Tag Archive: raising kids


I think, after 5 1/2 years, I have found my sweet-spot of motherhood.

I had an amazing son 5 1/2 years ago and my delightful daughter 2 years ago. I have loved them with every ounce of my being since then, but, if I am being honest, I didn’t enjoy every moment.

If you’re a mother, you know you can’t take 3 steps without a stranger telling you to enjoy every second when they are young. And, half of these women follow that up with some kind of passive-agressive threat like ‘soon he won’t hold your hand like that’ or ‘tomorrow she’ll be a high-maintenance teenager’ or ‘eventually he’ll stop returning your calls and you’ll be all alone’. Yikes! I could have done without that last one. But, they didn’t enjoy every minute and either do I.

When we first brought my son home I was terrified, I struggled nursing, and I couldn’t sit down for 3 weeks. Didn’t enjoy that.

When my daughter was young I felt trapped in my house because getting everyone out the door and ready felt like too much work. Didn’t enjoy that.

When I was on maternity leave, I would sit and pray for the time to move faster and hope my husband would come home just a little early today. Didn’t enjoy that.

I wasn’t good at bonding with babies. I was bored. They don’t talk, they don’t have personalities, I don’t know what they want…. You see, I am not one of those moms who can just stare contentedly at her baby in her arms for hours. I am not the kind of girl that goes, “awe…let me hold your baby”. I like to enjoy babies from across the room, or better yet- through photographs. It’s not that I don’t like your baby, I just don’t want to take care of it. I know some of you are thinking- That’s the best part! I get it. In Will’s terms, it’s just not my favorite.

Does that sound horrible? Am I the only one? I’m not all evil though, I swear. Keep reading…

So, back to the sweet-spot. The other morning I was home with the kids and it was LITERALLY perfect. My daughter wasn’t being a terrible two year old, my son was as sweet and affectionate as ever, no one was rushed, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, yada yada yada. It was everything you think motherhood will be before you have children. I was helping Will work on some kindergarten prep work, sipping coffee, Ellie was dancing happily to her magnetic fridge toy and prancing around the house, I had made a healthy breakfast that no one complained about, I think you are getting the picture.

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This time, I was looking at the clock and wishing it would slow down. I knew my work day was coming and I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to interupt the magic of the moment.

Later in the day, when I had a chance to reflect, it all kind of made sense. This is my sweet-spot. My children say funny things. They have little personalities. They play with me and each other. They are also independent enough so that I can have one G-D moment to myself now and then. Every day I think of new cool things we can all do together: tennis, foods, games, back yard camp outs (more to come on this after the weekend). It’s fun! It doesn’t seem like work any more.

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I don’t know what to expect next. I don’t know if I’ll keep finding new sweet-spots along the way; I’m guessing yes. I do know that I won’t enjoy every moment, but I will try not to feel guilty about that and I’ll be grateful for the time, and continue to love these kids with every ounce of my being.

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The Promise of a New Day

I love mornings. Not in the way that some people do. I don’t spring out of bed; I’m not up early enough to see the sun rise. But, once I am up, I love the first 20 min. I pour my coffee, put on PBS for the kids, and get my head together. I think about my intention for the day. I think about my focus for the day.

I know that today I want to have a fun and relaxing day. And you may be thinking, “DUH! We all want to have a fun and relaxing day.” The difference is that I am consciously choosing this as my plan. I will not agree to run around and do a bunch of errands. I will not accept an offer of play dates. I will not get worked up along with my son if he is particularly sensitive. I will not get frustrated with my daughter who is sassy beyond her years. I am not going to commit to an overly complicated meal plan. I will not spend more than 30 min. in the kitchen.

super will<

I am going to go for a nice long walk with the kids. I am NOT going to worry about how slow we are going. I am going to play in the back yard with my kids. This is going to involve tag, hide-n-seek, ninjas/fighting/swords/super heros, bubbles (god-forsaken-bubbles), and maybe a picnic. Later on, this is also going to include mommy drinking a summer ale in the driveway while my kids fight over who gets to use the red scooter and who gets to use the green scooter. But, I know their fighting/whining is coming. It is inevitable. Today I am choosing to not let it bother me.

ellie scooter

Today I am choosing to have a fun and relaxing day!

willI am lucky enough to work for a company that is committed to continuous improvement. They are trying to create an environment of constant learning, evolving, and growing. Today I spent 3+ hours talking about feelings in room of about 150 people. Of course going into a meeting like this there is some apprehension and, if you’re like me, excitement. I realize that I could spend every day of my life in the pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment and still never know all there is to know. That is why I get all jacked up before these meetings and try to soak it all up like a sponge. Thru the training you learn how to be a better manager, sure. But, the best part is that I learn to be a better mom and better wife and better ME. It is thru these trainings that I have accepted the fact that I am in control of what shows up in my life. It is thru these trainings that I have accepted that I DO have enough time. It is thru these trainings that I have accepted that every experience is a learning experience.

Anyway, back to feelings…..

