Posted in mommyhood

I get to do this!

I am sitting her drinking my coffee and thinking about the events for the day ahead. The kids are still asleep so it is just me and all the quiet I will not see again until after bedtime tonight. First we have the 8yo and 3yo’s  soccer games. Then we have lunch and with any luck nap time for the youngest while I clean the house a little. After that, its fall festivals and Halloween trunk or treats. We have missed several activities due to our new found love of soccer, so there will be trunk or treating! Busy schedules and party planning be damned!

When people first hear that I work full time, am a student anywhere from full time to part time, and manage a blog, they often look at me and claim I am super woman. The next question almost always follows suit. “How do you do it”?  I typically laugh this off to keep the conversation light and provide my standard response of “I just don’t stop and think about it.”

The truth is, I think about it. I am exhausted and most days seem to daunting. I am not the supermom that everyone seems to think that I am. I cry out of sheer exhaustion. Today, I set my alarm at 4am  on a Saturday to complete homework, because I can barely keep my eyes open at 9pm at night. Today, I am up at 4am to begin house cleaning for my son’s birthday party tomorrow, because tonight I will spend time with my kids.

I read a paragraph two days ago that spoke to me on a level I didn’t realize I needed. The passage talked about feeling overwhelmed by daunting tasks. This one line has changed my way of thinking ( at least for now) for the better. When you feel life is overwhelming you, train your thinking from I have to do this, to I get to do this!

When I think of all the things I get to do, I am overwhelmed with pride and happiness instead of exhaustion and hopelessness. I get to be my children’s mom and I get to go to school. I have spoken to many woman who would like to go to school, but can’t because their spouse isn’t supportive of the decision or there are financial impacts that they just can’t manage right now.

I get to be a working mom who loves her job and her children. I get to work at a job that allows me to put my children first and remains supportive and flexible when I need to attend a seminar at the kids school, or take them to their appointments. I get to take my kids to soccer practice and see the enjoyment on their faces when they kick the ball down the field. I get to do this!

While it has only been a couple of days, these few little words have been life changing! I encourage you to try it when you feel life is daunting. Share your stories and comments below. What do you get to do?

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Posted in acceptance

A year later….

It has been a year. One year ago, i was sitting on a couch crying my eyes out. It’s been one year since we received 7yo’s unofficial diagnosis, as well as her official one. One year ago we were sitting at a licensed therapist office as she was explaining that our child is barely holding it together. It was one year ago when she told us, that our then seven-year old has symptoms of clinical depression and OCD tendencies.

It wasn’t long after that first meeting that we received her official diagnosis of MTHFR. A genetic mutation that can cause depression and a laundry list of other things. I would love to tell you that this past year has been easy, but it hasn’t. I would love to tell you that we have arrived and all is right in the world and that would be equally true and untrue.

It has been a year of learning patience ( I am still working on this one), understanding and challenges that I never thought we would face as parents this early in the game. When your child has a physical illness, it’s  for the most part simple. you know what to do. They have a fever, you give Tylenol. Step throat? we got meds to fix that. But OCD and Depression, well… that’s not so easy.

For this entire year, we have visited the therapist every two weeks without fail. We have tried journaling, and other techniques. WE have made a lot of progress, but still ways to go. She has went from having a complete flat affect to showing facial expressions and excitement. She continues to open up to me a little more every day. Whether it be friendship troubles or a sibling spat, she is starting to feel comfortable talking to me about those things. She doesn’t always push me away when I try to comfort her now. Before, she would scream and push me away if I came near her when she was upset. It is awful to feel like there is nothing you can do to help your child.

My favorite progress so far is her ability to show her excitement. To have true facial expressions. It was completely heartbreaking to see my 7yo never show excitement.  Slightly less than a year ago, I began to write the following :

Depression on my seven-year old is riding the merry-go-round and never smiling. Imagine going round and round on that shiny horse and feeling nothing. When most kids are smiling and laughing, mine is flat. No expression, just hollow inside.

Depression in a seven-year old is never wanting to play outside.  It is choosing to isolate yourself, even in your own family. It is sitting in the hallway and reading versus playing in the living room with your siblings.

This year, I pray for continued progress. For my daughter to better understand feelings and emotions. I pray more than anything for my daughter to tell me she loves me. Something she has said only a handful of times in her life. She simply does not understand emotions and seems unsure of what she feels.

This road will never be easy. It will be hard, it will be painful. It is parenting.

Trust in my unfailing love .. I am in control – Jesus Always

 

Posted in mommy mishaps, mommyhood, Uncategorized

To ERR is Human..even in motherhood

to err

Just like that, in the blink of an eye it happened. I lost sight of my son. We were at a park, and I lost him in my line of vision. those next thirty seconds felt like an eternity with only the sound of my heart pounding in my ear. The world was still, until I found him. Playing happily. He was okay.

