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mothering

What do You do when your Kid Doesn’t Match your Shoes or your Bag?

Seen a parent who uses their kids as accessories? Sounds crazy, right? I mean, who wants an accessory that makes such a mess. Parenting is a labor of love but make no mistake, it is labor.

Ever spy that mom who’s walking through the store, looking oblivious and completely put out by her children all in the same moment? You know the one, she’s dressed like one of the desperate housewives of Jersey and her child is dressed in something equally as chic. The poor kid’s sporting a kind of pathetic

The poor kid’s sporting a kind of pathetic nobody loves me, everybody hates me look? That Mom who is completely ignoring the child’s existence while simultaneously berating them, that’s the one! You’ve seen them ..at the zoo, the museums, cooking, the grocery store, church, maybe even the mirror. The ladies who like to play house but not actually live within its parameters. No cooking, cleaning, bathing, soothing sick children back to sleep..none of that. Just satisfied with the situation in theory but in fruition, they’ve decided to abort mission about 10 months after the fact…emotionally checking out. Make no mistake, I am not referring to women who

Make no mistake, I am not referring to women who have postpartum depression. I am speaking of women who had their children for the sole purpose of wanting to fit into a lifestyle and nothing more.When the task proved too difficult, they tried to cut their loses.

I have always thought that all Mommies loved their children unconditionally more than life itself. I think a good amount of us do. But there is an elite crowd, who I have found, that have children simply because that is what all their friends are doing; what is expected. They want to be invited to all the functions with the cool kids and so they procreate. You think I am joking, right? I have actually met people who have gone through all

I have actually met people who have gone through all the effort and labor of getting themselves a baby only to use that baby as a VIP pass to all the family friendly functions in town or as nothing more than an accessory. A photo op, another reason to pat themselves on the back. They want the child for what it brings but they don’t want to put any effort into the maintenance and upkeep. It is truly craziness.

Can you believe that in this day and time, there are people who would do this? Making matters worse, these are the same people who are all “get out of my house when you turn 18” and do you know why? For the same reason that the shelters are filled with cats and dogs because nothing is quite as cute as kittens and puppies…something to put into a little purse and show off to anyone who will look. I think it is beastly when its done to animals but unforgivable when its done using little human beings.

A child is a gift, a trying, exhausting, drive you crazy and steal all of your sleep gift..but none the less a gift. People did this back in the day because they needed people to work their land…so they grew a farm team but they loved them. They interacted with them. In today’s society, it is so easy to completely take care of your child but never have to actually interact with or engage them. We have Nanny’s, Manny’s, television, credit cards, boarding schools, babysitters, camps, preschool, any and every class you can think of. If you are determined enough you can fill every single moment of your child’s day and seldom have to even say hello. They can be like the good china, you only bring them out for special occasions…you know, when you need a kid to gain access to a situation.

For us parents who are full on Mommies who really want our kids, not because they match our bag and shoes but because they are our lives, its hard for us to understand why someone would only engage with their child on special occasions.Why would you not embrace the opportunity? We could not imagine our lives without our children.

Our children are not our accessories, our children are the world for which we wear all else.A child is a gift and a responsibility, forever. If you are so lucky to have one, love them and cherish them as they deserve to be. You chose to bring them into the world, they did not choose to come into yours. They are not intruders, they are your guests. Once you have children, its time to put away your own childish things and become an adult.

What do you think of parents who use kids as accessories?

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change, life changes

change, life changes

Life Changes~What do I want to say? It feels like I’ve been missing from here a lot lately. I miss my home. This blog is my home. I miss my people. I miss the interaction and the back and forth. Lots has been going on behind the scenes lately. As many of you know, I have started writing at a few different places around the internet; Smart Mom Style, Aiming Low, Modern Home Modern Baby and the Stir. I am truly blessed, even if unexpectedly so.

Changes Come Unexpectedly

There are lots of other changes going on too here at our home. We’ll be moving this summer and our house has still not sold and that is weighing heavily on my mind and my heart. I’ve been doing a lot of praying for patience and understanding. The girls are growing up fast. I blinked and now our life is about Spring Breaks and ballet recitals. It used to be all about time together and having fun and now it’s all turning to obligation. I feel out of my depth on many levels and yet there is still more changes going on.Things that I can’t even think about with too much thought or my head may explode from all of the overwhelming possibilities.

