Category: Parenting

Why I Like to Spend Time Alone

I took a walk all by myself today, literally over the river and through woods. It was glorious!

I rarely get time to myself, but this week my husband is on vacation. It means I am on vacation too.   I know, I know “but he works!” Well, so do I. I work from home as a freelance writer while making sandwiches and packing two kids for a day at the beach. He works only one job at a time, albeit stressful he isn’t managing meltdowns while trying to look professional to a client. We both deserve a break. But while he is working 70 hours a week, I am covering all the childcare needs while simultaneously running a business. I’m not kidding when I say, if I go down no one knows how to the food gets in the house or when the toilets get cleaned. It’s all courtesy of moi!

I walked 1.28 miles one way without pushing a stroller or with any kids hanging on me!

Today, I chose to visit one of my favorite walking trails because it is quiet and has such beautiful views of the Hudson River. I’ve only ever walked this trail with my kids, so it felt strange not pushing a stroller or pulling a heavy wagon full of screaming kids. I made pretty good time walking nearly three miles. I had my favorite music pushing me on and no one to talk too. The silence was golden.  

No answering questions about sea creatures.

No organizing lunches.

No packing up a swim bag.

No blowing up pool toys.

No slathering sunscreen and carrying an armful of towels to the pool.

It was a glorious start to my vacation!

This is the first break for myself I’ve had all summer. My kids and I have been tethered since their last day of school. It’s OK, I love them. But as a work from home/stay at home mom the daily tasks of motherhood can become the weekly grind. It’s almost cliché to call my job as a mom exhausting. Everyone knows how tired we are because we can’t stop telling everyone we are tired.

View from 212 feet in the air walking over a converted train bridge.

Taking a walk while you’re that kind of exhausted sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s exactly what I needed! To roam freely, unattached to a to-do list, or locked into mealtime demands. Listening to my own thoughts without interruptions helps me declutter things that are bugging me. Do I really need to hold on to that friend if she clearly let me go? How about cleaning out some of this guilt about letting my kids eat so many hot dogs? Being alone allows me to regroup a little and feel lighter. It’s like therapy.

Are you someone that likes to be alone in your head? Or do you enjoy escaping from the mom demands with friends? Leave me a comment below, or feel free to join the conversation on Facebook! 😊

Roxanne Ferber is a freelance writer and owner of The Whatever Mom blog. Nearly nine years on the coffee wagon and she still doesn’t have enough energy to keep up with her twins. But she is a survivor and she’s gonna make it; even if she has to white knuckle it through each day until her kids graduate. Follow her on FacebookTwitter or Insta.

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JORD Wood Watch Review and Giveaway!

I have partnered with JORD Wood Watches to provide this review. All my thoughts about this Cassia are uniquely my own.

wood watch with clock face
Cassia walnut and rose gold watch from JORD Wood Watches.

Lately I feel like I have become complacent with my no-frills wardrobe and accessories. I wear pretty much the same thing every day because it’s easy.  That has been the extent of my fashion choices for nearly a decade because that’s what works as a busy mom to young kids. Now that my kids are older and can do more for themselves, I have time to put effort into what I wear.

This summer, I am committed to purchasing sustainable, quality pieces that will last a long time. Whatever I buy must be something I love and leave no lasting trace in our environment. When Jord watches invited me to partner with them to showcase their wood watches, I dug a little deeper to learn more. The biggest draw to Jord wood watches is their sustainability

Jord watches (pronounced YODE) are made from reclaimed materials and yet so glamorous. I selected the Cassia watch made from walnut wood and rose gold for its classic features and gorgeous color combo. Rose gold is very popular right now and I am smitten with its mild tone against the warm dark color of the walnut. According to Jord’s website, the wood used in their watches is naturally sourced and supplied largely from reclaimed pieces. There is no use of toxic chemicals to treat or maintain the wood. So, after decades of use and care this watch will still be here, and in its end of life the elements can be recycled.

After wearing my stunning new watch for two weeks I’ve discovered:

This gorgeous watch is a nice departure from the fitness tracker I typically wear. It’s a great way to zhush up my outfit while running errands in public, or when I’m sitting alone at the local café to get some work done.  Plus, it doesn’t buzz at me if I am sitting at my desk for too long or tether me to a digital device (my phone) to operate.

The size and profile of the watch fits into my mom life of chauffeuring kids, doing dishes, running errands, and tossing in a load of laundry. I don’t need to feel stylish during these moments, but it is nice that the watch fits seamlessly into my busy task list-oriented lifestyle.

