Category Archives: Life as a Parent

Take it Easy and Take Care

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I am on a countdown. A time bomb waiting to explode.
I am both excited and dreading what is to come. 
This will forever change everything. Some might say for the better, but I, well I am not totally convinced. 
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You see, my son, my 4-year-old baby boy, whom I have written about before, is about to start school. Kindergarten. I’m excited for him because I still remember Kindergarten and how fun it was. Going to centers, recess, everything being so new and full of learning moments. I’m excited for him because he is most definitely an extroverted, “people” person. He loves attention and being around other children. School will put him in his element and give him more interaction than he now gets at home. 
 
And he is so smart. He already knows how to write, say and the sound of the entire alphabet. He can count up to 120, and by tens to 100. He can add and subtract single digits equations. And we are working on reading. He loves to draw. And his memory when it comes to music is amazing. For instance, about 2 maybe 3 weeks ago we purchased the Disney Frozen movie. He has watched it maybe 2 to 3 times a week since then and he can recite all of the songs, except for some words he doesn’t know, but he says something very similar sounding. He can even do the sound effects of the movie, in order. 
 
So I know that he will soak in all the experiences that present themselves. And there lies the part that I am dreading. I’m gonna say right now, I know that my son isn’t perfect. He gives me attitude at times that would make any teenager proud. But he still has that sweet, baby-like innocence. 
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Do you know what I mean? 
 
He has never been exposed to someone who didn’t like him just because. Just because of skin, hair color, size, the way he talks, where he lives, what he wears, etc. I mean the list can go on and on. I wish it wasn’t that way. He isn’t like that. He goes into things just happy to be doing it. Mickey and I try to make a point of not referring to people by a generic term. It’s important to us that he see people for their inner self instead of the outward self. 
 
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Also, he has never had his heart broken, from a first crush. Or the first “friend” that does him wrong behind his back. The teacher that shows favoritism, and he isn’t a favorite. 
 
So many things, things that I can not watch and control, are going to be able to touch his life. And I know, my mind knows, that this will make him into the man that he is meant to become. But my heart just wants to protect him from the hurts. 
 
So…Kindergarten…take it easy on my heart and take care of my boy.
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His Inner World or Simple Defiance Part 2

I decided to wait a few days before writing this post because I was upset and I didn’t want that to come out in my writing. And I will try to do that.

The day after I published my blog post His Inner World or Simple Defiance, I went ahead and made an appointment for Jacob with the pediatricians office. They had an opening later that day, or the next available opening would have been late July. I talked it over with Mickey and we decided that we really didn’t want to wait that long so we took the appointment that afternoon.

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I sat down with Jacob to explain that we were taking him to the doctor but it was just to talk. He gets really upset if he thinks that there is a possibility of shots or hospital stay. I told him that they may listen to his heart, check his blood pressure, all the normal every visit things. He asked me what we would be talking about with the doctor. I let him know it was about his anger and not being able to sit still for anything. I told him that when daddy and I tried to talk to him about his anger he would just get mad even more. He seemed ok with everything.

When we got to the doctor’s office, he played in the waiting room. We tried to engage him in games to pass the time because as usual everything was behind about 30 minutes. When we were finally called back, they, as I had told him, did the whole run up of tests. Then we were shown into the exam room. His calm lasted for about two minutes then he was in hyper drive full force. He kicked off his shoes, was jumping on and off of the exam table, crawling in the space between the table top and shelf. I started to try to get him to calm down but then I thought well it’s probably better for them to see him in action. So I let him wreak havoc however he wanted.

So the first doctor (first year resident, not an attending) came in and sat down to talk with us. He asked general questions about why were we there and what were we looking for out of the appointment. We told him about the issues we were having with Jacob’s anger and all the issues going on besides the anger. And of course, Jacob is doing his thing. At one point, Jacob need to use the restroom so the two of us left the room for about five minutes.  So as we return, he tells us that the attending will be in shortly to talk with us also.

Mickey tells me that he was saying that it was most likely “temper tantrums” and he needed more discipline. As he was telling me, the attending came in and asked the same questions. He also mentioned it could be “temper tantrums” and most likely would grow out of it.