When he was a little over one years old,  would wait until the last minute to wake buddy up in the mornings to leave for work. Every day was the same routine, get dressed, get the girls dressed, load the car , wake buddy up, get buddy dressed, and leave for work. He woke up a little too early one morning. I sat him on the couch and proceeded to load up the car. Once I entered the house, I found my spunky little man trying to fly off the couch like Superman. Running to him, I literally caught him mid air. He could have hurt himself.

We were at the farmer’s market, when mini me got shuffled in the mix. It was me and three children. I wanted to teach the kids about fresh fruit and vegetables from the farm. I wasn’t prepared for how many people would be there. I was pushing the stroller with the oldest holding onto it, and mini me holding her hand. She let go, and got behind. it wasn’t but for a second, but it scared me. Deciding, that this particular situation was too much for me to handle, we have not been back to the market since.

It happens, we get distracted. We are not designed to be perfect and often the standards of perfection we hold ourselves to, destroy us from within. There is a saying in healthcare that to err is human. A report written discussing the ease of human error and how we must focus on the causes of error to create a culture of safety for our patients. With patients lives literally in our hands, we give grace for human error. We do not overlook or minimize the error, but we give grace, get to the root cause and fix the failure modes that lead to the error.  Why do we not give mothers the same grace?

Was I negligent in those instances? Not on purpose. I am human, I have three children and sometimes as a mom, I can get distracted. Should people have cast stones at me for mere seconds? no. If my children had been hurt, is judging and bashing  justified? NO.

We should be offering grace, humanity and support to one another. Why do we judge, bash and berate one another on social media platforms? It is to the point, that I refuse to join any mommy blogger groups on most social media platforms. The comments and judgements are unbearable, and I pray the people they are lashing out at refuses to read them. No one needs that kind of noise in their heads. We are all doing the best we can, and yes we make mistakes. WE make a lot of them.

I challenge you to hold your tongue a little longer, offer a word of encouragement, and imagine yourself in the shoes of another. Community and support will make more progress than condemnation. It is when we work together, that we will  shape the future.

***I am in no way condoning pure and intentional negligence. I do believe that most mothers and fathers do not intend to neglect their children. I also   Realize this post might open myself up to negative comments and backlash,  I encourage you to share your own stories! Let’s show the community what support and transparency looks like.

 

 

 

 

Posted in mommyhood, Uncategorized

The end of kindergarten

Dear mini me,

Just like that it happened. We had the last day of Kindergarten.  It feels like yesterday, I sent you off to school so tearfully. I am not sure where this year went, but I am sure of one thing. You showed me the value in sheer stubbornness and determination. This year has been tough, and you have struggled through school and homework an a daily basis. Reading has not come easy. It has been hard and stressful. They say you  can tell a lot about a persons character by how they handle stressful situations. My baby girl, you have showed more character and strength then most adults I know. Together we conquered fears, uncertainties and stress. Failure was not an option in either of our minds. You have worked hard and learned what was necessary to pass school. The most successful people are not always the smartest, but those who work the hardest. I think those that have to work harder for what they have, tend to appreciate what they have the most.

Kindergarten hasn’t al; been stressful, there has been a lot of fun too. You lost four teeth this year, and have another loose tooth waiting to come out. You were awarded student of the month for the whole school in the month of February. You gained a not so secret admirer who gave you a valentines present. Daddy, didn’t like this idea, but it was sweet. He gave you a stuffed Dalmatian puppy and a lunch box. You rode on the school bus to field trips and gained a new level of independence. I am so proud of you in more ways than one. Leaving Kindergarten is bittersweet, but I look forward to seeing what first grade brings.

Love,

Mom

 

Posted in Every day mom link-up, Uncategorized

Passing Kindergarten…Finally

I walked into the parent teacher conference afraid and fearful. The six year old has been struggling with Kindergarten and we were meeting with the guidance counselor to discuss the possibility of retention. I had my plan.  I was going to yell at them and demand an IQ test. I was going to let them have it and ask for tutoring. I was going to blame them and say it was because they were not working with her enough. Reading should be fun and they were making it about passing the test instead of fostering an enjoyment for reading.

Upon entering the room, her teacher says, well, when we first scheduled this meeting she was only performing at 56% with sight word recognition. Now she is at 75%!!! So we really don’t need to go through this process now.

Throwing my hands in the air I yelled woohoo!! I’m passing Kindergarten ya’ll, then I felt a little frustrated. I had to use my lunch break at work to come all the way across town to be told, never mind. she’s doing good now. My next thought was who the hell cares, this is good news and we need to celebrate!

This year has been damn hard. I remember Kindergarten being fun and playing in centers and enjoying story time. This constant testing and memorizing sight words has me confused. Did we skip Kindergarten and go right to the first grade? There is an actual state regulation that if my Kindergartner cannot recognize 80% of her sight words, then she has to be held back and start all over again! It’s insane the amount of work and pressure these kids are put under.

