Browsing Category "parenting"
6 Apr
2016
Posted in: parenting, travel
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Just One More Quarter

I sat in our vehicle on our way home from a week-long spring break vacation believing I was rejuvenated. Spending time with my family, traveling and enjoying the outdoors free of distractions speaks to most of my love languages. I felt waves of anxiety flow away and tense muscles relax over the course of those eight days. There are eight weeks of school left, and I was prepared to bring my A-game to the final quarter of the school year.

Hiker on Watchman Trail in Zion National Park

Then Monday afternoon happened with its folders full of notes, homework, track practice, parent meetings, dance class, musical practice and more paperwork needing read and signed. I read every note these children bring home, but for the life of me, cannot keep any information straight. I forget which field trip on which day belongs to which child. By the end of March, it’s impossible for me to focus on schedules. I desperately want summer with its loose, free-flowing days and nights. Spring break was supposed to have been enough to get me through until June 8.

I sat in the vehicle fulfilling chauffeuring duties yesterday after school, attempting to listen to something all four children were saying at seemingly the exact same time, and desperately wanted to be back in Northern Arizona on vacation. Any attempts at stepping my mothering up a notch to its organized, caring, September self flew out the window on Day 1 of fourth quarter.

mom and four kids in Peekaboo Slot - Red Canyon, Utah

I told our youngest three kids Monday morning at breakfast that we were going to get back to a more normal time for dinner with more healthy options, bedtime was back to 8 p.m., 20 minutes of reading every day after school and paperwork cleared off the kitchen counter before bed each night. Famous last words. The kids were in bed at 10 p.m. last night, which is the fault of March Madness more than anything. I just could not tell them to go to bed, school night or not. My September self would have followed through. I have no idea if anyone read anything yesterday, and I never even cracked one child’s school folder, which required parent initials. There are still papers on my kitchen island from before spring break.

I had the best of intentions for fourth quarter, but now have lowered the bar. Let’s simply strive to enjoy the end of the school year. I have one graduating from kindergarten while one of her brothers graduates from elementary school. There are field trips, track meets, concerts, musical performances, recitals, dance competitions, longer nights and warmer days.  There may not be consistent bedtimes, healthy home-cooked meals, laundry folded, and spotless counters. I may need to ask, again, what day and time a field trip is and who needs a sack lunch for what. I’m not going to allow the stress to build. I want more of my vacation attitude every day. These days of actively mothering are too numbered for me to worry about whether my counters are visible or not.

 


 
Making Peace with Glasses
By     |    Mar 4, 2016
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Making Peace with Glasses

My personality falls strongly under the Type A category. I’m prone to anxiety, organized, sensitive, tend to over-commit, and time-conscious. I’m not a fan of surprises and like to plan for things. These traits, while sometimes helpful as a parent, most of the time leave me exasperated. Raising four children with their own personality quirks seriously messes with my desire for organization and timeliness. Throw into the mix that I can’t read their minds or know what’s happening in their... [Read More]

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Wading through Adulthood
By     |    Feb 19, 2016
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Wading through Adulthood

At times, I feel I missed my calling as an actress. I’m playing the part of an educated, well-spoken, involved mother of four. In reality I’m an overwhelmed, potty-mouthed, tired person masquerading as an adult. I honestly have no clue how all of this adultness manifested itself.  One day I was sitting in a college statistics class and now I’m in meetings discussing community-wide issues and education policies and referring to stakeholders and best practices. One choice led to another... [Read More]

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Reasons I Love You
By     |    Feb 11, 2016
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Reasons I Love You

This year I’ve implemented a new-to-us idea for our kids leading up to Valentine’s Day. You’ve probably seen the idea of love notes floating around social media. The idea is to write a note with a different thing you love about your child every day from Feb. 1-14. I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather be surprised by chocolate on a random Wednesday “just because” than on Feb. 14. My husband surprised me with coffee when he arrived... [Read More]

