Tears of Parenthood

tears of parenthood

As many of us know, parenting is an emotional roller coaster that keeps going and going and going and becomes a ride we can look back on and see the hills and valleys and cry over both.  Yes, cry.  There are happy tears, amazed tears, sad tears and every kind of tear in between.  I used to make fun of one of my friends who would cry over silly things about being a mom, until I became a parent…and a crybaby.  I have probably gotten tears in my eyes at least 3 times this week over being a mom. I actually even bawled at a parenting article this week about an organization for parents called “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep”.

At any rate, I thought, why not share my tears of parenthood?   Perhaps other parents can relate and maybe I can shed some light into parenthood for the people who like to joke about us teary eyed moms.

Tears of Parenthood:

  • Tears of Frustration: My boys are ALL boy.  They have boundless energy and their talking skills are off the chain.  I have cried many tears of frustration in the 5 years of being a “boy mom”. Most recently over our first shattered window.  My youngest threw a toy and shattered the window.  Needless to say a $200 glass replacement was not in our budget this month!  Frustration can be from many things though and it first started for me when my oldest was a baby and had terrible reflux and nursing abilities.  Tears of frustration are present in parenthood from the very first days.

 

  • Tears of Laughter:  The first days of being a parent are very emotional; hormones are everywhere and not exactly even keyed!  When our first son was born, diaper changing provided a lot of laughter!  My husband just could not believe that something so little could make so many messes and ruin so many outfits.  I remember my youngest peeing in the mouth of my oldest and being MORTIFIED.  I was so freaked out I called the doctor to make sure he would be ok! But then shortly after, I found myself laughing hysterically until I cried.  There have been so many more instances of laughter since that moment.  The most recent was the other night at bedtime when we were having my 5 year old read a book to us.  He got the words “knees” and pronounced it “k-nees”.  I have no idea why it struck my husband and I as so hiliarious, but we laughed and laughed until we had tears of laughter.

 

  • Tears of Sadness:  You may wonder how you can be sad being a parent, but it’s possible.   Seeing your child hurt in any way creates sadness.  Whether it’s their first set of stitches, their first fever, or their first hurt feeling, you WILL cry tears of sadness for your child.  Becoming a parent also gives you a sense of compassion for other parents you never imagined feeling.  Seeing parents lose a child was a sad thing before I had kids, but now that I am a mother, the feeling almost brings me to my knees.  That type of sadness is just unimaginable to me.

 

  • Tears of A Job Well Done:  Being a parent is not a huge confidence booster and often a thankless job. You wonder every single day if you are doing things right and question your decisions and actions constantly.  The game of comparison parenting can also destroy you.  But there are moments that you know you are doing it right-that the job is done well.  Moments when you hear your youngest say to your oldest “Good job Will!” or when out of the blue (you may even be sitting on the toilet) your 3 year old comes up to you and says, “Thank you Mommy for making my favorite breakfast”.  Or having your son run over and help a friend get up after they have tripped.  Whether they boys have the best behavior all the time (or not), seeing glimpses of the men they will become and the caring they will show, allow a tear of a job well done to slip down your cheek

 

  • Tears of Anger: These are different from tears of frustration because these tears come from much deeper inside of a parent.  They may occasionally come out when your child REALLY messes up (or messes up in the SAME way for the millionth time), but they mostly come from me when someone hurts my child or I see another child being hurt.  The old term “Mama Bear” is true.  You mess with my child and you mess with me. I have definitely gotten so angry as a parent that I have cried.

 

  • Tears of Amazement/Accomplishment:  From the moment my sons were born and every moment in between, they truly amaze me.  Whether it’s their boundless energy, their lack of noise level skills, or more major milestones, I just love seeing them accomplish things and have their personalities shine.  I cried in amazement at their perfection at birth, I cried when they accomplished crawling, walking, eating solid foods, writing their names, and most recently when my oldest rode his bike with no training wheels.

