Breaking The Cycle (Or Not)

What do I want to do for Mother’s Day?

Hmm.  Let me think.


What the last lady said.  The one wearing the apron.

I feel this way a lot of the time.  In fact, it’s why I started writing this blog almost three years ago.  I had an overwhelming, chest-tightening feeling that my feet were cemented into my kitchen floor and the world was spinning around me at a nauseating speed while my adorable but nagging children pulled at my shirt (and I very much dislike when they pull at my shirt).

The stuck feeling is one of the more unfortunate, long-lasting side effects of being a Stay-at-Home Mama.  (Others include blurry vision, loss of sanity, a penchant for hiding in closets, and alcoholism.)  Symptoms are worse on weekends than on weekdays, especially on Sundays when laundry piles are high (how does that happen I’ve been doing laundry all week?), the refrigerator is empty (how does that happen when I’ve been grocery shopping all week?), and the stale parmesan cheese shreds and popcorn kernels imbedded in the couch cushions can no longer be ignored.

It should come as no surprise that on Mother’s Day (a Sunday), nothing pleases me more than having a few precious, un-rushed hours of kid-free, mess-free, shirt-pulling-free, and guilt-free (mostly) shopping.


Last year on Mother’s Day, I bought these yellow beauts:


The year before that, I bought this pretty lady:

Happy Mother's Day!

I don’t remember the year before that, but my guess is that I squeezed the squishy thighs of my brood and then got out of Dodge.  See you later, chumps!  Shopaholic Mama is outa here!

I pretty much do what I want on Mother’s Day (for at least a few hours), which generally entails being alone with a credit card in a shoe department, which makes me a Grateful Mama that my kids, my husband, and my family are cool cats about the whole thing, which got me thinking…

When Father’s Day rolls around, I assume Mike wants to hang out with the boys.  In fact, I expect that he wants to spend time with them, which makes my fondness for running away on Mother’s Day feel a little bit kind of a lot selfish.

When Riley was born, Dylan had a hard time.  Actually, to say he had a hard time would be an enormous understatement.  Not only did he experience an extreme case of sibling rivalry, but he also had (not yet diagnosed) sensory processing disorder (SPD).  Knowing what I know now about SPD, I can’t imagine the chaos he experienced inside his body when our lives were turned upside down with a new baby.  In the midst of great joy, it was a difficult and sometimes miserable time.  For all of us.

At one point – okay, at several points – it seemed like all I said to Dylan was “no.”  No this.  No that.  No.  No.  No.  To break the cycle, a teacher suggested that I commit to spending one entire day without saying no.  For instance, if Dylan kicked me, instead of saying, “No, don’t kick Mommy,” I was supposed to say, “Wow, Dylan you’re really good at kicking.  How about we go outside and kick a soccer ball?”  Or, if Dylan shook the Pack n’ Play in which his infant brother slept, instead of saying, “Stop that!  You could hurt your brother!” I was supposed to say, “It sure looks like you want to shake something.  How about we make a band and you can shake the maracas?”

Oh, that was a harrowing time!  I bring it up because I’ve decided on this Mother’s Day, I’m going to break my cycle.  Instead of running away, I’m going to stay put and soak in – and try to appreciate – the chaos, popcorn kernels, shirt-pulling, laughter, tears, and amazing-ness of motherhood.

I, The Runaway Mama, hereby commit to spending the entirety of Mother’s Day with my family (gulp) instead of leaving them high and dry for a jaunt of shopaholic bliss.

At least that’s the plan.  It’s possible that, in the end, I’m going to hightail it to Bloomingdale’s despite my lofty promise here, but I assure you I’m going to make an effort.  That, and I plan to do some pre-Mother’s Day shopping tomorrow because my clever husband recently traded in some credit card reward points for some mouth-watering Bloomingdale’s gift cards.  For me!


The way I see it, this is a win for Shopaholic Mamas everywhere. As it turns out, if you spend gobs of money, you’ll be rewarded with gift cards so you can do more shopping!  The cycle will never be broken!  [Insert evil laugh.]

Speaking of Bloomie’s, they recently mailed out a (very thick and juicy) “Mom Knows Best” catalog.


Inside are oodles of gorgeous and summery clothing, jewelry, makeup, and fragrance suggestions alongside some priceless nuggets of “good advice” for moms.

