Cracks In The Pavement

Still on a modified bed-rest.  Still queasy.  Still exhausted.  And missing my personality and fire more than ever.  I don’t laugh very much these days and certainly am not fun.  It’s okay for a week or two but I’m heading towards week 14 and I need to start getting me back.  My boys need their good mom back.  The mom that’s in the house ain’t so hot.

I’ve blown up at my oldest three times this week and he’s a great kid.  Yes, he’s 13 and yes he’s a boy, but he’s so good and so good with me, and so loving.  Nothing disappoints me as much as when I fail as a mom, when I fail to be patient, or understanding.  Nothing makes me sadder than hurting the kids’ feelings or letting them down.  Just before I blew up this morning I was telling my youngest that being his and Jake’s mom makes me so happy.  I feel so lucky to be their mom.  They’re amazing kids and I love their company.  But I am letting them down lately.  I’m missing my bounce, that extra bit of flexibility and give that allows us to smooth the bumps and cracks.  Instead I’m tripping on them and falling flat.    I’m grouchy and achy and queasy and scared and blue.

I just want some good news on the baby front.  I want to be off bed-rest and be able to start exercising.  My body needs it.  My head really needs it.  I crave exercise, sunshine, and endorphins and a return of my sense of humor wouldn’t hurt, either.

Fortunately, Surfer Ty flies in on Monday night and he’ll be here for about 10 days.  By the time he arrives it’ll be a month since I last saw him (since our trip on Amtrak to California) and he’s promised to take over finding food and helping gets boys from Point A to Point B, and while I can’t wait to see him, I wish I was in better form.  I wish I had my old personality back, the one that was fun.  I feel like such a grumpy old lady.  I should be wearing a handkerchief on my head, knotted under my chin, and shuffling around in faded pink slippers and a blue flowered housecoat because that’s how I feel on the inside.  Red-veined nose.  Wart on chin.  With a nice big hair sprouting from the wart.

But even grumpy, hairy chinned old ladies can give away prizes and I’m going to be giving away a copy of The Desert Sheikh’s Marriage–signed by both UK author Sarah Morgan and me–a lovely scented candle, bath products and a bunch of Jane Porter goodies like pens, bookmarks, compact mirror and letter opener.  To enter contest just post a comment and Friday midnight I’ll draw a name and share the winner’s name below on Saturday.  So check back Saturday to see if you maybe won this fun prize, and thank you Sarah Morgan for contributing the signed book for this week’s contest!


  1. I tend to lurk on here a lot (we met when you did a great talk at DARA several years ago), but I love your posts and love your amazing writing. I’ve wanted to delurk and congratulate you on the baby anyway!

    You are being a great mom. You just have three children to take care of, and it’s stressful. Your family probably understands! 😉

    All the best to you!


  2. Your family understands, so try not to be so hard on yourself. This is a very difficult time for you, but it won’t last forever. You need to read some books or watch DVD’s that make you LAUGH. Put on some cheery music. Is it possible for you to sit outside in the sun for a while?

    Do you like having friends come over or do you prefer your privacy right now? It actually might be good for friends to come by and play cards with you and help with the kids. Don’t feel reluctant to ask for help or company.

    Also, know that your readers here on this blog send good thoughts and prayers your way!

  3. Jane,

    I am so sorry to hear that you feel so grumpy! I have been there myself and I can identify with how you are feeling!! Maybe you can set some time aside with each child to do anything…whether it’s coloring, reading, watching a movie and eating popcorn. Kids love and forgive their moms so easily and maybe knowing you are doing something with them will make you and them feel better! Thinking of you and wishing you patience and good health!!!

  4. I can only imagine what a rough time you’re going through. But you’re doing the right thing for the baby & it’s only temporary. I’m sure your family understands. Maybe if you ask your kids to help keep YOU entertained they’ll understand you’re not happy about not being able to run and play with them. Ask them to tell YOU a story or sing you a song, tell you a joke, anything to make them see how important they are to you and how much you want their company.
    Just a reminder that all of your faithful blog readers send their good wishes too.