 

  • Tears of Innocence:  Each day I walk my child to the door of his elementary school and every day he looks in the crowd of students hoping to see a classmate.  Yesterday he spotted one and ran over to grab his hand to walk in the building.  A simple thing such as this brought tears to my eyes.  I love that he is so passionate about others and still so innocent to grab another boy’s hand to walk in a building.  He is young enough to not even give this a second thought.  At what point will he lose that innocence and think holding hands with friends is “not cool”?  At what point will he ask me to stop walking him to the door?  I hope never…but since I have already been asked to not kiss him in front of school anymore, I am guessing this loss of innocence is coming shortly-so Mommy will again cry…

 

 

Home Appliance Buying Guide: Cordless Iron

russel iron

Home Appliance Buying Guide: Cordless Iron

While ironing is considered to be somewhat of a chore, there is simply no better way to maintain our wardrobe. A cordless iron is a great home appliance that is perfect for those who want to wear wrinkle-free clothes all the time. While this may be a slightly new idea for those who are used to the more traditional models, we should appreciate the benefits of this variant. Thanks to the Internet, there are a number of useful online reviews that rate the top models which are available. From the point of view of the consumer, what are some of the best tips to keep in mind when purchasing this device?
 
Charging Capacity
 
One of the issues with any cordless product is the fact that it will need to be charged sooner or later. Of course, this can present a problem when we suddenly find that we must tackle a considerably large load of laundry. So, any such iron should offer at least two hours of operating capacity.
 
The Number of Heat Settings
 
Different fabrics will obviously require equally unique heat settings. Some cordless irons are slightly lacking in this department. It is a good idea to make sure that the iron in question can accommodate for such materials as silk, polyester, cotton and wool. This will allow ironing to be a breeze and you can be certain that even the most delicate of items will not be damaged. Finally, a steam setting is also quite necessary flatten stubborn wrinkles.
 
Safety
 
Any device that operates with the use of a battery can be a hazard if it is poorly constructed. A good percentage of rechargeable batteries contain lithium and this chemical can ignite or even explode if it comes into contact with water. So, all seals within the iron should be reliable and the entire device needs to be certified for safe operation by the relevant authorities.
 
These cordless marvels can take the hassle out of even the most challenging of ironing jobs. Understanding these basic points will enable you to make the most informed decisions possible.

*In partnership with Sandy Cretz*

What A Former Teacher Worries About As She Sends Her Child To Kindergarten

will first day or prek

As many of you know, I used to teach in public school.  Since having my 2nd son, I have been a stay at home mom and savored every minute of being at home with my boys and raising them, loving them, and being with them.  And as those annoying moms used to tell me, it really does fly by and leave you wondering “What happened?!?”

As I send my oldest son to kindergarten I worry about the normal things moms worry about.  I am already crying while I pack his book bag and label his supplies.  I broke out the baby book and did some updates a few nights ago ( can you believe I tortured myself doing that too this week?!).  I have been out and shopped for back to school clothes.  I’ve spent some time on Pinterest looking for first day picture ideas and ways to prepare my son for the first day.  But what about preparing me?!  I feel like I worry about the normal stuff parents think about before sending off their kids to school.  But as a former teacher, I worry about MORE.  I know what the first days of school entail.  I know how first impressions can mold the rest of the school year-shoot, they can mold teachers’ views of my child for his entire elementary career!  I know how teachers think.  I know how teachers talk about students to other teachers.  I know too much…and I worry.

