7 Things Every Parent Should Know

7 Things Every Parent Should Know - www.stage-presents.com

  1.  Every child is different.  I think sometimes we base our parenting styles and decisions on how things worked the first time around, or how our parent’s raised us. I have three children and they couldn’t be more different.  Growing up, I remember thinking that my sister had it so much easier, because I had already gone through all of the hard things.  And, that my mom favored her over me, which.. well I am still not sure that isn’t entirely true, lol.  But… now that I have children of my own I know that what worked for one of them wouldn’t necessarily work for the other.
  2. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.  Even though it is what we all aspire to be, we would save ourselves so much time right out of the gate, by acknowledging from the very beginning that we are human, and therefore flawed. There will be times when you have to say you are sorry.  You will not always be right.  You are charged with shaping these little lives that have been entrusted to you, but try as you might you can’t mold them into your own image.  (Trust me I’ve tried, lol)
  3. Quality and Quantity.  I know you probably thought I was going to say  Quality over Quantity.  But Nope.  Here’s is my reasoning you are probably never going to be able to please everyone see #1.  And, even though you will most likely try to find things that everyone is interested in and or try to give them as much one on one time, as possible.  That simply may not be the way that they remember it.  So do you best to spend as much time as you can, whenever you can.  And hope that it is enough.
  4. Routine. Routine is the key to any well oiled machine.  Bed times, chores, expectations, etc.  As I mentioned before, I thought my parents were too strict.  But, the thing about it is that looking back I see now that knowing what was expected of me and how I was to conduct myself played a large part in shaping me.  I can see now that a lot of the heartache that my friends went through I was lucky enough not to have experienced, because I simply didn’t live that life.
  5. Enjoy it.  I will be the first one to tell you that parenthood is NO WALK IN THE PARK.   You love your babies and you can’t imagine life without them.  But, sometimes you do.  You imagine what it would be like to pull your hands through you hair, throw on some bright red lipstick and skinny jeans and just jump in the car heading off to God knows where and for God knows what reason.  But, you know those days are over.  So once you are back from your pity party.  Make sure to enjoy these days.  One day you will miss it.  Since my oldest is 20 and my youngest is 6, I have a unique vantage point.  I can see the other side while still in the trenches.
  6. Document your days.  This is a controversial one for some people, because if you are snapping pictures then maybe you aren’t present.  I guess I have mixed feelings about this, because I see things from behind a lens that I am not sure I would notice otherwise.  Or maybe it’s that the things that I see make me want to pull out my camera to preserve the memory.  Like taking my daughters to the beach last year, and watching their faces so go from fear, to fun, to frolicking.  It was amazing to sit there and watch them grow before my eyes.  To me, it’s equally amazing to look back on those pictures and remember that day with joy in my heart.  I think I have always taken a lot of pictures, but when my son was little there were no iPhone’s and such, so there are way less pics of him than of the girls, and it is one of my biggest regrets.
  7. We Time and Me Time are a necessity.  Before they came, it was just the two of you.  And, before you became the two of you, it was just you.  Every relationship needs cultivation, even the ones we have with ourselves.  And, I believe this with all my heart.  If you are depleted at some time in some way, it is going to come out.  I am lucky enough to have my parents close by and when I need a break they are more than happy to afford us that luxury.  But, even if you don’t have a support system close by, little things mean a lot.  Can you both get off work for a couple of hours while the kids are at school, for lunch or for a movie or both?  Can you schedule a babysitter, and make a night of it?  Or maybe you just need the peace and quiet, or solitude of a massage, or mani-pedi appointment.  Figure out what feeds your spirit and your soul and do that, make time for that.

“TODAY’S LITTLE MOMENTS,  BECOME TOMORROW’S PRECIOUS MEMORIES.”