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No I’m sorry. I’ve been around children most of my life, in some capacity or another. I saw all of my nephews and my niece grow up. And I have worked as a daycare teacher, a substitute teacher, and worked in a fast food restaurant. I have seen temper tantrums from children. I have seen my son throw a temper tantrum. This, that is going on with my son, is not simply a temper tantrum! There is something more. Temper tantrums are outbursts, a temporary display, not an all day thing.

But according to the doctors, we are required to wait until he is in school and sent by referral from his teacher to get a diagnosis.

Wait, WHAT? I’m sorry, I have a lot of respect for teachers but they can not and will not ever know a single child in their classroom better than the parents. Not only that but since when does a teaching degree including psychiatric/psychological training.  The doctor suggested telling the teacher that we needed him evaluated so that he/she could be on the lookout for stressed encounters for him. I don’t think I will be doing that. For one thing, that will set a precedent for my son to be judge at every emotional outburst. And also that may travel with him through the years.

I’m not hoping for a diagnosis of ADHD or something else, so that I can medicate him and let the medication fix everything. And no that is not a slur to those that choose to medicate. But we, as parents, decided we didn’t want him medicated. I just want to find ways to help him deal with his anger and other emotions. I want to be able to do activities with him, without the anger surfacing for apparently no reason.

I’m working on the “ME” part of the equation also. I don’t think it is all an issue of him. I know that how Mickey and I react to him has a lot to do with the acceleration of his emotions. We are both trying to pull away if we feel that things are not going to cool down quickly, to give him time to calm. I have been working on not raising my voice. I am setting aside some time each day to spend doing stuff that he wants. Each night, we do story time before bed.  I have also been looking up organizational ideas to get his room streamlined better so there are not so many play options or clean up items.

So basically, we won’t be doing much more about it other than within our home. We will wait and see how school affects him. If and when it becomes an issue at school then we will decide what to do at that time. The most important thing is that my son feel safe, happy and loved. And he is loved beyond measure.

 

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Jacob and his puppy Googoo. (Jacob picked out the name and it stuck.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please remember the children…

There have been so many stories of parents leaving their children in hot cars, or worse “purposely” causing them harm.

I hate reading them, they hurt my heart. I cry for the little life that was lost because of stupidity. I’m happy for those who were abused no longer have to deal with the evil and hatred that infiltrated their few years but I wish they could have found freedom and happiness alive. I’m angry because even the most defiant and undisciplined child deserves a happy life.

Believe me, I know that children are not perfect. Even my own children! My son has anger issues, he likes to hit me and most of the time he blatantly does the opposite of whatever we (his father and I) ask of him. But as frustrated and overwhelmed as I may feel at times, my children are always on my mind. If the lights flicker in the house due to a storm, my first reaction is to place a flashlight close to Jacob because it frightens him to be in total blackness. I start the car, before putting in the kids, to get the windows down or the A/C on so that air can circulate.

My mind whirls with questions when I read articles like this.  I’m not trying to accuse or judge but as a parent I question forgetting your child. I mean for one thing, its not a simple task getting them dressed and loaded into the car. Then as for my children, my son especially, talks almost the entire time we are in the car. Constantly being asked questions or  Not to mention the continual checking on them at stop signs/lights and such.

Then I read articles like this and I wonder why some people bother to have children. I mean, come on, we all know how it happens and all the various ways to prevent it. If I get overwhelmed with Jacob’s anger, instead of responding with anger also, I try to remove us from each other for a cooling down time. It helps. Sometimes, I just try to ignore the behavior in hopes that it will go away. That works about half of the time. And then other times I respond with anger of my own by raising my voice, and I hate that I do that and its something I’m working on. My point is that we as parents need to control ourselves better because we have had years of practice whereas our children are still learning the full scope of their emotions.

I hope that the children who survive find ways to live a fulfilling and love filled life. And I am comforted by my belief that those children who lost their precious lives were accepted into the waiting hands of the Heavenly Father.children

 

My Dad

My dad with my baby Michaela

My dad with my baby Michaela

My dad is a great man. Bless his heart, he put up with, er I mean raised, four daughters. He has always worked hard to provide for his family and been there for my mom and all of us girls. I say girls, but I’m the youngest and I’m 40.