I worry about :

  • Will my son make a good first impression?
  • Will he listen and learn the routines?
  • Will his teacher love him or will he be labeled “that kid”?
  • Will his teacher get past his excessive talking to see how smart he is?
  • Will his classmates like him or will he be the one the teacher has to defend?
  • Will he be the one his teachers hope has frequent sick days?
  • Will his teachers assess his skills correctly and put him in the right reading groups?
  • Will his teachers have centers that will interest and challenge him?
  • Will he grasp long and short vowels and fractions and time?
  • Will he go to the bathroom to actually use the bathroom and not be one of those boys who have toilet paper fights, pee swords, or clogging toilet episodes (yes as a teacher I experienced all of these).
  • Will he stay in his seat and not disrupt class?
  • Will his teachers acknowledge that he’s bored when she is teaching things I have already taught him?
  • Will he be a leader or a follower?
  • Will his teacher send home work and keep a line of good communication with me?
  • Will his teacher recognize that my frequent presence in the room is to help, not to bother?
  • Will my son love his teacher?
  • Will his teacher love him?
  • Will my son love learning at school as much as he does at home?

 

So as the worries keep me up some nights, I know I have to let go.  I have to trust in how I’ve raised my son, and be secure in the qualities and decision making skills I have tried to instill in him.  I have to trust that God will place him in a teacher’s room who is trained to uphold high standards and who will love him as I loved my past students.  Who will treat him equally and fairly.  As I send my child to kindergarten I worry, but I also trust.  And I know.  I know I will be my child’s advocate and his teacher’s teammate.  I know I will be present in his education and in his school.  I know my son will love kindergarten and I know he will survive-and that his mommy will too.

What’s A Father’s Day With No Daddy?

chris and boys

Father’s Day is this weekend and with it brings a flood of emotions.  I am so grateful for the father my husband is to our children.  I am thankful for the way my stepfather has stepped up to be a father figure in my life and a “Pop Pop” for my children.  But Father’s Day is still a very hard day for me.

Yesterday we were in Target picking out cards for all the Fathers in our lives and my 3 year old asked “Mommy, why is there a girl on that card if we’re getting boy cards?”   I didn’t even think about the card’s meaning,  I simply replied, “Because some mommies need to be daddy too”.  He cocked his little innocent head to the side and said, “A Mommy can’t be a Daddy”.  I replied, “Oh honey, sometimes they have to be.  When Mommy was little she made Father’s Day cards for your Mommom because she was my Mommy and my Daddy”.  By that time he had noticed his brother had more goldfish than him so his attention was gone.  But I was immediately taken back to my first Father’s Day without my Daddy.  It was art class and time for us to make Father’s Day cards.  I sat with my classmates as they excitedly drew pictures and wrote sweet messages they hoped their dads would love.  Meanwhile, I had no idea what to do.  My dad had died just a few month before and all I could think about was how I didn’t want my friends to see the tears welling up and spilling over in my lap.  Luckily my long hair covered them up.  Then, my art teacher came over and saved me.

My art teacher appeared at my side, touching my arm gently.  I grew up in a very small town so she knew what was happening.  She consoled me and suggested that since my Mommy now did things that my Daddy had once done, that maybe I would like to make her a Father’s Day card.  She has no idea how much this affected me for the rest of my life.  I learned at the early age of 10 that my mom was a hero, the glue that held our little family together.  She was (and is) strong in so many ways and for years to come after that day in art class, she had to step up and be Daddy in many situations.

Years later I taught in a low income school where many of the children had absentee fathers.  The lesson my art teacher gave me helped me deal with Father’s Day in the classroom.  Whether a Mom, an Uncle, Family friend, or neighbor, I helped my students realize that you didn’t have to be a Father to be a Father figure.  I was able to help them create appreciation gifts that showed others their importance, but that also helped the children to know there were people out there to care about them.  That you can survive Father’s Day with no Daddy.

So on this Father’s Day, if you’re lucky enough to have a Daddy-love him.  Hug him. Appreciate him. And if your Daddy has passed, has chosen to be absent, find the person who has shown you love and stepped up in the father figure role and love them. Hug them. Appreciate them. And if you know someone without a Daddy, give them a hug too.  They are missing their Daddy and are probably looking for someone to love. To hug. To appreciate.

Weight Loss With Kettlebells

weight loss with kettebells

Last year I began working with Kettlebells and fell in love!  I also experienced weight loss with kettlebells-something that was an added bonus.  But what’s better than weight loss?  Losing inches!  It didn’t take long for me to see a big difference in how my clothes fit and how much better my “backside” looked!

