Tag Archives: the perfect mother

Learning Life Lessons In Good Clothes

I am a self-proclaimed life long learner.  Not just because I love education and believe in it, but also because I continuously make mistakes and it’s either get up and learn or lay on the floor and waste away.  Sometimes literally.  I fall a lot.

I learned a pretty big lesson this last week though from sidekick 1.  She saw me learning and even said, “Sometimes you teach me things, and sometimes I teach you things too.”  So right.  Everyday.

I was busy one morning so my well-trained one decided to help me out by picking out the outfit that I was going to wear for the day.  She selected an incredibly bright pair of leggings and an equally bright but not of same color striped tank top.  When I saw the outfit I laughed. Out loud.

“I can’t wear that, everyone will think I am crazy and they will laugh at me.”  Bad Mom.

She cried.  Real tears.  “I thought you would look so pretty in that mom.”

Shame.  Frustration at myself. Anger at my actions.

Why can’t I wear that?  Why do I worry about what others will think?  She will learn this all too soon and lose the special that makes her sparkle extra bright.  She too will try to conform in order to fit in.  Why now?  Bad mom…Let her be her.  Show her she can.

“I’m so sorry.  I do love that outfit and I will wear it.”

“No Mom.  I don’t want you get laughed at.”  Sniffle.

“I will wear whatever you want me to wear.  You know fashion so much more than me (It’s really true).”

“Okay Mom, I picked this one instead.  It’s not as bright.”

I don’t love selfies but I couldn’t resist.  (This is my best “tight pants” dance move)

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You bet I rocked this in public. (no that is not pink in the pants-it’s orange) Proud of it, head held high.  I even found the nicest lady I could and secretly asked her for a compliment.  She told me that she loved my outfit.

“Did you hear that?  She loves my outfit.  See you were right.  I don’t know anything about fashion and I should listen to you more.”

“Do you like my outfit too?” She asks the lady with a smile a mile wide.  Then she twirled and did a little break dance move on the grass to the music.

I learned to “embrace myself.”  I learned that life comes far to fast in the world and I am not ready for her to have to fight it yet.  I’m not saying that social norms don’t need to be taught.  They do, but only when it defines character and shows respect.

Today I will wear my “fashiony” outfit, embrace life, and show my kids that I am still learning too. I think if we all face the world together we stand a fighting chance.

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It’s a good thing she loves me and forgives me right away.  My mistakes would add up if she didn’t.  Look how cute she looks though.  She really is a doll.

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The Muscle

This post is about a muscle.  Not that muscle…..get your mind out of the gutter!

A muscle.  One that I found on the back of my leg.  I told my husband about it-to which he asked if I was going to “book” about it.  I realized then…I may be a “Facebook Offender”.  Do I post too much?!?  Then decided, never mind, I am not only going to “book” this but I will blog to which it will hit all social media platforms-that’s right.

This post may start with the muscle-but it’s really about so much more.  If you remember a few of my past posts, I was talking a lot about confidence.  Here and here for example.  I have not made the time to become a die-hard exercising mom, but I have certainly made it more of a priority and it feels really good.

More than that-I am finding a little more confidence-not just in myself-but coming from those around me.

For example.  A month ago I ran a small town 5k.  I love this 5k and run it nearly every year, with my dad cheering along.  This year I finished in just over 27 minutes.  This was not my best of all time, not by a long shot, but what I found was that I was really proud of myself.  It felt really good and I had pushed myself the entire time.  Sidekick 1 and my sweet niece were also very proud and gave me the trophy.  Imaginary or not, that trophy holds a special place in my heart.  They heard me say that I was proud of myself and I realized that they were proud of me too.  I watched as they watched me and something clicked.

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My sidekick had also run the mile that morning too.  Just over 13 minutes at just age 4.  She was incredible and thanks to my nephew and sister-she had a great running crew.  We did this event as a family and all were all involved.

Fast forward to Sidekick 1’s performance as a mini cheerleader at the high school football game about 2 weeks later.  When she finished and she was asked if she had fun, her response, “I’m really proud of myself.”

