Outside Adventure

I read somewhere about lack of sunlight playing a part in depression. This can manifest not only in adults but in kids as well.

So how do you combat that seasonal depression or lack of sun depression? By getting outside and having outside adventures.

This isn’t only important for the mental health of your family. Its great for the overal health of your family. We are currently in a generation where too many kids are more focused on a screen than they are in actually moving. They’re walking less, eating more junk food because it’s quick and easy. The obese percentage of this generation is higher now than ever. There are many variables that key into these percentages. However, one of the biggest is the technology that kids have so easily available to them

When I was a kid in the 90’s we had one computer but sometimes we didn’t have internet all the time. The one computer had to be used by four people so I didn’t get a lot of time like some kids today. And I know that I am guilty of giving my kids little tablets with educational apps on them. However, I don’t try to allow them to spend so much time on the without getting some sort of physical activity. Back when I was a kid, I got to use the computer when no one else needed it. Then there wasn’t much for a kid to do on there. I played a lot of Solitaire. What I did do to entertain myself. Was actually entertain myself. I played outside with neighbor kids. I ran around. I pretended sticks were wands. I rode a bike through the neighborhood. we raced. We created forts and played capture the flag. We did ding dong ditch to the cute teen next door. We were physically active. Something that the younger generation is not getting enough of now days.

I know when they’re in school they get maybe an hour of gym class in elementary school once a week and maybe 30 minutes of playtime on the playground. But that isn’t enough. They are expected to learn more and do more from the very first year they are in school. They are playing less in class and doing more work. Even the work is done more digitally. They use laptops in Kindergarten, they have smart boards, etc. They are not being active enough.

Not only can a life full of technology and less physical activities lead to obseity, it can lead to mental health issues. Kids now days are seeing less sunlight because they’re stuck in the house behind a screen. They’re getting less Vitamin D than they need. The deficiency of Vitamin D is also higher today than before. And as parents, there is a simple way that we can help our children.

GO OUTSIDE.

I understand that we are all living busy lives. It is hard to make time to go outside to just do nothing. But it is important. Even if you do it just once a week. I understand some times the weather doesn’t allow it. Sometimes its storming or is too wet from a store the day before. However, just 20 minutes a day of sunlight can help with the vitamin d and seasonal depression. Just spending a few minutes outside creating adventures will not only help your child keep up their physical activity… It will help their mental health.

These moments outside are the ones that they are going to remember. They are going to remember the adventures you had together. These are the days that they are going to think back to when they grow up. These are the moments that are going to inspire them when they become parents themselves.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a great example as a parent for my kids. So that they can grow up thinking, ‘my mom did everything she could to ensure I lived a happy and healthy life’. Now I am not always too excited to go outside. Life happens, I get tired or sick or I just don’t feel like it. However, if the girls want to go run the yard or jump on the trampoline. I am not going to say no to them wanting to have physical activity. Unless it is snowing raining or just way too cold. We live in the south and the weather gets to 30’s in the winter like the other day when the baby, who had been sick, wanted to go jump. This is when the parenting part comes into play. Knowing when going outside for adventures is going to be beneficial. And going outside in 30 degree weather is not the best thing to do for children. Therefore, instead of just telling them to go watch a TV show. You can simply create adventures in the house. I remember playing the floor is lava as a child or building forts. We like hide and seek as well as tag. As long as there is nothing breakable out that can be knocked down, then there are times where running throughout the house is just the amount of physical activity we need.

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Not okay

You do not have to accept things that you are not okay with. And I know that can be a struggle. Especially when you have a mental illness. for instance, I try to HELP everyone. I try to fix everything. I just do. I also try to feed everyone. For instance, my husbands ended up with two turkeys from his job. Of course we used one for Thanksgiving and I was going to give the second one to a friend who was going to do a community Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, some things came up and my friend couldn’t host the party. Therefore, we had an additional turkey.

So I decided that we couldn’t just leave that turkey in the freezer forever… So I decided, the weather is getting colder… Why not feed my husbands training class some turkey chili. It was pretty banging and the class loved it.

I have fed them numerous times. Because cooking helps me calm down when I am feeling anxious. Because cooking is something I have control over. I can control how something is cooked. I can control the chicken. I can control whether its baked, grilled, fried or boiled. I cannot always control my anxiety, although I am working on that.. But I can control what I cook.

