SoCS and #JustJoJan Day 13 – In The Stern

Oh, Linda.  You always provide such interesting prompts.  At first, I was stumped because I don’t have newspapers or magazines in the house, but then I realized she also mentioned books and lucky for me, I am sitting right next to a book case.  I grabbed the first book that my eyes landed on and found the following words: “in the stern”.

This was a terrible pick for me because I am not at all inspired by boats.  I almost went with something different, but this is Stream of Conscious style writing and I’m sure we were meant to go with the first one.  So, that leaves me with taking those three words and not being so literal about them.

I can’t decide if I’m a good mom or if I am miserably failing.  I’m not very stern with them.  I used to be (when they were really little), but none of us enjoyed that very much and I can tell you, I didn’t like how it made me feel.  I realize kids need direction and they need guidance, but I’m not sure yelling and carrying on at them is the best way to handle things.

Friday’s are a late start day for the kids, which is all sorts of retarded for them and parents, other than the fact that they get to sleep in a little bit.  I went to work yesterday fully intending to call my youngest, because I just had this feeling that he was going to sleep in.  He’s usually pretty reliable, but it’s happened before, so I figure I need to do better about calling him and helping him out.

However, once I got to work, I got busy and completely forgot about it.  Around ten, I finally remembered, but at that point it was too late.  I figured he was either at school or home in bed and once he’s late, it’s harder to get him motivated to get to school.  He ended up calling me at 12:30, having just woken up for the day.  I told him he’s missed a lot of school this year and he needs to do better.

Would it have helped to get mad and yell at him?  I don’t think so.  Perhaps I could have been more stern with him.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that it’s a constant battle of wondering how best to respond to their actions.

 


Just Jot It January and Stream of Consciousness Saturday are hosted by Linda G. Hill. Today’s prompt is: “When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication (book, newspaper, permission slip from your kid’s teacher, whatever you find) closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page. Enjoy!”

 

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SoCS on Sunday – MooDoo

I’ve been wanting to spend more time here on the blog.  I’ve been managing to keep up with Song Lyric Sunday, but that’s about it.  I feel sort of direction-less when it comes to writing and my blog.  I want to write more, but I feel like my energy should be spent on that book that I’m not really writing right now.  So, do I post more on the blog or continue down this path of not really doing anything?

It’s a conundrum for sure.  I suppose it’s good that I’m recognizing what’s going on.  Now the next step is to actually do something about it.  I’m just wondering when I actually will…

So, I wasn’t really planning on SoCS this week, but then I happened to see some of the posts from yesterday and realized that I surprisingly had something to write about the word “moo”.

Yesterday was a sad day for our family.  We met at the cemetery to mourn the loss of my nephew exactly 13 years ago.  I picked up Andru from his Dad’s house (it ended up just being me and him since Jaxon had to work and my fiance wasn’t ready to stand out in cold weather for an indeterminate amount of time) and from the second I picked him up, he talked to me about his computer game.

I feel like a terrible mother sometimes, but when he starts talking and keeps going on and on about a game that, while I’ve seen him play, I don’t have much interest in, it sort of all starts to blend together at a certain point.  He finally realized how much he’d been talking and asked if we could stop to get a drink.  We barely made it back in the car before he started in again.

I actually stopped him and reminded him he needed water… He managed to figure out how to open his water and then kept talking.  When we finally made it to the cemetery, I was happy to hand him off to his cousin.  They spent the rest of the afternoon talking and sharing everything about their games and whatever else teenage boys share.

We always go to lunch afterwards and since we were all going to the same place, both boys ended up in the car with me and I happened to overhear Andru tell his cousin about his online screen name, which is MooDoo.  When he first started playing games on the computer, he was young and he loved the name “Flames”.  I’m not sure MooDoo is a step up from that, but I think he believes it is.  Listening him tell his cousin how he came up with the name, I think about as much thought went into it as went into “Flames”… maybe even less.

But he seems to love his online gaming name and it gave me something to tell you all for this version of SoCS on Sunday.

I hope you are all having a fantastic day, however you are choosing to celebrate it or not.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill.  Yesterday’s prompt was “moo”.

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Song Lyric Sunday – Light in the Hallway by Pentatonix

Ever since Adelle introduced me to Pentatonix, I have been in love with them.  I started singing pretty young and was in a choir all through high school.  This group makes me think of those times and how much I loved harmonizing with a group of singers.

I honestly didn’t know which song I was going to pick when I posted the theme yesterday, but as I was laying in bed this morning, I thought of this song and I realized it said almost exactly what I said in my post yesterday.

I don’t know about you, but there are still times that I just want to call my Mom and have her chase the monsters away.  I hope my kids always know that I am here for them, no matter how old they are.

