Monday, September 27, 2010

Exhaustion has officially set in

Owen is officially one and a half years old... and with that being said... he is super active. Running (literally running) around the house, going up and down the stairs, un-rolling the toilet paper, playing in the dog food, climbing on the furniture, and digging through the pantry... I spend most of my days following him around and saying NO. "No, don't hit the kitty". "No, put that down". "No, get off of that".

When Bryan and I first found out that we were going to have a baby, it was mixed emotions. I cried in the living room while he danced around the house. I was not ready to be a parent and did not think that being pregnant was a "good" thing. Bryan, on the other hand, was very excited... you could not wipe the grin off of his face if you tried. Although Bryan always worried that he would not be a good father, I knew that he was going to be the BEST. He was going to put all other fathers to shame.

When I was pregnant with Owen, I was really sick, and spent the first 6 months of my pregnancy throwing up every meal and only drinking ensures. Every morning I would wake up to a new sticky note on the front door (that usually read... I love you and the baby. Have a great day at work and don't forget your vitamins). Not only did Bryan leave cute messages everywhere in the house, but if it was ever raining or snowing he insisted on driving me into work and picking me up. He put my shoes on the boot warmer at night so my feet would be warm in the morning, he made late night trips to the store for my cravings, he became a member on various baby websites and had updates sent daily to his email letting him know where our son was in the developmental/growth stages and he rubbed my back when I just couldn't move any more. Bryan was the BEST husband ever. I never thought... in a million years... that he was going to pass away and leave me alone... a single parent raising our baby. I never thought I would have to figure out how to do all of this on my own.

On days like today... when nothing seems fair... I often wonder if I am doing a good enough job. I know that if it were me that had passed away and Bryan was still here with Owen, he would be doing a phenomenal job. Bryan would be teaching him how to fish and hunt and do well in school and excel in sports and be an amazing human being. I am worried that I am just coasting... just getting through the daily challenges. I know that I could be doing much more. I could be finding a good job, putting him in swimming lessons, bringing him on play dates, taking him to the park, teaching him how to hunt/fish and making him organic healthy meals. Instead, I am so exhausted by the time I put him to sleep at 8pm that all I can do is sit on the couch and stare mindlessly at the television.

But, some days, when Owen blows me a kiss and gives me a hug... I feel like I am all that he needs. Maybe right now, I am good enough. Maybe right now, I make him happy. When we play dress up (he loves playing dress up...putting on shoes and necklaces... or his new dinosaur costume) and he giggles and his eyes light up, I feel like he is happy. When he grabs a book and comes over and sits on my lap, I feel like he enjoys being with me. When he tackles me and says "tickle tickle tickle", I feel like he is having a blast. I hope that when Owen looks back on his childhood he does not feel upset or sad... that instead he feels proud and honored to have been raised by me, even if I was a single, stay at home mom, just trying to make it through the day to day things. I just want to make him proud.


  1. Dear Ashley,
    Have you ever heard the comment ," Being a stay at home mom is the hardest job there is!" Well it is! Most mom's that either choose to do the job or ones that think they can do it, I would guess, that almost most of them have spouses or partners backing them up. You are alone most of the time with Owen. You are lucky to have an occasional friend or family member helping you, ( I know that doesn't go unnoticed on your part) but you are raising yours and Bryan's son on your own. I hate it that you doubt yourself as a wonderful mother. I will say something that I hear from Buzz a lot. I wish you could see what I see! You are a Super Hero mother! You are Owen's mother and father! He loves you! When I stayed home with Bob and Bryan, I had Buzz to come home and give me a break and tell me I was doing a good job when I doubted myself. We know that Bryan would be extremely proud of you and I'm sure he watches over both of you.I know that sucks and we all wish he was here in person doing the job he wanted to do! Buzz and I are very proud of the sacrifice's that you are making for Owen. It is hard to see it now, but as he grows older you will see small pieces of it. When he becomes a man like his father, you will receive that reward as we did! Owen is going to know what a talented, beautiful, hard-working, caring mother he has. There is no pay-check for this job, just giggles, hugs n kisses, smiles and the benefit of him calling you MAMA, and knowing you are his MAMA! He is a healthy, beautiful smart boy! All my love always, Lori

  2. My daughter and Owen must be almost exactly the same age. It's fun but so tiring to keep them out of trouble! You are doing a great job. He looks like a happy and fantastic kid. Parenting is so full of doubts. Keep going. You're doing a wonderful job!

  3. Ashley, I think that from what I've read in your posts, that you are doing a fantastic job of raising Owen on your own. It makes me sad that you doubt yourself, because as an outsider I can see all the good things you are doing for him. I truly think that Bryan is watching over you guys and is so proud of you. I don't have any kids, so I have no idea how hard of a job it is to raise one, but by documenting the things you do with Owen, by taking pictures, and writing it down, I think it will be perfectly clear to Owen when he is a grown man, exactly what a great mom you are to him.

  4. Ash, God blessed you and Bryan with a beautiful son. I know it's hard to go through the day to day grind without Bryan's smile, laugh, love and support. I hope you know that when he passed he spread some of his love among all of your family and friends so that we may continue giving it to you. You ARE an amazing mother, Owen is an amazing boy and together you are a dynamic duo.

    Here is something you wrote for me when you were younger and I still cherish it more than you know.

    Daddy's Little Girl-
    There once was a man that changed a young girls life. He really made her stronger. He taught her about respect and responsibility. It all started when he was 20 he had a baby girl. He sacrificed many of his dreams and goals to take care of this baby he barely knew. He'd rock her to sleep and sing her songs. He'd draw her pictures and make her laugh. He was goo to her. Then as time went on this girl grew up. She became a toddler then a teenager. He helped her with her home work and took her to gymnastics. He even listened to her boy troubles. Well, when this girl turned 15 she became more independent. She really wasn't home anymore and she was always with friends. She didn't really spend time with the man anymore and they never really talked. But this teenager was still young at heart, She always cherished her great memories and never forgot how much than man had changed her life. But no matter what, she always wanted him to know that no matter how old she got she'd always be daddy's little girl.
    Thanks dad for everything! You really are superman.
    Love always,

    Take a look at your own words, as these are some of the same words Owen will use to describe you someday.

    As much as we watch our children grow, parents grow too.
    Always remember that the small moments are some of the most cherished memories.

    I have always tried to live with the idea that to a child love is a 4 letter word spelled T-I-M-E

    Here are some thoughts from ~Diane Loomans, from "If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"

    If I had my child to raise all over again,
    I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
    I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
    I would do less correcting and more connecting.
    I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
    I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
    I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
    I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
    I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

    Love Dad and Papa

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