Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Half-Assing It

Being pregnant is one of the best miracles a woman can experience in her life. My first pregnancy I was a little spoiled; I didn’t have any morning sickness, I never felt more beautiful, and most importantly I didn’t have to chase around a child while I was as big as a whale. I lived with a roommate then but we were on opposite shifts so I spent most of my free time in bed eating and watching old Law and Order: SVU episodes on Netflix. I ordered whatever food I wanted with no judgement, it was quiet ALL THE TIME, I could take naps whenever I wanted. It was the pregnancy dream! This pregnancy is oh so different. I had morning sickness for about the first four months that slowly shifted into daily headaches. I managed through both of those plus the usual fatigue while being trapped in a house with an overly-hyper 3 (now 4) year old. I don’t get to eat whatever I feel like eating (mostly because there are no food places in this town), there’s no peace and quiet when I need it, and I can’t nap whenever I feel the need. My illusion of another magical pregnancy has been shut down. I have started to realize that because of all of this, my parenting skills may be lacking. Hold on, don’t call CPS yet…let me explain.

{the following photos are reenactments}


  1. Sometimes with my morning sickness I can get as far as changing a diaper and preparing breakfast before I’m back in bed struggling to keep contents of my stomach where they belong.


One morning Eli came into my room to ask what I was doing, I replied that I was sick and just needed to lay down for a while. He left and returned with a giant bag of skittles and assured me that it would make me feel better. Then shortly after, returned again asking for more cereal. I told him I couldn’t get up and to bring the cereal to me. So being the good little man he is, came back in with his bowl and box of cereal that I could pour from the comfort of my bed.



  1. Most of my relaxing time is laid back in a recliner. When you’re pregnant, getting in and out of furniture proves to be quite the challenge; thus, making me a seated yeller.


Much like a small puppy, Eli needs to be reprimanded right when bad behavior is happening so he is aware of what I’m talking about. If I miss my opportunity, odds are discussing it after the fact doesn’t have much effect. When I am sitting down and Eli is in another room or in the basement I listen out for any signs of distress. I distinguish whether he is frustrated (whiny yell), upset (loud yelling/crying), being mean (other child crying), then proceed with the coordinating response. For example: “Don’t get mad, just take your time!”, “What’s wrong with you now?!”, “Eli you better be playing nice or you come upstairs!”



  1. When my morning sickness shifted into daily headaches I was back laying down with an ice pack. I usually just tell Eli mommy’s head hurts and he can do whatever he wants if he leaves me alone for a while.


I’m sure I will be using this one once the new baby comes and I’m exhausted and delusional. It’s much easier to let the kids make a mess so they leave you alone then clean it up yourself later. Anyone with me? Or is this just me?



  1. I’m not really a “cravings” type girl, however the fact that I couldn’t keep anything down for most of the first four months of this pregnancy led me to be a lover of food now.

I use Eli as an excuse to get whatever food I feel like eating. “Eli, you wanna go get ice cream?” Sometimes he says no because he’s too busy playing, which sends me into a panic because I really wanted ice cream. “Are you sure you don’t want ice cream?” “Come on, let’s go for a ride!” [OMG PLEASE GO GET ICE CREAM WITH ME]



  1. Kindergarten is just over a year away. Did you know they don’t take naps in kindergarten anymore? What kind of crap is that… The time is upon us that Eli’s nap time will soon disappear. He already doesn’t nap at daycare, but believe you me, at home we are taking naps.


Your girl is pretty exhausted these days. Sometimes I need a little nap time to get me through the day. Who’s with me? Eli is fine with or without naps to be honest, but while we have the time to nap and I have the need for my own nap time, why not? I am keeping nap time around as long as possible, even if it is for my own personal gain.



  1. Empty threats. I spoke earlier about how it’s already difficult for me to get out of the recliner sometimes. This has made me the queen of empty threats.

“Eli knock it off or I’m gonna come down there!” yeah…. I’m not going anywhere…



  1. I find opportunities for rest and relaxation whenever I can, including bath time


Eli usually handles his bath time by himself now, I only step in for hair washing and when it’s time to get out and get in pajamas. Therefore, everything in between in mama’s break time. Every bath night I can be heard saying “Eli, we have to get out in 5 minutes” repeatedly for a good half hour.