This is where I have been lately. Then there was spring break. I so welcomed and looked forward to it. It started off amazing with a trip to Castaway Bay indoor water park. The girls adored it. The Big Guy and I had a blast just watching them run around from activity to activity, screaming and squealing all the way. Finally, a place they could run, jump and scream and it was perfectly acceptable, if not expected. We spent our days dripping water and surrounded by laughter and love. The Big Guy and I soaking in every single moment of togetherness with the girls. They will never be this age again. There will never be another first trip to the water park. Each night we collapsed into bed, snuggled together excitedly recounting the thrill of the day. Lots of sweet memories were made at Castaway Bay, not the least of which was my Mommy alone time spent in the spa with my pedicurist Laura Williams. Not only was there peace and quiet and an amazing pedicure to be had, Laura had a vibrant personality and a pleasing demeanor. She made the pedicure an experience.  Then we returned home.

Changes in plan

The next day, we spent with Grandma having lunch at our favorite spot and watching ,Mirror, Mirror; a special treat for the girls. We were relishing every single moment together, just as I had planned and then I got sick! Not just a little case of the sniffles, this is a knock down, drag out, can’t lift your head kind of illness. It was like the devil spawn of the worst head cold you’ve ever had the misfortune of catching and the flu on crack. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like I had been run over by a mack truck. I stayed there, in bed, trying not to die the entire day. The week pretty much plateaued at that point.

I’m slowly recovering from the illness, the girls are on their last day of spring break and I am still overwhelmed with a lot of choices that I need to make soon. How do you embrace the changes in your life?

Changes whether good or bad can be overwhelming

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**Disclaimer I was given access to Castaway Bay indoor water park and their resort for review purposes but all opinions expressed are my own. All life changes are my own.

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working mom , mommy guilt, work, mom, family and work balance

working mom , mommy guilt, work, mom, family and work balanceThe Working Mom

Working Mom guilt ~ Finding the balance between work and family is the sweet spot in life where every working mom wants to live. But how do we find the perfect balance between our careers and our family, more importantly, our children? This is a struggle that I think every woman is too familiar with; one that I, myself, have struggled with since giving birth to my first child.

Even if we are afforded the luxury of being stay-at-home Moms,  we are torn and left feeling guilty for not wanting to be in the house, with the children, sans adult conversation for 24-hour increments/ 365 days a year. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, a work outside of the home mom and a work-at-home mom. All have had their challenges and in every category, I was a working mom. Raising children and maintaining a home is never ending work, even if the perks include spontaneous hugs form adorable munchkins.

As a stay-at- home mom, I wrestled with being overwhelmed with no down time. I found myself having verbal explosive diarrhea each afternoon when my husband walked through the door. I felt disconnected to the outside world and then I felt extreme guilt for feeling like I wanted to be anywhere else. After all, what kind of mother needs time away from her children? Obviously, this was a sign of a major character flaw on my part and I should suffer in silence like a priest trying to purify his soul and purge the impure thoughts. After all, wanting to be away from my children, wasn’t that the most impure thought that a mother could have?

While pregnant with my second child, I temporarily took a job outside of the home. It was only in the afternoon, after my husband was home from work, because I could not bring myself to leave my 1 year old with anyone else (another side effect of extreme Mommy guilt). She was up for precisely 2 hours after I left for work. In retrospect, she probably didn’t even notice that I was gone. She normally played with Daddy from the moment he walked in the door until bedtime anyways, regardless if I were home or not. Yet, every single day that I walked out the door for my 5 hours of work, I felt like I was betraying her in some profound way; abandoning her. The guilt was palpable. The job lasted eight months. From the moment I took the job, I was looking to find something that allowed me to work from home.

This Working Mom wanted to work from home

At six months pregnant, I found a fabulous job that allowed me the flexibility to work from home and make my own schedule.  I was ecstatic. Then I started the job and realized there is only one rung of Mommy guilt worse than leaving your child to go to work and that is sitting in the same house as your child, hearing them call out for you and having to make the decision to tune them out so that you can get work done. The guilt I wrestle with is colossal.