She didn’t say it when she finished the mile, because I am convinced she hadn’t learned that it’s okay to voice pride in yourself. She hadn’t seen it yet.  Once she saw that though-she took off-like she always does.

It’s worth it people.  The time away, the little extra effort.  It doesn’t have to be an hour a day, it doesn’t even have to be exercise, but I am realizing more and more that I need to keep a little of myself, challenge myself, and do things that my kids can see me enjoy doing.  Most of all, I want them to see that I am proud of myself: even if I am not the 1st one in, or the very best.  Do things, be proud of yourself and show them, not just tell them, that they should be proud of themselves too.

Most of the time, I feel like I get everything wrong when it comes to raising sidekicks-but every once in a while, I totally Nail It.

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The Looks

When I was younger,  I wasn’t afraid of very much.  I often found myself on stage dancing freestyle to the intermission music in plays and Christmas programs.  I wanted to dance, and was encouraged and allowed by my parents to express myself.  As a mother now, I wonder if my parents ever had moments of concern or embarrassment. They never showed it.  But still….

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Sidekick 1 wanted to do the County Fair Talent show.  She has talked about it all year, but when I asked her to practice or prepare she flat-out refused.  She insisted she would be fine.

Thinking of the event, the many spectators, and the idea of my daughter not winning a ribbon stuck in my mind.  Would she be embarrassed if she was the only one not prepared,  would I?  Would she be upset if she didn’t win a ribbon and the other kids did?  Finally I tried to encourage her to back out of the competition and proceed with life as normal. (not my proudest mom moment) This stubborn sidekick of mine again refused.  Instead she gave me what I wanted and danced in the basement the entire time to the song that she had selected.  “Hey Mickey.”  She’s darling. So I did what any mother would do and tailored her costume, helped her get it just how she wanted it to be and told her I was proud and that she was amazing!

I still worried, would the crowd get to her?  Would she be sad if she didn’t win?

The night of the talent show this sweet and spicy little sidekick of mine took the stage.  Smile on her face, eye contact with the crowd and a consistent flow of movement and shakes all across the stage.  My cup of pride ran over.  I was so incredibly proud of my brave little lady.  Oh,  how I love her and need her energy in my life.

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The best part-she was so proud too.  I may be biased, I may think there is a little favoritism in the judging but my four-year old little girl had more stage presence and confidence than any child that took the stage that night.  Her routine was not choreographed, but she looked at the audience, not a teacher…and she smiled.  She didn’t win.  She noticed that others got ribbons and their pictures taken and that she did not.  This made her sad.  It made me sad.  I know that children need to learn that they won’t always win, but I sure wanted my little sidekick to win this one (and everyone).  She then looked at the participation certificate in her hand and said, “but I got the gold star.”  I replied, “you sure did, and it says shining star and that’s the best of the best.”

She’s proud of herself.  She doesn’t feel embarrassed with her own choreography. She just loves to dance, loves to perform, and loves herself.  The audience loved her.  I was so proud. I don’t know if I could do it anymore, I wonder if I could ever get that confidence and lack of caring for the looks that others might give me back.  The very thought scares me.  I wonder, exactly when do we lose that spark in life? When do the looks add up?

Anyone want to do a talent show next year? Let’s take our confidence back!

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Just a Drop of Juicy Gossip

It seems as if I have seen the side affects of gossip my entire life. Maybe  it was the small town, maybe we are just interesting. Recently, I saw this again and I find myself compelled to speak out. I am far from perfect, and know that I too make mistakes, but hope that I can strive to do better and be better every day.

Gossip is so easy to get tied up in. The fresh new story about someone else, and dare I say, an opportunity to feel better about your own self and your current standing. How sad it is that we look to others so often as a comparison for our own life and our own worth.

For me, living here in Utah, it seems that not attending one specific church seems to give others even more ammo to judge and speak out against another. It’s hard to be looked at equally in all things, to be included, and to be a part of. It’s difficult to find a place in a community so focused on showing others their worth, rather than feeling it in their own heart. I know this doesn’t fit for all involved, but certainly does for some.

You may be saying “not me” but reach deeper. Do you ever find yourself judging others and then speaking about their hardships in a negative fashion? Does this make you feel more worthy?

