Archive from February, 2014
27 Feb
2014
Posted in: parenting
By    1 Comment

Motherhood: Are You Ready for This?

Are You Ready for Little Feet? Useful for Making Footprints on the Heart

I was delusional 12 years ago.

I was pregnant for the first time and not thinking past my due date. Perfectly nice people, who were parents, would ask, “Are you ready for the baby?” In my delusional state I would reply affirmatively. We wanted this baby boy. We were ecstatic to meet and hold him. We had the crib, diapers, clothes, etc. I was ready. I’m convinced now those “nice” people were laughing internally about how naive I was.

I try not to ask first-time moms if they’re ready. It’s all I can do when I hear someone ask the question to not cut-in and answer before the pregnant woman even has a chance to open her mouth. What I want to tell first time mamas is this, “You’re not ready, and that’s alright. No one ever is. We’re just a bunch of posers. Parenting is on-the-job training at its best. You are about to understand what the word love really means.”

With all four pregnancies, I lamented in labor and delivery about how things were not going to be okay. I was certain this entire baby thing was a bad idea. I was nervous, scared, excited and most definitely not ready. Each and every day I’m still not ready. I’m never quite sure what’s going to happen, what someone might say or do. Every time the elementary school calls, I hold my breath just a little. That call could mean anything. I’ve had to pick up vomiting children, talk with behaviorists about my kiddo being bullied, find out speech therapy results, and be notified someone has hit his head (again). Most of the time the call is benignly routine, but I know enough about parenting that everything can change in the span of one conversation.

I wasn’t ready for my entire being to fall so madly in love with someone I’d just met. Instantaneously, I knew I would move mountains if needed to protect, teach, raise and nurture that fragile child. I wasn’t ready for the joy I would feel at someone else’s accomplishments. I’m talking being able to use a spoon, or master the toilet. Their steps forward are leaps for me.

We’re in the process of preparing for junior high, for my son and myself. Each new week brings with it some new reminder that my baby is a self-sufficient young person. He still needs me, but I have done my job far too well. He needs me less and less. Twelve years ago I never imagined I would need to prepare my heart, not just the nursery, for the journey it was about to set forth on.

This parenting thing encompasses much more than I, that 25-year-old first time mama knew. I wish I could hug her and tell her it’s more than lack of sleep and dirty diapers. I wish I could help her see the entire forest. I wish I would have known how endless true love can be, how much seemingly mundane things (speech problems making him hard to understand) would break my heart, how I would fail (repeatedly) but keep trying, how I would see myself in my children, how even through the rough spots, I would never change a thing.  I remember having visions of what my children might do in life, how each of them would fit into the family we were creating, but I couldn’t fathom the road we’ve been on with its hills, valleys and sharp turns. I wasn’t ready for how imperfectly perfect our story would be or how I would love it so.

Then-pregnant me didn’t grasp how belly laughs, toothless smiles, uncoordinated movements would become mental imprints on each of my children. I sat and listened to my 11-year-old talk about touring his junior high and could still see the toddler who always only wore one sock as if it was yesterday. It happens regularly with all four kiddos. I’ll struggle with taming bedhead and see the curly mop of clown hair my 9-year-old sported before his first haircut at 7-months-old. Those moments take my breath away. Their past is forever intertwined with their present for me.

I’m sentimental by nature, a softy at heart with feelings that ache easily. It has occurred to me that not everyone feels like I do. There is a chance it’s only crazy me who looks at her 5th grader and sees him at age 2. I pray I’m not. My heart has taken a beating as a mama, but I wish that on all mamas. I pray we all allow ourselves to fully embrace this role none of us was ever ready for.

I’m linking this post to:

The Purposeful Mom

 


 
That Night I Was Stuck in the Truck
By     |    Feb 26, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

That Night I Was Stuck in the Truck

It all started with a vehicle door that wouldn’t shut. It was snowy and cold, the thermometer hovering somewhere around 0° F. I was late for a meeting, and the driver’s side door on our truck would not shut. I tried repeatedly shutting it to no avail. I locked and unlocked the door repeatedly. I even got out of the vehicle and inspected the door, as if that was going to solve anything. My husband had said he was having... [Read More]

Read more
My 5th Grader Has a Cell Phone
By     |    Feb 25, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

My 5th Grader Has a Cell Phone

I gave my fifth grader a cell phone for Christmas. I still can’t believe I did. It’s something I never thought I’d purchase for my elementary student. Our oldest son’s fourth grade year was full of sporadic turmoil at the hands of two boys in his class. It was an emotional drain for both him and me. Our son received a full dose of how ridiculously cruel children can be. I knew after last year I wanted B to have... [Read More]