Our Top 5 Children’s Holiday Books

top-5-childrens-holiday-books

You may very well get tired of hearing me say that Christmas is my “favorite time of year”.  But, I am pretty sure that I am not alone.  Some of my favorite Christmas memories are centered around the books my parents would read with my sister and I around Christmas time.  It is a tradition that I have tried to pass on to my own Children.  Every year on Christmas Eve they both get a Christmas related book and we read them together.  Needless to say over the years we have grown quite the collection.  I personally believe that a love for reading and a quest for knowledge are one of the most important things that we as parents, can pass on to our little ones.  It is always hard for me to narrow down only a few choices for Christmas Reading, because there is so much to choose from.  But, check out my Top 5 Favorites for this year!!  I have included some classics, as well as a Bonus Book for all those Moms who want to teach their kids the real meaning of Christmas.  All of the links to the books are Clickable.

Olivia Helps with Christmas

olivia-helps-with-christmas

The Sweet Smell of Christmas A Scratch and Sniff Story

the-sweet-smell-of-christmas

Grace At Christmas

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THE CLASSICS

The Night Before Christmas

the-night-before-christmas

The Polar Express

the-polar-express

BONUS — the real meaning of christmas

God Gave Us Christmas

god-gave-us-christmas

Out of all the books listed, my very favorite is God Gave Us Christmas.  We just discovered this one last year, and it is a gem.  Everything about it gave me the warm and fuzzies and the kids enjoyed it to.  So it’s officially Mommy and Kid Approved.

What are your favorite books to read with your little ones?  What are your favorite Christmas Traditions?  I’d love to read all about it in the comment section below.

Peace of Mind Essentials for Hotel Stays with Little People

Essentials for Hotel Stays with Kids www.stage-presents.com

I know you remember when spending the weekend or vacations at a hotel was a welcome treat.  The only thing you really had to think about what was what to pack and for how long.  Then, you became a Mommy and all of a sudden it seemed like every news program was feeding into your new found Mommy obsession with germs [esp. in hotels].  And then, in my case, you had a child that was allergic to daylight… (well, at least it felt that way) and had eczema and everything became a battle to avoid  germs.  Unless you are one of the lucky ones who live near all of your family and or can afford your own vacation home, hotels are a necessary evil.  Now, don’t get my wrong I still enjoy my stays at swanky hotels with the hubby, but my mind is not so focused on little people during those trips.

Even though I know full well that this is probably a battle I can not win, there are some essentials that make these trips just a bit more manageable in my OCD Brain.

HERE IS MY LIST OF PEACE OF MIND ESSENTIALS FOR TRAVELING WITH LITTLE PEOPLE

Lysol – I have a true love/hate relationship with Lysol.  Of course I love the purpose that it serves, but ugh the smell.  My compromise is the lemon scented one, it still has distinct undertones but I can handle it.

Disinfectant Wipes – Wipe down as many surfaces as you can that the kids will touch.  Which if your kids are like mine, that is every thing, lol.

Baby Wipes – Cause you can’t wipe down everything

Ziplock Bags –  Storage for pretty much anything.

Your Own Soap – I don’t know about you, but I hate most hotel soaps because they tend to be drying.

Pillow Cases – I sleep better knowing that the pillow cases we are sleeping on, have been washed by yours truly.

Flat Sheets – another OCD thing.

Garbage Bags –  Hotel garbage bags are always TOO SMALL.

Snacks/Juice/Water – This one is just about saving you from the mini bar/vending machine prices.

Hand Sanitizer – For When All Else Fails.

I know I am not the only panicked Momma going through this.  So I’d love to know what are your go to items for hotel stays with your little ones? Drop them in the comment section below, and if you know another Momma going through a similar struggle please share this post with them.

To read more about my adventures Road ‘Tripping” with Kids follow this link.

Celebrate Grandparent’s Day!!

GRANDPARENTS ROCK AND SO DOES GRANDPARENT’S DAY!!

Celebrate Grandparent's Day with 3 Free Grandparent's Day Coloring Sheets - stage-presents.com

©2016 Stage Presents – For Personal Use Only – Do Not Alter, Duplicate or Redistribute without Permission.

