I’m not every woman, It ain’t all in me

There is never enough time in the day.

Though more time would mean I would be even busier so I am not sure more time would really help.

This morning I was stepping on magnets, jumping over laundry piles, wondering how my shower got so disgusting so fast, and not understanding how there are always dirty sippy cups.  I have had the same to-do list with the same items on it for a week now.  At the end of the night I am exhausted but then look around and I have accomplished NOTHING at home.  Yes, I worked all day and my kids are alive and fed but seriously, how long are those dirty blankets going to stay in the hallway?

As a working mom I already feel as though I spend WAY too much time away from my children already.  So the time I do have I don’t want to spend it cleaning! Oh and let’s not forget I also have a spouse that I would like to hang out with as well.  But nothing says romance like “hey baby, aren’t these panties sexy? Can you help me fold them?”

WORK-FAMILY BALANCE is a bunch of bullshit.  It’s more like work, family, house, friends, and me balance.  Seriously, how am I supposed to be a good mom, an attentive wife, have a clean house (and clean clothes), be a great friend, take care of myself (working out, eating right, having “me” time), or yea and have a career?

Then this morning I got to thinking: Why is it a bad thing that I don’t have it all together?  Why as moms are we made to feel guilty about dirty floors and messy kitchens?  Dads for damn sure don’t care!  So why do we?

I’m stressing myself out trying to meet these unrealistic expectations.  “Invisible work” is weighing me down.  My mind is constantly thinking of things no one else in my family is worried about.  Are we out of shower gel?  Did I buy enough meat for dinner?  What should we bring for show and tell? We are out of toilet paper and paper towel.  Honestly being a woman is exhausting.

Today I decided to cut the crap.

Are the clothes washed and clean?  Yes!  So who gives a damn if they aren’t folded and put away?

Has my kid had the ipad for longer than he should?  Yes, but he’s quiet and I get to sit down for more than 5 minutes.

Is it night #3 of pancakes and sausage for dinner because I can’t take the “I don’t like this, I don’t want to eat that” routine? Yup.

Do I complain about missing my kids while I’m at work but then go workout for an hour when I get home? Guilty.

I’ve stopped listening to what other people or the internet says is the right way for me to be a mother, a wife, or a career woman.  Sometimes the dishes will soak for nights at a time because we want to play a board game.  Some nights I will miss out on being well rested because I would rather spend time with the husband.  Sometimes I will give myself the time I need to be alone in order to recharge.  And there will be times I miss out on field trips and drop offs at school because I have time work in order to provide.

Is it a crime to be just “OK” at life?

If ok means my children are happy I’ll take it.  If ok means my 4 year old can read “Cat in the Hat” and my 1 year old can recognize numbers and letters already…. Sounds like I’m winning. If ok means I can be with the same man for 11 years and still smile when I write about him at this moment, that doesn’t seem too bad.  If ok means I get exceptional reviews at work and am excelling in my career and personal side endeavors, consistently working out 3 times a week, and still manage to keep the same friends I’ve had since grade school…. I’m killing it.

Sure sometimes I’ll wear the same bra for a week or leggings to work and make them seem professional but whatever.  Life doesn’t come with a manual (but thank God for wine), so I’m not trippin’.  Show me a perfect mom and I’ll show you a leprechaun, riding a unicorn with a vampire, to the North Pole, pooping gold….. exactly.

Keep your Folgers close, but your Chardonnay closer.

-Carla Kole

Preschool Woes

Friday is the last day I will take my oldest baby to daycare.  I can’t believe it’s time for preschool.  There is so much fear and anxiety in taking the next steps in life.  I know this may not seem like a big deal but I feel as though we have been content in our little bubble at daycare.  He has been taken care of by the same people since he was 3 months old, they are like family now.  They provide security and they are a source of comfort.  There is no greater mom guilt than leaving your baby everyday all day but what makes it easier is the reassurance that he is well taken care of.