  5. I don’t think there are any moms out there that can say they never blew it. Which, by the way, I don’t think you did. They know how stressful life for you is right now. Just as you know when things happen to them….I can’t imagine going through something like this and I am glad you are not alone. I check in with the hopes that, like you, there is some good news. Keep strong.

  6. I’m sure your family understands you’re going through a rough time right now. Try not to be too hard on yourself! You’ll get through it all just fine. Sending warm wishes and prayers your way!

  7. Jane – you are adorable with or without a big hairy wart on your chin! Feel better. At least the weather has improved this afternoon! Keep your (not) big hairy chin up!!

  8. Oh, Sweet Jane,

    Hang in there! Cindy and Cheryl S. have great ideas. I’d suggest the same – have the boys come to you and play near you, or read to you, or color with crayons.

    Have a girlfriend come over and paint your toe nails in hot pink and give you a face massage. Being on bed rest sucks, but it won’t be forever.

    And, eventually, bright, happy, endorphin pumped Jane will be back in action. Maybe you could even get Surfer Ty to paint your toes!

  9. Hi Jane!
    I feel for you! I have my moments (which at times can seem unending) when I have felt like such an ugly mom, snapping at my kids and doing the exorcist head spin ( all that’s missing is throwing up pea soup)! The funny thing is that I will ask my kids if they think I’m mean and they don’t. And I know they mean it. They know how much I love them, I tell them everyday! And they know that I will have bad days or weeks or even months. In those times, I am apologizing ALOT. Your kids know they are loved and I know, like me, you tell your kids every day how much you love them and cherish them. Hang in there…it will get better. You and your family are in my prayers!

  10. Jane-
    I love your honesty. That’s rare, but much appreciated. As a mom, I too have had my moments and periods of ‘blowing it’ with my kids. It lays heavy on my heart when I am down and grumpy and I’ve always prayed that God will let their little minds not remember those times. During my most recent down time, my daughter started calling me “Pretty Mama”. Did I deserve it? No. But I soon realzied that she feels that way about me and daily calls me by that name. I pray that you too will find some sunshine during this time.

  11. It is difficult at this time for you but things will improve each week and you will feel great soon. Thanks for your honesty and great posts. Stay well and bask in the sunshine.

  12. I’ll bet Surfer Ty will be able to bring back some of your “old personality” back. 🙂
    Hang in there Jane, better days are coming.

    Jill W.

  13. Hey… I just want to say this – and DON’T feel bad about it.

    I look forward to you blog posts. You are one of the few bloggers who when I look through all my blogs (I read blogs via RSS) that I actually hope blogged each morning.

    Though – I don’t need you to blog everyday – I think that you don’t blog everyday is a part of the charm of your blogs posts.

    Thank you for sharing these glimpses into what is going on with you. You aren’t just an author, but a mom – single mom, with a baby on the way – with her Ty not always with her. You are a real live Heroine, and don’t you forget it.

    I hope you get back to yourself soon. You need the boys as much as they need you. And Ty coming in will be good for everyone.

  14. Don’t be so hard on yourself Jane. Just tell the boys you love them and hit “reset”. Just like you love them when they are naughty, so can they love you when you’re grouchy! And if anyone has reason to be tired and grouchy…

    I totally relate to what you’re saying though. Call a friend who’s also a Mom…no one is better for comfort than your best friend who’s been there too!


  15. Jane, I’m sure your boys understand. I know we all have those moments we were blow up at our kids, but the love is always there no matter what. Keep that hairy chin up LOL!!!

    Many hugs,

  16. Dear Jane,

    You are not failing as a mum, nor letting your kids down. They are learning a very important and necessary lesson. That its ok to be sad and grumpy. That you can say sorry and be forgiven.
    Remember this too shall pass and you will soon be holding that beautiful baby in your arms and you’d go through it all again in a heartbeat.

    My next bottle of mojo, I’ll toast to you. Hang in there.

