Tag Archives: parenting

Losing It Over Here (and Getting It Back)

Howling like a baby wolf is cute and creative. Just not at 7AM, mkay?

Howling like a baby wolf is cute and creative. Just not at 7AM, mkay?

I’ve been a little quiet here for the past few weeks.  January is tricky.  The holidays are so busy with deadlines for work, cooking, traveling, presents.  Then, come January, we’re worn out and lazy.  We usually get sick. Going back to work and school presents more challenges than we’re prepared for.

This month was typical, and so I needed to take some time to sort out some stuff, which I’m still kind of in the midst of, which isn’t a big deal.  Things tend to go back to normal in February.

I just wanted to take a little moment today to tell a little story.  I was sick over the weekend, and lost 2 nights of sleep.  Last week, both my kids were sick, plus there was a snow day, and a school holiday.  I ended up getting only 1 full work-day, out of 8 whole days.

I feel like I took it all pretty much in stride, and stayed in a good mood, despite the challenges.  Today was the first “normal” day since then, where all the kids went to school/daycare, husband back to work, etc.

You’d think I’d be in a fantastic mood, but I wasn’t. I was snarky and moody while getting the kids ready. Pretty much at the end of the rope, so glad they were getting out my hair, frustrated that they weren’t, already.

That happens.  I’ve had a few friends confide in me lately, when they’ve had a rough moment with the kids, and regretted the words they said, the tone/volume of voice, etc. They are not alone.

When these women are recounting the story, I can visibly see the pain, regret and shame in their eyes, and it breaks my heart, because I can relate, and because I wish/hope they could believe that yes, it’s regrettable, but it’s going to be OK. Kids need love and patience, but it is OK for them to see that people have limits.  If those limits are tested, needled, poked, or bashed over that person’s head, they are eventually going to have a reaction.

I always joke that kids need to learn that as adults, they can not just walk into a bar, go up to the biggest, toughest dude, and poke him repeatedly in the face.  They will eventually get punched.  We are talking valuable, life skills here!

While it would be wonderful if we could all stay cool and calm, and handle those situations with grace, it’s absolutely not possible to do that every time. Kids are HARD!

For me, when I lose my inner calm, the remedy truly begins with self forgiveness. I am human, I am tired, I will release myself from the chains of shame, because they just hold me back from becoming a better person. I take a half hour to do something that really clears my head.  For me that’s meditation/yoga.  For some that might be exercise, or a hot bath.  Whatever lowers the stress and shuts off the constant chatter in the back of your mind, works.  Tell yourself you forgive yourself, say the actual words, they’ll hold more weight if you say them out loud.

Then, any damage caused to the relationship with the kids can be remedied  (a bit later, once the dust settles) by having a warm, open conversation.  Let them know they are loved, let them know “why I lost my cool”, let them know you are human, and flawed, but you love yourself enough to forgive yourself, and them, and they can forgive themselves too, and tell them that everything will be OK.

And then, everything WILL be ok, and it might happen all over again another day, but that’s OK, because we can deal with it in a loving, productive way. :)

I hope you all have a beautiful day today.

xoxo, Mere

Oh, the joys of bus riding!

A little boy keeps trying to sit with Brooke on the bus, and when he does, he tries to lick her face.

I had to draft a nice email to the bus company to ask that they help me handle the situation.

When I got to the part where I have to write the subject line, I was stumped, so I wrote what came naturally, and it cracked me right up.

What to do when some kid keeps licking your kid.

 

I am so funny sometimes, I swear you guys!

It will be interesting to see how it gets handled.

I hear a lot of stories from my blogging and Facebook mama friends about bullying.  I’m sure it’ll be fine. This kid probably doesn’t even realize what he’s doing could be considered bullying.  Oy.

These kids just keep it interesting, don’t they?

 

This Will Be “Quick”

I am very busy, and I’m very happy about that, because there was a time that I had too little work and therefore, too little money.  BUT, I’m not trying to brag, because being busy can be STRESSFUL, and stress is bad.

