They say it takes a village to raise a child, but over the past year when my life has been a shit storm of crazy and wonderful, I’ve found that it’s actually more accurate to say that it takes a village to raise a mom.
Exhaustion makes this already emotional lady even more so and I’ve often thought about how incredibly lucky I am to be surrounded by such an amazing “village”. While I shouldn’t have waited until Thanksgiving to actually give thanks, it is seasonally appropriate, so I figured better late than never to express my gratitude for some amazing people in my life…
My Napa Partner-in-crime
Meghan is the sort of friend that you can just keep it real with. And knows which wine pairs perfectly with a category 5 meltdown.
I don’t know when we began talking about going to Napa but I’m pretty sure it was right after each of us gave birth to our second kid. It went from a joke to “Oh, husbands, this is HAPPENING. And no, you are not invited.” Kids didn’t nap? I’m going to Napa in a few months. Public tantrum? Oh there’s wine there. Lots of it in Napa. This was a lifeline, our gift to surviving the first year with two kids, and my happy place when things were anything but.
I wish I knew how to quit you. But not really. Not ever. Amazon Prime is seriously a mom’s best friend. 3am? Amazon Prime is there comforting you with the false promise that the product that swears will make your baby sleep will be there in two short days. And it’ll come in an awesome box that will occupy your toddler for 20 glorious minutes.
If you’re ever having a bad day, just tune into an episode of “Vanderpump Rules” and then you’ll think, wow, I’m not doing so bad. Also, they are one of the few channels at 5am not running paid programming and for that Bravo, I say God bless you.
My Future Baker Owner
Anna has a knack for knowing exactly when I’m juuuust about to hit my breaking point and intervenes by scheduling a phone date, sending me a small token to distract me from wanting to lose my mind or sharing some tale in solidarity of her own toddler tantruming that I’m fairly sure isn’t true because her son is a blue-eyed blonde angel and would NEVER but I appreciate it anyway.
My Long Distance BFF
I’ve written open love letters to Lindsay before but let the record show that she has been instrumental in my survival. Case in point: she gave me the pep talk of a lifetime when I was basically near tears in the accessories section of Target after the most epic nap battle that has ever been waged this side of the Mississippi. I don’t know where the words came from, but it was akin to the locker room halftime talks given in movies sans goosebumps inducing music. This talk, and many others, have helped me to mom another day.
My in-laws have saved me from running many a errand with both kids or giving me an hour to reclaim my sanity at the grocery store (Has there ever been anything so magical as going to a store by yourself once you have kids?) Most recently they babysat the kids for 24 hours so Joe and I could celebrate our wedding anniversary. That meant for 24 hours they were not my problem. That meant for 24 hours I did what I wanted and wasn’t beholden to the demands of two pint-sized dictators.
It wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t give DD a shoutout for providing me with the sweet nectar of the exhausted parent Gods. Coffee had never been a part of my life but my kids broke me like wild horses and now I cannot go without. They also get bonus points for providing me with the false sense of doing an activity with my kids. Even if that activity is voluntarily giving my kids sugar with sprinkles on top.
The Real Housewives of Park Ridge
I joined First Friends back in January 2016. Olivia was 3 months old and decided that was the perfect time to start a sleep boycott. I was trapped indoors with two kids under 3 and running on a handful of broken hours of sleep. To say I was a wreck is an understatement. These ladies are what kept me from drowning, made me laugh through the tough moments, finally made me feel that New Jersey was “home”, and most definitely kept my children alive when I couldn’t be in two places at once. My survival and my children is owed in large part to these ladies.
You don’t really really appreciate your mom until you have kids of your own. So mom, I apologize for all of the times you walked in the door at 5pm and the first thing I said was “what’s for dinner?” While I don’t have the luxury of living close to my mom she’s been the constant voice in my head saying “take time for yourself. Ask for help.” True to form, I don’t heed her advice and find things out the hard way. But true to her form, when she visits she dives in and helps. After the kids’ birthday party I didn’t have to do ANYTHING. The kitchen was spotless. Also, I have to give thanks for her amazing skills at picking out children’s books that we all enjoy. Over and over again. And over again.
As I sit beside her at 545am while our kids rage in exhaustion and Paw Patrol blares loudly making our pre-coffee selves want to scream, I can’t think if anyone else I would rather have at my side. She is my almost daily call, the one that tells me it’s ok to think your kids are a-holes because honestly they are sometimes, and the person my heart aches for because we can’t be closer and raise our kids together. She is selfless and giving and empathetic to a fault – this is all while having my two little adorable nephews to raise. She is nothing short of amazing.
Cue Bette Midler “Did I ever tell you you’re my hero???” Because “Wind Beneath My Wings” pretty much sums up how I feel about this guy. He is the calm to my crazy and I often say I’m the glue that keeps the family together but he is without a doubt the one that keeps ME together. I could go on and on about everything he does and how much I love him but I know that would only embarrass him because “feelings” and “talking about them”so I’ll stop.