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.

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

Time out

So, there are so many discussions and arguments on how you should be a parent. How you should raise your kid. If you’re a punishment type parent, you’re wrong. If you’re a loving no punishment type parent, you’re wrong. There are just so many people who will butt into your life and your parenting that it will make your head spin. I mean these people will butt in without you asking for their help.

And low and behold, if you spank your child and people find out. Be prepared for some soul who thinks they know what is right and how to be the perfect parent….they’ll most like call child protective services.

Because everyone knows how to parent someone else’s child better than the actual parent.

It gets my head in a spin. That is why I don’t usually speak out about my parenting style. My anxiety makes me wonder if someone will take what I have to say the wrong way.

 

Let me go into some history on how I was raised.

I was spanked. Not very often. Because I knew that spanking was the ultimate punishment. That means I must have done something so bad that I skipped all other levels of punishment. For instance, when I was about 10 or so, my older cousin took me and her kids to a basketball game at the high school. Well we were on our way out to the car but she got hung up talking to someone, she told us to stay with her….we took off running across the street to the car….the street where other attendees were leaving…

This resulted in all of us lining up to receive a ‘spanking’. Basically, we were asked what we did wrong, what should we have done and then we were to stick our hands out palms down so that we could get popped on the hand. There was no beating. Nothing that would constitute abuse. We knew we were wrong. We knew we weren’t supposed to go anywhere and yet we did. My ‘popping’ was harder than the others, not by much just a little, because I was the oldest and I should have known better and kept the others from running into the road instead of following and leading a bad example.

I was grounded, I knew I was in big trouble if my mother yelled my entire name. Boy did I know I was in trouble. And that is all she would have to do. I never got past that. I never wanted to disappoint my mom or my grandma. I didn’t want them to be hurt or upset by some type of actions that I may think of. Short term gain for long term pain. I always thought in the back of my head, if I do this will I get in trouble. I wasn’t emotionally traumatized by punishment. It gave me a responsibility type of mind frame. It gave me the cause/response, action/consequence type of thought process. I am actually the only one of my mothers kids who never got in trouble with the law or lashed out in any way shape or form. Heck, I see my mom all the time and we text non stop. She is my best friend. My mother was actually more lenient on my siblings so as each grew more and more out of control she began reigning in the ropes.

So here are three articles in the argument against time out.

Do Timeouts Really Work

Why you should never use timeouts

Why Time out is out

Now these three articles have some interesting input on the psychological effects of ‘time outs’

However, every kid is different. I knew that if my mom or some other adult family member put me in the corner, popped my hand, raised their voice, or took something away from me. I wasn’t affected psychologically. Now I am pretty sure that these people would argue that my anxiety and occasional depression is from the type of discipline that I was subjected to as a kid…. No… Just no. Please don’t try to blame the way I was disciplined for my messed up psych. It is so much more than that. It is the lack of discipline of others that cause the shit storm in my head. It is the abuse that I had to endure. It is my brother dressing up in scary ass masks and banging on the windows during a storm when I thought I was home alone. It is my brother putting my other brother head thru a window. It is my brother putting a knife to my other brother throat. It is the fact that my brother would tell me things like walking in a ditch near the sewer pipe would get me killed because evil trolls lived in the sewers. It is the sexual abuse that I endured. There are many other things that only a highly skilled psychiatrist will be able to explain

None of that has to do with my mom spanking me, putting me in time out or taking away my things. Actually, my mom disciplining me taught me that there are somethings that are wrong. What helped with that, is that if my mom spanked me, put me in time out, took anything away or any other form of punishment, she would talk it out with me. She would explain what I did wrong, why it was wrong and we would explore options that I could have used or should use in the future. She would then explain my punishment and why that degree of punishment was being used. My mom would always talk to us about everything. We may have grown up poor, but she would explain why certain bills didn’t get paid on time. I truly admire my mother.

