Sunday, February 22, 2015

On Self-Worth and a Job Interview

I'm going to have bad dreams tonight, I thought in the car on the way to run errands Monday night.  I took a deep breath and realized that I wasn't going to be able to stop the bad dreams.  I had already had one night of them the day before and, since the job interview at the fitness center was tomorrow, I was going to have to get through one more night.

Dreams of Terzo having to be in the class I was auditioning to teach because he just cried and cried at being left with the staff babysitting.  Of the coordinator having to take over half way through because everything was going wrong.  Of embarrassing myself somehow at the beginning and not being able to make it better.

I'd spent the last few days beating down or trying to drown out my fears that the only place left for them was in my dreams.  I'd been trying to tell myself that I was worthy of this job interview, that I was good enough, had enough experience, could actually teach a fitness class without a stroller in tow.  I broke down a little Monday night after writing my class for the interview.  Trying not to cry, I said to My Other Half, "What if I'm not good enough?"

He said, "You are.  And you know what you're doing. Remember, this is supposed to be fun."  Fun, huh?  I guess I forgot about that part.  I was so worried about not messing up, about not being good enough, that I forgot that I was the one pursuing this job interview.  I said yes when a friend mentioned the fitness center was looking for subs.  I said yes to filling out the application and getting in touch with the coordinator.  I said yes to all of it because I did want the opportunity to try something new, to put myself out there.

Only now that I was, I was scared half to death.  At the actual interview on Tuesday, I was literally shaking, teeth chattering, the whole deal.  But once things got moving, once I got my chance, everything felt better.  I did know what I was doing.  I could teach a hard class.  I was worthy of this opportunity.  

I'm glad that I went through this experience.  I'm glad that I was so scared because it made me realize that I did want to do this.  I'm glad that, with the support of My Other Half, I understood that my sense of self-worth is more important that what other people think.  I'm glad I figured that out in time to have a good job interview.

Oh, and I nailed it! :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

On Being Rescued

Most days I silently count the hours until My Other Half calls on his way home letting me how close he is to being home.  I think about how much easier making dinner and helping with homework would be if he was home.  I think about how much more patience I would have getting the kids ready for their after school activities if he was home.  Sometimes, I resent being left alone to deal with what feels like EVERYTHING.

I basically Wait To Be Rescued. Everyday.

The first time I realized that I do that was a couple weeks ago, when My Other Half was out of town for the night for work.  I was standing at the stove, getting ready to make dinner for me, the kids, and my parents.  I was exhausted and that tiredness had given me a pounding headache.  While I was lucky to have the help of my parents that afternoon, it dawned on me that there would be no one to Rescue Me that evening.

Those were my exact thoughts: No One Is Coming To Rescue Me.

I took a deep breath and did something that I very rarely do, I took care of myself.  I grabbed my water bottle, took something for my headache, and started the water for tea.  If I was going to make it through My Other Half's absence, I was going to have to start with myself and work my way out to my kids.  And I was going to have to stop thinking that I needed to be rescued.

Because I don't need rescuing.  I am good enough on my own to handle whatever needs to be taken care of.  I just needed the chance to prove it to myself.  I also needed to realize that by taking care of myself, I was taking better care of my family.  Just by recognizing what I needed to be well, and then doing it, I took better care of everyone.  I wasn't yelling or feeling annoyed about everything because I wasn't feeling well.  We actually had a pleasant dinner, I was able to get Segundo ready for gymnastics on time, and bedtime went as well as it could go without My Other Half.

Here's the thing: We are good enough and we can do this.  We don't need to be rescued.  We need to think about what we can do for ourselves to make us better able to handle the day.

What do you need everyday to feel good about yourself?  A cup of tea or coffee, an hour in the morning without kids, a run, something else?  Do that and hopefully the rest will fall into place.  Take care of yourself and then you can take care of the world!  You just rescued yourself.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


On our walk at the park in the morning last week, a very nice lady asked how old Terzo was. 

“He’s two,” I said.

“Oh! I have a grandson who is three,” she replied.

“I like this age, two and three are good!” I said as we continued on our walk.

I really am enjoying this little two year old!  He’s cute and clever and has a great time playing with me, his siblings, or on his own.  Sometimes, though, I wish I could start over with Prima and Segundo, and enjoy their little phases more.  I wish I could take this version of myself and be that way when Prima and Segundo were little.

I was so uptight about Prima doing what she was supposed to at each stage and I let so many outside people influence me.  I worried so much about all of the little nonsense stuff and couldn’t block out the opinions of other people.  Add in wanting to expand our family and I feel like I missed out on a lot of the good parts of her littleness.

The same is true for Segundo, although I was much more relaxed him on most things.  But I feel that I missed out on some of his littleness because there were two of them always needing something, and we wanted to have one more.

Prima is literally slipping through my fingers and I can’t slow Segundo down, either.  I’m holding on to Terzo’s littleness with an iron grip because I know too well how soon it will be gone.  I’m trying to enjoy his stubbornness and need to do everything himself, instead of getting so frustrated like I did (and still do) with Prima.  We aren’t so crazy about the little things because we’ve learned that they won’t last. 

So I do like Terzo at this age, and I think I did like it when Prima and Segundo were two.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Reaching a Milestone

A couple weeks ago, I posted about Segundo learning to read on my Facebook page, how proud I was and how I totally cried.  Some milestones are a bigger deal than others; they give you the sense that your kid somehow "made it".

Segundo is my motor-skill child.  Running, climbing, jumping, building, all those things come easily to him.  But when Segundo started remembering stories we read and asking questions about them days later, I wanted to hug him!  When he started reading a couple weeks ago, truly sounding out the letters and putting them together, I walked over to My Other Half and just cried.  Segundo had "made it”.