I’ve been fortunate that my job has allowed me to scale my hours back when I need to and increase as I see fit. It’s been a Godsend. Now, the girls are a little older and next year, they will both be in school all day. I decided it’s time to pursue a career that not only fits my lifestyle but also is something I love doing. After all, don’t we all deserve to have it all; the partner, the children, the career and the lifestyle that we want?

I’ve just started a couple new jobs. I still have my original job; editing and tutoring in English but I have added regular freelance writer to my repertoire. I can now be found at SmartMomStyle.Com and The Stir daily plus I am writing my weekly post at Aiming Low. It’s very exciting and absolutely my dream job. As it is starting any new job, it’s taken some concerted scheduling efforts on my part. My husband and I had to sit down, figure out a writing schedule, incorporate the kids schedule and make certain days and times off limits because they are reserved fro family time. It’s only been a week but I can see that the schedule is already making a huge difference in the amount and quality of time that I am spending with my family.  It is also working wonders for alleviating the Mommy guilt.

I’m sure you working moms have many different ways to deal with the Mommy guilt, the schedules and how to make the best out of your time. I’d love to hear your stories and recommendations. I want to have it all and leave that working mom guilt out of it.

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Bye Bye Working Mom Guilt

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parenting

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parenting

akanemd

Parenting Techniques are like assholes..everyone has one!

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Today, Bella came out of ballet very upset that one of the little girls in the class was ignoring her.Apparently, there was an incident a couple weeks ago when Bella ( being that she is 5) told the little girl, “You are my best friend” to which the little girl responded, ” NO, I’m not your best friend. So and so is my best friend!”  And another incident previous to that one where Bella brought her friend on bring a friend day and wanted to sit by her, this other little girl sat between them and basically was  friendly to Bella’s friend but excluded Bella. Bella was very upset that day, as well. Friendship has been a big theme lately at our household. I think it has a lot to do with being new to this entire kindergarten situation. It’s like everything revolves around who your friends are…wow, sounds a lot like high school.

Anyways, I’ve always been a big advocate of the “to have a good friend, you’ve got to be a good friend” mantra.Hell, you’ve all heard me preach it…time and time again. To an extent, I do believe that. Well, I certainly believe it…if they are in fact your friend. Now, it has recently come to light that there seems to be, what I can only classify as “mean girls” in the elementary girl set. I can’t even believe I am saying this because it sounds so freaking ridiculous. But believe me you, I’m finding this all out the hard way. Not so much the boys, but it seems girls learn very early on about this competition amongst one another. I for one am an advocate of sisterhood and that has been what I have been trying to instill with all this To have a good friend, you’ve got to be a good friend  business.

But what do you do,when your child is heeding your advice and giving and giving some more when the other child is just taking and even worse..rejecting. I want my daughters to give people chances and not judge them by first impressions, but its hard to teach this when my girls are the only ones adhering to these rules. There’s only so many times I can watch my child, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, approach another child only to have the other child ignore or reject my child. I’m not going to lie. It pisses me off. I try to teach my girls to be nice, respectful and giving in their relationships and I am watching it being met with unresponsiveness or insincere responses. I don’t necessarily think that these parents aren’t teaching their kids how to behave appropriately. I just think that I am around a lot more and so by being there, my girls follow the rules and it also gives me the opportunity to see the other children sometimes ( some more than others) behaving badly.

Today, I had enough. I had enough of Bella getting upset. I had enough of her feeling rejected. I had enough of this other little girl ignoring her hellos and goodbyes. I had enough of this little girls smart ass comments. She actually told my daughter, “I’m better than you because I am older and can dance better!” WTF? She is older. But my daughter is younger…and was placed at the same level. You do the math. This little girl used to be her friend. We moved away. Moved back. And the kid has metamorphosed into a full on raging mean girl. I know, how awful do I sound referring to a 6 year old as a raging anything? I’m sure there is a special place in hell for me…but I’m also pretty sure that kid is going to be there right with me.