Gossip cannot be undone. Your actions in those moments cannot be reversed. An apology can go a long way. But even further, an acceptance of your own errors and faults, but mostly, a desire to do better and to change the next time around. Working for the hope that next time you hear a juicy bit of information, you bite your tongue, call the person involved, and learn for yourself the truth of the matter. Share only good news and good things. Your heart will change from the inside. I promise you will find more joy. Imagine your example to others. One drop in that very big pond of negativity. Let’s shake things up a little. Go forward with a kind tongue and an open heart. It is not our title (religious or otherwise) or the size or our home, but it is the intentions of our heart that make us who we are.3842161463_dca05eaa24_o

Theodore Roosevelt said: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

To each their own battle.  I hope to help another rise above, not get lost in the fall. I am not casting any stones.  I know I too fall in the trap.  I want to be better.  It is just the sting of a family member causing another heartache that makes me sad.  It motivates me for more. I hope it will you too.

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Getting Older-In a Swimming Suit

Each morning when I look in the mirror, my body begins singing back to me.  I know I use a lot of music-but I love it.  Set the mood:

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At about 50 seconds is when it really begins:  “A little bit softer now,  A little bit softer now.”  You know the part.  Usually I, instead embrace the rest of the song and dance my way to a kiss and hug from sidekick one and two.  I revel in the amazement of what my body made.  Those two precious souls.  Thinking of it that way, the little extra, the scars, and even extra dimples are well worth the reward I have received.  Still…

We went boating the other day with a couple of really good friends.  Mom in the group is super in shape, hard body, Olympic hopeful.  No doubt she will get there and she looks amazing.  You can imagine my fear to be in front of this company in just my swimming suit. But alas, the skis were calling me and my kids were anxious to get in the tube.  So I peeled off the cover-up and embraced my own body-as it is-to live this life and enjoy this moment.  It was amazing and my kids had the best day ever.

I learned a lot.  In my pre-mom body, my confidence came a lot from my appearance.  The ability for me to be able to stand in front of strangers, unashamed in a bikini.  I was always fit and it mattered to me.  Now…my confidence comes from my mind, and ability to raise my children.  They existed together today, and I chose the confidence in me and my children to shine through.

As our friends left, my sweet Olympian, who is more than just a fit friend, said, “Let’s do this again soon.” and I realized that to her, It doesn’t matter anyway.  She sees me for who I am and is glad to hang around.

I will work on my physical well-being for my kids one day, but I would miss out on so much if I hid in fear of the thighs that are so smitten with one another that they are having a hard time staying away.  I would miss out on my life.  So I will continue to “Shout” and enjoy my day, love my kids and live my life.  A little swimsuit horror won’t last forever-but I guarantee those memories will.

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The Sacrifice

I had a few compliments from friends that outweighed some recent expressed concerns from others about the way I am raising my kids.  I admit, my kids may be a little spoiled.  Not so much with things, but with my time and attention. Not every minute of every day is filled with fun and games (even though social media often may show differently).  We live a very real life with real expectations.  Allow me, however, to defend myself and my position from my point of view.

When I left work and chose to be a stay at home mom, this decision was not for me.  No I didn’t want to miss out on my children’s life, that’s true, but I did love my job and the people who I worked with.  I chose to stay at home for my children.  I sacrificed my career, much of my social life, and the part of my life that really made me feel proud of my accomplishments.  I sacrificed.

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When I made this sacrifice I also made a commitment to myself.  If I am giving up so much of me, I am going to do everything I can to be great at it.  I owe myself that.  This isn’t just about them. I want to feel pride in what I do too.  I made a commitment that I would do something fun everyday.  It doesn’t have to be big, maybe it’s just a game of ball with my boy and a game of Barbie’s with my girl.  Sometimes, it may be a tree picnic or a day at the zoo.  One thing every day.  Why?  Because it’s my reward.  Not just for them, but it ensures that I get to see pure joy and happiness at least one time a day.  Plus, it allows me to do things that make me feel young.  I enjoy it too.