Therefore, when I’m stressed, I comfort myself with this little saying:  “Time doesn’t exist, anyway”.

My challenge to you (and myself) today, is if you feel stressed about time, whether if you’re feeling guilty for wasting it, feeling stressed that there’s not enough of it, etc, just say to your self, “time doesn’t exist anyway“, and see if you feel better (and also see if you end up having a pretty productive day).

If you are the type that needs to understand why you should do something someone is telling you to do, especially when it sounds insane, then you might want to read this first to understand why I would ask you to do this.
http://infinite712.hubpages.com/hub/Time-doesnt-Exist

Then do it, and tell me how much better it made you feel all day long.

xoxo, Mere

So…. Homework

I never had homework when I was 5.  I really wanted it.  I craved it!  I had an older sister who had it, so it must be cool, right!?

Once I got it, I learned pretty quick that it actually sucks, but that’s a story for another day.

Today’s story is about my daughter.  She gets homework.  She goes to kindergarten, full day.  Kindergarten today, is not the kindergarten of my youth.  It’s no joke.  There will be reading!  There will be writing!  There will be 1 short recess, and not enough time to eat all of your lunch!!!

The first homework assignment was exciting for us both!  She got that s*** done!  We felt proud.

The second, not so much.

It came on Monday, and was due Thursday.

It went like this:

Monday:
ME: Hey Brooke, do you feel like doing homework? (I came on weak, I didn’t feel like dealing with it.)

Brooke: Ummm, no.

Me: (I don’t say anything, I’m tired.)

Wednesday:
ME: Brooke!  YOU HAVE TO DO THIS HOMEWORK TODAY.

BROOKE: WHY???  I did homework ALL DAY at school!!!

ME: It’s due tomorrow. DO IT.

BROOKE: No.

ME: You’re going to regret this when it’s almost time for school, and you’re scrambling to get it done, and your teacher won’t be happy with you.

BROOKE: (Ignored me)

Thursday, 7:30 AM:
ME: DO IT.

BROOKE: NO!

ME: DO IT.

BROOKE: NO!

ME: I’m going upstairs to do my hair.  Do it now.

10 minutes later, Brooke comes in to my room, crying.
BROOKE:
SOMETHING HAPPENED TO MY HOMEWORK!  WAHHHHH!

I could see how badly her heart was broken.  She’d let herself down.  I softened my approach, we go downstairs.  Apparently, she was so mad about homework, that she scribbled all over it with orange colored pencil.  Then, she tried to “re-rase” it with a damp rag, resulting in a huge hole in the middle of the homework paper.

You know, that kind of made me proud of her.  Like, “hey teacher, f*** you… and your homework, I’m FIVE!!”.  But of course, I can’t let her be that girl…yet.

So we fixed it up as best we could, and everything turned out OK.

And then the next week, we approached homework with a much more positive attitude, and finished it right away, instead of procrastinating.

Dear God: if I can teach my child not to procrastinate, I will feel like my life had true purpose.

I’ll let you know how that works out.

So, being as though I know we all love a numbered list: Presenting, my
5 Tips For Surviving Homework

(If you have a kindergartner, because lord knows,

I have no idea how to raise anyone over the age of 6.)

1. Be fun and playful!  Make it seem like, “OMG, this is going to be awesome!  Do you want to hear what we have to do right now?  You do!??  Look, let’s color this cute little bear on your worksheet, and then there’s a GAME, where you color these apples green or red, based on whether there’s a letter or number inside.  THEN, you can do this SUPER EASY part, where you right the letter E over and over again, as FAST as you can!  You can have a SNACK while you have all this fun!  READY, SET, GO!!!!!”

2. When it’s done, make a huge deal out of it.  Make them feel like their work is so good, their coloring looks AMAZING!!!  I am proud!  And you should be proud, are you PROUD???!!!

