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Netflix, stream team, orange is teh new black, glow, sons of anarchy, friends from college , GLOW, Dear White People, Ozark

Ever find yourself wondering how to survive summertime parenting? Oh yeah, it’s definitely different from school year parenting. Sure, at first you think it’s going to be all sleeping in and hanging out and then you realize that you’re not on summer break, just the kids are. You, my friend, are about to start working double time. That’s when your “oh Ish” moment hits you like a ton of bricks.

Summer has been blasting by and I still feel like I haven’t slept in. Well, I lied, there were those 3 days back in June where we all slept in until 10 a.m. Yep, those were a magical 3 days and here it is time for school to start back in a couple of weeks.

I don’t know about you, but when I am immersed in chaos all day, I need downtime…”me” time. Just me. It’s not about being selfish, it is about survival. During the school year, it’s nice because the girls go to bed on a schedule and I know after 9 p.m., I can spend a couple hours catching up on my favorite shows before going to bed. That’s my “me” time. Me, just chilling out, not having to be anywhere or do anything or be anyone to anybody. It’s my 2 hours of the day that are just.for.me.

Netflix, stream team, orange is teh new black, glow, sons of anarchy, friends from college , GLOW, Dear White People, Ozark

I know that it sounds crazy that only 2 hours of the day are for me, but if you are a parent, you understand. The moment that baby comes into the world, you are forever number 2 in your own life and with each child, you fall further down the line. If that’s not how you are rolling, please tell me your secret because by the time I get everyone else taken care of…I’m just too tired to care about me. My priority is sleep but before I can sleep, I must decompress.

What do you do to survive summertime parenting and decompress?

The thing is during the summer months, this entire situation goes to hell in a handbasket. Sure, it is filled with long days at the pool, traveling, sunshine, barbecues, entertaining, bike rides and all that stuff your pasty white life is missing the other 9 months of the year so how can you refuse when your child, who only has 6 more summers in your house, asks you to forgo your “me” time for some “we” time? You don’t. You give her all of it because damn it, 6 more years is not long enough.

Sounds wonderful, right? It is. Mostly. Except, even though my heart wants to give her all the “we” time I can. My brain needs a break. I need to decompress before I explode. She’s off for the summer because of school but I still have to work, now with kids home asking me to stop working to go someplace or do something or swim or bike or hike or make brownies or have a gaggle of 12-year-old girls spend the night. Do you have any idea how much 12-year-old girls talk? More. Than.me! I didn’t even think that was humanly possible.

So, I do all the things. I never exhale until they go to bed, which is no longer between 8 and 9 pm. Nope, I have 2 tweens, so sometimes while I’m trying to decompress bingeing out on  GLOW, Friends from College, Sons of Anarchy, Dear White People, Ozark, Orange is the New Black or The Incredible Jessica James (yes, I binge more than one show at a time) on Netflix, they saunter in at 10 p.m. to tell me what Kelly and Amy said about Jessica and Brittney and I listen because I’m a mom and pretty soon, they won’t want to talk to me at all. It’s like they can feel the shift in the universe when I start to relax and they can’t let that happen.

Netflix, stream team, orange is teh new black, glow, sons of anarchy, friends from college , GLOW, Dear White People, Ozark

 

Though I must admit, sometimes, I want to run my head into the wall because I just would rather find out what Jax is going to do to Clay than why one 12-year-old girl thinks another 12-year-old girl doesn’t like her because she didn’t notice that she was wearing a new bobbi pin. I mean cheese and rice; how many years did I endure Calliou? Calliou!!!That whiny little bald child and Max and a Ruby, where were their parents? Not listening to whining, that’s where. And now, they won’t even let me get through one episode without busting in to ask me why the sky is blue?

Don’t get me wrong, I want to know everything my girls want to tell me. I am all about the open dialogue but remember when the kids were toddlers and they kept asking for water from the bed so they could stall out bedtime? Yep, I think talking this bobbi pin situation is a bedtime stalling technique and I’d just rather turn my brain off and watch the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling body slam each other all over the place. I don’t want to worry about how a bobbi pin is going to put my tweens into therapy. It’s too much.

I really think my bingeing makes me a better mom to them. I need that alone time to feel like a person who has adult thoughts and isn’t just someone’s mom. Seriously, I’m so used to being referred to as Bella and Gabi’s mom that I find myself in the grocery story walking between a person and a shelf saying, “excuse us” even when I’m alone because, really, I’m never alone. As a mom, my kids are always with me, on my mind. I desperately need those bingeing after dark nights to center.