I may not be the perfect mom.  We don’t always do fun things.  My kids have chores and have to clean up after themselves.  They often play alone and sometimes they are even pulled from a dance recital because they failed to listen and be respectful to their teacher.  I am purely doing the best that I can, not just for them, but because I sacrificed so much-I deserve to do my best everyday at what I chose.

It’s my personality, maybe,  but I think they deserve it and so do I.  I wouldn’t make a different choice.  I am so blessed to be with them everyday.  For my blessing I say thanks in time.

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Mischievous Mom Moments

Many things took place within the space of two weeks.  I lost my mother, Mother’s day, and her birthday (Happy Birthday Today Mom).  I don’t want to mope, so instead, I thought I would share some humorous thoughts that I learned about my mom after her passing, that I really wish I could call and laugh with her about.  I think most mom’s will get this.

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Nap time is not for the child. It’s for the mother.   No wonder she forced me to “take a rest” long after I ever slept.  Much needed time for a stay at home mom.  Recharge so I can return to the World’s Most Okay-est Mom Status.

That candy did not get thrown out-You ate it.  You Liar you.  I laugh now, so I know it is not a long-term damaging lie, which means I can use it with my own children, and I will.

Fixing a child’s hair is no easy task.  I now feel for all the times you told me to hold still and focus.  I understand the week you let me do my own hair as a child to see if it was worth it (backfired a little, I though my scraggly hair was great).  I now wonder if the time you dripped wax from my eyebrow onto my eyelashes (leaving a huge space afterward) was actually a retaliation for my behavior.  I am considering it myself even now and she is only four.

-It’s the littlest things that make a mom proud.  Moments only a mom can love.  The first violin recital, dance recital, or singing event.  A poop in a potty or at least close.  A hug and a kiss at an unexpected moment.  Or the first page of a first book “Pie went up the hill and met a horse and a mermaid.”  It’s amazing.  We mom’s love some pretty silly things, but it makes our hearts full.  You got it.  I know you did.

Asking a child to practice, almost makes lessons not worth it.  She’s my past coming back to haunt me-I know it.  Instead of playing the songs that are asked, she just wants to play her own. It’s like DeJa Vu.  How did you do it?

Having Multiple Personalities is hard work.  The time you put in to being the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy amazes me.  Sometimes I just want to tell them the truth, but no, you did it flawlessly. I just want to ask you, where you hid all the loot. I need ideas here.

When stopping to pee on a long road trip-it isn’t really always for the child. This mom bladder really sucks some days.  It’s just good I have tiny excuses, and I wonder how many times you used me.  Does it get better?

No no, it’s okay, I can run to the store.  It’s a getaway. Like a mini vacation in a busy week.  Even a busy store is slower than times at home. When the kids are with Dad, I will browse every aisle slowly as if there is something I must need.  List Schmist.  No wonder you liked trips to the store 45 minutes away.  Add a drive and it’s almost a day at the spa.

I’m a never-ending, cleaning, laundry, cooking, fixing, boo boo kissing and bandaging, horsey, ball throwing, diaper changing machine.  Sometimes that’s it.  But thrown in there, I’m also “Mama” the most loved lady in all the land.

When I open my mouth-sometimes I find you coming out.  Even the things I thought in my youth I would never do or say.  I realize as an adult that those were often the times that probably changed my future.  You were my mom first-always.  Sometimes it would be easier to just be the friend, “Nope that kids not mine-crazy parents” but you didn’t, and I won’t either.

I’m so proud you are my mom.  I wish we could laugh about this now.  I know there will be many more things that will make me laugh about you especially as I realize all the trickery that goes into being a Mom.  It’s hard word raising little people, but it’s a lot of fun too! Thank you! I am so glad you were born!

