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

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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

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The Sweet Smell of Christmas A Scratch and Sniff Story

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Grace At Christmas

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THE CLASSICS

The Night Before Christmas

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The Polar Express

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BONUS — the real meaning of christmas

God Gave Us Christmas

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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.

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

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.

Things being a parent has taught me

Things being a parent has taught me - Life Lessons When you find out that you are going to be a parent, I am not sure you ever give any real thought to what things you will learn from your children.  The entire time that they are growing inside you, you think about the things that you will teach them and show them. But, the moment that you look into the eyes of your child, everything changes. You realize that you will never love anyone anyone more than you love that little person, at that time. There are sleepless nights and incessant crying and you are not sure that you can put one foot in front of the other because you are exhausted. But, your love instead of diminishing keeps growing.  You once again get to experience life through the eyes of a child and your perspective on life inevitably changes.

  1.  The way you feel about parenting and parents change.  You are going to be a new Mom and even though you technically know that you know nothing, I venture to say you had lots of opinions, on the lady with the screaming toddler in Aisle 3, or the friends who were late because of one kiddy crisis or another, or even just about the fact that whatever it was, you would certainly not raise your kids that way.  And, since every child is different this may not only apply to new moms it works for second and third time moms as well.  My first child was a breeze (at least when he was little).  He always minded his Mommy was very polite and pretty much towed the line (lol).  But when baby number two came home he was not exactly excited about his position being usurped – Enter the drama.  My middle child, had a temper tantrum in Macy’s when I was almost 8 months pregnant with the baby and I had to hoist her over my belly to get her back in the car because she wanted new Dora The Explorer Sneakers. (don’t try that at home).  Oh and my baby, had a melt down in Kroger over the Witch Display during Halloween, so I spent the entire checkout process with her head buried in my chest howling incessantly.  So yeah… it’s fairs to say the way I looked at parenting and parents changed.  If anything it made me feel empathy instead of aggravation for other Moms.  Hell, the struggle is real.
  2. They taught me the true meaning of perseverance.  How?  Well, have you ever said no to a toddler?  They will ask you the same question over and over and over again in an attempt to wear you down.  Or have you ever watched a child try to wedge their body into a space that you know is way too small for them to get into?  So you ignore them and hope they will tire themselves out only to look up and find them wedged between section 1 and section 2 of your sectional.  On those days when I am ready to give up I almost have to ask WWMRRD?  What Would My Rug Rats Do?
  3. They taught me the true meaning of forgiveness.  Or should I say they are teaching me, this is an area I still struggle with in everyday life.  They have pushed you to your edge, you are tired frustrated and just flat out DONE.  And, then they make that little face and squeak out how much they love you and that they are sorry.  And, try as you might you can not prevent the corners of your mouth from turning up.  Or being human you lose your temper and you feel like crap on a stick.  You are guilt riddled and before you can go back and say just how sorry you are they wrap their little arms around you and you know all is well with the world.
  4. They taught me how to be less rigid and not to take myself so seriously.  I am a planner girl, I want to be able to anticipate everything.  I want to always have a change of clothes, extra diapers, wipes, know exactly what time they ate last.  I need to know.  Well, the day of my oldest child’s baby blessing, he had the ear infection to rival all ear infections.  The baby who rarely every cried was going ape…. sh!@,  and I had no idea what was wrong with him.  He was super whiny, clingy and I had family from out of town there to celebrate his big day.  I am still not sure how we made it through the day.  The next day I took him into the Pediatricians office and she told me the poor baby had an ear infection.  He was my first baby and I was clueless.  My middle child had what we call colic.   I say we will call it that, because no one technically still knows what the heck was wrong with her.  She cried all the time.  She was a sickly baby and the only one who was able to comfort her until she was about 4 months old was her Grandpa.  He somehow had the magic touch.  Then my last sweet girl,  was my true lesson in flexibility.  She was allergic to everything under the sun.  Her formula cost us as much as her Nanny.  The Nanny she needed because on top of all that she had acid re-flux and had to be held up for 45 minutes after every meal.  I would literally come home and change out of my work clothes and anticipate the hot milk down my back.

I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that learning each one of these lessons was not painful or at times, hard pills to swallow, but being their Mom continues to shape me.  And, for that I am extremely grateful.

What lessons have your little ones taught you?

Things I want my girls to know

Things I Want My Girls to Know - www.stage-presents.com

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there.  Like most parents out there, I often find myself wishing that I could protect my girls from all the pitfalls that lay ahead.  I am sure it’s not much different than what my own mother must have felt while watching my sister and I grow into young ladies.  But, I must admit that it’s only now, that I am a parent of two young girls that I am I even starting to get a glimpse into the sheer panic that she must have felt.  I remember thinking that my parents were too hard on us or that we  were way too sheltered.  I had lots of opinions on the best way to raise myself.  My son now 18, almost 19 felt the same way, and, I’m sure my girls will too.