I truly love how unique this watch is and that it creates conversations about my eco-friendly values. Taking care of my family and the earth doesn’t mean I have to give up on quality. A hand crafted, sustainably sourced watch is a great first step in designing my new classic go to style.

The price range for these gorgeous watches is $100-$300. I recognize this can be above a family budget and it is a splurge for moms to spend that much on themselves. I totally get it! It is rare that I personally buy something for myself. It is more likely that my family will treat me to something this sophisticated. But I only share products I use myself so I can give my authentic review. After wearing my Cassia for two weeks I can tell you this watch is an investment in sustainable luxury that you can wear in good conscience for years to come.

When I find a product I love, I want to make sure my readers can get in on the love too. I am grateful to Jord for giving away a CHANCE TO WIN $100 off a purchase of any watch in their collection! And, since you are all winners in my book, Jord is also giving every entrant a 10% gift code. Now there’s really no excuse not to treat yourself to something just for you! CLICK HERE FOR YOUR EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT!

#ad #modern #unique #jordwatches #thewhatevermom1

Roxanne Ferber is a freelance writer and owner of The Whatever Mom blog. Nearly nine years on the coffee wagon and she still doesn’t have enough energy to keep up with her twins. But she is a survivor and she’s gonna make it; even if she has to white knuckle it through every day until her kids graduate. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Insta.

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A Cynic’s View of Valentine’s Day – Celebrating Love and Grief

Valentine’s day seems to bring out two kinds of people. The ones who love everything about the holiday and the ones who hate everything about it. I used to be one of the folks that hated it. I thought it was some dumb made up holiday created to dupe people from their dollars with useless trinkets and overpriced flowers. Gift giving is easy but loving someone every day is the hard part. A total cynic, even after I found love with the man that is now my husband.

We were dating only a few weeks before Valentine’s day, so I gave my new love a card and a funny pair of joke boxers out of obligation. I was clearly in the no frills, less is more camp. Only after arriving at his apartment for a home cooked meal, a surprise dozen roses, some chocolates, gold jewelry and a sappy card did I realize he was in the other camp. And that made for some very awkward dinner conversation.

A lot has changed since our first Hallmark holiday. For our second Valentine’s day, we celebrated the birth of my nephew. Our third Valentine’s day we celebrated my niece’s victory over childhood cancer and on our fifth Valentine’s Day we attended my father’s funeral. Valentine’s day has not always been all roses and chocolates for us. We’ve watched friends marry and divorce on Valentine’s day, and we’ve watched atrocities of mass shootings unfold on Valentine’s day. This Hallmark occasion has become a mixed bag of emotions for me. I’m always torn between throwing love around like confetti or sobbing in a closet. In between all the gifts and romance, funerals and cancer diagnosis’ we’ve learned that we need this one day on the calendar to remind us to slow down and check-in with those around us. I am always thankful for that extra reminder.

Today marks our 19th Valentine’s Day and again it is a day of celegrieving
(Note to self: coin the term “celegrieving”). We lost four amazing people in the last month. Grieving on Valentine’s day isn’t new to us, but it does put a crimp in our celebratory mood. Yet in a way it doesn’t. (There’s that mixed bag of emotions. You just don’t know which one I’m going to pull out). We don’t need flowers, or grand gestures to celebrate our family and friends. We are grateful for the memories we have with our Uncle Mike, our friends Michael, Jennifer and Erica. They are among the reasons we rejoice. We celebrate them and the wonderful gifts they’ve given us. Each of them taught us something, showed us kindness in every day gestures and made us laugh. Oh, how I will miss hearing their laughter. And their smiles when we talked. The run-ins at Walmart. And our shared stories with funny inside jokes. This holiday wasn’t invented with grievers in mind, and it isn’t my fault that my grief comes with a side of glittery wrapped dark chocolates. I guess grieving on the high holy day of chocolate has this one small benefit.

Despite my sadness this morning I decorated our kitchen with red and white crepe paper and scattered chocolate kisses all over the breakfast table. I surprised my girls with some special gifts, and I wrote love notes in everyone’s card. No, my husband’s presents and impressive dinners over the years have not converted me to the commercialism of Valentine’s day. But living in a world where it is easy to become so busy that we lose track of time and each other has changed our view of what this day means for us. All the materialism celebrated on this day will fade, but the lasting memories we forge together will get us through the low points, like when we can’t make sense of death. Even if this holiday is just another day on the calendar, I can still gift my family with joy over the cynical harshness of life. And what I’ve learned from the last 19 Valentine holidays is that every second we are alive is worth celebrating. Also, if you buy your brand-new boyfriend a pair of goofy boxers for your first Valentine’s day, when you get married, you can coast along on those low standards for another two decades.

