Are you the adult you want your child to be

When I became pregnant with my oldest kid, I knew that the partying was over with, since I was only 19 at the time. I knew I needed to grow up and grow up fast. I also knew that I didn’t want my kid to go thru what I went thru growing up and I knew that I wanted her to have more than I did. I knew that I never wanted her to worry about where her next meal would be coming from and I didn’t want to her to worry about the things that I did when I was a kid. However, am I the adult that I want my kids to grow up to be.

We learn how to adult from the adults in our lives. I think I get my strong will and hard headedness from my mom. I mean she was a single mother of three kids and was strong enough to leave an abusive relationship. She was a great role model even though we had it extremely rough growing up.

I know that I am not the perfect mom but I am a loving mom. I love my kids more than life itself. I will go to bat for them no matter what. As a stay at home mom, I am the forefront of what goes on in their daily lives. I am the one that wakes them up, prepares their food, makes sure they have everything they need, make their dr apts and takes the to them. I handle their medication, their bed times, their laundry everything. As a stay at home mom, my kids are not my job but everything that involves them is. My kids are my priority. The laundry and everything else is my job.

However, I am not the adult that I want them to be. Not yet. I have a long way to go. I am always trying to get better. With a mental illness such as anxiety disorder, I tend to over react. I tend to be overly cautious. And I don’t want them to grow up to be that type of person. I am always trying to learn new ways to overcome my anxiety with my kids and around my kids. It is just how I am.

Although, at this exact moment, I am not the adult that I want my kids to be… I am constantly trying to get better. I am constantly striving to be that adult they should be. And I hope that teaches them that although you don’t automatically have all of your shit together, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep trying to do so.

 

Are you the adult you want your kid to be? If so, how did you get there? If not, what steps are you taking?

Relaxing

Sometimes my husband has Monday’s off. However, he usually works 6 days a week. He is an amazing, hard working man. So when he wants to relax, I try to let him. Unless something needs to get done that I either cannot physically do or it creeps me out….like going under the house.

Some days, when he is off, we like to relax together. Maybe stay in bed longer than normal or just be lazy. Hide out. It wouldn’t be all to bad if my kids actually understood the meaning of sleeping in on the weekends. But nooo…our 7 year old wakes up by or before 8 am every weekend, unless she’s sick. Usually the 7 year old is pretty awesome about just chilling in her room until everyone is up and moving. However, there are some mornings where her and her sister are up and they just know we’re up….even if we’re quiet. They just know.

Now in my imagination they shoot up  from their beds, wide eyed. Lift their nose way into the air….take a big whiff, look at each other and say ‘lets pounce’.

I kid you not. Every single time we try to be lazy or relax. Kick our feet up or anything… THEY KNOW.

Sometimes they’ll come and bug us with things like I’m hungry, I’m thirsty. I need this or that. But most times they decide that this is when they want to fight over the same exact toy that they have a duplicate of…. Just because. Or they come to tell us something and its like they repeat it over and over and over and over until you acknowledge them…. And the thing about that is the more you try to ignore them….the louder they get.

It is like they just know when we are taking a minute.

For instance, I spring clean and fall/winter clean.  When I am cleaning they are either under my feet which I then put them to work….or they are no where to be seen. Since I was in the wreck, my back and hips give me issues from time to time. Since I injured my knee and have feet problems I take breaks. Not a lot of breaks because I just want to get done and the more breaks I take the longer this project is going to take. However, the minute I sit down to put my knee up or get something to drink….they pounce. They just know. They have a sixth sense about this kind of thing. It is crazy.

 

Do your kids know when you’re relaxing? even if they’re in another room?

Be their calm

 
Little people are constantly learning…. and not just their language and math skills… They take the ques on how to act, react and be from the people around them.. We are their role models and for many years, we are their everything…

So when they are overwhelmed by big emotions…..it is up to the parents to be their calm, teach them how to be calm and not join their chaos….

I know its hard… especially if their big emotions are coming at a time when you, as the parent, are busy. As a stay at home mom, I am always up. I am always doing something. There is always something that needs to be done. So when my two year old comes to me because she misplaced a toy and is heartbroken…it can get kind of in the way. Which being an emotional person myself…could end up with me freaking out…. And I usualy don’t freak out when she loses a toy. I do however get a litte annoyed when she clings to my leg while I am trying to cook dinner because well the stove is really flipping hot….