As a woman, I often think of what I could tell my own little girls that would help them to avoid some of the pain and heartache that I went through.  Knowing all too well, that just because I tell them doesn’t necessarily mean that they will listen, and that they won’t have to find their own way.  Over the years, I have started keeping a list of things to tell them, which eventually turned into a Pinterest Board on my Personal Page here.   And, I am pretty sure that the list will get longer as they get older.  My long term plan is to have these quotes and words of wisdom put into a small book that they can carry with them when they leave for college.  Here are just a few of my favorites..

1.  Be Yourself.  An original is always worth more than a COPY.

2.  If you can’t be kind, be quiet.

3.  Don’t let someone dim your light, simply because it’s shining in their eyes.

4.  Comparison is the thief of joy.

5.  I hope you know, you are capable, brave and significant, even when you feel like you’re not.

6.  Someone who is worthy of your love will never put you in a situation where you feel you must sacrifice your dignity, your integrity, or your self-worth to be with them.

7.  Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength.

8.  Hope is the little voice you hear whisper “maybe” when it seems the whole world is shouting “no”!

9.  Laugh when you can, apologize when you should & let go of what you can’t change.

10.  Beauty without Intelligence, is a masterpiece painted on a napkin.

The Educated Child Quote

Photo Source: Pinterest

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I am sure there are things that you want to tell your little ones as they grow.  What are your thoughts?  Consider sharing your quotes or Words of Wisdom with us in the comment section below.

Fun Friday: 10 Things You Don’t Skimp On

10 Things You Don't Skimp On

Since going from a 2 to 1 income household, being  more frugal has become a big part of my life.  I certainly was not excited, nor did I welcome the changes that had to be made to maintain our lifestyle.  But, I knew it had to be done.  There was a lot of restructuring that had to be done and the pieces of the puzzle seem to continually stay in motion.  But, that being said, there are still some things that I just don’t skimp on.

Cleaning Supplies:  Dish Washing Liquid, Laundry Detergent, All Purpose Cleaners & Disinfectant Wipes.  I know not everyone, my Mom included, will agree with me here, but I stand by this one.  The cheaper options just don’t cut it, or you have to use more to achieve the desired results.

Skin Care Products:  Moisturizers, Lotions, Facial Cleansers, Lip Gloss, Makeup.  Eventually, I feel like you know what works for your skin.  I am not a big makeup person, but I swear by MAC Lip Liner and their Tinted LipGlass.  After a lot of trial and error with facial cleaners and moisturizers I am a devoted Garnier fan.  I use their Balancing Daily Exfoliator and their Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream.  I am less discriminating about my lotions, as long as it gives me extra moisture for the winter months, I can get by with Vaseline Intensive Care.

Perfume/Cologne: Whether you are purchasing this for yourself or as a gift.  Don’t cheap out when it comes to this.  You know how you feel when that special someone goes by you and you catch a whiff of his Special Scent.  Right??

Toiletries:  Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels.  For me this is about both comfort and cleanliness, no 1 ply for me.  As for paper towels, I am an all the way BOUNTY girl.  I need my Paper Towels to be Heavy Duty.  I think this is a MOM requirement.  **Not to mention, I have tried some bargain brands that leave something to be desired when it comes to the way they smell when wet.  Has anyone else experienced this? **

Housewares: Linens, Bedding, Towels.  Purchasing Quality Housewares prevent you from having to purchase them over and over again.  I say buy the higher end products, the higher thread counts, the heavier towels and washcloths.  They will last longer and just give you a more pleasurable/luxurious experience.  And, White Sales are pretty common place (especially in January), even if you have to wait to catch these items on sale.  They will be well worth the wait.

Kitchen Appliances:   Blender, Food Processor, Juicer, Toaster and Coffee Maker.  No one wants to begin any kind of project in the Kitchen only to find that your appliance has failed.  I can’t tell you how many blenders I went through before I decided to invest in one that was up to the task.

Nutrition:  Vitamins, Medicine, and Even Healthier Food Options.  It just is not easy to live healthy.  It sucks, but it is the truth.  I try to give my family healthy food choices and options, but I will be the first to admit that I wish I could shop Whole Foods exclusively.  On this, I say do the best you can within the confines of your budget.  They will thank you later.

Shoes:  I am a shoe lover and kind of a shoe snob too.  I probably would have a closet full of shoes, if wasn’t so picky when it comes to my shoes.  Instead I have my staples.  Basic Black Pumps, A Stylish Wedge, Fancy Sandals with or without a heel, that you can dress up or down, Rain Boots, Winter Boots, Sneakers(for Exercise Purposes, and then for Sporty Mom purposes), and as many pairs of Heart Stoppers (the ones that always get you a second look) and Flip Flops, as you can manage.  In this case, quality just last longer, providing you take care of them.

“Underthangs”:  And, let’s face it , even if you are the perfect weight and height, the older we get the better quality we need.  Things just don’t settle where they used to.(side-eye)  They need to pull in, lift up, and separate, etc.  lol.

A Good Bed:  Is EVERYTHING!!  Not sure this even needs an explanation, it makes the difference in both Good Nights and Good Mornings.

“Measure Twice – Cut Once.”  Sometimes it’s worth it to make the informed and maybe more costly choice, right out the gate.  You are putting out more money on the Front End, but I believe it will benefit you in the Long Run.