Roxanne is the head writer, creative force and marketing guru at The Whatever Mom. She started this crazy blog before her babies grew into smarty pants little people leaving messes all over her house. Eight years on the coffee wagon and still folding nine million pairs of socks. But she is a survivor and she’s gonna make it. Even if it means white knuckling through every morning until her kids’ graduation.     Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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Why is School Picture Day Such a Struggle?

Am I the only one that hates school picture day?

I mean I love the cute pics of my kids, but the struggle leading up to the big day is one I’d rather miss thank you very much.

I love that I have very strong-willed children, but there are days I have to suck it up that I am not going to get my own way. Picture day is one of those days. I would love to have my girls dressed in something cute and fluffy with perfectly coiffed hair. The problem is they aren’t having it. I can lay out the outfit I’d like them to wear the night before, and by morning there will be a tearful protest simply because I am “making” them do something.

So here is what I did today… nothing. I let them have full control. I did not coach them on how to smile. I did not remind them to check their teeth before they go in for photos. And I did not pick out their outfits or adjust their mix of patterns. Today was just another school day. Nothing special.

I know it sounds totally crazy for those of us “control enthusiasts” who love things perfect. It definitely feels weird letting my elementary school kids have total control over pictures I am going to pay for (and I don’t even get a preview). Now that I have a few school picture days under my belt, I know those photos are a freeze frame moment in time- a time in my kids childhood when they can fully express who they are without judgement. The superhero and cutesy character t-shirts are a glimpse into the personalities and treasured favorites of their past. They have plenty of time to be perfect in the future.

Letting go of making things perfect isn’t easy. But I am learning to meet my kids half way.

Today, there were no tears. No one complained. No lines drawn in the sand. Both of my kids picked out appropriate and clean shirts to wear. One insisted on giant bows for her pigtails and the other wanted to wear the same hairstyle she does every day. We made it to the bus stop on time in glorious harmony. Zero struggle. Zero tantrums on school picture day. We even laughed at their suggestion to “dab” as their school picture pose. (Please don’t).

Today, was a much smoother send off than on previous school picture days. #totalparentwin

Also, I ordered the smallest portrait package so there will be minimal evidence if this little experiment goes sideways. #promomtip

 

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

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Queen Girls Has 5 NEW Inspiring Stories!

I’ve partnered with Queen Girls to promote diversity and positive content in children’s books.  They have created a collection of fairy tales, inspired by the lives of real women – Marie  Curie, Isadora Duncan, Savitri Phule, Bessie Coleman and Frida Kahlo. I have not been compensated for this post. All opinions shared are my own. Read to the end for your free copy of a Queen Girls story and activity book.

Today I am excited to tell you that Queen Girls is launching a whole new series of books written to empower young girls! I only share with you the things I love most and this is one of them! I love the illustrations, the language and the stories. Most of all I love sharing these age appropriate true life stories with my own girls. I hope it plants the seed that they can be and do anything they want to in life.

Meet The Queens


This new book series includes 5 new stories about Frida Kahlo, Savitri Phule, Junko Tabei, Isadora Duncan, Bessie Coleman ​&​ Marie Curie. These are the souls behind this collection.

Each book combines reality with elements of fantasy, captivating the attention of our youngsters while at the same time showing them the power of determination. These fairy  tales are geared at girls aged 4 to 8, definitive years where perspectives are sharply  defined. They show our girls that anything is possible if we set our minds to it!     Queen Girls wants to stir the conversation around stereotypes in children’s literature. More  often than not, women are portrayed simply as exotic beauties, love seekers and  homemakers.

‘We believe that as parents, we need to be more conscientious about the content we read to our children. Story telling is an intimate, powerful and often underestimated privilege. It is not just about acquiring new vocabulary, but also instilling ideas and perspectives that will support our girls’ dreams. Telling them new stories will hopefully change theirs.’

 

Queen Girls is a collection of books for CONSCIOUS families, for parents who are  aware of the importance of the content we consume and read to our children.    

