Making time

I remember being a kid thinking that the days were so long. That we had so much time. That once I got home from school and got my homework done I had HOURS to play. However, as I got older, I realized that time passes faster and it seems like you never have enough time to get everything done. As a parent, it makes it harder to have time where you are able to just be a family. To have time with your kids. There are many things that have to get done. I need to cook, clean, deal with the never ending laundry piles, theres school needs like school lunches taking and picking up the kids and helping with the homework. I gotta do the grocery shopping and pay bills. I’m also taking classes so I have deadline on those. It just seems like every day is full of something that has to be done.

So where is the time that I can just play with the kids. Because playing with the kids is both beneficial for the children and parents alike. Playing with your kids will allow you to have a break from the mental stress of the day. It also helps your children develop some necessary motor skills. How to handle situations and how to play well with others.

As many parents know very well. There is hardly ever a time where you have free time to just play around with the kids. It is honestly not about having the time. It is about making the time. I swear if you make the time to be with your kids, it will be all worth it. Your kids are going to remember the times that you spent with them. They know more than what we give them credit. They know that there are other things you would or could be doing rather than being with them. These moments are going to mean so much to them as they grow. Even when they go throught that angsty teenage years.

That is one thing that gives me great anxiety about my parenting. Am I spending enough loving time with my kids? Or am I stuck in the strict parenting mode too much? Are they going to remember the times that I spent with them? Teaching them? or are they going to remember me giving them rules and regulations?

See, I could just do things. Like cook and clean or something that I know that I could get done faster. However, sometimes…. I just let them help me. I teach them how to do something they are going to need to know later on in life and they get to do it with me under my careful loving watch. Spending time together. Like cooking. My oldest daughter loves to make eggs. She has learned how to crack eggs, whisk eggs, and even cook them completely. My two year old likes to whisk the eggs. When I make the biscuits, I know that I can get it done faster by just doing it myself. But It would mean more to break the dough in half and let the girls help out with that.

Sometimes life is just difficult. Time slips through our fingers and scheduling in a time with the kids often gets pushed aside. However, maybe we need to stop trying to have the time and make the time instead with simple things that we could do together. You can turn cleaning into a game. You could cook together. Anything.

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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.

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.

Believe

As a parent, you constantly worry if you’re doing what is best for your kid. You worry if maybe you’re being too soft on them, or maybe you’re being too hard. Is your punishments enough to create a sense of better judgement in your kid? Are they ever going to learn how to be successful adults? Are we being their friend rather than their parent? Are we causing too much emotional damage that will cause them to one day tell those stories to a therapist on a couch one day? Are we the reason that they will be spending hundreds of dollars on therapy as adults? Or are we being overly sensitive? Are we being the type of parent that they will learn how to push around to get their way? Does their bad behaviors reflect on who we are as parents?

My kids are under the age of ten and yet I still worry constantly about how I am as a parent and how it will affect them in the long run. My oldest is sensitive. Boy is she sensitive. You raise your voice to her and she shuts down. And cries. She is a big cryer. And I am not saying that is a bad thing. It is great to be emotional and to be able to be okay with your emotions. My husband lack in the emotion department. It has to be VERY big for him to cry. Or to show any emotions. I find myself asking him what he is thinking all the time because his POKER face is just that darn good. Our youngest, however, is the complete opposite of her sister. She is tough. She is brave. She is fearless. She laughs at your raised voice. She snickers at your little pop on the behind and she only cries when she doesn’t get her way. That or she is overly tired. Our oldest is me. I was a sensitive child. Heck I am still sensitive today. And our youngest is their daddy. If you were to put us four in a poker game…..Myself and our oldest would be losing because we would show it on our face. My husband and our youngest would be winning because they could have the best or worst hand on the planet and you would NEVER see it on their face.

We constantly are adapting to this thing called parenting. I think that everyone is. It isn’t something that you’re born with. Kids are never the same. So even though I babysat a lot growing up, I wasn’t fully prepared to be a mom at 19. I did, however, know that my days of being young and carefree were over. It was time to buckle down and make sure that my child had everything and knew everything that I didn’t when I was her age. I find myself explaining things more to her, to them both. Why we do things this way or what this means. Instead of saying ‘Because I Said So’ I try to explain why I said so. That’s not saying my mom didn’t do it. She did. We were always informed if something was going to happen. I remember when my paternal grandfather was sick and in the hospital. I was around 7 or so. My mom took us three kids to the hospital and before we went in she explained that he was very sick and that he probably wouldn’t be going home. That this was probably our last time seeing him. That we should, if we felt like we wanted to, say our goodbyes and tell him that we loved him. She never forced us to say ‘I love you’ to anyone in the family. She always just kind of told us if you feel it. If you feel like you love your grandpa and want him to know it then you should tell him. I did. I told him. Even though I questioned his love for me on a daily basis. He was a weird old man. Who found humor in ripping hang nails off my little fingers or trying to set the stray strings of my brothers pants on fire. He was weird. But so was his son, my father. But I still loved him. He introduced me to Deer Jerky which I still to this day find the best jerky. Growing up in the south, Deer is something you hunt, eat and try ever so dearly not to hit with your car.