I hear things like yoga and working out help too but really, I’d rather just take a hot shower, throw on my pjs and chill with the Big Guy (or alone) and watch Netflix in beautiful silence, with only the sweet sound of Jax Teller telling people to get the eff out of his way or he’ll shoot them in the face. Call me weird, but I find it quite soothing. The point is I don’t feel guilty about bingeing. I need it. They need it. You need it.

What do you do to decompress? Do you ever sneak and binge watch shows? What’s your favorite Netflix sneak and binge?

Disclosure: I am a Netflix Stream Team member but my full on Netflix addiction was in place way before I was part of the team and the tips to survive summertime parenting are all me.

Netflix, stream team, orange is teh new black, glow, sons of anarchy, friends from college , GLOW, Dear White People, Ozark

Update: So as I was looking for pictures for this post, I realized my kids are awesome. We had so much fun this summer but still, even with all that love I’ve got for them…I need some for myself too.

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people without children, parenting

I love British humor and this comedian, Michael McIntyre, has wrapped up parenthood about as well as anyone ever has. He says what we’ve all thought at one time or another, people who don’t have kids have no idea what they are talking about when they discuss parenting or offer their advice on how you, in your sleep deprived, baby brain, overwhelmed self, can be a better parent if you would only just stop making it so damn hard.

My daughters are 6 & 8, so I have been doing this parenting thing for quite a while now. I love it almost every single moment but there are moments like when my 6-year-old wakes up in the middle of the night, goes to the potty ( in my bathroom after turning on the light in the hallway in my room) sits down and when I go to check on her, promptly develops the worst case of potty rage, I have ever seen. “Get.OUT.MOMMY@!!! I don’t want you in here!” This usually continues for about 30 minutes until I give up and my husband comes in to help at which point she screams at the top of her lungs that she now hates him and wants me.Then she walks past us both and gets in our bed and hogs all of the covers.

Or what about every morning when the same said 6-year-old, who is a complete sweetheart between the hours of 8 am and 7 pm, wakes up shouting that she doesn’t want to get up. She’s tired. I’m mean and her stomach/eye/nose/butt/and/or ankle are all hurting her and I don’t care.You know why? Because it’s hard to care when she does it every day and she spent the previous night waking you up to yell at you that she hates you in her potty rage. Then she stares at her food for 30 minutes, only to complain that it is cold when she takes her first bite. When she does finally make it upstairs, she dawdles around for another 20 minutes which ends in a fast and furious mad dash for the front door with hair being brushed out the door, shirts not tucked, forgetting water/snack/book or homework and usually, her yelling, “Why do you always rush me?” Let’s not even get started on her sister who has mastered the art of the eye roll and walkaway.

Anyways, this comedian has mastered the toddler/preschool years. I know, I’ve been there. Some days we still have to beg the 6-year-old to put on her damn shoes and walk out the door. It’s fun to watch if you’re not in the middle of it and he is so right, people without kids have no idea because they have nothing to compare it to. Just like you can’t explain labor to a person who’s never given birth because they can listen but they can not understand the all consuming pain that comes with evicting an unwilling dweller from your body.

So, 25-year-old lady at the grocery store with the perfectly manicured nails, clean clothes, bright eyed and bushy-tailed because she got laid before her 10 hours of sleep, stop giving me dirty looks when I hand my kid my phone to keep her occupied so I can get the groceries I need to feed her before she decides to go off like a nuclear bomb in this joint because she missed nap time. And never, ever, if you value your life, give parenting advice to a parent if you don’t have children of your own because you might think you know what it’s like but you have no fucking idea of the things we’ve seen and done since giving birth. You should be afraid, be very afraid!

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Gwen Stefani, 1st concert, this is what the truth feels like, parenting, girls, milestones

I learned something life altering at the Gwen Stefani concert last Sunday.Raising girls has taught me to be a better woman. My little girls are no longer little girls. . It is beautiful and sad at the same time. On one hand, they amaze me by the young ladies they are becoming but on the other hand, to be honest, I am nostalgic for the babies who so desperately needed me. I’m torn. Happy for this new phase of real closeness that’s replacing the relationship where I got to be the hero. But, on the other hand, I do miss being the hero. Being human in your child’s eyes is both humbling and liberating but absolutely equalizing. Everybody who has ever had a child that’s grown into an adult knows this. I’m still figuring this all out.