The Collection 
Diversity is at the core of this collection. Every woman portrayed comes from a different  walk of life and diverse background. The writers and illustrators are also unconventional.  Jimena Durán, Founder and Creative Director, intentionally invited different women to be  part of this adventure, hoping to create alliances beyond stereotypes.

‘We want to teach girls that our diversity makes each one of us unique beings, equally capable of doing anything we set ourselves out to do!’

How Queen Girls was born 
As a new mom, Jimena started paying closer attention to children’s literature. She found  herself changing the lyrics of songs and books because their messages didn’t always  resonate with her. She did not feel comfortable delivering much of the content to her son  and wanted to do something about it. Her sister in law, Andrea Doshi, Co Creator, speech  pathologist and passionate traveler, didn’t hesitate to jump into the adventure. Together  they brought this concept to life with their first, co authored book, ‘Bessie, Queen of the Sky’  (image above).

How to get involved? 
The first book was printed thanks to a supportive community and successful Kickstarter  campaign. They are now running a second Kickstarter campaign with 5 new titles! They need all the love you can give them to make their dream to publish this collection a reality!

Learn more here: Queen Girls Publications

SHARE to receive free e-book + coloring book + activity book of ‘Bessie, Queen of the  Sky’ – fairy tale inspired by the story of Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to receive  her pilot’s license ​https://goo.gl/DSt4vBi​ #queengirls  Share this and tag Queen Girls on social media to receive your free download of Bessie, Queen of the Sky!

 

 

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here’s Why I am Such a Terrible Blogger

Probably not the title you want to see from someone trying to become “profesh.” But most days I feel completely terrible at my job as a blogger. It isn’t for a lack of trying, or working hard, in fact I write stuff all the time. I am usually writing it all in my head while I’m driving the kids to gymnastics or to the grocery store. I am always taking snap shots of the craziness that happens in my day, but then forget to upload them later. If only I didn’t have to mom all day I’d be a much better blogger, I say to myself every night as I turn out the light and pull the covers up to my chin.

I attempted to work outside the house for about 9 months and it totally threw off my blogging flow. I thought I’d get back into it during the summer and that was harder than I thought. I barely had enough time for my morning coffee before the kids and I were off an running. It was an amazing summer, but not much proof of it in the way of blogs and photos.

The truth is I love blogging and I love writing. But the kid noise and household demands always come first. Call me crazy, but I do enjoy having fresh undies and a clean glass to drink my wine from. #priorities I am often choosing between writing and holding it all together. It feels unfair at times because this is my creative outlet AND chance to make an income for my family. It isn’t that I don’t make it priority, it’s just that there aren’t enough hours in the day. I don’t know how my favorite bloggy moms do it!

On top of all the mom guilt I have, I can now add blogger guilt. The guilt of letting time pass without sharing. The guilt of not connecting enough. Then there is the anxiety (and reason I don’t sleep) that everyone has moved on because I’ve been too busy to stay on top of things. My blogging mission has always been to share the “realness” of my my messy life as a mom. I think I am the same as any other mom just trying to keep up with life and squeezing in a little self-care.

Maybe you can relate to this feeling even if you aren’t a blogger. Do you ever feel like you fall behind in some part of your life? How do you handle it? I wanna hear from you in the comments below! Leave me your best tips and ideas for getting back on track with your creative pursuits, self-care and general flow of life.

I hope you have a great week!

Love,

The World’s Okayist Blogger

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

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What to Pack for Your Next Family Road Trip

Car with map

Summer is here and for us that means a lot of time on the road. The kids get so bored in the car, even after their fill of movies and electronics. Having a few extra activities on hand can help maintain sanity and squash boredom levels.

There are times I travel solo with the kids to see my family which makes me the ship director and the activities coordinator all in one trip. I discovered filling up a basket of new-to-you activities for the kids makes a really great co-pilot. I can pull out a new distraction with a free hand and pass it back to the kiddos before they begin their first argument. The trick is to not use all the stuff up before you get to the end of your road trip. Then you drive back home empty handed and that is no bueno.

Here is what I keep in my basket of tricks:

Books – especially ones with stickers my kids can peel off and stick again. Those keep them entertained and won’t stick to the inside of my car. Trust me, a lesson you learn only once.

Snacks – and lots of them! I’m talking the rare treats they never get like gummy things, barrels of Goldfish crackers and sticky, sweet granola bars. Kids can’t argue if their mouths are full. Rare treats also work well for bribery, “Simmer down back there or the gummies get it!”

Wet wipes – to take care of the sticky granola bars.

