On Meagan: Madewell overalls; Matisse fringe boots; Top, old (similar.)
On Molly: Target overalls; Minnetonka boots.
Perhaps it’s the act of raising them, toiling day in and day out from day one, that does it? It’s every diaper changed, every night spent teaching them to sleep, the tears at 2am, to the temper tantrums and extreme vigilance needed to keep a two year old from constantly being in danger. The hard years ARE hard, but they go by fast (which I didn’t feel at the time!) All of a sudden it gets good, really good. You go from barely surviving each day, to waking up happy to see their faces and enjoy their company (because I can sleep in now, YAY!) They become your sidekicks, the people you most want to spend your day with. I love hearing my daughter talk about her day and how she problem solved an issue with a friend, or teaching my son that he can have painted nails, as long as he is comfortable with himself and his choice.
These people I’m raising are just great people, we have in depth conversations and I can see who they will become someday. They aren’t extremely moldable toddlers and volatile four year olds anymore. And I love it. They make me laugh with their quick wit, and drive me nuts with mood swings. The problems of the past, like keeping them from falling down the stairs or ingesting laundry pods, are gone. Now I worry about them being excluded at school, being bullied, not being prepared if a stranger approaches them, what they can say if someone tries to talk them into something bad, or how I’m going to get through math homework. (What’s up with multiplication in Second grade?) The problems and worries are still there, they’re just different.
I find that I just really love where we are right now, and I can see glimpses of how it will be as they age. My role as their mother will change. I’ll never be their friend as they grow up, I am their parent and the person who is in charge of their well being, but I know we will get there someday. I plan to push them to be their best, I hope to be their confidant and their safe place to land. I want to see them shine and teach them how to be responsible adults. I want them to be kind, always. That’s my biggest hope. And happy! Whatever brings that happiness, I am behind 100%. These kids, they have the whole world at their feet and I am so honored to be their mother.
So yes, it does get better. I promise that! I don’t worry about the stuff I used to worry about. I get to sit with them on a Saturday night and enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant. I can see them order politely and sit through dinner without cleaning up after them or rushing out. We can enjoy the things around us more, instead of worrying about naps and feeding schedules and the like. While I look back fondly at that time (as we all do of hard times gone by), I am so grateful to have them as they are right now. I don’t know what the future brings, but I do know that it gets better and better as time goes on, and I look forward each second I get to be their mother.
Loving this crazy boy!
I fear that I was a better mom of babies and toddlers, and that I’m not as good a mom to school age kids.
Yet, I still fear that I am not enough.
I read an article last week by the almighty Jen Hatmaker (she is my hero;), that really made me stop and THINK. It was about her parenting yes’s and no’s, and of course it got me wondering what my version of this would be. I don’t think there is a mom out there that doesn’t double (triple) over think everything they do, whether they are new to parenthood or not. Just when I think I have something down pat, they go and change on me, or they ask a question I’m not sure how to answer. With summer fast approaching, and lots of opportunities to be all together all the time again (insert clenched teeth emoji face!), I wanted to share what my yes’s and no’s will be. Let’s do this!
I say yes to:
Sleepovers in each other’s rooms. I mean, it’s summer vacation, and we can be a little bit more lax around here. Plus, their giggling after the lights go out is cute.
Staying up late to read books. I actually can’t say no to anything that involves reading more.
Anything that involves going outside. Running though the sprinkler, chalk in the driveway, swimming in the pool, walks through the neighborhood, and intricate fairy house built out of sticks. Yes to it ALL.
Doing my exercising outside rather than at the gym a couple of days a week, where they ride their bikes and I run beside them. They love seeing mommy running, and get to challenge her to go faster;)
Staying up past bedtime for special stuff, like drive in movie theaters and cookouts with friends.
Letting them dress themselves if they wish, and giving them the option to express themselves though clothing (even if they look straight up CRAZY sometimes, ha.)
Eating boatloads of fruit, straight from the container. We are in peach and strawberry overload over here.
I say no to:
Anything that comes on during a commercial. We don’t actually really need a Zippy Sack or a Magic Pen or a magic bubble blower. Ever.
Any toy in the $$ section at Target, or the toy aisle, or the overpriced novelty item that all the kids are playing with right now. It’s just one more thing to throw out in a month or two when they forget about it and move on.
Hearing the statement “I’m bored”, or “I don’t have anything to do.” I find boredom tends to bring their imagination to the next level, and forcing them to figure it out themselves brings awesome moments.