We are all afraid of the unknown.  Change is hard.  It’s scary letting someone who knows nothing about your child teach and take care of them.  My baby is getting older which means he will be exposed to more of the world and that is a terrifying feeling.  I would give anything to keep him innocent and ignorant of the kind of world we live in.  Obviously that isn’t possible so I have to prepare myself for hurt feelings and jerky kids.

But one thing is for certain, I have an AMAZING 4 year old.  This little boy has so much spunk and love inside of him.  He is resilient, friendly, assertive, bold, brilliant, caring, thoughtful, and brave.  This kid has never met a person who he hasn’t made a friend.  He literally loves everybody.  I pray no experience or person he meets changes who he is.  I vow to work hard to instill in him the confidence he needs to always be himself no matter what anyone thinks about it.

So why do I worry so much about him? (Because I’m his mother, duh)

So instead of being fearful I will remember that the unconditional love, positivity, support, optimism, and discipline I have showed him his entire life has built a strong foundation for him to excel at anything.  I know I have set him up for success.  It reminds me of a quote I read not too long ago,

“Parents can only give good advice

or put them on the right paths,

but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”

Cutting the cord and letting them grow up is harder than I thought it would be.  It’s funny that when they need so much of you at a young age all you can think about it them being older and being more independent.  Then when that time starts to creep up on you all you want to do is go into their memory boxes and look at their onesies and old photos.

Motherhood is funny in that way.  You want all the time in the world with them but deep down we know the true joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until the kids are in bed. ; )

Keep your Folgers close, but your Chardonnay closer.

-Carla Kole

1st Kid vs 2nd Kid

Boy how much easier life would’ve been if I only knew your child would survive if you didn’t follow EVERYTHING recommended in the baby books. I use to get so mad at my mother and mother-in-law when they would say things like “back in the day” or “we did this and ya’ll are still alive”. Today as I watched my 11 month old lick the slide at the park I thought back to when I just had my oldest. I remember being so overprotective. You couldn’t enter my house unless you bathed in hand sanitizer and covered yourself with a receiving blanket. Now all the receiving blankets are packed in a bin and the hand sanitizer is used mostly for play by my toddler. Back then I would never have let my oldest just crawl on the floor. He actually had a mattress pad on the floor and pillows surrounding the pad… only after I disinfected the floor first. Any sniffle or 1 degree increase of body temperature, we were heading to the pediatrician. Fast forward years later and I’ve literally taken the baby to the doctor (aside from well visits) maybe twice, for a rash and pinkeye. Colds, fever, meh let’s just get the Tylenol and snuggle.

I am literally that mom from the Luv’s diaper commercial. The amount of crap I packed to take my baby to the gas station was enough to go on a week-long trip. Now I get to the grocery store or run errands and don’t even remember to take the diaper bag out of the car.  I’m also now the mom who forgets to bring everything to school… diaper, wipes, oh and extra clothes.  My baby is now known as the baby who had to wear the leftover clothes in the bin that happened to be girl clothes…. also take notice that the shoes don’t match.

When I was a first time mom my baby followed all rules when it came to nutrition. We followed all the doctors instructions on when to introduce certain foods and stayed away from everything babies shouldn’t have. Now my baby has had literally everything we eat and drinks slurpees at the park.

Also what happened to the pregnancy journals, the baby book, and the monthly bump and age photos? My oldest literally will have so many memories…. my second has a ton of iPhone photos that will never be printed.

My children are both equally showered with love but one thing the baby has that my oldest didn’t is my experience. When I brought my oldest home I was scared, lacked confidence in my ability to keep him alive, and LITERALLY had no idea what I was doing. My second child didn’t have to worry about weight problems due to low breast milk supply since I already accepted the fact that supplementing was ok and fed is best. He didn’t have to cry hysterically for 2 days because his mom immediately knew how to alleviate gas pains. He also had the pleasure of not being treated like glass and can have the opportunity to explore the world around him.

There are a million things I can think of that I’ve done differently but one thing has remained the same…. I still don’t know if I’m doing this right. But hey, they are too young to judge me.