Something strange is happening in our house, the girls are growing up and turning into actual human beings that I love spending time with. The thing  is that this is not what I expected. I based my parenting beliefs on one untruth that my daughters would naturally separate from me as they grew older. I was dreading it but this is something I was counting on saving me from dying from a broken heart when they leave for college. But, contrary to my experience with my own mother, we seem to be growing even closer as they enter these years and this scares the hell out of me. How am I to survive the pending separation in a few years?

Gwen Stefani, 1st concert, this is what the truth feels like, parenting, girls, milestones

I’m not the kind of mom who would ever keep her kids close for her own satisfaction. I had that done to me and, honestly, I think it truly altered the course of my life. No, I believe that if you love something you have to set it free. I have to give my children wings to fly, no matter how much my selfish heart wants to clip them and keep them with me forever.  The thought of not seeing their faces every single day breaks my heart. I try not to think about it too much.

Lately, I find myself catching my breath at the realization that I made this. When they were newborns, I used to be in awe of their sheer perfection. How could someone so imperfect give life to something so amazing and unscathed? But now, I sometimes watch them while they sleep and stand in silence and awe because I can’t believe these amazing humans they are becoming. It’s more than just cute and smart and funny, it’s big hearts with passionate minds and an openness that blows my heart wide open. They’ve been living in this world and they actively pursue goodness. They strive to love in a world filled with so much hate. They inspire me to be better. Then I’m stopped in my tracks when I realize they are reflections of their father and I and that’s wow. HUGE!

Gwen Stefani, 1st concert, this is what the truth feels like, parenting, girls, milestones

I remember being thrilled with each passing milestone; each defiant act of independence made my heart explode a little bit. The thing is this summer, there has been a huge shift happening, one I never anticipated…my girls are becoming human beings that I really enjoy being around. I thought I’d never be able to love them more than when they were sweet little newborns and toddlers and depended on me for survival but there is certainly something to be said for your children choosing to be around you rather than just needing to for survival.

This summer has brought some slight physical changes in my girls, things I won’t talk about because it’s my blog and not my story to tell, but I will say at a time when most girls begin to shut their mom’s out, my girls seem to be turning to me for guidance. Yep, I am as baffled by this as you because when I was a tween and I started “changing” I shut my mom out, first thing. But instead, they’re coming to me with questions, and for hugs and guidance.

Somewhere between the last day of school, all of these little changes have been happening very subtly. My cute little caterpillars are changing like whispers into butterflies. We have real conversations about real things and they listen and want my advice. It’s almost overwhelming because I was prepared for battle and instead, I’ve found allies. I didn’t think it was possible to love them any more than I already did but I was wrong. The bond is getting deeper.

Gwen Stefani, 1st concert, this is what the truth feels like, parenting, girls, milestones

The changes are small, minute almost, but they are definite. Suddenly, my baby is almost as tall as me and her feet are only a size smaller than mine. We can shop from the same stores and in the same departments but the thing that surprised me the most is that instead of wanting to be nothing like me, they want to be exactly like me. I don’t deny them this because they could definitely have worse role models. Sometimes I feel a little embarrassed when the oldest wants to dress alike because I’m sure the perception by strangers is that I’m trying to look younger by dressing like my daughter. That’s definitely not the case. I think, in her way, she uses it as a way to pull closer to me at a time when she feels herself naturally pulling away.

It’s a whole host of moments that have happened this summer. The kind that you’d miss if you weren’t paying attention. Moving into the juniors department and leaving the kid’s department behind. A new perspective and dedication to the things they love, not that of a fickle child but of a determined young lady. Suddenly, they are spending more time at the side of the pool talking to me on a lounge chair than cannon balling. Then there are the glances from boys that I don’t think they even notice, but I see it happening.

They are finally cool enough to enjoy Gwen Stefani in concert!

Their taste in music has improved drastically, they now love to play the violin, i got one from https://www.runthemusic.com/violin-for-kids/. We’ve long been past the days of the Wiggles and YoGabbaGabba (well, not too long they will still listen if a CD finds its way into the cd player) but they have been comfortably smack dab in Radio Disney land and that’s ok. They love pop music but suddenly they are developing a taste for alternative and rock and and an openness to all kinds of music (like myself). In fact, we took them to their first ever concert (that wasn’t a kid’s group) to see Gwen Stefani and her This is what the truth feels like tour and they loved it and we loved seeing them love it. It was definitely a moment that I will never forget. So for example, your child loves rap music, let them attend  those concerts or join them by searching for rap concerts near me because you can definitely cherish those moments with them.

School starts back next week and I’m honestly sad to see our summer together over. The school year brings with it obligations, rehearsals and a full schedule. We literally have one free day a week. I only have 7 more years, 7 more summers with my oldest in my house before she leaves for college and I can tell you definitely, it is not even near enough.

