29 January 2012

Why I Was Blessed to be Hit by a Semi

So, as most of you know, my car was rear ended by a semi truck a week ago (hence my long absence! sorry!). While I did receive an external head injury (stitches and 16 staples across the back of my head!) and did a number on my hands, I basically walked away from what could have (or should have) been a far more tragic accident.

For whatever reason, I was not nearly as upset as everyone else was, or, perhaps, as much as I should have been. Truthfully, I felt it was an awesome accident to have, if one is going to get in an accident.

Not too long ago I asked you all where your joy lies. In keeping with the mentality that joy can be found in anything, I want to share why it was a blessing to be hit by a semi truck.

- My daughter was not in the car. She was SUPPOSED to be in the car, but my husband found a last minute baby sitter (his boss). I don't think I even need to go into that one, do I? That blessing is pretty self explanatory - even if she had been fine, she would have had to listen to my screams, watch the semi hit (she's still rear facing) and deal with her mama bleeding from the head and being taken to the ER in an ambulance (while my husband was stuck out of town so he couldn't come get her and we have NO family/friends here so no one to call but my husband's boss!). What would I have done with her? Obviously she couldn't have stayed on the side of the road, or come with, or.. well... she wasn't in the car.

- I am a D*** good driver. I mean that. Even after this accident I am completely confident in my skills. I steered the car after I was hit and managed to aim for the small (car sized) opening between the trees rather than amplify the situation with a head on collision. I also didn't flip the car - according to both the tow truck drivers the car SHOULD (not could) have flipped and rolled. They were amazed at my driving skills. I promise you, God had the wheel and guided my hands.

- The semi truck and driver were FINE. This might seem like a weird blessing, but think what could have happened if it had been a car with a family of four. What if they had a 6 week old who couldn't have withstood the impact? My heart clenches to imagine the sorrow if the accident had involved another family or individual whose car might have flipped/rolled/been more totaled than mine, causing massive injury. I am truly, truly grateful that I was hit by a semi truck which sustained minimum damage and the driver was ok.

- I learned I need to slow down. Not just in driving (actually I was going 10-15 under the speed limit due to the weather... and I've driven in worse conditions, it really was a freak accident) but in life. I was so unreasonably upset that my husband was stranded in Chicago O'Hare that I became this monster who felt victimized by the situation. All I could see were my dreams and my plans fading into the background yet again. Now, unfortunately, this might be a bit of a theme in this blog as one of my reasons for starting this is to come to grips with my current reality, but I promise I will share my growth as an adult just as much, hopefully more, than my disappointments as a child. When I called my clients to tell them I would have to cancel I was SO EMBARRASSED. ASHAMED. At that moment I realized that calling them asking to reschedule due to weather and my husband's predicament was far less intimidating than calling them to say I'd been in a car accident. They would have been perfectly delightful and happy to accommodate. Instead I got so bull headed and so stubborn that I refused to cancel. I hate asking people for help and it came back to bite me. Thank goodness I was not so stubborn I refused to take Miss O to DH's boss's house to babysit!

I have often said that I struggle to hear God's whispers so he often has to shout his advice loud and clear. Ok, I also told my husband God tends to talk to me like we're in Mission Impossible, too. ;) Hey - we all have our own relationship with our beliefs/creators/ect..and I like adventure! I think this was God telling me I need to work on my marriage, my motherhood, my business, my friendships, and my self esteem rather than run them all over in my haste to prove my point. I don't even think I have a point. I talk WAY too much. I should probably work on that, too..

I would love to hear about a time when you felt like you were missing the point or not hearing what someone was saying until it was LOUD and CLEAR (and perhaps a bit over the top!). Or are you some one who catches the small details?

10 January 2012

Why SAHMs Never Have Enough Time

The other day a snippet of an “Ask Annie” type column was floating around Facebook in regards to why mothers never seem to have enough time. You can see the article here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=162617177088360&set=a.162617007088377.43688.150180158332062&type=1&theater

This got me thinking: Why, exactly, am I more stressed now than I ever have been in my entire life, INCLUDING Law School???

The comment in the article that particularly bugs me is the one about what do SAHMs actually DO everyday? “Please no lists of library, grocery store, ect… I do all those things, too”…

Ok, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Let’s start there.

Childless Woman Goes To the Store Scenario One:
Childless woman opens her fridge. “Oh bummer, out of milk.” She grabs her keys, perhaps a coat, gets in the car and drives. She grabs the milk, maybe some cheese, pays, gets back in her car, drives home. Total Time: 10-30 minutes depending on distance to store.

Childless Woman Goes To Store Scenario Two (aah my former life):
Childless woman opens her fridge. “Oh bummer, out of milk.” She grabs her keys, perhaps a coat, gets in the car and drives. While at the store she gets a text message from friends “Going out for dinner and drinks at 8!” so she adds a bottle of wine or vodka or whatever to her cart (along with the milk) to pregame as she gets ready. At home she showers quickly, or at least redoes her hair and makeup, gets dressed and heads out. After a fabulous time at dinner with her friends she comes home, checks her email, goes to bed. Time: Well, ok all night, but at least she had dinner and drinks with friends!

