Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a mom in France? How about in Singapore or Australia, New York or San Francisco? This series features stories from moms around the world. Today we feature Cedar Rapids, IowaI! Read on for hilarious and insane moments, advice and moments of relating to another mom.
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Iowa City, Iowa (but live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
I am the mother of two boys. Ethan is almost 3.5 years old and Evan is almost 20 months old.
On average it takes me _____ amount of time to get out of the house with my child/children
On average it takes me 25 minutes to get out of the house with my children on a workday. Errands we can be out of the house in 5 minutes, all day trips can take up to 45 minutes (you have to remember those all important things like snacks and drinks!) whereas a weekend trip can take up to the week to plan!
My most insane moment as a parent was:
About 3 weeks post C-section with my second child, I was feeling brave enough to leave the house by myself for the first time (probably still had Adeline flowing through my body for even thinking that this was a good idea)! I loaded everyone up in the car and breathed a sigh of relief for the feat I accomplished and savored the quiet from the top of the garage stairs for a second before grabbing my cup of coffee and hitting the road.
The mall is about 5 minutes from the house, so we decided to stop there to return a shirt. All is going okay and this momma is feeling triumphant – I got out of the house with a 3 week old and 22 month old and everyone was HAPPY!
I got overly confident and decided to the other end and look at Penny’s. I ask Ethan, my oldest if he wants to race to the other end – he of course is excited and mommy is thinking awesome he will be tired and pass out for naptime and I can get a nap too!! We trek to the other end of the mall and start heading back to other side again to load back up in the car and this is where the crazy starts!
We were walking back nicely until Ethan spots the riding toys in the middle of the mall! I stopped and let him climb on them (because of course if you turn them on, they scare him!) and happily watched his excitement as he pretended to ride the fire truck. I got him off and the melt down started as now we were hungry and tried – his little brother too, and you know what a crying baby does to breast feeding mommy, so I really needed to get them in the car and get home ASAP! I somehow convinced Ethan to walk with me to the car (mind you I never got a double stroller, so little brother is being pushed and my almost 2 year old needed to walk), but mid-back to the other side of the mall he takes off back to the fire truck. So, this mommy ran after him as best as she could, as I was still recovering from surgery – he makes it all the way back to the riding toys and total nuclear toddler melt down is occurring in the middle of the mall as I am trying to drag him off the toys, and little brother is screaming because he’s hungry at this point as well. I pick up my toddler, having to hold him out away from my stomach that is still sensitive to avoid his kicking feet and trying to push the stroller to get to the car as quick as possible – weaving, ducking the fists that flying around, dodging the kicking feet, you know basically looking like a crazy person running through the mall!
Once I got the toddler and stroller safely in the car, I proceeded to feed my youngest in the passenger seat, while my toddler chomped on animal crackers. I couldn’t help but think about what had just occurred as I nursed my sweet angel. I could only imagine how ridiculous I must have looked and wished someone had been with me to videotape the scene! I am sure if I looked around the other mothers were giving me support smiles and I am positive the grandparents were marveling in the good old days and how much they loved their simple lives again, so I was not embarrassed (more grateful to have gotten out alive – haha!), but totally felt like running out to buy a double stroller for my toddler who now all of the sudden liked being pushed once again?
Both boys did fall asleep on the way home and I sat in the dark garage for about 10 minutes basking in the quiet once again before waking the sleeping angels and never did get that nap.
The best piece of mom advice I have is:
To live in the moment and learn to pick your battles, (of course you must stop unsafe behavior) but let them be kids – even if you have a huge mess to clean up afterwards!
I let my toddler help me bake, and yes it takes me twice as long and I have twice the mess, but he loves being my big helper and is willing to try new foods because he is invested in helping make it!
The hardest part about being a mom in Cedar Rapids is:
Keeping my two very active little boys entertained in the winter months when it is too cold to go outside! There are days in January we do not leave the house, so everyone starts to get growly due to cabin fever! We beat the winter blues by whipping up a batch of homemade finger paints and they paint the town red – or rather the tub!
Finger paint recipe: Ingredients: 3 tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup corn starch and 2 cups of water. Directions: combine ingredients in small saucepan; warm until mixture thickens; cool & pour in containers; add food coloring to create desired colors.
The best part about being a mom in Cedar Rapids is:
Being surrounded by my family and so many family focused activities – there really is something to do a short distance away every weekend (many of them being free)!
Our family loves going to the big farmer’s market downtown where we can enjoy live music and pick up organic and locally grown fresh produce. Other events we take advantage of are free outdoor music concerts, small town fairs and festivals (Iowa City 4-H fair for pork burgers are a must), art festivals, local apple orchards in the fall time where we can pick our own apples and enjoy hot apple cider doughnuts after the hike, charity walks, nature centers and campgrounds.
The places you have to visit with your children near my hometown are:
- Children’s museum at the Coralridge Mall
- Wilson’s Apple Orchard
- Bloomsberry Farms for fall activities
- NewBo Market
- “Touch a Truck” event in Hiawatha
- Cedar Rapids Splash Pads and pools
- Beaver Park Zoo (small zoo with petting area)
- Czech Village for museums and festivals
- Get Ice Cream at Dane’s Dairy or Heyn’s Ice Cream in Iowa City
- Lots of campgrounds!