  17. Hello Jane,
    I received your book after you sat on an airplane with my cousin “Jo” and talked about “our” life…comical, I know…lol. “Jo” lives in Hawaii and I live in Washington. I’m in the Navy and currently at sea. I FINALLY had a bit of time and read your “Flirting With Forty”. I LOVED it!! 🙂 Thank you!!! Best of luck in all that you desire. 🙂

  18. jane…there is light at the end. you’re almost there! just think ty will be home…that will lift your spirits…plus having extra help will be good! you are not the first mom to lose it w.their children..means you’re normal 🙂 take care!

  19. (HUGS, Jane) Seriously, you do so much. I’m in awe of you. And you’re a great mother, I’ve always looked up to you. I’m sure your sons–even if they’re young–understand that it’s a hard time for everyone.

    I’ll keep sending positive and happy thoughts your way. And when your surfer boy is there Monday, I’m sure that’ll put some perk back in ya 🙂

  20. Oh, Jane,
    I feel so badly for you! Your body/baby is playing tricks on you, but hang in there because this is just temporary.
    Remember the name of your book, Mrs. Perfect? Didn’t she realize that it is too hard and not worth it to be perfect.
    You are human. Give yourself a break. Your kids and friends love you, even with “warts” so don’t beat yourself up so much.
    I’d send you hugs but you will be getting the ones you need soon (Monday) , so enjoy the beautiful fall sunshine this weekend and read some good books and don’t give in to the blues!

  21. Hey, your sons love you! Just be honest with them. It is okay for them to see you as you are when you are hurting and scared. Remember, the women they will love will not be perfect either. Tell your son you are sorry. Kids are resilient. (Trust me I have fostered 29 of them)Maybe if you start a greatful journal(good news) and write in it every day- Try not to be an Eeyore but instead be a Piglet!!! My husband was in one of 4 cars who hit a herd of cows yesterday am- bad news, 3 cows died- good news- no one died and thank goodness we have helicopters who fly to the middle of nowhere to take the injured to the hospital. My husband walked away unhurt.

  22. You must be a rung or two from crazy by now… I can’t imagine you forced on bedrest… you’re too busy and vibrant. I’m pulling a Jane and speaking at the northwest woman’s today. Send some positive vibes my way!

  23. Hey there: Listen it’s OK – you are not yourself and your precious boys known that – stop beating yourself up!! I don’t know if you remember when we used to share good mommy – bad mommy e-mails. But I do and we are “REAL” Mom’s as you called us. You’ll be Jane again – very quickly – I promise!! So take it easy sweetheart and remember all of us who love you and are sending good thoughts your way.

  24. God, I know how you feel when you’re short with your boys. Patience is not a virtue of mine, and I can’t even blame it on pregnancy! I feel so bad when I snap at my son, who is six and just wonderful. The failing parent vibe hits me. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you and your family. Glad Ty is on the way.

  25. Hi Jane,
    I hope you feel better soon and get back to your old self again.
    May will be here before you know it.

  26. When the boy becomes a man, he’ll look back and remember all the good his mom did for him and not so much the rest. His love for you will always be true. The one love a parent can count on is the love from a child. Hope you are feeling better Jane.

  27. Hi Jane,
    It has been a while since I have checked up on you and your site. I am so sorry to hear that you are having trouble with the pregnancy. I didn’t even realize you were pregnant. Congratulations on that account. Time will go by and you will once again be your bubbly self again. You just take care of yourself and remember it is for the greater good.
    I know I am in the throws of severe perimenapause. You would think things would get easier as you get older. I don’t know how my husband stands me sometime.
    Ps I am so looking forward to the movie coming being on TV.

  28. Jane,
    As everyone says above me, HANG IN THERE! I know it’s easier said than done, but you can do it!!! Life will change very soon, and then you’ll probably be wishing that you could be back on bed rest instead of running around like crazy! Sending good, calming, relaxing & happy thoughts your way! 😉

  29. Oh Jane, sweetie. All those bad feelings festering inside you aren’t good for you. Ease up on yourself and I bet you’ll feel some of that joy and spark return. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Play some board games with your boys, have a movie night with them. They know you love them and even though they’re boys, they understand a bit of what you’re going through because they’re there, going through it with you.