When given the chance to get certified to teach Kettleworx at my local YMCA, I jumped at the chance.  I’ve been teaching the class for nearly 5 months now and love it!  The exercises are challenging, fun, and the members rave about the workouts!

In the next few months I will be bringing you some kettlebell exercises so that you can be introduced to this amazing tool.  Whether you want to get in shape for summer, add more exercises to your current workout program, or just want to tighten up your legs and glutes, you should find these workouts helpful and challenging!

So stay tuned for my new series….Weight Loss With Kettlebells!

 

Shamrock Marathon Results 2014

me shamrock

I’ve mentioned a few times in the last couple of months that I was running the Shamrock Marathon Virginia Beach.  It was my 3rd half marathon and I trained the hardest I had ever trained for a race.  Here’s a little recap of the race and my results.

My wonderful sister came into town to babysit for us so my husband and I were able to leave the house extra early, arriving at our parking spot right after 6am.  We had a mile to walk to the start but since it was freezing, we jogged and this served as a nice warm-up.  We dropped our dry bags off and headed for the bathrooms.  While standing in those lines we were able to get our Garmins straight (after some issues with my husband’s).

After the National Anthem we were off to find our corral!  We were in corral 3 but ended up in the back of corral 2 and it was perfect.  We got our music started, gave our kisses of good luck and were off!  My husband and I separated shortly after the start and I settled in on a pretty nice pace of under a 9 minute mile.  I easily kept this pace until about mile 9 when I went up a few seconds to about a 9:10 pace.  Then mile 10 my music started bothering me and while messing with that I dropped to a 9:30.  I realized I had lost some time so got myself back to about a 9:10 pace but had messed my pace all up and struggled to keep below a 9:30 until mile 12.5.  Knowing the end was near I jacked it back up and finished the race at 8:29 pace.

chris and me shamroc

I was THRILLED because my Garmin watch had me at my goal-a sub 2:00 half marathon (barely)!  The Garmin had me at 1:59:48 which had me nervous because I know watches and official times don’t always jive.  I decided that no matter what, I was ecstatic about my finish-it was 12 minutes faster than my previous time!  I waited at the finish and gulped a water and Gatorade while waiting for my husband who also had a PR of 6 minutes!  It was a successful race for both of us.  When getting the “official time” later in the day, I learned I had finished in 2:00:36 but that’s still a PR of 11 minutes and I am still wanting to say I met my goal of a sub 2:00 half!

Many of my friends had PRs that day too,including one who was in the top 500 racers!

Did you run?  How was it for you?  I am already looking forward to next year!

Carb Loading For Shamrock Marathon Virginia Beach

pasta

If you’re a runner, you know what I’m talking about when I say carb loading.  If you’re not, let me explain…

I am running the Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach tomorrow and started my carb loading yesterday.  Basically this is where I REALLY “up” my carb intake so that my body doesn’t shut down on me during the race.  Because carbs are not my stomach’s friend, carb loading is hard for me.  I am feeling guilty and bloated from today’s menu but I know it’s what my body needs. Last year I didn’t change my diet except for having pasta the night before the race and I hit a wall BIG TIME!  This means I ran great the first half of the race, and then crashed….I am not even sure how I finished the last 6 miles! I don’t want that to happen this year.

Another race prep that is hard for me is the concept of “rest days”.  This sounds awesome right? Rest…who doesn’t want that?  I do want it, but it’s HARD for me.  I want to go run a few miles, or swing the kettlebell a couple hundred times…but rest is crucial.  I have failed at “rest days’ while training so I am hoping that taking 2 days off before the rest will aid in me rocking the Shamrock Half Marathon. I have trained more hard for this race than I ever have before and am really hoping to come in under 2 hours.  This is only my 3rd half marathon ever and my previous times were 2:21 and 2:11.  So my goal of under 2:00 is shaving over 11 minutes off my time!

