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.

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?

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

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.

Is preschool important

 

With our first kid, we didn’t go the preschool route because we were in between houses and weren’t in the school district that we wanted her to go to kindergarten. With the situations that we were in, we didn’t have the resources to get the most out of preschool.

However, that has not stopped her from learning. We worked with her when I was pregnant with our youngest. We went over sight words, both reading and writing them. We went over songs and make believe was always our favorite past time. We play games. We role played. We did a lot of things right. And it has showed so much with this past year she was in first grade doing second grade work. I am so very proud of her as a mother should.

But, we are in the district now that we want our kids in. So why wouldn’t we put our youngest in preschool in two years? This isn’t a post about why we shouldn’t do preschool. It is just a discussion. Just a thought process. I actually found two great articles that describe the importance of preschool and I think I will be using them in my decision.

Here are these two links

Why Preschool is Important

The 13 Key Benefits of Early Childhood Education: A Teacher’s Perspective

I have always been an advocate for teachers. I do not think that they are paid enough. If you break down the hours they work and how much they’re paid once or twice a month. It is less than minimum wage. And if you think about it. When you wanna go out, you hire a baby sitter. That baby sitter doesn’t teach your kid anything. They just watch your kid for a few hours. You pay that babysitter more than the minimum wage. I know when I baby sat in my teens, I was paid about 8-10 an hour. Minimum wage where I am is 7.25. And teachers, who are teaching your kids valuable information, working to shape the future of your child are barely making minimum wage. It is ridiculous. But that is a different topic.

 

My mother in law is a teacher. So I know the struggle that she goes through.

But with her being a teacher. That provides me some advantages if we don’t go the preschool route.

Each child learns different. Which is why I am having a difficult time with deciding if we should do the preschool route. The good thing is, I have about 2 years to decide.

My oldest can be a timid child. She shows a lot of fears when it comes to new things. She approaches them cautiously. Kind of like me. However, my youngest shows no fear at all. She will jump in head first. She has done things that her sister didn’t do at that age.

It was easy teaching my oldest to write and read and math. But will my youngest be harder? She is stubborn. She is my mini me. So I am wondering if that will cause teaching her to be harder than it was for her sister. I mean I hope not. But it could possibly happen. Another scenario is that she wants to be just like her sister (which is how and why she does so much now to do just what her sister is) that it will be easy for her to learn these things. I mean she’s 2 and she’s already trying to sing the abc’s It is not completely coherent but you can tell what she is singing.

I think education is completely important. I guess that I will have to see how things go before making a hard decision. Maybe try teaching her things between now and preschool time to see. I know either way, Preschool would benefit her. It’s more about being emotionally ready. Both her and myself.

Only time will tell.

Don’t call me a SAHM

 

Don’t get me wrong. I loved being a stay at home mom. Like really loved it. It was the best thing for me at that time and for what we were going thru.

However, I wanted to get a job so that we could have a little more spending money. So I got a job. Yes, it is a work from home job. But it is still work.

When you tell anyone you’re a stay at home mom, there is a lot of heat. A lot of hate. A lot of judgement and you’re looked down upon.

I’ve seen it first hand on many occasions. A lot of people thought that all I did was sit on my behind watching tv….all day long. And it infuriated me. To no end.

Seriously.

When I was pregnant with my youngest. It was a rough pregnancy. Really rough and high risk. The doctor told me on many occasions that I needed to sit down with my feet up as much as possible.

Well it helped that I wasn’t working at that time and that I was a SAHM.

But what people didn’t realize is that I had a 4 year old at home and my husband worked almost 12 plus hours 5 to 6 days a week. So he couldn’t actually make sure that I was resting and he couldn’t exactly work all of those hours, get adequate sleep, spend time with his kid and handle the housework. There was just no way that I could be the bed rest type of pregnant with everything that was going on.

So while I was supposed to be off my feet as much as possible for my health and my unborn child’s help. I wasn’t. And that is okay. I really loved being able to make sure that everything was taken care of, bill wise, errands and food. I still love doing that. I clean all the time. I am the sole cooker in the family. I love cooking. I love spending time with my kids. I love making sure that my husband can rest after he’s had a long rough day at work.

I love being a mom. And I love being a mom that’s home. Because when I did work outside of the home…. I was rarely home. Things were very hectic and my oldest barely saw either of her parents. When I told her I was going back to work…..she cried. Because she didn’t want to have to go without seeing me like she did when she was younger. It really broke me for her to remember how little she saw me. However, I reassured her that it is from home. That I can still see her a lot. That it won’t be like the last time. That it will only be for a little bit a day.

That made her okay with the transition.

So why do I not want to be called a Stay at home mom????

It is simple. Everyone thinks that stay at home moms do NOTHING all day. They think that we’re lazy. What’s worse is that there are some people that assume that you’re from the 1950’s wearing pleated skirts and that your whole entire life is dedicated to your husband first your kids second and then your home.

I am sorry. I don’t know how many times that I have heard something to that extent of ‘Isn’t that what a wife is SUPPOSED to do’….. Supposed to?!? Really?

No. I stay at home because I want to. Because we were able to afford it. Because it made sense with everything that was going on at the time. Not because I was supposed to

When you get married you go from I to we. You go from fighting alone to being a team. We are a team, my husband and I. We work together. There is no one that pulls more weight than the other. There is no his money or my money. There are no his chores or my chores. There is our money, our problems, our chores. OUR.

I don’t want to be called a stay at home mom because I am tired of being placed into this ridiculous box of a stereotype that is no longer relevant.

I am a mom. That is my greatest achievement and that is what I will be called from now on. If anyone wants to challenge it….and try to call me a stay at home mom. I will kindly educate them on how woman are more than what they are assuming.

Have you ever asked a mom what she does in a day? It is way more than just sitting on their behind all day.

There is the school year. Which tends to be more hectic than school vacations. Especially when your kid wears glasses because sometimes they might forget their glasses. In which you’ll have to drive back to the school to drop them off and if you have a toddler at home you have to load them in and out of the car. There are lunches, homework, field trips, fundraiser, after school events, conferences, eating lunch at school with them. There are so many things that you do with school its not even funny.

And that is not including if your kid is a car rider because you have to drop them off and pick them back up.

Food. If you have a toddler at home you have 3 meals a day that you must prepare. Two of which the other kid isn’t home for. Then there are snack time. You have to get the toddler down for their nap and try to teach them something new. Because you want your kid to be ahead of the game. Even if its just the ABC’s. I, at least, try every single day to try to teach something to my kids. During the summer, my oldest has ‘homework’ where she has to read or do some simple math problems.

There are always some type of errand to run, some bill to pay. Groceries to shop for. Doctor visits. Cleaning is a daily thing if you don’t have kids. But if you have kids it is more like an hourly thing. Especially with a 2 year old.

As a mom, you kiss boo boo’s, you look for monsters. You read stories. You are the first point of contact with the kids. Or at least my kids. They will pass their daddy to ask me first.

I am way more than a stay at home mom.