Monday, September 29, 2014


A common joke in our house is my forgetfulness.  Mommyitis!  Gabe has even begun to detect it and poke fun at me when I goof up my sentences.  It goes beyond the basic where did I leave the keys or sunglasses.  Most people have the silly moments where they call their child by the wrong name.  Imagine that amplified!   I have learned to laugh at myself because life would not be fun if I just cried every time I said the wrong word in a conversation or forgot where I put something.  I have also learned how to cope with it to help prevent or at least quickly recover when these moments happen.

As funny as it may be it can still be awkward when I am in a conversation with someone (someone outside of my family) and I either forget what I wanted to say or the wrong words come instead.  So, I censor myself and I talk more slowly, deliberately making sure I think it all through before it comes out of my mouth.  This past week I had a conversation with my sister and when I froze mid-sentence, unable to remember the word I wanted to use she was able to say it for me, commenting that she just needed to be my "Hero".  Thank you sissy!  It was that moment combined with me loading up my blog that gave me the inspiration for this blog.  The last few days I have mentally cataloged different idea's to blog about but as I loaded the site every single idea escaped my mind.  No, this was not a case of writers block this was a case of RSD Brain.

What is RSD Brain?  Our bodies are under so much stress from pain levels that our brains simply cannot keep up. To make matters more complicated we are also on medications that can effect how we think.
Every one knows that if you don't get enough sleep you cannot think straight.  If you are sick or injured your not able to function at full capacity.  When you are on heavy medications that affect the nervous system and reduce pain then you brain is dulled.  Combine all of that and you can have a perpetual foggy brain.  That is just one of the many gifts of RSD that keeps on giving.

How do I cope?  I set alarms on my phone and calendar reminders for many mundane things.  I know many people use notepads but this just doesn't work for me, too often I will forget by the time I realize I need to write something down.  My other mommyitis issue is misplacing items.  I once put the ice pack for the kids lunch boxes in the cabinet and the sandwich container into the freezer, okay I have done this a few times.  Yes, my phone is often misplaced.  Usually this happens on days when I am doing many things: talking on the phone while doing laundry then I end the conversation and walk away to do other household chores and two hours later I cannot find my phone.  I have many anecdotes to help you understand how the brain fog works but if you don't live through it then you will never understand how it can mess you up.  The only thing I can ask is for your patience, humor and to know when to pretend that nothing is different.

It is a Really Stupid Disease (RSD) but it is one that I am stuck with so all I can do is live my life despite it.  I am not simply surviving I am a Warrior fighting back with strategy and humor.      

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mommy time ...

This past Sunday was the first day back for the Church Choir.  I was excited and a little weary.  Getting the kids back into the motion of getting ready on a Sunday morning is tough.  They generally do not want to move their butts!  Last Spring I joined the Church Choir.  This was something that Leo helped me do by changing his own schedule so he could take care of the kids during my practice night and so that he wouldn't be playing soccer on Sunday mornings either.  Hallelujah!  I can get back to my singing roots!  Well, this past Sunday as I am trying to light a fire under Gabriel to get moving he asks me "Why do you have to sing in the choir?  I miss you sitting next to me in church."  My heart is broken but I try to pull it together.  I tell myself, do not cave you deserve this small amount of time.  So, I begin to explain it to him.  I end my little speech with "Finding time for me helps me be a better Mommy."  Gabe responded "How?"
I have had a hard time explaining this to myself over the years.  It is exactly what has held me back in the past from giving myself a regularly scheduled "Mommy Time".  I have learned to find my personal time when the kids are busy doing other stuff; school or sleeping!  That is why it is so big that Leo helped make it happen that I could join my church choir.  It still hurt my Mommy Heart sitting up in the choir loft and not next to my family.  We learned a few little tricks to ease the pain but still, it is not easy for me to be away from them.
I always hear about other Mom's who take regularly scheduled time for themselves.  Every book on parenting preaches about how it is good and necessary for a Mom to find her Mommy Time.  It supposedly makes you a better Mommy.  This is not a judgement call on those Mom's who follow this practice, but I just don't get it!  Arg!  It does not make the way I am raising my children any better by taking time away from them to do something for me.  It really doesn't have anything to do with being a Mother.  Finding Mommy time is more about reminding yourself that MOMMY is a PERSON too!
I recently watched the new Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie "Blended".  There is a line in the movie that I totally agree with.  In fact it is not just a line but a discussion they are having about Parenting.  I don't remember the exact quote but it is basically that as a parent you need to be so reliable that it becomes boring.  You need to be there for your kids 100% of the time.  No wait!  99% of the time because 1% of the time you should get something for yourself!
That is what I am doing by singing in the choir.  I am giving 1% of my time to myself for something that I want to do.  My kids will only be little and needing me for a short amount of time.  There will be a time in our not so distant future where Gabe will not need me in his daily life.  Yes, in an emotional way he will always need me but not the same way he does now.  Seriously, he scared me this Summer when he did the math about how long until he starts driving and when he will go off to college.  I really only have another 7 years of him living under my roof and then he will be off to College (God and grades willing) after that it really is down hill as he becomes his own man living his own life.  So why in the world would I want to take a vacation away from him now?!  Seriously this Mommy has attachment issues and she is not ashamed of it.  Thankfully I have Lucas who is still so little but I know this time of their life is so fleeting.  That is how it should be.  Our jobs as their parents is to raise them into fully functioning adults.  When they are grown and out of the house the percentages will naturally shift giving us the bigger percentage as they need us less and less.
Right now?  I have an 11 year old and a 4 year old who need their Mommy present in their life.  Every part of their life.  Finding some Mommy time does not make me a better Mommy but it does help me stay connected to Marti Ann.  Just like the occasional date night keeps me connected with my husband.  99% of the time I am Mommy; Chef, personal shopper, maid, tutor, story teller, stylist, photographer, personal assistant, monster chaser, playtime buddy, secret keeper, disciplinarian, best friend, and daily affection giver!  Okay, I reread that sentence several times just to make sure I didn't leave anything out so if I did "oops!"

Now it is time to put on my maid, personal shopper, and chef hat to get some housework done while the kids are at school so that when they do come home I can be available to help them with their homework.  One more thought about Mommy time - The best way I spend my Mommy Time is when I am tucking my kids in to bed at night.  That is when this Mommy really feels complete.