Tomorrow is Grandparent’s Day!! Do your little ones want to show Grandma and Grandpa just how much they mean to them?  Grab some crayons and let them get to work on these Free Fun Coloring Sheets.  My parents are all about anything they get from the “grands”.  Think of what a treat this will be.

I hear a lot of belly aching about these Commercial Holidays that supposedly Hallmark has invented.  I am not weighing in either way.  But, I am all for this one.  I was not fortunate enough to grow up around my grandparents, but whenever they came to visit it was such a treat.  There’s nothing quite like hearing first hand stories about what your parents were like as kids, from their parents.  There is always a bit more truth to it, lol.  I hope your little ones are lucky enough to have a relationship with their grandparents.  Enjoy them while you can.   So Download and Print these Free Coloring Sheets.  You can frame them or give  it to them as is, the choice is yours.

Happy Grandparent’s Day Certificate

Grandpa You Color My World

Grandma You Are The Apple of My Eye

Here’s a Little Factual History about the day. In 1970, a West Virginia housewife, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, initiated a campaign to set aside a special day just for Grandparents.  The first Grandparents Day was proclaimed in 1973 in West Virginia by Governor Arch Moore.   In 1978, five years after its West Virginia inception, the United States Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The proclamation was signed by President Jimmy Carter. (September was chosen for the holiday, to signify the “autumn years” of life.)
Today this event, begun by only a few, is observed by millions throughout the United States.  For more information on The History of Grandparent’s Day, follow the link.

“GOD COULDN’T BE EVERYWHERE, SO HE MADE GRANDPARENTS.”

On Your First Day of Middle School

First Day of Middle School The house is eerily quiet after a summer full of laughter and yelling.  And,  as I put the last load of laundry in the dryer, and sit down to relax before bed,  so many thoughts flood into my head. You finished your first day of Middle School.  Around this time last night, your Dad and I  sat and debated all the things that could go wrong and how we would handle it, if it did.  We were both nervous for you and dare I say shook. As we sat there with the tv off for almost 40 minutes just staring out into space.  It seemed unreal that our little timid girl was turning into this tween right in front of our eyes.    On our way home from dropping you off and speaking with your counselor, your Dad told me that he wrote you a note.  I grimaced a little, after all Dad is often known for his boyish ways (less frills and curls and more blunt and direct).  But, when I got home and read the letter. tears literally filled my eyes. (I thought about posting the note, but some things should be between a girl and her Dad.)  Now, I know that this doesn’t surprise you because over the years Mom has turn into MUSH.  Long gone are my hard exterior and Sky High Walls, blame your Dad for that.

But, I am in tears for many reasons.  There is nothing like knowing that your child is loved.  I know you are saying he is my Dad and he is supposed to love me.  Which of course is true, but it’s the way that he loves you that chokes me up.  It is knowing that we were all, you, me and Dad sitting on pins and needles for the last two weeks coming up to the New School Year.  It is the little secret conversations that I would catch a second or two of when walking by, over the summer.  The way he thought of how to prepare you as best he could for what comes next. Or the pride that I saw in his eyes when you walked across the stage at your Elementary School Graduation in May.  And, it is my own understanding that there really is nothing like a Daddy’s love for a little girl.

So as I brace myself for the Middle School Years and the changes that I know you will make and the person who you will become.  I remember something that I thought of when you were just a wee little girl.  I hoped that you would always be able to feel the love that surrounds you.  And, that means when we don’t see eye to eye, or when discipline feels more like punishment and my caring seems more like “stalkery”. And, all these years later as you embark on yet another part of your journey, I hope this still.  You are one of my greatest accomplishments and you are loved, supported and wished well in more ways than you will ever know.

 

Quick and Easy Steps to Making Your Own Candles

Quick and Easy Steps to Making Your Own Candles

I enjoy DIY projects.  But, I should explain I do not enjoy projects that have too many moving parts or require too much work on my part.  So, if you ever see me share a project or a recipe, you can be sure of two things.  It will be quick and it will be easy. Today’s DIY is no different.  I will confess this isn’t the first time that I have made my own candles.  But, it literally was back in 2008.  And, back then I was making them as gifts, so I rarely enjoyed them myself.

