Always a Learning Experience

1085

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?

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.

 

Weathering the Storm

It has been a crazy few weeks in this house and trying to catch my breath has not been easy.  Trying to fit everything in, be where you need to be, working commitments, kids’ activities, household necessities…you know every day life just doesn’t all seem to fit within a 24 hr. period.  Then add 3 distinctly different kids into the mix and you have the perfect combination for the perfect storm.

How do you weather the storm?

I don’t think any of us know the answer.  But I know many of us know how important it is to get through the storm.

I feel I am in the eye of the storm and until I get a handle on it, I will not get past it.

As a new month begins, a new outlook and new hope to get through this recurring storm within our home.

Each day needs to be a fresh start.

Each day needs to have a focus.

Each day needs to have less yelling and more calmness.

Each day needs to have a positive.

Each day needs the attention.

Each day needs me to be present.

Each day needs forgiveness.

We all need an each day to weather any storm.

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.

9ba5b25c87e5f6988919aa7cac6b1d9e

Silence

bb397e0d643bf8376a1a53b89b7de839

There is nothing more beautiful to me than after a long day but the first sound of pure SILENCE.  I am able to think clearly for just a little.  I feel calm.  No one needs me at that moment.  The mommy guilt is not at the forefront of my brain.  The failures of my day are not quite taking over. I actually enjoy a sip of wine just because.

Although my mind doesn’t allow for the silence to last very long, I appreciate the first moments of it.  It is then when I feel everything will be OK.

I Can’t Do It All

e17db64d79c2812fd3f3a4b9624e7450

I keep telling myself this but I still struggle with it.

I have been struggling with making a decision on whether or not to give my youngest the same opportunity as I did for my oldest.  And the same opportunity I denied my middle child.  I denied the opportunity to him because, just as the above quote says, I can’t do everything.  The difference and why I am struggling with my decision is the commitment factor.  I denied a similar opportunity to my son because the commitment level was so involved~ all day events EVERY week in addition to the one evening a week requirement. For my youngest it is simply a one evening commitment.  But her temperament can’t handle two evenings in a row doing an activity.

So why do I feel such guilt with knowing it would be a bad decision?

I simply need to face the fact that I am not super woman.  I can barely keep up with the everyday things I need to get done.  Adding another commitment will seriously add more stress than good.  So I need to keep repeating and accepting the above quote.  I need to know that saying no to things isn’t going to scar them (I really do know this).  I need to know my children are very fortunate to do the things they do and they don’t need to be over-scheduled.  It will not benefit them, me, or our family.  I need to know “mommy guilt” needs to be squashed and not part of decision-making.

No one can do it all.

The Great Bedtime Debate

images (34)

Right now we are having some adjustments to bedtimes.  Up until now, I was VERY fortunate to have all 3 of my kids go up to bed at the same time.  I slowly began toward mid-spring last school year extend my oldest’s by 30 minutes.  However she still went up to her room at the same time as the other two but was able to be on her iPad for 30 minutes.  So it really wasn’t that much change for me.  I still had my time.  But now I am faced once again with adjusting bedtimes and this time I don’t think I will be so fortunate.

It is a 3 shift process and a process that leaves me on edge because as a single parent, I am D-O-N-E before they are ready for bed!  I simply long for me time which includes my brainless shows, a glass of wine (or 2), my iPad, and a cozy blanket.  Up until now it was all working so well.  EVERYONE was retired to their beds by 8pm~ again I know how fortunate I was.  But now, it isn’t until 9:00-9:30 pm when I have my much-needed me time.  Is it bad that I am longing for the days when they all went to bed at the same time?!??

I do take advantage of this time.  They don’t want to go to bed so they will spill every last detail of their day to me when I take them up to bed. So this is definitely the plus side.  But they are definitely benefiting from this.  They gain extra time and I seem to be losing my time because by the time they are all snuggled in, I look at the clock and pretty much am ready for bed myself.  I keep reminding myself that these days are limited and I need to take advantage of every minute.  Before I know it, this too will pass and I will be faced with yet another great debate.