 

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A Day With An Angel

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A Day With An Angel

I pick up the phone and dial your number

On this special day I always remember

I wish you would pick up the end of the line

So I could tell you how grateful I am that you’re mine

But all I have left of you now

Are the memories and lessons that you handed down

The pictures I have of your beautiful face

Are all memories now, another time, another place

I’d give almost anything to hug you once more

I wish there was a way to knock on heaven’s door

Just know that I love you my beautiful mom

And I’m very sad, that you are really gone

There are many who say you are always by my side

But I can’t see you, so I’m afraid you must hide

I wonder if somewhere there a magic concoction

A visit to heaven just might be an option

But until I find it, this will have to do

A make-believe day, just me and you

We’ll sit in the sun and drink our sweet tea

But when others will look, they’ll only see me

While you are dancing all around the moon

I will dance with you, in my living room

I’ll sit in the hot tub with my bottle glass of wine

And tell myself stories, “remember that time”

You take a ride on your horse to the sunset

I’ll tell my kids of the cowgirl they’ll never forget

We’ll talk about books and have a good time

Even though the only voice I’ll hear will be mine

But mostly I’ll cry and I’ll swallow my pain

Because I know on this earth I won’t see you again

I’ll forever enjoy these days with you, Mom

For inside my heart you’ll forever live on

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A Strong Woman

This Past weekend I had the honor of watching my sister Graduate from college.  I am so very proud of her and her accomplishment.  It was amazing to see her cross that stage and to watch the eyes of her children glimmer with pride.  I wrote this poem for her when her daughter was born and I think it resonates today as she shows her children what a strong woman and wonderful mother that she is.  Congratulations on your graduation Dear Sister!

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A Strong Woman Some Day

I’m having a girl, are you sure? Check again;

I said to the doctor one day.

Whatever am I to do with a girl;

I understand boys and their play.

I don’t understand dresses and curls,

Dolls and things that are pink.

Or what to do when my daughter’s makeup,

Takes up the whole bathroom sink.

I don’t fix cute hair with ribbons or bows,

Or even ponytail curls.

I don’t wear eyeliner or stuff on my lips,

I just don’t understand this about girls.

I know I’m a girl and I should understand,

But these things are not quite me.

If I raise a girl and she learns what I know,

These are the things she will be.

She will always be strong and stand up for herself

no matter  what the price.

She will make others laugh and have their back

And will always have plenty of “spice”.

She’ll fix her own walls, and tires and doors and,

Won’t have to ask for a hand.

She’ll depend on herself and she’ll do just fine

She won’t have to rely on a man.

She’ll believe she is strong and that she has worth,

In everything just because.

And sometimes she won’t and I’ll catch her fall,

See, that’s what a mother does.

She’ll know how to laugh and smile with joy,

And I’ll hug her and hold her each day.

So when she is older and these times are gone,

I will know that she heard me say:

I love you, my darling, my baby, my girl,

Thank you for choosing me.

You knew when I didn’t, how great I could be

Thanks for believing in your Mommy!

For you and your brother are my greatest gifts,

The blessing I feel every hour.

And to teach you to be a woman who’s strong,

I am your mother and I have that power.

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Awkward

Let’s set the mood here with this one. I want you to watch this amazing video by the 2 Cellos.  Think back to the “good ole’ days” and sing along if you know the words, only this time, insert the word “Awkward” every time you usually say “Thunder”.  Mood set-for some of my greatest Mom moments.

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You’re feeling it now…Song playing over and over again in your head (your welcome).  Bouncing to the rhythm, inner dialogue taking place.  Your ready…proceed….

I have realized lately that maybe the greatest moments of motherhood exist not in the big decisions, i.e. what school for them to attend, or sport they should participate in,  but instead in the small every day situations.  Maybe it is in our everyday dealings that we craft our children to become what they are when they age.  I wonder…If I made different decisions, would they become different adults.  I digress.  Enjoy and I hope to all that is holy that I am not the only mom that thinks this way.

Those awkward moments of motherhood:

Situation: Tiny Sidekick Poops in the tub.  (it happens)

Inner Dialogue:  I wonder if I can hurry and get them washed before I drain the water and clean the tub?

Decision:  Fine…Kids out, tub washed, re-enter for an official butt washing and cleaning.  30 minutes of time wasted.

 

Situation:  Slightly bigger sidekick throwing medium sized tantrum in store aisle.  (I say medium because even the leg kicking, screaming at the top of lungs-doesn’t compare to some I have seen at home.)

Inner Dialogue: There is an emergency exit right there.  I can run out the door screaming “I wish someone would control their child” and make my way around the store to my car.