Fast forward to this summer, as I was making my summer bucket list.  I tried to come up with projects that I thought the kids would be excited to be a part of.  Now, I know you are probably thinking kids and hot wax, but I promise I did that part all myself.  So, let’s get started.

Moving Parts aka Things You Need.

Moving Parts

  1. Glassware of Some Type
  2. Microwaveable Soy Wax
  3. Candle Wicks with Metal Base
  4. Plastic Mold Sealer (to secure Metal Base)
  5. Straw or Pencil
  6. Fragrance
  7. About 10-15 minutes

I used Mason Jars, because… well I love Mason Jars.  The Microwaveable Soy Wax was Quick and Easy.  The directions on the packaging shown in the first picture.  Indicates that it will take up to a minute to melt.  It took me about 3 minutes to get it all the melted.  I have a Microwave that I don’t use to cook in so I used that for this project.  I am mentioning this because, of course you probably don’t want tomorrow’s left overs smelling like wax.  But I am sure if you give it a good wipe down right after you would be fine.  Candle Wicks, this is one of those things where you will have choices galore.  This go around I used the Soy Wicks with the tabs.  But, if I was to do it again, I would do the braided wicks, because I like the way that they burn better.  And, I would probably go for the simple white wicks just for a cleaner look.  I used a small piece of the Plastic Mold Sealers to secure the Metal Base of the Wicks.  This is not something you have to do but, I feel better knowing that when I start pouring the wick will stay in place.  My favorite part and the reason I made the candles in the first place is the fragrance.  But, I am going to warn you fragrance is NOT CHEAP.  And, if you want a noticeable scent.  You may want to pour between 3-4 bottles of 1 oz  Liquid Candle Fragrances into the melted wax and stir well, for even distribution.

OK, so that explains all the things you will need EXCEPT for the Pencil or the Straw.  Now the first time I did this, I bought longer wicks, so I simply attached the Metal Base and tied the remaining wick around a pencil centered on top of the jar to keep it centered.  This time the wicks I purchased were shorter was shorter, so hubby “jimmy- rigged” it.  My Mommy would always tell me necessity is the Mother of Invention, and she would be right.   He came up with the idea to puncture a hole in a straw and thread the wick through it and then center it on top of the jar.  I was skeptical, but he was right.. hes good with these things.

Making Candles

So there you have it, go forth…and make some great smelling candles.  Not to mention how impressed all your friends and family will be.  I find that these candles are always a most welcome Hostess Gift.  With the holidays coming up, it’s something to consider.  Slap a Personalized Sticker on here or dress it up with a ribbon or two.  Don’t say I never told you anything (smile).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

 

Advocating for your Child’s Future

Advocating for Your Child's Future - Does your Child require an IEP? Do you need to know what lies ahead of you? Be an advocate for your child's future with these tips from a fellow IEP Mom.

Being a parent is the hardest job that I have ever been entrusted with for all the obvious reasons.  There is no manual, no two children are the same, my normal way of creating templates that I can repeat mindlessly doesn’t work here.  All the ways that I can work smarter rather than harder in other roles, can not be applied to this job.  I learned very early on that parenting was just not a job that I could prepare for. I bought everything on the suggested nursery list, and tried to anticipate any need I felt that they would have before they arrived.  But… still there were just things that could not be anticipated .

It is often said that a parent is a child’s first teacher and also their first example of God’s love.  Both scary sentiments, if you ask me, but equally true.  And, as such it is our responsibility to advocate for them and their needs.  I don’t often talk about my daughter and her speech and educational challenges, and I think most people keep these things within the family.  But, recently the thought occurred to me that there are parents who do not advocate for their children because they are afraid, embarrassed, uncertain and unaware of the resources that are available to them.  And I don’t know, maybe I would have felt this way too if I was not surrounded by knowledgeable friends and family who were able to point me in the right direction.