What are the purchases that you JUST DON’T SKIMP ON?  Share your Comments Below.

A Quest for Answers: Motherhood Part 1

ticking-clock

“The days are long, but the years are short.” – Gretchen Ruben

Summer Break is over, here at our house, so I am trying to jump in with both feet, and get back into a Blogging Routine.   In a previous post, I Walk The Line, I promised to share with you some of the findings that I came across about Motherhood.

So here goes… I reached out to several Mothers in my Circle.  Surprisingly, I think they were all a little reluctant.  But, I get it, no one really wants their parenting called into question.  So I offered to post each response anonymously.

Mom 1 writes:

Honestly, I am both humbled and honored when someone mentions that I’m doing a great job parenting. I can’t tell you how many times I felt like I was doing a terrible job…cuz it’s a really tough job! Parenting is particularly challenging if you have more than one child, since each child requires customized parenting…that’s just my opinion.

I have three daughters. What works for my youngest daughter, does not work for my older twin daughters, and I’m convinced it has nothing to do with the age difference. It’s sheer personality!

Here’s one rule of thumb. As parents, I believe investing individual quality time with each child makes a world of difference. You’ll learn how to communicate with that individual child, separate from communicating with all your children as a group. You’ll find that this is more effective if your children all feel they are perceived as individuals with unique needs. They will respect and honor your views more. Try that for a change!

My Notes:  I really loved what Mom 1 had to say.  Especially because it’s easy to fall into the habit of trying to get everyone on the same page in a family setting. But, more often than not, EVERYONE really is not going to enjoy the same things.  I remember growing up my Mom made these awesome Chicken Croquettes, (which reminds me, I need to get that recipe), and we(my sister and I), loved them.   At some point, she stopped making it and when we asked her why, she said because Daddy didn’t like them.  I remember thinking …. SOOO…. lol.  I am sure it was just easier for her to make something that everybody wanted to eat than have to cater to our individual preferences.  But, I remember thinking that we outnumbered Dad and certainly should have had the deciding vote.  I said all that to say, we all want to have our individual needs catered to.  As adults and yes, as children.  I will be trying(Key Words:trying) harder on my end to consider the needs of everyone.

Question for Thought:  Just like with anyone else, do we teach our children how to treat us? I recently asked a friend how she taught her children to recognize and accept that Mommy needs both quiet and alone time.  She didn’t have an answer.  And, I haven’t found one either.  But, I have a greater need to make that known now that I am a Stay At Home Mom.  Love you guys, but now that you are little older, we don’t have to be together ALL THE TIME.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well.  (Mind you this was written, as my four year old was sitting as close to me as was humanly possible.  I literally had to put my headphones on in order to get in a good writing space.

Are you Interested in Teaching Your Children to Be Givers?        Check out this Great Post by Money Saving Mom.

Roots and Wings ….

PARENTING IS SUCH A DEEPLY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

If you want to see a Mom or Dad lose it, call into questions their methods.  Challenge their ability to parent effectively or even blame them for their child’s shortcomings, and you are almost sure to get a less than pleasurable response.

Parenting Quote - Roots and Wings

Photo Source: Pinterest

 

Roots:

plural noun: roots 

1.  the part of a plant that attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers.

2.  the basic cause, source, or origin of something.

Wings:

plural noun: wings

1.  any number of specialized paired appendages that enable some animals to fly in particular.

2.  a rigid horizontal structure that projects from both sides of an aircraft and supports it in the air.

So when it  comes to our little people, what exactly constitutes roots.  I have always thought that had something to do with teaching them to be grounded.  As well as teaching them about their history and their heritage.

Wings, I see wings as providing them with the tools necessary to be successful, compassionate, loving and empathetic humans.

The fact of the matter is that (at jumping off point), most of us have a general idea of what kind of child we want to raise.  After all we have had 9 months to think on it.  We’ve tried our hardest to diligently plan every detail.  If you are like me (a lil anal retentive), you created a Excel Spreadsheet with every item you thought your lovejoy could possibly need and you checked off each item.  You packed your bags and waited for what you were sure would be a Chart Stopper of a day and it was!!  You bring your lovejoy home only to realize, well he’s not all that lovable or joyous, lol.  He’s got colic, wants to be held all the time, and came out  all Type A and demanding your attention all the time.  Which maybe wouldn’t be so bad, if you didn’t have two other kids on deck.

Fast Forward through some years and you’ve managed to get a General Ebb and Flow, you’ve found a way to cater to all the little and BIG personalities in your home.

And, you finally learn that:

1.  EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT.

2. TO PARENT THE CHILD YOU’VE GOT AND NOT THE ONE YOU WANTED.

3. AND MAYBE BY NOW YOU’VE LEARNED THEIR INDIVIDUAL LOVE LANGUAGES.

You think you are finally getting this Insane Ride of Motherhood Down Pat.  You’ve got Square Pegs – Fitting Into Circle Holes.  You are rocking the Hell out of Life.  Only to Realize…. You are Just Getting Started.