So that leads up to my raising of my kids. I do not and will not ever ‘abuse’ my kids. I will pop their hands if the action calls for it, or the butt depending on the severity of the action. For instance, my oldest was playing with her sister and decided it would be funny to shove, not push, shove her off the bed. I so happen to see it and sat down with my oldest and discussed what happened, why it was wrong and why a ‘popping’ on the behind was the punishment being used. She didn’t cry. She didn’t fuss. She didn’t whine. She understood that what she had done was wrong and that every action has a consequence.

One of the articles stated that time out only works if it is used in a loving environment. Which leads me to wondering about why you would have kids if you didn’t have a loving environment. I love my girls more than words could ever explain. I would go to the ends of hell for them. I would literally do anything for them. And they know this. We have a reward system but we also have a discipline system. It baffles me that there are so many people who will tell you what will work for every kid. When not every kid is the same. Every kid is different. My oldest is more sensitive than my youngest. While a ‘popping’ would hurt my oldest feelings, which is why it is the last on the punishment list. But that same popping barely even phases my youngest. However, taking toys away from the youngest or time out is the preferred for the youngest cause that is the form that really gets her attention.

What I am saying is, it is no one else’s decision how I punish my kids. They are not being abused and they are happy healthy children.

However, after reviewing the articles, I am baffled that there are articles discussing that time outs are actually ineffective. If you’re taking away time out, which is the lowest form of discipline, then how are you making sure that your kids turn into well behaving, respectable adults?

 

What do you think?

What’s the point?

Everyone knows that yesterday, 3/20/2018 was the first day of spring. Right?

And what does spring bring us? Flowers, sunshine, warmth maybe green grass. Of course it also means bees and pollen. So pretty soon I am going to have to start taking an allergy pill everyday. Stupid pollen.

So after a crazy, whacky winter of freezing my bum off, I am looking forward to spring and summer means swimming. But no. We’re in the south. Where all of our seasons hit in one flipping week. Monday it was so warm that I went to the store at like 8 at night without a coat cause it was so warm. Yesterday it was cold and rainy and all around depressing.

This morning, tho. Well this morning I got woken up at 5:30 to a phone call from the school. A 3 hour delay. A 3 hour flipping delay and at 6 am there was no flipping snow on the ground. The ground was barely even wet. Like WTH!!! and of course I was excited about not having to get up and get the big kid dressed and then fight with the little kid to get in the car because lately she has been having tantrums in the morning when it is time to take her sister. I guess she thinks if she throws a fit then we won’t leave and her sister will stay home. yeah nope.

But it didn’t even start snowing til about 8 am. And it wasn’t sticking. Let me repeat that. We had fluffy wet white stuff falling to the ground and disappearing. like magic. POOF. And there is a 3 hour flipping delay. I can understand if the temperature was anywhere near freezing like 33 degrees but no when I checked our temp was 38 degrees and no ice anywhere. The temperature hadn’t dropped anywhere near freezing all night.

Okay.. I know this is sounding like really bad on my part and like I am against schools looking out for our kids….Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids school they are so attentative and awesome. My issue is my husband left for work at 5 am and made it to work 20 mintues away with absolutely no problem and we have a 3 hour delay for school. It makes no sense. I would have been fine with a 2 hour delay

You see my issue with 3 hour delays is simple. There is no time to learn anything. To do anything. The school doors doesn’t open until 10:30 am. The late bell doesn’t ring until 11:05 am and they still feed the kids lunch. Yes I do believe they take 20 mins to eat in class or something. But school ends at 2:30. I am in line every day a 1.

So I drop off the kids at 10:30 am and I have enough time to go grab a bite to eat for lunch and watch half a movie then I am right back up here to pick my kid up. Seriously. I have to condense anything into 2 and a half hours when we have 3 hour delays. Then the rest of my day feels like I have done absolutely nothing.

