Priorities Part 3,659

This isn't my first post on priorities and it won't be the last.
Being and adult is hard. Okay, that's the post. Stop there because you really don't need to know more.
Twice in my life I've had to evaluate my personal priorities in a serious way. There is little in this world harder than trying to figure out what's best vs what you want.
The first big evaluation happened five years ago almost exactly from today.
I just received my Bachelor's and the job market was pretty rough and I happily landed a job at Verizon Wireless doing Customer Service. It was not the greatest job, but the money was really good , which was nice to make some bigger payments on my newly acquired student loan.
Somehow, I also landed a part time dream job at a local television station. The money was awful, but it was where I wanted to be.
For about three weeks I worked both jobs. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I would get up at five and come home at 8:30. It was busy and money was good, but I was exhausted. When I wasn't working, I was sleeping.
Something had to give. I couldn't live like that. I spent a week crying, praying and doing everything I could to figure out.
I knew three things: I couldn't do both, if I worked the part time job; if I worked the part time job, I'd be happy, but I couldn't pay the bills; if I worked for Verizon, I'd be unhappy, but financially secure. It was the ultimate problem.
I  wish it my story was a Lifetime special and I picked joy instead of greed. Well, sometimes life isn't like that. The next Saturday, I went to my boss at the television station to quit because i cant live on joy and dreams.  I learned a valuable lesson about priorities that year. You can't always get what you want.

This year I had to make another hard decision that is going to make me sound shallow and human.
I love all things gym related. Before I met Dave, I went to the gym six days a week. Even after I had Cami, I did at-home work outs five days a week (T25 or Insanity). Then I got pregnant with Emily and even the thought of working out sent me to the porcelain god of pregnant women.
On maternity leave with Emily, I got back to it. It felt so good to be active again.
Oh, but then I started work again and things got crazy. Working eight hours a day and taking care of two kids is a lot of work, go figure.
I tried so hard to balance it all, but it made me nuts. I'm not exaggerating. I became this hysterical, high-strung, miserable person. Mothers around the world and groaning and judging me right now (treasure your kids when their young, being a mother is the highest calling, blah blah blah).
It seems so simple to other people. I knew working out made me happy, but it wasn't working.
Dave has this saying he repeats to me when things are hard and it finally clicked for me with this situation. It won't always be like this.
My kids won't always depend on me for so much. Work won't always be so stressful. Things will not awkward be like this. One day Emily will be crawling, playing, etc. These extra 30ish pounds won't always be there. I'll run another half marathon because it won't always be like this.
Priorities are always changing and you can't always get what you want. If you want to get dramatic:In the long perspective, none of it really matters, not even the stuff of this blog entry. Guess what? That's okay, it's life, and we figure it out as we go.


A Tale of Giants and Midgets

Emily had her four month doctor visit today, which is both exciting and awful for me.
Shots are awful. Emily is so happy on the table, smiles for everyone until the shots come. Then only tears and a look of betrayal.
I love to see her growth, especially compared to Cami. No two kids are alike, even siblings.
The doctor gave us her measurements and did a double take, "Let me check the numbers again."
He checks the measurements and the graph and gives me the percentile in an almost mumble of doubt, "5% for weight, 25% for height, 5% weight to height ratio."
I look at Cami, my giant kid. 75-90% practically her whole life. Now here's Emily, a tiny midget . I create both giants and midgets. No two kids are alike.


I'm a Reindeer

It seems like every little girl loves Frozen. While I am sure there are exceptions, Cami is part of the majority and as such there are many deep conversations about Frozen including this number with Dave.

Cami: This, this is my little sister
Dave:  That's right. If you were Elsa then Emily would be Anna
Cami: Yeah! And daddy can be Kristoff  and-and-and Mommy can be Sven.


The time I almost flashed Maintenance.