Bubbles – this is great for younger kids. I use them at the rest stop when we get out to stretch our legs, or to give the other kid something to do while we are in the bathroom (besides complaining sister got to go first).

Art supplies – my kids love the adult coloring books. I keep a few on hand with a mega set of colored pencils. Not only does this give them color options, but it means I won’t have to go digging for the only blue pencil they just dropped under the seat for the 10th time in the last five minutes.

White board – to use the dry erase markers to play games like Pictionary or hang man. This of course only works if they are in a amicable mood. Otherwise you’ll have to endure listening to high pitched whaling, “she drew a picture of me with 3 eyeballs!” Also get the washable, dry erase markers. (Another lesson you only need to learn once).

Patience – it is typically somewhere near the bottom of the basket. I have to rummage around under all the other stuff to search for it and eventually I find it. Traveling with kids is stressful at some point. You have to manage emotions, attitudes and temperaments along with hunger cues and bathroom breaks. Not to mention defend everyone’s personal space. Being prepared with favorite comforts can really help. But what works best is dropping any expectations for a tranquil journey. And if you pull out the electronics to find a little peace – go for it! Driving with screaming kids can contribute to road rage, so really handing your kids an iPad is a simple safety measure.

Happy travels!

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

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Free Subtraction Worksheet from Education.com

Over the summer I began using lesson plans and worksheets to beat the summer slide. This week we are home from school for our winter/holiday break and it is the perfect time to do some math practice. That’s why I am so excited to share with you this free printable math worksheet directly from the creators of Education.com!

Float through two-digit subtraction with this kayaking themed worksheet from Education.com. Your child will gain valuable practice with this cute themed worksheet. Get more fun subtraction resources here.

My first graders have mastered single-digit and double-digit addition, and single-digit subtraction, which they are really good at (obvious mom brag). Now, they are ready to move on to double-digit subtraction, which will be a challenge. But I’ll be ready to help with this kayak themed worksheet that we can use for practice at any time. Thankfully, there is also an answer sheet available. I’m pretty confident I have a handle on subtraction, but this is a great way for my kids to check their own work.

Download your free Kayak subtraction page and answer key.

 

 

My kids enjoy the  math games, worksheets, puzzles and everything else offered on this comprehensive site. It’s easy to choose activities and lessons by grade level and I trust this site to provide age appropriate content. I am confident your child will enjoy interacting with these playful learning tools as well. If you are homeschooling you can create your own custom worksheet with their worksheet generator to accommodate to your child’s needs. The best part is every family can count on this trustworthy site created by a crew of experienced educators to support their child’s learning.

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas is Made of Perfect Moments Not Perfect Gifts

The Christmas season is in full blown panic mode. It’s time to buckle down and find the PERFECT gift for everyone! All the emails filling my in box are YELLING AT ME to open to find the PERFECT gift for everyone on my list, including the postal carrier, my kids’ bus driver and the lady down the street that once stopped to chat with me for five minutes about the weather. Everyone has to have THE PERFECT gift!

Every year as I panic to make all the gifts happen and I worry if I am buying something useful and am I including everyone, I think back to one year I found exactly the perfect gift for everyone on my list and it only cost me $20. I was a poor college student in between jobs. I was determined to somehow give my friends and family a meaningful gift. Something truly from the heart, but still fit in my budget.

I had to get creative since I was down to the last $20 in my bank account. Now, to be fair at the time I was a college student $20 stretched just a little bit further than it does today, but it still couldn’t stretch as far as I needed it to. I had some really wonderful people in my life that I needed to thank and tell them just how much I love them. I decided to write each person a letter.

I purchased some pretty stationary and planned to hand write everyone a personal letter telling them what they mean to me. I was so excited I started composing letters in my head as I walked up and down the aisles of the drug store. But it didn’t feel like enough of a gift to simply add a stamp and drop in the mailbox. I keep pacing the aisles looking for inspiration. I started looking at all the pretty things I couldn’t afford and realized there was no way I could buy one gift for each person. But I could buy one thing to share and divide among my friends. I decided I would invite everyone over for a spa party and hand deliver my letters.

I scooped up some pretty candles, borrowed my mom’s best table cloth, scattered some rose petals on top and laid out all kinds of facial masks and nail polishes. I even had enough to purchase some chocolates and crackers and cheese. For a poor teenaged college student this felt super fancy! Then I invited everyone to come over for some pampering, a nosh and just spend time together.