3.  Tell another person in the room about the amazing job they did. Reinforcement!

4. Let them do something fun like watch a movie or go for a bike ride when they’re finished. Reward (duh).

5. Ask them for help with something a little while later.  Let them feel that you trust them even more now, because you recognize how smart and capable they are.  It will reinforce that pride, and god-willing, feed their hunger to cooperate and do their best next time it’s a homework day.

Good luck, parents.

xoxo, Mere

Keyword (phrase?) Being – I’m kind of a psycho.

My daughter, is truly such an angel, but, she scares me sometimes.

When I found out I was having a girl, I cried.  Not because I don’t like girls, but because I am a girl, and I’m kind of a psycho, so I was afraid, and that’s why I cried.

She, thankfully is not very much like me.  Or, if I may be so annoyingly unrealistic and shortsighted bold, and brag, she took only my best qualities, for sure.

As you know, she just started kindergarten.  And consequently, she just started scaring the crap out of me.

There was a day of other kids making fun of her.  I was terrified.  Surely she couldn’t be the kid that gets targeted! Right?  So scary.

Then there was the girl who was bossing her around, then giving her presents.
I’m not ready for codependency!!!

Then, this morning she told me I’m starting to look a little bit old.  That’s OK, I know it’s true, and I embrace aging as gracefully as I can.  That didn’t scare me, but what did was that she then started to cry and asked me if I was going to die soon.

I don’t want her to be afraid of me dying, or death at all, for that matter!

Every step of parenthood is an adventure for sure.  So in light of this, I took a little time to think about my scary daughter, and was led to finding some good books to help us deal with changes of life, and here’s what I found:
Chrysanthemum
I Am
The Mountains of Tibet

Oh, and also, I spent the weekend teaching her how to play softball.  No one messes with the softball bitches.

My next task, go outside, lay in the hammock and look at stars (before it gets too cold) with her before bed.

Good luck parents, we’re in this together!
xoxo

Confession – Parenting is Hard.

My sister and I each have our reasons for starting this blog, and one of mine is that I want to be very honest about the challenges of parenting, so we parents can realize that no one’s alone.  It’s the hardest job there is in this world, with surprises around every bend.

I tend to be a bit of an extrovert with a big mouth.  I also live in an area where people tend to be a little more on the reserved side, where they don’t just blab every little thing that’s going on in their lives.  I’ve noticed that sometimes when I’m talking to people, they start to look at me as though they think I might be slightly crazy.  I am OK with this.  I just think of it as though I might be helping people feel a little better about themselves.  It’s my contribution.

So, that being said, here’s my current beef with parenting.  My kids are 2 years apart.  My son just turned 3 and my daughter is about to turn 5.  They whine a lot.  They cry a lot.  My daughter is going through a phase where she can’t be alone in any room.  She’s worried about monsters.  She won’t poop alone.  We have to stand in the bathroom and keep her company while she poops.

My son is going through the major tantrum phase.  He’s miserable about 75% of the day.  I’ve been tiptoeing around him a lot, and recently realized I might just be feeding the beast, so I’ve started using time outs more consistently when he’s being unreasonable.

After an 8 hour day of jumping through hoops for my clients, this is generally the last thing I feel like dealing with (it’s the last thing I feel like dealing with on days off as well).  I just want to sit down, put my feet up, have some wine, watch the Real Housewives, read a book, and go to bed.  Being a mom means serving a very demanding, unappreciative boss 24-7, and I’m just tired.

This is the part where people start looking at me blankly, like, yeah, duh.  They’re right, this isn’t a surprise, I’ve been living this life for 5 years, but it still never fails to shock me.  I just can’t believe how freaking hard this stuff is!

If I don’t say it, I’ll stew about it, so here it is, I’m burned out on kids.  I love them, appreciate them for making me a mommy, and wouldn’t trade my life for any other, but they drive me crazy, and I dream of ways to get revenge on them when they’re teenagers.