And today of all days. I have family in from across the country that I have not seen in 20 years. I have to be ready to go out to eat with them in 4 hours after I get my kid which means getting myself and the girls ready to go. I gotta make sure my oldest home work is done. I gotta clean the tornado that hit my house while I was at the grocery store last night.

Seriously….is there some kind of button that the kids hit the minute the mom leaves??? It seems like everytime I leave the girls with their grandmother or their dad to run errands I come home and its like the twilight zone. Its not my house anymore. It is crazy. Then I end up either fussing for hours to make everyone help do it right or I spend an hour cleaning it by myself.

So….today… I feel rushed. all because a little white frozen water fell from the sky and disappeared on the ground.

Try again

I swear I always feel like I am a bad person.

As the day ends, my thoughts never go to what went right or what I did good.

They constantly replay every little bad thing that I ever did.

I am a bad person

I am a bitch.

Well that last one is true.

I told my husband when we got together almost 9 years ago that ‘I am a bitch, if you cannot handle that then I don’t know if we can make this work’.

I am a bitch in the sense that I will say what I need to say for who I need to. I will do whatever needs to be done for those I love. I am a protective person by nature. So if that means that I have to be a bitch. Then so be it.

I use to be a happy person always with a smile on her face. But then that dirty, nasty demon named anxiety set in. Now I am always worried. Always feeling. Always in resting bitch face.

But being a parent. Especially such a young person. I became a mom when I was 19. I partied for 2 months before I found out I was pregnant. I was a wild teen for literally 2 months. That is it. When that test came back positive…. I knew I was done with all of the childish games. There was a child that was coming into my life that needed a mom not a teen.

But I started this journey only knowing what it is like to babysit or be an aunt.

So….

I make mistakes.

Even now that I have 2 kids. Because there are things that my six year old is like that I never learned how to cope with. I have to be the adult.

When you’re a kid you think that being an adult will be so awesome. But they never really told you what being an adult is really like.

So when the time comes that I need to lay down for bed. After I have checked on my kids for the thousandth time.. my mind plays back every mistake I made. Every little thing that I could have done differently.

But what I need to do. And what you should do, if you’re a parent, is remember that the sun will rise tomorrow. And we all can try again.

because honestly, that is all we can do. Is try. There is no gold medals for parents.

Who cares what those soccer moms think about your parenting style. It is yours. As long as your kids not some asshat then you’re doing a good job. Even if your kid is an asshat, you’re still doing a good job because you’re trying.

I mean you can be as good as a parent as you can but you cannot always determine how your kid will turn out. I mean my mom is my best friend. It has always been the two of us fighting thru poverty, homelessness and all kinds of issues. But even though she took her 3 kids out of a shitty situation with my dad and worked 12 hours a day sometimes. My brother still caused a lot of issues.

So, go a little easier on yourself. The sun is rising tomorrow and you get to start over again. You still have time to fix your mistakes and you still have time to show how much you love your kids. As long as there is still oxygen in your lungs, your heart is still beating and you can still do it. Then do it.

We may have a mental illness. We may over think. We may make mistakes. We may fall down. But we can pick ourselves up and try again.

Kids Change Everything

If you have kids, then you know that there are numerous books that describe what pregnancy will be like. They tell you what to expect from conseption up til you give birth. They tell you how your body will change, how your moods will swing. The books will even tell you all the gross, nasty details of actually giving birth. Never google what after birth looks like.

And movies kind of show you what is going to happen but never really prepare you. You see with my first kid, when it came time to push (which that labor story is pretty simple, both kids were born within 30 minutes of getting to the hospital) I thought I had to scream. Honestly, I started yelling like it was the end of the world. Like Bruce Willis didn’t sacrafice himself on that astroid in Armagedon and we were all going to die. Why? Because if you see child birth in any movie, you see the mother screaming so loud that those waiting in the waiting room hear them and think something is wrong. But I didn’t need to scream and maybe that is because of my wide hips. I was always told that I had birthing hips. Maybe that is why both of my kids were born quite easily naturally. No epidural needle has ever touched my back. And that is the way that I wanted it. Because my aunt got an epidural back in the 80’s and they never told her to not get up after getting it and it honestly messed her back up and now she gets these insufferable migraines.