Keep your Folgers close, but your Chardonnay closer.

-Carla Kole

Mo Babies, Mo Problems

There comes a time when we all have to decide if this child is our last child. I know I don’t have to make any concrete decisions at the moment but as my baby’s first birthday approaches and I’m buying my self-proclaimed last container of $30 formula, I find myself wondering if I’m actually done. I KNEW this would eventually be an issue when I found out I would have 2 sons (I curse at all of you who have one of each gender!). I feel as though that potential daughter will be hanging over my head forever. That feeling of having someone to share my love for Beyoncé, Jem and the Holograms, and Disney Princesses (you know, the important things in life) with becomes overwhelming at times. Also, the fact that my sons want to do EVERYTHING their father does, including potentially going to the same school, is INFURIATING!! I NEED ANOTHER SPARTAN IN MY HOUSEHOLD!! Obviously I know all of these things aren’t valid enough reasons to have another baby, but I’m just being honest with you, I truly think about these things.

I already wonder how will I do everything and now I may want to throw another ball into my juggling act. I know, I know, I am not the first person in history to have more than 2 kids. But every time I think about more kids I have no idea how it will work.

How will we dominate if we are outnumbered?

How will the 3rd one even fit in my husband’s car?

What room will they have?

Is there a stroller for 3 kids?

How the hell do you take 3 kids to the grocery store?

Will our parents watch 3 kids at once?

Will we have the extra money?

Is middle child syndrome real?

Let’s also not forget that I will have to be pregnant and give birth again….. Am I ready to give up wine and feta cheese again? I love me a good cold cut sandwich.

Apparently my life decisions are based around food….

On a serious note, I am completely grateful that I can even be faced with the “issue” of deciding to have more children when I know there are so many women out there with fertility issues. So trust me, I know this is a wonderful “problem” to have. I am just jealous of moms who are confident in their definite decision of how many children they want. Unfortunately I have always been indecisive. You should see how long it takes me to decide where to eat, or if these jeans are really worth $20.

I just see these two AMAZING children that my husband and I created and think how could I not want more? How great would it be for them to have a sister (or with my luck another brother)?

I literally come up with thousands of items on my pros and cons list. I love our family dynamic. I don’t feel like anything is missing, but are we complete? If I close up shop now will I regret it later? When I see my friends with their daughters will I always think, if only we would’ve tried one more time?

Ugh, this makes me think a video I made for my future self at 3am that one night back when the baby would wake up every 2 hours saying “Is this what you want to do again?! Don’t get sucked in again by their cute little faces Carla! Be strong!” This isn’t a joke, this was a real thing.

In the end, with all the things I can come up with deep down I already suspect that I know what I truly want….. More sleep, more money, to poop alone, wear my big hoop earrings again, and eat without sharing. People with more kids do all that right?

Keep you Folgers close but your Chardonnay closer!

-Carla Kole

Mommy Guilt

Almost every day on the way to work I have to battle with mom guilt. I seriously just can’t stop feeling guilty over EVERY decision I make as a mom.

I didn’t breastfeed as long as I should have.

I don’t have enough time for my kids.

Working takes me away from them.

We can’t go to story time at the library or the mommy and me classes because they are all in the morning when I have to work.

We don’t do enough educational activities.

They watch TV or play on the iPad too much.

My toddler eats too many French fries.

Our food isn’t organic.

I can’t play with my kids right now because I have to clean the house.

My kids won’t listen so I discipline them and now I feel bad for it.

I’m tired and lose my temper too often.

Mommy guilt is REAL people! I just can’t seem to find the right balance with being a working wife and mother while also trying to take care of myself. There has to be a way to have it all right?

