Don’t rescue

One of the hardest things that I find about being a parent is wanting to save my kids from everything. I grew up with a single mom and was left with my olders brothers a lot. Who in turned left me home alone a lot. Therefore, I wasn’t saved from a lot of the issues that I had to deal with that had lasting affect. Therefore, I want to save my kids from a lot of the things that could cause a lasting affect on them. Which is always why we’ve cut certain family members out of their lives…. even though said family members are going to social media to bash us every single chance that they get. (When you ignore one child in favor of the other… you will get called out on it…..and when you resort to acting like a child instead of apologizing….then you will get cut out)

However, how can kids grow into successful adults if you’re constantly saving them from their battles when they’re a kid? This is something that I am struggling with and learning to do every single day. So this is for me as well as any other parent. We need to teach our kids how to handle things so that when they’re older or even if they face situations like this in school, in public or at their grandparents….they will know how to handle it. We also need to teach our kids how to politely ask for help instead of demanding that we do it.
I am having that issue with my youngest nephew. Only because as a little toddler I didn’t make him act a certain way or say certain things so he grew accustomed to that…..now he is set in this behaviour and I am working on changing it. It is a learning process for both of us, actually.

Show your kids how to handle the things that no one showed you how to do. It will help them grow into great teenagers and even better adults. I understand that sometimes it is just easier to do it for them. Like there are so many situations where I am like, okay I’ll do this for you. Then they aren’t learning how to do it. They are depending on you to do it every single time. Instead, take two seconds to show them how to handle the situation. For instance, my kid is 7. She gets hungry in the morning. Usually while I am running around getting her bookbag together, cause I might have forgotten to sign her agenda. Or I am packing her lunch, picking up clothes….etc. She would come while I am in the middle of something…and want food. Then I would be like okay stop what I am doing go pop an Eggo in the toaster and wait… However, one day I was like hmmm. What if I move the toaster forward where she can reach it. So I did. I pulled her into the kitchen and asked her to get an Eggo…. She went grabbed it and was going to hand it to me… Instead, I told her to go towards the toaster. I said, do you see those two slots? -yes. Why don’t you put that Eggo in one of them? -ok… Now push the lever down. -ok. now you wait. It took just a few seconds of one day. Now every morning, I slide the toaster forward where she can get to it. And when she’s up in the morning and wants something to eat. She grabs her Eggo and pops it into the toaster. A simple thing. And now she knows what to do.

Bad week

Have you ever felt like it just wasn’t your week. Like this was just a bad day. A bad moment. We’ve all had those. Things sometimes just don’t go our way. Somethings are just out of our cotrol. And it makes it even harder if you suffer from anxiety or any other mental illness. It gets to you on a mental level that can be hard to describe to those who don’t understand what that is.

However, I don’t know who needs to hear this…. A bad moment, a bad day, a bad week…doesn’t make you a bad parent.

Your kid loves you no matter what. So you burnt the toast this morning… It is okay. It will be okay. Grab that TV dinner, throw it in the microwave and give yourself a few minutes to regroup. That is the great thing about TV dinners, I know they’re all the rage of being unhealthy, but they give you 2-5 minutes of a break. A mental break at that can be essential.

You’ve had a bad day…. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes the moon isn’t aligned with your sign (or whatever that saying is) and everything just seems against you. That is okay. you’re still a good parent. Once you’ve gotten them off to bed, school lunch packed, house picked up…. run yourself a nice hot bubble bath, pour you some wine and relax. There is always tomorrow. You will be better tomorrow.

You’ve had a bad week…. That happens. Bill pile up. Things happen. School can make the kids go a little extra crazy. That is okay too. Take a Sunday off. Stay in your jammies. Or do one of our family’s favorite down time activities. We get a bunch of pillows and blankets and put them on the living room floor. We pop some popcorn and grab other snacks and drinks and then make it real dark…. It’s time for a movie.

Just because something bad has happened doesn’t automatically make you a bad parent. Life happens and a lot of the time we don’t have control over what is going to happen. We don’t have any control over what the next person is going to do. You only have control over yourself and how you react to the situation. Instead of reacting negatively with the thought that you’re being a bad parent….take a second to remember, that kid adores you. You are their world. Readjust. Refocus. Pick up and move on.