Sometimes I feel like I am a push over and that a lot of people know this and use it to their advantage. Like my oldest brother. For instance, he uses manipulation to make me feel bad for him. As a way to guilt me into doing things for him. Enabling him. Only recently have I built up a back bone and learned that I do not have to accept things that I am not okay with. I am not okay with giving my brother money since I know he doesn’t use it for what he says he needs it for. He usually uses it to buy beer. Because he is an alcoholic. He says he is not but that is just denial. He is pretty much an ass when he is drunk and he knows I cannot stand him drinking or doing drugs and have kept him away from my kids when he is under the influence. Hell everytime he calls me or needs me… I go alone. My kids don’t need to be around it.

It is okay to say no. Honestly, as someone with a mental illness. I need to learn to say no more often. It is okay to not accept things that you’re not okay with. IF it makes you feel some type of way… say no. You do not have to do it. You can say no. If it makes you uncomfortable.. you don’t have to do it.

There is no rule saying that you absolutely have to accet thngs that you are not okay with. For instance, I am not okay with my FIL showing favortism to my oldest daughter and completely ignoring my youngest. He has cancelled quite a few times if my oldest wasn’t home. like coming to see the youngest alone was just too hard. But going to the school to eat lunch with the oldest was easy. Taking the oldest out to eat or to the park or to play at his house was easy. But spending any time with the youngest isn’t something that he can do. And I was not okay with that. And I let it be known that I was not okay with that. It has been almost a year since he has seen the kids. It all could have been resolved if he would have said hey I am sorry, I didn’t realize it was an issue. How can I fix it? But nope. That is not how things go. Nope. A grown man has to play the blame game. Has to blame the kids. Has to bash me to anyone and everyone that listens. Then I find out that he left his first wife not just once but twice. And the first time was when my husband was a kid. He left for someone a lot younger than him. Someone so young, that I am not okay with him being alone with my girls ever again. I am not okay with it and I don’t have to accept it.

I understand a lot of people think ‘hey he’s your husband’s father you can’t just shut him out’. Actually I can. Because my husband doesn’t want to be around his dad or his dad’s wife. They had a pretty awful relationship and I butted in and pushed for them to have some type of relationship. But since this has affect our kids…my husband is not accepting it. He’s not okay with it either and has put his foot down. My FIL actually ran into me at the store and put all the blame on my like I am some type of monster that I made his son do this and a lot of other things. I was not okay with it and I put my foot down.

You don’t have to accept things if you are not okay with it. Even if it is family. Just because it is family does not make things that make you uncomfortable okay. It isn’t. You don’t have to settle or be bullied into anything. Stand up for yourself.. You are worth it.

Cruel world

It seems like everytime we turn on the news, there is something awful happening somewhere in the world. Things have grown so bad, you don’t want your kids playing outside by themselves. You question everyone you meet. Etc. When I was a little kid, I used to play outside without adult supervision with my friends all the time. I rode my bike down the road to the gas station without a single thought. Now, I cannot even let my 7 year old step outside without me being right by her side. The world has become cruel.

Many parents are trying to toughen up their kids to face this dark cruel world. Trying to toughen up their kids for situations that could happen. How to handle the things that are going on. Playing the defense against the worlds in their teachings. However, it is not our job to toughen up our kids to face the cruel world. It is our job to raise kids who will make the world a little less cruel. We should play offense and teach our kids how to be innovative. How to be the reason the world gets better.

We can show our kids how to make the world less cruel by bringing back manners. There are so many kids these days that I see in stores who will run you down with the shopping cart without a single care in the world. Not even a single ‘excuse me’. Bring back the caring. Teaching them the importance of a helping hand. Teach them the concept of ‘karma’. I understand that people don’t like karma because its not in their ‘religion’ or they call it something else. I call it Karma. Those who need to put it into their christianity box would be ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Teach them that putting good out into the world brings good back to them. But don’t teach them to do for other in expectations for others to do good for them. That is where we get that entitled feeling. Instead teach them the importance of kindness.

It is our jobs to help our kids grow. We can either toughen them up where they only think about themselves, or we can raise them to change the world one kind act at a time.

Manners

Now for a post about a personal opinion. So please when you read this, please take it with a grain of salt. My opinion doesn’t mean that it is your opinion. It does not mean that what I am writing about is fact. It is simply just my opinion and things that I think about.

So with that being said.

Please, as a parent…..teach your kids MANNERS!

I have seen way too many kids not understand the basic concept of a single excuse me. Thank you. Please.

I have seen kids throw tantrums in stores and yelling at their parents.