My son Will is a basket (case) full of emotions. He cries constantly! (Picture Anchor Man “I’m in a glass case of emotion!!) At least a few times a day he has to take off his adorable glasses and wipe his big brown eyes. I’m telling the truth when I say that one time he literally started crying because the chocolate milk at the restaurant was delicious. Well, after 5 years of this, my husband and I have begun to see this as a ‘problem’. We, in our grown up minds, have labeled “good” reasons to cry (i.e. fell and scraped my knee) and “bad” reasons to cry (i.e. I don’t want chicken for dinner). We have even been asking Will, “Now Will…. is that a good reason to cry?” Part of this correction is because in our minds he needs to learn the difference between something serious and not. Part of it is because we are sick of it. Then, there is a small part of me that worries about what will happen if he is 12 and still cries every time something doesn’t go his way.

Notice the highlighted words: our, we, me. This has nothing to do with me! This is about Will and his feelings. He is sad and therefore he cries. Simple as that. He doesn’t over think it. He doesn’t analyze it. He has a feeling and he feels it. He is not hurting himself or others. He is simply releasing that emotion. Who am I to say what is or isn’t a good reason to be sad? What do I expect him to say, “Well Mom, when Ellie took my toy it made me sad because I feel like ever since she was born she gets everything she wants and I have nothing of my own anymore and I guess that makes me feel vulnerable. Thanks for listening, glad I got that off my chest.” No, he is going to cry.

And the scariest part is, he is probably more enlightened than we are. I have 31 years of ‘society’ telling me what is an acceptable way to show my emotions and what is not. I am a girl so I try really hard not to cry at work because that would make me look ‘weak’. If someone hurts my feelings I pretend that I’m tough and I make a joke because I don’t want to be ‘too sensitive’. But you know what happens? That sadness, hurt, anger, etc. just comes out later and usually in a situation that doesn’t deserve it. We’ve all been there: your boss was a jerk and you go home and yell at your husband. Not Will. He gets in a fight with one of the neighbor boys, he cries for about 25 seconds, and then he’s over it. He gets up and moves on. He can go from tears to tag with smiles in under a minute! He doesn’t over think it. He doesn’t analyze it. He has a feeling and he feels it.

I think as parents we could learn from our kids at least as much as they can learn from us. Why do we take our kids mood/behavior/words/feelings so personally? Is it because we are grown ups and we feel the need to give meaning to everything? When Will is whiny, or he’s having a rough time, it’s not about me! It’s not about him trying to ruin my day (even though it seems like it sometimes). He is not concerned with how his behavior is affecting my ‘vision for the day’. He is simply feeling his feelings. We (parents) are in control of how much this behavior affects us. We can control how we react to their behavior. We have so much influence on our children. Are we teaching them that sadness is bad? That fear is bad? How is this going to affect them as adults?

I’m not sure where to go from here, but just being a little bit more aware of this truth makes me feel better. Somehow, I am less fearful. I think it is still important to teach the lessons but not try to control how those feelings show up for him. Real life example: Will starts crying because he doesn’t want chicken and veggies for dinner. I’ll take his glasses, encourage him to breathe, and let him cry. I will also explain that even though he is sad and even though this is not what he wants for dinner, this IS what we are having because it is healthy and mommy worked very hard at preparing it. He can keep crying if he wants, it is not “bad” and he’s not in “trouble”, but it is also not going to change the outcome of what I am serving for dinner.

And, for myself, I am going to take it easy on judging myself. I won’t label my feelings as weak, or bad, or selfish, etc. I will try not to over think it. I will try not to over analyze it. I will just have a feeling and feel it.

As a parent, you have a vision for your kids. You have a dream that you want for your family and for your children. I thought I would share my hopes and dreams for my little angels.

Dear Will and Ellis,

  • I hope you never pass up an opportunity to be kind. I hope that you care about your fellow-man. I hope that when you see pain, suffering, and injustice that it makes you sad. I hope you never become desensitized to the world that we live in. I hope you never forget that every life has value.
  • I hope that you like yourself. I hope that you have the confidence and strength to know yourself, trust yourself, and listen to yourself no matter what everyone else is saying. I hope that you will have the courage to make up your own mind and the determination to speak your mind when it matters.
  • I hope that you love each other. There are very few bonds like that of siblings. I hope that you realize all the arguing you are going to do is trivial and I hope that you remain best friends for life.
  • I hope you fall madly in love with books and learning. I hope that you study something that excites you and I hope you work in a field that doesn’t feel like work.
  • I hope that some day soon you will learn in school about how there USED to be discrimination against homosexuals. I hope that the country that you grow up in will open their eyes and realize that all people have the right to love each other.
  • I hope that you laugh a lot. I hope that your life is filled with joy. I hope that you are able to appreciate how great life is and all that you have. I hope that you are grateful for each and every blessing in your life and never take anything for granted.
  • I hope you remember how much mommy and daddy love you and that nothing will ever change that. I hope you know that you can tell us anything and we always be there for you.

Love,

Mom

I think it’s important to know what you want for your kids. I also think it is important to stay focused on your dreams. If you focus on what you want, you’ll recognize when you are moving in the wrong direction. What dreams do you have for you kids?