So, I took my little girl’s sweet little tear stained face into my hands and I told her “Forget about her! You don’t need friends like that.” To which Bella responded, “Yeah, because she is mean and stupid and she won’t let the other girls play with me.” Me: ” Bella we don’t call people stupid (even if they are). When you see her if she says hi, say hi back, If she doesn’t, just act like you don’t care!” Am I wrong? I can’t keep telling my little girl to turn the other cheek when every which way she turns, this little girl is metaphorically slapping her in the face…and harder each time. I don’t know what is motivating this behavior.I don’t honestly care. I just refuse to teach my kid to be a doormat to others. Maybe I should teach my girls the 3 strikes you’re out rule? That gives people an ample amount of time to redeem themselves, right? Of course, even under those circumstances this mouthy little girl would still be left in the OUT pile.Happy Mothering! Does this ever get any easier?

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Wow! There is nothing like our children to put the entire world into perspective. As I am running around like a chicken with my head chopped off, trying to find shoes and coats, finish the laundry (the never ending laundry), pay bills online, make phone calls /return phone calls, return emails and texts, make sure my kids are fed and clean and everywhere they are suppose to be on time and a laundry list of other daily chores (just like all the rest of you Mommies) it hits me, Stop! Take a breath! I am spending so much of my time lately trying to organize and plan life, that I am afraid that I am missing out on and not enjoying life. I find myself filling my days with things that I have to do and very little , if any, of what I want to do. This is making me uptight and grouchy, and defeating the purpose of all of the planning. After all, the planning is to maximize the quality of my daughters’ childhoods not to make them remember their childhoods as ” Remember how uptight and crazy Mom was?” What brought about this revelation, you ask? My brilliant little 2 year old. I ask in complete desperation, ” Gabs, please help Mommy clean up your room, honey.” Her response, “No Mommy! Me no want to!!!!”” Please?” “NO.ME NO WANT TO!!!!!!” (Basically, look woman I told you once..I don’t want to). Then it dawned on me..Me no want to either!! So, why not let the laundry wait a few hours and go have some fun with my girls. They are only this age now..NEVER again. I can’t rewind time like a video cassette. I’m hitting the reset button (oh yeah, once again. Apparently, in my life, it is a button I will be hitting quite frequently. Now, if I could only find that damn EASY button they keep talking about!)


This week we had an impromptu meeting downtown Chicago. Normally, I am in and out of downtown. The traffic frustrates me, the kids get bored and scream and cry; it really becomes an enormous headache.This time I said, hey we’re going to make it an adventure and have some effin fun. After our appointment, we cranked up the volume on the Yo Gabba Gabba CD, started cruising around downtown until we saw some place that we wanted to stop. To the bean we went! I’ve been wanting to hit Millennium park for some time now and an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is presented itself. The girls, me and my lovely “NManny” for the week ( my 19 year old brother, who my daughters absolutely adore & so do I , for him coming out to help me while Daddy is on business)  explored all the facets of any art and design that the park had to offer. It was a spontaneous, lovely day in the park…which are always the best. Cheers to many more days of living life while smelling the lilacs versus only planting while multitasking 20 other things, and never truly having the opportunity to be happy or let those around you be happy. I need to start relinquishing some control and going with the flow, because the flow is where I live and no matter what I do…the flow is going to keep on flowing!

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I still don’t understand how you have to be 18 to vote, 21 to drink, 16 to drive, you have to pass a test to see, a test to drive, a test to do everything except to have a child. I think there should be classes offered for parenting before you are actually pregnant and even for being around children in general, and one must pass a test at the end of the learning period to proceed. As it is now, any fool can have a child and be around children; barring any felonies related to child misconduct but by that time the damage has been done. What I am referencing are people saying stupid things to children or not thinking before they speak to children.

Case in point; little boy and his brother 4 and 6 sitting in a room playing, visiting relative says ,”Oh look, its the cute one and the ugly one!” Before you ask, the parents, stood idly by as this train wreck took place and the “ugly” ones self esteem went up in flames.If I would have been there, I can assure you that I would have promptly punched said relative in the face!