Editor’s note:

Dear Bloomingdale’s,

Please don’t hate me for making fun of you.

 I’m just having some Runaway

Stay-at-Home Shopaholic Mama fun. 

See you soon. 


The Runaway Mama

Here are a few of my favorites:

“Jewelry speaks louder than words.” – Bloomingdale’s

In my house, the Xbox speaks way louder than (my) words.

“Good things come in pairs.”

Indeed.  Pinkeye comes to mind.

“Invest in gold.”

My money’s in Lifeway Kefir.

“Things always look better in color.”

Except for crayon on the wall.

“When in doubt shine!”

My skin does have a bit of a sheen.  Did I shower today?  Yesterday?  The day before?  I can’t remember.

“You can’t go wrong with black and white.”

I wouldn’t know.  I haven’t worn anything white since 2006.

“Better to be an hour earlier than a minute late.”

I’m sorry, but once you become a mother, “an hour earlier” ceases to exist unless you’re referring to the ungodly time your children wake up in the morning. 

 “Time waits for no one.”

Especially in a public bathroom. 

“A great scent is the best accessory.”

All I ever smell is pee.  (#boys) 

 “A woman’s work is never done.”

I know this to be true if nothing else because of laundry.

“Elegance is a way of life.”

Whoever wrote this is not a parent.

“Seal everything with a kiss and a bow.”

This is excellent advice if you want to embarrass your six-year-old son at school.

 “Dress up, even when you’re not expecting anyone.”


“Be bold, brilliant, and beautiful.”

Especially at the pediatrician’s office, PTO meetings, and teacher conferences.

“Look chic in your sleep.”

For whom?  The four-year-old who insists on sleeping in my bed?  I’ll pass.

 “Learn to multi-task.”


“Put your initials on everything.”

Especially if you ever want to see your preschooler’s backpack, lunch box, Sippy cup, jacket, and/or spare clothes again.

“Make all important decisions in the bath.”

Whose bath?  The last time I took a bath was when I had postpartum hemorrhoids.

“Never leave the house without lipstick.”

This might be true, but I’d be in deep shit if I didn’t also leave the house with enough food and water to survive at least 36 hours with my kids. 

“Use the good crystal every day.”

Can “good crystal” go in the dishwasher?

“You’re an angel and a devil.”

After coffee/before coffee. 

What are your plans for Mother’s Day?



Filed under Grateful Mama, Mother's Day, motherhood, sensory processing disorder, Shopaholic Mama, shopaholism, shopping

7 responses to “Breaking The Cycle (Or Not)

  1. You know, some of these suggestions are actually annoying. have things not moved on since the good housekeeping days of woman with an apron holding a platter of cookies with the plastic smile but eyes that if you look at really closely are vacant and pleading – get me out of here? 🙂 Look chic in your sleep?! what the … I say you give yourself a multiple day mother’s day – shopping and family time.


  2. It’s good to see that Sunday’s aren’t the breaking point for just me! Love this post, and your page glad I found you at the Blog Party! – Dee from,@ From Wine to Whine


  3. Lucky me will get to cook lunch and tea for everyone as usual. But at least there’ll be some cute handmade gifts in the morning.


  4. Bloomingdale advertisers are genius. I swear when I get the catalog and those 20% off insider cards I can’t wait to hit the store. Happy Mother’s day to you


  5. ha ha! nice response to bloomies 🙂 Happy mama’s day – not sure yet what I’ll be doing over here…but we’ll see!


  6. I had never heard of SPD before you mentioned it. I can’t imagine building up the patience for that as a mom. Do you have any handy links or other posts about this? Also, I can’t even narrow down my favorites of your responses to the Bloomie ad… they are all so accurate!! As always, thanks so much for sharing!


  7. Thanks, I enjoyed your Mother’s Day read. I’ve been contemplating the same thing the past week – am I supposed to spend Mother’s Day as a mother or is it too selfish to take a few hour off from Mothering in celebration of ME? Mixed emotions.

    The bit about your last bath to soothe postpartum hemorrhoids gave me a giggle – pretty sure my last bath was for the same reason.

    The Bloomingdale’s catalog reeks of decades past. Put on lipstick before you leave the house? Really? I know there was a reason I don’t get those things in the mail. Leaving the house with young children, in any state of dress, is an amazing feat!


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