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Meaning Behind Childhood Heroes
By     |    Feb 3, 2016
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Meaning Behind Childhood Heroes

I was recently verbally slapped for my 8-year-old’s choice of heroes. They are, for the most part, athletes, and another adult expected better from me as the parent. I was told it should bother me he didn’t name a scientist or teacher or former president. It doesn’t. As he matures, his list will change and those larger-than-life people he sees on TV and in the news will no longer dominate his thoughts, but stay firmly planted in memories of his... [Read More]

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Power in Cupcakes
By     |    Jan 22, 2016
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Power in Cupcakes

I’m awful at recognizing my limits. I knew I was approaching my stress threshold this week, but kept pushing. Yesterday, I reached my breaking point. My self-induced pressure to fix a situation was causing me stress which was making my household miserable. I couldn’t be done with yesterday fast enough. I needed a start over something fierce. Today was not a day for emails, meetings or phone calls. Today there were surprise cupcakes at elementary school lunch and coffee with... [Read More]

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Parenting and Advocacy
By     |    Jan 19, 2016
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Parenting and Advocacy

Last week was riddled with heavy parenting. I felt all the feelings from burning anger to heartbroken sadness to mind-numbing frustration. I lost sleep and had to remind myself numerous times that literally pointing my finger at someone or shaking them until I believe they actually understand what’s happening are not acceptable behaviors. There were meetings, emails and phone calls. I shed tears on multiple occasions and listened to one son lament about school in a way no parent wants... [Read More]

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‘Tis the Season for Ridiculous Expectations
By     |    Dec 24, 2015
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‘Tis the Season for Ridiculous Expectations

  The month of December is full of emotional landmines for me. The pressure I place on myself to make the Christmas season a joyous, memory-filled time is enormous and exhausting. Without family in town, I can feel lonely one day as we move through our traditions. The next day I’m savoring the joy of time spent with the five people who love me best. My emotions are a roller coaster of highs and lows with self-sabotage right around the... [Read More]

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Project-Based Learning: My Favorite Way to Learn
By     |    Dec 9, 2015
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Project-Based Learning: My Favorite Way to Learn

I’m not a teacher, but I am in my eighth year of having at least one child in the public school system. I’ve witnessed a wide-range of teaching styles and been bombarded with acronyms. I firmly believe schools should give parents acronym cheat-sheets to aid parents in understanding what educators are talking about. There are styles of learning my kids are drawn to more than others. Currently, we’re immersed in project-based learning or PBL. My kids are energized by PBL... [Read More]

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For Our Teenage Son
By     |    Nov 10, 2015
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For Our Teenage Son

I quietly listened to an acquaintance lament about life with a teenage son. I knew she expected me to jump in with my own complaints, but I wasn’t taking the bait. I spent years listening to people tell me to just wait until I had a teenager. It always sounded ominous. Our man/child first born is, at the worst, annoying, loud, selfish and stinky. I know the teenage waters have potential to become choppy and murky over the years, but... [Read More]

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Modeling a Heart for Community Service
By     |    Nov 6, 2015
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Modeling a Heart for Community Service

Near the top of my list of things I was not prepared for when it came to motherhood was the degree of mommy guilt I would feel. That guilt settles in, and I struggle shaking it off. I irrationally feel I have to be at everything in order to validate that part of our children’s lives. It’s ridiculous. It’s fine if dad goes to a school party instead of me. Every assembly doesn’t require parental attention. The kids are allowed... [Read More]

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Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child
By     |    Oct 20, 2015
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Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child

Our middle son came into the world quietly. He spent the first few hours of his life wide-eyed staring at us, but the quiet didn’t last long. He struggled to gain weight those first few months and refused to sleep most of his first year of life. He cried a lot, and I shed my share of tears. Those first 13 months were riddled with worry for that boy, and I never really shook the extra concern for him. Fast... [Read More]

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