I do hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.

Light in the Hallway by Pentatonix
Written by Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Audra Mae
Lyrics found at AZ Lyrics

Close your eyes, lay your head down
Now it’s time to sleep
May you find great adventure
As you lie and dream
If you’re scared of the darkness
I will calm your fear
There’s a light in the hallway
So you know I’m here

So count your blessings every day
It makes the monsters go away
And everything will be okay
You are not alone
You are right at home
Goodnight, goodnight

You won’t need me forever
But I’ll still be here
For we all have our nightmares
Even me, my dear
From now on, if you need me
You can sing this song
There’s a light in the hallway
Burning all night long

So count your blessings every day
It makes the monsters go away
And everything will be okay
You are not alone
You are right at home
Goodnight, goodnight
Goodnight, goodnight

 


The Song Lyric Sunday theme for this week was to post a song about the parent/child relationship.  Please feel free to click the link, read the rules and post one of your own.

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SoCS and JustJoJan Day 14 – The Joy of Parenting

Parenting is a fun, terrible, wild ride of ups and downs and unexpected turns.  My favorite part of watching my kids grow is how they have become their own unique person.

I don’t know what it is about moving into this house, but I feel like I have more moments with my kids… like this morning sitting at the breakfast table (we had a table in the townhouse, but it was in such a cramped area that only one or two people could sit down at one time).  It was just me and the boys and we were laughing and joking around.  I missed those moments!

I’m constantly amazed at how different each child is, and yet they share so many similar qualities.  I’d like to think they each got an artistic flare from me – Jaxon loves to draw and takes amazing pictures; Adelle is attending a school dedicated to the arts, learning to build sets for theater (and really any type of performance); and Andru is my storyteller.  It’s amazing that it is all art but all so different at the same time.

I could sit and lament the fact that I was going through my dark times during their childhood so I don’t remember much, but I’m not going to do that.  While those moments were difficult and I’m lucky to still be here, those moments also shaped who I am today.  And I’m here now, enjoying each moment with my kids, as much as I can.

I posted the other day that I only just realized that my boys can actually do things, like lift heavy boxes and drill a shelf in the garage.  I didn’t really appreciate that at all until my surgery.  Actually, it happened before that when we were moving.  Jaxon was such a huge help and he continues to help make my life just a little bit easier.  When Adelle was here a few weeks ago, I called to let them know I was on my way home and she offered to start dinner!  It’s weird to think my daughter cooks!

As much as I love that my kids are growing and becoming more and more independent, sometimes I still think of them as children who need me to take care of them.  I’m still trying to hold onto those moments where I cook breakfast for them and do their laundry…. that might sound strange, but I enjoy doing things for them and it’s hard to think that they don’t really need me for any of those things anymore.

It’s exciting to watch them grow, but I can’t help but think that soon enough, it will just be me and my partner.  Best enjoy their company while I can, right?


Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot It January are both hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is “a word that starts with the letter P”.

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SoCS – Apparently, being a parent is hard

I don’t know why I’m stumped on this one.  Maybe it’s because I always talk about my kids and being a parent and it’s hard to just sit here and expound on thoughts and ideas I present all the time.  Or maybe I’m just making excuses.  It’s not like I don’t have ideas.  I’ve been sitting here thinking about it for a good half hour.  I think it’s more that there are too many ideas and I don’t even know where to start…

I was thinking about when Adelle was young.  She was always so independent.  I remember having battles with her as early as two or three about what she was going to wear.  How crazy is that?  Does it matter what she wears?  I can’t even remember why we argued… I think it’s because she had so many cute clothes and I liked them and wanted her to wear them, but she wanted to dress herself.  Why did I feel the need to argue with her about it?

Sometimes I believe that parents have issues with their children because they have ideas about what they should or shouldn’t be doing and rather than letting their children make decisions and learn, they try to force their own ideas on them.  I get that children need guidance along the way, but I also get that parents have a hard time letting go.

Adelle has said many times that she never got away with anything and Andru gets away with everything.  The sad reality is, I changed how I was parenting when Adelle was a little older, so she wasn’t able to reap the benefits of it at an early age.

I know some parents believe that if they let go, children will run wild, but my children are well-balanced and I haven’t had to deal with the teenage “horrors” that many parents worry about.

Children are human beings with thoughts and ideas all their own.  I believe they deserve our respect just like any other human being.  I dislike it when people condescend to me or talk down to me, but I’ve always disliked it, even when I was “a child”.  No one wants to feel like they are “less” than someone else, especially when that is based purely on age.

I love my children.  I love being a Mom.  It’s hard to find the right balance sometimes and I worry that I’m not doing it right or that I’m failing.  But it’s not like there’s a parent handbook out there… There isn’t a child handbook either.  So, maybe we should all be a little more forgiving, a little more understanding and let go just a little bit and allow our children to be human beings.

