Saturday, October 15, 2011

One of those women

I vowed I would never become one of those women.

You know, the women who let themselves go.

The women who spend every waking moment taking care of their kids, and never have time for themselves.

The women who are exhausted, and it shows.

Turns out, I am one of those women.

In fact, because I never do anything half-assed, I think I've actually raised the bar when it comes to being one of those women.

Obviously, this is not something I'm proud of.

It makes me want to puke, actually.

What happened to the Jody that went out with friends for a drink?

I remember a Jody who played city league sports - both basketball and volleyball.

Once upon a time, this Jody even went out for occassional lunches with friends.

Unfortunately, that Jody is gone.

I sure hope she comes back someday because I really don't like the woman who has taken her place.

Oh wait, that's me.


I haven't played sports for five years. I think I went out for a beer with a friend about three weeks ago (and got texts from my babysitter the whole two hours I was gone... "Mom..when are you coming home?". Pretty much ruined the evening for me.) And lunch... hell, I don't even eat lunch most days. There's no time. I should be skinny, for a little as I eat. Unfortunately, skinny Jody has left the building too. And my hair - don't even go there. It looks like shit.

How did this happen?

I swore it wouldn't happen to me.

But, as I look at the schedule for next week, it dawns on me why it happened.

There are simply not enough hours in a day.

I would love, love, love to spend an hour at the gym every day. I would feel so much better about myself, about the way I look, and about my life. But when am I supposed to get there? Between work, the little girls, and the taxi service I run for the big kids, there just isn't enough time. And, just like those women, I wouldn't dream of spending an hour on myself.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I would be a much better mother if I did things I want to do once in awhile. If I could do them without the overwhelming sense of guilt I get now, that would be even better. It's not just the gym. I have closets full of "projects" I want to do.. Projects that I enjoy. Projects that are relaxing to me. I haven't touched them in months.

So what is the answer?

Damned if I know.

All I know is I'm tired of being one of those women.

I love my kids, like my job, and don't even mind running a taxi service.

I'd just really, really like the old Jody back.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Five years ago, Brad and I sat the kids down at the kitchen table and asked them to help us make a very important decision:

Should we get a second dog, or have another baby?

We voted, and decided to get a puppy.

A few weeks later, Windsor joined our family (two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with Lizzy, but that's a story for another day).

Lexi and Windsor - July 2006

Lexi, Jake and Windsor - July 2006

Brad and baby Windsor - July 2006
Windsor was the cutest, sweetest, fattest puppy ever. We loved him immediately. Bob, on the other hand, wasn't so sure about sharing his kennel, and his family. Eventually, Uncle Bob accepted (or at least tolerated) his nephew, Windsor.

Windsor never mastered the art of pheasant hunting like hs uncle, much to Brad's disappointment.  But, we loved him anyway, overbite and all. Unfortunately, city life wasn't for Windsor. He barked a lot. He dug holes in the yard. We yelled a lot. This was not the life we wanted for our sweet puppy.
John and Windsor - August 2011
About  year ago, we sent him to the farm. It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement. We planned to take him back once our lives settled down and once he settled down a little. But, Windsor quickly won the hearts of my dad and brother. While they often joked about bringing him home, we knew Windsor would never come home. He loved the farm. He was a different, calmer, happier dog there.

The kids talked about him a lot. Lizzy often mentioned how much she missed Windsor.

Little did we know when we last visited the farm in August, we'd never see him again.
Duke and Windsor - the royal dogs of the Shea farm

Windsor died today.

I knew as soon as I heard my dad's voice on the phone.

Dad called to tell us that Windsor got run over this afternoon. Dad carried him to the shop, to inspect his wounds and make him comfortable. Windsor was having a hard time breathing, but his tail never stopped wagging. Even in pain, he was a happy dog.

John got to say goodbye to him, and for that I am grateful. I only wish my kids could have hugged him one last time, and I could have yelled at him to be quiet one final time. I feel terrible that my dad had to deal with all of this. But, I am so glad Windsor got to spend the past year at the farm. It was the best year of his life.

Between the tears and the sadness, Lexi, Jake and I talked about how happy we were for Windsor. He died while running at the farm - his very favorite thing to do.

He may have also helped Lexi through a very difficult time. She and her best friend have been having a tough couple of weeks, and haven't talked for a long time. It's been really hard on Lexi, but when she heard the news about Windsor, her first instinct was to text her best friend. They texted back and forth a bit, and her BFF told her "I'm here if you need to talk". Lexi said that text brought tears to her eyes because the BFF fight is now over.

Saying goodbye to a pet is never easy, but for Lexi, saying goodbye to Windsor helped her get her best friend back. And that's proof that dogs really are a man's (and a 12 year old girl's) best friend.
John and Windsor
Windsor the farm dog
Jake, Lizzy, John and Windsor

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Bad Mom Day

Most days, I think I'm a pretty good mom.

Then, there are days like today.

Today, I'm pretty sure I'm the world's worst mom.

I can't but wonder what happened to all the good things I've taught my kids.

Today, I saw none of the good.

But I saw lots of bad.




Terrible behaviors. The kicker - it was the big kids acting so awful. I kind of expect it from the toddler and the preschooler. Not from the 10 year old and the 12 year old. Not from my "easy" first born.

But that's the thing about motherhood.

It's a tough job.

The toughest there is, if you ask me.

And just when you think you've got it mastered, bam. They hit you when you're least expecting it, with the most unexpected behaviors.

I lost my cool.

For that, I am sorry.

No mother should yell at her children, but sometimes it just happens.

And on this day, it may just have been for the best.

After my meltdown, everyone was suddenly very sorry for how they had acted, for what they had said, and how they had treated each other.

A miracle.

I'm just sorry that so much of our day was wasted with fighting.

I know it's just one day.

But that's kind of the point - everyday should count.

We should live everyday like it's our last.

Everyday should have a "good part".

Today, there were very few good parts.

But, as I write this, I realize there may have been more good than I originally thought: we're all healthy, the cupboards are full, the bills are paid, and we have each other.

Life is good.
Tomorrow is a new day - and I am confident it will be a good day.

Because no one deserves two "bad mom days" in a row....