He treated us with respect and love, unless we fought with momma. In that case, heaven help you, you were going to receive that white upper lip. That upper white lip was usually your only sign that Dad was unhappy. I don’t really recall it ever going further. But as for me, just seeing the lip was enough to know that I had overstepped the line.

And although I still learn life lessons from dad, there are some that I hope to transfer on to my own children.

  • You should always know how to change a tire….I’m pretty sure he taught all four of us how to do it.
  • If no one is in the room, turn the light off….Always said this when we all lived at home, and I already say it to my son.
  • Never sign your name to something without reading itsigning my first car finance was when I learned this one.
  • Take a chance and help peopleDad always stopped to help people if they were having car trouble.
  • Whatever job you do, do it to your best ability….Dad worked his jobs with loyalty, perseverance and diligence. Always.
  • Always kiss your partner goodbyemom and dad had a ritual. When either one left for work, the other was at the door waving and kissing bye. Proud to say, I try to always do this with Mickey.
  • Support your partner in all thingsmy best example is after moving into their home mom wanted to tear down walls, dad was right there beside her.
  • Treat your partner like royaltyDad has always, even to this day, done everything he could for mom.
  • Stand by your partner through everything….My mom has a form of Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home. My dad is there every single day, rain or shine. He feeds her, takes her on walks, watches tv with her. Anything he can to just be with her. #Alzheimerssucks #loveconquersall

I love my dad and appreciate everything that he does and has done for me and our family. And I hope that I can be as great a parent as both of mine are.

 

Date + night =guilt?

So the kids will be spending the evening with one of my sisters tomorrow night so that daddy and I can have a “date night”. We don’t go out, just the two of us, very much. Matter of fact, this will make the second time in 2014.

I’m looking forward to going out and doing whatever we decide to do. We are torn between dinner and a movie, or rent a movie and get takeout and just relax at home. Personally, I’m kind of opting for the latter.  But whatever we choose, it will give us time to relax. Something of which I definitely need.

I love my children very much. They are my whole world. I love that I can be at home with them. I appreciate that Mickey goes to work each day so I can.

But my goodness, it’s so hard!

Don’t get me wrong, I have been a single working mom and a working mom. So I know that is hard too. But nothing prepared me for how bone aching weary I would be at this point in my life. Now, granted, I am 40 years old and still carrying extra weight from both pregnancies and not to mention what I already carried. But nonetheless, it amazes me that I wake up tired and aching in areas I don’t remember having used.

Being a stay at home mom means that I am available to my children whenever they need me and they seem to need me 24 hours a day and seven days a week. And I do mean me, my son especially will not let anyone else, not even Daddy, help him. And my daughter has already exhibited the same tendencies. So that means very limited relaxation or personal time.

And yes I get frustrated, tired, grumpy, unhappy and downright depressed sometimes, to name just a few of the emotions I feel at any given time. But what I don’t understand is why, when faced with the prospect of a date night out, do I feel so dang guilty? It’s as though my mind is trying to say that every minute should be devoted solely to my children. But that can’t be healthy. Keep them safe, feed them well, bathe them often, love them devotedly and raise them responsibly.  But also they need to experience the truth of me. See me when I write, play, cook, make jewelry, scrapbook, etc. Those things which define me as a person, both material and emotional. And if I lose myself, the only thing left are the emotional outcries.

When I get to the point that I am extremely in need of a time away, I am at the point where I no longer see myself, just “mom”. What is more important than being “mom”? Thinking that I should be able to have it all is I think a major source of my guilt. Why can’t I have wonderful children who want me with them all the time? And a partner that loves me, imperfections and all, just the way I am? And still do the things I like to do? I feel guilty for wanting all of those things. And when something needs to be cut out, its usually the things I want to do.  My guilt is a waste of time and energy. A waste of precious time taken from living my perfectly crazy life with my family.

Am I the only one? Do other parents feel guilty when they take time away for non-work reasons such as a date night or out with friends?