But it is complicated for kids. Because they’re overwhelmed. They’re developing new emotions that they’re not ready for. That they’re not 100% sure how to handle. And when you’re a busy parent. It is so easy to join in their chaos… But in the end….it just makes it worse…

By joining their chaos, you’re showing them that the way to handle said emotion is by creating more chaos, staying in the chaos and not learning a way to fix the situation. Therefore, when your kid is developing new emotions that overwhelm them…..that cause them chaos. It is our job to be their calm… be that person that they can come to when they are unaware of how to react or how to change what they’re feeling…. It is our job to help them learn to calm down. We are their rocks. We are their calm in the crazy ocean that is feelings. As a mother with anxiety disorder, I know how overwhelming and overbearing emotions can be…. So for just a little while, I can put my emotions….my chaos…. on the back burner and be the calm in the storm…

With your kids

 

When you have kids, you think you have to be the parent all the time. That there is no fun involve. That you have to be strict and keep your kids on the straight and narrow. That playing is only for the kids. But that is so not true. There are so many benefits from playing with your kids.

And I don’t just mean that playing games with your kids benefits the kids development, because it does. But it also benefits the parents.

Think about it. You’ve had a really long stressful day. Constantly running errands or working. You’re stressed out. Tired. Worn down. The world on your shoulders.  Now how would you feel if you take 30 minutes and make a fort with your kid and pretend you’re camping.

You have to fully get into it too for the benefits to work. If you’re truly involved, then you forget about the worry. You forget about work. You forget about the stress. Just for a little while. You’re enjoying yourself. You in make believe. You can leave all the stress behind just for a little bit each day. And it feels amazing. It also helps your kids. In such amazing ways. Our kids are only little for so long. They only live in make believe land for so long. They’re only willing to play with their parents for so long before they turn into preteens and teens and only want either their privacy or their friends. So why not jump right into their castle and be their shining knight while you both still can?

The time that you spend with your kids is extremely important to their development. Even if you’re in make believe land for 10 minutes. You’re helping their developmental skills. You’re helping them process things. You’re even helping them create stories. Beginning middle and end. That is essential when they start school. Many times my kid, who is in 2nd grade, has assignments where she has to make up stories. Like what she did for the weekend. She has to plan it out. Beginning, middle, end. So when you’re being the dragon to his knight, he probably came up with a beginning as to how the dragon invaded his castle, a middle as to why he’s fighting the dragon and the end where he defeats the dragon.

When you’re playing with your toddler, they hear you say the words. The mimic what you say. You’re helping them learn to speak. You’re helping them develop and fine tune their motor skills.

You’re helping them work with others by working with you. You’re helping them understand their own self control. You’re helping them with their leadership skills and how to handle their own emotions. The time that you take to play with your kids, is essential for the development.

 

I know as a parent we can be so tired. I know I am. Some morning I am up when my husband gets up for work. I take my kid and my nephews to school. I cook, clean, pay bills run all the errands. Pick the kids up from school handle homework. Do my own homework. Write a blog. Usually I am the one taking care of the yard. I try to take as much on as I can since my husband works 60+ hours a week. So, I am usually so tired that I just want to put my feet up for five minutes. Especially when my plantar fasciitis is acting up. However, when my two year old wants to pretend I’m a horsey… I become a horsey. When my oldest wants to pretend I am a monster she has to defeat, I become that big bad monster that gets defeated. It is easy to be stressed out, I am all the time. But I don’t want to pass that stress and anxiety on to my kids. I am a mom. Stress is my job and my husbands. Not our kids. It is also our job to create memories with our kids.

Since becoming a mom

 

When you become a mom…..everything changes.  I don’t just mean your body either. I mean everything changes.

Your body does change. I have had two kids and still haven’t lost all the baby weight. It sucks. I also have more stretch marks than I have ever thought I would. Taste buds change. your sleep patterns change. The way you think changes.

If you had an anxiety or depression issue before kids, it changes as well. Before kids, my anxiety or depression level only rose due to stress. The more stressed I was the more depressed or anxious I was.

However, since having kids…. I get anxious over pretty much anything. I have days where I just feel down or blue, depressed. Now I work very hard to get thru these days so that it doesn’t affect my kids or those around me.