Are you a runner? What is your next scheduled race? Are you running the Shamrock?

 

Reasons I Have Cried This Week

I cried

Before becoming a mom I had a friend who would cry at (what I thought) were the silliest things. She also refused to read or watch anything to do with a child getting hurt.  I used to tease her so much for being such a mush.

Then I became a mom and I understood.  I am now also a part of the “big mush” club.  I cry because sometimes I’m sad; but there are plenty of other reasons I cry now -for being proud, being nostalgic, being discouraged, being overwhelmed…well the list goes on.  Before kids, I NEVER cried over so many things.  But here are some of the reasons I have cried this week.  Perhaps you can relate to some of them?

  • I cried watching my 5 year old who has a huge fear of the “deep end” of a pool swim from the instructor to the side of the pool. 

will swim

  • I cried because I totally lost my cool after asking both boys to stop arguing in the car about a billion times.
  • I cried watching the pure joy of the boys playing for over an hour with some paper birds I helped them make from a Chick Fil A Kids meal.
  • I cried when at that same Chick Fil A trip my 5 year old said he would like fruit with his meal because they were “healthier” than fries.
  • I cried reading the posts on the Megsmiles page-I don’t even know this runner mom but I feel so connected to the story.
  • I cried watching my husband make salsa with our sons because I was thinking how lucky I was to have married such a great dad.
  • I cried because my 5 year old was rewarded with an icee pop because he was the only kid in the Y’s stay and play that listened to the teacher and cleaned up the entire play area.  I cried from pride and relief because he tries so hard but his methods don’t normally get recognized by other adults.
  • I cried while on a trip to Target with my 3 year old, I rewarded him with some fruit snacks and he said “Mommy can we get Will a treat too since he’s probably having a good day at school?”.
Sweet Zack

Sweet Zack

  • I cried reading this story about a mom who misses her mom after her death 18 years later.  I cried because I still miss my dad 16 years after his death.
  • I cried watching the movie “Hall Pass” when Owen Wilson describes the spot on his chest that held his wife the first time she fell asleep on him and that was the same spot he held his children when they were babies.
  • I cried from pride after my run yesterday because it was my first run in the snow and it was HARD.  Running is a journey for me and something I thought I’d never do-and love to do.
  • I cried at nap today when I asked my 3 year old what his favorite part of the morning was and he said playing with you and Daddy.

 

Wow, it looks like I am a big cry baby uh?  I’m not saying that each instance brought a gush of tears, but tears formed in my eyes and each situation touched my heart.

What’s brought you to tears this week?

Shamrock Marathon Virginia Beach

shamrockmarathonHave you heard of the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach?  It’s coming next month and right now it’s almost sold out!

I started running nearly 3 years ago and I have participated in the Shamrock Marathon races every year; the first year I only did the 8k but the last 2 years I have ran and LOVED the 1/2 marathon.  My goal is to run the whole marathon next year!

I’m writing to tell you that if you’re interested in running the 1/2 marathon, it’s almost sold out!  If you’ve been dragging your feet, this is the time to register!

Some of my favorite things about the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach:

  • Yuengling Shamrock Marathon (26.2 Miles) is a Boston 2015 Boston Qualifier!
  • The Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) is limited to 10,000 runners and ALWAYS sells out!
  • There is also a 8k, a Shamrock Final Mile (kids race), and a Leprechaun Dash (26.2 yards) so the entire family can participate!
  • The Sports and Fitness Expo and the after race party ROCK!  You can get just about any running item you need at the expo and the after party is just like all of J&A racing events-a GREAT time!

 

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for the Shamrock Marathon Virginia Beach NOW!