I understand it can be an extremely difficult thing to do. I honestly have the most trouble with this myself. I am always having to remind myself its nothing to fuss about. Stop fussing. Because that voice tells me all the time that fussing makes me a bad parent. I have to remember that I need to readjust. Refocus and talk to my kids instead of yelling or fussing at them. But that doesn’t make me a bad parent. It makes me a loud parent. But even my talking voice is loud so. It is a learning experience. We all are learning and growing as parents Every. Single. Day. So just remember to relax. Take a breath and know that there is always tomorrow.

Their inner voice

The way that we talk to our kids becomes their inner voice. This is true for all kids. They don’t have to be your kids per say. They could be your younger sibling, your cousin or a kid that you’re babysitting. And that voice stays with them into their adult life. It essentially defines who they are going to be. Or how they are going to hold themselves.

I know this is true. I live it. Every single day. And it is a struggle to get that voice out of my head. Especially in regards to my appearance…more so my weight.

You see, I grew up poor. We didn’t have a lot of food a lot of the time. Now its called food insecurity. So my favorite snack ould be a slice of bread because bread can be cheap and we usually had a loaf lying around the kitchen. However, anytime that my oldest brother saw me eating a slice of bread….he would say ‘you’re going to get fat’. Every Single Time.

That voice became my life. I am fat. But that isn’t from lack of trying to lose weight. I got to the gym. I eat semi healthy. I am active. As much as I can be since that one car accident has left lasting effects on my body. However, instead of looking at my curves thinking ‘hey I am thick’ or ‘Hey I have a nice shape’ I look in the mirror and think I am fat.

This stems from my father always calling my oldest brother an idiot That became his inner voice. So he learning that lashing out like this was okay from his father, he decided that (even without meaning to) it would be okay to pass this behavior down to his younger siblings. Now my other brother never got along with our brother, so he never endured this ‘voice’. However, I am the mediator between the two of them so I have a relationship with both. And because I love both of my brothers….. I have this voice inside my head that says I am fat. Even after the birth of my first daughter, I dropped downto a size 7….the smallest I have ever been in my adult life. I still looked into the mirror and thought that I was fat.

I have two daughters of my own as well as two nephews who I see Monday thru Friday like clockwork. I don’t want my insecurities….my inner voice to become theirs. That is why I try so hard to pass on positive things to them. Positive messages. My oldest nephew loves to draw. Every single time he shows me a drawing, even if it isn’t perfect, I tell him that it is awesome. That he is doing a good job. That he should keep it up. I cannot draw. I have told him that on numerous occasions. However, the fact that he can look at a movie character and then draw it out, even if it is not perfect, it pretty impressive to me and I feel that it is only right that he hear positive feedback. I understand that yes, criticism is an effective way to get better. However, we don’t need to be negatively criticising others. For instance, I could say ‘hey bud, his arm is looking a little weird, have you tried drawing it this way’. A comment that wouldn’t harmfully affect his mental state. However, saying things like ‘you can’t draw’ or ‘you should give that up already’ can have a negative effect.

I know this all too well too because I hear that voice all the time. I am a nit picker. A perfectionist. And when I cannot get something perfect, I think I am no good at anything. It is a spiriling cirlce. I know that there are so many people on Facebook and Twitter who are saying that we are rasing a bunch of sissy’s because we’re not telling them like it is. Instead we’re ‘handling them like glass’. Yes, I agree. To a certain extent. This upcoming generation is taking everything way too seriously. They are getting offended by almost everything. Like I read that they’re trying to get Baby Its cold outside taken off the radio station because it goes against the Me Too movement. However, If you pay attention to the lyrics and the time period that it was written, you will see that he’s not trying to take advantage of her. Instead, shes trying to stay. She wants to stay but the social norm of the time period says that she cannot. Because they are not married. So she’s basically saying hey I cannot drink and drive I would like to stay with you.

I’m sorry, I went off on a tangent. It is a difficult task not to say what you think. Especially if you think it is what your kid needs to hear. The early stages up until their teenage years are very critical. The way we talk and treat them are going to be reflected in their own minds. They will then reflect this behaviour out onto the world.

Take care of yourself

Being a parent is by far one of the greatest things anyone can do. Now that doesn’t mean that everyone should be a parent. And I’m not saying that as a bad thing. Not everyone wants kids and that is fine. Because they know that they wouldn’t make good parents. However, that moment when you first hold your kid, at least for me, was the greatest moments of my life. I was 19 when my first daughter was born. The moment they laid her on my chest, I knew that being is a mother was one of the best things I could ever do.