    Huge hugs to you and if you want some company, please let me know and I’ll come entertain you for a while one day.

  30. Jane,
    A huge hug to you. I just sent a package off to a friend with your books and thought I would just check your website to see if there are any new books. Congratulations on your news! I realize it is old news but wonderful just the same. I have this wonderful memory of your great smiles at our boy’s baseball games! You are an amazing mom! Love to you….

  31. I’m not pregnant, but I recently broke my leg and have not been able to truly be up and around for 8 weeks. I can fully appreciate your feelings of wanting to have life more back to normal! Hope you’re feeling better soon, and everyone is healthy and happy again!

  32. My boys are the same age and they can switch from a full blown argument and “I hate yous” to “you’re the best brother in the world” in a matter of 5 minutes. I love these little quotes (to make you smile) from Mildred Neville from the point of view of our children.

    It isn’t you that I hate but your power to thwart me.

    I need to learn the painful way sometimes.

    I am quite capable of trading on them.

    It must be very difficult for you to keep pace with me, but please do try.

    Remember that I feel badly let down when promises are broken.

    This is why I am not always accurate.

    It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither.

    An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you.

    I couldn’t get on without it, so please put up with it.

    If you do I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf.

    But I don’t need to tell you that, do I?

    Keep well Jane. x

  33. Hi Jane,

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, the boys know this isn’t the real you. Sending well wishes your way.
    Also, the description of yourself as a “grumpy old lady” would make a great Halloween costume for Friday, bet the boys would love to come home as see you dressup as that. I sure that would get a big kick out of that.

  34. It’s so easy for Moms to be hard on ourselves… and so easy to crack under the pressure, especially during pregnancy! It’s the spectacular Moms who feel so guilty when it happens. You’re a fabulous Mom… just a pregnant Mom, dealing with things the only way you know how right now! Your boys love you! Ty loves you! Tons of people are thinking of you and think you’re the greatest even when you don’t feel like you are! Sending tons happiness your way,

  35. Jane, you will be back to your old self soon enough. Don’t worry!! The boys understand. Take care of yourself and the little one. Congratulations also!!

  36. I just found your site after finishing Odd Mom Out,and right before I devoured Mrs. Perfect! I absolutely loved these 2 books. I saw so much of myself in both women. I’m a single mom with a 6 year old daughter and 9 year old son.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon and can get some rest and relaxation this weekend. :}

  37. Awwww… the grumpies. I so remember that. In fact, I think they still come back to visit frequently, lol. You’re doing fine and you really just need to take care of yourself and that baby first, all those on the ‘outside’ will be just fine. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to another new book from you. I might just get used to having time to myself to read something other than Dora, Spongebob and Jan Ruhe!

  38. Jane, We all as mothers have our moments when we don’t feel like we are doing our best as mothers. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your boys love you and know that you are just having a hard time of it right now. They love you no matter what. That’s the thing about children, they always seem to forgive us even when we can’t seem to forgive ourselves. I really hope that you and the baby are well and that you will be back on your feet soon.

  39. Jane,
    i am sorry to hear that you still are feeling not so great! I am sure you are a great mom and the boys will only remember that! Not that you barked 3 times in one day one time when they were 13. Keep your head up, afterall you man is a commin! 3 more days!
    Good luck, best wishes and great health for you and baby!
    Megan B

  40. I hope I am not late for that. I am not going to leave any comment on how to handle being a mom, for i am not one, so I can only guess how hard that must be. So I just came by to win the contest. (And so much for being honest!:) Cheers, Ana

  41. #7, Deborah, you are our winner. Shoot me an email with your address and I’ll get the prize out in the mail! Thanks to everyone for posting and chatting. I’m feeling much better today. 🙂

  42. I know how you’re feeling and it will get better! Scrapbooking! I think the same things! I finally have room in my new house to leave my things out so I can scrap book and I haven’t yet! I do try to go away to a weekend crop with my son’s godmother twice a year and I can get a lot done then. I’m so behind!

    Take care & thanks for your message on myspace!


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