Another case, little boy and his same-aged cousin run up to their Grandmother.Grandmother is annoyed with one of the boy’s Dad.The little boy says,”Grandma, I love you!” Grandma says,”I’m not your Grandma!” the little boy is devastated and left feeling unloved and inferior. No one says anything.WTH! Can you really be so loathsome and evil as to say something so obviously hateful towards a 4-year-old? You see what I am saying? I could go on forever with the things I’ve heard but instead, I’d like to illustrate another case.

A little girl is hyper and excited to see her grandparents and is jumping around and talking a million miles a minute. All she wants to do is catch them up.She is asking for Grandma because she wants to share all the details of the past couple of weeks. Grandpa looks at little girls and says, “She doesn’t want to hear about it! She has to go to bed, it’s late!” This was not said in a pleasant tone, it was short, it was curt, it was rude. Little girl’s heart is broken in that instant, she is deflated, she is confused and about to cry. Mommy speaks up,” Excuse me, don’t speak to her like that.She was excited and trying to share with you because she loves you.If you can’t appreciate that, your loss but DON’T speak to her like that ever again!”Mouth agape, tail between legs,in silence he agreed. It may have taken balls to stand up to the little girl’s grandfather but it had to be done in order to preserve her daughter’s self esteem, self worth, and self respect. The moral of the story is some people should NOT be allowed to be around children…ever! Seriously, there ought to be a law and a test. Bonus moral, if you ever over hear an idiot thoughtlessly berating a child, insert yourself into the situation, stand up for the child, and by all means, punch the mean bastard who is breaking the child’s heart square in the neck! Call it a service to mankind!

It may have taken balls to stand up to the little girl’s grandfather but it had to be done in order to preserve her daughter’s self-esteem, self-worth, and self-respect. The moral of the story is some people should NOT be allowed to be around children…ever! Seriously, there ought to be a law and a test. Bonus moral, if you ever overhear an idiot thoughtlessly berating a child, insert yourself into the situation, stand up for the child, and by all means, punch the mean bastard who is breaking the child’s heart square in the neck! Call it a service to mankind!

 

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My oldest is about to be 5 (sniff sniff) and she is at the age where she is starting to really refuse her naps. I know, some of you are saying to yourself, “What? Her kid still takes naps? Lucky bitch, she should be happy its lasted this long.” Well, its lasted this long because she is still tired in the afternoon, ergo I make her take a nap. Now, I know there are those of us who have taken away the nap in order to have some quiet time in the evening. I am all for that, if your child is not needing a nap anymore but that is not the case in my house. No, my children need naps like most people need air…for survival. But there are those days when they fight me on the nap, those days when they want to stay up and not miss a thing! On those days, I sometimes give in…to my four year old. Of course, absolutely everything my four year old does..my two year old feels she is also entitled to. I am absolutely, without a doubt, against this behavior none the less it has happened on occasion.That being said, yesterday was one of “those” occasions. I knew when it happened it was a bad idea but they were begging, we were out and running late getting home,things needed to be done and I gave in. Soon, it was 6:30 and ,in no uncertain terms, time for bed…so we thought.The four year old went on and on about how I don’t love her, and I don’t care about her. This is all compounded by complete hysterics. I can’t even get a word in edge wise. I try to console her, I know its the over tiredness talking. I’ve seen this before. But she keeps on going,” You don’t love me. You only love her. I hate her.(her being her little sister). ” The little one, sensing the meaning of her sister’s unkind words, decides she will physically attack. I believe there was some face grabbing, and perhaps a bite was exchanged. I’m trying to hold it together. I stay calm, try to placate both girls. I just know if I can get them still for 5 minutes…they will fall fast asleep. This continues for 45 minutes. I am at my wits end. It ended up, my husband, myself and both daughters in our king size bed; apparently it was the only way to prove that I loved them equally. After all the tears and drama, there are two things I am certain of 1, my four year old certainly still needs naps. I don’t care what anybody says. If they want to argue, I’ll let her miss her nap and then send her to their house around 7 pm.Take that, judgy Mommies:)2)No matter how sweet and lovable my kids are during the day, no matter the promises they make about going to bed without a fight if allowed to miss their nap…NEVER, EVER BELIEVE THEM! They are crazy little liars who can’t be trusted and it is my job to know better! No Nap , late night meltdowns are our own faults…nap responsibly!

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