They say childhood goes by fast but in those first few days holding your newborn, you can never imagine just how fast. It’s a flash and I think if you do it right, when the time comes to send your child out into the world, it will break your heart into a million pieces but you will be able to take peace in the fact that they know you will always be their home and you are always there if they need to come home. At least that is what I’m believing from my short 11 years of parenting.

What was  your Gwen Stefani moment this summer with your kids?

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mom low point, parenting, motherhood, doing your best, parenting fail, judgement

Have you ever had a mom low point that was so rough that it knocked you right back on your butt and made you feel like you were doing absolutely everything wrong? Being a mom is hard. I mean question yourself, cry after they go to bed, guilt-ridden, love them so fiercely that sometimes it feels like you might die…hard. Sometimes it’s so hard that I just want to throw my hands up and walk away and other times, I want to crumple up on the floor and assume the fetal position but other times, like tonight, when I feel like a complete failure, my instinct is to fight as hard as I can for what is certainly the most precious and important thing in my life, my girls.

As you may have noticed, I didn’t post too often during the holidays. I was in a proverbial Nutcracker dug hole. You see, I had this dream of what my daughters’ childhood would look like and it was the complete opposite of mine. I wanted them to have extravagant parties (because I had none). I wanted them to be well rounded and that meant culture so there needed to play an instrument, play a sport and learn a language and on top of all of that, I expected good no GREAT grades. Okay, I had some of that but I had a lot of hard times and dysfunction and I never wanted any of that for them. Bottom line, I wanted to protect them from any hardship but I’ve realized hardships come in many different forms.

My rule was if they wanted to try it, I was going to support it but still, I had expectations of my daughters but I was mindful not to put labels on them or to compare them to others or to be too hard on them. When I was a small child, I was labeled “gifted” (I hate that stupid term. It’s meaningless.) because of my IQ but all that did was pigeonhole me onto the college prep FastTrack, from about 7-years-old on, I had no choice in the matter. My life was laid out for me.

Even when all my grades were A’s, the unavoidable, “why aren’t they A+s?” always followed. I never felt good enough and there was no time or budget for me to do frivolous things like extracurriculars unless they were school provided. In fact, when all of my friends were taking things like typing and art in high school, I was taking what today would be considered AP everything, plus on the newspaper, the yearbook and taking 2 foreign languages. I graduated with a gold seal on my diploma but I hated school because it was just layered upon layer of expectations for me. It wasn’t about experiences; it was about winning. What the prize was, I never figured out. It must have been that f*cking meaningless gold seal. In return, I have never felt adequate enough. Ever. That is the last thing I want for my children.

I’ve been keeping my mom shit together pretty good over the years, sure it’s held together by duct tape and bubble gum like I’m the effing mom MacGyver but I thought I was doing a good job. Sure, I have an occasional mom low point but mostly, I thought my mom skills were on point. I tell my kids not to measure themselves against others, and yet, I almost constantly measure my failures against my friend’s perceived triumphs. I tell my girls they are perfect but all I do is see my own flaws. I am parenting the do as I say not as I do way and it’s not what I wanted. Not at all.

Anyways, the girls are, by all accounts, thriving. They play the violin, dance in the city’s ballet youth company, they tap and do jazz, there is gymnastics and cheer and oh, yes, choir plus the grades are always all “A”s but there are no recesses, no playdates, no rest and no down time. Every minute is filled with STUFF and for what? In 12 years, who is going to care if they did all of this? They’re missing experiences and for the first time ever, the report card didn’t show all “A”s. I’m failing my children again. Alert: Mom low point!

I know that is not the end of the world but the thing is it wasn’t because my kids aren’t smart enough, it’s because they simply didn’t have the time to dedicate to their homework because they were so overbooked. They had to miss school for performances and then they got sick because they were so run down. Now, I’m sitting here feeling like the world’s shittiest mom because I let this happen to them. I allowed this perfect storm of disappointment to come into their lives when I’m the one who should have protected them from it.

Friends and family (including the Big Guy) have been telling me for years to cut it back to save myself a headache but I would not relent because it felt selfish. Now, I see that I need to cut things back because it’s too much for them and that’s all it’s ever really been about. So today, I’m getting rid of things in our lives. I’m cutting the fat so that we can enjoy these few years they have left at home. I don’t care if they are not doing all the things.