Read more
Cub Scouts: Blue and Gold Banquet
By     |    Feb 24, 2014
Posted in: parenting, parties, projects     |    No Comments

Cub Scouts: Blue and Gold Banquet

The Blue and Gold Banquet for our Cub Scout Pack held more significance for us this year. This year we watched one of our sons cross over to Boy Scouts. I don’t have brothers. My knowledge of all things Cub/Boy Scouts revolved around clichés. My husband and his two brothers are all Eagle Scouts, and their mom was extremely active in Boy Scouts of America when they were growing up. Scouting was something my husband hoped our three boys would... [Read More]

Read more
No Fear: Do Something I Wouldn’t Do
By     |    Feb 21, 2014
Posted in: parenting, travel     |    No Comments

No Fear: Do Something I Wouldn’t Do

I stood in my kitchen and told my 11-year-old to do something I wouldn’t do. He had just finished telling me about advice a friend’s mother had given, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” While I understand the thinking behind the statement, I’ve never said that to my children. I want them to do just the opposite. Do something I wouldn’t do. Of course, I want them to think about the legality, ethics and safety of situations before deciding to... [Read More]

Read more
Less Than One Minute
By     |    Feb 20, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Less Than One Minute

It took just one minute from his night to utter one sentence to children he didn’t know. That one minute catapulted him to stardom in the eyes of my boys. Five months ago, in September, we were leaving a University of Wyoming football game at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We were there to celebrate our oldest turning 11. We had prime seats, the Cowboys won and our 9-year-old had just been high-fived by UW’s starting quarterback.... [Read More]

Read more
Organizing School Papers
By     |    Feb 19, 2014
Posted in: parenting, projects     |    No Comments

Organizing School Papers

We have three children in elementary school and one in preschool.  It was obvious from the first day of elementary school six years ago that organizing school papers would be necessary. The paperwork that is dumped from folders onto my island counter is overwhelming most days. I dread Mondays when our boys bring home their folders full of papers ranging from the next athletic league signup to weekly pizza deals to lunch menus to class newsletters. Everything in triplicate. Rule... [Read More]

Read more
None of Your Business: Becoming Unaware
By     |    Feb 18, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

None of Your Business: Becoming Unaware

I know more times than not, people aren’t giving me as much thought as I selfishly think they are. Among the litany of issues I hope to teach my children to deal with, is how to navigate this world without being caught up in what may or may not be said about you. I’ll bet there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think, “What someone else thinks about you, is none of your business.” Just be who... [Read More]

Read more
Showing My Children Love
By     |    Feb 14, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Showing My Children Love

Occasionally, I’ll ask our children what they do and don’t like about different things. It’s my way of evaluating my performance. Topics range from things in the house they would change, best/worst parts of road trips, foods to eat more or less of, ways to spend our days, etc. Each time I’m surprised by their answers. My personality leans toward making life more complicated than it needs to be. Discussing life with my kiddos has always shown it’s the simple... [Read More]

Read more
15 Underrated Children’s Books
By     |    Feb 12, 2014
Posted in: reading     |    No Comments

15 Underrated Children’s Books

I can’t be trusted in a used bookstore with a children’s book section. I’ve been known to go into a used book store to look for a book and come out with 35 books, minus the one I was searching for. My obsession with children’s books has forced me to make lists of books we already own to keep me from duplicating books. We have several children’s book series we collect (Berenstain Bears, Little Critter, Franklin the Turtle, Fancy Nancy,... [Read More]

Read more
Dear Parent/Guardian
By     |    Feb 11, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Dear Parent/Guardian

There are times when I’m not even aware life is weighing me down, when decisions made and seemingly filed away are, in actuality, still lingering in the peripheral of my mind. We chose our top three junior high school choices for our oldest son a few weeks ago. I was prepared to wait months before finding out if he would attend his #1 school next year since children registering for kindergarten receive letters in March or April. When I checked... [Read More]

Read more
You’ve Watched the Olympics too Much When….
By     |    Feb 10, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

You’ve Watched the Olympics too Much When….

Disclaimer: I honestly don’t think I could ever watch too much coverage of the Olympics. I’m impressed with what people can train themselves to do. However, there is a chance my children may have watched the Olympics too much this weekend. My first clue was watching my youngest boys cram themselves into a smallish cardboard box to bobsled through the kitchen. They used what little momentum they could get from shifting their weight to move across the floor…scritch, scratch, scritch.... [Read More]

Read more