I am sure there are even more things that I am half-assing as a pregnant (and temporarily-single mother). Surely, I can’t be the only pregnant (and even non-pregnant)  woman out there who struggles to find breaks and relaxation?

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Handling Missing a Parent

My husband is currently on his second deployment with the military. The first time around Eli was only 18 months old and didn’t really notice dad wasn’t there. Even at that young of an age I expected some tantrums but we had moved back home by my family so he was surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and I think having the added family around blurred out the fact that dad was gone. Now just because Eli wasn’t screaming for his dad (he didn’t even talk at this age anyway), doesn’t go to say that there weren’t other behaviors relating to the deployment.

Then and now Eli likes to push the limits with me; from what I gather this is very common with children who have a parent that may be gone for certain lengths of time (military, general long work shifts, truck driving, travel/training, prison, etc). I don’t have the same amount as authority as my husband does. I’m not sure why but I think, and this may come across as sexist here (sorry feminists), men are the heads of the household.  Sure, some may not work as hard as their spouse, make as much money, spend as much time with the children; however, men are usually bigger than their wives and usually have deeper more demanding voices. I could yell in my ‘mean voice’ for Eli to “STOP JUMPING ON THE COUCH” and see no reaction, but my husband can walk in the room and start with “HEY…” and not even have to finish his sentence because my son already sat on his butt and gave him a sorry expression. There’s no denying that my husband has a lot more authority than me, it is what it is. So, during these deployments Eli feels as though he can get away with a lot more because his dad is gone. He’s not completely wrong, especially because this time I’m pregnant and don’t have enough energy to yell. Most of the time I’m so exhausted that it’s easier to let him make a big mess and clean it up by myself later than to go with him hand over hand making him pick up the entire basement. I mean honestly, I get breathless walking up the stairs. Once we start therapy though I will have a second disciplinarian in the house to help back me up.

This time around Eli has obviously noticed that his dad is not around. I have stressed from the beginning that daddy is at work. He understands this and says that daddy is at work back at mommy’s house (San Diego, close enough). In the beginning, he never really wanted to video chat with his dad; he would tell me “no, daddy is busy. He’s at work…” I would say “Hey Eli, your dad says he loves you!” Eli would answer, “no, daddy is at work.” To me it appears he thought, ‘daddy isn’t here so he doesn’t love me anymore’ or ‘daddy is too busy for me.’ Of course, he was only 3-4 years old and maybe I’m just reading too much into it, but nevertheless, it made me very sad to hear him say things like that.

So where do we go from here? How do we bridge this gap between father and son when they are many time zones apart? There are many books, articles, blogs on how to help your children during deployments, but there isn’t a one size fits all for children. Children may not be feeling the same way or may not respond to techniques that another child responded to. My best advice is to try out anything and everything.

  1. Phone calls, video calls
    1. If your spouse can communicate while they’re away this is usually the best way to keep them connected with children. We do this occasionally but Eli generally doesn’t have much of an attention span for video calls. I usually have to close the bedroom door and just let him play while dad talks a big. Eli will acknowledge him sometimes, answer his questions, and show him certain things then it loses its luster and he ignores both of us completely.
  2. Daddy Dolls
    1. I’ve seen a lot of these in the military community. They are little fabric dolls with a parent’s full body picture printed on. I’ve also seen necklaces, picture frames, etc that the child can take around with them and when they are feeling sad they can hold onto their parent and talk to them.


  1. Deployment wall
    1. This one (in my opinion) was a little too advanced for Eli to appreciate, but it is a visual aid for the kids to understand more about where daddy is. Include a map with pinned areas, clocks so they can see what time it is there, a mail station to send out their letters to dad, etc.


  1. Texting
    1. One thing Eli has been really into lately is texting his dad. Of course, he can’t read and the only thing he can spell/write is his own name. He mostly uses it for the emoji’s. He likes taking his time and selecting just the right emoji to send to his dad and gets a kick out of what emoji’s dad will send back to us.
  1. Bedtime books
    1. There is a lot of literature out there on helping children deal with a deployed parent. I got lucky at Barnes and Noble and found one in the clearance rack. It’s not exactly a deployment book but it is about a parent leaving and how the child can stay connected with them. I got extra lucky because Eli really likes reading this book at night!

Nobody wants to have a parent gone, no matter what the reason, but there are a lot of ways to keep the family connected. Every family and child is unique so finding what works for you is the key.