Thursday, February 20, 2014


I'm learning that life as a Mom can be awesome, but it also threatens to be a fun sucking experience. When I became a Mom I involuntarily began to label anything relatively high energy and fun as hazardous. I am constantly saying some version of, "Don't touch that", "Don't lick that", Don't go so fast.", Don't move so slow", "Don't stand there", Don't jump off that". Life now appears to be a minefield of bad ideas and with a few choice words I can swiftly suck the fun out of anything. It's apparently my latest superpower. I understand if I am not careful I'll become a stuffy, crazy-eyed Mom faster than it takes my 3-year-old to look up at the sound of a candy wrapper. Motherhood can be a grouch making machine if we let it. This week I've become keenly aware that if I don't stand my ground I will become a jerky, short-tempered, impatient woman with chronically pursed lips. It's a fact that kids cry a lot, they are always pulling on you, they're pouty, and most days kids are just difficult. I mean, of course not mine. I'm talking other people's kids.

Motherhood may try to make me take up residence in Lameville, but it is also making me less selfish. I often have to fight the urge to clean, cook, email or relax all by myself while the kids are asking to play. Instead I make an honest effort to work on that puzzle or dump the blocks all over the floor with the girls. It's easy to forget the task will still be there when I am ready to do it later, and sometimes later does not come until they are in bed. For the record: Taking time for yourself when you bare the title of Mom is not selfish. In fact, the opposite is true and "me time" should be encouraged when done in a healthy way. However, when reflecting on "pre-children Emily" I can see that I was really selfish before having kids. My Dad has referred to me a self-preservationist, which is a nice way of saying the same thing I'm sure. And why wouldn't I have been? I mainly had my own comfort to look after. I only brushed my teeth, put on my own coat, wiped myself, and watched what I wanted to watch. I was years removed from long division and slept for less than 8 hours only if I was out at a concert or a midnight movie. I'm still kind of selfish these days, just less so, because my kids really need me and well,...I love my needy, giggle boxes like only a mother can. So lesser things can wait. 

Attempting to complete tasks throughout the day is exhausting anyway. Kids are so slow with their squirrel like attention spans and their tiny hands. My girls love to help around the house (I know, I should shut my mouth right there and thank sweet Jesus) and I try to let them help even though folding laundry turns into a 30 minute task together, followed by 5 minutes of me refolding (I can be Type-A this way, blurg). Baking banana bread for the first time took an hour and a half! Lord have mercy! I know many of you understand the constant back and forth between teachable moments and the just let me do it itch! Oh, the joy of little hands in every task! I have failed a few many times when I have to switch from one mode to another I'm afraid. 

I know I'm still getting the hang of it all. Being a Mom is tough stuff; kind of like being a kid. There is just so much to learn. It is nice to be reminded that kids really do love us. Sometimes that love just sounds an awful lot like whining

Hug more, shout less. And Moms....remember to smile; you're doing a great job!


Thursday, January 30, 2014


Like Shia Labeouf ‘retiring from the public eye’ Tony and I took a much needed hiatus from this part of the public sphere. Unlike Shia, we did so without an announcement or head-butting someone during a bar crawl, and nobody really seemed to care. Over the last four months life among the Gould four has included many a child-actor breakdown. 2013 was a roller coaster year for us and now with much of January as recent history I have just begun to believe I may indeed catch my breath. I might be ready to peek my head out again. Maybe, more like Michael Jordan, we’ll return from “retirement” and find ourselves with an opportunity as cool as Space Jam.

In order to survive the recent and major life changes, each member of my family had to find a way to cope. My recent method of coping has been quitting. In answer to my irrational attempts at a “do it all” lifestyle I have had to call it quits on things more times than I would like. And most of the things I’ve quit have been good, fun, and healthy! It’s not like eating cereal from the box, or wearing leggings as pants; no, the things I have quit are generally approved activities. I quit my woman’s group. This started out as a temporary leave of absence, but as my hypothetical return date came and went, so I am pretty sure they all believe I have simply quit the group. I quit running. Aside from a few short runs on the treadmill in our basement and a failed attempt at completing Catherine’s 5K training before the weather turned our state into a giant deep freeze, I haven’t logged many miles. I quit Facebook, Twitter (ok, I may have never really started tweeting), Pinterest (except for those two nights I couldn’t sleep), and blogging. I did not in fact quit Instagram. I am all over that like flannel on a hipster. I quit cleaning my bedroom. The rest of the house stays in pretty good shape, but our bedroom is the pit that holds the overflow of anything I cannot get to right away. Why would I focus so heavily on keeping up appearance during the day while I sleep on a pile of unfolded clothes at night? Apparently, I quit using common sense as well. 

I've rolled out of bed many mornings with the intent to "do it all"; now I just want to pee alone.

With a laundry list of dropped activities growing longer and longer, Tony and I finally seized the opportunity for me to quit one more thing. After much consideration, following a few more changes for our family, I have made the decision to quit my job. I usually use the word resign in hopes of benefiting from its softer feel, but it's quitting all the same. This big life change not only comes with the title of stay at home mom, it also comes with the ability to pick back up a few of the things I have dropped. Yes, my days will be very full as we continue to homeschool and incorporate some additional outside activities, but this change in our priorities will allow us to live life at a more sustainable pace. Maybe I'll even find time to blog and try one of those DIY's pinned at 2 am. 

So hip hip hooray for another big change for the Goulds! We're still making moves my friends!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Peace to you this holiday season and many blessings in the coming new year.