However, I think that the most important thing as parents is believing in your children. For every person who believes in themself was a parent that believed first. I like photography. It is one of my joys. It is one of my coping mechanisms for anxiety. I don’t like being the center of attention. there is something about being behind a camera that allows me to feel more confident. Then the editing process. I can spend hours editing photos. In that time…while editing I am calm. My anxiety doesn’t feel as threatening. My mom loves my photos. Especially of her grandkids. She loves how I can get her oldest grandson, who doesn’t smile, to smile. The full face tooth smile. No one else can get him to do that. But I can. My mom is always telling me how good my photos are. And I am usually very confident in my art. However, there is that one person that just ruins everything for me. Said person constantly tells me that another family member is better than I am. Said family member photographed an award show. Said family member is traveling all over to take photographs. I literately have limited my time around said person because I can only stand being told someone is better than me at pretty much everything in life for so long.

My husband is training to be a wrestler. His mom isn’t too fond on it because she doesn’t want anyone to hurt her baby. My husband is an only child so I completely understand that point of view. However, she is always behind her baby no matter anyway. She believes in him. She knows he can do anything and everything that he sets his mind to. That is one of the main reasons, I believe, for why he is doing amazing in his training class. Because his mom first believed in him and now he believes in himself. And I believe in him so much. I swear I am his biggest fan.

So as a parent…even though we all question our parenting styles or whether we’re hurting their emotional growth….the best thing that we can do is ALWAYS believe in them. Because if we don’t believe in them, as their parents, then who will? Who will be their biggest fan when they’re trying something new? Who will be cheering them on when they pass that test? Believe in your kids no matter what and they will grow into teens and adults who belive in themselves. Throughout everything my kids do right or wrong, I believe in them. I know that they are good kids at heart and that they are stil learning, growing and developing. It is my job as a mom to believe in them, nuture them and help them grow into happy adults. Money is great but it isn’t everything and I don’t want my girls growing up thinking that they wil only be happy if they have money. Happy is an emotion not a financial status. I believe in my girls. I believe that they will follow their hearts. That is the biggest greatest thing that I can do as a mom. Is believing in them. I will cheer them on. I will pick them up if they fall. I will wipe away any tears. I will fight with them if they need me too. And I will always FIGHT for them. Because they made me a mom.. The greatest thing that has happened to me.

Time never wasted

As a parent who suffers from an anxiety disorder, I constantly wonder if I am being the best parent that I can be. If I am going to cause my kids to have traumatic memories. If I am going to be the reason why they won’t reach their potential. Or if I am going to be the reason that they are paying hundreds of dollars a month for therapy. Also, my anxiety causes me to have the most outrageous fears. Like dying. I am terrified to die. Because no one will love them like I do. No one will fight harder for them than I do. Because the traumatic issues that it would cause them. I am constantly afraid something is going to happen and I won’t be around. This is also one of my fears that I haven’t really told anyone about.

So that is one of the reasons why I love being a home mom. I love being able to spend quality time with my kids. I didn’t have that with my oldest at first. And that is why she is so close with her granny. Because while I worked from the time she was 3 weeks old until she was 4… She spent the most time with her granny. Now that I stay at home… I spend as much time with my kids as I can. Even if that just means helping with homework. My husband likes to say that I am the hero of the family (although I never agree with him because I am not bringing in any financial means to our family) because I take care of everything in the family. From him to the girls to our parents and everything in between. From cooking and cleaning to paying the bills and grocery shopping. Field trips and school functions. The kids are my life. They complete me.

Therefore, I completely believe that any time spent with your kids is never time wasted. Especially when they’re young. They’re impressionable. Spending time with them helps them develop their fine motor skills. Handling situations. Dealing with emotions. Learning to share. And over all it helps them become better human beings. Also, it allows you to tap into your inner child which allows you to remain young at heart. Take a few moments out of your day…. and spend them with our kids.