 

While being a parent is by far one of the best things that could happen to you in your lifetime, it can be draining. Especially when the kids are younger. And especially when you suffer from a mental illness. With my anxiety, I fear all of the little and big things alike. It is like they are the same level of bad. A fall, a scrape etc. And these moments can be so draining. If you don’t have anxiety and have never experienced an anxiety/panic attack then you don’t understand how utterly draining they are.

As much as you want to keep trucking and pushing along for your kid because they need you. You are their everything. You cannot give them the best that they need, you cannot keep giving your all if you’re not at your best. It is like the saying ‘you cannot fill from an empty cup’ The same concept goes into being a parent.

Now there are some who think that if you’re taking some ‘me time’ then you are neglecting your parental duties. That is absolutely rubbish. If you keep giving your all to your kids without taking care of yourself, soon your kids are going to feel it. They’re gonna start reacting to it as well.

So you have to take care of yourself. You just have to. For the good of your family. Just a little bit a day can do so much for you. For your anxiety, for your relationship, for your family. Everyone benefits from you recharging. The best analogy I can give is your cell phone. At 100% its an amazing thing. It calls texts social media EVERYTHING. But once that battery gets down to 10% it starts to lag, slow down. Soon its dead. The battery has been completely used up and you cannot use it anymore. That is what it is like as a parent. If you don’t recharge then you’re not going to be of any use.

For me, I recharge by taking a long shower or a relaxing bath. My husband comes home and takes over some of the parental duties while I go and just digress. I relax. I recharge. I emerge clean and mentally refreshed.

So take some time to recharge. Everyone benefits from it.

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?

5 go to meals

So, lets be honest…. we all want to create perfect meals every day and have fantastic, healthy meals for our families. And as a stay at home mom, It is kind of my job to make sure that my family eats 3 square meals a day…. Well sorta. My oldest gets a quick breakfast in the morning because she is not the greatest at waking up for school and then she eats lunch at school and then gets dinner.

And as a parent, there are just some days where I just don’t want to cook or I am too sick or exhausted to craft one of those fantastic meals. So there are usually an arsenal of go to meals that moms, or at least I do, have in our back pocket for these days.

 

One of the biggest go to meals for days that are busy or days where I just don’t feel like spending too much time standing in the kitchen is Spaghetti. It is quick and easy to cook. It takes less than 30 minutes to have a hot and delicious meal on the table. And I usually have 3 variations in my arsenal. There’s regular spaghetti, baked spaghetti and taco spaghetti. It is amazing. And although there are the pasta carb debate going around that too much pasta isn’t health….there are ways that I can sneak health into these meals.  There are noodles that are made out of vegetables. And you cannot tell, or at least my kids can’t when they eat it.

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Another go to meal is hot dog mac and cheese.  Another non healthy meal that some of those parents would never put on the table for the kids.  It is the quickest easiest meal that my kids love. It is extremely simple and literately 2 ingredients. Takes less than 20 minutes to get on the plate. Its Mac and cheese, which I use Velveeta I love the ooey gooey cheese rather than the powder, and hotdogs. It couldn’t be more simple. We don’t eat it very often but when I have had one of those days, this is one of the meals my kids ask for.

Most people do Taco Tuesday. I do Taco Pizza. It is simple and a hit. Especially with the husband. It is simple and I can put it all together in 30 mins or less. It is crescent rolls pinched together to fit my pizza pan. Covered with refried beans, taco meat, diced tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and cheese. It tastes amazing and is easier than it actually sounds.

My favorite go to meal when its cold and we’re feeling under the weather is Potato Soup. It is creamy and yummy and honestly the hardest part is peeling and cutting the potatoes. And I can cook and dice up cauliflower and broccoli and sneak it into the soup without my family really knowing. It is so good that I usually eat so much that I fall into a food coma. Honestly the best thing in the world. I absolutely love it.

My 5th go to meal would have to be pizza. If I am under the weather or just not in the mood to cook….we usually order in. But If I want to include my kids, which I try to do often because our oldest just adores cooking and watches the cooking shows, we make homemade stuff crust pizza. This is a go to meal because I don’t have to do much, my daughter does.

 

These are my five go to meals…. what are yours?