It turned out to be one of the most memorable gifts I have ever given. We all had so much fun just being together talking and laughing. There was no pressure to exchange gifts of equal value, no worry about guessing sizes or accounting for taste. It was just all my important girl friends gathered to spend a few hours connecting and enjoying the season together.

In fact, the memory of this day drives me to slow down at every Christmas and just enjoy who I am surrounded with. I have spent many Christmas’s with many different people over the years. But the ones I cherish most are the ones with my kids. To wake up with their wide eyed wonder staring at the magic before them, with a heart so full of belief is priceless. And I could never find a gift under the tree as special as that.

So this year give up on finding perfection in gifts and material things. Instead, look for the perfect moments spent connecting with friends and family. Those moments will sustain you longer than any seasonal candle, electronic or new gadget. Take photos even if you don’t feel “perfect” and eat that extra Christmas cookie if it brings you joy vs. the perfect calorie count. And I challenge you to look for perfect moments well passed the holiday season when we expect every moment to be perfect. There is no rule saying we can’t connect with friends and family in the same way in July as we do in December.

Slow down, take a night off and stop to enjoy all the warmth surrounding you. Merry Christmas!

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

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Wishing You a Less Than Perfect Thanksgiving

 

Our Thanksgiving tradition every year is to share the stories of all the crazy things that happened to us on Thanksgivings past. It makes us laugh and realize how much we have to be thankful for, even if it is for the little things. I’ve compiled some of our most memorable to share with you today.

When I was a kid we never had the same Thanksgiving twice. The menu would change a little or sometimes we’d be in a new home. The faces gathered around our table were different every year. When my parents divorced my mom would open our home to her friends who did not have family to feast with. They were like aunts and uncles to us.

We were very poor but somehow at Thanksgiving we had abundance. Except the one year my mom had nothing and our uncle took us out for pizza the day after. I remember feeling grateful for the generosity and that we got to eat in a restaurant which was rare.

When we were older my family of six crammed into our small car to travel to another state to stay with family for Thanksgiving. They lived on the side of a mountain and it felt like an adventure just driving toward their house. Hunters we’re in their front yards firing off riffles for target practice. We may have gathered to eat turkey, but it was bear season on the mountain. An entirely different world compared to my “city” living. That wasn’t even the least perfect part of our holiday. At some point during the feast prep the water supply stopped running. My memory of why escapes me, but I’ll never forget my uncle having to walk to the creek to fill buckets of water to leave in the bathroom so we could flush the toilet. It was funny twenty six years ago and it is funny now.

When I hosted my first adult Thanksgiving and cooked for my in-laws the very first time nothing worked right. The timing was completely off and it took nearly 7 hours to cook our turkey. By the time we sat down to eat all the side dishes were cold. I was stressed because my attempts to impress my extended family failed miserably. It turned out the house we just moved into had an oven that cooked 200 degrees less than its setting. Thankfully, we had plenty of wine to ride out the wait time. My husband and I still laugh about that day.

Years later we bought our first home and we closed the week before Thanksgiving. We were running between our apartment and new house on Thanksgiving day so there was no way I was going to cook. My husband thought we could easily stop into any dinner or restaurant to get a turkey dinner. Turns out every business in our new hometown closed down. We had to settle for Swanson’s turkey TV dinner we picked up at a gas station. I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face when I presented him with that tray of a tiny serving of turkey with no second helping in sight.

Then there was the year I went into labor the night before Thanksgiving. I was so excited to finally meet my two little turkeys, but it turned out to be false labor. After a sleepless night in the hospital we returned home and hubby had to make dinner on his own. That was the year I learned to let go of the perfect Thanksgiving. Nothing is more perfect than being served a meal I didn’t have to cook and the ability to laugh at the crazy things life brings.

I remember all the years my mom stressed to get a good meal on the table and I remember all the crazy things that happened to change our perfect plans. I don’t remember all the things that went perfectly right. Those imperfections make me so grateful to wake up with my kids now, in our warm home (with flushing toilets) and making breakfast together. Having a hot meal and plenty of food, our health and a comfy couch to watch our TV are all things we consider perfect ways to celebrate any holiday. We have limited years with our children at our table and having them to ourselves. I want to spend it laughing and enjoying whatever comes our way. I’ve learned to embrace the tradition of chaos for our holiday and really cherish the years it all goes according to plan.

May you all have a day filled with laughter and just enough imperfections to make the day memorable. Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

Feel free to share your favorite Thanksgiving memory in comments below! The less  perfect the better!!

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

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