Parenting today is nothing like when my parents raised me. We did less and they were accountable for less. My God, I grew up in the time of no seatbelts and riding in the back of pick-up trucks. I played outside until the streetlights came on and I walked all over town with my friends, with no cell phone or chip. The goal was graduating high school without going to jail or ending up pregnant or a serial killer. By the standards, my parents did a bang up job. But things are different now, parenting is not about getting by. It’s a measure of your worth as a human being, especially if you’re a stay-at-home parent because if it’s not about the kids…what’s it all been for? That’s not just my own opinion, it’s societies. If you’re a stay-at-home parent and your child is not perfect, you suck. Well, I SUCK.

Some days I feel like I am failing so hard at being a mom but then other days, I feel like I am absolutely killing it. You know those days when everything goes smoothly and no one is throwing a tantrum, stomping or arguing? The days when you are so happy to be their mom that you feel like your heart just might burst wide open. All the terrible mom low points are worth those days. The days when you are driving in the car singing at the top of your lungs and laughing and loving each other so hard that you feel invincible. Those days rock my world. For me, happiness is this.

mom low point, parenting, motherhood, doing your best, parenting fail, judgement

My goal is to be more present, more engaged and focus on moments with my children not all the things or all the benchmarks of what is expected of a “good mom”. I am a good mom. I love my girls. We just got so caught up in doing what was expected of us that we forgot to do what feels best for our family; what actually is best for our family.

Have you ever had a moment in parenting that made you reassess your entire process? What was your mom low point?

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Parenting

by Deborah Cruz

Client:  Parenting

Website:  http://parenting.com

Task:  Freelance Writer

https://www.parenting.com/users/truthfulmommy

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spanking, child abuse, sad child

Do you believe in spanking your child as a disciplining technique? Do you spank your kids? I’ve threatened it lots of times. I may have even tapped my daughter’s tush once or twice but it just never felt right. It felt wrong. I’ve written about whether or not you should spank your kids many different times on various different outlets and my opinion has always been that you probably shouldn’t spank your kid but it’s YOUR kid so it’s really up to you. Parenting is a touchy subject and I remember how pissed off people got when I said that cry it out was like abuse. I never truly wanted to offend anyone’s parenting technique; not on purpose. The other day a photo appeared in my FB tread and it’s been sitting with me and bothering me ever since.

spanking , child abuse, bad parenting

Deep down, I think that if you are spanking your child you are a jerk.

You either don’t know how or don’t want to use your words. You’d prefer to get angry, get frustrated and hit rather than dealing with bad behavior and sorting it out. Hey, I get it. I do. I have moments when I would love to spank my girls. Sometimes they behave really badly. They talk back and they don’t listen and sometimes I am just too damn tired to argue and grabbing a belt or a switch would make that all disappear. One good, swift smack would probably stop them out of pure shock and awe.

But as a child who used to get hit often, as in it was the primary source of discipline, I can tell you that your child will fear you. They will not respect you and they will avoid being caught doing bad behavior and lie if they are caught. It is not a deterrent to stop bad behavior. It is a deterrent to being honest with you. Your child will learn to fear you and hate the feeling of fear. Your child will be afraid of you. Your child will not trust you. And you can spin it anyway you like, spanking is not going to get the result you want. It will not teach discipline and promote good behavior, it will make your child afraid to get caught doing something wrong and there is a difference.

If you’re spanking your child for biting their sibling, what kind of sick and twisted, ass backwards message are you sending?

Don’t bite your brother but it’s okay for me to hit you. So, I am here to recant any wishy-washiness that I may have ever led you to believe that I have on the subject of spanking. It is never all right. It is always wrong and if you spank your child, you are most certainly not disciplining them in any meaningful way.

You are teaching them that physical attacks are okay to deal with your anger. You are teaching them that they can’t trust you. You are teaching them that you are mean and angry, that they should fear…not respect you. By spanking your children, you are undermining your own authority. So don’t spank your child. Love your child. Discipline your child when you are calm and thinking clearly because responding to bad behavior when you are angry only leads to bad choices that will inevitably damage your relationship with your child.

Think back to when you were a child, if you were spanked, was the feeling you felt when being spanked fear or respect? I know for me, when I was spanked, it was fear 100% of the time. Not once did I think to myself, wow, I respect my parents so much for sticking to their guns and punishing me with physical pain.

Do you think spanking is an effective form of discipline?

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parenting, bad parenting, obese child, obese children, obesity, unhealthy, unhealthy eating

If you think childhood obesity is not a real thing, then you would be wrong.

It is alive and well in suburbia. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe it. Parents you are responsible for the options your child has.