 

 

Dear Mom Of A Newborn +1

boys baby shot

I have 2 friends right now who recently had babies and who each also have a 2 or 3 year old at home, and they are going through a rough time.  What mom in this situation doesn’t?  I remember how tough it was in the beginning trying to balance breastfeeding, diaper changes, and late nights, but still trying to give your toddler adequete mommy time.  It’s TOUGH!  So to all those new moms in this situation, I give you this:

Dear Mom of a newborn +1,

I see you in the park struggling to push the stroller and keep your toddler from running too far ahead and I remember.  I remember the desperation of wanting my toddler to just listen, to understand that Mommy is exhausted.  I remember wondering what the other moms were thinking (or saying) about my inadequecy of handling  2 kids in public.  I remember wanting to just pack everyone and everything back up in the car and go home, where I can hide from my imagined failures.

I want to run up and hug you and tell you it WILL GET BETTER.  But I know that will make you probably want to hit me, or squirt the leaking breast milk in my face to shut me up.  I want to tell you that I have been through what you’re going through and that really, moms with one child just will never understand. Yes, they have their breakdowns and tough moments-but they will never understand the struggle of balancing a newborn and a toddler at the same time.  They will never understand how heart wrenching it is to see your toddler’s face drop when the newborn starts to cry as soon as you finally get to sit and do a puzzle with the “big brother”.  How helpless you feel while nursing the baby when you look over to see your toddler making the biggest mess in the history of messes just because they are so desperate for your attention.

But I promise, this will pass!  Soon you’ll figure out a schedule of nursing, feeding, playing, diapering, and napping.  You WILL!  Notice I didn’t add laundry and cleaning to that list-that will come later…and having dinner ready at dinner time, well that’s why God invented take out.  And don’t worry,  you’ll also learn to carve out time in order to have special moments with each child and you’ll learn to savor them and rejoice that the hell you went through is over (well at least for that stage).

5 Benefits To Drinking More Water + A Water Intake Calendar

water glass

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to drink more water?  Whether you did or not, drinking more water during the day has many benefits!

5 Benefits To Drinking More Water

1.  Drinking water can help you cut calories.  Water has no calories-but sodas, juices, etc can really hide calories in your diet.

2.  Water helps you skin look better.  Dehydration can make your skin look dry and wrinkled but by drinking more water, you can decrease these effects.

3.  Water puts you in a better mood.  Research has shown that dehydration makes you cranky. Drink more water=better mood!

4.  Water can prevent Headaches.  I know when I have a headache if I drink some water it sometimes helps.  Research shows dehydration can cause headaches so drink up to prevent headaches.

5.  Water gives you energy. When you are dehydrated you will feel tired.  Most people turn to caffeine but a simple glass of water can really be the cure!

If you’re in need of a good bottle to refill with water during the day, check out these:

Camelbak Eddy Bottle

Thermos Nissan Intak Hydration Water Bottle with Meter, Blue

NALGENE Tritan OTG BPA-Free Water Bottle,Slate Blue

Here is a handy calendar to help you measure how much water you drink each day so that you can avoid dehydration!

Water Intake Calendar:

You can click the image or the link under it to print this calendar.

water intake

Water Intake Calendar momondealz

And if you’re a runner who needs more water, don’t forget to check out my post on the Best Apps For Runners

Best Apps For Runners

best apps for runners momondealz

 

 

Best Apps for Runners

Every time you lace up your shoes and head out on a run, you typically want to know how far you’ve ran and how many calories you have burned. There are so many running apps on the market these days, but there are the top four apps used by the running community.

Most runners just starting out with begin with RunKeeper and then progress to MapMyRun or Endomundo. TrainingPeaks is used primarily for serious runners who want to not only track their 20+ miles per week but also their nutritional data all the way down to the micronutrients of their food. All of these apps have social media components and some have strong communities right within the app with both MapMyRun and RunKeeper having the most active communities.