I have seen kids push and shove other kids and adults to get what they want.

I remember growing up if I was rude to someone in the store (without proper reasoning) I was in trouble.

I mean you don’t have to teach your kids to worship the ground that everyone else walks on. But simply teaching them the basic manners so that they’re not a bunch of entitled jerks would be great. I mean if we could all teach our kids manners. That they aren’t entitled to respect without giving respect…. then maybe we can change the world. I know it seems like a long shot. But it is a simple idea.

That is my thought for the day. I would love to see more kids with manners. Showing respect to get respect in return… I understand that the adults need to show the kids respect also. It is a full cirlce. Show respect to get respect.

I can’t answer

Honestly, who has voicemail messages these days? I mean as a teenager I used to put music as my message. Or one of those silly hey…..yeah you got my voicemail. leave a message. However, now its just ‘you have reached…..’ That is it. But it should really say ‘NO I cannot answer, I have kids, just text me like a normal person.’ I honestly don’t call unless its for an important reason, school, doctors or an emergency. Everytime I get a phone call from a number I don’t know… I either don’t answer or answer skeptically. And then I can barely ever hear what the other person is saying because I GOT KIDS. Do you know anyone with exceptionally quiet kids? Mine can be… occasionally. Either they’re playing loudly, telling me stories, asking me questions or fighting with each other. Do you really want to hear that in the background? And is it really safe to walk to a quiet place to have said phone conversation?And leave two kids by themselves especially when they’re fussing over the same toy even though they both have the same exact toy??? Nope!

I text everyone. I even text my oldest teacher. She is amazing. She moved up a grade with my kid. So this is her second year with her. She had her for both first and second grade and she tells the parents at the beginning of the year, if you have free texts, I will text you updates and important information. Since I knew we were going to have the same teacher again, said teacher actually sent me the school list in July so that we could beat out the stupid back to school shopping crowd. Yeah she is that amazing. And if they do something amazing i class like meet the Bojangles Chicken….she’ll send photos to us. She is amazing.

I am getting way off topic here. If you need me…..text. Don’t call. Because I am likely going to send you to voicemail and the voicemail really needs to tell you just to text. Heck, I don’t even call my husband unless I need to. Unless I have texted 20 times with no answer…. this actually happens. He is one of those that never pays attention to his phone. so he doesn’t always know when I have texted. I always text with my brother. We don’t have really deep conversations and it is usually about music. or the kids or something like that. However, if he calls…. I usually jump to the assumption that something has happened. He doesn’t ever call me unless it is too much to text or it is an emergency. HAHA so I usually, probably because of my anxious brain, jump to the conclusion something has happened. He works pretty much 12 hours 6 days a week so he doesn’t really have a lot of time to talk on the phone and he has been working this type of schedue for 13 years. So I have always just texted or IM’d him. We are not a big talker. I don’t really call my mom unless it is too much to text or an emergency. We do, however, text and talk every single day. I do face time her quite a bit because the girls love to face time their granny.

But seriously….. We live in an age where you can TEXT. Unless it is an important an emergency please just TEXT me.

The glue

Having a family is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I love my kids and I love my husband. They are my entire world. Daddy, is the name of the person that my kids walk right past to get to mommy. My husband works all the time and he is like the support beam of the house. He is the one that takes care of the financial aspects of our family.

However, in all families, the word mama, momma, mom, mommy or any other forms of the word is simply the glue that holds everything together even when she feels like she may fall apart. A mom is a great actor. She can pretend like there is nothing bothering her. She isn’t in pain. She isn’t sad. She is the one who has the brave face. She is the one who gets the kids up and ready for school . She is the one who makes sure everytone has a clean pair of underwear. She is the one who makes sure you have a warm meal in your tummy. She is the one who helps with the homework. Listens to the complaints of the day. Deals with the tantrums. She handles every battle every single day without a single complaint.

For me, being a stay at home is my job. It is a job that never ends. It is the best job that I have ever had. It is the best job I will ever have. Yes, I have an anxiety disorder. Yes I have panic attacks. But I have also mastered the art of pulling myself out of them and not having one in front of my kids. They don’t need that fear, that worry. I am the glue that holds my family together. Therefore, I cannot publically fall apart. That is the purpose of my shower time. I am the glue that handles the sibling spats. I am the glue that listens to my husbands day. I am the glue that helps my kids with their chores and homework. I am the glue that makes sure my husband has everything he needs for work and for training. I am the glue.

