Browsing Category "parenting"
21 Jun
2017
Posted in: parenting
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Adjusting to a Different Summer

I miss preschoolers.

Maybe I don’t miss everything about having young children, but parenting a teen and a tween this summer has me nostalgic for truly lazy days of summer.

boy swimming laps during swim lessons

I was prepared for life to change when our oldest entered high school. He’s active and involved. I knew certain things, like sports, would require more time. He hit the ground running this summer and his commitment motivated our 7th grader to start his own training program. By 9:45 a.m. this morning, our oldest had been dropped off and picked up from football speed and strength training. Our 12-year-old and I had run through his middle distance training for the day, and I was sitting at swim lessons with our youngest two. Our schedule isn’t nearly as bad as some other families. It seems we’re attempting to one-up each other with our level of busyness. I most definitely want to lose that game.

teenager crossng a river on a log bridge

Long gone are the days of sleeping in with my young children who actually enjoyed sleep. There’s no more nap time, except when mom sets the timer for 20 minutes of self-imposed mom rest time. I miss the repetitiveness of wooden puzzles, block towers, finger paint and racing Hot Wheels. I remember thinking the monotony of those days would do me in and now I long for that slower pace.

My current state is our fault. We wanted the children to find things they enjoyed and participate. Be involved we told them. That’s at least one thing they listened to me say. There are things we do say no to, and the kids would gladly list the requests that have been nixed. We’re choosy. They still need to have family time and time not dictated by a schedule. There’s time during the day for us to do as we please, but even that is exhausting with big kids. They want to hike, swim and explore. Their legs can carry them miles and miles over rough terrain. A hike on the local parkway path is no longer sufficient for their adventuresome spirits. I love it, but I’m tired. It seemed not too long ago it was me dragging them to places to get out of the house and now it’s them prodding me along.

brothers playing at a Wyoming state park

I don’t remember summer holding many extracurricular activities as a child. The list of camps is extensive in our area. There is, quite literally, a camp for everything. This summer is an adjustment period for us as we settle into the realm of high school. Fall sports begin early in August. Next year will maybe bring a summer job into the mix.

I’ve been warned by more-seasoned parents that if I think the junior high years went quickly, high school will take my breath away. I’m glad we chose years ago to have experiences instead of continually waiting for the kids to be older. Older came fast, and now that we have older kids, our time seems in short supply. I remember when the kids were much younger wondering if the day would ever be over. Now I check the clock and wish there was a way to add more time.


 
No Ugly Crying for Me
By     |    May 22, 2017
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No Ugly Crying for Me

Warning: I’ve become a spontaneous crier. In fairness to myself, I’ve always been a crier, but lately, my tears seemingly flow on a daily basis. I can’t keep them at bay and really have stopped trying. I’ve promised our children I’ll stop myself before I’m at the ugly cry level, but that’s as much as I can pinkie swear about. Thankfully, the tears are happy(ish) for the most part. We’re finishing up another school year, my ninth as a mom,... [Read More]

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Big Push to Finish School Year
By     |    May 4, 2017
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Big Push to Finish School Year

The month of May is one of my favorite and least favorite months. Summer is right around the corner and the weather is improving. There are 22 days of school remaining and 50 days until we enjoy another much-anticipated epic vacation. But May is also the month when everyone has everything on every day…all month long. It’s inevitable with four children that our evenings will be full of recitals, concerts, track meets and practices. It’s never one thing at a... [Read More]

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The Thing About Grief
By     |    Mar 24, 2017
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The Thing About Grief

I picked up our 8th grader from school on Wednesday expecting our normal post-school conversation. The script goes something like this: I ask him to tell me something about his day. He tells me about some meme someone showed him at lunch. I either laugh, or don’t get it and he laughs. He’ll run through his homework list and pick a few small things to discuss. Thus concludes the recap with further items thrown in at random times throughout the... [Read More]

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If Only There Was a Parenting Guidebook
By     |    Mar 22, 2017
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If Only There Was a Parenting Guidebook

