Life

Confessions of A Somewhat Okay Mom

I didn’t plan on another post before we left for Illinois, but in the past 24 hours I have had so much happen warranting another blog post, so here we go.

To start, I met a pregnant mother in a store and during casual conversation she confessed she wanted to breastfeed her son (due today) and had difficulty with it with her first. She said she would probably resort to “just pumping” because she feared what people would respond to her feeding in public.

I was heartbroken for her. Breastfeeding can be tough. I had to pump with Talia because of my own anatomy and it was a bitch to do, but I did it for my kid. This mama feels like she will be mom-shamed if she feeds in public!!!

Then today I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post from another Mama. I look up to her. She is an AMAZING woman! Her post revealed she felt like she was “failing at being a working mom.”

This woman actually helped bring Liam into the world. Again, heartbroken. (By the way, she’s NOT failing).

Finally, my father called. He had bad news. This was the one I cried over….. His girlfriend (who we all love) lost her son today to a drug overdose. I can’t imagine the pain she is in, but I promise she is wondering what else she could have done to prevent this…she probably will wonder for the rest of her life, if there was something she could have done.

So aside from the fact I constantly worry about the type of mom I am, I know mama’s need to lift each other up, not bring each other down. For this reason, I am posting a list of some of my more questionable mother moments. I want other mama’s to see this, get a good laugh, and hopefully not call social services on me! We need to remember we are all human, we make mistakes, and it will be okay!

So here it is, in black and white….my confessions as a somewhat okay mama:

  • I once feed Talia mashed potatoes for dinner because I just couldn’t deal with dinner that night. Mashed potatoes….for dinner.
  • I’ve pretended not to see my child lick the glass at a hockey game.
  • One time, I was grocery shopping and had to use the restroom. There was no place to put Talia and I did not want her crawling on the dirty floor. She was young and small….so I put her IN my tote bag and then hung that on the back of the stall door. It worked, and no, I’m not proud.
  • It took about 6 weeks before I realized the green line on the diapers meant Talia needed to be changed. Six weeks.
  • I was so exhausted recently while home with the kids by myself, I seriously considered leaving them with the dogs so I could go to Starbucks. In my defense, Diesel is about to be 18 years old….he should seriously start earning his keep! Also, they were FINALLY asleep and I REALLY needed the caffeine. I obviously did not leave my children home alone….but I REALLY thought about it!
  • Talia climbed up on a toy and it was quite dangerous. I knew I needed to pull her down to safety, but instead of grabbing her, I stopped and took a picture. As I was setting my phone down, she fell and nailed her head on the floor. I don’t know who cried more.
  • I let Talia feed the dogs from her plate when I’m exhausted and know she’s not going to eat it anyway.
  • One brand of gas relief for babies has a black/grey color to it. I used to take the leftover on the feeding syringe and paint a mustache on Talia.
  • Talia is learning to speak but doesn’t quite make whole sentences yet. I was exhausted from the nonsense questions at one point, I called my mother, handed the phone to Talia, and let my mother entertain her.
  • I’ve given my child candy to make her stop crying when daddy had to leave for school….as a meal. It worked.
  • Just this morning I traded Talia her toothbrush (she’s trying to do everything herself now) for a piece of candy. Again, it worked. Yes, I know candy undoes all the brushing.
  • When I need to write and can’t keep Talia’s attention on anything very long, I turn on the TV and use Curious George and The Cat in the Hat as a babysitter.
  • I once asked “for a friend” if I could tape the pacifier to Liam so he stops spitting it out. Apparently it’s a “NO.”
  • I sometimes use a blanket to prop up the bottle so Liam can drink on his own. Again, not all my fault…..Bill started it…
  • Both Bill and I have dipped pacifiers in things like bacon grease (his idea) and buttercream to help the soothing process along.
  • As long as it is used correctly, I usually laugh when my child says “Shit” instead of correcting her. This usually causes her to repeat the offense.
  • I always make sure to have a sippy cup for Talia with me. This way I know she is drinking from something BPA free and clean….then I let Bill give her Mountain Dew or Pepsi. Pick your battles mamas!

There are probably many more moments like this my tired brain is forgetting, but you get the point. Do you have any parenting stories like this or know someone with a good story? Tell us in the comments!

Military Spouse Life

Writing Through Sadness

Again with the tragedy in my family. On Monday my cousin Brian lost his wife, Angie. She was 35. I don’t have the details of what happened, but it really made me sad this week. I did not go to GA (I’m in SC) for the funeral because of the pregnancy. Traveling is extremely uncomfortable for me.