Even though my daughter is just 11 years old, I feel like we have already been on quite a journey together.  At an early age she was diagnosed with a Significant Speech Delay and Auditory Processing Disorder.  She has been in Speech Therapy since she was 3 years old and has had an IEP since the 1st grade.  I know first hand how hard it is to accept that your child has a delay or special needs that make her different.   But, once you come to peace with this, the world is literally your oyster.  Now, I won’t lie to you and tell you that the sea will part and the mountains will crumble.  You are in for an uphill battle, but one that is possible and even if progress is slow, one that can be rewarding.

  1.  Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses.  What I mean by that is,  be an expert on your child.  Don’t allow anyone else to tell you what will work for him or her.  When my daughter started school, she was VERY VERY VERY shy.  Now, I am sure that you are thinking that most Kindergartners are.  And, that is true.  But, in her case, it took her a while to warm up to strangers.   And, I knew that.  So I let everyone who would be working with her know that.  She would also get frustrated when she was trying to express herself and others could not understand, and any kind of aggression towards her, made her shut down.  So I made all of that known.  In fact, call me a  “Helicopter Mom” if you like.  But, I would literally write a letter to the teachers at the beginning of the year to make sure that they went into the new school year knowing just who she was and the best way to reach her.
  2. Be diligent in your pursuit of services.  It is the public school systems responsibility to see to it that your child is educated.  You might think ok, well I can leave that there.  Wrong.  You can not.  There are seven different recognized learning styles.  Knowing which ones work  best for your child can improve both the speed and the quality of your child’s education.  That being said, If the arrangements that are set in place for your child are not working it is your responsibility to seek out a situation that better suits their needs.  The key to this is being involved enough to see the red flags.  For example. even though IEP’s are pretty common now a days, you may  have to request that your child be evaluated to determine if he or she needs one.  The meetings can be long and tedious, but it gives you an opportunity to both get your concerns across and work with those who come in contact with your child to make sure that he or she has the accommodations that she needs.  Extra time for testing, a Small Group Setting, or  Additional Study Skills just to name a few
  3. Build a team.  I was beyond lucky when it came to my team.  And, I don’t just mean the people who interact with your child at school.  But, a support team, I had my Mom, my sister, and my husband who I felt were all equally vested in my daughter’s success.  And then as fate would have it, the very first Speech Therapist that the school paired her with was hand picked by God.  She was able to pull my daughter outside of herself and give her some of the confidence that she was lacking by helping her with her speech and by her sweet and encouraging nature.  In addition to that , she was the gentle hand that guided the team at school that worked with her.
  4. Be both forgiving and flexible.  For me this was a new experience, so I say be forgiving because you are learning as you go.  But, even if this is not your first time at the rodeo, no experience is going to be the same.  And, sometimes the goals and milestones you put in place originally, will need to be revamped and changed, or even thrown out all together.
  5. Accept limitations.  As I said before things may not move as quickly as you would like, and that could be as far as how quickly your child is learning and making strides.  Or, it could mean how long it takes to get additional testing done or to receive additional  resources
  6. Don’t Give Up!!  This is the most important point that I will make in this whole post, because it is a frustrating process.  It is hard to see your child try and fail, and be discouraged.  It is hard for you not to become emotionally drained on their behalf.  Or to stop yourself from feeling like what you are doing is not yielding results.  But, you have to stay strong because you are the only one who can fight this fight for them.

” WHAT LIES BEHIND US AND WHAT LIES BEFORE US ARE TINY MATTERS COMPARED TO WHAT LIES WITHIN US.”   rALPH WALDO EMERSON

Get Ready for Back to School with these Free Personalized Binder Covers

Back to School Binder Cover Blog

As always, summers around here don’t seem to last.  There are literally just 16 days left until the start of school here in Atlanta.  So, I am in full Back to School Planning Mode, much to the chagrin of my little ones who are still very much in “lounge mode”. Most of our School Supplies have been purchased, and the only major thing we still have to do is clothes shopping.  I don’t know how it is at your house, but for me, my Middle School-er is the hardest shop for.  She after all, has strong opinions on her look and fashion in general.  Who knew??  I thought I had a few more years, lol.