It’s not that I thought he was never going to read, I knew that he would get it eventually.  It’s just that I worry about when “eventually” will be.  This weekend, I was listening to other parents of kindergarteners and someone was talking about their child being stuck on certain letters.  And I said that they will get it, eventually it will stick and you’ll move on.  

But I thought about what I said later that night.  That waiting part, the eventually part, is hard, especially when their peers seem to get it and your kid is, not struggling, but just not there yet. 

In moments like that, I have to step back and take in the whole of my child, all the milestone moments that led up to this one in particular.  He has his own strengths and his own ideas.  He will reach all the milestones in his life, on his own terms and in his own time.  

Segundo, Prima, Terzo, they are going to make it, in their own good time.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A New School Year

Prima and Segundo go to a Catholic School.  But sometimes, you would never know it.

This school year hasn't even begun and it's already been a bit...interesting.  Parents up in arms about teachers and students in classes.  What happened to compassion and understanding?  You know, the stuff Jesus was talking about?

Yes, some kids are harder than others and don't get along well with others.  But you deal with it and you teach your child to deal with it in a kind and compassionate way.  Because you remember that they are all just kids and you remember that they all have parents that love them, even the hard ones.  You remember that you are not perfect and neither is your child.

And yes, some teachers are better than others.  But just because one is spot on and one is more laid-back, it doesn't make either one wrong.  Again, you deal with it, and supplement if you feel the need or learn to go with the flow.

You tell your kid they will have a great year.  You teach your kid skills to deal with other kids, skills that will be good for the rest of their life when they have to deal with co-workers as adults.  You teach them to make the most out of what they learn in the classroom and what you teach them at home.

Catholic School or Public School, it doesn't matter, these are the kinds of things you will find everywhere.  You would hope that a Catholic School, based on the teachings of a kind, compassionate man, would deal with these things in a loving manner.  These past two weeks have shown me differently and it makes me sad.  Sad that we ask our kids to learn about our religion, but then don't follow it.  Sad that we are not living out the most basic law to love one another.  I'm not perfect and I'm sad to say I've been judgmental, as well.  But I'm willing to change.

Starting with me, I'm going to approach this year with love and compassion for all the students and teachers.  We'll deal with issues as they come up with kindness.  For my kids and myself, it is going to be a good year.

Friday, August 15, 2014

This Is About Respect (Or the Lack Of)

There is a blatant disregard for Human Life in this world.

We think nothing of killing another Human, hurting, abusing, shaming

The problems in Gaza, Iraq, Africa, Chicago and Ferguson.  The problems with sexism and racism and religious persecution.  It is all this: We don't Respect our fellow Humans.  We don't believe everyone on this planet has a right to live.  If we did, then Humans wouldn't be starving to death, gunned down for looking different, abused for power.  If we truly believed that Every Human has value and a right to live, no matter how they choose to live, then maybe there wouldn't be riots in Missouri and a war-zone in Chicago and bombings in Iraq.

But that's just it.  We think Humans only deserve Respect if they behave and believe like ourselves.  If you don't share my beliefs, race, gender, then you don't matter.  You are a toy to use, abuse, and throw away.  Or you are simply invisible, not even worthy of notice.

EVERY HUMAN MATTERS.  Catholic, Muslim, Wiccan.  African, Mexican, Polish, Iranian.  Female, Male.  It absolutely does not matter who you are, you are Human and you deserve to be Respected.

We don't Respect Life on this planet, Human Life, Animal Life, Plant Life.  We just don't care.  We send our Humans to kill other Humans, all for what?  We end the lives of thousands of Humans because they go to a different place to worship, have a different color skin-tone, are female instead of male.  We destroy each other, day after day after day because we fear what we do not understand.  And we definitely do not understand that we are all a part of each other.


Why don't we understand that when one of us is hurt, we are all hurt?  When one Human dies, we all die with them?  Every day a fellow Human is hurt or killed by another Human.  EVERY DAMN DAY.  We inflict pain and death on ourselves, we allow other Humans to inflict pain and death.  We have no Respect for Human Life.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Prima and Segundo are uncoordinated.  My Other Half and I are, too, so it's no wonder that our kids are as well.

Prima has no idea she is uncoordinated.  She moves through life quite literally at her own pace and on her own terms, not caring how others are moving.  She is tall and built strong, and though she hasn't yet learned to use them, she is amazing.  Sometimes, though, I feel a little embarrassed by Prima's incoordination.  In her gymnastics class especially, I compare her to other girls and I cringe sometimes when she can't move her body in the same way.  She hasn't learned to use her height and her inherent strength yet, and so she looks awkward to me.

My embarrassment stems from me and my own expectations of Prima, and myself.  I want Prima to be well-liked by her peers.  I want Prima to not be socially awkward like her mother and father were (are).  I want Prima to be confident in herself and her strength.  But mostly, I don't want Prima to be a bumbling girl like her mother was growing up, and still is.

What I am most afraid of, though, is that Prima will learn about my feeling embarrassed about her.  I don't ever want her to think I care more for how she looks than for the kind of person she is.  Because I would rather have my clumsy, happy, kind, giving child over a graceful, coordinated but unkind child any day.

What I want the most for myself and Prima, is to be Prima as she is right now.  She doesn't care about the way she moves.  She doesn't talk bad about her body, she doesn't shame herself, and that little voice telling her she's not good enough is not there.

Prima is content to be just as she is right now, in love with life and unconcerned with anyone else's expectations, except her own.

I love that about her and I hope she never loses that feeling.  And I hope she can teach me how to be that way, too.