I was at the pool the other day with my children and I saw an adorable little girl who looked about 4-years-old and weighed around 60 pounds. She wasn’t super tall; she was tiny so that is why I noticed her immediately. She was portly and it wasn’t just a little baby fat, she looked well on her way to obesity and that is what concerned me the most. I know people can come in all shapes and sizes and still be healthy but this little girl was breathing heavy just from walking and that doesn’t seem healthy to me.

I have two little girls and I know that weight fluctuates and kids have baby fat that they outgrow but this child had a substantial amount of weight to lose and she was so young that I was alarmed for her health. Before you get mad at me for discussing a child’s weight, know now that I am not talking trash about this child. I feel sorry for her because 1) it’s not her fault. A child’s diet is not her own responsibility at that age. 2) I know what it’s like to be overweight and have to lose weight and it is not fun or easy, for anyone. 3) Just the fact that she is so overweight, will make her an easy target at a young age for bullies. NO, that is not fair and I wish the world wasn’t like this but it is.

When children are small, their parents are responsible for what they eat, how much they eat and when they eat it. Sure, there are instances where children have a medical condition or have to take medication for a condition that causes weight gain but I think a lot of the time, it can be attributed to lazy parenting. Not all of the time, of course but there are definitely times when it’s easier to just give in. Giving in to kids who want to eat the chips and cookies rather than have the fight about eating the healthier options. I am not saying kids shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy snacks and sweets occasionally, I am saying everything in moderation.

Children are a lot more tech savvy than they used to be. There is a lot more tech available to use. When it’s hot outside, a lot of kids would rather lay on the couch playing Minecraft in the air conditioning than go outside and ride their bikes. Kids these days have access to 600 channels, endless amounts of songs on Spotify, movies on Netflix and games on the computer. Even if they are educational games and movies, it equals children who sitting on their butts a lot more of the time than they are moving around.

Pair all of that sitting around with fast food this, greasy that and super-sized everything plus soda and chips and preservatives and dyes and you have children who are moving less and eating more, more junk and less clean, organic food. Kids are eating out of boredom and mindlessly eating while sitting in front of the television. It doesn’t help that we live in a society where clean food is priced so high that you have to donate a kidney to provide safe, healthy food for your children to eat. As parents, we have got to stop this cycle before the entire world is morbidly obese and the average life span is 50.

This little girl didn’t just gain all that weight over night, none of us do. It happened over time. This little girl is also, sadly, not an anomaly, I see lots of overweight children. I’m not perfect and neither is my family. We make bad choices sometimes and I’ve had to work really hard to make sure that my kids don’t just exist on chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and popsicles. It’s a lot of work raising children to be healthy and teaching them to make the right choices even when I am not around. It takes diligence, commitment and hard-work.

It’s our responsibility to prevent our children from suffering from childhood obesity.

It gets frustrating and sometimes you just want to give in and sometimes you can. But as a parent, you can’t give in every time your child wants something because even though that might be the easy choice right now and it might make them happy, right now, in the long run you could be teaching them to make the wrong choices and to over indulge in things that are bad for them.

I’m not writing this post because I think it’s fun to point out that a little girl is overweight. I am writing this post because I know where this road of unhealthy leads. Eventually, people will make fun of her for being overweight. Kids are cruel. Then she will begin to slowly believe that if only she could lose a few pounds, she could be happy ( which is NOT true by the way), then she might develop low self-esteem, body dysmorphic disorder and maybe even suffer from eating disorders in search of the illusive bikini bridge and the thigh gap. She might spend the rest of her life hating her body and worse than all of that she could develop heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and several other diseases as a result of being obese since childhood. Then you die.

I’m not saying this little girl needs to be skinny. I am saying that her mother needs to step in and do something before her weight becomes an out of control problem that she has to live with for the rest of her life. Her mother needs to take responsibility for her daughter. Our children need to be healthy and it’s our responsibility as parents to give them every opportunity and tool to do so.

Do you think letting our children become obese makes us bad parents?

Update: I am fully aware that I don’t know this child or her mother or their particular situation. When I saw them by the sign, it made me think about parenting choices. We all make mistakes and none of us are perfect but we have to try.

How do you prevent your own children from falling into the trap of childhood obesity?

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I normally reserve this caliber of sordidness for Thursday’s Throat Punch post but , I have to say, the news this morning is so fraught with most parents’ worst nightmares that I had to share. It frightens me that this is the sort of people that are walking around free in the world. It makes me fearful for our children. As a mother, it makes helicopter parenting not seem so crazy and maybe even necessary in the world we live in. After watching these, hug your children a little tighter and take a few more deep breaths. Remember how you felt the first moment that you held that baby in your arms and the silent promise you whispered to never let anything harm them. Then, take a minute to thank God that you are not the parents in any of these stories.

