The Missing Piece


When I was in school, rather when I was taking class for my MA I was always writing. I wrote short stories, I wrote blogs, I wrote marketing plans, I wrote essays…it was part of the job I guess. Studying to be a better writer forced me to actually be a writer. Imagine that?

In the six months since I graduated I haven’t done very much writing. Why? I have been chasing a very active and independent little girl around. This isn’t an excuse…just a fact. I don’t usually sit down in front of the computer because there are lots of other things to do (like trying to get ready to leave the house). This morning is a surprise. I didn’t sleep well last night. I was exhausted by 9 p.m. We crawled into bed and all fell asleep fairly quickly. Then, starting at midnight I was just awake on and off. Finally, at 6 a.m. I just decided to get up. I snuck out of bed (somehow a little girl had climbed into my bed and was stealing all my pillows) without waking anyone up. Now, I’m here. Even though it’s early and even though I will probably regret not sleeping more later I’m glad to be writing.

No matter which way I spin it, I miss writing. I miss pouring out my thoughts onto paper and turning my jumbled mess of a mind into clear, articulate words. It’s the missing piece in my life. I need to try harder (Don’t we all?). I need to make time for myself, for my writing. It’s just so easy to put it all on the back burner. Whether you are a mother, a father, whether you work from home or out of the office, whether you love what you do or you don’t…it’s easy to push the passion aside.

There’s work to be done, there’s kids to be raised, there’s laundry and cleaning and cooking. It’s Saturday and it’s time to rake leaves or go grocery shopping. Oh, it’s bed time again. It’s time to get up and start all over. But, where does that leave you? The chapter you wanted to complete, that essay you’ve been meaning to submit, or like me that blog that keeps getting neglected. For me, it is the missing piece. It’s the thing I shouldn’t be pushing aside. Laundry can wait. During nap time I shouldn’t just look at Facebook or fold the clothes. I should take a quiet moment and write something.

So should you…

If it’s not writing, what’s your missing piece? Don’t let it be forgotten again today.

A Little Humor to Get You Through the Day


10 Steps to Getting Ready (with a toddler)

We all know that once our precious little angels begin to crawl and walk there is no stopping them. All of the sudden you are screaming “Grab the baby gates!” and “Did you shut the toilet lid?” because you never know what (seemingly) harmless household object they will get into next. When you turn your back for a second they have unraveled four paper towel rolls, squeezed out an entire tube of diaper rash cream, and poured out a box of cheerios on the floor. Keeping your toddler in check and being a functioning member of society can be a challenge. Sometimes we wish that parenting came with a manual, especially one that tells us how to wrangle a two year old with the ability to demolish a living room in under two minutes. With this in mind I have compiled a list of 10 easy steps for getting ready for your day when you have a toddler in your life.

  1. Decide what your plan for the day is. Do you need to leave the house? Will you be having any visitors today? Then, yes you need to put pants on. And a bra, maybe.
  2. Realize that you haven’t showered in about three days and even the dog doesn’t want to come near you anymore.
  3. Try (unsuccessfully) to get your little one to take a nap so that you can enjoy the peace and quiet of a warm shower.
  4. Check the time and notice that you now only have 30 minutes to get ready or you will be late.
  5. Consider going back to bed instead.
  6. Say “Let’s get a shower with Mommy!” in an attempt to get clean somehow.
  7. Stand under the water for five minutes while your toddler tries to climb up your legs and screams for “boobies!”
  8. Attempt to put on clothes until you notice said toddler pooping on your white carpet. Then, try to remain calm when they step in it.
  9. After cleaning up poop, chasing your little naked monster around the house, and wrangling them into a diaper throw on the first thing you see that doesn’t stink.
  10. Decide that everything can wait and put off leaving the house until tomorrow

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Life with a toddler can be crazy, but it’s also precious. Live it up and don’t forget to laugh.

Inspiration


I’ve been working on my memoir for the past three years. I pull it out I work on intensely for a while and then I put it away to think on it. At the end of last month I had close to 70 pages completed. I know what I want to write, but sometimes the motivation isn’t there.

As a writer I’m always looking for inspiration, the lucky thing is I see it all around me. I keep this blog as a record for my thoughts and my writing because when I’m inspired to write I don’t want to keep it in. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a subject close to my heart and that is motherhood. I’ve read approximately 4 billion articles/blogs/editorials about motherhood and I can say it never really gets old because every single piece reaches a piece of me. The one that tugs at my heartstrings the most is the loneliness that comes along with being a mother (or a parent).

My baby girl is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She lights up my world in a way I never imagined. I am fortunate that I can afford to stay home, write, and be with my little princess all day long. Sometimes though, it’s lonely.

How can you be lonely, Aly? You are with Sophia day and night. Your husband never deploys and comes home right at dinner every day. You are never alone. That’s true, I am never alone, but sometimes it can be lonely. Sometimes I go weeks without talking to people I used to consider my best friends, most nights I go to bed before Richie while I’m trying to get the baby settled for bed, 90% of my days are spent trying to please a little person who can’t yet articulate what she needs.

The loneliest part is that even though there are billions of people on the Earth, many of them are mothers who are feeling the exact same way that I do, I feel like I’m alone on this island where all I am is a milk machine who fixes meals and changes dirty diapers. Even though the love I feel for my daughter exceeds anything I’ve ever felt before she’s too little to know that sometimes parenthood is tough.

So today I am inspired to reach out there into cyberspace. And say, “Hey Momma, (or Daddy) you aren’t alone! There is someone out there just like you, who feels the same way that you do. Next time you are feeling like you are alone on that island…go to the park, smile at that other parent sitting by themselves, go introduce yourself! Finally make that play date you’ve been meaning too. Your babies deserve the best and the best is a happy mommy! Chin up and when you feel alone, know that I’m out here too!