But when my first kid was born….something changed deep inside me.  My brother likes to say that I became a bitch. Because I would no longer allow him to run over me. I was stronger because I had this little person dependent on me. I had to be that person who would fight for her tooth and nail.

 

Becoming a mom… it is one the most amazing things that I could have ever asked for. I love it. I love my girls. I love how they made me grow and change. I was 19 when I got pregnant with my first kid. Because of her, I grew up. I didn’t become some couch jumping young adult with nothing going on in their life. The minute I had that positive pregnancy test in front of me. I knew. I knew that moment that I wanted to be a great mom. That I would fight tooth and nail to be that kind of mom. We literately started from the bottom. We were barely able to pay for a motel room each week. From there staying with friends and family. To our own apartment, then to staying with my mom, to a trailer and now owning our own home. I have fought for everything we have. For my kids. When I was little, we didn’t always have food, water, or lights. Things were difficult. I knew when I looked at my first pregnancy test that I wouldn’t ever let my kid know how it felt to be hungry because there was no food in the house. I didn’t care what kind of job I had to take,  I didn’t care about how many jobs I had to work. We were going to be okay.

My kids give me drive. They give me passion. They give me a reason. The person I am today, is because I became a mom.

 

What changes have you experienced since becoming a mom.  or dad

Kids chores

 

I haven’t really came across anyone who doesn’t have their kid do some type of chores. I have my kids do chores and when my nephews are here, I expect them to pitch in as well.

I am no maid.

Yes, I clean all the time, but when it comes to the girls’ room, that is their responsibility. So I thought I would write about the benefits of chores.

1.) Teaches them responsibilities.

I am the type of mom that if I go into the room and trip over a toy, that toy goes into toy jail. Especially if I told said kid to clean their room.  I also teach my kids that it is easier to clean up a few toys than a whole room. So that kind of teaches them that when they’re done with one toy and they’re no longer playing with it, then they should put it up before getting another one out.

The two year old hasn’t quite gotten the hang of things yet, but she does try to assist her sister on cleaning things up. Then there are days where the two year old decides that every toy should be on the floor.

My oldest, she has learned from chores that it is her responsibility to keep up with her toys because leaving them out could mean that toy gets taken away or broken.

2.) A sense of accomplishment.

I try to teach my oldest that I shouldn’t have to tell her to clean her room. That doesn’t always go over the way I want it. But then there are some days where I will be in the kitchen or doing something and she’ll tell me to come here and she has cleaned her room and made her bed without being told. She feels accomplished and as a parent who wants to inspire my kids…. I acknowledge that accomplishment.

3.) Delayed Gratification

We offer our oldest an allowance for doing chores without being asked. Now if we have to harp on her all the time, then she doesn’t get paid for it. However, there was one time where she had her cousin/best friend over and after they ate dinner, without being asked, she cleared the table and wiped it down. I was utterly proud. However, she doesn’t get her allowance the day of. And we don’t hand out actual physical cash because it can get lost. So what we do is keep a tally of the days she has done chores and if there are any extra bonuses. When we go to the store, she ask if she has enough money in her ‘imaginary bank’ to buy a toy. She asks if she has enough for a little, medium or large toy. If she doesn’t have enough, she simply says that she’ll have to work harder to earn the money and that maybe next time she will have enough to buy something.

4.) Self discipline

Chores teach kids self discipline. What that means to me is that if your kid is not responsible for the mess they make and only depend on others to clean up behind them, they’ll carry that into adult hood and could possibly live in a mess. Our oldest knows that if she makes the mess she has to clean it. She cannot go to granny’s or do any fun things if she has a mess left behind

It also teaches her to allow time to clean up. So that if she knows that she has to go to bed at 9 and brush her teeth at 8:30 then she will need to have her room cleaned up by 8 or else the next night her bed time will be moved up earlier.

5.) Independence

We never want our kids to grow up but as parents we need to make sure that we are teaching our children how to adult without us. That doesn’t mean make a 6 year old think and act like an 18 year old. No! What we’re really trying with chores is to teach them how to handle things independently and the amount of independence grows with age. A six year old is not expected to cook by themselves. However, my six year old does help set the table while I am cooking. It teaches her that meals such as dinner should be ate away from technology. She will put the plates out and get the water for everyone eating. Soon, as she grows older, she will be able to cook on her own. Right now, I let her help me cook. Her favorite thing to cook is eggs.