And since I shared such awful goings ons in the world, go here for some positivity. Kelle always spins me right round round like a record baby. When the world has thrown a hefty dose of dread on my plate, I go read Kelle for inspiration and a reminder of how great a place the world can truly be! Thank you Kelle for helping me remember to Enjoy the Small Things

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LG appliances, laundry, family, travel,tech, parenting, make life easy

Disclosure: This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of LG Appliances but all opinions on parenting are my own.

Life is hectic when you have children who are involved in everything and parents who are equally as involved. My husband works as a global business analyst; his work comes home with him, but it also takes him away from home.

I work from home full-time as a writer which also takes me on lots of travels (which I love!) but I’m also a member of the school board, room mom for both of our daughter’s classes (party days are a workout for me), a member of the junior league and a volunteer for every activity and field trip there ever was, is or will be at school. Yet, this is the life we chose. This is our version of happiness. What’s the saying? Busyness is close to Godliness? Oh wait, no, that’s cleanliness. Oops!

LG appliances, laundry, family, travel,tech, parenting, make life easy

However, now the girls are following suit and they’re involved in cheer, gymnastics, ballet, tap, robotics, choir and violin plus they both secured parts in the city’s Nutcracker ballet this year. Of course, I volunteer for that too. We’ve always said that we’d encourage them to go for whatever they wanted to try but it leaves us really busy with no time for the everyday chores like dusting and laundry.

Don’t get me wrong, we still wash clothes… so many clothes (all of those uniforms and never ending unpacked luggage. We have tutus and leotards coming out of our noses) but it doesn’t necessarily always get put away.

To add insult, in a crazy turn of events (and a terrible twist of my ankle) I took a tumble on my sister’s wedding day (in which I was the maid of honor) while we were taking wedding party photos (no cocktails were involved) and I broke my leg (while spraining the other one). It’s left us in a terrible debacle because now all of the chaos has fallen onto the shoulders of my dear husband, who at this point can barely see straight he is so exhausted.

The other Saturday, amongst all the chaos that is our lives these days, as we were rushing to get the family out the door for a football game at 8 a.m. in the morning before heading off to pointe class and then on to Nutcracker fittings and before celebrating a particularly peculiar distant relative’s toddler son’s birthday, grape jam dribbled from my daughter’s toast down to the bib of her cheerleading uniform! The humanity!

I heard the screech of my daughter, the moan of my husband and I knew surely something terrible had befallen the house of Cruz. I wheeled myself into the kitchen as quickly as possible to find our not so cheery cheerleader. I immediately insisted that she shed her uniform as I went into full-on manic spot cleaning and continuous praying.

After a rigorous hand washing with vinegar and cold water, I was able to throw it in the washer on delicate and maintain my reputation of super (ordinary, extremely exhausted) mom. Thank goodness for quick thinking and short timed wash cycles. She may have been a little damp but thankfully, it was a beautiful, sunny autumn day!

I’m not sure what would have happened had I not had a good washer and dryer to remedy the situation. I shudder to think of the drama that might have befallen our home that morning!

Thankfully, LG Electronics is devoted to creating home appliances that help simplify household chores while focusing on creating feature-rich appliances, with stylish designs that push technological boundaries to improve the home appliance experience as well as save them time and energy.

LG’s Mega-Capacity Top-Load laundry pair (Models WT7700 and DLEX7700VE) offers enhanced convenience and performance, helping save both time and energy. Users can wash a king size comforter and full set of bedding in a single load; saving time.  With the washer at 5.7 cubic feet of mega-capacity and dryer at 9.0 cubic feet of space, consumers have access to the largest capacity top load washer in its class* possible for loads of laundry.

Top-Load Washer incorporates LG’s time-saving TurboWash®, which provides 30-minutes of time savings on every wash cycle, while the dryer features TurboSteam™, which works gently but powerfully to refresh fabrics and reduce wrinkles in half the time of other steam settings. Both settings deliver greater efficiency and world-class cleaning performance. Perfect for school morning cheerleading uniform emergencies.

LG’s EasyLoad™ Dryer is the first to open two ways, from the top (hamper style) to easily toss in wet clothes from the washer and sideways to quickly unload dry clothes into the laundry basket. This unique setup allows users to easily transfer clothes through the top to minimize bending and dropping clothes on the floor, makes it easier than ever to drop in and unload laundry. If only the dryer could fold and put the clothes away, the world would be a perfect place.