Last year, I made a Binder Cover for her and somehow I ended up having to make one for most of the girls in her class.  We had to have the whole discussion about volunteering Mommy’s services.  But, they were such a big hit, that I added a few to the blog right before School started last year and they, to this day are one of most downloaded and shared items.

And, you know I am all about a freebie.  So this year, I gave you a few more options.  Five Funky & Fancy Binder Covers for you to choose from and Personalize for your little ones.  To Download – Right Click on the Picture – Save.  You can choose to hand write their names and grades or if you choose to edit it via the computer.  You will be able to open this document in pretty much any program, since I made it a JPEG image.  If you like these and decide to download and use please share your pics on Instagram with the hashtag #spbacktoschool.

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Colorful

Colorful

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Blue Bubbles

Blue Bubbles

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Counting Sheep

Counting Sheep

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Pink Hearts

Pink Hearts

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Fanciful

Fanciful

  • All content (copy & images) are copyright protected and property of Stage Presents, unless otherwise stated. All designs are for personal use only.  You may NOT use photos or designs for commercial purposes, unless otherwise stated on the terms of the actual design.  Please do not redistribute.

Spring Break – Perfect in It’s Imperfection

our “perfect yet not so perfect” spring break

Recap of Spring Break 2016 - www.stage-presents.com

Spring Break is over and things are getting back to normal around here.  I have been out of pocket for a few days, that normally happens over extended breaks.  The blog and the business run around my family life and not visa versa.  Last week was Spring Break, so I spent as much time as I could hanging out with my little ones.   I am always trying to teach my kids lessons that I am still learning and yes,  I know just how hypocritical that sounds. But, I guess it’s in hopes that by teaching the lesson, they  will avoid some of the same mistakes that I have made in my own life.  One of the things that I am always telling them is that they have to roll with the punches or that certain things are beyond their control and they are.  But, it is a lesson that I struggled hard with and for a  long time.  My mom always tells me that God will keep teaching me to be patient and understanding until I am both.  Spring Break was an exercise in just that.

Our trip to Florida for Spring Break was great!! But, I am not sure that you would have agreed taking it at face value.  I have been back and forth to Florida three times in less than 30 days.  Now, my sister lives there, but that has never happened before.  As I am sure you remember me saying in my last post, we lost my sweet niece on the 15th.  So, I went down when she was sick and was there when she passed.  I went back for the service and then I returned for Spring Break and to physically lay eyes on my sister.  Saying this to say there was a melancholy under tone to our trip, but we were determined to make some good memories, in spite of it.

The first night there we had date night.  We left all the kids with the nanny, and we went out and enjoyed some grown up time.  It was great to spend some time with my sister and her hubby that was just light and fun.  The next day we took the kids  to the Central Orlando zoo.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that outdoors and heat are not my thing, but the kids had a ball.  The highlight of the trip was to be our trip to the beach.  After all nothing says Spring Break like the beach.  On the day of the beach trip it was COLD… Yes, I said cold in Florida.  But, we went anyway thinking that maybe the weather would warm up.  When we arrived at the beach, the tides were so high that they actually closed the entrance to drive on to the beach.  After circling around we we were able to get in, and when we got on the beach and out of the car the wind was so fierce and sand was blowing everywhere.  So we had to vacate.  Talk about three disappointed girls, yes I said 3 because I included myself.  So pouts and all we packed back into the truck and headed to go get something to eat.  The plan was that we would eat and stay in the area for a while in hopes for a change in the weather.  But, the change never came so we ventured back to my sisters house.  On the way back, we decided that since they were already dressed to get wet we would take them to the “Splash Park” not too far from where we were.  By that time it was getting warmer, and though a little apprehensive at first, with each splash the beach became a distant memory and we once again in their good graces.