This morning my youngest son asked what the hardest part is of parenting. It took me a few minutes to decide. Not being able to fix heartbreak. Not being able to fix injuries. Watching time slip through my fingers. Making sure everyone feels listened to and treated fairly. All possible answers. The one I gave him: there’s no guidebook. Sure there are plenty of books on parenting. I remember with our oldest flipping through “What to Expect the First Year”... [Read More]

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Sometimes Life is That Cliché
By     |    Feb 3, 2017
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Sometimes Life is That Cliché

If there’s one thing I know about parenting, it’s that children grow up too fast. I know. I know. It’s the epitome of cliché, but also heartrendingly true. Our oldest will be a freshman next year and will register for high school classes this month. I’m sentimental, sometimes to a fault. The email confirming his placement in high school seemed surreal. It surely belonged in someone’s else inbox. I can’t possibly have a teenager in high school. I’m too young,... [Read More]

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Gifting Experiences Over Things
By     |    Dec 12, 2016
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Gifting Experiences Over Things

I watched our seven-year-old come on stage to walk-through her part in The Great Russian Nutcracker with big eyes and slightly hesitant steps. The stage was bigger than she’s used to dancing on with movable backdrops and multiple props lining the stage’s wings. Professional dancers from the Moscow Ballet company waited in the wings or on the stage. They were speaking Russian and looked aloof and marginally bored. As I watched our daughter and her fellow snowflakes, I was impressed... [Read More]

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Keeping Children Out of Politics
By     |    Oct 5, 2016
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Keeping Children Out of Politics

I’m not overtly political in nature. I have my opinions, but I don’t enjoy debating politics. The last few weeks I’ve had conversations with my elementary-age children regarding issues they’re hearing at school from children that have me questioning what, exactly, adults are thinking. It started with comments about Benghazi and deleted emails. Then there were walls and taco trucks. My daughter has been told by a fellow 1st grader that she’s “what’s wrong with the country” because of who... [Read More]

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Dear Teachers: It’s Not You, It’s Me
By     |    Sep 12, 2016
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Dear Teachers: It’s Not You, It’s Me

Teachers, I’m asking for some grace. We’re in our first full week of the new school year. We’ve done the back-to-school nights and signed all the papers. We’re almost in the groove, heavy emphasis on almost. Give me time to acclimate to the four varying schedules and demands of our children. Half our kids don’t have homework. The other half will, one far more than the other. There are reading logs to keep and behavior ladders to memorize. When I... [Read More]

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Broken Bones and Mommy Guilt
By     |    Sep 1, 2016
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Broken Bones and Mommy Guilt

Confidence is fleeting in my parenting game. One day I think we’ve got this. The next, Craig and I are looking at each other wondering what we’re supposed to do. This morning I had no clue what to do when a child potentially breaks bones. By this evening, I had it figured out. Almost 14 years into parenting and we had yet to have any child break a bone. The simple act of running ruined that record. Our first-grader was... [Read More]

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Tailoring Parenting to My Audience
By     |    Aug 28, 2016
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Tailoring Parenting to My Audience

Our second oldest son and I were driving to his 6th grade orientation last week. His brothers and sister weren’t with us. This was the perfect time to talk one-on-one about heading to middle school. I over-think and prepare for situations. I was going to begin with talking about responsibility before moving into the importance of kindness and bravery before wrapping up with a shortened version of previous talks on drugs, alcohol and sex. I’d given this talk to his... [Read More]

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No Rose-Colored Glasses for Me
By     |    Aug 18, 2016
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No Rose-Colored Glasses for Me

She told me I was overly sappy. She accused me of looking at parenting through rose-colored glasses. I was told I was crazy for not wanting my kids to head back to school. I’ll admit to being a sap. It’s taken me years to embrace the fact that I’m an emotional person. I have all the feelings all of the time. I’m passionate and a little emotionally volatile. I feel my way through life, and no longer make apologies for... [Read More]

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