6.) Chores create teachable moments

When my kid was watching me do the dishes, she didn’t understand why I did them in a certain order. This allowed me to teach her why doing the greasy frying pans last is easier and better because it doesn’t transfer the grease to other dishes. Why does mommy vacuum after dusting? This allowed me to teach her that if you dust, the dust will fall on the floor. If you vacuum before dusting, then you will be vacuuming again. There are many teachable moments in chores, you just gotta let them come to you with the questions and be ready to answer.

7.) Good work ethics.

Chores teach good work ethics. Work smarter not harder. Sometimes my kid is very good at this and sometimes not so much. But she is still learning. There are days where if she has one toy out but wants to play with another, she will put the first toy away before getting the second. This allows for a less cleaning time and more play time. Now she’s only 6 so sometimes she still just pulls them all out. and that makes clean up harder but she still gets it done with no fuss.

8.) Finish what  you started

Chores are a great way to teach children to finish what they start. You’re clothes are just going to get dirty if you don’t put them up and dump them on the floor. The dishes won’t get washed if you just pile them on the table. This can transfer to school and later in life

9.) Respect

Chores is a great way for kids to learn respect. If they are responsible for their own items, then they will respect them more. Especially if doing chores allows them to buy items. Then they will have even more respect for those items because they worked hard for them.

10.) Finding fun

Chores have always been a tedious job. I, as an adult, still don’t like to do chores but I have to get them done anyway. But I find a way to make things fun. Especially when I have music playing and I’m dancing around. Kids look at the chores the same way. So it allows them to find a way to make something so boring and turn it into fun. Like who can get the most toys cleaned up the fastest.

Picky eaters

 

One of the biggest challenges that I have faced as a mom isn’t dirty diapers or sick kids. I have a natural maternal instinct so the sick kids I can handle. The dirty diapers comes with being a parent. What my challenge is….. Picky Eaters!

My oldest didn’t use to be a picky eater when she first started eating solid food. She was actually a vegetarian for 6 months. Wouldn’t touch anything meat related. So that made me a vegetarian for 6 months because there was no point in fixing two meals and financially it wasn’t worth two separate meals.

But then something changed when she was 2. She would only eat chicken nuggets, pizza, eggs, and pizza rolls. it was a battle to get her to eat anything else. Sometimes she would eat spaghetti but not the meat. She would pick that out. When I was working all the time, it was just easier to cave and give in to her pickiness than to actually fight to get her to eat something else. I was exhausted.

But when I became a home mom, I had more time to try to work things in. But if she could see it, you would forget about it. So there was half the battle. I know that you can shred cooked broccoli and hide it in mac n cheese but if she saw a speck of green she wouldn’t eat. That is where shakes came into. I could make a banana smoothie with spinach, put it in a cup that you couldn’t see thru with a straw and she loved it.

But I couldn’t hide everything and it got really hard. She loved carrots. But only the sweet kind you get from a Japanese restaurant. So I could use those and slowly decrease the sweetness and she didn’t know.

But as she got a little older and we were preparing for her to start her first year of school, we knew that if she wanted to eat school lunch she would have to expand her taste buds. And to do so, whenever I cooked food, she would have to eat a small bowl of what I cooked and if she didn’t like it she could find something else for dinner which usually consisted of pizza rolls, grilled cheese or chicken nuggets. However, to her surprise, she sometimes liked what I had cooked and asked for a second bowl. There are sometimes, I know she won’t eat what I cooked but per our agreement, she has to try it. I never give her too much because if she doesn’t like it then it is wasting food.

It probably isn’t the best way to fight the picky eater syndrome. But it is a start. She is seeing that there are other foods that she really likes, like chicken pie and lasagna soup. I even let her help meal plan. Where in the 60 meals I choose she gets to pick 10 of her all time favorites that are not grilled cheese, breakfast, chicken nuggets or pizza. Then of course we do have pizza nights all the time. Maybe twice a month. But we don’t order out pizza. That is for special occasions.

Nope. We sit together at the kitchen table and make our own pizza. And we make it stuffed crust. Even the two year old loves to help put cheese and pepperoni on the pizza.

The picky-ness hasn’t ended yet. But we are working on it. One meal at a time.