Now, I have been around kids for a very long time. I have been babysitting since I was 11 (not always by choice, thanks to my oldest brother) But I never read anywhere what to expect when having kids would do to my already messed up mental health.

When I was a kid, my mom worked all the time. My oldest brother is 9 years older than me. And as time went on, day cares got more expensive. So by the time my brother was 13 he was watching after me and our other brother who is only 5 years older than me. But as my brother got older he no longer wanted his weird little sister tagging along with him everywhere with his friends. So I would be left home alone. I remember being in 3rd grade being home alone at night, making my own dinner (thank you tv dinners) and putting myself to bed by 7 pm because I had EOG’s the next day.

My oldest brother loves scary movies and those creepy clowns. And I think I hate them because of him. He thought it was funny to run around the outside of the house banging on the windows while I was home alone inside. Which is partially why I am always so anxious at night. alone.

I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder when I was almost 16 because I was having constant panic attacks. In the middle of school. hyperventalating to the point that I almost pass out ( I did pass out once) So the school called my mom and she took me to the ER and my regular doctor shortly after where I was diagnosed. With this awful anxiety disorder. And my brother only continued to make things worse after that.

So, there I am with a kid. Who was premature. And so tiny. And I wasn’t as scared with her as I was with my second one which is weird. But there I was at almost 20 years old, responsible for this whole new human being. She was mine. My responsibility. And there my anxiety began to get worse. not that it wasn’t already bad. But it just made things a thousand times more there.

Before kids, I could push it so deep inside that no one could ever see. But now that I have kids…. that anxiety is so close to the surface. Because not only am I anxious about my actions and myself, I am anxious about my kids. And it is not the normal anxiety you feel like should you change jobs or not. Noooo

You see, what they never tell you in those expecting books is that you should expect your mental health to take a hit. You should expect to feel more overwhelmed because you’re battling a mental illness that now circles not only you but how your kids are. They never tell you that having kids changes everything.

My oldest daughter is the most sensitive child that I have ever seen. So when I am repeating myself for the 20th time in 10 minutes and I get a little aggravated so I get a little stern, she starts to cry and looks at me with these weeping eyse like I just killed her puppy. Which sends me into a whirlwind of am I a bad parent? This happens quite often.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I was in this awful car wreck that totaled my SUV. which isn’t as easy as you would think consider half of my windows were shattered and the rear end was in my second row. I had to get shots every week from 15 weeks to 34 weeks to make sure that I didn’t go into preterm labor. It was a rough pregnancy. There was a lot of back and hip problems that came from that wreck that couldn’t be addressed because I was pregnant. And having a second child, made me that more anxious as a mother.

I feel like a failure as a parent. Yes my kids are spoiled and 90% of the time they earn every toy that they get. My 1 year old picks up trash and throws it away. They get this little mental ATM credit that they can use when we go to the store. My oldest will ask if she has enough credit to get a small, medium or big toy. But they also know that twice a year they have to donate toys to those who don’t have many like they do. So I am trying to instill some responsibility and make them humble.

But more often than not, I go to bed wondering if I was a bad parent today. Did I yell too much? Did I not show enough love? Did I not love one them enough? Did I break their spirits? Did I put them down too much? Did I crush their dreams? When I was my oldest age…. I knew way more than I should have and I was way more afraid than a child at that age should have. I want my kids to be protected more than I ever was. But am I a bad parent?

What I wish I knew when I was pregnant was that having kids will and does change every single thing. I wish there was a book that could help expecting parents who have depression or anxiety on how to cope with the changes of becoming new parents.