Since we paid for admission to the beach, hubby and I managed to escape back there later in the day, the kids stayed with my sissy and we got to have some one on one time.  I will consider that her anniversary gift to me this year.  Yesterday made 7 years since I married this man.  And, still just a couple of hours alone with him ALWAYS refresh my soul.  Even when I don’t feel like I need it.  So Shout out to him today + this was the first year that he was able to take off the entire week to spend with us.  Another Spring Break survived and enjoyed and now back to our regularly scheduled programming. (P.S. – I know there were no pictures of me.  But, you know how that it is, I am always the one behind the camera. #mommylife)

Time Spent with Family Quote - stage-presents.com

What did you do to celebrate Spring Break this year?  Feel like sharing, we would love to hear your story in the comment section below.

Check out Our Previous Spring Break Shenanigans Here.

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye: Explaining the Pain of Loss to Your Little Ones

As a mother, I think we realize pretty early on that parenting is not a task for the faint of heart.  We are faced with the fact that even though motherhood may be the most rewarding job that we will ever have, it also the hardest .  We realize that we are going to be forced to be teachers sometimes, when we don’t consider ourselves qualified to do so.  This is exactly how I felt with the sudden loss of my two year old niece.  I literally found myself thrown abruptly into unfamiliar waters, dealing with more emotions than I knew what to do with and  such all consuming loss.  I struggled with how I would explain this unspeakable thing to my babies.    At almost 40 years old it was the first loss of a close family member, that I had ever experienced.   While feeling cheated, devastated and lost, It seemed so very unfair that they should have to experience this pain at such an early and impressionable age.  I wondered how I could explain something to them that I in no way, shape, or form understood myself.

Coupled with all the emotions already coursing through my body was FEAR.  Blinding FEAR.. The kind that made you want to lose your lunch. roll up into a ball and pull the covers of my head and just not acknowledge that tragedy like this really existed.  But, luckily for me, my dh stepped in and made me realize that this would help no one.  So together we sat in our bed, in the middle of the day, with our tears and our grief and talked out what and when would be the best way to tell our children.  At the end of the conversation, spent and not totally convinced in what we had decided, we just laid there staring at the ceiling fan.

There was no way to predict just how our babies would respond, so we decided to wait until the weekend.  At least, they would have the weekend to be alone “in their feelings”.  I grew a little choked up prior to the conversation, so hubby jumped in.  He explained to them what happened and explained that our “sweet girl” would not be coming back to us, but that she was resting with the angels.  I watched so many emotions cross over their faces, confusion, hurt, disbelief, all emotions, I was still experiencing.  It was hard for them to process.  Our youngest is only 5 and I am still not sure how much she really understood.  But, my 11 year old took it very hard.  She spent the whole day crying on and off,  and I honestly couldn’t blame her.  This experience in no way makes me an expert, and I pray it is not a subject that I am ever an expert in.   But, if I had to share my thoughts with any one of this subject this is what I would say.

  1.  TIME:  As adults,  more often than not death comes and we are not prepared for it.  I am not sure if that is a blessing or a curse.  But,  as parents, I say take the time you need to prepare yourself for the conversation.  Even though you can’t predict what their reaction will be, no one knows your child better than you.  So go with your gut and tell them your own way.  It’s easy to be influenced by what every one else thinks is the right time or thing to say.
  2. ACKNOWLEDGE:  Even though you may be in pain too.  Make the time and effort to acknowledge their pain.  Let them know that whatever they are feeling, be it hurt, anger, sadness, etc. is OK.  They don’t have to justify the way that they feel.  Help them work through their emotions, as you work through yours.
  3. ACCEPT:  Accept the fact that things may never be the same.  Life has changed for them.  Life has changed for you.  Everyone has to grieve in their own way, and in their own time.
  4. HOLD ON:  Hold on to each other.  Hold on to your faith.  Be their source of strength and allow them to be yours.  Family is EVERYTHING, and don’t any of your forget it.

Some of you that follow me via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc… have reached out to me and my family with kind words and sentiments and that means more than you all will ever know.

Our lives will never again be the same, but we are and were blessed to have had Skylar Janae in our lives.  She will forever be missed and loved.

Memorial Garden Stone

Photo Source: TheComfortCompany.net

 

hearts