!!

I’m not going to lie. It was nerve wrecking to shop for it. I’d be lying if I said I don’t care what people think, even just a little. But I want to feel comfortable! I actually neeeeeed to feel comfortable while I’m on the beach with my kiddies, or at the pool. So I bought the suit, and a cover up of course. And I’m going to rock that shit.

Maybe one day I’ll fulfill my dreams of getting a tummy tuck- because the gym can fix fat but can’t fix these marks. So if you ever see me flexing on Instagram in my bikini with a flawless stomach, please know that it wasn’t hard work and dedication. I definitely got that tummy tuck. 😛

Until then…

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Have a great day everyone!

-Cass.

The Guilt Trip

Today, I booked a flight to Florida to visit my sister and her girlfriend for the first. time. ever. She’s been living there for a few years, and I don’t even know why it’s taken me so long to finally plan this trip, but I am so glad it’s finally happening. But with this excitement comes so much anxiety. Let me tell you why.

I am going with my children. And not me, my man-friend, and our children. Just my kids and I. I know, I know. Am I crazy? I will need every single prayer to the higher power and good vibe that can possibly be sent for me for this to go smoothly.

See, my boyfriend already had planned for a vacation with his best friend. I couldn’t get the time off of work (the one day a week I do work just so happens to interrupt it!) so daddy got a kid/mommy free vacation. Which is fine, he truly deserves it, and I’m not saying I don’t deserve a good kid free vacation…but it’s just different for a mother.

Which brings me to this – the mom guilt is real.

The guilt of leaving my kids behind for 5 days would crush me. No exaggeration. When you become a mom, even buying an article of clothing is hard. You look at the price tag and you’re like “$25?!? Omg. I could buy everything with that. I could buy my daughter a new outfit, my son new underwear and more socks” and then you look up after all those thoughts run in your head and you’ve already subconsciously put the shirt that you really, really liked back on the rack, and you’re in the kids section. Just like that. Your kids already have the entire Cat & Jack collection Target has in stock, but you never know. You might’ve missed that ONE shirt. Why is this? Our kids live beyond comfortably, look nicer than us most of the time, but still, it’s so hard to do anything for or by ourselves. Anytime I even go out alone, my kids cross my mind numerous times. You see them in everything you do.

It’s not a bad thing. It’s really not. If anything, it might be a clear sign of something a “good” mother does.  But, I think a lot of this blog will have to do finding and having an identity outside of being a mother (if I can ever stop talking about my kids). I’ve made a vow to myself that I am going to make sure that I make myself a priority too. That doesn’t mean dropping my kids off every chance I get, but simple things. Dinner and a movie with friends (if we can last through both without passing out from exhaustion) (me)  A night out every once and a while. THE GYM (ha..ha). It sounds really silly, but some of my friends and I have started a group chat (shoutout to 2.0) and even that helps keep me sane.

I need ideas though. Is there anything else any of you like to do to free your mind? And are there any mommy’s out there that really need someone to free their minds with? I want to work on building a village with each other.

Oh, and maybe one day I will take my own vacation.

Maybe.