Calgon Take Me Away!


Lately I’ve had a serious case of writers block. It’s not like my life is for want of drama, transition, malaise, humor, poopy diapers, that I can’t come up with some sort of witty and/or insightful post. I just don’t have a pinterest activity to share with you or some sort of original gut wrenching motherhood story to illustrate. All in all, life is pretty good.  That’s not to say that if my life was bad I would have more to write. Actually, I do have something to write about. See? Just look at that neurotic internal dialogue that I just had with myself? I’m a female version of Woody Allen. This is my life these days. Continual conversations with myself about:
…being a good parent
…being a good spouse
…being a strong woman role model for my son and daughter
…how I’m going to possibly squeeze in a 15 mile run this weekend in preparation for the marathon in a few more weeks
…that stupid dust bunny that is hanging in the corner of our upstairs window that I just cannot reach
…what am I going to do with those 20 lbs of tomatoes I just harvested from our garden?
…gee we could really use a freezer
…why oh why won’t my daughter sleep at night?
…I need to floss more often
…what is that incessant beeping coning from the toybox?
…should we get our driveway repaved?
…why is that glade plug-in not working? All I want is to smell some g*dd*mned apple cinnamon spice to make it feel all cozy and autunmish up in this house.


Phew, I feel better.

I’m terrible with transitions. And with Henry starting kindergarten last week, Ruby getting a fierce cold and nursing, what feels likes around the clock, the new transitions make me want to gauge my eyes out with white hot pokers. We just cannot get in to a routine and I think this is why I feel so mentally disorganized and flummoxed.  Henry comes home from school and is so exhausted that he almost immediately earns himself a place in time out because of a rude outburst. I have revamped my approach to be a sickeningly sweet June Cleaver of a mother and the kid still acts like a hormonal 16-year old. I can’t even fathom what it will be like when he gets to be that old. I was such a turd to my parents in my teenage years. I was a good, responsible, smart, active kid…but I was a real fiery pissant when interacting with my folks. I am in awe of their ability to be resilient and still love me! Obviously I will always love my child, but Henry has become a mini version of me at 16.

Ruby, my almost 1 year old is waking up all the time at night. We haven’t sleep trained her and I feel so torn about this. We never sleep trained Henry and he was in and out of our bed until he was 4 years old. I was reading about sleep training the other day and it said that your baby will be sad and clingy the next day when you sleep train the night before. What the sh*t? I don’t want a sad and clingy baby.  Seriously…babies are all sunshine and rainbows and soft bunny fur…they have their rest of their life to be sad about stuff.  So instead I attempt a half-assed sleep train method. She cries for awhile, I go in and soothe her, and we keep this up for about 45 minutes until I cave in and rock her in the chair, all while crying silently because I’m pretty sure I’m screwing up some sort of sweet innocence that is uniquely hers. Last night I slept on the floor next to her crib while holding her hand thru the slats so she would not cry and just sleep in her own bed. I was thankful for the plush carpets that came with the house when we bought it last year.

So there you have it…that’s what’s going on with me. I don’t have any witty or insightful conclusion here that says I’ll get thru this and come out stronger on the other side. Or that maybe I should just enjoy the moments I have with my children and not get so mired deep into all that is going wrong lately. Or that motherhood is challenging…because by now, you know this and I’m tired of saying it over and over again.  I’m struggling this week. I know it will be better next week. My mom and dad are coming to visit. They always make things better. Having them around makes me feel like a little kid again. They listen, put up with my whining, take me grocery shopping, and are a reminder that they too made it out of the trenches of parenthood alive and smiling.

These sweet babes...I wish every day was this delicious.
These sweet babes…I wish every day was this delicious.


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Heather Polifka-Rivas
Heather is originally from upstate New York but her family returned to Vermont 4 years ago. They have lived in NYC and Chicago the past 10+ years and are happy to be back in Vermont. Heather's previous jobs as a starving actor in NYC, package design guru at Estee Lauder, and advisor to fortune 500 companies at Chicago’s top business school have not prepared her for her current job today: stay at home mom to Henry (7) and Ruby (3). A self proclaimed foodie, Heather spends her "many" hours of free time preparing elaborate meals, eating out, tending to her garden, canning it's bounty and willing her one tapped maple tree to weep more sap. She is also a mother runner.


  1. Ok, so what’s not to love about this post! First of all you said turd when referring to yourself. Awesome! Second, and this is a reason I love you so much…you think babies are all bunny fur and rainbows. I laughed out loud at that, I love my kids but I’ve never thought of them as such. Wonderful!

  2. Feeling like I clicked on the right article to read tonight! My son Henry also has started Kindergarten. I am thrilled that he loves it, but he comes home a monster and I am the punching bag! I make him a fun snack, and grab a favorite book to read him while he eats it…… but usually it doesn’t help and I put him to bed tearful and sad about how I was treated by my 5 year old.

    And my 2.5 year old doesn’t sleep either 🙁

  3. Oh Heather, I know we just met, but I feel like we’ve had identical weeks… mine opened with me yelling at the boy two days in a row, up all night (every night) with the baby who is also not sleeping (and me enacting some bizarre and inconsistent half-ass sleep training which is doing nobody any favors and probably permanently scarring her), and just concluded with me in tears on the playroom floor.

    Also I’ve got three huge bowls of tomatoes. Mine are cherry tomatoes and I’m not sure what to do with them either! Tomato jam maybe? That way I don’t have to peel them.

    Hang in there! Next week is bound to be better.

  4. Heather, I laughed at the thought of you lying on the floor holding little Ruby’s hand. This must qualify her for a blue ribbon in the ” I’ve got my mom wrapped around my little finger” category. Wish I had thought of that one myself. Luke and Mark didn’t know from the inside of a crib until they were ready for big boy beds!! Litttle Ruby, so sweet!


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