  • MapMyRun tracks your distance, calories, elevation, and even your nutrition for the day. This app is the one used quite a bit of people in the running community because of how strong both the mapping and nutritional information is in it. It has a great social aspect to it as well and can autopost your workouts straight to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Endomundo is tracks distance, time, and speed. When running a race, it will also track your splits and tells you what your estimated finish time will be. A great feature with this app is the ability to create routes, challenge friends and also challenge your own past times. It has a lot of really cool features including an audio coach, pep talks from friends, plus it can track hydration. This is also a very social app and plugs into all the different social networks and has its own right in the app itself.
  • RunKeeper is one of the more popular running apps and includes different ways to track your runs and logs all of those stats online. It is easy to see how you are improving, check your pace, and interact with other runners within the app.
  • TrainingPeaks is an online and mobile app best suited for serious athletes who are working with a trainer or coach. Your coach uploads workouts and monitors them when you upload your workouts via a fitness watch, like Polar. Not only does it mark down your split times, but how often you were in the different heart rate zones, elevation changes, and how many calories were exerted at each part of a workout. It truly is the Cadillac of programs. TrainingPeaks also logs nutritional data and do meal planning too by not only showing how many carbs, fats, and proteins something has but also the micro- and macronutrients. This program is excellent for runners, triathletes and IronMan athletes.

Whooping Cough Facts

whooping cough pic

Recently my oldest son had a terrible cough and since there’s been some cases of whopping cough in the area, I was worried.  In case this has ever happened to you, here are some whooping cough facts to help you figure out what’s going on with your child.

Whooping Cough Facts

  • Whooping Cough is another name for Pertussis.
  • Whooping Cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease.
  • Whooping Cough is known for uncontrollable and violent coughing.
  • Whooping Cough most commonly affects infants and young children.
  • The best way to protect yourself against whooping cough is to get immunized.
  • Whooping Cough “coughing fits” can last 1-6 weeks but as long as 10 weeks and has been called the 100 day cough.
  • Whooping Cough can cause serious illness and possibly death in infants.

 

You may also be interested in:

Home Remedies for Children Coughs

Cough Definition

I Want My Kids To Know They Can Mess Up

boys smile

As a mom, I mess up ALL THE TIME!

Before having kids, I knew exactly how parenthood was going to be, exactly how I would handle problems, melt downs, etc.  And honestly, with my first son, things were going pretty smoothly and according to my plan.  Then came my second son-and everything went out the window.  Our oldest began competing for attention, and by this, I mean he started making some pretty bad behavior choices.  And as an exhausted mommy, so did I.

It’s not everyday that I feel proud of my parenting ability.  Sometimes it takes a few days to go by to feel as if I’m doing anything right.  Have I cried myself to sleep after a stressful day full of meltdowns? Absolutely.  Have I gone to sleep with my last thought being how my sons showed amazing manners to a complete stranger?  Yes.  As we all know, there are good moments and there are bad moments.  On days when the bad outnumbers the good, it’s HARD to feel like you’re doing anything right.  But I know I try.  And I try, and try and try…but the patience runs out and other life stresses take their toll.

There is one thing I know I am doing right.  I am letting my kids know it is ok to mess up.  Every single night I talk to my boys about the day and I make sure to apologize if I’ve lost my temper or handled things the wrong way.  We also review our day together and discuss what was the most fun, what we thought was best, and also we talk about situations that went wrong, how they could have handled things differently to make things better, and what choice they can make the next time.  I make sure to also discuss how we all could have handled things differently in certain situations.

We talk EVERYDAY about how it is ok to mess up.  That EVERYBODY does it.  That every single person on the face of the earth makes bad choices and/or has a bad day.  But how you handle the mess up defines who you are.  You can fix the mess up and make things better or you can throw a tantrum (or a toy) and make things worse.  You can try to blame someone else (“but he hit me first”) or you can take responsibility for your own actions and FIX THEM.  You can be the solution to the problem or make the problem even bigger.

So yes, I probably raised my voice today.  Yes, I may or may not have threatened to take away a Christmas toy or a future playdate-BUT-I said I was sorry and I FIXED the problem.  I talked it out, kissed it out, and hugged it out-and we moved on.

My kids know it’s ok to mess up.  But they also know they need to fix their mess ups and try to make things better.