The 41-Year Old Virgin

Hello, my name is Lauren and I’m a recovering perfectionist and Type A control freak.  Phew!  It feels good to get that off my chest!

This is my first-ever blog post, so I guess that makes me a 41-year-old virgin.  Please be gentle.

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I used to be a working mom, commuting into Manhattan from the suburbs every day, juggling a career and family.  Now I’m a stay-at-home mom living in the country, driving my school-aged boys from one practice or game to the next.  It’s a different kind of juggling act these days, and just as challenging.

I left the corporate world back in late 2006, after the unexpectedly complicated birth of my second child.  In the three years that followed, I started my own novelty business (bad timing), suffered three mini-strokes (misdiagnosed by three doctors as migraines and postpartum depression), underwent heart surgery (to fix a congenital problem I never knew I had) followed by thyroid surgery (to remove a massive tumor), was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s Disease), and moved from my familiar suburban NY home near family and friends to the unknown countryside of Pennsylvania where I knew no one.  For a control freak like me, this was all a bit overwhelming, to say the least.

Fast forward four+ years to today.  I’m healthy, strong and (mostly) happy.  I love raising our two school-aged boys in the bucolic countryside of Chester County, PA.  I love the great new friends we’ve made here.  I love that we live only a half-mile from horses, cows and cornfields in one direction and Pottery Barn, J. Crew and Target in the other.  I love that you can still buy fresh milk from the local dairy farm and warm french bread from the country baker — both on an honor-system basis.  [Somehow I don’t think the idea of writing down what you took and leaving cash in an old coffee can would work well back in NY!]

I love my life and I love my family — truly, with all my heart.  But frankly, sometimes they all suck.

Why can’t they just do things my way so we can all just get along?  I like to plan, organize and control.  They like things spontaneous, disheveled and chaotic.  I like things to be perfect.  They like things to be fun.  Unfortunately for all involved, my Type-A personality makes it hard for me to just roll with the punches.  I demand too much, yell too much, curse too much, and stress too much.  But I’m working on it.

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My New Year’s Resolutions this year are to (1) start a blog, (2) learn how to sew, and (3) be a better person, specifically by yelling less (or at least softer and less often) and praising more; cursing less (or at least under my breath better) and laughing more; complaining less (or at least not aloud) and appreciating more; planning less (at least when the family schedule allows) and living in the moment more.

Resolution #1 … achieved, as this first blog post proves (yay, me!).  My goal is to post thoughtful musings and funny rants weekly, and I’m sure there will be plenty of “bad mommy moment” confessions sprinkled in for good measure.

Resolution #2 … started.  My mom gave me her old sewing machine (actually, she gave it to me months ago and it’s been collecting dust in my laundry room ever since) and I just ordered a mobile sewing cart.  Soon I’ll have no excuses.  Watch out, Martha Stewart — mended clothes and fabulous new pillow covers coming soon!

As for Resolution #3, that is a work in progress.  I mean, we’re only a few weeks into the year, people!  Things take time.  I will admit, if parenting was football, I would not be headed to the Super Bowl this weekend, but I’m hoping to at least make it to the playoffs next year.  Little by little, step by step, I will learn to give up control and let life be messier and more fun.  As one of my favorite children’s books says, “… remember to stop and smell the roses … [and your] armpits, too!”

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So please come back often to stop and smell the roses with me on the crazy journey of life, motherhood, and parenting.  Just be prepared to smell some armpits along the way, too, because my life is the “perfect” blend of both.

Oh, and for my first time, how’d I do?  Was it as good for you as it was for me?

– LJDT