Instead, I’ve been working diligently on my novel, Seeking Sita. This morning I spent over an hour on the phone with my mother, going over chapters 1-3 and fixing grammar. I feel really great about the start to this book, so on my writing website (www.TinaRussoKinney.com) I am going to post the first chapter. Hopefully the right agent will see it and want more!

In the meantime, Literary Crazy is still with my professor, whom I would like an opinion from before I continue to send to agents. I sent the two agents who requested the proposal from #PitMad their copies, and received rejection from one already. My mom felt bad (I think) and was quick to remind me James Patterson received something crazy like 39 rejection before he got his first book deal.

When I’m not writing, I’m reading to Talia who is LOVING books. She really enjoys being read to and helping turn the pages. We went to story time last Saturday and hopefully we will go again tomorrow and make it our Saturday mom and daughter date. It helps that Barnes and Noble has cheesecake to share after story time!

I encourage you to head over to my website this week and check out Chapter 1 of Seeking Sita. I would love some feedback! Also, feel free to share here what you’re working on!

Military Spouse Life

Wear Sunscreen (And Other Things I Need to Teach My Daughter)

I happen to be a product of the class of 1999 (High School).

1999 was the year Baz Luhrmann wrote a song to the class of 1999, which became our anthem, and he instructed us about life and the importance of wearing sunscreen.

Now a mother, I have instructions of my own. As I lay in bed last night, the song popped into my head for whatever reason, and I began to think of all the things I need to teach Talia.

Dear Talia,

Here is a list, which is probably never going to be complete, of all the things I want you to know. They are in no particular order. The list from the Sunscreen song is also applicable. Please don’t forget about the sunscreen!

  • Love all animals.
  • Adopt your pets. Don’t buy them from a breeder. Too many pets need homes and are stuck in a shelter waiting for you.
  • Never let your gas tank go below 1/4 tank. You never know when you’re going to be stuck in traffic.
  • Read every day.
  • Go to college, but remember: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~ Anonymous, although often credited to Albert Einstein
  • Do not get married in your early 20’s.
  • It’s okay to wait until your 30’s to have children. Your father and I were 31 and 33 when we had you. We weren’t ready until now.
  • When you find “the one,” treat him (or her) right.
  • Spend a year in NYC.
  • Embrace the fact you live in the greatest country in the world, but remember where you came from. You are first and foremost an American, though you need to remember you are also Italian, English, Irish, and German.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Work hard. Always.
  • Own your own business, but be prepared to work harder than you ever imagined you could.
  • Give back to your community.
  • Tithing is important. Even if you do not give directly back to your church, support things like animal welfare, efforts to fight homelessness, and illiteracy, etc.
  • Support our troops.
  • Send “Thank you” notes.
  • Don’t read glamour magazines.
  • Don’t pay attention to Hollywood.
  • Do what makes you happy.
  • Stay off of social media.
  • Know your mommy and daddy love you more than anything in the world and will always be proud of you.
  • Read the classics.
  • Try not to read a book more than once. There are too many books to read in a lifetime as it is.
  • Study the US Constitution.
  • Visit Washington DC.
  • Brush your teeth more than you need to.
  • Stand up for what you believe in.
  • Embrace mental illness.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Take vitamins.
  • Trust God. Love God. Embrace God.
  • Eat dessert first.
  • Stay away from drugs. They are a waste of time.
  • Do things you are uncomfortable with, so you c an grow.
  • Set goals, but know they may change at a moments notice. This is okay.
  • Learn to swim.
  • Embrace Ice Hockey!
  • If you want something, go after it. Also, if someone else can help you, it can’t hurt to ask!
  • Learn to drive in snow. Also, learn to walk on ice.
  • Do not ever smoke…anything.
  • Do not care or worry about what others think.
  • Dance.
  • Sing.
  • Know how to fire a gun.
  • Know how to clean a gun.
  • Know when each is appropriate.
  • Learn to cook. Remember, you don’t have to follow a recipe. Just go with it.
  • Give 110% to everything you do.
  • Never, ever give up!
  • Save money. Buy a house. Don’t rent.
  • Pay cash for your vehicle.
  • Save more money.
  • Forget about makeup. You’re beautiful!
  • Learn about investing.
  • Take LOTS of photographs.
  • Call your grandfather every week.
  • If you have children, give birth naturally.
  • Try yoga.
  • This list is not complete.

Love ALWAYS,

Mom

P.S. Here is the song referenced above. Listen to it….

Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99
Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you

*Sing Chorus*

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

*Sing Chorus*

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft

Travel

Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you, too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

*Sing Chorus*

Read more: Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen) Lyrics | MetroLyrics