Extra sweets at the grocery store, or dessert every night. I don’t like the expectation that sweets come at the end of every meal, or treats are expected during normal grocery store runs.
99% of all video games, excessive television, and movies or computer games that aren’t age appropriate or approved by me first. We watch a bit more television in the colder months, so my thought right now is, “It’s nice out, so go OUTSIDE!”
Cranky kids and bickering. The second I feel that they are on the edge I find that a forced “quiet time” (1-2 hours in our rooms alone on the days we are home) recharges us all and makes the afternoon better. A short nap helps me, too!
Tell me, what do you say yes and no to?
I saw a similar post to this in my Facebook feed the other day and loved it, mostly because it takes the perfection veil off of motherhood and makes the rest of us mere mortals feel better about what we do. I always like to share the good and the bad parts of motherhood, because honesty is always the best policy for me, and it tends to make other people feel good about what we are doing (or not doing.) I mean, SERIOUSLY, motherhood is hard! I know I do a lot of things well as a mother, but there are some things I don’t do, and I thought I’d share. Now don’t judge me! 😉
5 things I don’t do as a mother (that I probably should.)
1) I don’t make my kids floss, and they only brush their teeth before bed.
I KNOW. Flossing is important, I get it. But I never remember to floss myself, so trying to get them to floss is not something I think to do. They never mind flossing, if I buy them those floss sticks, but that clearly never happens. I also always only brushed their teeth at night after their bottles or last drink of the day as babies, and it sort of carried through. Luckily, they always have good checkups at the dentist, so I’m taking that as a good sign that my laziness doesn’t matter here.
2) I don’t stress over what is going on in the classroom, or worry over reading levels, etc.
Okay, a little note here: I have a teaching degree and taught for several years, so I know what to expect in elementary school. What I don’t like to do is stress over the little things. I like to give my children a little space to learn things at their own pace in the classroom. I trust my children’s’ teachers and know they are doing their job well. I do stress hard work for my children and trying their best, and have always worked at home with them to learn things at an early age. I drill them for spelling test and do summer work to keep them learning year round, and have always done lessons for them at home in various subjects. But I don’t believe in worrying over standardized test results, or where they stand against the county in math knowledge. I know my children and trust they will learn what they need as time goes on.
3) I don’t like playing with my kids.
Okay, this sounds bad, but there nothing more boring for me than building Lego structures with my son, or playing “pretend tea party” with my daughter. First of all, they micro manage me while we play. “No mommy, that doesn’t go THERE.” Second of all, I’m an adult, so playing with kids toys or games is not something that appeals to me. I think kids can more or less entertain themselves at a certain age, and don’t need me to be their playmate. That’s why I had two kids, so they could play TOGETHER. I do find myself building intricate Lego tree houses from time to time, or playing Chutes and Ladders, or dressing up various dolls with my daughter, but not that much. I’m their mother, not their entertainment director, or their playmate. I bring them to great places, keep them busy with activities, and provide lots of time for them to pretend and use their imaginations at home, but I do not like to play.
4) I don’t make homemade treats for school, (or any occasion, really.)
You know those Pinterest posts of intricate snacks and birthday treats that you can make for your child’s classmates that are bound to inspire awe (and jealousy?) I don’t make those. I’m the one buying the pre-made stuff at the grocery store the day before, always. I’m just not into the hoopla of the whole “let’s make a crazy snack that no one has ever seen before,” kind of girl. I’m always impressed when others do it, but I find that less is more with kids. They don’t care what they are eating, just that they are getting a treat. The same goes for huge and expensive birthday parties. There is something to be said for a simple party with pizza, fruit salad, and a store bought cake that always works. Keeping up in this area stresses me out, so I don’t do it. And I’m happier for it.
5) I don’t do a drawn out bedtime ritual anymore.
For years I did a precise good night routine for my kids that took approximately 30-45 minutes. It began with baths, then lots of books, then five songs each, with sound machines and lots of kisses, and last minute bathroom trips. I also used to dread this time each night, because by that point in the day I was DONE. I’m still that way. Mommy is DONE typically by four, but that’s a story for another day;)
Now at the ages of five and seven I can send my kids to their rooms for 30 minutes of free play in their rooms at about 7pm, then when that is done I shut their lights out, kiss them quick and leave. That’s it. They don’t need the drawn out routine that they used to, because they take advantage of it and make it longer. (Stinkers.) They’re old enough now to be put to bed more quickly, and to have their own time to read or play quietly before.
Tell me, what do you NOT do as a mom (that you think you should?)
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