Maybe I should just embrace it. Is mom guilt a sign that I am doing it right? Would I be a bad mom if I didn’t feel guilty leaving my crying toddler in the morning to go to work? At times I do feel like a crappy mom but honestly, there are times I am relieved to go to work. I have my own nice and quiet office, there’s coffee, and I don’t have to wipe anyone’s butt there. I’ve thought about the option of being a stay at home mom but I fear I will miss the extra income. I also don’t know if I have the patience! It’s insane that I literally just said I feel guilty about not spending enough time with them, but staying with them 24/7 scares the absolute shit out of me. Am I crazy? Nope, just a mom beating herself up like we all do at times.

So how do I find balance? If only there was a pie chart for spending the perfect amount of time with your children, at work, and on other things that must get done.

I am now learning to accept mommy guilt for what it is. It’s a constant reminder of how much I love my children. The fact that I think of them first before every decision I make is confirmation right there that I might actually be an ok mom. When I start to think of mom guilt as a positive thing it takes the pressure off. I remind myself that I was raised by a single working mom. I was a latchkey kid and my mom worked every day. Not once did I ever think she wasn’t there enough for me. Working was just somewhere she had to go. But when it was time for her to pick me up and go home, those are the moments that I remember the most. She made our time together count. So the next time I beat myself up with guilt I will remember how wonderful of a mother I had and remind myself that more than likely my kids feel the same way. Sometimes my house will be filthy or we will eat pizza for dinner to free up some of my time and there’s nothing wrong with that. So, thank you mommy guilt for reminding me that I’m not Martha Stewart but hey, at least I haven’t been to jail.

Keep your Folgers close, but your Chardonnay closer.

-Carla Kole

I Just Want to be An After Picture

If there’s an easier way to get to my fitness/body goals, please let me know.  I can deal with exercising; I like to exercise.  But eating right, that’s a different story.

I kill it Monday-Friday on fitness pal.  I even weigh the damn jelly I put on my toast.  Then here comes Saturday.  My “you were good all week, treat yourself” day.  Even though I workout Saturday mornings, by Saturday afternoon I’m probably eating French fries in the bed with my husband during the kids nap time, at a kids birthday party (where I am more excited about cake than the kids), or someone is having a function surrounding food.  And once I cheat, it’s a slippery slope.  A cheat meal can easily turn into a cheat weekend (no not day, WEEKEND).  I am literally one of those people that will order a quarter pounder with cheese and a diet coke to make me feel better about the burger…. It’s all about balance people.

Do you know how frustrating it is counting calories?  I see so many recipes I want to try but then I remember I can’t make it because I can’t figure out how to count it.  Every time I see a one serving of food on my food scale I have to question everything else I want to eat that day.  Like, if I make my oatmeal with water instead of milk I can have an extra ounce of chicken for dinner.  One serving of snack foods is literally the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen.

Can you believe this is ONE serving of almond M&Ms?  This is 200 calories!!!!!


Who can only eat 11 Doritos?

I should seriously consider moving to one of those countries where being fat is a sign of prosperity, I would be KILLING it.

Is it so hard to ask to be able to just eat food and live!?! It’s not that I eat a lot of junk, I just want to be full! I feel like I’m hardly satisfied when I actually stay within my calorie goal.  I will literally walk around the house or have a dance party with my son just to earn more calories from my Fitbit… sad I know.

I understand there are eating plans and other “diets” that claim they make you full, but don’t sell me on your bull.  Five ounces of grilled chicken and a cup of steamed vegetables ain’t cuttin it.  You really mean to tell me a lean cuisine is supposed to be the size of my lunch?  WHO HAS EVER GOTTEN FULL OFF A LEAN CUISINE? I’ll wait…..  Also, who was the model that said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”?  What the hell is she eating?  I’m pretty sure she’s never been to Krispy Kreme when the “hot” light is on.

It’s even harder trying to eat healthy with kids.  When my toddler wants French fries and pop tarts, I want them too!  It’s especially hard on the days when he only wants chicken nuggets or pancakes.  I would give my left foot to eat like a toddler.  Don’t get me wrong my kids actually love vegetables but we all have snacks around the house for the kids.  Have I caught myself emptying a pack of graham crackers into my mouth or sneaking a peanut butter cracker with my back turned to my family members…. Of course not.