What would you do with the 30 extra minutes in your day thanks to LG’s TurboWash® technology? Tell us in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

*Based on manufacturers published specs of top load washers with a width of 29 inches or less.

 

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discipline, exercise, parenting, how to change bad behavior with exercise

I found the cure to all bad habits and I can tell you the secret of how to change bad behavior with exercise! Nope, it has nothing to do with exerting yourself and distracting yourself. It has nothing to do with feeling better about yourself or being a better person. It’s much simpler than that and I promise you, it works. I am living proof. You can change bad behavior with exercise and achieve parenting level master status. It is discipline in the best way possible.

We all have bad habits. It’s the truth. I try to be a good example for my daughters. We want our children to grow up to be upstanding citizens of the world. We want them to go out into the world and be so fierce and fearless that they impress everyone they meet. We don’t want them to be jerks. One of my life goals is for people to meet my children throughout their life and be like, “Damn, that is one bada** woman!” At the same time, I want them to be like, “What a lady she is.” That’s my mom getting in my head.

I want my daughters to be the perfect lovechild of Audrey Hepburn, Maya Angelou and Lady Gaga. I want them to be fierce, caring and relentless in their pursuit of good and happiness. That’s what I’m going for but I want them to use their words. I want their words to be the vehicle that can gain them entry into any conversation in the world. I want their brains to be their sexiest body part.

I want them to be giving, loving and embrace life and love and people. I want them to live out loud with no walls or prejudices. I want them to fully appreciate the world they live in without fear or self-doubt. I think I am succeeding, or at least on trajectory with this path, with the exception of one small kink…using their words.

This is where it happens, this is what prompted me to figure out how to change bad behavior with exercise.

Yes, embarrassing as it is, I (the writer) have failed my children in the example of using their words.  You see, I know a lot of words. I know all of the words. I am in love with the words. But sometimes, I am a lazy word user and I resort to profanity. GASP! I know shocking. Well, not really. Not if you’re a long time follower of me. I’ve been trying a lot harder to stop with the lazy words because I don’t want my girls to use all the lazy words. So, I made a decision and it is kind of shocking how well it has worked.

This is how to change bad behavior with exercise.

It’s actually very simple. I implemented a rule a few weeks ago that if you (collective you, as in my family) curse, that is an automatic 50 crunches and if you bicker and yell, that is an automatic 200 pushups and so began the hardest few days of my life. Just kidding, I’ve lived through a lot of hard stuff. I was not going to be broken by crunches and yet, 400 crunches in one day…it was pretty rough but it worked almost immediately. Who knew you could change bad behavior with exercise?

The thing that I’ve learned is that no amount of grounding, taking away of friends, tech or play dates will work to curb my children’s bad behavior. They respond much more astutely to positive reinforcement. I’m not surprised because I am the same way.  I’d prefer to get a reward at the end of hard work than to not get punished. I learned when I was pretty young that I preferred to do what I wanted and suffer the consequences, that’s just how I work and unfortunately, I think I passed that strong will along to my daughters.

However, apparently, none of us love doing crunches. In fact, we despise them. Now, these were not your average run of the mill sit ups. These were those blasted ballet/ floor barre/ physical therapy ones meant to target your lower abdomen. No one works their lower abdomen. It’s not natural and it HURTS!

3 days is how long it took to cure me of my cursing habit. 2 days is all that it took for the girls to never want to use any sort of lazy word ever again. You see apparently, our lazy words are not worth getting off our lazy butts and doing 400 crunches. And the bickering, well, my girls hate push ups even more than crunches. Bickering has been at an all-time low. I can feel my sanity returning. It’s all fun and games until someone has to do exercise.

You see, I’m a die hard, forgiveness over permission gal but I had to be the example and so crunch away I did. I’m still doing 150 every day, just in case I stub my toe or something and need that sweet release plus, I could definitely live without a FUPA. It’s so simple to change bad behavior with exercise. Why did I never think of this before?

I’ve also realized that crunches can probably cure just about any bad habit we have. Think about it. You want to gamble, each bet is 100 crunches. You want to drink, each cocktail is 100 crunches. Want to eat that whole sleeve of Oreos? That will be 50 crunches per cookie, thank you. I’m pretty sure most of us would think twice before doing that again because I don’t know about you but a swear word is not worth 400 crunches and there are no cookies worth 50 crunches. Then again, at the very least, I’d be a heathen with great abs!

Would you have ever thought it was possible to change bad behavior with exercise?

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