Decision:  Smile politely at all passerby’s while teaching a lesson, “we don’t get everything we want,” and “throwing a fit, won’t help you get more.”

 

Situation:  Tiny one decides for the third week in a row that 5:30 is the appropriate time to wake up.

Inner Dialogue:  If I close my eyes and pretend I don’t hear him, will he go back to sleep…no?….I wonder if I got a small mini fridge and stocked it with bottles, could he open it and help himself? (not those kind of bottles people-I do have a line)

Decision:  A grumpy wake-up to address tiny needs in a very big world.

 

Situation:  Running short on time, but really wanting to ensure children get a well balanced meal, unfortunately, the news and all my Facebook friends just informed me, that the microwave removes 90% of nutrients from food.

Inner Dialogue:  By giving them the microwave steamed broccoli they are still getting 10% more nutrients than they would otherwise.

Decision:  Dinner can wait….Oh, who am I kidding, Pampered Chef that broccoli baby.  We can’t be perfect.  Next time I will do better.

 

Situation: A day out where I know I will see people that I know.   Bigger Sidekick would really like to dress herself in pretty dress with checkered leggin’s and a super duper awesome bow!

Inner Dialogue:  She can’t go out in that.  People will think I don’t care.  Does she really think that looks good? Where do kids come up with this?  Actually those shoes do kind of sparkle like the bow, maybe it will work.  But the hero cape and mask..hmmm..Ugh.

Decision: Refuse to crush that tiny spirit inside.  “Rock it Princess.  Let that inner diva shine!”

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Situation: Tiny one poops, but I have just five minutes left of my show.

Inner Dialogue:  Nobody can smell it. He will be okay.  Does this make me a bad mom?  Why couldn’t you have waited oh tiny one?

Decision: Butts must be changed, but truly what is it with boys and poop?  Their timing…it’s crazy.

 

Situation:  Just 20 more minutes of work today and then we can enjoy our time, but kids are screaming in the background.

Inner Dialogue:  I started first thing this morning, so I could play with them.  Why can’t they just get along?  Maybe if I give them ice cream, unattended for breakfast, they will stop all this nonsense?

Decision:  Ice Cream. Clearly that was the right choice.

 

Situation: A quiet moment, while using the bathroom. Tiny hand sticking under the bathroom door waiting.

Inner Dialogue: I wonder how long I can milk this quiet time?  This chocolate bar is delicious, will they smell it on my breath?

Decision:  Shove chocolate in face, read last page of book and exit bathroom with a closed lip smile.  Pat child’s head on your way by.

 

Situation: Child screams bloody murder in the middle of the night.  They had a bad dream.

Inner Dialogue:  Someone is trying to steal them.  Bolt Upright and run to child’s bedside.  Child is crying and in tears about a bad dream they had.  Someone called them toothpaste face, it’s terrifying I am sure.  Please just buck-up buttercup and go back to sleep.  Mommy just fell asleep and is exhausted.  Can’t they do this on their own?

Decision:  “Come here honey.” Big Hugs!  Why don’t you paste your hot, constantly wiggling body to my side for the rest of the night so we can both get some deep fantastic sleep!  “Mommy Loves you!”

 

Situation:  My older niece and nephew and the epic battle of homework.  “Why do I have to learn this?  Why does it matter how I got the answer? This is how I think, why isn’t it right?”

Inner Dialogue:  Truly, you will never, ever use this in your whole adult life.  I have no idea how you got that, even if it is right.  Can I blame the common core? Everyone else does.  Most of school is really a waste, it’s the social part that really matters. Oh and the grades so you can get a scholarship and go to college so you can meet really great people (and/or get a piece of paper to help you get a better job-which is really-really important and will change your life).

Decision:  Encourage child to keep trying. “You may use this. How did your teacher show you to do it? Let’s do it that way.  That way you can get it right every time, not just this time when it happened to work out.”

It’s the tiny moments people. I am sure of it.  I may not always make the right decisions, but trying is half the battle right?  Please tell me you think this way.  Share with me your examples if you can. It will make me feel better and/or laugh my butt off.  I’m classy like that, really!

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