Mom goes to the Store:
Mom opens her fridge. “CRRAAAAAAAAAAAAP NO MILK! I told DH to buy milk! Didn’t I? Did I put milk on the list?? Oh crap crap crap.” Turns around, views the hurricane damage done to her living room by her kid(s) and announces, “Ok we’re going to the store!” This is met by various “Nos” and possible fleeing from said kid(s). She proceeds to fill her purse with snacks, toys, diapers, wipes, spare clothes, a life raft ect… Puts on her coat, grabs coats for kid(s) (remember kids can’t wear coats in the carseats!), rallies everyone together and, while juggling a baby in one arm, her bag in another, heads out the door. While closing the door she realizes she has left her keys and wallet on the table. Back in she goes, still juggling baby and bag. Now, keys in hand, she locks the door (don’t laugh – this is no simple feat!), takes the kid(s) to the car and gets everyone strapped into their seats. During this time she’s probably whacked someone’s head on the car (or am I the only bad mom?), pinched someone in the car seat with the buckle, been yelled at, lectured to, or has answered any ten of one thousand questions about the store and why they are going and where milk comes from (and no, the answer is not just “cows…”). At this point she’s probably broken into a bit of a sweat, regardless of the weather. She then drives to the store. During the drive she probably hears screaming, crying, laughing, singing, arguing, and a million more pressing questions. If the kid(s) happens to fall asleep, it will be right as she pulls into the parking lot, prompting the tricky game of “should we stay or should we go?” (in other words, stay in the car and let them sleep or head into the store?). If they fall asleep on the way TO the store (score!) she hangs in that delicate balance of changing the radio station to “her music,” which will, inevitably, wake someone up OR *heaven forbid* turn on the radio if it was off in the first place and threaten the sweet, sweet silence…Either way, once the group heads inside the store there will be someone who doesn’t want to sit in the cart or someone who DOES but can’t or someone who needs a snack or someone who hates the store or someone who loves the store and wants to TOUCH EVERYTHING!!!!! At this point mom spends the entire timing diverting attentions, chasing toddlers, picking things up, putting things back, saying “follow me,” “come back here,” “no don’t touch,” “we don’t eat plastic!” or other various mom-like phrases that are structured only with the intention of ruining a kid’s good time. Turns out the checkout line is a mile long, and we all know going through the self-checkout is just a disaster waiting to happen. But that’s ok, at this point Mom doesn’t even know why they’re at the store! So she leaves, group in hand, goes out to the car, buckles everyone in, same story as on the way to the store, gets everyone inside the house, shoes off, coats put away, bag unpacked and goes to open the fridge to start lunch. “Crap, we’re out of milk.”
Total Time: eh, who has time to keep track of that, I have to go to the store!

Basically it boils down to this: anything one person can do on their own in 10 minutes takes at least an hour when you’re doing it kid-in-tow. No, kids aren’t a burden – they’re a real joy! – but they don’t make things easy. I don’t even check my email without getting a headache (no, Miss O, you can’t hit the keyboard, touch the screen, carrying the mouse pad around, take all the papers off my desk, or call a stranger from my phone… and yes, I know this is a great injustice). The other day I was trying to put the dishes in the dishwasher, looked away for a milli-second, and Miss O had put all the (still dirty) dishes away where the clean ones go and put all her (made from recycled milk jug) play dishes in the dishwasher. I appreciate that she helps put dishes away, but you see the dilemma. Moms don’t just “do” things… they explain, they repeat, they slow down, they interpret.

Being a SAHM is like living on a planet where NO ONE speaks your language. You survive merely through loose interpretations, sign language, creative charades, and the occasional foot stomping (hey, I admit, sometimes it’s too much for me ;)). I can’t go into the break room and whine with the other employees about my clients. I get NO break. I promise I’m not complaining, I’m just stating the facts. Imagine sleeping in your office and needing to wake up throughout the night to answer the phone and deal with those same clients at their beck and call. That’s the best way I can describe it.

The biggest difference is: my client gives the deepest hugs and the sweetest kisses and hearing “I lul yoo” is better than any Billboard Greatest Hit.

Ok, apparently O is “stuck”….again….. gotta run! To all the people who made it through – you’re obviously not moms… a mom would have fallen asleep, been needed to divert a crisis in the other room, or would have gotten a pounding headache part way through.. ;) Alright, I jest. ☺

But, yes, person who wrote in asking what SAHMs do all day, kids are definitely an excuse to relax all the time …

I'd love to hear your stories about a funny mothering moment, your life as a Working or SAH Mom, or, ok, even from my childless friends about how glamorous your life is! :)