Happy Saturday everyone!

 


This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G. Hill.  Today’s prompt was “apparent/a parent.”  Use either one or both. You choose. Enjoy! Please feel free to click the link and join in the fun.

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My Parenting Style

I received an email this morning from a pretty great friend. She sent me a link to Donald Miller’s blog and the post titled Great Parents Do This Well with her own words: “Me thinks you already do this… hence the great kids you have!”

First of all, I just want to publicly thank her for making me feel special today. I’m usually pretty down on myself for my own perceived lack of parenting abilities and to have someone tell me they think I’m a great parent is a bit overwhelming but actually kind of cool.

Second, I just want to say that the post she sent me is worth reading, so I suggest you click on the link because the rest of my post refers to it. I will admit that I’ve never heard of Donald Miller. I will also openly admit I’m not Christian and tend to stay away from Christian-related literature. A lot of that is from my own childhood and the pain associated with trying to fit a certain religious mold and never quite measuring up. I do realize there are great Christian authors out there and I’m doing myself a disservice by avoiding them; but I’m thinking baby steps are perfectly okay in this area.

I didn’t set out to be the type of parent who shows her weaknesses to her children. I started my parenting years in much the same way I was parented; trying to control everything and doing things because it was the “right” thing to do rather than what I thought was best for me and my child. “Right” is a subjective word anyway. What is the “right” way to parent? I don’t know that anyone really has an answer. I think we all tend to do what we think is “right” and hope for the best, which is all anyone can ask for.

But…

I’m not sure when the “right” way to parent became, “I’m your parent and I’ve already learned all those things so I know better than you what is best for you,” or “My child can’t see my weaknesses because I need to raise a healthy, happy child and if they don’t see how much I’ve screwed up, maybe they will avoid it.”

I was somewhere in my early teens when I was at my Grandmother’s house and she showed me and my siblings a picture of my Dad. He was pretty upset that she showed us the picture, but it still makes me wonder to this day why he didn’t tell us the things we saw in that picture. I believe his words could have bridged a huge gap. Perhaps I would have seen my Dad as slightly more human and maybe a little less of the rigid authoritarian figure he was. I would have perhaps understood his decision to turn to religion and his willingness for us to have religion in our lives as well. I understand it wouldn’t have been easy to share those things with us. Who wants others to know hard truths about them? Who willingly shares that?

I didn’t so much make a parenting choice as one was forced on me by my own weaknesses in life. As many of you know, I have depression and there have been times in my life when it was worse than others. When my children were small was one of those times and it was difficult to hide from them. I thought I hid a lot of it from them, but now that Adelle is older, she has told me that I didn’t keep as much as I thought from them. So, I can’t really take credit for showing them weaknesses that they saw or were a part of even when I was trying to keep them from it.

However, I did make a conscious choice when my daughter was around twelve to close the gap between mother and child. I believe to this day if I hadn’t done that, I would have lost her. I decided I would rather be more her friend and a part of her life than a parent and not even know her. Is it a balancing act? Yes. Is it harder to parent that way? Sometimes. Is it worth it? It was and is for me.

My children see me cry, not just at sad movies or at funerals, but on bad days when I’m crying for no reason. They ask questions and I don’t always tell them everything, but they do hear me say, “I’m just having a bad day.” When they ask me questions, I answer them honestly. Sometimes this has been embarrassing and difficult, but I believe they learn, even from the embarrassment. I’ve told them the mistakes I’ve made in life. I tell them the mistakes I make now. They will learn it one way or another, why not from their mom?

I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. I have apologized to my children for raising my voice or when I’ve been angry. I change my mind. I think it was just yesterday that Andru asked me if he could do something and I said no. He asked me why and I honestly couldn’t think of a reason why. So I said, “You know what? Go ahead. I don’t know why I said no.”

Children are human beings. As parents, it shouldn’t be okay for us to take their humanity away just because they are in a different age group or because we’ve been there and we know better. Do we want to protect our children? Sure. But in order to protect them how we want to, it requires us to have ultimate control and we all lose something in that process.

I know my parenting style isn’t accepted by everyone, and that’s okay. I’m doing my best just like everyone else and not everyone is going to agree on the best way to do it. But I do try to remember what it was like at age twelve or fourteen or seventeen. I remember what I thought and how I felt about my parents. I don’t ever want my children to feel that way about me. I don’t ever want them to feel like they can’t be who they want to be because I’m standing in their way.

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All of us the night before Adelle went back to North Carolina (The quality isn’t the best)

This post is part of Just Jot It January hosted by Linda G Hill.