Although, I have tried to shield her from the stress and anxiety I can help but wonder if she still despite my efforts feels nervous and worried. Around Christmas time she began to blink her eyes excessively and continues to do so now. We have an eye appointment for her, but I am quite worried that she has developed a tick.  The closet appointment we could get is next month, so I guess I will have an update on that in four weeks.

We have worked hard on sight words in the past month, so I am glad to see she has improved. I have bought hooked on phonics, letter magnets, and pain in hopes that getting a little creative will help her learn. I have even stopped going to Barnes and nobles after work to do homework on days that I have assignments due. instead, I have been coming home, helping with sight word memorization, and then completing homework after the kids are asleep. I am tired ya’ll, like damn tired. At this point it is safe to say that I am the one passing Kindergarten 😉

For now, we will just continue to learn and pray the improvement continues and my sweet baby can move up to the first grade. Who knew that Kindergarten was so hard!

 

Posted in mommyhood

No More Tutus…

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Tears came to my eyes, as a picture of 6yo’s first dace recital dress popped up on my Facebook memories. This is a nice feature added to Facebook, however today, it made me a little sad.

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On Christmas Eve, 6yo came running to me and informed me that she no longer wanted to go to dance. She wouldn’t give me a reason why, just that she no longer wanted to go. The thought of her quitting hurt my heart a little since the oldest decided to quit this year as well. Due to her anxiety issues, we decided to go ahead and let her quit because it was causing her too much stress to go to Ballet. That was months ago, that she stopped. Now ,my only one left in dance wants to quit also! It was too much. I just told her we would talk about it later and left it at that.

I think part  of me was hoping that she would forget that she wanted to quit. Part of me felt like she was only saying it because the oldest wasn’t going anymore. Part of me still thinks that is true.

This week we were to return to dance and get measured for recital dresses. The husband picked her up and I met them at the studio. She seemed fine, until she wasn’t. She would not go in to the studio for measurements. Then the studio owner came over and said “honey if you don’t like to dance, then tell  your mom.” “It’s okay if you don’t but your mom pays a lot of money to let you come here so tell her if you don’t like it anymore.” That was it, there was no going back. 6yo decided she was done. I know the owner was trying to be helpful, but I really don’t think she dislikes dance. I really think it has something to do with big sis not being there. Unfortunately the kid isn’t talking, so we decided to withdraw, It wasn’t like I  could drag her in there kicking and screaming now could I?

It’s funny because my next thought was okay, if not Ballet then what? Somehow I have this idea in my head that the kids HAVE to be involved in something! We have to keep them busy and involved in extracurricular activities. I am not really sure where this came from. Is it the idealist poster family who have 2.2 kids who are involved in dance, sports and music lessons portrayed on t.v., Facebook and well everywhere.. I am not sure.

Today, we were all exhausted and tired. The kids had their first week back at school from winter break and well, they needed a break. So we stayed home in our pajamas and played. WE built towers out of Legos, played Jenga and watched movies together. WE were just simply there. There was no agenda, no hurrying to the next task or event. It was what we needed.

That is when hit me. These kids need time to just be kids. They don’t have to be involved in anything yet unless they choose to be. It’s not about me, i’s about them. Kindergarten has been challenging for  and comes home exhausted every night and barely makes it to bath time before falling asleep on the couch. There are days we are completing homework in the  morning s because she did fall asleep on the couch. She needs this time off.

So for know, we are just going to take the rest of this year off. We can explore other ventures next year. I am going to let my kids be kids without the pressures of dance classes and recitals. I am not going say that it doesn’t suck for me. We had some great times at that dance studio. My girls were becoming beautiful dancers. So if you will excuse me, I am going to continue to look at these pictures and cry….

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Posted in mommyhood

My daughter said what!

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Kids should come with some sort of warning when they speak sometimes. You know, the kind of flashing ,neon orange sign that says warning your kid is about to say something that is going to make you choke if you are eating!  Maybe then we wouldn’t be caught off guard when they say something that knocks our socks off!

Picture this.. three kids eating their lunch while conversing. Myself at the sink, cleaning the meal I just made and I hear it! My sweet kind of crazy innocent little six year old says something smells. Then almost nonexistent I hear, “Something smells like vagina!” What!! I come to a screeching hault and say can you repeat that? There was no mistake in what she said! ” Something smells like vagina!” Well, shit.. how do I handle this one?

It’s not that I have a problem with the word vagina. You can read about me teaching my kids their proper names here. I just can’t believe she has ever heard that phrase before?  What are they teaching these kids at school these days?

I have learned that Kindergarten is tough these days and anything goes. The best I can do is explain to my kid that she can’t say things like that because it is just rude and offensive. I never thought I would be praying for Kindergarten to end. The 6yo has witnessed bullying and learning some inappropriate behaviors. All I can say, is Thank the lord she didn’t say something smells like vagina in front of someone else!!!