the motherhood achievement I never asked for

Big day at my house yesterday...


My oldest child got braces put on.


New motherhood level unlocked.  


It wouldn't surprise me if all 4 of my kids end up with braces, on account of their genetics.


Poor things.


But Gabriel got an especially bad deal in the tooth arrangement department, and this is shaping up to be a multi-year, multi-phase process.


We're starting off with a bang, this obnoxious apparatus behind his teeth that makes it impossible to bite (ergo, chew) and changes the way he talks.


I have never seen him so miserable.


Not even when we all had covid and norovirus at the same time.


Not even when we had the killer flu last year.


Not even in his worst pre-teen moody moments (which are admittedly few and far between).


The timing on this situation pretty much couldn't be worse. He's starting a new school in about a month, and it's freaking middle school.


I'm pretty miserable on his behalf.


As the oldest, he's the one I get it wrong with most often.


He's the one who's been more aware and less shielded from our challenging circumstances.


And because he's quiet and smart and "easy" compared to his younger siblings, he's also the one who gets overlooked or de-prioritized.


(Loads of "I've failed him as a mother" going on right now, to be honest.)


But we are gonna get through it, bite plate and all.


He's a great kid.


So yesterday, not knowing how the whole first day with braces thing was gonna go, I got rid of recruited a grandma to look after the middle two kids, and we had a nice lowkey evening at home.


Or as lowkey as we could with a 3yo turkey running around.


He's having trouble eating so we tried a few different foods, and then we watched this new special on Disney+ about the history of Mickey Mouse.


We really like watching things about how they animate their films, so if you have any favorite specials about that, let me know!




The whole evening was a lesson in self care..


Identify a challenging situation.


Anticipate what you'll need to get through it.


Take all the pressure off.


Go easy on yourself.


Have a few options for good food available.


And spend time with someone who loves you... which might mean another person, but might mean yourself.


Another form of self care, for me at least, is audiobooks.


It's hard for me to "justify" spending time reading novels, although I do enjoy them.


So I use my Scribd subscription to poke my way through various fiction work while I'm doing other things (cooking and chores, usually).


It's a nice alternative to podcasts, especially at the end of the day when I'm wrung out and podcasts just feel like more "input."


Scribd is like audible, but it's a monthly flat fee. It's way more affordable, in my experience. PLUS it has an extremely robust library of ebooks too -- so it's great even if you don't like audiobooks.


Between Scribd and my library app, I can usually get my hands on whatever book I want to read.


It's loaded with audiobooks for kids, too. We use it every night at bedtime.


Anyway, you can get an extra month trial (so 60 days instead of 30 days) when you use my referral link to sign up and try it out: 

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Ashley (24) (1)

After working with dozens of brilliant, hard-working entrepreneurs as a freelance writer, I learned a thing or two about great content. Now I bring my years of experience, practice, and self-study to bloggers and businesses that want to nail it in the content game.


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