Breath and Laugh

Although days are long and some days I may feel like I am never going to get through them, I have to say some of the days do provide a lot of laughs when all is said and done.

Yes at the moment when it is happening, I tend not to see the humor in the situation.  I tend to think:

Can’t I catch a break?

I have no time to deal with this

This is the worse thing ever (NO it is not)

May famous line~ Seriously?!??

And a lot of other things go through my mind that I probably shouldn’t share 😉

I just had one of those evenings this past week.  Spreading myself too thin but thinking how I have a handle on it. I wasn’t stressing.  I wasn’t snapping at the kids.  I was calm and cool.  Then the phone rings.  I get a call from my groomer asking me to remain calm and everything is ok. But I needed to come at get Mazy.  She had accidentally nipped her tail and it wouldn’t stop bleeding.  I could tell by her voice she was so upset. I just took a deep breath and did what I had to do.  Got my sitter to come over to stay with two of the kids, called the vet, got in touch with my hostess for the evening (I had a Thirty-One Show-30 min away), and left to get Mazy.

Get Mazy and after calming the groomer down and letting her know I was fine, dog was fine, these things happens, I left to go get Ella who had dance and head to the vet.  It was during that short 5 minute drive from the Groomers to the dance studio where I started to get stressed.  But I knew there was no reason to be.  but I was having one of those moments when IF things were different and I was not alone in this thing called life, I would still be heading to the Thirty-One Show and Ryan would be taking the kids along with the dog to the vet.  All would be fine.  MY life wouldn’t be disrupted.   It was one of my “DR” moments.  I’m allowed to have them.  Right?  YES I am.

The dog was fine.  Never knew anything happened to her.  The kids were fine.  My hostess was SO understanding and still had her party minus me (technology is a wonderful thing).  WE were all fine.

I don’t like when I allow trivial things get to me.  I don’t like to sweat the small stuff.  I know I am allowed to and I know things could have been worse.  But they weren’t~thank goodness.  This was one of those moments that even though it was an inconvenience it ended up be funny when all was said and done.

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Mazy is fine.  She is a hot mess with her half-groomed style going on and a pink gauze bandage at the end of her tail. The size of the bandage makes it look A LOT worse…it is just the very tip.  But that is what makes this inconvenience one of many that puts it in perspective and reminds me, staying calm and just going with what life throws at me is how I need to look at things.  It makes for a great story.  It made us all laugh.  It made me slow down.  It reminded me sometimes things will happen and you just have to go with it.  I say all this now until the next thing.  And there will be MANY next things.  But hopefully I will handle the next things the same way and if I don’t, it’s OK.  I am allowed those moments.

Picture Day

Picture Day….

3 Kids

2 Girls with 2 distinct styles

1 smelly boy

Curling Iron

Flat Iron

Gel

Dog chasing cat

No coffee

Tears

Hair not straight enough

Hair not curly enough

Half-ass shower

Dog has to go out

Take another shower

Near wipe out on wet bathroom floor

You want me to wear what

My hair

More tears

Make breakfast

Make lunch

Glares

Still no coffee

Silence all the way to the bus stop

Bus comes

Coffee

And that was our morning.

I love picture day.

Always a Learning Experience

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Having an 8 yr. old boy is always interesting.  Since I am not a boy (obviously) and didn’t grow up one, it is a learning experience.  I have learned from my son….

~ Changing your socks isn’t important

~Changing and/or wearing underwear is and will always be optional

~ Nothing is more funny than talking about bodily functions especially farting

~ Simply getting wet in the shower is considered bathing (soap is optional)

~ Any movie that has “bad words” in it will make them laugh uncontrollably

~ Robin Williams and Jim Carey can make my son laugh uncontrollably to the point he is gasping for air

~ The ideal wardrobe is anything made of sportswear

~ Lifting up the seat is optional

~ Putting the seat down is optional as well

~ Sports should be a major subject in school

~ Burgers and fries are a major food group

~ Sweets are too

~ Drinking “beer” (root beer or birch beer) is just like an adult beverage especially when it is in the bottle

~ Air fresheners are a must and should be bought in bulk

~ Sitting still…what is that?

~ Dress the part

~ He wants to be a “guy” but is still a little boy

~ Kissing your mom becomes fist pumping your mom

~ Will occasionally still grab your hand when walking

~ Loves me and his sisters more than anything but shhhhh….don’t let his sisters know

What have you learned from your child(ren) lately?

Weekly Dates

As my kids get older, the quality time we have as a family and even just alone is a minimum.  Each day someone has something going on that takes away from the other two.  After a whirlwind first month of school and getting into our crazy schedule, I am seeing little lights at the end of little tunnels that were once very dark.

I love the time each week I get to have one-on-one time with each of my kids.  By far my youngest gets the best quantity of my time since she has me to herself every afternoon.  But it is during this time I get to see how she is maturing and changing each day.  It is during these afternoons that I love to snuggle with her and let her be her.

I love my weekly dinner dates with my son.  Yes it is usually McDonald’s but I will take a burger and fries with him over anything any day of the week.  He is the only male in the house.  He is the middle child.  He is the one I feel I need to learn how to connect with the most since I am obviously not a male myself…ha!  In our short little date, I find out so much about what is going on in his mind and his world.  This is where I am hoping the lines of communication begins and he knows he can tell me anything.