Even though eating well 100% of the time isn’t my thing I can pride myself in staying active at least 3 times a week.  I am currently in line for the mirror ball trophy in Zumba and I am also attempting to run a mile on the treadmill before the 30 minute show I’m watching is over.  If I EVER had to run for my life or pull myself up into safety I would probably die.

So my goal is to just keep going.  Keep getting stronger, faster, and leaner.  Every day is a new opportunity to restart fitness pal, make better nutritional choices, and only eat as much as it tells me to.

Unfortunately I’m fatter then I should be and I’m not being hard on myself I just can’t sugarcoat that, because I would probably eat it.

Keep your Folgers close, but your Chardonnay closer.

-Carla Kole

Oh gosh, not ANOTHER mom blog…

At least allow me to introduce myself first!

I would like to think that this could be more than just another mom blog.  More like a journey that I am hoping you take with me (and tell your friends and their friends to come along so momma can get some more likes and follows).  Man, I didn’t realize how scary it would be to start this blog until I began to type out this very first post.  I can already feel my hesitation and the cursor just lying over the “publish” button.  But, as I proclaimed on my vision board for 2017, this year is MY year to be fearless.  So, here goes nothin’…

I’ve always wanted to use my voice to speak to the world since I’m an attention whore, and for some reason people always tell me how funny I am.  So, after I failed to become Detroit’s next big radio disc jockey I had no idea how to make my voice heard.  That eventually went on the backburner after my mom’s insurance company found out I had graduated from college (Go Green, Go White) and kicked me off her health insurance.  Big ups to Blue Cross for not caring about unemployed college graduates!  Shit got real and I needed a job that offered health care!  I guess technically my voice was heard at my first “real” job after college.  If you owned a GM vehicle back in 2008 I might have welcomed you to OnStar.  I also might have gotten you lost if you called me for directions… If you know me, you know I have NO sense of direction.  Even if I’ve been there multiple times before, there’s a possibility I’ve forgotten where it is.  How I even passed the direction test to even get this job is beyond me.  I’m a grown woman and still don’t understand “the gas station is on the north side of the road”.  Umm, the left or right side, dude? See, I’m already off track.  Anyway, more time passed and I eventually married my best friend, bought a house, and continued to work outside of my field of interest.  Once my first son arrived, I could hardly find time to even use the bathroom alone, let alone work on anything that mattered to me.  Fast forward to 2017 and now I am finally realizing that it is possible to be a mom and still go for what you want.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am rich in everything (except money).  I am so full from love.  From my husband, to my kids, family, and my amazing and inspiring friends, but I’ve always wanted to blog!  Unfortunately, I always have excuses as to why I can’t do things or take time for myself.  Oh, I don’t have the time; no one will probably read it anyway.  So, I’ve decided to stop letting my contentment cripple me. Also, there’s no such thing as an overnight success.  So, if only one person reads this post, maybe by next year 2 people will (I’m very optimistic in that way).

2017 is my year of YES.  I am finally taking care of myself, guilt free.  As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

While trying to be the best mom I can to my boys (using best VERY loosely, more like we are all alive at the end of the day, that’s a win) I also have personal fitness goals I would like to accomplish which go beyond losing my baby weight.  Let’s make this more about confidence rather than a number.   I hope I can balance it all or at least look like I have it all together!  I see drinking absurd amounts of caffeine and masking wine in coffee cups if it’s too early in the morning for wine glasses in my near future (I kid, I kid).

I always see these powerful strong moms getting fit while having jobs and think how the hell do they do it all?  Now I’m thinking, why the hell am I NOT doing it all? So, allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is Carla.  Carla Kole if you like.  I am a wife, working mother of 2 boys;3 and 10 months, and on my way to becoming a fit mom! I know it won’t be easy but as Beyoncé says, I dream it, I work hard, I grind til I own it. ; )

Keep your Folgers close, but your Chardonnay closer.

-Carla Kole