I'm not a free spirit. Nursing or not, I don't nurse Emily in public if I can avoid it. Not my thing, but if it's yours, that's cool.
She's taken to nursing really well and so I am privileged to pump milk at work.
Let's just be up front and say my work is not used to nursing women and the facilities are pretty evident.
It took a full month for them to find a place for me to regularly break and pump (aln old, empty office). The only problem I ran into, was an occasional locked door.
This was fine for a total of two weeks before I nearly expose myself to Maintenance Department .

So one day I'm hanging out (literally) in the locked office, doing my thing when the door knob starts turning. It's probably just someone trying to make a personal call, they'll leave right?
Nope, then the lock starts to turn. I'm quick to announce my presence, "I'm in here."
He leaves for like two minutes and comes back, "Still in here!"
"Maintenance. We need to get in there."
He's clearly not getting it. I call my supervisor to chat with them.
The conversation goes something like this.
Supervisor: Someone's in there. We've been instructed by Customer Service Manager that this is the place to do it.
Maintenance: she's supposed to go to the other building.
Supervisor: that's not very convenient. We've been given the okay already.
Maintenance: well, we have complaints of a chemical smell and we need to check it out. Wait, does she use any chemicals when she pumps.
Supervisor tried to keep a straight face: no

There are no words. I did not flash him and why would I used chemicals around milk I'm going to feed my baby. No words


Potty training stubborn kids, aka my worst nightmare

When potty training Cami, we read fifty articles/books etc. On potty training but none of them truly helped the process and I swore that I would write a book, a real book about the truth of potty training a stubborn child. None of that fluffy 'no big deal' or 'you can do it' crap.
Potty training a stubborn kid is not a walk in the park, it won't be done in a weekend or even a week. A stubborn personality will need a stronger personality to complete potty training. It is a battle every time your kid needs to pee or poop.
So this isn't a book, but it's now in a physical form to retain for centuries although I doubt my blog is well read enough.
1. Every kid is different. This cannot be said enough, yet every time I hear it, I disregard it. Wouldn't it be lovely if all kids were little carbon copies.
I had three different people swear by the three day method at two and three years old. We pushed it to three because Cami was a little delayed and after four days she didn't have a single success. Scratch that wonderful three day method.
2. Motivators are not always going to cut it. Cami's three years taught me this a long time ago. She did things when she wanted: walking, talking, sleeping and nothing would motivate her externally.
Potty treats are a popular trope among like 90% of parents. Well we tried everything from m&ms, to oreos, to toys. We finally just committed to m&ms but it still didn't motivate her. I think rewards are still valuable, but Cami just considered it to be extra in the end.
3. Sometimes it takes time....a really looking time. After trying the three day method three separate times over a year, we hunkered down and said we're going to get this finished while I'm on maternity leave (which goes against all parenting books and blah blah blah). But on day two we had a success. I cried, I was so happy. It took two weeks to finally have a good grasp. Two very long, laundry filled weeks. (And zero successes with number 2).
4. Regressions are real and okay. That's right, I said regressions-plural. Many regressions. Don't get mad. It will be okay.
5. Number 2 is super complicated. Cam took a really long time to get number 2 under control. She needed confidence and some prune juice. We also had to instigate quite the routine following a poop accident including: cleaning it up, putting it in the washer, shower and no frozen jammies/underwear.  There was a big potty rewards for poop: ice cream. Cami and I even made a chart to show consequences. It still took a long time.
6. Potty training is bit a reflection of your parenting. I think this is hard to remember in all factions of parenthood. Kids are kids and their choices are just that THEIR CHOICES. As parents, we do our best to teach and show them the right way and it's up to them how they take and use that information. In Cami's case she took that information and needed to process it mentally and physically before she actually used it, but that was her choice and related to her growth not my parenting skills. It's hard to remember when so many people tell you their studies as if they're the experts and their children are potty trained because of them. Punch these people in the mouth because each kid is different and it's about their understanding and growth, nothing to do with parenting (*steps off soap box*).
7. It won't anyways be like this. This is my motto whenever parenting gets hard. My mom famously says, "no kid went on their honeymoon in diapers".  Stubborn kids need a lot more time and patience, but it will happen.
Parents of stubborn children, gear up and be strong. You got this and I have your back!