And as my oldest is changing and trying to find her way as an almost “tween”, I live for our late night drive to and from her one dance class.  I put my pride and guilt aside and recruited help on one night where it is just her and I.  It gives us a chance to just have girl talk.  I am not just mom but a confidant.  I hesitate to use the word “friend” here.  It is such a fine line to walk with any child.  But I think (or hope) that keeping that line drawn will create a special and unique bond that is even better than a friendship.  I see how she is entering into the years of struggling to find herself and to find where she fits in on top of peer pressure and everything else that comes with growing up and I am scared for her.  I know I wouldn’t want to be growing up in this day and age.  It is during this time, I see the amazing young lady she is and this is when she truly confides in me.

I am very proud of myself that I have been able to put aside my guilt, my pride, my desire to do it all aside.  Because let’s face it I can’t and no one can.  I am taking full advantage of my weekly dates more and more as each week passes because I see the small changes they make for each of them and for me.

The Flipside of Parenting

I was fortunate to go away with just my son this past weekend.  It is very rare that I get an opportunity to get away with one of my children for longer than a few hours at a time yet alone an entire weekend and twice in a 6 month period.  Back in April was the first time when my oldest daughter’s dance team had an amazing opportunity to travel to Disney World and perform as well as take an exclusive workshop with cast members.  For the first time, I packed up myself and just one of my kids to take a trip together.

Just me and ONE child!

Let me say that again….Just me and ONE child!

I forgot what it was like to have just one little person attached to you.  It is so peaceful.  No one is competing for your attention.  There was no fighting.  There was no one saying something wasn’t fair.  I wasn’t being pulled in so many directions at once.  I was enjoying my child.

I find it very hard to say the words “enjoying my child(ren)” on a regular basis.  It has been something I have struggled with for some time. It has been something that has made me feel like I am failing them.  When you are the one person that more than one little person depends upon, you often find yourself being pulled in so many directions.  And when you are pulled in so many directions it is so hard to find the enjoyment in this crazy world called parenthood.

I mean think about it, what is there to enjoy about being the disciplinarian or being talked to with an attitude?  What pleasure do you get from having to repeat yourself 100x’s to get someone to pick up their belongings, throw their trash away, or flush the toilet?  Where is the enjoyment of running like a mad person to get everything together-dinner, lunches, laundry?  No one likes to be the person who does so much with so little in return.  This is the side of parenting that is not fun and you can never fully prepare yourself for.

But then there is the side of parenting you experienced what seemed to be so long ago.  The side that is always there but as your kids get older seems to be rare.  The side when you enjoy your kids.  You enjoy their snuggles.  You enjoy their little voices saying “Mommy/Daddy you’re the best!”. The side where you make everything right in their little world and they are so grateful.  The side where you can do no wrong in their eyes. The side where one hug just seems to take the weight of the world off your shoulders for a brief moment.

I am in the midst of parenthood where the “enjoying my children” feeling is very hard to find some days.  I KNOW it’s there.  On the tough days, I just wish there were more of those moments.  I think the only way to have them is to make sure I am present and I am looking for them when it gets to the point of feeling so beaten down by the daily demands of parenting.  There are no books or articles that can really prepare you for this flipside of parenting.  I think the one thing that can help us all is sharing the days of “not enjoying” our kids and how we got through them.

 

I Simply…

Days are hard being a single parent.  You constantly think about all you do wrong.  You are always struggling with the decisions you make.  You want to make sure you are present for each child yet you are one person and you are human.  In your mind you know your children will appreciate you and everything you have done and will do for them.  You know they will look back and see all the sacrifices you made for them.

As a single parent you make choices every single day alone.  You make choices that ultimately put your needs on the back burner.  You put your children first.  You are not available to give much more to anything or anyone.  You are stretched thin.

Are you trying to be a martyr?

Are you trying to prove you can do it all?

Are you trying to be put on a pedestal?

Are you looking for pity?

Are you looking for approval?

I can only speak for myself but I am not looking for any of the above.  The only thing I am striving to be is the best parent I can be for my children.  I simply want them to know they are loved.  I simply want them to know I have their best interests at heart.  I simply want them to know I am here for them.  I simply want to get through a single day without my frustrations with life getting in the way.

Although I know what I strive for each and every day with my life and being a single parent, I know not every day will be the best day.  I know there may be a stretch of time when everything seems to be pure chaos and I feel like I am failing them.  But single parent or not, this is parenthood.  I simply just want to be what my children need me to be.

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Little Successes

Homework time is never a dull moment in our house.  By far the most fun person to do homework with is my son.  He knows how to  make homework time the most painful experience next to giving birth.  Add being overtired into the equation and it is just a barrel of laughs!

Tears, yelling, scribbling, looking at words and just saying the first word that comes to mind, and the 10 minute reading per night just makes you want to stick a straw into the wine bottle like a caprisun but you can’t have a drink yet because you have to pick up or drop someone off at an activity.  It is just painful!  I get just as frustrated as he does and I think I would literally bang my head against the table if it wouldn’t completely squash any confidence he had or hurt me in the process!

BUT he surprised me tonight!  He completed his entire homework without me and when I asked him to read the words and make the sounds for his one assignment I almost banged my head from falling over!  The boy got every single word correct and the annunciation of the words blew me away!  Could things be slowly turning around????  Yeah I won’t be holding my breath but I certainly will be taking every night of little successes like this as often as I can!