So if you’re a dad, brother, nephew, son….thank the mothers in your life. Being the glue….isn’t an easy job.

Memories

What is your earliest memory? Mine would happen to be when we lived in Idaho near my moms family. I am not sure which was the very first memory but Idaho would have to be my first childhood memories. I remember my brothers going outside and making Barney footprints in the snow around our house before I got up so that I woud believe that barney came and visited our house… I remember chasing a rainbow thru the country trying to find the pot of gold at the end. I remember having breakfast with my mom and grandpa almost every week. I remember when I got my bike I wanted the training wheels off after a day or two because I was ‘too big’ for them and could do it without them. I remember when that bike got stolen, going to my grandpa’s to find a brand new big girl bike waiting for me. I remember my grandpa always telling me to grab the paper towels to clean up the pee of his elderly dog, whom I cherished. I remember meeting my grandma who had Alzheimer and her thinking I was my mom. I didn’t get to know her too well, she was sick and passed not too long later. I remember having group birthday parties. If you had a birthday in the same month, we held just one party. It was easier. I remember going to my aunts to make holiday cookies or having Thanksgiving at my uncles. I remember my uncles goat chasing me up a hay stack creating a life long hatred of goats. I remember one of my aunts scolding me for making a mess with a PB&J sandwich which caused a life long dislike of jelly and anything sticky. There are so many memories that I have of that place. We didn’t move back to my hometown until I was 5 almost 6. I honestly only had about 3 to 4 years with my moms family but they’re my earliest memories. Honestly, when we moved back home…. are some of the worst childhood memories. Suffering sexual abuse at the age of 5/6 was extremely terrible and difficult thing to cope with. It took about 11 years to open up about it to my family. That was very hard to do. But that is not what this post is about.

However, every day we are making deposits in the memory banks of or kids. Every day we have the opportunity to create a happy memory. A happy childhood. A happy thought. Happy kids turn into happy adults. Now that is not saying that you can’t discipline your kids, that you cannot correct them when they’re wrong or that you have to fake a life where you are constantly happy. It is saying that take time to do something with your kids that will create a happy memory for them. Do you want them to grow up remembering their childhood where mommy/daddy worked all the time and never read a good night story. Never baked cookies with them. Never sang songs with them? A childhood where they only saw their parents stress? Memories of their parents scolding them at every turn?

NO?

Yeah I don’t want my kids to think that either. Yes, I can be a strict parent and I can be a lax parent. I can get on the floor and pretend to be a horsey while the kids ride pretending to be cowgirls. We try to have an equal line. When the time warrants strict rules or punishments, then that is the parents that we are. However, we like to talk to our kids to explain what they did was wrong and discuss what they could do instead. We usually ask our oldest ‘now what is a different way you could have ….. ‘ because it shows her that she has different options in regards to her behavior and that she is making the decision to act out. Our girls know the basic rules. Even when we’re playing with them. They know there are rules. But we enjoy playing with them. We jump on the trampoline with them. We horse play in the living room floor. We throw blankets and pillows on the floor and lounge around with popcorn and drinks to watch some cartoon movie for the hundreth time. We make holiday cookies on Christmas and Easter. WE go swimming as a family. WE do family projects together. For instance, our house doesn’t have a fireplace for Santa to come down. And the oldest believes he squeezes thru the door. But she wishes we had a fireplace so that Santa could come deliver presents like he does in the movies….. So with construction paper…. we made a fireplace on the wall by the tree. Above the fireplace is paper lights that we also created as a family. Everyone helped, even the 2 year old. It didn’t take but maybe an hour to get everything together. But it was an hour that was spent as a family. TOGETHER. Creating a happy memory in the memory banks of our kid. Creating a tradition that they will remember and maybe pass on to their children. Like spending Christmas Eve dinner at my husbands mom is a happy tradition. Like going to an Easter Egg Hunt at my brothers EVERY SINGLE YEAR and then going out to eat as a family somewhere, most likely Chili’s.

It really doesn’t have to be an extravagent gesture to create a happy memory for your kids. It could be saying a good night song every night. Or in my oldest daughters case, it is the good night kisses. First on the cheeks. Then eskimo kisses and then butterfly kisses. Simple little things that are really going to stick with them. That lets them know you love them. That lets know that you care. It is beneficial for them as well as yourself. As parents, we are natually stressed. Think of these moments as a break from the stress. A tiny moment where you can put bills and money out of your head just for a few moments. It will be worth it.